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INTERVIEW: French Death Metal band Benighted

In the past year, foreign bands have started touring across India not only playing one off shows. The first was Australian technical death metal band Psycroptic and this weekend French death metal band Benighted will embark on a tour across the country.

Benighted are one of the well known metal bands from France. The band have released 7 albums over the past 2 decades. Earlier this year, they released a concept album, Necrobreed through Season of Mist. The album continues in the death metal vein of their previous albums and is a ferocious listen. 

I spoke to vocalist Julien Truchan about Necrobreed, their tour of India and also their upcoming plans.

 

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): It has been 20 years since the band first started out. How does it feel looking back?

Benighted (Julien): It’s a huge pride for me that we went so far with what was just a funny project with friends rehearsing in my father’s garage at the beginning. We have now the opportunity to tour around the whole world, meet always more people and share our music on stage with a bigger mass, which is absolutely awesome! We have recorded 8 albums, toured with so many great bands that I admired so much when I was a teenager and that now became friends… I really live a dream with Benighted and we will continue to go farer in our music to give all people who support us what they deserve and unleash our rage on stage during the tours.

TO: You are performing in India for the first time. How did the tour come about?

Benighted: Yes, and I am so excited about that! Actually our manager got contacted by an Indian booker who appeared to be very motivated to organize this tour, which seemed to be a huge thing to settle because a lot of offers from local bookers when he announced we will tour Asia. He had to make choices and already think about a second tour next time to play in the countries we can’t for this one. That’s how was born the Necrobreed indian:Asian Tour.

TO: You are the only member from the original line up. What has kept you going despite all the lineup changes?

Benighted: Yes, I am. And trust me; it costs a lot of energy to assume all the line-up changes. But Benighted is in my blood and I can’t give up on it just because of fatigue or too many changes in the band. The passion still burns in me and I will give everything I have in my guts to keep this machine going on. Being on stage is such a unique sensation and our first purpose is to share the energy we have with the crowd.

TO: Necrobreed, your 8th full length album is a ferocious listen. Tell us a bit more about the album?

Benighted: Yes, it was out in February this year and it received and amazing welcome from everywhere. This album is actually the most vicious and brutal offering we ever made, it’s exactly like a horror movie that you watch with your ears. I work as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital in “normal life”, and all the lyrics and concepts in our albums come from my professional experience. For Necrobreed, it’s about a schizophrenic man who wants to build his own-family with dead animals he finds on the side of the road. Once at home, he stitches them to his belly to simulate like an “extra-abdominal” pregnancy, and once the infection gets his tissues, he feels like the animal is alive again so he cuts the stitches off and give him birth. The concept fits perfectly with the very insane parts of the music that you will find between very brutal and fast ones and breakdowns which are perfect to break your neck on it! Ah ha!

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Benighted: I discovered recently the German band Der Weg Einer Freiheit which inspired me a lot of emotions listening to their music, and those guys are amazing musicians and such great dudes, I love them! Concerning my personal influences, the bands that inspire me the most are for sure Napalm Death, Dying Fetus, Aborted, Anaal Nathrakh and Shining.

TO: What are your thoughts on the current state of death metal?

Benighted: You can find now so many good bands from every country, it’s amazing! Each time I play at some festivals, I discover new ones with a very personal and effective way to play death metal! My crush recently would go to the Swedish band Cut Up whose music is so effective with this typical Swedish sound!

TO: Do you have any shows/tour planned next year?

Benighted: Absolutely, we will play the legendary 70 000 Tons of Metal on the big boat in February, then lots of festivals like mighty Obscene Extreme (Czech Rep), Party San (Germany). Also a US tour in July, and a European one in autumn 2018 with one of my favorite bands that will be announced soon…

TO: What has been your favourite city/venue to perform in so far?

Benighted: I always love to play in Paris in France, and also Tilburg in Netherlands. But there are too many I love to play every time to tell them all.

TO: What are you looking forward to at your shows in India?

Benighted: I am very very impatient to see how crazy the crowds can be in India, I only heard great stuff about metal fans here and I can’t wait to be on stage and also meet our fans here, it will be fantastic!

TO: Do you have any pre show rituals?

Benighted: Actually I don’t, we just talk a bit between us and I try every vocal style for fun with one of my guitarists, it’s a joke between us! Ah ah! He counts until five and I try each of my vocal styles.

TO: What can fans expect from your set?

Benighted: They can wait for a huge blast of energy and savagery on stage. Stage is the place where we express ourselves the best, we move a lot and we love to share this with the crowd! For example, I try to make people scream with me the chorus, etc. Our gigs are like a huge party where the crowd reactions are as important as the band on stage!

TO: Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

Benighted: Thank you very much for this interview, we live in 2 days now and I can’t wait to discover your country, culture and what metal is made of in India! It will be unforgettable for sure! Stay sick!

