Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Demonic Cremator Interview

UKEM delved into the obscure and filthy world of die-hard old school black metal duo DEMONIC CREMATOR, talking to Asphyxiator and Necrotica....
For those unfamiliar with the band, please give us a brief history of the band and its members?
A) Sure, I am Asphyxiator and I play the Drums and sing for the band, my partner Necrotica plays all the guitars and the bass. We started the band in early 2009 as we really weren’t hearing that much music that excited us at the time, we both started trading riffs and stuff and took it from there. We wanted that real old school, black metal attitude and style completely without frills and such.
Please give us an idea of the bands discography.
A) We got a deal with Zeikte NL label in 2009 for one album that became 'BLIZZARDS OF HATE' followed by a 3 track EP entitled 'MANIAC'. Couple of other Demo's along the way, plus a 7" single 'MY DYING BREATH on Bestial Invasion Records in 2010. Our second full length was 'CRUCIFIED' shortly after.
You have just released your third album, SUFFER IN HELLFIRE. What has the reaction been to this new offering?
N) So far the reaction has been really positive, it's good to hear that people are enjoying it as much as we do, as we feel it's our best work to date.
How did the deal with UKEM RECORDS come about?
A) The deal actually came around as UNHOLY DEATHCUNT was already on the label so had a good idea what I was letting myself in for, hahaha...I was actually just going to release 'SUFFER IN HELLFIRE' myself under some fictional label, but it soon became apparent that UKEM was willing to take a lot of the stress off me and deal with things in a more professional manner, which is what you need really.
You are involved in several other bands, can you tell us about them and how/if they differ from DEMONIC CREMATOR?
A) Yes, I am also the guitarist/songwriter in UNHOLY DEATHCUNT along with vocalist Filthgrinder, plus I have my other project MYSTIABLLUS. With Deathcunt I like things to be a lot more chaotic and harsh, brutal riffs and and a general sense of Anxiety/Speeding out of my brains and losing control type of beast, ha ha. Very tense, especially the new songs I am currently constructing. Filthgrinders vocals are perfect for this, and bring in a real Death/Grind/Black aspect to the music. MYSTIABLLUS is a more inward solitary affair, a total black metal project with huge influence from BURZUM,early BEHEMOTH, BATHORY, very icy and dare I say 'Grim'. I am currently working with MURUSTRICTUS vocalist Rosachd, his are some of the best black metal lungs I have ever heard, truly, so I am very excited by the next release, Tape only! DEMONIC CREMATOR is myself and Necrotica sort of resurrecting the old black metal of VENOM, MAYHEM, etc, a real blast from the past.
Musically, who influences you, if anyone at all?
N) Like Asphyxiator said in the last question, we wanted to bring back more of the old school vibe from the 80's like Venom, Celtic Frost, etc, the real classics and create the type of album we would love to listen to ourselves and try to recreate that same sort of attitude that came across in those albums back then, straight to the point, primitive and no fillers!!
What themes and topics do your lyrics deal with?
A) The idea of Satan, Death, the Unknown, all very intriguing stuff for me personally. Then again, on the new album you will find tales of utter contempt for most of humanity, I fuckin' hate 80 per cent of people, honest to fuck! But really the longer I write, the more subjects come up.
Composing songs can often be a frustrating process, how do you go about it?
A) Actually this is a bit of a weird process for me. Basically, most songs just sort of appear in my head while I am at my day job, leaving several hours before I get home and try to play these riffs onto my 8 track. I get a good idea of the vibe, and, book right into the studio to lay down around 3 hours of drum tracks, pretty much non stop. Some songs I actually write WHILE I am playing playing the drums and recording them. Not the most normal process I suppose, but it works very well, and always captures the darkness ha ha. Then Necrotica and I conjure up more riffs, we fit a lot of the arrangements in a lot of the drum tracks I have already recorded, which always keeps the songs short and energy driven.
What could we expect from one of your live performances?
A) No live gigs!!! Thing is, I gigged for fuckin' years in pubs and clubs and the thought of gathering other members, keeping it all together, interband fights, commitment issues etc...when I think of that it takes the fun out of the whole thing immediately.
N) I don't have any desire to play live really, i enjoy recording and basically being a hermit! Like Asphyxiator said, too much hassle and bullshit with other people. Too much time wasters out there.
Plans for the future?
N) Continuing to write more albums and improve with every release, the only way is up (or down!)
A) Absolutely, better songs, the right atmosphere, maybe eventually some new guitar strings and sticks.
What merch do you currently have available and where can we get it?
A) We are planning a limited run of DEMONIC CREMATOR T shirts very soon, black with logo and back print. Also we shall have patches made at some point this year, as we do all of this ourselves (also being just the two of us) it becomes very expensive, but yeah there will be some good stuff available soon.
Any final words?
A) I just wanna say thanks for interviewing us, much appreciated. It is good to get some positive support.
N) Thanks to everyone for buying the album so far and if you haven't already, why the hell not?!
Listen to the band:Here
Check out the bands Facebook page: Here

