EXCLUSIVE ALBUM PREMIERE AND TRACK-BY-TRACK PREVIEW: MUMAKIL “Flies Will Starve”

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, June 24th, 2013

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New week; new grind, folks. . . And this one’s a doozy, all the way from Switzerland and four years in the making. Courtesy of the good people at Relapse, we’ve got an exclusive premiere stream of Flies Will Starve from Mumakil.

It is kind of ironic for a band who made their name with hyper-intense “blastcore” grind that their follow-up to the savage Behold the Failure should have taken its sweet time. But taking four years? That’s like 21 years in grind-time, especially when you factor in Mumakil’s throw-and-go/DIY ethos. Well, there is no getting around the fact that lineup changes, touring and life all get in the way. No matter, in that time the world has been souring apace, creating the optimum conditions in which to birth an album like Flies Will Starve.

Most of you reading this should be familiar with the Mumakil canon already; you should know what you’re in for (24 tracks, all juiced by the familiar cocktail of panic and fury, all clocking in at 35 minutes and change), but here is guitarist Jéjé with a track-by-track run-through of what went down:

DEATH FROM BELOW
Okay! Track one has to punch you straight in the face, gravity-blasts do the job just well . . . Sounds like a machine gun, war on drones raging right now.

DAWN OF SLUGS
One of the oldest songs we wrote for this album, another optimistic view of our society. We realized we wrote too many lyrics for this song, so the end of the lyrics got crippled and replaced by “get the fuck off and die”. Haha! I love the idea that every frustration can be expressed by fuck off.

WAR THERAPIST
Kinda death-metallish intro, [the] groove changes a bit from the rest of the album. It’s talking about “democracy” and its consequences on other’s lives in other countries.

FUCKTARDS PARADE
The last song we wrote before recording. We just used an old riff for the central part, sounds a bit to me like thrash metal on speed. Talking about chemico-pharma corporations; these promising us a cleansed future.

BUILT OF LIES
A song with a kind of groove in the central part. I really like to play this on stage, people generally fly on this; the best way to share your beers with those carrying you for free.

SHIT REMINDERS
One of my favorite songs on this album. Played fast, it’s totally crushing, and we play it now way faster than on the record… [It] talks about fucks. They know who they are.

DESIGNED TO FAIL
The most Death Metal song on the album, fewer blastbeats at the beginning allows you maybe to breathe, and to bang your head slower. But, still, gravity blasts in the end makes it more spicy.

GET EXORCISED
Sounds a bit punkish. This song was supposed to be slower when we wrote it, but as always, faster is better. Lyrics about Geneva’s (Calvingrad’s) well-trained Protestants’ self confidence.

FRESH MEAT FOR THE GRINDER
Wow! A song with THREE different parts! what an effort…Love the “Yaaaaaarrrgggh” in the middle part. Lyrics [are] about butterflies breeding.

REPUDIATE
In my opinion, gravity blasts always work. This one sounds pretty brutal because of them. We had to record this one many times, due to power cuts in the building making us lose time…

ARMY OF FREAKS
I’m really into crawling riffs, lot of notes, everything played in chromatic scales; Like the central riff in there. Nice talk about the pig hidden in everyone here.

HAILING REGRESSION
This is one of the songs we already played on stage on tour with the Elton John addicts in Afgrund.
Seems like hard work. No tone of us has time to grab a beer during this one; that’s a major handicap.

COCKROACHES
Was initially named as a working title, “Francis Kuntz for President”, who is a major political figure in Groland, a small country near Switzerland. Contact him at groland.com

WRONG TURN
One of the only odd blastbeats on the album at the beginning of the song, and yeah, this one was once named “Mollusk” (why?).

LET THE WORLD BURN
Another weirdo rock ‘n’ roll” riff in the middle, blastbeats everywhere else; I love it that way.

PISS OFF (PART 2)
The “part 2″ is funny, as if we already pissed you off once. In fact we did! The part one was “Black Sheep” from Behold the Failure, in which we, as always, insulted people for free . . . And there’s a Big Lebowski quote hidden in this one!

WASTE BY DEFINITION
Seb, our former drummer (who played the drums in Flies will Starve), is a huge fan of Municipal waste, that was his way to tell them he wanted to join the band. Haha!

UNFAIR FOR WHOM?
The “A” riff reminds me a bit of Sayyadina, and I love Sayyadina. Should be a nice n’happy song.
No, in fact it’s an insult note (once again). But deep in our hearts, we’re not evil people. Keep it easy, Mom!

BRING THEM TO RUIN
At the beginning, this one was supposed to be called “Bring them to Rome” and talk about olive oil and sunshine, but someone of us came out at the rehearsal with a really fucked up mood, so we decided to play grindcore and change it to “Bring them to Ruin”

BEGGING FOR THE OBVIOUS
Did you hear that? there’s no guitar for about nine seconds in this one! Now you can hear the sweet sound of bass caressing you behind the ears. In this one, Thomas, our soprano experimentalist, explains you why you shouldn’t have listened to daddy.

REDLINE
Initially named “Porkchops”, the lyrics suit now quite well that working title. Yeah, the second odd riff of the album!

BLIND DISCIPLES
I like this first riff, quite a strange riff in fact, and one of the few backing vocals session on this album. We really have to try on stage with Benj screaming his guts out. We will, [it's] more brutal.