Check out all the dates of Benighted’s India tour below

 

REVIEW + INTERVIEW: Japanese Post Hardcore/Metal Band heaven in her arms

heaven in her arms- White Halo

Japan’s heaven in her arms has been together for close to twelve years now, but depending on where you live you may not have come across them before.  While they’ve had regular distribution in their home country and Europe, North American listeners have been limited to imports.  That’s changed with this year’s full length ‘White Halo’, which following releases by Daymare Recordings, Moment of Collapse Records, and Dog Knights Productions has been given official U.S. distribution courtesy of Translation Loss Records.  Whether you’ve been a fan since early on or are discovering heaven in her arms for the first time, the group’s take on older screamo, post hardcore, and metal impresses throughout.

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ALBUM PREMIERE+INTERVIEW: Greek Death Metal Band Pile of Excrements

Pile of Excrements- Escatology

Memento Mori’s already had a standout year with killer releases from Ruin, Soulrot, and Ekpyrosis (to name a few), but they’ve still got some more quality death metal to unleash upon listeners as we approach the end of 2017. This includes the debut full length from Greece’s Pile of Excrements, ‘Escatology’.  For the type of filthy, sleazy death metal that these guys play I couldn’t think of a better band name, and while you might come in expecting third-rate death metal or low budget goregrind there’s a considerable amount of substance and hooks underneath the grime.  ‘Escatology’ is the type of death metal that doesn’t take itself too seriously (as evidenced by song titles like Cult of the Unibrow and Buttfucked by Giant Cockroach) but brings plenty of killer riffs and a ton of energy to the table.  With the release date of October 23rd a little under a week away, today we’re pleased to bring you a full stream of the record.

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INTERVIEW: Nepali Hardcore/Crust band Neck Deep in Filth

Nepali hardcore/crust band Neck deep in Filth features members from bands like Jugaa, Squirtguns & Asphyxiate. The band have released an politically driven EP, the cover art depicts a member of a minority community surrounded by bullets and the Nepali flag. Over multiple listens, the EP has become one of my favourite grindcore releases from the region.

I spoke to Vishal Rai about the origins of the band, their self titled EP and also the metal scene in Nepal.

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): You recently released your self-titled EP at a show called The Pit. How did it go?

Neck deep in Filth (Vishal Rai): It went great. The Pit was put on by our old friends in Ugra Karma at the best venue in town, so it was excellent. They have air conditioning! Sold more merch and CDs than we thought we would too haha

TO: You have all been in bands previously like Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles, Jugaa, Squirtguns and Asphyxiate. How did you decide to form a band together?

NDIF: Well, we all shared a practice space that our bassist ran at one time, and with the underground being so small, we’ve known each other for awhile.

I’ve played guitar in all of my bands so this time I wanted to try my hand at vocals. All I wanted was to start a fast, raging hardcore band. Sushil, our bassist, was down. He and I have been playing in bands together since 2002. As for guitars, I knew “Straight Edge” Sandesh would deliver what we wanted. He also plays in Squirt Guns, which is probably my favorite Nepali punk band. Sandesh delivered a bit more than what I was looking for though thanks to his crust influences haha He brought in a melodic aspect to our music too, which I’m totally fine with now. We later got Sanjay a.k.a. Jeson to join. He comes from a death metal background but he fit in perfectly.

TO: How did you get into this style of music?

NDIF: I got into metal in the early/mid 90s, the regular Metallica/Slayer stuff. The Indian magazine Rock Street Journal had a huge part in shaping my early musical tastes. RSJ was the only music mag worth reading in the pre-Internet era in this region. Then, in 1996/97, I heard Rancid’s “…And Out Come The Wolves” and dove headfirst into punk. Formed my first punk band in 2001, started getting into heavier hardcore around that time, played in a few more bands, and here I am today, 35 and more into this music than ever.

TO: Reading through your lyrics sheet, it is clear that the EP is inspired by the current political situation in Nepal. Tell us a bit more about it.

NDIF: Where do I even start? Over the years, hateful, jingoistic ultranationalism has become more and more common. Then there are the privileged who are committed to maintaining the status quo, people who keep downplaying the legitimate demands of minorities. There’s the bigotry that’s on constant display. There’s the sexism and the complete lack of equal rights. And, of course, there’s the corruption.

If nothing else, it’s cathartic just screaming about the issues that piss me off.

TO: What was the recording process for the EP? Where was it recorded?

NDIF: All of it was done at our main practice space at Mr Music and another rehearsal room called Advent. We didn’t have the need to enter a proper studio. Our bassist Sushil has gotten pretty good at recording bands. He recorded my old band Childwife’s EP as well as Squirt Guns’ full length, and his work on both was great. I realized I had underestimated him all these years haha turns out 25 years of constant weed smoking hadn’t messed him up that bad yet. So yes, it was natural and, more importantly, cheap just letting him record us.