Friday, 25 January 2013

Tempus Fusion - To End It All

Self Released 2012
1.As We March To The Fields Of War 2.Abandon All Hope
3.The Baying Of The Wolf 4.To End It All - I 5.To End It All - II 6.To End It All - III
7.This Automated Nightmare 8.Pneumonic 9.The Predators Are Here
A grandiose, militaristic and futuristic soundscape presents itself in the form of opener 'As We March To The Fields Of War' which isn’t so much a track, more an introduction to the track proper, 'Abandon All Hope' which opens up with thunderous, yet melodic rhythms. Melody being the driving force behind the bands sound, not only musically, but vocally. Epic, cleanly sung vocals sweep and swirl from the speakers whilst guttural, growled vocals act as a backing accompaniment. The create an absolutely massive sound, modern metal with a bite, the rhythms absolutely crush and the mix of clean and harsh vocals work extremely well, creating an epic sounding theme. Melodic guitar solos are relied on heavily and more often than not lead the listener into an almost trance like state. 'The Baying Of The Wolf' musically has a more melodic death metal feel to it, the double kicks galloping along to the crushing rhythm guitars with great accuracy and sounding tight as hell. Again, melody is relied on heavily, especially through the cleanly sung vocals which add that dreamy and epic feel. Extreme metal fans who like their metal with a bit of bite will not be disappointed, the guttural growled vocals giving the track an extreme edge and ensure the song isn’t too melodic throughout. 'To End It All – I' is a very very melodic affair, the song stripped right back to an almost acoustic song. The heavier rhythm guitars are introduced but generally seem to be used keep the song in check as very simple riffs/chords are used. The band preferring to keep things as melodic as possible. Cleanly sung dual vocals add even more to the melodic atmosphere being crafted. As the track ends the music does take a heavier turn, providing a sharp end to this monolith of a song .
'To End It All – II' begins life in quite brutal fashion, taking on an almost heavier thrash feel, the vocals snarled and aggressive in keeping with the heavier music. As ever though, melodic driven passages are never far away, introduced between the heavier sections and mixing well. There's a very futuristic feel to this track, especially when the majority of the instruments drop out and the guitars are left to their own devices, creating melodic lead guitar interludes. There's a touch of Scar Symmetry here, maybe spiced up with a touch of Gojira and even Devin Townsend. Even bands such as Strapping Young Lad and Fear Factory spring to mind, a multitude of sounds and references on show. 'To End It All – III' follows on seamlessly and is more of the same and isn't that different from the previous track, but maybe that's the intention given that it is the same song title just a different 'part' . It is however, somewhat heavier, the melodic death metal packing more of a punch! Precise guitars and drums give the song a really sharp edge, these lads obviously accomplished musicians which definitely shows here. 'This Automated Nightmare' is as melodic as the band have sounded so far, layered vocals and acoustic guitars bringing this song to life, albeit slowly and melodically. The heavy guitars bellow in and give the song a kick, but it doesn't last long as the boys once again opt for that formula used so heavy in previous songs – melodic passage, heavy passage, more melody etc. It wasn't particualry noticeable up to this point. Its not so much a criticism, more an observation that the tracks sound like they are all structured in the same fashion. 'Pneumonic' begins life in similar fashion to its predecessor, melodic introduction which leads well into a heavier section, the heavier thrash element being re-introduced and again mixed with the more melodic vocal style. Acoustic guitars are used to break the track up into sections, which for all the talent on display, has been done in a lot of the other tracks and is beginning to sound like the 'safe option', the 'correct thing to do', the song never really heading off in one clear direction, rather jumping back and forth from the melodic sections, to the heavy sections, then back again (which all of the tracks on the album appear to have done).
'The Predators Are Here' closes this melodic monster of an album and anyone hoping for a raging end will be (as I was) a bit disappointed. Yes, the tempo is upped slightly and the harsh screamed vocals are utilised well, but yet again, melody and atmosphere override the heaviness, which to be fair, is the right thing to to do for such an album, finish on a musical high rather than packing the killer punch at the end. Fans of blast beats, manic and frantic guitars and harshly screamed and growled vocals all played at 300bpm should walk away now, this most definitely will not be for you. However, if your into musicianship, time changes, well played solos and music with a heavy hint of technicality whilst remaining melodic in essence, then this will be right up your street. The bands ability to handle their instruments does not even come into doubt, such is the professional nature of this album, each instrument is brilliantly handled and the songs they create are melodic masterpieces, played with a passion which clearly shows through in the delivery. Modern, futuristic metal played to the highest standard, this will probably appeal to many extreme metal fans who appreciate intelligent music and comes well recommended.
8 out of 10