BETRAYER
Did you notice? The last three songs on this album begin with a B. That must be a sign.

BEHIND THE MASK
WOW! More than three riffs in a song! Huge performance, and a kinda rock ‘n’ roll plan in the middle of the song, finishing the album headbanging naked on the table while your whole neighbourhood is sending you the cops!

Umm, indeed. Right, without further ado . . . Ach, you know what to do: Affix the gum shield, press play and let the blasts take control.

**PRE-ORDER Flies Will Starve HERE.
**Mumakil on Facebook

Orphaned Land “All is One” Track-by-Track

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Monday, June 24th, 2013

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Orphaned Land doesn’t have it easy. As the ambassadors of metal in the Levant and its nearest neighbors, the Israel-based outfit are trying to bridge an incredible cultural, linguistic, religious, and think gap. Through five studio albums, the most recent of which is All is One, they’ve tried to represent both sides of the struggle between Jews and Arabs. Have they succeeded? In some ways, yes. They’re still here after 19 years, and they’re probably more visible—from a non-metal viewpoint—than ever before. That new album, All is One, speaks more to the populace—like on the ballad “Brother”—probably transcends anything in Orphaned Land’s impressive discography, and that includes debut stunner Sahara.

So, check out the track-by-track video (the audio link is HERE if you hate Youtube) and get ready for All is One, in stores and online June 25th.

Oh, here’s a little snippet from frontman Kobi Farhi about All is One: “We felt that we’ve done very complex albums in the past, we’ve proven that we know how to be the most complex band in the world if we want. But this time we had the feeling that, coming from a very complex region, it’s time to make an album that would be fun to do and fun for the fans to hear. A lot of the songs are very sad and tragic, but it’s a little easier to digest the messages in the lyrics. We wanted to make an album that’s easy for any metal fan to understand the lyrics from the very first listen.”

** Orphaned Land’s All is One is out June 25th on Century Media Records. It’s available HERE in various formats and bundles. Or, you can go HERE to find salvation. But you’ll need a diving tank unless you have gills, which is doubtful.

Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack: Lithuania’s AUTISM

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, June 21st, 2013

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 Because every day another band records another song. Because 83% of those songs are unlistenable and you can’t be bothered to sift through the dreck. Because metal is about not giving a shit and waking your own personal storm. Because music is universal, expression is boundless, and even indie labels (whatever that means these days) don’t know everything, Decibel brings you Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack.

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 Long before extreme metal bent my ear, that ear heard the guitar ‘n’ synth wonder that was the Top Gun theme song. Steve Stevens dished up some leftover Van Halen solos with an extra helping of melted cheese, and I ate it up like so much cheesy Van Halen knock-off leftovers. At that moment, I wished for music where the guitars could define the emotional heart of an entire album without making room for a human voice peddling preordained prefrontal content. At that moment, I probably would have embraced the Kenny G equivalent of guitar music. When I finally found out that such instrumental music existed, I plowed through Dysrhythmia and Red Sparowes, and more locally Tone and Trephine, looking for the spiritual highs I was sure that lead guitars could provide.

I think Autism might have been the band I was looking for. The shimmery, torrential post-metal v. spoken word performance strikes an uncanny balance between meaty, anchoring narrative and amorphous, imaginative free-flight. Guitars take the lead role in the development of the music’s voice and the readings from Lovecraft augment the supernatural unease provided by the instruments. The album is a wide-eyed journey – not black, death, or thrash enough for some of you, but surely some are open to the light and shade offered by Autism.

Decibel caught up with the mind behind the project, and he graciously answered every invasive question. While you get caught up in The Crawling Chaos, read up on where the project came from and where its mastermind hopes to be headed.

 What got you started playing this kind of music? How did you decide when you had a cohesive album of material to record?

Since the age of 11 I was very into heavy metal music – all the traditional power, black, death metal stuff, but I was getting bored from all the same sounds that I was hearing. And approximately five years ago I rediscovered progressive metal / rock which led me to my experimental music journey. I was digging it all – 60s psychedelic rock bands, experimental jazz, later all the post metal and post rock stuff. At that time I’ve already had some musical projects and played in a local Lithuanian band, but as you know if the musical poison contaminates you – there is no limits for creativity. And that’s how AUTISM was born, a project under which title I could create and record music that I am very interested at the moment.

The Crawling Chaos, debut full AUTISM album came very naturally. I had some obscure ideas about a spoken vocal album, which came to me long time ago, when I heard THE DOORS “An American Prayer” and ENABLERS “End note” albums. I really loved how the combination of music and spoken vocal sounds, so that idea somehow turned into making a soundtrack for a H.P. LOVECRAFT’S “The Crawling Chaos” novel. I had some tracks already written before I decided to try the “soundtrack for a book” idea, but after few tries, it fit very well. So I decided to stick with it and just go with the flow. After a few weeks of trials and errors I finished the album, which I am really proud of. Each track for me has a perfect atmosphere and emphasizes the tension of the actual book.

To what extent do you think your surroundings in Lithuania play a role in the way you make music?

