Posts Tagged ‘Death Metal’

[This interview was originally taken for KtmROCKS E-Mag Issue 9]

InnerGuilt is a thrash/death metal band from Beirut, Lebanon, who are playing in this year’s Silence Festival, Kathmandu, on October 15. Here’s a short interview:

Hi there. Thanks for taking some time to do this interview. Since most of us here in Nepal are unaware about your band, could you briefly tell us something about InnerGuilt?

Hey, thanks for the interview. The band was formed back in November 2010 by the members Sako (the front-man) and Serge (lead guitarist). Shortly, we had released a single entitled “Burden of Guilt” which got many positive reviews and feedbacks. The first show we played was at Holy Noise, Dubai which was great. After two months we headed to India to perform in Deccan Rock Fest 2011 and got many positive reviews both from the crowd and the reviewers. Currently we are a four piece band and we play thrash/death metal. InnerGuilt are:
Sako Helvajian – Vocals
Serge Keshishian – Lead Guitars
Gary Kabakian – Bass
Christ Michael – Drums

What’s up with the name InnerGuilt? Any philosophy that your lyrical themes follow… or should I say, follows your music?

InnerGuilt is a word that explains the authority’s power against the poor and the weak, the justice that always stands with the guilty; the guilt that lives inside every person and it is reflective towards wealth, power and dissoluteness. It remains inside and is denied by humans, who seem to be clean and white but yet, BEASTS. But the music plays the biggest role in the band and the band’s theme.

The band was formerly called Tristmoon that played melodic black/gothic metal and had also released a full length album under the name. How did the sudden change in name and musical direction come in?

InnerGuilt has nothing to do with Tristmoon. Some of InnerGuilt’s members used to play with Tristmoon and that was it. Now it’s a whole different thing! There is much aggressive theme, music and lyrics now.

You seem to have a varied musical influences then, i.e. from gothic metal to thrash/death metal. What are your individual musical backgrounds?

The gothic part has never been InnerGuilt’s members’ background, but Tristmoon’s. We always knew we would be a thrash/death metal band, and that was the thing. InnerGuilt’s members are mostly influenced by thrash, death, progressive and technical metal music.

Recording anything soon with the new band name and genre on?

Actually we are recording our debut album “Slanderous Society” and hopefully we’ll be able to release it in our Asian tour “Show No Mercy” starting September 2011.

You guys had recently opened for Decapitated in Deccan Rock in Hyderabad, India, with some great reviews. I heard you guys wowed the Decapitated guys as well?

The reviews were all positive and we surely were satisfied. Opening for Decapitated was a dream coming true. This awesome band is one of our biggest death metal influences, and we can’t wait to share the stage with them once again.

Did you guys catch up Antim Grahan from Nepal in that show? Plus have you heard anything metal from Nepalese underground?

I wish we did, but we arrived to Hyderabad in the morning of the second day of Deccan Rock. But I’m sure we’ll catch them soon and many other Nepalese bands as well. Concerning the Nepalese underground, we’re excited to know more about the metal scene over there.

It might be really hard to operate a metal band in a Muslim country like Lebanon. How’s the reaction of the general people over the music? Plus do you see a hint of change on the general taking on it in due time?

With all respect to our Muslim brothers, sisters, friends and fans, Lebanon is not a Muslim country. It’s a mix of 18 different sects! The majority of the population is Christians and Muslims, and it has always been this way. Compared to the middle-east, Lebanon is the ONLY country influenced by the western culture. In the past, a lot of Lebanese bands faced major problems with the cops, but not anymore. Nowadays you can play metal music; you can have long hair, piercing and tattoos. We always have metal festivals and concerts including international acts and local acts.

So how’s the overall metal scene over there? Any cool bands you would want to recommend us?

The scene is great in Lebanon. We have a lot of rising bands with good music like Level 7, Tormented and many more. We have some old and well known bands like The Weeping Willow, Oath to Vanquish, Post Mortem, Element 26, Nocturna, Melancholy and many more.

Thanks for the interview, guys. At last, a final shout-out to end this interview?

We would like to thank you for interviewing us, and all the Nepalese metalheads over there as well. We are looking forward to play in your beautiful country, and make friends and fans. Cheers to you all, best regards from Lebanon.

