It’s interesting how death metal can reinvent itself to sound refreshing all over again. And more so, when experienced band members get around to doing that. So here’s another death metal band signing that’s been a long time coming, but that’s to ensure that the music is presented in the best way possible. The music will be revealed in due time but you can have a look at the artwork that’s created by Juanjo Castellano (Interment, Revel In Flesh, Coffins), with the logo made by none other than Mark Riddick (Fetid Zombie).
Label owner Kunal Choksi states, “I’m thrilled to work with a very promising new band in Goregӓng which have members of Venom Inc., Ribspreader, Soilwork, The Absence, etc. More importantly, their style of music is what most appealed to me – it’s reminiscent of early Wombbath and Baphomet, in that it’s catchy, grimy and filthy with a punk edge to it. It’s great to work with bands that strive to break the mould and do something that retains the essence of the genre at the same time.”
Goregӓng member Taylor Nordberg comments, “We are incredibly excited about working with Kunal and Transcending Obscurity! We are all big fans of what he has built and the quality bands/products he has released. We can’t wait to unleash this album to you all! “We are the most foul. We are Goregäng.””
Band line-up – Jeramie Kling – Lead Vocals, Guitar (Venom Inc. (live), Ribspreader, ex-Wombbath, The Absence) Brandon Clingo – Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals Taylor Nordberg – Drums, Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals (Soilwork (live), Ribspreader, ex-Wombbath, The Absence)
‘Neon Graves’ tracklisting – 1. A Cavity In Reality 2. False Flags 3. Cathedral Of Chemicals 4. Silence Is Consent 5. Spray Of Teeth 6. Feeble-Minded Rash 7. Neon Graves 8. Plague Of Hammers 9. Goregӓng 10. Weightless Sentinels 11. Putrid Judgement 12. This Era Of Human
We’re thrilled to sign Toby Knapp’s black/thrash metal band Affliktor from US. He’s a world class guitar player and is a part of several bands, but his take on a style that’s more often than not associated with lo-fi aesthetics and ‘alcohol-driven’ music is thoroughly refreshing. The debut full length with artworks from a common friend in Mark Riddick will see a release around mid-2017. Watch out for this one.
Transcending Obscurity Records owner Kunal Choksi states, “Toby Knapp is a world-renowned guitar virtuoso and is involved in the creation of music of all styles since the ’90s. He’s been a part of bands like Godless Rising and of late Waxen, Where Evil Follows, Sue’s Idol, Onward, not to mention his prolific eponymous solo band. I first came to know about him when he contributed leads to the recent Fetid Zombie album. When I heard his new black/thrash metal band Affliktor, I was blown. It was refreshing because he’s using his famed method of guitar shredding to play an underground style of music without taking away the intensity or genre’s inherent harshness. The outcome is stunning and I’m pleased to be working with the debut full length of Affliktor. The artworks have been made by none other than Mark Riddick and you can expect a stunning package for this one.”
Toby Knapp adds, “The Affliktor album was originally intended to be a pure thrash album, so the first layer of music is thrashing speed metal riffs. As time went on the album started developing into a new sound. Once the solos and atmospheric guitar effects were recorded the album called for sickening black/death metal vocals. The final result was kind of a technical Black Thrash Metal hybrid. I have been fortunate to have my work released by some of the best labels in the world and with Kunal and Transcending Obscurity Records- the tradition continues.”
Drug Honkey and Transcending Obscurity Records go back a long way. In fact, back to the time when Transcending Obscurity was called Diabolical Conquest. We’re happy to renew ties with this exceptional doom band and also reveal info on the upcoming album.
Transcending Obscurity Records owner Kunal Choksi states, “I’ve fallen in love with Drug Honkey ever since I heard their 2008 album ‘Death Dub’ (which I ended up distributing as well). It gives me immense pleasure to continue working with Drug Honkey for their new album titled ‘Cloak of Skies’ which is supremely atmospheric while retaining the original twisted appeal. Thanks to Paul Gillis and the guys for having faith in my abilities.”