To be honest I have never received any inspiration from my surroundings. Maybe that’s because of the fact that I don’t really pay attention to what is going around me, or maybe I simply don’t really believe in the idea of nature’s influence in creativity. I still remember how black metal was heavily influenced by forests, mountains and stuff, which is a really cute story and the visual impact is quite nice, but I don’t buy it anymore. The only thing that comes to my mind while being somewhere in the Lithuanian forest – is to get the hell out of here, because mosquitoes will eat me alive hehe. The only surrounding that influences my creation process is my “room studio” where I record music. But it would not make any difference for me if I would be in Holland, South Africa or Lithuania.

What’s with the band name? Autism is kind of a hot button these days…

Hehe, I get asked this question quite a lot, and I received some quite negative comments about the title I’ve chosen. Anyhow, I’ve named this project because of pure fascination, excitement and admiration of autistic people. Since I saw Rain Man I was very fascinated by the human mind, and what little we know about it. People like Kim Peek, Derek Paravicini, Stephen Wiltshire or Daniel Tammet are only few of all the autistic people with incredible “powers”. And yes, I know that for the majority of people autism is a very scary and unpleasant disorder to talk or think about. But I find it quite inspirational, because I somehow feel, that each autist has something extraordinary and magical going on their mind that we cannot understand. To me , it somehow relates to the real life people with superpowers, which comes from the fantasy stories, movies or comics, although I know it sounds a bit strange.

 Is there any music, or non-music beyond the Lovecraft writing, that inspires the songs that rose out of you for The Crawling Chaos?

Since I discovered 60s psychedelic / progressive rock, I really enjoyed that strange, psychedelic atmosphere happening the music which was created because of drugs. And I did find the same feeling in The Crawling Chaos. It somehow fit my vision of what mood I want my album to have. Also, the mystical aura surrounding H.P. LOVECRAFT was always very tempting.

How intense was the recording process? Were you focused on getting certain movements perfect or was the recording itself an exploration?

As you say, it was more or less an exploration. The whole album came out very naturally and was recorded in quite a short period of time. Of course, there were some moments of frustration and lack of musical ideas, but a good rest was I all needed to get back on track. Yeah, I was trying to polish some parts to have the right atmosphere, but by polish I mean finding the right harmonies and moods, but not trying to perfect every note. That’s not how I record, if there is a little mistake – I leave it. I am kinda bored of all those perfect Pro Tools records, that sound like robots. So for me, these mistakes adds some human elements.

Is it true that Autism is a solo project? How do you write/record the material? In what order do you put the parts together?

Yes, AUTISM is a solo, or a studio project. There is nothing special about my recording sessions. I just sit by my laptop, where I have all the software, I take my guitars and start jamming. Some ideas are worth keeping, some are just pure rubbish. If I’m in good mood I can write and record a track in one day. Sometimes it takes a week or even more to finish a track. It also depends on how much free time I have to sit and play. As most of my music is more or less an improvisation, so it takes some time deciding which part to keep and which to throw away.

Is there any of your own catharsis/closure associated with the completion of this record?

I think I’ve accomplished my main goal with AUTISM when I’ve finished this album. It was to show myself that I can create that kind of music, and create it well. And I was very pleased that it got such positive reactions all over the “post” community in different places of the globe. Even doing this interview is a big thing for me, as it shows that the music I created is getting some attention, which means I did a decent job.

What other musical/artistic endeavors would you like to explore?

I would really love to create a soundtrack for a movie. And it would not matter, if it had to be somehow related to AUTISM project, as long as I had all the musical freedom. I really love how sounds and visualisations makes such a huge impact when combined together. Making a soundtrack for a whole movie would probably be my musical catharsis. And I really hope that this my dream will someday come true.

Check out the AUTISM Bandcamp site at http://autism.bandcamp.com/.

Tales From the Metalnomicon: Dean Swinford

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, lists On: Friday, June 21st, 2013

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Welcome to Tales From the Metalnomicon, a twice-monthly column delving into the surprisingly vast world of heavy metal-tinged/inspired literature and metalhead authors…

Dean Swinford is very likely the first and almost certainly the last author in the history of Western literature to pen an epigraph comprised of equal parts Shakespeare (“Is not lead a metal heavy, dull and slow?”) and Cathedral (“Angels have no pity/Their wings have turned to stone”), and the fact that he chooses to do so explains quite a bit about his very fine novel, Death Metal Epic (Book One: The Inverted Katabasis), a smart, funny tome following the (mis)adventures of an early nineties Florida death metal band called Valhalla that morphs into an experimental “mash-up of Thergothon and Dead Can Dance” after its debut album Thrones of Satanic Domination fails to catch fire.

Thankfully, when it comes to extreme music Swinford is knowledgable sophisticate, not a preening, condescending shock value tourist — which is to say, rest assured, if it existed, Death Metal Epic would carry the Metal Militia Seal of Approval.

“I wanted to write about Florida death metal in the early nineties because of its personal significance and I suppose out of a sense of nostalgia,” Swinford tells Decibel. “I’m from Miami and grew up listening to all of the bands that I mention in the book. As much as the book is about metal, it is also about the experience of growing up and looking back on the places you have lived. I have enough distance that I can look on that period more clearly; it’s far enough away, though, that writing about places where I used to live, like Miami and Gent, allows me to re-experience them.”