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

NDIF: I wouldn’t say I’ve been inspired by anyone, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Kesha, Lana Del Rey, Nicole Dollanganger, the new Incendiary, Power Trip, All Out War, Propagandhi, and Integrity albums, along with Beast Jesus, Veils, and Barred from the Philippines, as well as this great Indonesian band called Children Of Terror.

TO: Nepal has quite a few upcoming bands. What are the bands that readers should check out?

NDIF: Nepal has a bunch of great bands these days. However, I’ll limit my recommendations to those that have at least an EP out.

Strangle – Straightforward hardcore with crossover influences. Great band! strangle1.bandcamp.com

Nude Terror – Possibly the best grindcore band in the subcontinent. Amazing live. nudeterrornepal.bandcamp.com

Disorder – Old school thrashers will love them

Rog – Intense powerviolence from Pokhara – https://grindviolencerog.bandcamp.com/

TO: What are your plans for this year? Do you have any more shows or a tour planned?

NDIF: Yep, we’ll definitely play more shows this year. Then, in early 2018, we’re dropping a split with a friend’s band.

TO: Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

NDIF: Thank you for the questions. Visit neckdeepinfilth.bandcamp.com and buy our EP.

INTERVIEW: Canadian Grindcore legends Mesrine

Mesrine are a legendary Canadian grindcore band. They have released 4 full length albums and innumerable splits in their career that spans  over two decades. A couple months ago, the band released their 5th full length album, Source of Hatred; after multiple listens, I can say it is one of the best grindcore releases I have heard recently. 23 tracks in just over 30 minutes, the album is another fine slab of grindcore. 

Find out more about Source of Hatred, the metal scene in Québec and more in my interview with Fred and Seb below.

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): It has been 20 years since the band started. How does it feel looking back?

Mesrine (Fred): yes, already 20 years, time goes on…When we begin Mesrine it was first all for fun by keeping it simple and efficient, 20 years later, it’s still the same deal haha! We are still making short songs with 2 riffs and 3 chords! On theses days we are a little less active than the previous years, we all have day jobs and 2 members are now dads (I’ve got a son and Steve just got twins 2 months ago!). I think we can continue a few years with our new lineup (which is stronger than ever)

TO: How did the band get started & how did you get into this style of music?

Mesrine (Fred): It started with Dan asking me you have a guitar and an amp??? you don’t need to know how to play, you just need the biggest string and 3 notes it’s enough! So Dan dusted off his old drum kit and started blasting and mincing! Mesrine’s first name was Bean (in honour of Mr Bean) but we weren’t completely satisfied… Since we have both a fascination about criminals and serial killers we though having a name more in that range would be more appropriate so we switched to Mesrine, we thought (and still think) that name is killer.

TO: You latest album, Source of Hatred is one of the best grindcore releases I have heard recently. Tell us more about the album.

Mesrine (Seb): Thanx, we are really happy how the album went out! Our guitar player Jack recorded, mixed and mastered it. We don’t have that much things to tell him about any of those things, he knows what he’s doing ! haha Another thing that’s great about this album is that it’s our first release who will be out in all 3 physical format (CD on PRC Music, Vinyl and cassette on D7i and Doomsday Machine Records)

TO: It’s been 6 years between the album and your previous full length,Obsessive Compulsive. What was the songwriting process for the album?

Mesrine (Seb): Well, the band had a few lineup changes, Jack went from being the bass player to a second guitar player, so they ask Decalisse (ex G.O.D/Fuck the facts) to join the band to complete the lineup. After the last Euro tour and recording e.p’s he left for various reasons and to start a new band, so Mesrine asked Crocko to come back in the band. The writing process for the album begun, Crocko left, so I joined the band and we continue writing the album. Sometimes Fred came in with a riff and we work on it, and most of the time we find riffs ‘’on the spot’’.

TO: You share a couple of members with fellow grinders Fistfuck. How do they manage between both bands?

Mesrine (Seb): Steve and I play in both bands, it’s quite easy since both bands are not that much active, we play 2 or 3 shows a year, jamming almost every 2 weeks, so on my side, I have enough time to play in various other bands hahaha

TO: You have worked with a few record labels. What do you think are the role of a record label in this digital age?

Mesrine (Seb): I run a label (D7i Records) since the last 12 years, a label is very important for indie underground bands, yeah we can listen to everything when we can now, but there is still people who likes physical formats, and underground labels can help distribute, sell and helping bands to get a little more known everywhere else. I am still trading stuff, so people from Quebec can get 7’’ of European bands at a cheaper price than ordering from the internet (postage feeds are killing us lately) !

TO: What are your thoughts on the current state of grindcore?

Mesrine (Seb): I think grindcore is doing great, When you meet bands from anywhere it’s like you’ve been friends for years. There are great new bands with the old school attitude. Grindcore will be healthy as long as Agathocles will release split e.p we are in business I guess! hahahah

TO: Québec has a well known extreme metal scene. Could you recommend a few bands that the readers should check out?

Mesrine (Seb): Well I can say Badass Commander (another band with me and Jack), it’s an old school death metal band! Non affiliate with Mesrine we got Saccage (labelmates from PRC), Mortlach, K.A.V, Nevrose. Outside of Quebec city we have deboned, Soil of Ignorance, Hard Charger and many more!

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Mesrine (Seb): I know Dan would say the same fucking things I was listening back in the early 90’s haha, on my side, I always been into sludge and fuzzy bands and it’s what I listen the most. We are all into Old school stuff (death metal, thrash, crossover, heavy, doom) I think on Source of Hatred we can ear and feel the various influences of the band more than on previous releases.

Mesrine (Fred): Agathocles, Blood, Impetigo, Extreme noise terror, Johnny Cash, Confuse, Terveet Kadet, Carcass Grinder, Psycho, AC/DC, SOD ect…..

TO: What are your plans for this year? Do you have any shows/tour planned?

Mesrine (Seb): Well, we just played with D.R.I in our hometown, and played the Earslaughter in Montreal with Blood and a few more amazing bands. We are talking about doing a local show with our buddies in Fistfuck and another of our side projects haha. We have no plan concerning touring, ect in the near future.

TO: Thanks for doing this interview. Do you have any final words?

Mesrine: Keep supporting everything that’s old school!

Mesrine

Interview with Dubai-based band KAIHON playing progressive metal

KAIHON from Dubai, UAE have put out a stunner. No one really expected an album of this calibre to pop out, let alone being of this ilk. Surprisingly forward-thinking and cutting-edge, KAIHON’s debut ‘Terraform’ is up for free download and streaming in its entirety. Guest interviewer Mebanaibor Aier Nengnong talks to the band in an attempt to reveal more information about how it all happened.

 

TO: Greetings fellas, congratulations on your debut EP ‘Terraform’. It is definitely an intriguing record with a variety of elements merged together. What was the most challenging part of it?

KAIHON: Thank you for the kind words! The most challenging part of the EP was trying to make a record that sounded interesting and fresh while trying to set the base for a sound that would define KAIHON. Plus the fact that we’re all working professionals really stretched out the recording process. Time can be your biggest enemy.

TO: It seems that the band isn’t afraid to experiment with a wide palette of sounds which is substantiated by the EP, but would you say that you’re more of an experimental metal band even though you’ve been termed as a progressive metal band?

KAIHON: We’re not sticking to any labels when it comes to our music. All the pigeon-holing of bands into genres and subgenres just makes the whole scene convoluted. We never really took up the progressive metal mantle, but if I had to classify our music, I’d call it Modern Metal.

It’s true that we do love to mix it up as far as writing music is concerned. Jude (Mascarenhas) is the main songwriter in the band, and his influences range from metal bands like CROWBAR and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD to more eccentric acts like FAITH NO MORE and LAZER/WULF.

TO: Correct me if I’m wrong but Pathological has influences from modern metalcore as well as groove metal, with a touch of just the right melodies. Is it safe to say it has become a fan-favourite?

KAIHON: Pathological has definitely been received well.  Metalcore really wasn’t the goal when the song was being written. If anything we were trying to channel a more straight-forward song that was anti-thesis to the chaotic nature of Awaken and D.T.A. People like something they can tap their foot along to. And Pathological was written keeping that in mind, while trying to keep the song memorable.

TO: Let’s talk about the EP as a whole. Can you please take us through the writing as well as the recording process? How long did it take?

KAIHON: The writing and recording process took a little over a year. Our jobs got in the way a fair bit, but with a lot of sleepless nights and pulling through the graveyard shift, the record was written and finally recorded sometime in 2016. We don’t really remember when though. Everything’s a blur of work, record, sleep, repeat.

TO: The EP has guest appearances from Keshav Dhar of SKYHARBOR and Shashank Bhatnagar of UNDYING INC. How was it like working with them?

KAIHON: Working with Keshav and Shashank was AMAZING. For being such stalwarts of the metal scene in India, they’re very supportive and it was a fun experience working with them! Keshav as a producer is a mad genius, as a guitar player it’s like watching a wizard. And watching Shashank record is an experience unto itself! WHAT A VOICE.

TO: What is the core concept of the EP? Can you explain the theme behind it?

KAIHON: The EP does have a pretty elaborate backstory. It involves parallel dimensions, a Planet-God, and a lot of old-school sci-fi elements that we drew from our childhood. Most people write songs that come from experiences and emotions. We wanted to step away from that and create a soundtrack to a story that we wanted to tell through our music.

TO: How difficult is it to self-release a debut album? What are the pros and cons?

KAIHON: Thanks to online distributors like Distrokid the whole online distribution part of the EP was pretty straightforward. However being a new band in a scene filled with amazing bands, it’s hard to get noticed. Thankfully, we have had the amazing fortune of having a few amazing people who’ve bought our album and the support we’ve received keeps us going.

TO: Can we expect KAIHON to perform live in the near future? Shuffling between two countries, India and Unites Arab Emirates, must be difficult but are there plans to hire session musicians to play live?

KAIHON: Well, with Lalit being in Dubai, it does make things a little tricky in terms of playing live shows. We’re playing Unscene Edition 7 live on 13th July with GODLESS and ANTAKRIT. For this gig, Lalit won’t be able to make it. Hence, we’re have Shashank Bhatnagar (UNDYING INC./SOUL INCLINATION) filling in for him.

TO: To KAIHON what comes first, the lyrics or music (Melody)?

KAIHON: Neither. The first thing that comes to mind is the theme of the song. For instance, Awaken was supposed to be about majesty. More specifically, a mountain emerging out of the ocean. It helps when you visualize things, it helps to add structure to what you want the song to end up sounding like.

TO: As a band, do you follow any ideology? If so, does that influence KAIHON lyrically and musically?

KAIHON: There is no ideology. The main thing that we keep in mind is that we’re not restricting ourselves to writing music that fits in A or Z. If it’s across the spectrum, then all the better.

TO: Surely you must have other hobbies besides writing and metal, what are those? What are your other expertise besides music?

KAIHON: No, we’re all pretty much losers stuck in our bedrooms.

Just kidding. We do have our hobbies. Lalit loves getting his football fix and venturing out into the nightlife of Dubai.

Jude cooks and writes and is a video game nerd, along with Shantanu who is also a graphics designer.

Adi loves playing his bass and attending gigs and Aranyak is about to complete his second year of his Bachelor of Dentistry degree.

For the most part, we’re just easygoing guys who crack horribly lame puns and try to have fun.

TO: How did the band come about? How did you meet all the members?

KAIHON: The band actually started with Jude finding Lalit on YouTube of all places. After that it was pretty much just filling in the rest of the pieces.

Finding the remaining members wasn’t easy. Apart from the amount of technique and skill required, it was also important that they had the right vibe. Once Jude moved to Bangalore, he pretty much went across the scene trying to find people.

Guess we got really lucky. We’re still looking for a session vocalist to fill in for Lalit when he can’t make it for gigs. So if anybody’s interested, you’re more than welcome to try out!

TO: Is KAIHON working on new material? Do you have any plans to put out a full-length album?

KAIHON: Yes, we’ve already got 4 new songs lined up. The only question right now is do we release it as an EP or put more time into it and release it as an album. Both have their pros and cons, but for the most part, it’ll probably be another EP. It’s easier for people to digest a 4 track record that’s all-killer/no-filler.

TO: Thank you very much for this interview. Last words are yours.

KAIHON: Thanks for having us! We hope to play a gig near you guys sometime soon!

 

KAIHON Facebook | KAIHON Bandcamp

ALBUM PREMIERE + INTERVIEW: Brazilian Grindcore Band Facada

Facada are one of the best grindcore bands currently. One listen of the album Nadir is all that is required to confirm it. 4 years after the release of the album the band are back with a new album titled Nenhum puto de atitude. We are thrilled to present a full stream of the album here. Described as “17 pissed as fuck tributes to underground legends”, the album features covers of bands like Unleashed, The Misfits And Bad Brains among others. The album is an intense listen under 20 minutes. It is out today on CD & Vinyl via Everydayhate and Laja Records. Check it out!

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): Hello! How are things at the Facada camp. It has been 4 years since your last release Nadir. What have you been busy with of late?

Facada: After Nadir was released, we went through a very quick turnaround. Our drummer left and we spent time playing with another. We did some shows with this line up and in that time, I broke my shoulder, so I had to take some time to recover. After that, our drummer came back and we started thinking about our future. We composed some songs and decided to make a covers album that, first, would be a 7 “, but they were increasing and we decided to do that 12”. We decided to do half the album with Brazilian bands and half of bands from other countries. We recorded practically the 2 albums at the same time, both our new full, as well as that of covers. While this is being released now, we are already streamlining this new one. In addition, there was a split with Stheno from Greece recently and we did a lot of shows in Brazil.

TO: How did the band get started & how did you decide to play grindcore?

Facada: We were always friends but we played in other bands in our city, we always met at concerts and we had this idea of having a band of grindcore. From the old things we listened to, such as Carcass and Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Defecation and our original guitarist (Ari) already had a Crust band called Diagnosis, so it was easy because when we got together we were certain of what we wanted to do.

TO: How did you get into grindcore? What was the first grindcore album you heard?

Facada: There were a lot bands at the same time, but I think the first true grindcore band that I’ve heard was Rot’s Ep Almighty God (BTW we recorded the 1st song from that 7), that i bought on the same day that we got Altars of Madness. I was impressed by the fact that it was very raw and had a punk essence, but with an evil vibe on it, but what really startled me was From Enslavement to Obliteration, I did not know what was happening on that record, I had never heard anything so confrontational. Reek of Putrefaction was also very important in this regard. Sarcasm’s 7” Your Funeral My Party and Theatric Simbolization of life of the Agathocles were also there. A Brazilian band called The Endoparasites (and others Brazilian bands too) and Terrorizer always played a lot, anyway …

TO: Your album Nenhum puto de atitude is an intense listen under 20 minutes. Tell us about the album.

Facada: Since the beginning of the band, we always liked to play songs from the bands we enjoyed and and we were curious to see how we managed to make it our way. every single on of our albums has a cover song of a band we loved. As soon as we finished O Joio, we had the idea of doing an ep with only covers, we got to rehearse some, but we never made it through. After Nadir, we decided to do that, so we were choosing the songs from the thousands of bands we’ve always heard that were important in our lives. There were so many and so many styles that for just for an ep, it was too short. We chose the ones that made the biggest impression on us, that we always remembered and some we picked just for the sake of seeing how it would go with our vibe. Others were to frighten us even to think how we had the petulance to do so.

TO: Does your guitarist Ari still live in Germany? How did you go about writing and recording the album?

Facada: Yes, he still lives in Berlin and composes and records the songs he wrote there. When he comes to Brazil, he rehearses a 3/4 with Dangelo (drummer) and we record the drums as soon as they get these songs together, later he records the parts of the strings and I record the voices here. It’s a little tricky, but it works fine, I do not know how.

TO: Your lyrics are in Portuguese. What is the reason behind singing in Portuguese?

Facada: Most of the songs are in Portuguese, at first we composed a lot more in English, but there are things we write that only work in our native language: expressions, slang, specific words that only match our reality that work in that context. And it would really be pathetic if we translated it into another language.

TO: 3/4th of the band is part of Godthot. How do you manage between both bands?

Facada: Everyone in the band has side projects. Me and Danyel (guitarist) have the Monge (black metal) and Godtoth (death metal) and we always want to do more. Godtoth was a project that we did with our old friend Zé (omfalos and today plays in the band PESTE). We created and recorded the entire album in 8 days and it mixed soon after and the result was absurd. We only did one rehearsal and one show. Since he lives in a city far from ours, it is very difficult for us to take care of it, so it is a good idea to conciliate. But we’re already thinking about making another record. The Monge iIt’s on its way, We’re ready for the next release.

TO: Members of the band are also involved with label Black Hole Productions. What do you think are the role of a record label currently?

Facada: In fact, no one in the band has anything to do with the Black Hole. It is run by an incredible guy named Fernando Camacho who has been on the scene for quite some time. He has already released many albums, has had magazines, fanzines and today his label is one of the most respected, both in Brazil and in the world. He released Nadir on CD and will release the new album soon and does it all by himself.

TO: What do you think of physical formats like Cds and Vinyl in this digital age? Do you think they are still relevant?

Facada: I think there was a time that the thought was that one media would replace the other, but I think time has proven it wrong. All media can live peacefully with each other as long as there are people who want to listen to music the way they prefer. CD, Vinyl, mp3 … it does not matter. It is only to see the return of vinyl and k7 with a huge demand to be met. Each one has its audience. This talk that the formats die It’s more of a hype to absorb the new media easier.

TO: What are your thoughts on the current state of grindcore?

Facada: I think grindcore has always been good hands, there have always been bands that did a good job and never let the underground flame die in the whole planet. Many bands throwing things and from all sides and of course always being opposed, against the establishment, anti fascists, anti right, never accepting the status quo as it is, neither reaffirming and / or agreeing with What is imposed on us. Always against it.

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Facada: This question is very difficult because I listen to a lot different things, I never settle for one thing only. I spend the day at work and listening to music on my headphones and It’s usually on shuffle mode. When I come across something that grabs me, or something I haven’t heard for a long time, I go after that album..At home, I choose more between the CDs and vinyls I have. But it can be from cathedral to a collection of surf music and power pop from the 60s / 70s. From transilvanian hunger, through my minds mine, to yacopsae and ending in paradise lost in the pop phase.

TO: Do share with us bands from Brazil that the readers should check out.

Facada: DER, Test, Violator, Xico Picadinho, Lepra, Homicide, Rot, Faixa de Gaza, Damned Youth, Cocaine Cobras, Leptospirose, Merda, Guro, Diagnose, Funeral Jovem, Lepra, Death by starvation, Grindful Dead, Deuszebul, Alohahaole, Deb and teh Mentals, Caverna, Os Capial, Shitfun, Plague Rages, summer saco…there many to mention and my memory is too weak.

TO: Do you have any shows/tours planned this year?

Facada: not yet, we’re trying to focus on finalizing the new album.

TO: Thanks for doing this interview. Do you have any final words?

Facada: thank you for the interview, search the internet for facadanagoela, do not support fascists, look for the everydayhate, listen to our album that was released by everydayhate, keep grinding, take care and take care of the people that you like. cheers!

Facada 

Everydayhate

Laja Records

VIDEO PREMIERE+INTERVIEW: Spanish Death/Thrash Band Canker

Canker- Earthquake

While not as well-known abroad, the 90s Spanish death metal scene had quite a few noteworthy bands that contributed their own take on the genre.  Through the efforts of Xtreem Music a lot of these groups have had their earlier material re-issued and offered up new albums, sometimes a decade or two after they were last heard from.  This is the case with death/thrash band Canker, who originally re-issued their 1994 debut ‘Physical’ in a compilation that included their earlier demo material.  Now they’re set to release their third full length album ‘Earthquake’ on September 18th, their first all-new material since 1997’s ‘Exquisites Tenderness’.  What you may not know is that this actually isn’t a brand new record from the current incarnation of Canker, but rather a previously finished and unreleased album that’s been lying dormant since 2005.  But you wouldn’t know it upon first listen, and it gives listeners a window of where the band was at this point in time and where they’re likely to be headed in the future.

(more…)

INTERVIEW: UAE Death metal band Nervecell

Nervecell are stalwarts of the Middle East metal scene. The UAE based death metal band have released 2 full length albums, toured across Europe and performed alongside legendary metal acts like Metallica and recently Nile.

Next week the band release their third album Past, Present…Torture via Lifeforce Records (US/Europe) and Metal East Records (Middle East). The band have premiered 3 tracks from the album so far, a peek into their heaviest material yet. A few listens of the album was all it took for me to get convinced that Nervecell had topped their previous album Pscyhogencide.

I spoke to guitarist Barney Ribeiro about Past, Present…Torture, death metal in 2017 and also performing in India.

 

 

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): Your third album Past, Present…Torture releases this month. How does it feel now that the album is going to be released?

Nervecell (Barney): Pretty damn good, we were in Lyon, France exactly around this same time last year (July 2016) tracking drums with Kevin. After which we brought the drum tracks back with us to Dubai and immediately went into Haven Studios to track the guitars, bass and vocal tracks. So even though the album is new to the rest of the world, those songs have actually been with us for the better half of the last 2 years that we’ve been working on and crafting. If anything it just amazes me how fast time flies. I’m just really glad we’re finally going to release this thing, the fans have been very patient waiting for new music from us and their going to get what they’ve been waiting for.

TO: The album has a post apocalyptic theme. What was the inspiration behind it?

Nervecell: Honestly it’s something we came up with very gradually as the song titles started to come in one after the other. The music has this post apocalyptic vibe in a lot of the songs and the subject matter of the lyrics that James was singing about too was resonating with us quite a lot during the writing stage, which had to do with past events and the dark ages. There is still so much of untold information out there from the past that people do not necessarily know about, and that is only until recently being brought into the limelight. One would expect we live in a modern civilized world today but the future has so much of unpredictability ahead of us that it will inevitably lead to the fall of the human race. The present basically represents us trying to do our bit and alarm everyone to start taking action before it gets too late, hence why you see the Nervecell Emblem arising from the grounds on the album artwork to resemble a sense of warning and symbolism to act now, so take matters in our own hands so to speak, before it’s too late.

TO: You’ve have upped the ante on the production of the album. Did you try anything different this time around with the recording process?

Nervecell: Thanks! Well we played around with loads of stuff. We’ve always been a band that is heavily involved throughout the entire recording process. I mean we used our own Engl guitar amp heads for starters. Basically what we use live, we wanted the very same sound we deliver live to be used in the studio. So we had Rami and my guitar tones intentionally set out differently in that aspect while recording each of our songs. We also have songs on the album that Rami wrote individually and songs that I wrote individually as well, which is different this time around as we used to always merge our ideas together in our songs on previous releases. There are only 2 songs on this album that the entire band contributed to as a whole. We also wrote almost all the drum parts on this record and got Kevin to basically perform / record our ideas while doing the drum tracking. Unlike the first 2 albums, where we pretty much left Dave Haley with a lot of freedom you can say. So all of that together with that fact that we utilized some atmospheric elements into the songs, very faint stuff but you do here these minor details that add that extra element that helps emphasize the mood of certain tracks. Also we’ve recorded the entire album on a different tuning in comparison to our older releases, which gave a different edge on how our songs sounded this time around. We just went into making this record knowing we wanted a brutal more technical sounding record and to keep it as organic as possible.

 

TO: Kevin Foley (One life All-in, Benigthed) has recorded the drums on the album. How did he become a part of the album?

Nervecell: Kevin has always been a guy we’ve been very close with. We’ve worked with various drummers over the years but you know not everyone is necessarily the same. Kevin honestly reminds me of us, he’s extremely down to earth, extremely talented, very versatile by the way in his playing style, completely drama free, real fun to hang with and also has loads of recording experience in him as well! I mean there is more to just being a good drummer that we look for when selecting who we want to have been a part of our band and perform on our songs. Chemistry is so very important to me and I make sure there is that chemistry that we get along with all the drummers we work with more that anything else I’d say. He just had it all man and like I said, a very good friend to the band. Don’t forget he’s toured with us all over Asia and Europe for a good 2 to 3 years so all that counts too.

TO: What are your thoughts on the current state of death metal?

Nervecell: It’s coming back like a fucking tsumani, I mean we’ve got all the iconic death metal bands either releasing/released or working on new albums this year like ourselves, it’s ridiculous. Morbid Angel, Deicide, Suffocation, Decapitated, Cannibal Corpse, Broken Hope, Origin, Decrepit Birth, Obituary and a shit load of newer extreme metal bands too of course…I can keep naming them but anyway. I put up a post about this earlier this year on my Facebook stating how if there was anyone out there who claims Death Metal is dead or going nowhere in 2017 can seriously F#*k off! There are a lot more players now in the genre and the competition is getting real hot. I love it because we coming from the Middle East are used to the heat (and by heat I mean more of those who are envious and jealous of others success – especially in this region), so we are sooo super stoked to kick the shit out of all the non-believers with this new record and let the music speak for itself. “Past, Present…Torture” is going to seal the deal that we aren’t stopping anytime soon, and we are going out there proudly representing the Middle East for Extreme Metal in general.

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Nervecell: Honestly I haven’t been inspired for the last 4 to 5 years musically. Even in Metal there hasn’t really been anything that really does it for me anymore. There is this whole new wave of Death core bands that I just really can’t get into man. I mean I get it, it’s brutal, break-downs, crisp production etc. but they have like 20 laptops on stage playing backing tracks man…I’m sorry I don’t give in to that shit! Part of me liking metal is that raw, unpredictable and spontaneous energy you get when performing live that keeps this genre pure and different from the rest for me personally. I can’t stand these bands with their choreographed performances. I always keep an open ear for new music though, but really if there is anything I’ve been listening to lately it’s just the classic Thrash and Death metal bands I grew up to man. There just don’t make good old-school quality music like that anymore, the closest to that sound I can relate to today is probably Bloodbath, although that last album they did with Nick Holmes was rather disappointing. If I want to just chill and mellow out I’ll pop in some Sithu Aye, Plini, God is an Astronaut, Massive Attack, Anathema, Leprous…and perhaps even some Extol too, another very underrated band.

TO: You did a short tour of India in 2010. What are your memories from then?

Nervecell: I’ll keep this one short. That Blue Frog venue we played in Mumbai, India was one of the best live shows I’ve ever played with Nervecell. Dudes in the crowd went absolute nuts! I have no idea why the hell we haven’t been back there again since… I mean we almost sold out that venue and it was only our first time in Mumbai. Apart from that, we enjoyed the food and came back home to Dubai humbled, cause every time you feel you have something to complain about in your life, one must go visit India, shit will wake you the fuck up there and make you appreciate every little thing you got going. I’m just grateful we got fans there!

TO: You recently performed with Nile in Dubai. How did the show go?

Nervecell: It was excellent, we haven’t played in Dubai for almost 3 years, so it was nice to come back and perform at home again one last time before we release the new album officially. As always there were a lot of new faces in the audience, but that’s something we are used to being based here through out our entire career. We will probably look at playing Dubai again and other neighboring countries in the Middle East once the new album is released later this month.

TO: Do you have any more shows/tours planned this year?

Nervecell: Nothing as of now, but we sure as hell plan on touring a lot for the better half of next year in support of our new album “Past, Present…Torture”.

TO: Thanks for doing this interview. Do you have any final words?

Nervecell: Well thank you for having me here Peter. Nervecell fans, don’t forget the new album “Past, Present…Torture” comes out on August 25th around the world. Fans in the Middle East can pick it up on shelves post August 25th via Metal East Records and fans from North America / Europe can pick it up from your local music stores via Lifeforce Records. We can’t wait to hear all of your feedback and we definitely look forward to playing in your cities very soon. Cheers!

 

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