Drug Honkey vocalist/composer Paul Gillis adds, “I am very pleased to announce, the new Drug Honkey full-length album ‘Cloak of Skies’ will be unleashed on May 5th 2017 via the booming, ever-expanding, & awesome Transcending Obscurity Records label. CD, digital, and probably vinyl platforms will all be available, along with some killer box set/bundle options as well. Cover art painted by the ultra-talented Italian madman Paolo Giradi. Avant-garde sax shaman Bruce Lamont of Corrections House/Yakuza/Brain Tentacles has etched his mark on the title track of the album and none other than one of my biggest influences, the main man himself – Justin K. Broadrick, who has done an extraordinarily crushing remix/reconstruction of the opening track Pool of Failure which bookends the album. Pre-order details will be made available in the next week or so.”
Tracklist: 1. Pool of Failure (5:44) 2. Sickening Wasteoid (6:12) 3. Outlet of Hatred (6:48) 4. (It’s Not) The Way (6:36) 5. The Oblivion of an Opiate Nod (10:00) 6. Cloak of Skies (8:11) 7. Pool of Failure (JK Broadrick remix) (6:29)
Here’s a very interesting one. I thought Soothsayer (Ireland) and Altar of Betelgeuze (Finland) were remarkably unique (not to mention Drug Honkey), but Mindkult are inducing a different kind of nostalgia and vibe, merging elements of doom, stoner and even shoegaze. The music has a refreshing quality to it and also irresistible repeat value. We’re glad to be putting out the band’s upcoming full length which is scheduled for release in mid-2017.
Transcending Obscurity Records owner Kunal Choksi says, “Mindkult wrote to me regarding a review and upon checking out their music, I found it to have a very special quality to it. It’s got this irrepressible charm and an honest old school appeal that extremely hard to come by. It’s oozing with passion and seems to the heart in the right place. Since its inception, Transcending Obscurity has always been about diversity and I’m thrilled to have Mindkult on the label, playing their special brand of doom.”
Mindkult’s founder Fowst comments, “Mindkult’s main purpose is to release heartfelt, evil doom rock with a touch of shoegaze and heavy metal. There’s nothing complicated about it. When the songs come to me in the middle of the night, I pour glasses of whiskey and beer and get straight to work. Signing with Transcending Obscurity is an amazing opportunity to share Mindkult to a broader audience. Mindkult’s debut full length album picks up where my basement tape (‘Witch’s Oath’) left off, but with even more doom, gloom, and accessible Satanic bliss.”
Veilburner have proved their worth by releasing three full lengths of mind-boggling, dissonant and experimental black/death metal. That is exactly the kind of bold, genre-pushing music we enjoy over at Transcending Obscurity. Veilburner‘s upcoming album will see the light of day via the main international label, Transcending Obscurity Records.
Transcending Obscurity owner Kunal Choksi states, “I love the audacity of this band which is rare to find nowadays. I personally ended up reviewing their latest record ‘The Obscene Rite’ for the site, and going by the way the band is progressing, I’m sure their new album via their first ever label, will surpass them all. With such burning passion and creativity, I can only hope to give Veilburner their due and will wait eagerly for the band’s next output.”
Veilburner comment, “At the stroke of 666 Facebook “likes”, Veilburner made an alliance with a demon of the metal underworld. We were offered a chance to transcend obscurity and reach new audiences by joining an ever-growing army of infernal minstrels, and we accepted. Veilburner is happy to report that we have signed a contract with Transcending Obscurity Records, brainchild of Kunal Choksi, who has been a steadily-rising force in the extreme music scene for over ten years. Operating out of Mumbai India, Kunal has faced many challenges over the years in building his reputation, being so far away from the usual hotbeds of extreme metal, but has overcome them all through sheer will, determination, and passion for extreme music. As a band, we were extremely impressed by that level of dedication and work ethic, and his accomplishments to date. We’re excited to be placing our next record in his hands, and look forward to being a member of his superb roster of bands from all over the globe. We expect our next record to continue the same unique, genre-defying atmosphere and quality we have crafted over the course of our last 3 albums, and look forward to melting your ears off and twisting your brain with our next batch of songs.”
