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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Promoting Bands Part 16 + New website announcement



Hey!

It's already been a while since the last part of Promoting Bands (part 15).

This is partly due to the fact that we've been working on a new website which will be viewable soon.

Besides of course some nice bands that are really worth checking out, this sixteenth part of Promoting Bands is also the official announcement of our new website.

In case you want to read our earlier Promoting Bands parts (again), here they are:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14
Part 15

And remember: don't hesitate to send us an email, Facebook or Twitter message if you want to be featured in the next part of Promoting Bands!

\m/

Tim van Velthuysen


New website

As mentioned above this part of Promoting Bands contains, besides the usual content, also the official announcement of DutchMetalManiac's new website.

On July 27th, DutchMetalManiac hits its 4 year mark!

Due to the fact that the new website is ready and this date is near, our new website will be viewable for everyone on July the 27th as a celebration of this 4 year mark!

The new URL www.dutchmetalmaniac.com already works for a while, but now it will still redirect you to our blogspot. This won't happen anymore as of July the 27th, from that moment on you will stay on www.dutchmetalmaniac.com. So, if you normally use our direct blogspot URL (timvv9.blogspot.com) to go to DutchMetalManiac, remember to change this before July the 27th.

We hope to welcome you on the new DutchMetalManiac-website on July the 27th, so be sure to note this on your calendar! \m/

Of course, we also have five nice bands in Promoting Bands Part 16:

Fister


Fister, consisting of Kenny Snarzyk (bass/vocals), Kirk Gatterer (drums) and Marcus Newstead (guitars/vocals) brings a mix of inert doom and intense sludge. When you want extreme speed, this probably isn't a band for you. When you dig heavy, inert guitars, deep, intense drums and crushing vocals that go through marrow and bone, you can't pass on Fister! Coming from St. Louis, USA this heavyweight band already released 7 splits, 2 EP's and 3 full-lenghts. Until a short while ago, because on April the 27th (EU)/May 18th (USA) these guys released a fourth full-length. This fourth album is called No Spirit Within and is released via Listenable Records. It is heavy as fuck! Almost 49 minutes of heavy doom/sludge booming out of your speakers and leaving you crushed. Many people probably need some rest after listening this album. Can you handle it? You can try below.



Fister Facebook

Mos Generator


The next band also sounds a bit doomy, but in a totally different way than Fister. Mos Generator is more like Black Sabbath's doomy hardrock sound. Some influences from '70/'80/'90 rock and progressive rock are also to be heard. Mos Generator already released 6 full-lengths, a compilation, a live album and some splits. Now, founding member Tony Reed (guitar/vocals/keyboards) and his new rhythm section (since 2015), Sean Booth (bass) and Jon Garrett (drums) are back with Mos Generator's seventh full-length. This seventh album is titled Shadowlands and is out since May via Listenable Records. Recommended for sure, so start listening below. You can also read our review of Mos Generator's Abyssinia here.



Mos Generator Facebook

VELD


The third band of this Promoting Bands hails from Belarus and consists of Kirill "KILLRY" Bobrik (guitars/vocals), Zlatoyar Siversky (bass) and Mike Ponomarev (drums), together they are VELD. Since their formation in 2001, VELD released 3 full-lengths and a DVD. The last of those full-lengths is 2015's DAEMONIC: The Art Of Dantalian. Now, these Belarus' blackened death metallers have added a fourth full-length to this list. This fourth album, titled S.I.N. is released on June 15 (EU, USA: July 6th) via Listenable Records. However, VELD's line-up on S.I.N. is different compared to their earlier mentioned, current line-up. The only stable member is guitarist/vocalist Kirill "KILLRY" Bobrik, but as he is VELD's mastermind and founding member, this is logical. On S.I.N. Tomasz Wawrzak takes care of bass duties, while Romain Goulon handles the drums. The latter one you may know from Benighted and/or Necrophagist. Besides them there is also a guest on S.I.N.: Karl Sanders, known from Nile. This new VELD album is definitely great! You can listen to it below!



VELD Facebook

Novaria


The next band is still pretty new. Novaria, consisting of Kelly Thans (vocals), Moniek Roeloffs (guitars), Cas de Riemer (guitars), Jasper Velberg (bass/vocals) and Rob Dekker (drums) just formed last year and released their first EP, which can be listened to here, in December. Hailing from Amersfoort, The Netherlands, these atmospheric metallers deliver a very promising sound on their first EP. Very well played, heavy, dark and atmospheric combined with the strong vocals of both Kelly and Jasper, this for sure is a band to keep track of. This EP is, especially for a debut, fantastic and is very promising for future Novaria-material. Below you can watch their recently released video for Blindsight, a song coming of their EP.