The Metalnomicon recently invited Swinford to discuss the aural inspirations and accompaniments to his death metal fantasy…

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The first part starts with a quote from Death’s “Symbolic.” That album is a little bit further into the nineties than the action of the book, but it’s something I listened to a lot while writing. I picked it for the book, though, because it seems like that song is talking about the same kind of period in life that I’m writing about — those late teen/early twenties years where things are changing so much, but they’re also not changing fast enough. Or you feel like you’ll never get to the place you really want to be. That’s kind of where David is at the beginning of the book. He is barely into his twenties, but he wonders if the best times have already passed him by.

Posthumous, Post-Mortem, Post-Metal: An Interview with Sleeping in Gethsemane

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, uncategorized On: Thursday, June 20th, 2013

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I first experienced Fargo, ND’s Sleeping in Gethsmane while on tour with KEN Mode. The scene was a show in the band’s hometown and I remember expressing my enjoyment of their set to guitarist Brandon LaPlante, describing them as “one of the few instrumental math rock bands out there with some balls.” Brandon must have agreed to a point as he very willingly allowed us to crash at his place that night and even took myself and KM drummer Shane Matthewson on a donut run at some ungodly hour later that night. I kept in touch with Brandon, got him to contribute an awesome story to the book I wrote with Graf Orlock’s Justin Smith (Do You Have Anything to Declare? Copies available here) and made random attempts to keep track of what SiG were up to over the year or two since we’d met. As it stands, the band disbanded after recording their third full-length, When the Landscape is Quiet Again last year. Brandon, having put too much of himself into what ended up being the band’s final work, is making it his duty to promote the album and get it out there as best he can in lieu of shows, touring and all that regular promo stuff. So, I figured I’d help a brother out with my Thursday posting spot. Check SiG out; they combined honesty and organics with mathematical swaths of sound and did it because they loved it. Until they collectively stopped loving it.

So, what’s the status of Sleeping as a band? Are you looking for new members and to go on? Or is When the Landscape is Quiet Again your last hurrah? I noticed you’re selling a shitload of gear on your Facebook page. What am I as a bystander supposed to assume from this?
When the Landscape is Quiet Again is the final chapter of Sleeping in Gethsemane. It was never our intention to make it so, but life happens and it doesn’t always allow for every member of the band to keep the band as the most important pursuit in their life. I was the member who was still pushing 100% when it all started to dissipate so I was overcome with every sort of negative emotion imaginable. It had been eight years and it was still just as satisfying to me as it was the first time we played a show. Playing music is the only thing that has ever been a fully satisfying pursuit to me. Losing the band that I’d put my entire being into for eight years wasn’t just emotionally strenuous, it stripped away all of the progress I had made within the music industry. Now I get to start at square one again and that is unrelentingly frustrating. I was originally trying to sell all of my amps, pedals and a few guitars that I no longer use to try and help me pay for this record. Now, I am only selling my Taylor acoustic so that I can keep all of my amps. The logic from this decision was that when I started a new project that I could just get new gear that gave me the sound I was looking for, but after a few months of not playing music I realized how attached I’d become to the tone I’d developed over the years playing in Sleeping in Gethsemane.

What’s the story behind the two other dudes quitting? Was this a long time coming and something you saw coming or a shock?
It was a complete and utter shock to me. I was devastated, later only to find out that a lot of our mutual friends saw it coming from miles away. That was really hard for me to find out, because I feel as though if I would’ve been more aware that I could’ve somehow kept it going. [Drummer] Shane [Heilman] has his reasons for quitting, but I cannot for the life of me speak for him. Because I took this all so damn hard I wouldn’t be able to illustrate it in a way that honors his reasoning. It would just come out sounding negative towards him and I can’t have that because I understand where he was coming from. I just don’t have the capacity to comprehend feeling that way since SiG has been my baby ever since the beginning. [Bassist] Brandon [Schiwal]‘s reasons for leaving are more obvious. I don’t feel as though I can speak for him either, but I think I can put it in a way that he would appreciate. Brandon is the only one of us who is married; he and his wife had just moved to a new city, bought a house, got new jobs and are now expecting their first child. I don’t think he planned on quitting until Shane told us that he had to quit, but when he did all of the things going on in his life kind of made the decision for him. He was also staying true to the pact that we’d made long ago that SiG would only ever be comprised of us three.

What are Shane and Brandon doing these days?
My previous answer pretty much sums up what Brandon is up to. He did just graduate college though, can’t forget that. Shane is living the same life he was before Sleeping in Gethsemane ended. He and our really good friend Troy who came on multiple tours with us and recorded with us at GodCity (on a song that ultimately didn’t end up making it on this record) started a surf rock band called Super Cruiser. Other than that he is really into motorcycles and is working on getting his dream job as a motorcycle mechanic.

