FUNERAL TEARS Russian Funeral Doom New Album Out Now

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.

FUNERAL TEARS
Beyond The Horizon
(Full Length)

Location: Tomsk, Russia

Release Date: April 13, 2017

Label: Satanath Records (Rus) & Cimmerian Shade Recordings (USA)

Format: CD

Track – List:
01. Close My Eyes
02. Breathe
03. Dehiscing Emptiness
04. I Suffocate
05. Beyond The Horizon
06. Eternal Tranquility

TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 56:07

Members:

Nikolay Seredov – Everything

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Brazilian Death Metal band FORCEPS Release Two New Singles from New Album

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.

Upcoming Schedules:

– APRIL 2017: NEW OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO
– JUNE / JULY 2017: BRAZILIAN TOUR
– SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017: EUROPEAN TOUR

ONLY 4 SONGS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING

US Black Metal Legends Nightbringer Unveil Complete Forthcoming Album

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.

Track-list
1. As Wolves Amongst Ruins
2. Misrule
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’.

www.facebook.com/NightbringerOfficial

US Funeral Doom Metal legend’s Evoken reissue ‘Embrace the Emptiness’ on vinyl

EVOKEN will re-issue their much sought after debut album ‘Embrace the Emptiness’ (1998) as a limited vinyl edition via Season of Mist. Only 666 hand-numbered copies in audiophile heavy black vinyl (180g) will be made available.

Please note that EVOKEN have not signed to Season of Mist

Season of Mist are reissuing EVOKEN’s much sought after debut album ‘Embrace the Emptiness’ as a strictly limited edition vinyl. Now that this dark gem of the US Funeral Doom Metal legend is available again, put the record on your turntable, shade your windows, turn off the light, lie down in bed and let yourself get overwhelmed with emotions. Drift away in your mind and just let the feelings of solitude hit you. An utterly dark album that every fan of funeral/death doom should own.

You can pre-order here: CLICK HERE

Track-list
Side A: Intro / Tragedy Eternal
Side B: Chime the Centuries’ End / Lost Kingdom of Darkness
Side C: Ascend into the Maelstrom / To Sleep Eternally
Side D: Curse the Sunrise

Recording line-up
Vince Verkay: drums
Nick Orlando: guitars
John Paradiso: vocals, guitars
Steve Moran: bass
Dario Derna: keyboards

US black metal duo Inquisition kick off their European tour

INQUISITION are kicking off the second leg of their “Bloodshed Across Europe” tour this April. The fast rising US black metal duo will kick off their rampage at the Royal Metal Fest in the Danish city of Aarhus tonight and then proceed to bring darkness all over Europe throughout the whole month.

INQUISITION commented about this tour: “We are proud to announce our upcoming tour in April, which will take us partly outside of the usual touring circuit. Many of these places we will visit for the first time – expanding the circuit through this second leg for our Bloodshed tour throughout the continent.”

On further news, INQUISITION have already been confirmed for the prestigious Party.San and Bloodstock Open Air festivals this summer.

Please see below for a list of all confirmed shows.

INQUISITION tour
07 Apr 17 Aarhus (DK) Royal Metal Fest
08 Apr 17 Stockholm (SE) Dark Days in Stockholm
10 Apr 17 Hamburg (DE) Markthalle
11 Apr 17 Möhrlenbach-Weiher (DE) Live Music Hall
13 Apr 17 Roma (IT) Traffic Club
14 Apr 17 Brescia (IT) Circolo Colony
15 Apr 17 Pratteln (CH) Mini 27
16 Apr 17 Rotterdam (NL) Baroeg (Conspiracy Of The Damned)
17 Apr 17 Roeselare (BE) De Verlichte Geest
18 Apr 17 Groningen (NL) Vera
19 Apr 17 Essen (DE) Turock
20 Apr 17 Cham (DE) LA
21 Apr 17 Colmar (FR) Grillen
22 Apr 17 Quimper (FR) Polarites
23 Apr 17 Nantes (FR) Ferrailleur
24 Apr 17 Paris (FR) Glazart
27 Apr 17 Saragossa (ES) King King
28 Apr 17 Barroselas (PT) SWR Festival
29 Apr 17 Sevilla (ES) Fanatic
30 Apr 17 Murcia (ES) Garaje Beat Club

INQUISITION festivals
11 Aug 17 Catton Park (UK) Bloodstock Festival (Sophie Lancaster Stage)
12 Aug 17 Obermehler (DE) Party.San Metal Open Air 2017 (exact date tba)

Russian Dark Metal Band Ungraved Apparition Stream Song from their New Album

Ungraved Apparition is a dark metal unit from Ekaterinburg, Russia. It was founded in late 2014 by three members of Micky Babossa (guitar), Paul Kas (drums), and Leon Kratt (bass guitar). In the process of creating the material, the musicians felt the need for a powerful and heavier sound, thus in August 2015 Bones Taker joined them as the second guitar, mainly for playing the solos. Accompanying him was Damned for the role of the vocalist.

By the beginning of 2016, having formed a concert program and having removed the clip “Гнилостные бактерии”, Ungraved Apparition conducted a series of concerts in the cities of Russia. Since 2016, the musicians entered the studio to record a studio album. The main idea behind the album was the merging of two worlds: the world of depression and despair from incurable diseases, the sadism of bloody surgery experiments; And the afterlife, inhabited by the suffering souls of the dead people, the chilling horror of which is squeezed by convulsive cries in the throat.

Utilizing crushing heavy riffs interlaced with more melodic sections to create an environment of decay, spearheaded by a ghastly vocal attack, the band achieve their goal with aggression as well as atmosphere. PULSE_0 is a single concept of how musicians see the inner world of a person and his desperate struggle for every minute of life.

Swiss Melancholists Impure Wilhelmina reveal first track and details of new album

IMPURE WILHELMINA are premiering the first track taken from their new album, ‘Radiation’, which has been slated for release on July 7th

Regarding the new song, IMPURE WILHELMINA comment: “We have chosen the opening track ‘Great Falls beyond Death’ of our new full-length entitled ‘Radiation’ for the first premiere. The song starts with an easy melody line and a massive guitar that both evolve into a more dark and twisted tune. The vocals grow steadily more epic until the song coalesces into its melancholic finale – evoking fatalism, fanaticism, ignorance, and the fear of death. We see it as a perfect way to start the journey towards our new album – to take-off and then fall through an uncharted musical radiation.”

IMPURE WILHELMINA are furthermore revealing artwork and track-list of ‘Radiation’, which can both be viewed below.

1. Great Falls beyond Death (4:49)
2. Sacred Fire (5:22)
3. Child (5:28)
4. Torn (4:51)
5. We Need a New Sun (6:46)
6. Meaningless Memories (6:00)
7. Bones and Heart (4:37)
8. By Ravens and Flies (6:18)
9. Murderers (5:43)
10. Race with You (6:35)

The musical amalgamation of metal and melancholia is somewhat of an oxymoron, yet the doom sub-genre is thriving exactly on the tension created by this seeming contradiction. It is therefore an easy temptation to pigeon-hole ‘Radiation’ into that category, but that would constitute a severe injustice to the sixth full-length of IMPURE WILHELMINA.

The darkness of the soul that unfolds on ‘Radiation’ is feeding from many sources. Although they originally started out on a post-core flow, the Swiss have continuously drifted to a more rock based course, on which they are staying. Their forthcoming album finds some obvious points of reference such as later KATATONIA, PARADISE LOST and TIAMAT in their ability to create sublime melodic elegance. Yet there are also more obscure undercurrents such as a fearless embrace of dissonance and raw emotionality embodied by the stylistically quite different JOY DIVISION.

IMPURE WILHELMINA have been creating music on the border between rock and metal for over 20 years. Founded by vocalist and guitarist Michael Schindl and his brother David on drums in 1996, the band from Geneva made a strong impact with their self-released debut album ‘Afraid’ (1999), which saw the Swiss being regarded on the same level with compatriots such as NOSTROMO and KNUT from the local metallic hardcore scene.

During the next years, the line-up of IMPURE WILHELMINA underwent many changes, while revolving around main composer and lyricist Michael Schindl. These creative encounters allowed the band to endlessly rethink their direction and turn each of their albums into a singular piece, while keeping a unique touch, mixing intensity, heaviness, melody and melancholy.

IMPURE WILHELMINA released a self-titled 7″ in 1996, the ‘Undressing Your Soul’ EP in 1998, a split EP with ORDEAL in 2001, and five full-lengths so far. The critically acclaimed ‘I Can’t Believe I Was Born in July’ (2003) and ‘L’amour, la mort, l’enfance perdue’ (2005) have been viewed as key albums regarding the band’s style, while ‘Prayers and Arsons’ (2008) marked a new step in their evolution with the inclusion of more rock elements.

Not resting on their laurels, IMPURE WILHELMINA generated much enthusiasm and surprise with their recently released full-length ‘Black Honey’, which was first released on vinyl in 2014 and followed by a CD in 2015. This album features more prominent and clean singing. Overall less aggressive, ‘Black Honey’ boosts emotional intensity and melodic atmospheres, while revealing multiple new facets of the band.

Over the years, IMPURE WILHELMINA have garnered an excellent reputation as a particularly strong live entity and shared stages with illustrious groups such as NEUROSIS, ENTOMBED, THE OCEAN, GOJIRA, ISIS, ZATOKREV, and KRUGER.

With ‘Radiation’, IMPURE WILHELMINA have created an album that invites the listener to explore and discover new hidden treasures with every spin. Welcome to this journey into uncharted musical lands…

Line-up
Michael Schindl: guitar, vocals
Diogo Almeida: guitar
Sebastien Dutruel: bass
Mario Togni: drums

www.impurenet.com
www.facebook.com/impurewilhelmina

Turkish Black Metal band THE SARCOPHAGUS Release their New Album “Beyond This World’s Illusion”

Long awaited 2nd full length of Turkey’s one of the earliest black metal band The Sarcophagus has finally got out. First release of the band after Niklas Kvarforth of Shining had left the band.

The sophomore full length, “Beyond This World’s Illusion” interconnected with dark mysteries of the ancient earth, arrays the crafty aesthetics of second wave black metal and the ferocious raw atmosphere at the same time. With their bewitching dark melody driven black metal music, The Sarcophagus are ready to take you to the realm of the medieval darkness.

Like the striking cover artwork by Paolo Girardi, Beyond This World’s Illusion inhabits the comforting ruins of ’90s extreme metal while introducing new horrors. ——–DECIBEL

We are linked to the roots, and ’90s black metal has a big influence on our music. It is very clear that as years pass and Black Metal becomes very popular it strays further away from its occult character. Black metal is not only a music genre, but a dark spiritual expression touching the soul. ———– Burak Sümer (Guitar/Synth)

Track-List
01. Reign Of Chaos
02. Ain Sof
03. Dymadiel
04. The Profanity Rites
05. Sapremia Of Earthly Creatures
06. Triumphant Divine Terror
07. Armoured Death
08. Flaming Key To Divine Wisdom
09. Apocalyptic Beast
———————————————
Total Running Time: 45:51

Women in Black Metal 2017

Recently Alex and I were at a big name BM gig in NYC and both noted a nice balance of men and women at the show. Which was great compared to the Death metal shows, we both grew up going to in the 90s.

We got talking about why there was such a big representation of women in Black metal compared to say the thrash or death metal scenes and thought who better to ask then some of the leading ladies of black metal – we spoke to veteran and new(ish) BM musicians to get the inside scoop from them – full biographies for everyone who participated at the bottom of this page

To download the full 20 page interview in pdf form click here

How did you get into Black metal? What was the band that sold you on the genre?

Robyn from Adorned in Ash: For me, It was a progression from one genre into the next and I wouldn’t say that I’m only into black metal. I actually have a very large range of musical taste. The band that got me searching for the more extreme and odd bands was definitely S.O.A.D. From there I went to folk/goth/symphonic metal which then naturally lead to black and death.

Vickie Harley from Forneus: The first thing that attracted me to metal in general was the mix of orchestral elements and metal, as I played in bands and orchestras as a kid, which I first heard in symphonic metal. After this introduction, I sought out heavier bands and Cradle of Filth were a big favourite of mine. I still love their earlier music and Sara Jezebel Deva’s vocal collaborations with them inspire the sound I try to achieve with Forneus

Adore: I progressed into black metal naturally. I started out listening to whatever they showed on MTV in the early 80’s and 90’s and really enjoyed hard rock, thrash metal, death metal. I met Zak Nolan, who was the original drummer of the band Goatwhore, in 7th grade, and he introduced me to King Diamond and a host of other incredible underground bands. After that, I would always try to find the darkest, fastest, most dangerous music I could find. I started reading the metal magazines and saw the artwork for Emperor’s “In the Nightside Eclipse”, Opeth’s “Orchid” and “Morningrise”, Ulver’s “Nattens Madrigal”, and Satyricon’s “Nemesis Divina” in issues of Metal Maniacs. I ordered all of those albums strictly based on the artwork, description, and the thoughts and sounds I imagined those albums sounded like in my head. Once I received them in the mail and listened to them all, they all exceeded my expectations and imagination.   I fell so in love with black metal that day. My old bandmate David and I would get all the black metal we could find and listen to them together and exchange cds. Those were such glorious times and black metal truly changed our lives at that point.

Nadine from Ashtar : I came into Black metal quite late, around the early 2000s. My boyfriend at that time listened to Black metal from the 90’s like Dissection, Burzum, Rotting Christ, Satyricon, Emperor, Mayhem and Darkthrone… Maybe it were Satyricon and Rotting Christ who sold me on the genre, because I had the chance to see them live back then. Live music is always so much more intense than hearing the bands on CD! But I have to say that I never listened to Black metal only, I always liked other genres too like Doom or Death metal.

Christy from Ails: I was really into death metal before I knew much about black metal. I remember being exposed to a lot of black metal in the late 90s by just listening to music while hanging with friends. I saw Mayhem and Emperor at the Milwaukee Metal Fest in 98 and got into the style a bit more. I also remember being given a compilation tape by our drummer in the early Ludicra days that he had titled, “Unholy Black Metal” with so many of great songs by bands that I still love today.

Laurie from Ails: I worked at a record/music distributor in SF in the 90’s called Revolver.  They had a few bins of leftover metal cds and I of course looked them over and discovered bands such as Darkthrone and Emperor and discovered several earlier “doom/death metal bands as well.  I was mostly intrigued by black metal since it had more elements of emotion, despair and melodies that reminded me of the classical music I heard in my early youth.  Ulver was an early favorite.  I grew up with heavy metal in New Jersey but I was mostly drawn to punk and goth in the 80’s.

I remember early in Ludicra, my bandmate made me a mixed tape of black metal bands.  I was quickly obsessed with the band Bethlehem, even more so when I watched the movie Gummo in 1998, the songs of Bethlehem inspired me more than any black metal or metal/punk in general, that I had ever heard.  The vocal technique and placement, the beautiful and depressive guitars…their sound clicked for me more than anything I’ve ever heard I believe.  Bethlehem is still my favorite metal band today, after all these years, none have had quite the effect on me that they have.

Jolene from Bulletbelt:I’ve been listening to metal from my very early teens, I discovered black metal about ’97 when I was first introduced to Celtic frost, Emperor, Cradle of filth, Darkthrone and Burzum.

I don’t think one band sold me, Black metal as an overall genre with it’s underlying left hand path/occult theme drew me towards it, also in the mid to late 90’s I was still learning about all the stuff to do with Varg/Euronymous and the church burnings. The mystery and the hype was greater with having to work for finding out information from small interviews and word of mouth, until I read the book Lords of chaos in 2000.

Roxane from Smirking Revenge: As cliché as it sounds, the first BM band for me was Cradle of Filth. It’s funny because when I first listened to their album Damnation and a Day, I almost had a panic attack – I felt really weird about it, not understanding their extravagance. But you know… a good artist is one who is able to make you feel something, whatever it is! Later, I came back to it and I regained my composure – I was absolutely fascinated by their world ; all the references to literature, mixed with incredible and catchy guitar riffs, and also their general appearance and theatrics… I became a fan – I wanted to understand.

Marika – Velociter: I think I first discovered black metal through more “commercial” metal bands, I am pretty certain the first band I fell in love with was Dimmu Borgir back when I was around 12 years old, still love the theatrical aspect in their sound and appearance to this day. Which also was what caught my interest way back in my pre-teen days.

Sarah Lee from Augu Sigyn: My first band in the 1990´s was an underground rock band, with guys who normally played Black metal & Death Metal ( Solhverv ). I was 12 years old, and just seeking out some better music. I could feel that my mind needed something else. And I began to hear some of the bands that everyone knows: Darkthrone, Bathory, Mayhem, Venom. While as well getting all of the millions of different stories about of Burzum and Mayhem.

I´d never felt so alive and understood, as when I heard my first Black metal album ( Darkthrone – A Blaze in the Northern Sky ), and this album sold me then, as it still does this day today. Though my vocal began at the time when I first heard Arch Enemy´s change of vocalist to Angela Gossow. And the band Kittie. And I just thought wow; females can use their vocals just as men, to scream and growl. At that moment I knew that I needed to have the whole package of metal. The package of creating wonderful dark music in metal.

Tenebrae – Dreariness : I got close to black metal slowly and by pure chance. I remember the 2002 summer, I was more or less 12 years old, and my attention was caught by groups like Lacuna Coil and Evanescence. I didn’t have internet at home, so in order to understand more this genre (at the time, the definition was “Gothic Metal”) I used to buy magazines such as “Metal Maniac” or “Metal Hammer”, or I used to go to the most furnished cd store and buy an album randomly. My first black metal album was “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant” by Dimmu Borgir. That album made a mark on my life, if I can say so. From that point on, it was a continuous research, I can give you a thousand names… Bands and artists that have a lot of influence on me are: Darkthrone, Burzum, Nargaroth, Mayhem, Forgotten Tomb, Theatres des Vampires, Peste Noire. I adore Les Légions Noires, Amesoeurs, Alcest… I can really mention more of them.

Mers from Black Table: Wolves in the Throne Room was my gateway.

What’s your favorite Black metal band these days and why?

Robyn from Adorned in Ash: At the moment I’m loving Agathodaimon and Antestor. I enjoy their writing style

Vickie Harley from Forneus: I love a lot of black metal bands for different reasons but at the moment I really like Winterfylleth and Coldworld. Both bands successfully combine soaring, melodic passages with really bleak, extreme riffs which is a combination of sounds that appeals to me. But I really like the more riff based stuff as well, like Dark Funeral and Dark Fortress.

Adore: So many. I’ll give you my top five right now.  Absu, Summoning, Emperor, Xasthur, and the homies Goatwhore.  It’s hard to explain why but I’ll try.

Absu’s music is so unique, so intricate, so magic(k)al, it’s truly an incredible journey through the past, present, and future. It’s out of this world. Proscriptor’s drumming, vocals, songwriting, and stage presence are incomparable and stellar! There are so many gems and so many layers to Absu’s music and albums. The way I feel when I look at their artwork (especially for the self-titled album “Absu”), when I read the lyrics, hear the music, that always takes me on an incredible journey of pure ecstasy. True ABSU fans know exactly what I mean. I highly recommend them to any black metal, black thrash fan.

Summoning’s music is just fucking epic! Triumphant and also magickal!

Emperor are the true kings of black metal and so unique and groundbreaking. Most black metal bands are influenced by some aspect of them. I’ve been in awe of them from the first time I heard them in the early 1990’s. Plus Trym’s drumming is so sick! Ihsahn and Samoth’s riffs are just phenomenal and legendary.  Some of those riffs bring tears to my eyes because they are just that good!

Xasthur is so unique and dark. Malefic is so skillful. I tell friends that Xasthur’s music is the sound of death arriving. The sound of the grim reaper arriving to take you into the next dimension. Truly haunting and beautiful.  Malefic/ Scott Conner sits on the DSBM throne, in my opinion.  I loving falling asleep while listening to Xasthur or Psychon Vex.

Goatwhore! I fall in love with their music over and over again. I know a few of the guys in the band and I used to watch them practice when they were first starting out in a town called Thibodaux. I knew they had something so special. Sammy’s riffs are just so profound and he has so much incredible music. Ben is like a warrior on stage and his lyrics for Goatwhore and Soilent Green are beautiful, sinister, extraordinary.   I often wonder how the hell he remembers all of those lyrics. He is one of my favorite metal vocalists as well. Their cds stay in my vehicles and I lose my shit when their music blasts through the sound system.   The first few albums are very nostalgic and make me miss New Orleans and Fat City/Metairie.

I will always love all of this bands and guys. They are all living legends to me and I have such admiration and respect for them.

Nadine from Ashtar: Oh, that’s very hard to say. I surely have a flair for bands with slower, heavier riffs and a very broken or beautifully sick atmosphere… Just to name a few there are (the older) Glorior Belli, Aosoth, Nachtmystium or Liturgy.

Christy from Ails: I don’t think I can pick just one, some of my current favorites are Inquisition, Absu, Enslaved and Immortal. They each have an intensity about them along with driving rhythms and are all incredible live. I love Darkthrone, Bethlehem and Ulver, too, though I’ve never had the chance to see them live.

Laurie from Ails: The new Bethlehem was my favorite release of 2016 of course but my other favorites these days are- Virus, for their unique style that pretty much sounds like no one else. Not exactly black metal I guess..

Oranssi Pazuzu- for taking black metal far away from the confides of what is deemed “true or cult black metal”, having psychedelic elements but still having intense energy and riffs

One of absolute favorites is a local band (Oakland)- Dispirit- They are truly the best black metal band I know of.  Excellent musicians, song-writing, all worthy of that annoying word “epic”  Dispirit is beyond epic. Ha!

Roxane from Smirking Revenge: It’s a bit weird because I don’t listen to much BM these days, but if it can fit into this category, Alcest or Deafheaven would probably be it. There’s also another awesome band I discovered lately, which is Sektemtum. Right now I have a phase where I listen mostly to electronic music, being late to the party haha, with bands such as KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, and so on. I do like the mix of electronic and BM with bands like Dawn of Ashes.

Marika from Velociter: Have quite a few, I have a specific liking for crossover bands. I think the band that first comes to mind is Destroyer 666, I love their edge and aggression. Speaking of black thrash crossovers I have to mention Absu as well, I have this fascination over their drummer Proscriptor Mc Govern not only being one of the most insane drummers I’ve ever witnessed, he is also the lead singer, it’s almost too intense, I love it!
I have recently grown very fond of Icelandic Svartidauði, and the sole simple reason for this is how they manage to conjure up the same cold seen in traditional black metal, and mix it with a heavy sound so crushing it’ll almost make you feel uncomfortable, I would go as far as calling their music crushingly foul, it’s brilliant. Watain should also have an honorable mention, I could listen to their song Waters of Ain on repeat for hours and never get bored, beautiful musical craftsmanship they possess that lot.

Sarah Lee – Augu Sigyn: Darkthrone still Darkthrone. All of their works from the 80´s to the mid 90´s. They never get too old. There’s just a mood which unfortunately is all too rare, both nowadays and in other bands.
Tenebrae from Dreariness : At the moment I don’t have a favorite band… I listen to a lot of music, from pop to Doom Metal, from post-metal to shoegaze…but I have to admit, I was particularly fascinated by bands like Batushka and Mgła. Regarding Non-Black Metal, 40 Watt Sun are making my heart pound in these days

Mers from Black Table: Right now, I’ve been listening to a bunch of different things. Phantom Winter’s Sundown Pleasures has been heavy in the rotation right now. I’m a huge Omega Massif fan so that lead me there. It’s dark, melodic, and heavy. Woman is the Earth as well.

 

“It’s still quite a rare thing to see a women killing it on stage”

As a Woman into black metal do you think you get as much respect from men as say women in say the Glam Metal/Hard Rock scene? The Blues Rock scene? Hip hop ? EDM? etc

Robyn from Adorned in Ash: At first people are very prejudice but once you’ve gotten on stage and have shown them that you too have the chops, I think we’re respected and because it’s still quite a rare thing to see a women killing it on stage, I think in the end we gain more respect.