Novaria Facebook

Mouflon


The last band of this part of Promoting Bands comes from Arnhem, The Netherlands. RJ (vocals), Richard, Peter (both guitars), Tijl (bass) and Rutger (drums) together are death metal band Mouflon. RJ is the newest member of this quintet, he is Mouflon's frontman since last year. Mouflon's music is heavy, inert and destroying. This bulldozes everything and everyone. This year, their debut full-length, titled Devastations, will come out. This will be accompanied with an album release show in De Brigant, a venue in Mouflon's hometown Arnhem. Below you can listen to Remembered By Skin, coming of Devastations. Do you like it and do you think you can handle getting bulldozed by Mouflon? Yes, then De Brigant in Arnhem is the place to be on November 30th!



Mouflon Facebook
Album release show Facebook Event

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Interview: Superscream


A while ago, Superscream released their latest record The Engine Cries. DutchMetalManiac's Tim van Velthuysen recently interviewed their guitarist Phil Vermont about this album, among other things.

Hey, congratulations with your latest album, The Engine Cries. It’s really nice!

Thanks! We really tried to give the best of ourselves with this album, we are delighted it is so much appreciated!

You already recorded The Engine Cries in 2015, but you released it in May last year. What was the reason for this?

There are two reasons for this. The first one is that each of our agendas did not allow us to work continuously on the album. We therefore had to schedule one week here and then one week there the next month and so on… Eric, (our singer/producer/multipurpose man) is leading his career as a lyric singer and he is very much asked for. As for me, I am a professional guitarist and very much asked for too. As you can guess, our agenda are overbooked, as well as those of the other members of the group. If Superscream is a priority for us, we cannot yet make a living on it, so we must plan our time at best to conciliate our jobs and our commitment in Superscream.

The second reason is that we really wanted to give our best in this album and leave nothing to chance, be it the music and production or visual and promotion. It takes much time to set this in a professional manner, all the more since most of these aspects are managed by members of the group.

The cover of The Engine Cries is really nice! What is the story behind it?

We wanted a visual which would be really representative of the contents of the album. We set up together the specifications and then Eric was in charge of the work with the graphic designer. We wanted to inspire ourselves from Caras Ionut, a surrealistic artist and mix with somehow steampunk aesthetics. Eric found the idea of the machine on the rough sea and forwarded all this to Stan W. Decker who understood very fast where we wanted to go and made up this image. Afterwards, they went on working together to develop these ideas on the booklet and the rest of the cover.

When you compare The Engine Cries to your first album Some Strange Heavy Sound, what is it you notice?

To me, this album is in all respects superior to the first one! As the composer, I really have the feeling that this second album is more mastered than the first one. I paid a very special attention to the fact that refrains be very catchy and that apart from merely instrumental passages we really have songs that might be performed with an acoustic guitar and voice.

The production also evolved al lot; the sounds of guitars and bass are much better. We had more material available for this album and we mastered it differently from the first one. Another important difference is that the first album had been recorded with professional musicians pals, but this was not yet a real group, it was most of all a common project with Eric.

I think the solos too are better structured, and I tried to make each of them tell something by avoiding pointless virtuosity.

The musicians who play on this album are the same as for the live. We rehearsed the pieces together before entering the studio and I think that the good vibes in the group and the friendship that links us shows up on this disc.

As for the lyrics too, things have changed. Eric signed most of the texts, except two which were written by Stéphane, our bassist.

In fact, everything has evolved since our first album!

You also use some non metal/hardrock things in your music like ethnic elements, jazz and percussion of all kinds, which makes it really nice. What was the idea behind this?

This idea of “musical opening” is Superscream’s very concept! When I imagined this project, I wanted to make music which would give metal and hardrock lovers what they feel like hearing, but which would go further and also offer something different, unpublished. Miscegenation is to my point of view the best way to suggest something new and anyway, when you look backwards at the history of music, it is often verified! And then, in a time when everything is compartmentalized, when people tend to retire into themselves, it’s not such a bad idea to abolish some boundaries, isn’t it?