You can download the band’s single “Burden of Guilt” through their official website: http://innerguilt.com.

Interviewed by Awaken/The Sickening Art

Alright folks, those of you who haven’t heard their name, Scarab’s an Egyptian death metal band and they’ve got some damn original shit right here. “Blinding the Masses”, the band’s second studio album after 2007’s “Valley of the Sandwalkers”, offers death metal that caresses a tad of old school sound that’s mixed with the ever awe-inspiring inclusion of Egyptian folk touch as well. Not too much like Nile though – not as ambient and obviously not as brutal and technical as them, but it could rather reminisce my times with Amongst the Catacombs… record though.

The production is muddily thick here and which beautifully suits the whole aura. As mentioned, there’s a tough presence of Egyptian/middle-eastern flavor and that has made the whole difference in style. Few chugging, few groove oriented segments, slow doomy marks and few thrash leaning riffing – the guitars on the whole have come up with some thorough fascinating appearance in the album.

The flow of songs seems to be in ease and with absolute precision, and moreover the songwriting is pretty brilliant. A couple of melodic lead solos here and there come as spice and a few more short synth-laden parts are just there to aid the ambience – not cheesy in anyway though (think of “Ramses Bringer of War”).

The drumming is cool – fierce double pedaling right there, and it isn’t any blast beat worship too, perhaps going towards Pete Sandoval’s line. But one thing that the production slips in is with the snares’ sound which is a bit grubby if you ask me. It could have been made a bit louder in the mix. What is more interesting though, are the powerful growls of Sayed, which have delightfully headed the whole sound – deep and devastating. Think of Benediction (England).

Thus to sum up, this is a bold testimony of what the band’s competent of. A striking enough LP that is original to a point you would definitely not feel like you’ve heard it dozens of times before already (that’s what it’s like with modern death metal I guess?). So I’m keeping my eye on this band in days to come, I’m sure these guys are to offer a lot lovely pieces as this.

8.5/10

Well, to start off this review, let me say that here is a lot of Nile worship going on, and it got me wondering for an instance – what the fuck are those middle-eastern folk tunes doing in the album, which is lyrically devoted to Tibetan/Buddhism concepts? I was rather wishing for some exotic Buddhist mantras and chants. May it be through their unawareness? Probably not, gazing at the song titles they’ve crafted, showcasing some immense knowledge of theirs on the Buddhism thing on whole. So, I conclude those tunes might have been there because of their very tendency towards sounding more like Nile. Perhaps.

So…

The album tends to follow Nile in most facets of songwriting, followed by a light of Behemoth worship as well. Think of these two bands being mingled, and the whole definition of Shturm’s music is done ninety percent. But hold on – the compositions are awesome and the songwriting is done brilliantly, but which could still be derived as homage to the aforementioned two bands, and this could be one of the best clone releases out there (and trying to clone Nile in itself sounds thrilling). There is a real fierce velocity accompanying the instruments, and they never really tend to slow down. This could be a good thing, but again, the same speed and viciousness could be monotonous at times, as there are little to no change in riffing till quite a long extent in most of the songs. I mean, take any track from here, for no noble cause, from the beginning to the end, the extremity may probably lie the same, and it’s hard to focus at the variations sealed within. But again, you could be greeted with these cool folk melodies with some rare instruments on, and that would be the moments to reinstate. These ambient and acoustic passages that lay inside the brutal fast paced annihilation have given the musicians a chance to throw few original twists to the overall work, and it’s done with intelligence.

The production is thick. Think of Behemoth’s blackened death era albums for the production facet, and which seems to go cool with the compositions here as well. The vocals aren’t as low as Karl Sanders or George Kollias’, but they somewhat sound like the mishmash of those from Nergal and David Vincent.

Hence, although this one is more of some worshipping act, this still could be called a commendable effort, considering the splendid songwriting. As said above, fast paced semi-technical brutal death metal caressing Nile and Behemoth touches would do sum it up.

8/10

Brutal death metal – over the years, this style of music has relatively grown real shitty with bands popping out in every corner of the globe imitating their influences, Suffocation or Devourment lets say, being vulnerably unoriginal, and each band ridiculously trying to sound more brutal than the other, that worship blast beats and toilet gurgles over anything and revere a shitty production as well. And good bands are always too hard to discover in a pile of this crap.