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You did record with Kurt Ballou, so obviously you had goals and aspirations for this record, originally anyway. What was the mindset going into this album before the shit hit the fan? What were you looking to do differently? Do you feel you achieved what you set out to do?
This was “THE” record for Sleeping in Gethsemane and still is, just in a different way now. I was pushing as hard as possible this go around. The other guys laughed at me when I said Ballou was the engineer I wanted to work with, as if it was out of our reach. I’ve never even considered there being any obstacle that we couldn’t overcome. Their reaction was unforgettable when I told them that I contacted him and it only took him a few hours to respond with a resounding yes. They also didn’t think that Aaron Horkey would ever jump on board to do the artwork for the record, but he was more than stoked to do it. Since we aren’t active he has pushed back our art until he can get to it, but when he’s done I will be releasing this record on vinyl. I also had a full world tour planned to support this record. I was planning on putting much more time and energy into marketing this record in every imaginable way. Now, I am just hoping to get it out there in every way I can so people can hear and enjoy it. It might take me a little longer now that I have to concentrate on starting something new, but I will definitely keep promoting this record. It is the body of music that defines us as a band, as people and as artists in the way that every musician always dreams about. I am proud of this record like none other, but I know for a fact that I will always wish that we could’ve written multiple more.

What was the song writing process like for the new record? How long did it take? Did you alter the way you usually wrote as a band in any way?
This was a whole new monster. After we released Burrows we had a very defined sound. So, when writing When the Landscape is Quiet Again we were much more critical. We were always very critical musicians but with this album we had more of a sense of direction. This made writing a very long, drawn out process. We wrote this album over a period of three or four years. There is hardly anything that we started with at the beginning that ended up on the record. When we finally started to dial into our musical mojo, we pretty much wrote the entire album in a few months. When we locked in our dates at GodCity, we had a little less then five months to finish the record and in that time we wrote half of the album and tightened the rest of it up.

Tell me about the process of going to and recording at GodCity. How did it compare to other studio experiences? Was there anything Kurt mentioned that he was doing differently in working with you guys seeing as you’re a little bit outside the sphere of what he’s become known for?
Recording with Kurt was a dream come true. We had to adjust and readjust our summer tour many times to make it work with Kurt’s schedule. It was worth every last bit of stress with booking though! We were all imagining something way more out of this world than it actually was. His studio is very quaint, nothing more than he needs which I was very impressed with. He is the master of his craft! One thing that we were all blown away by is how absolutely broad the spectrum of his knowledge really is. He just has the most incredibly complete understanding of every aspect of recording, playing and instrument upkeep. It was a huge learning experience; we’ve always thought we were above and beyond when it came to preparedness as a band, but that notion was destroyed working with Kurt. One thing about recording us that was different than recording with other bands is our determination to use two bass rigs. We know how we sound live and our main goal with recording with Kurt is to finally have a record that can live up to our live show. He was adamant that using two bass rigs makes the bass tone muddy and gross. We were kind of terrified to question his authority on recording knowledge, but we insisted and it turned out to be worth it. Seeing as how we are an instrumental three-piece, there was less going on to disrupt the final tone of the instruments. The bass tone on this record speaks for itself!

What’s the story behind the album’s title?
We’ve always put a lot of thought into our album and song titles. Seeing as how we don’t generally have any lyrics, we’ve found that using concepts that we were all very involved with as our titles a good way to help create a general mood for our music. When the Landscape is Quiet Again was a dual meaning title, I think now it has even more. During the main stint of us writing this album, North Dakota had become the newest oil boom area in the country. With all of the devastation that the oil industry wreaks on our earth we were all very unhappy about this new development. Back in the 70′s, North Dakota’s governor Art Link delivered a speech titled “When the Landscape is Quiet Again” during the first real threat of an energy crisis in an attempt to implore the people of North Dakota to not allow the devastation of our state’s land through the process of developing industry. The speech was a unanimous success & for at least a small time our land was safe. Though the speech was our title’s inspiration, we took it more as a simple way to illustrate a view of post apocalyptic life on earth. Our species is on a warpath on our planet and it won’t be a sustainable way of life much longer. When the Landscape is Quiet Again is posing a question. Will we bring ourselves into utter extinction or will a small amount of us survive to become a more sustainable part of this ecosystem called Earth?

Assuming SiG is kaput, what do you feel have been some of the bigger lessons you’ve learned from being in the band?
That’s one hell of a loaded question my friend! Here’s my best go at answering this honestly. I would say that the two biggest lessons learned from my involvement with Sleeping in Gethsemane are this: 1) No matter what the rest of this world tries to sell you, there is no way that the life of being a wage slave complacent with just being a cyclical consumer will ever be fulfilling. No matter what you have to give up in current cultural conveniences, a life of following your dreams and putting every last bit of yourself into pursuing your truest passions is the only life that I will ever be satisfied by. 2) In every walk of life, the things that we are most concentrated on will inevitably come to an end. We can either let this paralyze us into completely giving up or we can grieve and then pick up where we left off and learn from the mistakes we made in our previous endeavours. The idea of just giving in and not having to put the incredible amount of effort needed to succeed into anything new sounds quite alluring when you first deal with a huge loss. Then again, if we follow this path we lose track of the kind of life which is truly fulfilling. There is no pleasure without pain; no success without failure. Duality is a heartless bitch, but one that we all have to appease in this life.

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What are you hoping to do with this album? Just get it out there for anyone who wants to check it out?
My initial dream for this record was to tour it to death! I wanted to tour every last inch of this Earth promoting this record. Now, I really just want the people who loved SiG to be able to enjoy it and for many, many more people to discover it and fall in love with it just like I do every time I hear it. I also have an obligation to the music itself to make it into the best physical representation that I can. So, when Aaron Horkey finishes the art for it I will be printing a very special limited edition vinyl pressing to honour the album, to give the people who love our music something tangible to own and for my own piece of mind. I couldn’t live with the idea of When the Landscape is Quiet Again never being fully finished.