Do you have boundaries you don’t cross with your music? If so, what are those boundaries?

Yes, of course! But rather than speaking of boundaries, I prefer to speak of setting up a frame. It’s this frame which defines Superscream’s sound. There are a certain number of limits I set to myself when I compose or direct the musicians, to stay in the frame of Superscream. Anyway, this frame is very wide! Roughly, the dominating aesthetics must remain hard rock and metal, even if we mix with other styles. We also avoid “very 80’s” productions with synthesizers too much forward and archi-reverbered snares.

It is also always mandatory that, despite of miscegenation, the pieces remain coherent and fluid. We do not want the different parts to look like a “collage” as we can hear with other prog groups. We strive to have nothing “pointless” in the writing and that each part is justified! Here you are, I’m sure there are many others, but these are the first ones which come to my mind.

For releasing The Engine Cries, you signed to Send The Wood Music, what makes them the best option for Superscream at this moment?

We received several proposals for signing in the USA, but we wanted to stay in France to keep some control on what was going on for distribution. Send The Wood are distributed by Season of Mist who are a very influent actor on the metal scene in France. This was a determining element when the choice had to be made. The future will tell if it was a good decision or not…

Since The Engine Cries is already released for a while, are you already working on some new material? If so, can you already tell us something about it?

Not yet because we are working on the production of the live DVD. But while composing The Engine Cries, I wrote more than 20 titles which all have already been laid out with the group, so we already almost have enough to make a third album. There may be a very long piece around African musics since it’s a concept I would like to develop on this next album. I’ll dive into it as soon as the DVD is completed.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

First, as a professional guitarist, I had the chance to participate in many projects and play lots of different musics, as well as Eric. It remains a great source of inspiration to me. Then there are also prog groups as Dream Theater, Haken and also all the 70’s groups such as Led Zep and Deep Purple which are absolute references to me and the other members of the group, and so are also inexhaustible sources of inspiration. To end with, I love traveling and it’s eventually the way I see Superscream’s albums: a musical journey, a sonic adventure!

Your biography also states that you’re working on a live DVD, can you already tell us something about that?

Yes, we spent a week’s residence at the Arcade to build a real show with scenography, décor, etc. The concert was filmed with many cameras and the music was recorded live. It was a risked bet since we had not yet issued The Engine Cries and our public did not know yet a big part of the titles we played! But happily enough, all this worked very well and the public proved to be very warmhearted and receptive to these new pieces, as you’ll be able to see soon. I’m mounting all this, but I can tell you as of now that it’s gonna be heavy stuff!

Can we expect some Superscream shows soon? Maybe coming to The Netherlands?

We’re working on it! The group is ready to hit the road, but for now we did not succeed in organizing a tour to promote The Engine Cries. We hope it will happen soon… Maybe when the DVD is released? To be continued… Anyway, we’d be delighted to come and play in your beautiful country!

Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you want to say to our readers?

Yes, for those who would like to discover the group after this interview, you can view our clips on our Youtube channel, as well as a lot of rather funny videos we made for the promotion of the record. Besides, a new clip and a little surprise should appear to keep you patient until the DVD is released... Meanwhile, you can also listen to us on Deezer, Spotify, etc. Stay tuned!

Superscream Official Website
Superscream Facebook

Monday, July 9, 2018

Review: Kormak - Faerenus


Kormak is a relatively young band hailing from Bari, Italy. The first sign of life dates back to 2015, born from singer Zaira de Candia’s idea to form a band. After a rather turbulent first period line-up-wise, the band found stability in 2017, working its way from there to a record deal to release their debut release. The band’s name comes from the fantasy book series The Kormak Saga by William King, which all members very much appreciate. Knowing this it can hardly be surprising the band’s core business is folk metal, be it with, as seems to be the standard these days, multiple influences form various other genres, of which death metal is the most distinct. Their first release is titled Faerenus and its lyrical concept is aimed at madness and its causes. Faerenus is the ethereal place where all hidden fears come to life engulfing its visitors in nightmares. The band’s current line-up is filled with Zaira de Candia for vocals and flutes, Alessandro Dionisio and Alessio Intini on guitar, Francesco Loconte on bass and Dario Stella on drums.