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Nine Covens - On The Dawning Of Light

Candlelight Records 2012
1.Origin Of Light 2.As Fire Consumes 3.At The Ocean's Stand
4.The Mist Of Death 5.The Fog Of Deceit 6.To Quench A Raging Flame
7.White Star Acception 8.Over The Oceans Way 9.A Burning Ember
Mysterious and anonymous black metallers Nine Covens return with their second album 'On The Dawning Of Light' and from the opening bars of 'Origin Of Light' it is quite clear that the band are not here to fuck about, blasting open with harsh, yet groove laden black metal riffing all played at a relatively fast pace. The vocals particularly stand out, being of the usual scathing harsh delivery, but being of the highest order, dripping in echo and re-verb and really pushing the bands sound to the limits. Its really how black metal vocals should be delivered, full of hate, malice and spiteful intent. 'As Fire Consumes' continues the theme brilliantly, the pace being increased for longer periods this time. The sense of urgency is more than apparent, sounding extremely brutal, yet brilliantly melodic and catchy in places. A hard balancing act when playing this style of black metal, yet Nine Covens excel. As the track draws to a close there is a doom like end to the track which retains the ice cold feel through the vocals and again, its brilliantly catchy, bordering on epic which is how the opening to 'As The Oceans Stand' feels and sounds. A real sense of something epic being created and again, its very very catchy yet still remaining grim black metal. Trying to compare the band to those around them in a similar genre is a testing proposition, but if any comparisons were needed, then a harsher Winterfylleth is probably about as accurate a description. A comfortable comparison which isn't far off the mark. 'The Mist Of Death' is a slower affair, the fast tremolo picked, black metal riffs remain, the drums however drop the pace completely and adopt a slower pace which lends itself brilliantly to the guitar work and gives the track an extremely sombre and mournful feel. Pain and death are etched into every desperate scream and this only adds to the bleak and morbid atmospheres being created. This is truly the sound of death! As with the previous track, this is a monstrously epic piece of music proving that black metal does not always have to be about how fast the music is delivered. 
'The Fog Of Deceit' is a track that you would expect to come storming in with a hail of blast beats and raging guitars but actually does the opposite for the first two minutes of the track, opting for a more melodic mid-paced approach. The blast beats and harsh guitars are introduced thereafter but again the band decide to take a slightly different path through the use of guttural, death metal like vocals which actually work really well over the fast and harsh black metal music. Vocally this song is very sparse, giving it an almost 'instumental' feel. 'To Quench A Raging Flame' returns to the fast and harsh approach heard in the opening tracks and its more of the same, except its very brutal indeed, the band seemingly stepping up a gear and really 'going for it'. 'White Star Acception' is another sombre sounding track, tempos dropped to a minimum to allow listener to soak up and revel in the morbid atmospheres that drift back and forth in almost militaristic fashion. As the majority of the instruments fade out, the acoustic guitars open up and are left to lead an atmospheric interlude which doesn't last very long, but works well and leads the song into it's second half and allows the re-introduction of the rest of the instruments seem seamless. No vocals either, so this is the albums instrumental track! At 7m10 you would expect the song to last for what would seem like an eternity, as there aren't many riffs to the song, but its actually the opposite. Such is the appeal that you quickly become engrossed in the music and the emotion so that time actually passes amazingly quickly. 'Over The Oceans Way' has a slightly different feel to everything before it due to time changes and differences in tempo. It feels like the band are bringing everything heard in the previous tracks and mixing them up into one track which gives it some good variety but never makes it feel 'too different' either. As proceedings draw to a close, the tempo is upped to the maximum and never wanders from that pace. Ninth and final track 'A Burning Ember' closes the album in a brutal and epic statement of hate. Utilising all the elements heard previously, its the perfect way to end an absolutely brilliant album. It is fair to say that Nine Covens are the leading black metal band in the UK at the moment. There is no faulting this album whatsoever. It has a lot to offer in terms of pace, atmosphere and musicianship (the band putting in a flawless performance). Black metal of THE highest order – it's harsh, its grim, its brutal and melodic and its one of the best black metal albums to come from these shores in recent times (given that we have seen a lot of great black metal releases recently). This is a 'must have' album for black metal fans – ensure you grab a copy, you will not be disappointed. Comes as about as highly recommended as it gets!
9 out of 10