A good example of the latest brutal death metal gem is presented by this bunch of Scottish guys and girl called Cerebral Bore. This is a fast paced brutal death metal played in a blend of old school and technical death metal arenas as well. The foremost thing to say – there’s this bunch of riffing, which could sound hilarious (well…) at times, but still are too brilliant. They’re catchy and they’re thrown in a hyper speed. Think of None So Vile era Cryptopsy’s catchiness for that one, with extra slam death metal ingredients here and there as well, which could be sensed in breakdowns. There are a number of segments that run in relatively slower tempo, like in the opener of “The Bald Cadaver” which focuses more on groove, and again permits itself towards the ongoing speed in no time, still maintaining the catchiness. Just pop into the 01:45 mark of the very track and that could get me bang my head for every replay. For the brutality factor, they’re not too over the top, but not gentle in anyway either.

The band has turned their approach into more modern and brutal sounding death metal from their old school vibe demos, and well, that could be a welcoming transformation. Every second is adorned with this crisp, which is set by the cruelly neat and easy flow of instruments, which cope magnificently with one another. The drums are brutal and they do offer quite a bit of variations, and if you’re among those who is instantly turned off due to the employment of tedious amount of blast beats over and over the length, then you’re surely to be pleased here. This is no way a blast beat laden death metal, to speak. But again, as said above, what appeals me more to this are the intelligently crafted guitar riffs, where numerous chugs are also thrown at times. The guitars in general sound technical to some healthy degree, and which isn’t forced in anyway, and that’s always a good thing.

And fuck… the vocalist is a lady. I had no idea that such brutal guttural secretions I had been praising so long were coming out from a female’s diaphragm. Their Dutch vocalist, Som has well emitted decent pig squeals at times too, but forget them, I adore her growls and gurgles more, which could be some of the best throat assaults I’ve heard lately, be it from a male or a female. And not to praise the hyper-bass-slapper who has gratified me throughout the album.

All in all, although here isn’t any stand-out track or something, there is a satisfactory amount of variation here, which most of the later day brutal death metal albums lack, and which will not greet you with a bore anytime even along multiple listens. So to sum it up, if you even like death metal till a tiny bit of scales, then get this record already, bastard.

8.5/10

Related Post: Interview with Paul McGuire (Guitarist, Cerebral Bore)

Well, it’s been sometime that I’ve started digging some great slam records out there. So, I’ve decided to fill in something about this brutal death metal subgenre in this blog too. So…

What the fuck is slam death metal anyway?

Slam death metal is a very straightforward, non-technical and minimal form of brutal death metal, that incorporates and emphasizes ‘slam’ passage – a variety of a very catchy breakdown that is similar to hardcore breakdown (but not exactly) and which helps to carry out a riff, with tempo changes multiple times within a song.

Check this song and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

SOME RECOMMENDED ALBUMS TO START WITH:

Condemned – “Desecrate the Vile”
Devourment – “Molesting the Decapitated”
Down From the Wound – “Agony Through Rituals of Self Purification”
Goretrade – “Ritual of Flesh”
Human Rejection – “Decrepit to Insanity”
Infertile Surrogacy – “Postulate of Mass Genocide”
Malodorous – “Amarenthine Redolence”
Pus Vomit – “Degrade the Worthless”
Septycal Gorge – “Erase the Insignificant”
Viral Load – “Practitioners of Perversion”
Vomit Remnants – “Indefensible Vehemence”
Vomit the Soul – “Apostles of Inexpression”

Wikipedia

Cheers!

It is evident, heavy metal through its growth has now been incorporating various regional sounds from throughout the world, caressing respective cultural vibes through the music and thus marking the music’s own distinct identity. In this very process, the band in hand, Arsames is a death metal group from Iran, who could be found labeling their style as “Persian ancient” death metal, in verge of merging metal with Persian sounds and scales.

Well, Arsames’ music could be defined to have been derived from the blend of thrash, heavy and death metal, with thrash/heavy influences more or less overcoming its death metal character at times. So don’t expect some straightaway death metal here. There are few of the Persian elements enclosed as well, but which I couldn’t significantly distinguish with the Arabic, Egyptian or other middle-eastern tunes mostly apparent in bands as Nile or Scarab. So I lean to conclude they are more or less similar when mixed with metal, perhaps.