The story behind the world of Faerenus suggests the unsuspecting listener might very well encounter some of his or her worst fears in musical form. Opening intro Amon, which is basically an acoustic music-accompanied whispered text, actually contributes to this suggestion, but the next song, March of Demise is nothing more, but also nothing less, than a strong, heavily folk-influenced metal song with some nice acoustic pieces. Not that it has no musical references to nightmares, there’s, for example, various vocal lines that combine operatic tones with hoarse grunts, which apparently also are at least partly Zaira’s work, creating a somewhat unnerving, mildly aggressive atmosphere. A variation that is difficult to master to say the least, but definitely one I dig and in this case the execution is quite well. It might take a little getting used to though, mostly due to the eventually untrue idea the vocal lines seem a bit out of sync with the song’s rhythm. So to cut to the chase, it’s a promising start in my opinion. Next up is Sacra Nox, holy night in English, that kicks off with sweet, merry flute tones but quickly culminates into a full-blown heavy metal song. Here too the operatic vocal lines dominate the song, immediately ringing faint but distinct Epica-bells in my head.

With the next song, The Goddess’ Song, Kormak initially changes course to much less heavy, but halfway through things get fired up again. Zaira goes along with the flow of changing course by utilizing a sweet clean vocal that builds up to a raw, more aggressive, clean vocal style full of emotion. It’s a style that fits her remarkably well, but the downside is that it mercilessly reveals a common flaw among Italian vocalists: the accent. Zaira suffers from that as well, but in all honesty it didn’t really bother me here, simply because the song itself and her particularly expressive singing in it are more than good enough to stop me from actually getting distracted by it. But then things seem to take a turn for the weird with the 22-minute-song (!) Hermit. The first few minutes it seems to be an acoustic ballad, but then the music ends and a prolonged silence takes its place only broken every few minutes by what seem to be random soundscapes. There is no way they actually are random, though. There’s a heartbeat, airplanes, an explosion, the link with an ongoing bombardment is easily made of course. The minutes of silence between the various soundscapes build tension, leaving the listener with growing anticipation of what might be coming next until the song ends with the same soothing melody it started with. If ever someone caught a nightmare caught in a song, this is it. Quite an experience to be honest.

It’s up to the title song to fire things back up and re-focus the attention to the music, with which it has no problem whatsoever. It, again, starts with the sweet tones of the flute to lead you into a false state of peace of mind only to blow that away in an instant when the guitars kick in. The transformation is complete when Zaira unleashes a truly mean growl to fully engulf you in the next nightmare. The haunting whispers are a great detail to seriously add to the oppressive atmosphere. If you hadn’t noticed the developing song pattern with the relatively soothing start-by-flute intro building up to the operatically backed grunt ‘n’ riff, the next song, from a known-fears point of few expectedly entitled Patient No X, definitely will point you in the right direction. Build on the same base the majority of the songs is, this too is a solid nightmare-in-a-song. July 5 has the doubtful honor of being the penultimate song, slamming into power metal gear after starting the way we have become familiar with throughout this release and (spoiler alert!) ending with a little surprise. The album ends with, of course, a lullaby. It’s called Eterea El and has all the elements you need in a haunting lullaby. A slow, piano-backed, bordering on out of tune melody, whispered singing, crying, a girl laughing and lyrics that will keep you from closing your eyes to go to sleep, all produced as if it’s played on an old record player. Sweet dreams!

Now, I can easily point out a few things that are of great influence on Kormak’s successful musical impersonation of nightmares, but the truth is that simply doesn’t cover it. There’s more to it than just that. It’s the fusion between all elements that creates an unnerving vibe that cannot be pinpointed and that is exactly what makes this release something special. Or different, depending on how you look at it and what your preferences are. However, if you ask me, and you did, I’d definitely go for ‘special’. I seriously had a great time listening to this release which also grew on me with every next spin. Great songs, ingeniously put together and greatly executed, what more can you wish for? This one will for sure turn up high in my year list. Forget folk metal, power metal, death metal or black metal, talented Kormak plays nightmare metal! Mandatory buy!

Written by Henric van Essen

Kormak Facebook

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Review: The Dawn Razor - Renaissances


A few years ago, Sylvain Spanu left the French metal band Blackout. In 2017 he announced the forming of a new band, The Dawn Razor, which released its full-length debut, titled Renaissances, on March 9th. Sylvain himself describes The Dawn Razor's music as sublime metal.

