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INTERVIEW: Dutch Black Metal/Post Punk Band Laster

Laster- Ons vrije fatum

2017 may just be getting started, but we’ve already heard some albums that are potential end of the year contenders and are sure to still be talked about eleven months from now.  One of those is ‘Ons vrije fatum’, the sophomore effort from Dutch black metal band Laster.  The group came to my attention back in 2013 with their demo ‘Wijsgeer & Narreman’, which offered up sprawling, bleak instrumentation that pulled from equal parts Burzum style black metal and that of the depressive variety.  A year later ‘De verste verte is hier’ took those ideas to an entirely new level, reaching truly stunning levels of atmosphere that reached truly epic proportions.  The album ended with a surprise shift into shoegaze and post punk, hinting at more experimentation to come.

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INTERVIEW: Greek Heavy Metal Band Agatus

Agatus- The Eternalist

In October Agatus released their third album ‘The Eternalist, their first full length in nearly fourteen years.  The interim period saw two limited EP released in 2011 and 2012, with the title track of 2012’s ‘Gilgamesh’ finding its way onto ‘The Eternalist’.  While earlier incarnations of the band explored elements of black metal that were reminiscent of some of their other Greek counterparts, over the years Agatus has gravitated towards heavy metal and progressive rock to create a sound that’s epic in scale yet warm and inviting at all the right moments.  Traces of black metal remain, but this is a very different effort when compared to the group’s back catalog and it finds them reaching new heights.  ‘The Eternalist’ draws you in with bombastic riffing that has traces of early progressive rock and traditional heavy metal wrapped in a black metal esthetic, revealing more nuances with each listen.

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Interview with black/death metal band TRENCH WARFARE

Trench Warfare are a potent black/death metal band from US. They’ve released one highly acclaimed demo in ‘Perversion Warfare’ and it retains the classic black/death essence of this style. It’s violent, uncompromising in its vision and holds much promise for the future. Here’s a brief interview with the members to find out more information about their band.

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INTERVIEW: U.S. Technical Death Metal Band Crator

The Ones Who Create: The Ones Who Destroy

Crator’s debut full length ‘The Ones Who Create: The Ones Who Destroy’ completely snuck under my radar when it came out back in September, coming to my attention a little over a month later thanks to a promotional push from Clawhammer PR.  You’re likely to see the New York based band branded as a supergroup, though I prefer to think of them as a group comprised of metal musicians whose other projects I am a big fan of.  Formed by Jeff Liefer (Tentacles), Jason Keyser (Origin, ex-Skinless), and John Longstreth (Origin, Dim Mak, and a whole slew of other important death metal bands over the years) with Colin Marston (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia) playing bass and working the boards, that wealth of talent is evident throughout.

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INTERVIEW: Dan Kelly of THE HUDSON HORROR

There are certain smaller groups out there that I just connect with for one reason or another.  It usually has a lot to do with a perfect storm of quality music, clear passion, and personability of the musicians involved.  The Hudson Horror undoubtedly meet these criteria.  I was initially drawn in during the promotion of their debut full length, but they have stuck around and this year released a follow-up EP called Ruiner.  During this time, I have also had the pleasure to correspond with Dan Kelly, the band's vocalist and a founding member.  It seemed natural to sit down with Dan, in real time albeit from across the country, and just shoot the shit about the band, early influences, the current state of the music business, and more.

ALBUM TRAILER PREMIERE + INTERVIEW: Black/Grind Band Kratornas

Kratornas- Devoured by Damnation

December 8th will see the release of ‘Devoured by Damnation’, the newest full length from black metal/grind band Kratornas.  Originally formed in the Phillipines by multi-instrumentalist Zachariah, what began as a full band for a short period quickly became a solo effort.  In the years that have followed Zachariah has relocated to Canada, and recruited drummer GB Guzzarin after utilizing programmed drums on his previous full lengths.  With a real drummer and some of the strongest production values the project has boasted yet, ‘Devoured by Damnation’ is a heavy hitter worth paying attention to.

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INTERVIEW + ALBUM PREMIERE: Paraguayan Black/Death/Thrash Band Master of Cruelty

Master of Cruelty- Archaic Visions of the Underworld

Blood Harvest Records has had a fantastic roster of releases this year, many of which we’ve been lucky enough to premiere in recent months.  One of the elements I like the most about the label is their emphasis on South American metal, as their reissues and other releases bring material my way that I might have missed otherwise.  They’ve saved one of their best efforts for the tail end of the year though, as November 25th will see the release of ‘Archaic Visions of the Underworld’ on vinyl, the second full length from Paraguayan black/death/thrash band Master of Cruelty (CD is being handled by Deathrash Armageddon).  It has been four years since Master of Cruelty’s last full length, though they’ve had some splits and an EP in between.  Today we’re premiering the record in its entirety, and it’s one of the better examples of the level of talent that can be found in South American metal.

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INTERVIEW: Polish Black Metal Band Sauron

Sauron- Wara!

Let’s get this out of the way: there have been a ton of bands over the years that have used or are using the name Sauron and taken influence from J.R.R. Tolkien’s works.  Metal Archives tells me there are three from Poland alone, though the subject of this article was the first in the country to use the name.  This particular Sauron formed in 1991 and released two demos between 1993 and 1995, and it would take almost a decade before they resurfaced.  Since that time the black metal band has been more active than ever, releasing ‘The Land of the Dead Sun’ earlier this year and ‘Wara!’ just recently.  The former contains remastered material from the band’s past, while ‘Wara!’ is a mix of old and new alongside a killer Bathory cover.

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INTERVIEW: Greek Psychedelic Black Metal Trio – Hail Spirit Noir

Hail Spirit Noir, the psychedelic black metal trio from Greece is one of the most unique bands out there today. Their amalgamation of 70’s psychedelic / prog rock with second wave black metal is a breathe of fresh air to both black metal and occult rock genres. The band has been consistently putting out releases that have been consistently excellent and after 6 years as a band, Hail Spirit Noir took their act to a live setting for the first time this week.

After being floored  by the band’s recent output ‘Mayhem in Blue’, we got in touch with them to talk about their new album, the experience of taking the live stage and other things, which you can find below.

Hail Spirit Noir

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