I noticed on your webpage that you asked fans to fire off their favourite SiG memories. What’s your favourite SiG memory?
There are so damn many! I mean, being in a touring band that has written and released three full-length records is, in my mind, more intense of a relationship than marriage. I mean come on; replace your spouse with two dudes that you have to compromise on your most passionate creative pursuit and live with them in close quarters for months on end with personal hygiene being almost non-existent and then tell me I’m wrong. With that being said and not lessoning the importance of any specific experience we went through, I’d have to say that our European tour as a whole is my favourite memory of Sleeping in Gethsemane. That month was such a huge eye opener for all of us. It was everything I’d ever dreamed life would be like. I got to tour Europe playing music that I wrote and genuinely love alongside one of my all-time favourite bands (Aussitot Mort). How could life get any sweeter than that? That is the standard I will hold all of my future endeavours to from now on.

What’s next for you musically and/or artistically?
Lots! As of right now I have been writing a lot of music on all sorts of different instruments in all sorts of different styles. I have three or four musical projects that I really want to pursue ranging from really Heavy Dark Doom Folk, to super Progressive Jazz and the one that I am most driven towards currently, Contemporary Classical Composition. I plan on starting bands for the first two projects and pursuing them fully. I want to really delve into the piano, violin and cello to fully compose my own records that might be comparable to Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds or Les Fragments de la Nuit. I’ll probably finally finish my solo album as a singer-songwriter soon here too. As a visual artist, I plan on finally giving myself a chance by taking my experience touring and promoting my music and developing my art in the same way. After I graduated with my BA in classical figure drawing, I completely put drawing on the back burner to pursue music. Seven years later I’ve got the itch to create visually again. I think that spending all of that time away from my art was a very good thing because now I can come at it with the same skill but from a perspective of a far more knowledgeable man. Taking what I’ve learned from one endeavour and utilizing it towards my current pursuits! LIFE!!!

Check ‘em out:

SiG on bandcamp
SiG’s fucking facebook

Decibrity Playlist: Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1)

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, June 20th, 2013

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If you’ve followed our print mag over the years, you’ll know that we have quite an affinity for Dark Tranquillity, a love affair that extends from old (The Gallery was inducted into our HOF in 2010) and new (Chris Dick gave newest album, Construct, a glowing review…not to mention you may want to check out this month’s flexi disc). So it was an obvious choice to ask co-founder Mikael Stanne to a pick a non-DT record that related in some way (where his head was at musically, something that he remembers being really into at the time or that just represents any given period to him) to each of his band’s ten full-lengths (plus one hand-picked EP), a time period that spans over two decades. Part 1 covers 1992′s A Moonclad Reflection EP up through 1999′s Projector (which, if you read last month’s feature, was an interesting point in the band’s career). Feel free to listen along here, enjoy the absence of any further parentheticals and stay tuned for Part 2 next week.

A Moonclad Reflection EP (1992) :: Sabbat’s History Of A Time To Come
Sabbat spoke to us on an intellectual level and offered something so different from all of the other thrash bands that we listened to at the time. I was transfixed by the intense vocals and loved the crushing guitars, but more than anything, it was the feeling that these guys had a bigger plan. The conceptual lyrics were so dense and fascinating, and this album really sparked Niklas and me to form a band in which we could tell these kinds of stories and evoke such emotion. Hence the lofty, pretentious nature of our first vinyl release.

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Skydancer (1993) :: Kreator’s Extreme Aggression
Kreator was one of the first bands in the extreme genre that I heard, and they immediately caught my attention. Their simple, yet effective song structures and incredibly aggressive delivery was paramount to our young impressionable minds. It was when I saw them in ‘88 here in Gothenburg that I realized I wanted to play rhythm guitar and scream.

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The Gallery (1995) :: Dream Theater’s Images And Words
I got into progressive rock from the ’70s in the early ’90s, but it was not until I heard Images and Words that I realized that this kind of “out there” stuff could work in a metal setting. All of the sudden, all of the things that I loved about King Crimson, Rush, Genesis and Yes sounded contemporary and cool. So this album made us realize that we too could expand our music and incorporate whatever interesting stuff we could dream up.

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The Mind’s I (1997) :: Atheist’s Unquestionable Presence
This, together with Death’s Individual Though Patterns, served as the soundtrack to our moving out of our parents’ homes and into the city. All of us left home leading up to this album, and the technicality of Atheist and the precision of Death inspired us to turn up our amps and practice harder than ever before.

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Projector (1999) :: Anekdoten’s Vemod
Being somewhat tired of the whole Gothenburg sound thing at the time, we looked for new inspiration and new ideas, and we found it in our Swedish progressive scene. These guys, together with Änglagård, Kebnekajse and Landberk, inspired us to venture outside the norm of our genre and experiment more with moods, sounds and emotions.

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*Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!