Vickie Harley from Forneus: This is a difficult one to answer as we’ve only done two gigs together! I am also the lead vocalist for a symphonic metal band, and I would definitely say that I feel treated differently on account of each band. For instance, I don’t feel like a lot of people in the extreme metal scene (regardless of gender) respect me that much for being in a symphonic metal band, and have heard and read of female extreme metal vocalists who think that this is the ‘easy way out’ for female vocalists to get involved in metal music. I think that a lot of people hear melodic vocals in metal or hear that you do that type of thing and instantly stereotype you as a ‘Disney Princess’ type of vocalist: something that couldn’t be further from the truth. My voice is strong, powerful and something that can be just as terrifying as harsh vocals, and I’m excited to be able to prove this and develop my vocals in black metal with Forneus.

Adore: Unfortunately, no. Black metal is a very aggressive, competitive, alpha-male music genre. I love my fans, but I’ve encountered some metal fans who just don’t respect women in the genre and don’t think it’s our place in black metal. Also, being mostly African American is also another barrier.   I never expect anyone to like or understand my weird music, but fortunately, it has connected with some dark souls out there.

Nadine from Ashtar: I can’t say because I don’t really know these other scenes. But I think generally women get a bit more respect in the Doom metal scene than in the Black metal scene. In Black metal they are often seen as a decoration or sexual object rather than as serious musicians… But then there are women who want it that way, so that’s okay for me.

Christy from Ails: I think in any scene there are going to be those who are just dicks and those who are cool. I’m treated pretty well these days (at least to my face, hahaha).

Laurie from Ails: I was lucky to be respected in black metal for the most part, but..there were and still are always a few bitter betties out there.  There are always haters, there are always men who can’t help but explain to myself and other women about metal and whatever else they claim to know more about.  I am a feminist, I am not bold and outspoken about it, but I’m a feminist and feel that many women in metal aren’t very thrilled have these conversations and often downplay their struggles and just “want it be equal with no mention of gender”.

Jolene from Bulletbelt: A lot of times females in bm are perceived to like it because of their partners listen to metal or going through a rebellious phase, I guess it’s a lot easier to accept that a female likes glam/hard rock because it’s catchier, more simple and often the topics are related to personal experiences of the heart.

Roxane from Smirking Revenge: I’m not sure – music in general is pretty much a men’s world, no matter what the style you play… It’s not complicated, women were not there, and when they were, it’s because they were used to sell something or make someone else look good. Or to sing and/or dance, in any kind of music, that’s what women’s presence is usually about. When you play an instrument or you growl, some people just don’t understand, because I guess it’s ‘’new’’ and ‘’unexpected’’…? (That’s a bit beyond me.) I would say it’s half and half – some people are really open-minded about it, and become diehard fans, while some other people underestimate us and hate us before we even play.

Marika from Velociter: I surely hope so, to be fair I don’t strictly show up in black metal environments, I have a pretty wide range of musical interests (especially in the metal world) And my general impression is that women are respected in most musical cultures. But I have personally grown tired of the “he/she is not true because” tone you often find amongst black metal fans. To me, being true is about standing up for your own opinions, whether it being music, politics, appearance or anything else. Being caught up with whether or not other people are being “true” is not very true in my book – So I kinda caught myself in quite a paradoxically pickle with that statement didn’t I? Dammit.

Sarah Lee from Augu Sigyn: Some men are getting better to not treat one as a groupie. Other men are full of respect for what I am and what I do. And some men are very jaloused over what I have gained, but they are the ones that shows me, and my co-musicians that we are good at what we do. And then there are gentlemen everywhere, either trying to help, or getting amazed of what I can do on my own.

Tenebrae from Dreariness : In general, I can say that a metal woman is often prone to receive sexist sleazy comments. It happened to me, I saw nasty comments on my behalf. I laugh but it’s not a good thing. The truth is, there’s little respect.

Mers from Black Table: I don’t know really. I don’t see myself as a woman performing in a metal band. It’s so far from my mind and I’m not looking for respect for my gender. The response to our music has been wonderful and that’s all I could really ask for.

“Black metal speaks more to individuals-male or female, that felt out of place, unaccepted, unpopular, unconnected to peers”

Why do you think there are more women into Black metal than say Death metal or Thrash metal?

Robyn from Adorned in Ash: I would imagine that depending on where you go you will find more into a particular subdivision that another purely because there are more bands playing that style than others in that location. In SA there are women into all kinds of metal and I’ve never really felt that it leans heavily to one subdivision or another.

Vickie Harley from Forneus: I actually know more women who are into death metal than black metal. I’m someone who appreciates and loves a lot of different subgenres within metal and I think I surround myself with like-minded people. Out of all the subgenres of metal, I actually think that most women like doom and stoner bands. Perhaps this is because of its accessibility in relation to more ‘mainstream’ music genres like blues, rock and roll and hard rock.

Nadine from Ashtar: There are many reasons, but one for sure is the aesthetics of Black metal that is not only dark and brutal, but beautifully desperate too and sometimes atmospheric, plus there are the Black metal related themes like nature, paganism etcetera that women naturally have an affection for, I think… Last but not least, the guys in the Black metal look better and are sexier. 🙂

Christy from Ails : I didn’t know there were more women into Black Metal than death or thrash. Could it be a regional thing? Maybe I’m oblivious if that really is the case, living in the bay area, I’m used to seeing a lot of women at all of the metal shows. Though, 15-20 years ago, it was quite different, I rarely saw any other girls at metal shows.

Laurie from Ails: I’m not sure but perhaps it’s because black metal speaks more to individuals-male or female, that felt out of place, unaccepted, unpopular, unconnected to peers.  I was more drawn to black metal because of its’ more depressive, sound-scape and overall emotion. I don’t have this same feeling when I listen to death and thrash metal.

Jolene from Bulletbelt: Black metal has under lying elements of gothic/occult themes which I can see appealing to more females than the topics and visuals of death and thrash metal

Marika from Velociter: I didn’t realize that there are more women into black metal than any other metal genre really. But a (maybe not so qualified) guess would be that black metal speaks more to a more pure and primal aspect, instead of for example politics or gore.

Sarah Lee from Augu Sigyn: Never thought about that there was more in Black metal than in Death metal. I have thought more about some people should drop the act, and not be in metal at all. I know that this is roughly speaking, but Black metal is loosing more and more of it´s underground, sadly. I can think only that perhaps the reason is how in Black metal the vocal of one sentence can go on for longer. Where in Thrash metal and Death metal it´s often faster going. That the lyrics shall be quick or dying. And many females have perhaps a more difficult way with spitting out words/lyrics, than when they can get to breathe and tell.

Tenebrae – Dreariness : I know a lot of badass women and they know what they’re doing. The metal genre is not important.

“Never let someone tell you you’re not good enough or that you’re ‘’good for a girl’’”

What advice would you give to younger women just getting into the Bm scene?

Robyn from Adorned in Ash: It’s a community. Remember that.

Vickie Harley from Forneus: Never worship anyone or allow anyone to act like they deserve to be worshipped around you. A real musician respects and is kind to any fellow musicians they meet, and there is no need for a diva attitude no matter the person, their success or their reputation

Adore: Be yourself! Develop thick skin and don’t let rejection or naysayers deter you.  Be gracious to fans.  Be fearless! Put in the work and practice.

Nadine from Ashtar: Nothing particular. Just be true to yourself and don’t sell yourself. Just do what you want and do it with conviction, always!

Christy from Ails: Get a turntable, buy vinyl! Actually listen to the music of bands you go to see. Be yourself. Don’t be a poser. Never leave your drink unattended.

Laurie from Ails: Perhaps try not to get trapped in just the style and overall “evil and grim history”, you can still be you, try to be open-minded always to how music (black metal etc..) will always change with the years, be open to new sounds, crossing of styles/genres, don’t get stuck in “the old way is the only way.”

Jolene from Bulletbelt: Be a strong woman, be yourself and fucken own it.

Liking something regardless of what genre it is, should be for yourself not the acceptance of others. Don’t be concerned with fitting to the mold.

Roxane from Smirking Revenge: Just go ahead and do your thing, be yourself. Break a leg. Never let someone tell you you’re not good enough or that you’re ‘’good for a girl’’. Also, most important : work hard.

Marika from Velociter: I would advice them not to take advice from others on how to be part of a scene. Finding your own way is key. I think it is important to be exactly what you are, and forget about trying to suffer through the hell of trying to impress others to feel “part of the cave”. If you love the music, then that fact should surely speak for it self. The industry is crawling with pricks, but it is also crawling with a shitload of awesome people connecting through shared musical interests.

Sarah Lee from Augu Sigyn: Take the time and effort that it will take to bring the music to life.  I like that in Black metal you can hear that there is a human/band, behind the record. And so in the vocal. I can say as well, for those who would like to learn more about one own vocal, and how to use it. You can watch The Zen of Screaming by Melissa Cross. I got 2 of her DVD’s, she´s amazing.

Tenebrae – Dreariness : There isn’t a real advice to give. I live based on my instincts, there’s no advice. You have to act, to live, to scream, to play. You always have to be yourself.

Mers from Black Table : As a musician, be yourself and always challenge yourself.

What has been the hardest thing for you as a musician getting started making music? What advice can you give female musicians wanting to start their own bands?

Robyn from Adorned in Ash: Gaining your chops. It’s hours upon hours upon years of hard work and it never ever ends. To be the best you can be you need to put in the work, time and effort. Dedication when you’re down and humbleness when you’re up. As a woman you will always find that you’re having to “prove ” yourself more than the guys but at the end of the day you’ve just got to put that all behind you and focus on the reason you are doing it. I play guitar because I love it, it’s an extension of my soul and therefore I strive to push myself to the max and be the best that I can be. Practice hard, play hard, don’t be fake about it.

Vickie Harley from Forneus: I don’t write music as I’m utterly terrible at it, so I’m quite a bad role model in that sense for female musicians wanting to start their own bands. I would recommend scouring social media for like-minded musicians and using websites like ‘join my band’ and warn them that half of the musicians you will meet in your local metal scene are time wasters, but that you will eventually come to find the right members of your band in the end.

Adore: Finding the right people to work with was a challenge. My first band, a few of us were on separate pages of what type of metal we wanted to play I always wanted to play faster, darker, more evil music.  Now, being a solo artist, I have some health issues that made it a lot tougher to perform, but I worked slowly. For those healthy beings, find like-minded musicians who are serious and on the same page as you and have the same objectives. If you can’t find those individuals, don’t be afraid to do it all yourself. Technology these days makes that very possible. The possibilities are endless. Also, let the music speak for itself.

Nadine from Ashtar: In the beginning it was hard not to pay attention to all the people who thought «What? A girl? She surely can’t play her instrument as well as a man would. She is only in the band because of her tits…» Nowadays, after being in bands for 14 years, I don’t give a fuck about this anymore, because I know who I am and what my skills are.

Christy from Ails: I started making music when I was 15 so the hardest thing for me was being able to own decent gear without having much of a job. Not having a car or license made it a bit of an obstacle as well. I always had to depend on someone else for a ride to practice, and I was such a mooch because I never had any gas money to give.

My advice to any musician wanting to start their own band would be the advice that I didn’t take from my favorite quote by Dave Mustaine in the Metal Years, “Don’t.”

Laurie from Ails: Well trying to start a new band after Ludicra was and still is often frustrating, and a constant struggle in a lot of ways.  Working hard on something for 12 years and then having it all disappear can be very disheartening when you try to start completely over with no connections.

I think it’s most important to stay focused and to be patient.  I also think it’s important to make sure you are in a band situation that you feel comfortable in.  If you don’t have supportive and communicative bandmates to begin with…well, then you will have problems and things may take longer and feel more unsustainable.  You all need to recognize that you need to all be on the same page and feel comfortable to bring up issues when they arise. When things are left unsaid and unresolved, it will fester and you may just end up feeling you’ve been wasting your time and it suddenly doesn’t feel fun anymore..etc

Jolene from Bulletbelt: Females who do anything that is male dominated always have to prove their self worth so much more, otherwise you can be seen as a joke or a gimmick. Hard work pays off!

The hardest thing for me I’d say was finding the support in my local bm community, especially from other females in the scene when I first started out. One would think you would band together being the minority, but what i encountered was the opposite .

Roxane from Smirking Revenge: I think the hardest part is to never stop believing in what you do. If you loose that, you loose everything… I struggle with self-confidence but I just need to get this music out of me, into this world… This desire is stronger than any holding back.

Marika from Velociter: I don’t think it has been that hard starting out really, the hard part is being determined to continue your musical journey through all the ups and downs you may face as a musician. Being in a band isn’t cheap, and being in a band is not without grief, but once you have found where your true passion lies as a musician, then cling to it, work with it, and it will all be worth it ten times over. This advice would be for anyone wanting to start a band, man or woman. For women I’d say let the music be your oyster, not your sex, not your appearance. I can imagine many trying to give opposite advice when it comes to “getting your band out there” through promotion and stuff like that, I myself have gotten a few well meant comments on that account as well, but I take pride in trying to let my sex be a neutral factor in my band. I scream my lungs out and write distressed lyrics just like any other frontman or woman. I’d prefer people liking my band for the whole package of soundscape and vocals, instead of liking my band because “oh hey they have a girl in this band, now they are cool”. Sure it might be naive to think that, that will always be the case, but I strive to prove that we will be “winning” on our music and live performance, not on whether I should pull down my shirt a little lower and become a brand for the sake of potential viewers. Cheap tricks are so transparent anyways, and in my opinion a 100 legitimate fans of the band, is better than a 1000 drooling female worshipers. But each to it’s own priorities I guess.

Sarah Lee from Augu Sigyn: The hardest thing would be to find the right musicians, but the easiest way is to ask around if there is anyone looking for a musician. I myself started again after some years away from the music. And I began looking for other musicians, to start a band with. First I find a pianist / keyboard player, next I found a drummer, then a bassist, and last, but not least a guitarist. And as for my very first band, I searched for musicians. And I found them. Never give up, keep on searching – and you´ll find them

Tenebrae from Dreariness : The first live was hard, my voice didn’t come out because I was really thrilled. We had some few problems, we were all thrilled. But you have to move on, recover. The advice is: do not ever give in, even if there are some little errors. Sometimes you can find the beauty into recovery. Never give up!

Mers from Black Table: Playing live was pretty difficult for me, it’s a vulnerability that can make you sick to your stomach, fuck with your confidence and focus. The only cure is to play often. Don’t be afraid to use your unique qualities to express musical narrative. And a really important one for me is don’t try to do what is familiar.

 

“One bad incident that sticks out in my mind is Karl Sanders yelling at me because I was in his way while he was hauling heavy equipment”

Out of all of the “Big Name” metal musicians you have met so far who has been the biggest douche and why? (I can censor their name if needed)

Robyn from Adorned in Ash: I’d rather not go there hahaha!

Vickie Harley from Forneus: I don’t feel comfortable doing the whole ‘name and shame’ thing. Instead I’d rather let people’s own bad behavior and reputations catch up with them, and trust me when I say there are plenty of these in the UK black metal scene.

Adore: Gosh, fortunately for me pretty much 99.9% of the musicians I’ve met have been truly down to earth and wonderful. One bad incident that sticks out in my mind is Karl Sanders yelling at me because I was in his way while he was hauling heavy equipment. I was probably drunk and not paying attention, so I’m sure it was my fault. Haha! I love his work though and I’ve heard nothing but great things about him. So, that was just a bad experience but I don’t think he’s a douche at all. If you catch anyone on a bad night, you can walk away with a negative opinion about that person. But that’s not the case. I just hate racists and bigots. I think of metal music as rebellious and for the outcasts. A family of dark souls. It’s always disappointing when  you find out a band or musician you love is racist, fascist, misogynistic, or homophobic.

Christy from Ails: Oh man, I wish I had a good story for you. I really haven’t met too many “Big Name” metal musicians, the few I have were actually really nice.

Laurie from Ails: I won’t name names but I have read about a few so-called metal males who seem unable to hold back their hatred for certain women in the metal community, whether it’s been towards journalists or musicians, it is a bit frightening to me that after all of these years, there are quite a few men that simply can’t handle a woman having success with her art, her skills, her passion, which is simply the same passion as said male.

Roxane from Smirking Revenge: Haha, that’s a funny question! I could say the ‘’famous’’ metal musicians I’ve met were not real assholes or whatever. But then again, I didn’t meet many. I’ve met Cradle some years ago and they were really awesome, signing our CD’s, letting us assist to their soundcheck and the guitarist also went for a coffee with us… We had a really good time. And guess what? He liked his coffee black just like his metal… haha.

Marika from Velociter: It’s not like I’ve met a whole lot of “big names” but to be honest, those I have met has been incredibly down to earth cool people. I was really nervous about meeting Mike Wead from King Diamond, my band Velociter recorded our last single at Simon Johanson (Wolf) studio, where Mike Wead also works. But I had no reason to be nervous, he and Simon were both great guys with lot’s of cool stories to tell from the road.

Sarah Lee – Augu Sigyn: It would be one from the band Mayhem. He was just one of those who was just a little too high on his fame.

Tenebrae – Dreariness : I had the displeasure to talk with a lot of superficial and confused people, but I never met really douche people. The thing is, I let their words roll right off my back…

Mers from Black Table: I like to keep those things to myself.

“The U.S. are just screaming for more music born out of the hell we are all dealing with in present times.”

Do you think there is room for political lyrics / statements etc from Black metal bands? Or should that be left to Punk Rockers?

Robyn from Adorned in Ash: I believe music is a completely free platform to express yourself and that you can sing or write about what ever you like. Bare in mind though that if you do take a bold stance on something that there will always be backlash and you will have to deal with that.

Vickie Harley from Forneus: I’m indifferent to political statements in any music genre, but I don’t like music being used to represent a political agenda that the music and the musicians themselves do not represent. A good example of this is Bruckner’s music being used by the Nazi Party.

Adore: I think musicians should use music as their outlet for whatever they want to express. Music equates to freedom. Music will also be one of the legacies we all leave behind when we are physically long gone. Whatever message you want to convey and put out into the universe, whatever there is  in your heart, sure, why not, put it into the music. That release can be very therapeutic and essential for many.

Nadine from Ashtar: Why not? Music in general can be used as a medium to carry political statements. Each musical genre has this potential, even if there are genres where it’s more common than in others. Personally, I don’t like political themes in music that much. And my lyrics are never political – it’s an attitude, a purpose though. And I am sure I will always have a lot of other things to tell…

Christy from Ails: I’m not one to say what anyone should or shouldn’t write about. I feel people should be able to create music to be about whatever they feel like. I don’t like when people try to get shows shut down because of someone’s belief, lyrical content, or something done in the past for shock value. If one doesn’t agree with it or doesn’t like the message, then they don’t have to listen or see them live. I say, put your energy, time, and money into the bands and artists that you love. Personally, I don’t want to be preached at when I go to metal shows, so I tend to avoid the preachy, political, and overly pretentious bands. Some people love that, sounds cliché but to each their own.

Laurie from Ails: Yes I do, absolutely. If I was better at writing interesting and well-written politically inspired lyrics, I most definitely would.  I had one song on Ludicra’s last album, called Truth Won’t Set You Free” and the more I look back on it, it makes more sense than ever today with all of the media lies, political corruption and untruthful news.

The current times in the U.S. are just screaming for more music born out of the hell we are all dealing with in present times.  This uncertain and frightening Trump era will hopefully at least bring us darker and more unsettling metal riffs, because it certainly won’t bring us anything else that is considered good. I hope that the horrid political climate we are in, won’t deter musicians from keeping on and continuing to create.  I tend to get very depressed, introverted, immobile and lack motivation, I hope we can muster up the energy to keep doing our things.

Roxane from Smirking Revenge: I think anyone who feels the need to express their socio-political statements through music should do it, no matter which style they are playing.

Marika from Velociter: I think there is room for whatever the artist feel is right in their music. I myself enjoy when lyrics match the overall feeling in the soundscape bands has created. So I’d usually prefer mysticism, paganism, depressive philosophies and melancholy in Black Metal, and then I’d turn to Thrash or punk whenever I feel angry at the world instead. But then again, there are so many varieties of black metal, so many varieties of temperament and I think most writers take the soundscape into account when they are writing lyrics, lyrics can be a very personal thing after all.

Sarah Lee from Augu Sigyn: It would be sad to hear political lyrics/statements in Black metal. It should be left out.

Tenebrae from Dreariness : That’s a tough question. Black Metal has many faces. The NSBM scene is strong but lately also the opposite is strong. Unfortunately in both cases many live concerts are jeopardized or canceled because there are fights and violence. Such things shouldn’t happen in music, neither Punk, Oi nor Metal and so on. Music should unite, not divide. I will never sing about politics.

Mers from Black Table: I think it should be open to all genres. Say what you will.

“For our forthcoming album I write about my deepest fears, my hurt, and my frustrations, this varies from sleeping paralysis, humanity, suicide philosophies, anxiety, hatred, apathy, and the entrapment and loneliness you can feel in today’s postmodern society.”

What subject’s does your band mostly sing about? eg: Death, Satan, the old gods, a love of nature etc

Robyn from Adorned in Ash: We sing about God and our faith and our personal walks with Christ and experiences of Him.

Vickie Harley from Forneus: Channelling Khaos.

Adore: Mostly dark emotions and the cosmos.  I’m a “space cadet” and love anything dealing with the universe and other dimensions, be it ghastly or serene.

Nadine from Ashtar: I mostly write poems about the power and the ferocity of nature, about fate and hope, life and death and rebirth…

Christy from Ails: Laurie mainly sings about struggling to survive, unrequited love, betrayal, jealousy, nightmares, losing friends and loved ones, you know, the kind of shit we all deal with in life. Geez, by that description, we sound pretty emo, I assure you we’re not! Hahaha.

Laurie from Ails: I usually stick with what I know and what I’ve observed and experienced first-hand.  In Ludicra, I often wrote about the disparities between the homeless in San Francisco and the increase in gentrification, the constant stigma and desperation etc..

but I now mostly about my personal struggles with major depression and anxiety, and others’ struggles with mental health disorders as well, the stigma faced by many, inabilities to have lasting and healthy love-relations, frustrations and failures, bitterness towards others, inability to think clearly, self-medicating, addiction, suicidal ideation..etc.  I have never sang about Satan, gods, nature, I wouldn’t know how to honestly.. ha!

Jolene from Bulletbelt: Our last albums topics ranged from New Zealand murderers, flu epidemics, to the boer war horses in the South African 1900’s war.

The concept of the new album is based around the burning times of the 15th and 17th century, the injustice that was done and the torture that was involved all in the name of religion

Roxane from Smirking Revenge: In our debut EP, we talked a lot about technology, its consequences on us. We talked about cloning, RFID chips, the possible future uploading of human minds into the virtual cloud, but also the positive side of technology in the medical/life-prolonging field. In our next album, we will talk about the environment – about having an ecological conscience, and also the fact that humans are greedy and take Mother Earth for granted. We also have other topics, such as psychology, mental illness and drug abuse

Marika from Velociter: The band existed two years before my arrival, and had already written most of the lyrics for their second EP, which was recorded shortly after my arrival, so I haven’t written that many songs (that has been released yet). But for our forthcoming album I write about my deepest fears, my hurt, and my frustrations, this varies from sleeping paralysis, humanity, suicide philosophies, anxiety, hatred, apathy, and the entrapment and loneliness you can feel in today’s postmodern society. And in one case so far I have written a song about the hierarchy in society, this is however out of personal experience, even though it might sound strictly political.

Sarah Lee – Augu Sigyn: Djævles Skrig is about hauntings, possessions, dark tales of horror. Augu Sigyn is myths and my personal life mixed together. Streets of Violence is blood and fight, with hate to all. WORHT is more the dark and the beautiful things of life, from my own perspective, and from my own life.

Tenebrae – Dreariness : In “My Mind” we talked about death, sorrow, suicide, about feeling lost. On the contrary, “Fragments” is more deep. Gris, Torpor and I lived profound experiences that touched or made a mark in our inner self. In this album, texts are more introspective. We talk about losses, search for hope, love, search for something or someone. I can stop or influence my hand when I write. I need to write and communicate, I need to put out what I have inside. I don’t know what else will come out with time.

Mers from Black Table: Death, Rebirth, Science, History, Mythology, a little bit of politics, Language, Evolution, the Universe.

“I compensate by bringing blót and sacrifices to the Nordic Gods and Goddesses”

Do you practice any form of religion? If so which path and why?

Robyn from Adorned in Ash :We believe in Jesus Christ because He is our Lord and Saviour

Vickie Harley from Forneus: I do not, but I respect and am intrigued by those who do and the religion itself. It seems like one of the more sensible religions to follow.

Adore: No. I believe in science and evolution. I’m agnostic. I think many religions are very oppressive and people should think for themselves and do their own research. Oddly though, I love imagining that when we die, we ascend back into the cosmos or another unique dimension that is neither a heaven or a hell. I’d personally would love to just float around the cosmos after death.

Nadine from Ashtar: I wouldn’t call it paganism, but I’m a spiritual person, always seeking for answers behind the big mysteries of life and death, in different mythologies and old stories. I’m a passionate reader but not the person doing (blood) rituals…

Christy from Ails: Nope, live and let live is my approach.

Laurie from Ails: No I don’t.  I am open-minded to it and support anyone who practices it but I’m mostly non-religious in general.

Jolene from Bulletbelt:I don’t strictly follow one belief but the closest I would be to any form would be Luciferian, Satanic beliefs. I like to keep my mind open, in saying this, I am very anti Christian, one god mentality from my own personal experiences.

It’s not rocket science the reign of blood it’s brought through the centuries, a belief based on fear.

Roxane from Smirking Revenge: Not really. I’m more of an agnostic – I believe there is some kind of bigger-than-us-energy, but I don’t pray or do rites or whatever. I have a spirituality, but it’s not really ‘’religious’’ – I’m not devoted to any particular god.

Marika from Velociter: Unfortunately no. I simply do not have enough knowledge in this area to be practicing the arts. I am very interested in it though, and are slowly starting to read up about it. So perhaps in a year or so I will have started practicing some form of paganism. We’ll see if I find meaning in some of it. But I am very attracted to the idea of broadening ones mind through deep thinking and naturalistic practise’s. It’s all very intriguing, so we’ll just have to see what I’ll learn about the subject.

Sarah Lee – Augu Sigyn: I am an Asatru, as well practicing the old Gods and the dark more evil Gods. I have an addiction to seek out the darkest of the dark, but I like to think that I compensate by bringing blót and sacrifices to the Nordic Gods and Goddesses etc. from the Nordic Mythology / Asatru. As well as for the path; the nearest would be that I Wight worship and do the Norse rituals.

Tenebrae – Dreariness : No, I’m not interested in this stuff.

Mers from Black Table: I don’t subscribe to any religion. However, the Earth is a God that I want to be closer to.

“There is always going to be that elitist character putting others down to puff their ego, whether it’s gender, age, sex or race”

Do you feel there is much sexism or racism in your local Black metal Scene?

Robyn Adorned in Ash: There’s generally a wide diversity in the scene. Bands however, have always been very male dominated but it’s changing and more women are stepping up to the stage and are being well received

Vickie Harley from Forneus: There have been instances of racism in the Northern black metal scene but the people who have those views are generally ousted quite quickly. I don’t feel like there is much sexism at all in just the black metal scene, but like I say I’m quite new to performing in a black metal band. There are definitely wider issues of racism and particularly sexism in the metal scene as a whole, and unfortunately I’ve been on the receiving end of sexist remarks and behaviors quite often performing with my other band and attending gigs of multiple subgenres.

Adore: Well, I grew up in the New Orleans vicinity and it’s a big melting pot with a lot of great bands and musicians, many of who were close friends. I later learned a few were bigots but for the most part, it’s all about making great music. It truly was a family but then. I love to think that music connects all people no matter our differences.   If I encounter a racist or sexist, I just won’t support that band anymore.

Nadine from Ashtar: Difficult to say, as with Ashtar (as well as with my previous band shEver), we were never really part of a Black metal scene. Compared to the Doom metal and Stoner scene, there is a bit more sexism and racism around in the Swiss Black metal scene, I think.

Christy from Ails: No, personally, I haven’t experienced any of that here. I think the bay area is pretty diverse, too. There are a lot of strong and talented women here.

Laurie from Ails: Like NYC, the Bay Area is pretty diverse and I’ve always felt a strong sense of respect, support and cultural appreciation in the Oakland/Bay Area metal scene.  If it feels like family, we are doing it right.

Jolene from Bulletbelt:I don’t feel that sexism or racism is strong in the black metal community in New Zealand. Yes, females are the Minority in black metal, but I don’t think that is frowned upon here, different yes, but if you do something well enough gender/race shouldn’t be a factor.

There is always going to be that elitist character putting others down to puff their ego, whether it’s gender, age, sex or race, and mainly all is said and done in the safety of their home behind the computer.

Roxane from Smirking Revenge: Yes, there is still work to do about this… When a band like us will fit on any bill without having to specify ‘’all-girl band’’, our work will be done. The day we will blend seamlessly with other bands of other genres, our place will be made. The shows where the line-ups only consists of female-fronted bands or include feminine members, might tend to create the opposite. It’s as if women would have to have a ‘’special female show’’ to reclaim their place… I understand what the bookers are trying to do, but if this is normal, then where are all the ‘’all-men bands’’ shows?!

Marika – Velociter: I don’t have the impression that we struggle with either racism or sexism in the danish bm scene. We do have Myrkur who had been victim to some pretty nasty and sexist messages on her social media platforms, but I guess bored douchebags can be found all around the world, spouting their douchery through social media. I’ve gotten some sexist comments thrown in my face on a few occasions at metal gigs, but I won’t take the words of drunken chauvinists seriously.

Sarah Lee – Augu Sigyn: No, not at all. The few there do racism does it in pointing fingers of others – saying that they are racist or nazi´s. Which is pretty stupid, cause the few there do it they do it in the cause of jealousy of another band. About the sexism; luckily I don´t see so much sexism anymore, and the way of thinking that females are equal groupies is luckily also getting more and more out of date. About the Black Metal scene is very diverse over in NYC, is different from here. I have never seen an afro or a colored on the Black metal scene, with bands from Denmark, here in Denmark. So perhaps it´s more diverse in NYC, but I know it´s not a racist thing going on. It´s just not seen yet, or well seen by me yet.

Tenebrae – Dreariness : No, I don’t think there’s sexism or racism, at least here in Rome. Generally, I notice the tendency to throw shit at other bands, maybe there isn’t much support. But I never lived sexist or racist situations.

Mers from Black Table: I think at this point the racism and sexism has bloomed way beyond genres of music. Right now it is a precarious and dangerous time for everyone, black metal or not. I don’t get much into scene politics, I just like to make music however, I won’t be passive in seeing behavior that is oppressive or cruel to another being not matter what scene.

“Political correctness is becoming a plague upon the modern world”

What are your thoughts on these Social Justice Types who come into a scene that has been misanthropic from day one and try to “tidy it up”? Surely that’s akin to someone getting into Gangster rap and trying to stamp out the rappers who sing about Glocks and dealing drugs? (As of writing this, an extreme left Terror group calling themselves “Anti-fa” managed to stop a gig by the Black Metal band Marduk in the Bay Area, Marduk are a band they accuse of being “nazis” yet these meatheads neglected to mention have played Israel to huge crowds….SMH)

Robyn Adorned in Ash: They never last long and I don’t really bother about them too much

Vickie Harley from Forneus: I’d probably be labeled as a ‘social justice type’ by many people: I’m a feminist, I’m vegan and I have a passion for helping people and not judging. However, I think sometimes the left movement can go too far. I think its much more important to listen to ‘controversial’ views that don’t match our own and try to understand where they come from to move towards a mutual understanding of the right and left movements. I think that this is much more powerful than simply censoring everything.

Adore: Again, I think people should use music as the outlet they see fit. With all the variety out there, just find the bands or scenes that are  suitable to your taste.  Everything isn’t for everyone.  I personally won’t financially support racist bands. But to each their own.

Nadine from Ashtar: It’s okay that there are some «rules» or beliefs establishing an identity within the scene, but personally I love musicians who break the boundaries of «true» Black metal and create something new… As I already said Ashtar is not a true Black metal band – our main influences come from Doom metal. So I’m probably not the right person to answer this question.

Christy from Ails: Like I mentioned in a previous answer, put your time and energy into the bands and artists you love. If there are these types that want to clean shit up and make things shiny and happy, they should start their own bands and their own scene and sing/scream about whatever the fuck they want to. I have to admit that I have a lot of fun when I go to shows and probably smile way too much for most misanthropic types however I’m not trying to stop anyone from being unhappy if that’s their thing.

Laurie from Ails: Well I know it’s a topic with very heated opinions though I don’t know that much accurate information about it.  I do wish there was more of a middle ground area where both sides could possibly engage and collaborate together in a more productive way.  I am certainly against Nazi supporters, sexists and racists but I’m not sure if violent, aggressive protest is the answer either.  It’s a tough subject indeed.

Marika – Velociter: I don’t know, there are loads of newer black metal bands focusing on for example the beauty of nature, which I can’t see any harm in. But even so in that kind of black metal it is still a place where darkness and cold are celebrated- and an attempt to change that up is just pathetic. Political correctness is becoming a plague upon the modern world, and what is wonderful about black metal is the misanthropy and sense of bestial practice of something raw and uncut. Sure it may seem too extreme for some people to grasp, but there should be a a free place for everyone.

Sarah Lee – Augu Sigyn: I think that it’s ridiculous. And a little too pompous

Tenebrae – Dreariness : Music is music and everyone lives it in his own way.

Mers from Black Table: Every music scene starts with musicians or artists sharing their life through music, NWA for instance. They are telling their story and should have the freedom to do so.  They are talking about their time, their era, their experience. I do not support censoring someone’s work simply because I don’t share their experience. That’s where I feel uncomfortable, I don’t feel it’s my right to change people or scenes to my comfortable, personal preference. I think in metal, misanthropic feelings are a historic foundation that formed from feeling like one couldn’t express aggression in society. At least, that’s how I felt.

If had the opportunity to change just one thing about the Black metal Music scene – what would you change?

Robyn Adorned in Ash : More unity and less “cliques”. We all love metal, music should unite us. If it’s good music why divide the scene because of petty reasons or differences in opinions.

Vickie Harley Forneus: The seriousness! To me, black metal and its performers bear a lot of similarities to drag artists: they dress up and wear make-up, portray characters and use this to entertain. I think many black metal artists could take a note from Drag Queens and not take themselves so seriously and just have fun performing the music that you love.

Adore: That’s a tough question. I guess I wish more bands were more original in their approach.   There are a lot of clones nowadays.

Nadine from Ashtar: Maybe just let the «trueness» thing become a phantom of the past?

Christy from Ails: I’m a big fan of live music so I’d prefer more real drummers (rather than electronic drums) and more bassists!

Laurie from Ails: It is constantly changing and growing, I honestly don’t know what I’d change.  I sometimes wish people at shows would dance more, instead of just standing with arms crossed, not budging.  More emotional headbanging, that would give me a laugh and an even stronger sense of enjoyment when attending shows. Ha! JK

Roxane Smirking Revenge: The fucking elitists, man. The way they look at everyone as if they’re above the humanity, arms crossed… I would like this scene to be more open-minded sometimes, as I often came across people who were stubborn with what BM is supposed to be and sound. These purists are a contradiction – they tend to claim all the time that ‘’they are different from the rest of society’’ yet they seem to want people to conform about their own ideas of what BM music is.

Marika – Velociter: This is generally in the whole metal scene, but I am not too keen on elitism or the tendency to put people into boxes and evaluating them on whether their battle jackets has the cool or uncool patches. I’d like to avoid hierarchy in the one scene were you expect people to be without prejudice, that is sadly not always the case.

Sarah Lee – Augu Sigyn: I would get rid of all those who put too much studio sound into it. Those who try to mix/fix it all a little bit too much, that the music begins missing it´s original and more personal sound, which I think is Black metal.

Tenebrae – Dreariness : I wouldn’t change a thing. I couldn’t ever think to change something. Music can’t be changed. Maybe it evolves with time. But it depends on how do you live it, what it gives you and what you believe in. We are all different, we are all alike, we are all nobody. Music changes me, I’m not changing it.

Mers from Black Table: Less face paint, more riffs.

Any final words?

Robyn Adorned in Ash: Work hard, play hard!

Vickie Harley Forneus: Thank you for offering me the chance to be interviewed and I hope you are interested by what I have to say.

Adore: Thank you for your interest in Adore. I truly appreciate it. Please keep supporting the bands you love. Buy their merchandise, attend the shows, spread the word about them. Keep that dark passion and spirit alive. I hope you all are happy and living the life you want to live. Best wishes always and so much love and support. Hailz \m/

Nadine from Ashtar: Thank you a lot for your interest in my person and in my band

Christy from Ails: Thanks for the interview and all you do to support underground metal, Steve! For anyone else reading and interested, check out Ails at “ailsmetal.bandcamp.com”, full length album coming soon!

Laurie from Ails: Thank you so much!

Roxane Smirking Revenge: To quote the wise Osho – ‘’Become an hollow bamboo, rest at ease. When you are empty, the space is there.’’

Marika – Velociter: Thank you for taking me into consideration for this feature, I hope my answers were satisfactory despite not being in an actual black metal band. But that is actually gonna change, a friend of mine and I are starting a danish language studio bm band in a foreseeable future.

Sarah Lee – Augu Sigyn: STAY METAL \m/

Tenebrae – Dreariness : Be yourself, write, act, play, don’t give a fuck on things and live on what you love.

To download the full 20 page interview in pdf form click here

Biographies:

Robyn Ferguson is lead vocalist and guitarist for blackend death metal band from South Africa, Adorned in Ash. They have shared the stage with such greats as Cannibal Corpse, Decapitated, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Septic Flesh, Kataklysm, and more. She is also an official Jackson Guitars artist.

@Robyn_AiA

@Adorned_in_Ash

www.adornedinash.com

Vickie Harley (Varda) is the vocalist in Forneus, a UK black metal band. Singing with Forneus is her first experience of performing with an extreme metal band. She also fronts a symphonic metal band called A Clockwork Opera and additionally does classical singing, mainly in choirs.

Adore. is a one-woman black metal band based in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas. She plays guitar, bass, keys, and sing vocals.  She loves space metal and DSBM.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/1adoremusic/

Bandcamp: https://1adoremusic.bandcamp.com/

Nadine from Ashtar sings and play bass, guitar and violin in ASHTAR since 2013 and is from Switzerland. Before ASHTAR, she played bass and violin in SHEVER, an all-girl doom band.

www.ashtar.ch

www.facebook.com/ashtarband

ashtar1.bandcamp.com

Christy plays guitar In Oakland based band Ails. Before that she played in Bay Area legends Ludicra for 12 years and 5 albums. https://ailsmetal.bandcamp.com/

Laurie Shanaman is lead vocalist in Ails and previously lead vocalist in Ludicra https://ailsmetal.bandcamp.com/

 

Joelene is the Vocalist for New Zealand black/thrash band Bulletbelt, She is also a full time Tattooist and has been been playing in various metal bands since 2001.

https://bulletbeltnz.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Bulletbelt/

https://www.facebook.com/tattoosbytempest

Roxane plays guitar for Smirking Revenge all girl darkened/death from Montreal, Canada. Their first full-length album “Disastearth’’ will be released on March 10, 2017.

http://smirkingrevenge.bandcamp.com/releases
http://www.facebook.com/smirkingrevengeband
https://www.instagram.com/smirkingrevengeband/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaiRNhpZ4hiogITuwGpSowQ
http://twitter.com/smirkingmusic

Marika the vocalist in a danish thrash band named Velociter.
Https://velociter.bandcamp.com

Sarah Lee Lamashtu does the vocals, lyrics, half the music for Augu Sigyn and WORHT. She also does vocals ( screaming & growling ) & lyrics in the bands’ Djævles Skrig ( Devils Scream ) & Streets of Violence all out of Denmark

https://www.facebook.com/augu.sigyn/

https://www.facebook.com/worht/

https://www.facebook.com/DjaevleSkrig/

https://www.facebook.com/StreetsOfViolence/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJL0TzCSJGBp2H9DBudbcJA?view_as=public

https://augusigyn.bandcamp.com/album/h-ngninger-af-guder-demoer

Tenebra sings in Italian band Dreariness since 2012.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dreariness_official/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dreariness/

Bandcamp: https://dreariness.bandcamp.com/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/dreariness

Mers play guitar and perform vox for New York band Black Table. Blacktable.bandcamp.com