Veilburner join the roster having black/death metal bands like Infinitum Obscure (Mexico), Sathanas (US), Norse (Australia), Sepulchral Curse (Finland), The Furor (Australia) and others. Listen to their current album ‘The Obscene Rite’ here –
Embalmed have been around since 1991 and have put out some excellent material in the early ’90s. They could be regarded as one of the founders of the brutal death metal style, notably the TXDM style. Their ‘Boiling Humans’ release in particular has music that stands head-to-head with bands like Suffocation, InternalBleeding and Pyrexia. This was before bands like DyingFetus, Devourment and others took the style to popularity.
Transcending Obscurity Records is proud to sign its first international brutal death metal band and there would none more fitting than the long-running band from Texas, Embalmed. Transcending Obscurity Records will be releasing the band’s second full length album which promises to be just as good if not better.
Label owner Kunal Choksi states, “‘Brutal Delivery of Vengeance’ blew me away with its pugnacious intensity and execution. It was brutal death metal that hadn’t completely abandoned the roots and on the whole was very, very satisfying. I had the opportunity to do PR for that album, and upon getting in touch with the band, we worked out a smooth and very respectful understanding, and it’s great to be finally working with this legendary death metal band.”
Embalmed comment, “Embalmed is certainly excited to join the Transcending Obscurity Records roster. Kunal’s passion for music and success has made Transcending Obscurity Records one of the top global metal labels and we look forward to being a part of and contributing to it’s rampant growth. Kunal has the drive and ability to spread our brand of relentless death metal to it’s most proper brutality-craving audience.”
Blaspherian have ex-members of the legendary band Imprecation but that’s not their only claim to fame. They’ve released one killer output after the other and focus on creating the darkest and vilest form of death metal music. Comparisons to Immolation and Incantation can be made but they have their own brand of dark death metal, one that’s deafening and reeking of evil. Aumkar Lele talks to band founder and guitarist Wes Weaver about the current activities of this formidable group.
Transcending Obscurity (Aumkar Lele): Hello Wes! How are you doing? Greetings from this side of the world!
Blaspherian (Wes Weaver): Hails! All is well, we’re writing new songs and gearing up to record!
TO: To begin with, in December last year you guys posted about entering studios in February 2016 to begin recording the new album. Tell us more about the album and would it be different from your previous release, ‘Infernal Warriors of Death’?
Blaspherian: Well I had a few health problems, so the recording has been pushed back. We’ll record drums in May, and guitars, bass and vocals soon after. We have 8 songs written, and we are quite happy with them. Not much different, maybe somewhat more streamlined, other than that it’s straight up satanic death metal!
TO: Who will be doing the artwork for the upcoming album? How important are artworks to you and your band? Do they hold significant promotional advantage?
Blaspherian: We will be working with Juanjo again. He already has the title and concepts ready and should be sending me some sketches very soon. He is one of the best right now we look forward to seeing what he comes up with! As for the importance of artwork, yes, of course! We want a professional product, one that looks visually stunning but also represents what the music and lyrics are about!
TO: Over the span of 12 years since your formation, Blaspherian have released only one full length album; however you have released a lot of split CDs, couple of compilations, EPs and demos. What was the reason for doing so many splits, EPs and compilations as opposed to releasing a full length album?
Blaspherian: The reason is simple – we like doing them! We release a full length when we are ready and have the appropriate amount of music, so we’ve been writing and have enough songs so we’ll be releasing the next full CD!
TO: You recently cancelled two of your upcoming shows due to health issues. Hope everyone’s fine at the camp. Does playing this kind of music take a toll on your health by any chance?
Blaspherian: I had some issues but they are all worked out now, so really no, the music etc had nothing to do with it. Really it was bad life choices overall more than anything else.
TO: With so many death metal bands coming up these days, how do you manage to keep your material relevant? How challenging is it to come up with newer material? What is the thought process when writing new Blaspherian songs?
Blaspherian: I’m not sure how to keep it relevant. Very simply put, I write what I write, we arrange it and that’s what it is. Hopefully people like it. But if not, that’s ok, we do it for us anyway. We do it because we like to write music and record, and play shows too. The thought process is basically about writing dark riffs with some evil emotion in them, heavy, doomy and dark.
TO: Before Blaspherian, you used to play in Imprecation which achieved cult status. Can you tell us more about that? Presently, what difference do you find in the song writing or composition process?
Blaspherian: It was an honor to be in Imprecation; the writing is similar, between them and us, so without a doubt they are my biggest influence. But despite the similarities there are also differences, in that I do not write exactly as Phil or Ruben did back in the day. I think I have my own style, and I always work on sounding different. If we have a part that’s too similar, we don’t use it. Also cult status is cool. It was a special thing to be around all the way back at the beginning of something truly special.
TO: You have been active in the metal scene for a really long time now. What kind of a change do you see in the metal community when comparing the scene in the ‘90s to the current one? Also how difficult is it to sell CDs or merch nowadays in comparison? Can you please shed more light on this?
Blaspherian: It seems to me that people were more of diehard fans back in the day. I don’t see the dedication Blaspherian had these days. Music is becoming increasingly hard to sell, especially CDs, but shirts always sell. Anything with a killer design or sick artwork sells. I think that is the key – your merch has to look killer.
TO: There are many new death metal bands coming up these days, especially in death and black metal. Do you still find the time to listen to and explore new underground bands or do you enjoy listening to old death metal giants like Incantation, Immolation and others?
Blaspherian: Yes, we keep up with as many new releases as possible and that’s because we are fans of metal, not just a band. We collect and listen to underground metal – heavy metal, thrash, death and black. We can’t get everything, but we do get many releases from the bands we love old and new. I’m always excited about a killer demo or killer re-release on vinyl, and of course WE WORSHIP all the old killer releases of Possessed, Poison, Incantation, Sacrifice, Immolation, etc.
TO: Do you like Indian food at all? What is the perception of Indians there? Does it come to you as a surprise that there’s a thriving metal scene here, and many of the death metal fans are into your band?
Blaspherian: I have a lot to learn about Indian food, so my familiarity is very limited, but my girlfriend loves it! I am surprised about metal thriving there, mainly because the Indians here don’t seem to care, but we HAIL all fans of satanic death metal! It doesn’t matter to me if they are Indian or American!
TO: I heard that you will be releasing your official merchandise shortly through upcoming Indian label Transcending Obscurity, targeted for the region in particular. What led you to that idea? Also can we expect a future collaboration between Blaspherian and Transcending Obscurity when it comes to putting out releases as well in the future?
Blaspherian: We were approached by the label boss Kunal Choksi and it seemed like a great idea to get some stuff out over there. I’m not sure exactly what will be released yet but for sure a shirt and more than likely at least a mini CD, or EP for sure!
TO: Thanks a lot for doing this interview with us. Are there last words that you would like to say to our readers? Any word of advice for your fans here?
Blaspherian: Thank you for doing the interview Aumkar! Thanks also to our friends and fans worldwide for the support! KEEP THE BLACK FLAME OF SATANIC DEATH METAL ALIVE! Hopefully we’ll see you on tour someday!
Terrific Kansas City, US based death metal band Marasmus will be releasing their new full length album through Transcending Obscurity International Distribution. The band’s brand of death metal is absolutely lethal, unrelenting and pushes forward the sound of the genre without diluting the original essence. This is for the fans of old school-rooted death metal as well as those who’re looking for that added extremity and speed in their music. Marasmus take no prisoners, and are bound to spread their reach around the world with this deal.
Transcending Obscurity owner Kunal Choksi says, “Marasmus‘ music just blew me away. I came to know of them honestly from my writer Chris Dahlberg, who had rated their release ‘excellent’ in his review, and when I checked out their music for myself, it was indeed that. Such death metal bands are very hard to come by and considering that they weren’t signed, I wasted no time in contacting them and expressed my interest in working with them. Marasmus‘ new album will be released through Transcending Obscurity International Distribution, and all efforts will be made to ensure that their music is superbly distributed and promoted, along with the TO label stamp, around the world.”
Marasmus vocalist and co-founder Devon Ferrara says “Marasmus has been waiting for a label like Transcending Obscurity to help spread our music. We have been working for years practicing our craft to show the metal community what we have. Kunal and Marasmus seem to have parallel minds in what our band needs and we feel this is going to be a great business partnership. Given that we are both very driven entities, Marasmus and Transcending Obscurity are a match forged in the underworld.”