**Order a copy of Construct here.

***We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here. Past entries include:

Mouth Of The Architect
Howl
Kings Destroy
Zozobra
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Coliseum
Woe
Anciients
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Intronaut
BATILLUS
Inter Arma
Helen Money
Misery Index
Ancient VVisdom
Holy Grail
Rotten Sound
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Early Graves
All That Remains
Bison B.C.
A Life Once Lost
Fight Amp
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Grave
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Dawnbringer
Ufomammut
Shadows Fall
Horseback
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Torche
“Best of” Meshuggah
Astra
Pallbearer
Barren Earth
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)

A Pale Horse Named Death: A Glimpse Behind The Horse #3

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, tv, videos On: Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

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This is our third post from director Aaron Beaucher on the making of the new A Pale Horse Named Death video “DMSLT.” An updated gallery follows.

We spent some time over the past week shooting some of our effects layers for the “DMSLT” video. As you will read below, the process is fairly involved but produces an interesting result; when layered with the original footage, it creates a corrosive, melting drip feel to the treated frame. We chose this effect to help visually represent the content of the track. The lyrics have a heavy focus on suicide and we wanted to convey that through a visual aesthetic as opposed to a narrative. As the video progresses, the effect builds and becomes more apparent. So what seems like a performance-based video actually has this visual thread tied in to enhance the performance and message.

The first part of the process is to select the areas in the edit where the effect will take place and select source images that you can import into Photoshop. We then play with the saturation, levels, and channels of the image to get a solid film negative feel from the highlights and mid-tones. From there, we print the images onto transparency film, spray acetone over the ink, and film the process as it dissolves and washes the image away.

In this Behind the Scenes YouTube clip, you can see a quick test shot we did using Sal’s face. Depending on the amount of acetone used along with coverage (spray, drip, pour), the effect can be completely different each time, yielding a very organic result. We’re looking forward to getting some of these shots mixed in and will share some final composites in our next Glimpse Behind the Horse.

Wildness Perversion (Mortuary Drape) interviewed

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, interviews On: Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

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** Mortuary Drape are Italy’s oldest black metal export. But don’t rely on our words for the truth. Many a Norwegian—you know, the guys who made black metal a household name—genuflected at the altar of the Alessandria-based outfit. Just ask Fenriz next time you see him. He’ll tell you the demos were on par with the Eastern European greats in Tormentor, Masters Hammer, and Root. As for why we’re “into the drape” all of a sudden, well, Peaceville has recently reissued strangeitude effort, Tolling 13 Knell, with bonus tracks, new artwork, and some other neat stuff like an embossed slipcase. Therefore, it’s time for a little astral bewitchment.

Mortuary Drape is relatively unknown to most metalheads. Introduce the cult of Mortuary Drape, please.
Wildness Perversion: First of all, thanks for the opportunity to be here. Talking about yourself is never good because if you exceed with words there would be a risk of misunderstanding, then if you say any less you always come last. I invite all your readers to visit our websites (official site, Facebook) to find information to know more about our band’s history, know about all releases and take a look to all concerts we made around the world.

Where does Mortuary Drape fit in the overall timeline of black metal? I gather most people don’t realize the band’s importance.
Wildness Perversion: We exist and this would be enough. We play our music since 1986, we have fans all over the world that still follow us. And we gained some new fans during the last 10 years. This is a great result for us. We play music and fans repay us with good feedback, a lot of bands, some more famous than us, respect and talk about us, this is enough for us. Then, if someone will help us to reach a higher step, we will be ready to accept the challenge. But unluckily ]it] all depends by who keeps the reins.

How are Mortuary Drape and Italy related? Are there distinctly Italian attributes in the band?
Wildness Perversion: [To] live in Italy and play metal is not easy. Vatican and average man are quite against this kind of music, average Italian prefers mainstream music or singer-songwriters. I don’t feel to describe our music and I don’t know if I could find distinctly Italian attributes. I think that listeners have the last word about it. Despite this, we have a passable metal scene with a lot of good bands which (it happens to us, too) not all could find responses outside this fucking Vatican-infected country. Nobody, or only few bands, are prophets here in Italy.

Tolling 13 Knell was released in 2000. That was 13 years ago. What do you think of the album now?
Wildness Perversion: Tolling 13 Knell is an experimental album for sure; maybe too ahead of time, but it surely fits the Mortuary Drape’s sound. The new reprint under Peaceville will have a new artwork, unpublished photos, and in addition a new cover. We talked with the label and decided to add some bonus tracks to make it more interesting and different from the original release (2001). I created the artwork myself and then gave everything to Peaceville to reprint it. We remastered all songs at Authoma Studios in Alessandria (Secret Sphere, Death SS) and I can say that they sound more powerful than before. You have to check it out, at least once, even better if it will be brought rather than downloaded.

There’s a lot of praise for the tempo on the record. It’s largely mid-paced. Do you recall the songwriting sessions for Tolling 13 Knell?
Wildness Perversion: Yes, I remember we tried to write songs without following any scheme or convention, everything was freely created and composed. We gave the drums the right space and other instruments [the right space]. It’s better to remember that we recorded [with] two basses, so the rhythm section was more complex.

Do you remember how it was received?
Wildness Perversion: I remember various positive interviews and reviews in Italian and international magazines, and a lot of people wrote us compliments about our music. We played several concerts to promote the album, but to be true, I think it could be done more if we could be under a better label. We wanted to play more, do more promotional tours, but we couldn’t find the right support from the old label.