The foremost thing to say – there is this thin production that is a bit distressful if you ask me. A denser sound would have done better. Beside this, the compositions seem cool enough, with melodies eminent throughout. Yes, the melodies seem to embrace the whole length – more observable in solos which run all over the places, and even along the riffing.

The drumming isn’t as intense as noticed in most of the death metal bands, but they do nothing unfair when considering rest of the instrumentations – slow to mid tempo most of the times, with regular ascendance in velocity, still bordered pleasantly by the Persian mark. And well, the vocals by Ali Madarshahi are quite charming as well – slightly throaty but still retaining the low notes, but which go faint at times.

So the sound of “Immortal Identity” could again be described as thrashy death metal (nothing old school) with deep growling vocals – the music that contains some traces of Persian traditional music. All in all, a good and worthy debut showcasing the immense talents of musicians in their individual level, but I’m optimistic that they would be approaching with a better and more bad-ass record in future.

7/10

Well, comebacks usually upset when there’s a whole lot of time enough for musicians to catch up different tastes and questioning the musical direction of their past. Even big names like Terrorizer and Cynic fell in this category, and we’ve got no smaller name than those here. Atheist, awaken to do some newer stuff after more than a decade with two new members and everybody had obvious doubts on this one. Could they be same after seventeen fucking long years – the time long enough you could replace your former band-mate with your newborn son?

Well, my affiliation with Atheist goes back to “Unquestionable Presence”, which was the first album of theirs I genuinely loved. Although “Piece of Time” had reached me first, it couldn’t click me well. It was UP that described the typical Atheist sound to me and I could regenerate the love for Piece… as well. The third album “Elements” couldn’t do much with me though. When you listen to enough good music from your favorite band, the expectations are obvious to rise and the other generic ones too seem to be lacking the punch, and same was the case. “Elements” was alright, but wasn’t as significant as the former two ‘masterpieces’.

Alright. The thing is – you just cannot judge an Atheist album on just few listens. When I had put my ears on this one for the first time, I was confused, disappointed but expectant, all at the same time. A little more listens and it was still growing on me.

Musically, the band appears to have leaned less towards the thrashy edge this time. It’s more technical death metal here, still retaining the typical Atheist fragrance. It’s cool that it still sounds like Atheist even after seventeen long years, and that’s an achievement in itself, considering the awful doubts that everyone (at least most of us) had when we first learned about the band recording their newer stuff. To speak, “Jupiter” sounds like a progressive technical death metal band (let’s say Gorod) giving tribute to Atheist.

So besides everything else, let me point out few of my discomforts here:

Firstly, one of the hugest objections is the bass being not free, which isn’t off the trail of guitars as it was before. Bass is there, yes it’s audible, but is just to follow the guitars. It’s a blasphemy in Atheist’s case if you ask me.

Secondly, there is zero to little chill-out jazzy portions, which could be found in their previous albums (which I really adore/d). Surely, Atheist were the first band to fuse extreme metal with jazz, and the decision to omit them might be cool, but it’s just me; not that it is hindering the songs’ eminence through it.

Thirdly, the lead guitars – whenever I listen to “Unquestionable Presence” and the solos are put on, I go [bow them]. But now, they’re not so remarkable at all. They’re decent, nowhere close to their past stuffs. I could also sense some riffs/solos filled here and there just to invoke their early-years’-sound, which I think are already lame.

Fourthly, the production is a bit oozy besides all, and the best sound output tends to be the drums. This instrument could be the finest and most satisfying in here, possessing some awesome variations and all… typically Atheist.

Fifthly, the vocals. Well, the band wasn’t pleasing me ‘vocally’ at all through any of their preceding records anyway, but let’s put it this way – Kelly’s shrieks here, I think, are the best to offer after their debut (I know many will disagree). So I’m not pushed away a bit by his throat performance here.

All in all, Atheist now sound more like many of other bands trying to follow their path of being a death(/thrash) band like Negativa, Gory Blister, Quo Vadis, etc. This is no way close to their first two records, but this doesn’t imply in anyway that it’s a weak album. “Jupiter” is still ‘decent’ in my book, but I would recommend to begin with “Unquestionable Presence” or “Piece of Time” if you already dig thrash metal.

7.5/10