Starting with opening track Lisboa 1755, Renaissances immediately is very up-tempo. The tempo will mostly stay pretty high, despite quite a few rhythm-variations in this album. So, if you need some points of rest in the coming 46 minutes and you want to hear Renaissances in one complete take, you’d better listen to it another time.

As mentioned earlier, the musical style of The Dawn Razor is sublime metal. But what is sublime metal exactly? According to the accompanying press kit it is a mix of black and death inspirations. I surely recognize these influences in the instrumental part of Renaissances as well as in the vocals (the screams are very black metal-like). However, I also hear some other musical influences on Renaissances. For example, the song-structures and guitar-riffs sometimes sound a bit prog- or groove-influenced, not both at the same time, but on different moments on Renaissances. The clean vocals also sound fitted for some groove metal at times. These clean vocals however are not exactly to my liking. In my opinion they sound a bit forced and sometimes a bit emotionless.

Of course, sublime metal is still just a description of their music. You have to listen to Renaissances to decide whether you dig The Dawn Razor's music or not. Like mentioned before, instrumentally Renaissances has quite a few rhythm-variations. This is what makes Renaissances the most interesting, together with the many variations of the most important instrument on this album. Which instrument that is? Of course I am talking about the guitar, Renaissances is very guitar-driven. High guitars as well as the heavier riffs are present on this album, just as some very nice guitar-solo's in, for example, Weapon Dealers, Childish Whims or Fake Paranoia. The solo in the latter one giving a bit more of a melodic touch to a very raging track. The fact that Sylvain can play the guitar very well becomes pretty clear while listening to Renaissances.

Besides the clean vocals, which as I said earlier are not to my liking, Renaissances sounds very nice. The Dawn Razor for sure delivered a solid album with quite a lot of variation. Especially for a debut album, The Dawn Razor did a pretty good job. For sure recommended for people who like great guitar-tunes in their metal.

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

The Dawn Razor Facebook

Monday, July 2, 2018

Review: Misanthropic Rage - Igne Natura Renovatur Integra


The Polish metallers of Misanthropic Rage, consisting of AR (vocals/guitars/drum programming) and W (vocals/bass/drum programming), exist as a band since 2015. In 2016, they released their debut EP (Qualia) and debut full-length (Gates No Longer Shut, read our review here). Now, since March 12th, this Polish duo released the successor of Gates No Longer Shut. This second full-length is titled Igne Natura Renovatur Integra.

Opening track Call All Your Angels starts with a calm guitar-intro. A few moments later it gets a more ritualistic and ominous vibe due to the added vocals. After approximately 2:30 minutes into the 7:30 minutes-during track, Misanthropic Rage breaks loose with their pure, misanthropic, hellenic rage of black metal.

Something that immediately stands out are the very strong vocals. Whether it will be the clean vocals in for example Abstrakt, The Agony Of Breath or in the sometimes a bit more melodic, proggy closing track The Truth Shall Be Told, the haunting ghost-like vocals in the background of In Embrace Of Sanity or the aforementioned misanthropic screams, it doesn't matter, the vocals are all very strong throughout the entire album.

Instrumentally, Igne Natura Renovatur Integra also contains a lot of variation, in both song structures as well as in tempo. Something that is recurring regularly are the high, gazing guitars mixed with the heavier riffing. A few times there also is a nice solo to be heard, as for example in The Hammer And The Nails. Every track on Igne Natura Renovatur Integra contains some musical surprises. Some tracks have a more ritualistic vibe (for example Bliźni mój), a more atmospheric layer (for example Abstrakt) or are a bit more raging (for example Become A God-Man). Another great track is the a bit march-like The Agony Of Breath with some ambient sounds in the background, ending an almost hypnotic finish.

Another track I want to mention specifically is the title track, in the track list shortened to I.N.R.I.. Starting with some great guitar-tunes, which will return a few times, I.N.R.I. starts very nice. This track can, partly due to its guitar-sound, almost be described as epic. Epic, black metal style of course. When earth bursts open and will be engulfed by hell, I.N.R.I. by Misanthropic Rage would very nicely serve as a soundtrack to this event.

With Igne Natura Renovatur Integra, Misanthropic Rage delivered a very nice album which fits mostly into the black metal-genre. However to be honest, this is a recommended album for everyone who digs some variation in a metal-album, especially for those also really digging the more extreme sides of metal. Igne Natura Renovatur Integra is potential year list-material, recommended for sure!

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

Misanthropic Rage Facebook