Peaceville is reissuing Tolling 13 Knell. What will metalheads think of it now?
Wildness Perversion: We have a lot of fans, some new, some old and the older ones never left us. What else? I think we are still competitive and people could like us even now. It isn’t the typical expected black metall everybody could imagine sharp guitars, a lot of screams, noise. But this isn’t Mortuary Drape, this doesn’t represent us. We have our style and who listens to us wants it in this way. It could be a “must have” record because [it's] different from others, always intended as black metal record. We own our style and don’t want to copy or follow other cliches. Maybe, it could be a reason to listen it, if you would buy it you could judge by listening. So, enjoy the music.

What separates the Peaceville reissue from the Iron Pegasus reissue from 2001?
Wildness Perversion: I’m sure you are talking about the LP record. Well, this new reissue will have a more well-finished artwork. Peaceville works good and wants only high-level products. Furthermore, as [I] said before, it will include unpublished photos, a new cover and a better sound quality thanks to the new remastering. If I would choose, I would definitely buy this reissue. Then you don’t have to forget that this distribution will be better then the old one and we allow to reach a bigger diffusion than the previous 1000 limited copies.

You’ve been around in one form or another since ’86. Is putting the band to bed a reality?
Wildness Perversion: We want to advise all that we still have a lot of shots to fire with our instruments, so put your mind at rest. When you will rest in peace, we’ll keep on writing music and, at that time, we’ll come to demand for your souls too.

What’s next for Mortuary Drape?
Wildness Perversion: Besides the reissuing of Buried in Time under Peaceville planned for July, we will also release a 7″ split with the Swedish band Shining; Niklas [has] followed us since 1986. I couldn’t say no to the proposal to combine our experiences in this record. Two selected tracks for the occasion. This song was recorded during the new album’s recording session. It’s a pleasure share this release with them. Furthermore, the new album is finished. Some people have listened to the new tracks said that they are good songs and these years of silence at the end were useful to produce an album in pure Mortuary Drape style. During these last days we completed the mastering session, then we will start looking for a good label to print it, publish it and promote it. Actually, we received some interesting proposals, but now I can’t speak up about it. Our mission is to do a lot of promotion which means play a lot. We are negotiating with two promoters to schedule two tours, in Europe and in USA, but at the end everything will depend by the record label we’ll join.


** Mortuary Drape’s Tolling 13 Knell is out now on Peaceville. Order it HERE or face the pope with your pants down. Trust us, the ruler to the bum won’t be the only hurt he pontificates on your succulent flesh.

BornBroken: The Ones They Call Dr. Hategood

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

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Montreal thrash-core stalwarts BornBroken unleashed its debut CD/unorthodox prescription The Healing Powers of Hate last week. The band’s mission? “Help the masses find a voice, a face, an ‘X’ that marks the spot through the sounds of beating skins, metal strings and broken chords.” Check out the pummeling rager of a title track below, along with a little track by track insight from guitarist Mike Decker…

1. “Can’t Quiet the Riot”

The disc opens up with the noise of the bustling streets. The sounds of the city can sometimes be comforting, but for him, all it did was drive him a little madder. You see, when the voices start talking you eventually start to listen and loose trust in what you believe. This was actually one of last songs we wrote for the concept album and seemed fitting to be the first. We wanted a straightforward no-BS style song, which seemed to lend more to a hardcore feel for us as a band. It still had to make a statement, as it is our opening track off our debut album. It ends with an almost dreamlike feel — Simon and I came up with it in his kitchen one night — that gets abruptly interrupted, by the daily. Simon watched close to thirty movies to find TV news segments, which while in studio, we opted to use sound bank snippets instead so as not to infringe on anybody’s rights.

2. “Old News”

“Old News” is the second song we wrote as a band over four years ago and seemed to always never feel complete until we got to the studio. The song starts off very aggressively as it all relates to what we feel on a daily basis waking up to a barrage of headlines, which never seem to portray the light at the end of the tunnel. The feeling of having our freedom being spoon fed to us by “Big CORP,” didn’t give him much to look forward to, especially with those voices always taking center stage. We like to groove and this song makes sure you get a taste of what you are about hear over the course of the CD.

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3. “ Anger of the Day”

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Drum Wars starring Vinny & Carmine Appice

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, free On: Monday, June 17th, 2013

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Calling all drum nerds, fans of Sabbath, Dio, Vanilla Fudge and umm, Rod Stewart (hey, who doesn’t have room in their heart for Rod?) in the Philadelphia and Allentown area; courtesy of the Sellersville Theater we have THREE pairs of tickets for Drum Wars Starring Vinny & Carmine Appice on Thursday June 27th at 8pm.

The show is a sort of sibling rivalry turned mega jam, with both Appices performing duets, and the Drum Wars band will be thrashing out hits from Vinny and Carmine’s back catalogue. With Vinny that means Heaven & Hell-era Sabbath and Dio; for older brother Carmine, that means Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, Beck amongst others.

Just email PRINFO@ST94.COM with the subject line DRUM WARS GIVEAWAY; the three winners will be picked out of the hat and informed on Mon June 24th. Simple. Good luck!

Here’s Vinny in action:

And here’s some Carmine action: