Monthly Archives: April 2013

KALEIDOSCOPE #14 & THE RESURRECTION OF THE OLD ISSUES

Number fourteen… Full of death and metal. Gladly the good people in New Era Productions and Tour De Garde took the heavy weight of printing, packing and marketing off my back, so I can just concentrate on what I love to do most. So read my descriptions of these bands in #14 and make an order. Or two.

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Kaleidoscope #14. This means 20 A4 pages in a well-known rip-and-paste layout.

As said, this time I don’t take care of distributing, so individuals, distros and demons, feel free to harass these henchmen:

TOUR DE GARDE (that side of Atlantic)

NEW ERA PRODUCTIONS (this side of Atlantic)

Prices and contact:

NEW ERA: Five Euros / a piece including postages in Europe, six Euros / a piece including postages outside of Europe (Paypal: neweraproductions.nl@gmail.com)

TOUR DE GARDE: tdghq@t-d-g.net

Trades are also negotiable.

 And the bands…

ANHEDONIST

Although death metal is getting just darker and more sinister nowadays, only few bands have dared to make the same thing with classic death/doom combo. Well, Anhedonist has enough courage and vision to do this, and they really know how to inject that certain blackness into their slow rumblings. Also their lyrics aren’t just stories about the tears of a melancholic vampire but symbolic and hopeless journeys into the mind of a lost man. Therefore I tried something else with this interview and made every question based on Anhedonist’s lyrics. Check out how it went.

Estrangement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvVFnj2MB3I

BEYOND

Beyond… Aargh! More brutality, but this time it’s in the form of primitive death metal which doesn’t make any compromises. If you own this German band’s demo or 7”, you know what to expect, but if you haven’t ever heard about them, why not check the teaser song from their coming album? Here’s the link, then you can die.

A new album track (rough mix): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss95FdULOeU

CONVENT GUILT

Convent Guilt was a quick replacement for this issue and I’m glad I took this chance. No death metal but rocking and grooving heavy metal with an Australian feeling. Tears, sweat and blood (and beer too!), slow epic moments and totally brilliant guitar solo duels. You know you like it.

http://www.aurora-australis.com.au/releases/AAR_009.htm

SUOMI KUOLEE – THE RISE OF FINNISH DEATH METAL

You must be blind and deaf if you haven’t noticed all these new and not so new Finnish death metal bands around the scene. We Finns aren’t just shy losers in the shadows of our brave and extrovert Swedish cousins anymore, but Finland can throw a legion of good death metal bands into the battle anytime. How the hell has this happened? Well, three bands – Corpsessed, Ghastly and Stench Of Decay – and a Dark Descent main man Matt give some ideas and explanations.

TRIBULATION

And then a real treat. Tribulation’s The Formulas of Death is maybe the best death metal album of 2013 so far, and I must say that this interview is one of the best ones I have made. Enough said.

More about this album: https://kaleidoscopemag.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/the-chosen-three-february-2013/

And then digging a few graves…

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This was just an idea I haven’t thought, but now it’s visible and happening. Almost all the old issues of Kaleidoscope will be available again, in print. There are some small changes and refining present but otherwise they look as they were, with flaws and all. However, the size of the zine can be different than before, mostly A4 to A5 to save your money. Only issue #7 was left out of this because of its extraordinary layout.

Again, New Era Productions and Tour De Garde will handle orders and possible wholesales. Do what you have to do.

TOUR DE GARDE: tdghq@t-d-g.net

NEW ERA PRODUCTIONS: all five euros each including postages in Europe, or three issues for 12 euros. Six euros / a piece including postages outside of Europe.
Distros can contact for trades and wholesale prices. (Paypal: new.era.productions.nl@gmail.com)

#1 (2005): AGALLOCH, THE GAULT, PEST, VERGE, CONJURATION, TODESSTOSS, MEPHISTO & NUIT NOIRE – 48 pages

#2 (2006): KILL, NOCTURNAL GRAVES, IC REX, THESYRE, IRELAND UNDERGROUND, BONE AWL, MORBOSIDAD & NECROS CHRISTOS – 44 pages

#3(2006): FORGOTTEN WOODS, TOIL, HATEFUL ABANDON, SLIDHR, PRIMAL DAWN & THRALLDOM – 40 pages

#4 (2007): AMESOEURS/ALCEST, CURRENT 93, BLASPHEMOPHAGER, HYPOTHERMIA, ARKHA SVA, GRIPPIUD, RIDE FOR REVENGE, SECRETS OF THE MOON & PRIMORDIAL – 40 pages

#5 (2008): TRELLDOM, DROWNED, INCANTATION, ASH POOL, SOL, RAMESSES, COFFINS, DENOUNCEMENT PYRE, ARVET, PROFETUS, IGNIVOMOUS & EXORCISM – 64 pages

#6 (2008): FOSSBRENNA PRODUCTIONS, THE RUINS OF BEVERAST, EMPIRE OF THARAPHITA, CELESTIAL BLOODSHED, DROWNING THE LIGHT, SATURNIAN MIST, VASSAFOR, DEFUNTOS, LÖNNDOM & MANES – 56 pages

#8 (2010): ALTAR OF PLAGUES, AUSTERE, COLDWORLD, CROOKED NECKS, CRYSTAL DARKNESS, FLEURETY, BLACK MAJESTY, TRIPTYKON, SAROS, ALCEST, IN THE WOODS… & HATEFUL ABANDON – 48 pages

#9 (2010): ARCKANUM, SATANIC WARMASTER, WEAPON, CRIPTA OCULTA, VETALA, AKITSA, TERVAHÄÄT, LANTERN, ANU, DøDSENGEL & BLOOD REVOLT – 60 pages

SATAN’S FIRE! – WEAPON

And then there was Nine… After the successful trip to death metal in the form of Serpentscope #1 I continued with Kaleidoscope, and like issue #8, also issue #9 had its own (quite loose) theme: national awareness. I gathered different bands from different countries – from Canada to Portugal, from Finland to Bangladesh – and tried to find out how their own nationality and cultural heritage show in their music. Many interviews worked out well, and that always important in-depth feeling flowed through the whole issue.

So it’s easy to pick interviews from this issue for this blog, and the first one is Weapon. Vetis Monarch has showed that his writing pen hasn’t gone dry after From the Devil’s Tomb –Emblems and Revelations (2012) was as challenging and fierce as its predecessor. Somehow I still like more of this more obscure and “vague” atmosphere on From the Devil’s Tomb but still, the fire is burning as high as always. Are you ready for some lefthandpathyoga?

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(originally published in Kaleidoscope #9 2010)

From the welfare funland of Canada to the deprived streets of Bangladesh and back, the main man of Weapon, Vetis Monarch, has faced the both sides of this twisted world. Same time he has built his own belief system, where Kali and Lucifer walk side by side to the dark enlightenment. From the Devil’s Tomb, Weapon’s new full-length, is another step on this road, and it can be seen a great example of a symbiosis of tradition and new wisdom –musicwise, lyrically and ideologically. Like these journeys through the barren wastelands and faceless utopias would have swept away the shackles and the door to the inner sanctum of self-expression has been found.

 So last year we were blessed with Weapon’s debut Drakonian Paradigm, which was a result of a long incubation… Maybe a good start is to give Vetis Monarch an opportunity to compare Drakonian Paradigm and From the Devil’s Tomb: how does this new album differ from your debut in your own words?

– Perhaps the biggest difference is that we are more focused as a band; that comes from having a lineup that is on the same page both spiritually and musically. Releases prior to Drakonian Paradigm had a little bit of everything, but Drakonian Paradigm itself was primarily focused on atmosphere above all else. On From the Devil’s Tomb we have shifted our attention towards pummeling brutality more than ever before.

Maybe this is the reason that From the Devil’s Tomb sounds more dynamic – I don’t mean that it is more straightforward or simpler, but somehow the whole musical flow is stronger and more natural, like the last obstacles have been removed from the way of the fiery stream… Comments?

– I would say it IS more straightforward; the album flows really well and it is seamless in its development. We are all getting better as songwriters and starting to understand our ‘own sound’, so the cohesiveness of the band’s chemistry is coming through tenfold.

I guess that one reason for this is the progress as a band which has four different individuals who know each other better now – especially your guitar work and The Disciple’s drumming flow together seamlessly and fluently. How would you describe Weapon’s growth as a band?

– The current incarnation of Weapon – Vetis Monarch, Apostle VIII, Kha Tumos and The Disciple – is the one that has lasted the longest. And that’s saying something, considering that both A.VIII. and K.T. have only played on one album, T.D. has played on two, and the band has been around for almost eight years!

– Since T.D. and I enlisted Apostle VIII and Kha Tumos the band has truly come together. I think we have grown more in the last one and half years alone than the last six years. As I explained in the first question, it really is a matter of everyone being on the same page and sharing the same vision.

And when we talk about From the Devil’s Tomb as an album, what kind of a whole are we dealing with? At least LEFTHANDPATHYOGA is a definite interlude and a calm moment between the storms, but how would you portray the first and last half of this album, for example the role of quite epic finale, Towards the Uncreated?

– This album presents a fine balance of very fast, blast-beat oriented, riff based attacks, and mid-paced, wrist cutting numbers. The Weapon sense of catchiness and melody is ever-present. LEFTHANDPATHYOGA, in my opinion, is what brings the whole thing together – as you said, a calm between the storms. Towards The Uncreated is the obvious closer – not for the lyrics alone, but for its climactic ending from a purely musical standpoint.

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The usual comment is that the debut is always the best one: the band is usually full of energy and ideas, and when this all is bursting out, the result is something unique. However, the second album is described as a hard one, but sometimes the band’s vision is sharper on the second album. Well, in one interview you mentioned that Drakonian Paradigm “describes the beginning and the end of Weapon”, but what does From the Devil’s Tomb describe?

From The Devil’s Tomb should be absorbed as the logical continuation of Drakonian Paradigm. We are further exploring the Satanic paradigm, the world of mystery and adversity, of strife and reward – as above, so below. This is just the next logical phase of our paradigm.

– But I don’t subscribe to the ‘first release is the best’ school of thought; Reign in Blood, Under The Sign…, Persecution Mania and Master of Puppets are some obvious examples bands releasing some of their strongest work after the debut.

I would see the trail of releases as a trail of progression for a band and individuals – every album is a step towards enlightenment and self-examination, be it something new and different musically every time or just same as other releases… How do you see the role and importance of Weapon releases for you as a musician, a magician and an individual? 

– My persona can be divided into two parts – Satanist and musician. With every Weapon release I am developing my SELF. The two are so intertwined at this point that it’s only a matter of time that my SELF is the culmination of these two elements. This is not a weekend / hobby band and neither am I a weekend Satanist. Everything in my life – from short-term goals to long-term plans – is dependent on the functionality of Weapon. The deeper I delve into this, the more I have to improve myself as a Satanist and a musician. Stagnation and regression are not part of the Left Hand Path.

But it’s true that this journey never ends – we are never complete and we are always collecting pieces and finding new territories from the worlds and from ourselves. And this journey is made in many different levels. One of these levels for you seems to be this mystic lefthandpathyoga… Could you open this term a bit for us – does it include both spiritual and physical sides like ordinary yoga? “Your body is your temple” kinda way?

– LEFTHANDPATHYOGA is my work on Satanism from a global standpoint, if you will. My one true god has been around since the beginning of it all, and His stamp – sometimes profound, often subtle – can be found in every corner of the globe. LHPY is a doctrine where I analyze different satanic traditions, and apply them to the development of my mind and body. The application is done in the way that yoga works – in the form of bhakti. That is as clear as I can be regarding something that is quite personal.

Your new album is entitled From the Devil’s Tomb. This interesting name plays games with death and reincarnation in my mind, but what kind of meanings does it have for you? What is coming from the devil’s tomb?

– We are! The mongrels, criminals, degenerates, outlaws, outcasts, sociopaths perverts, terrorists, radicals and fanatics – all of us who embrace the predatory instinct. All who take their murder weapon from the Devil.

The devil is usually understood as an embodiment of all evil in Christian world, but same time it is only one form and name for the entity which is present in many religions and belief systems. And we can’t forget a viewpoint where the devil is a dark side of a man – a side which is usually denied but is still very important to achieve the total harmony inside of us. But of course what does interest us most is your view – what does the devil mean to you?

– A combination of enlightenment and adversity; Satan is Lucifer is the Devil. Many other names can be anointed to Lord of Evil. Point being, ‘it’ is a force and ‘it’ is physical reality – the embodiment of power, knowledge, chaos and revolution, not limited by the duality of Western thought; shapeless yet concrete, mystical but manifest.

The devil is a personification, like angels or demons in general. But do you take them as more realistic characters, not just symbols of evil, good etc.? And how about music, can it be a ritualistic tool or door to get contact with these spirits?

– Absolutely it goes much further than mere symbolism. I believe in the existence of actual daemons – the Qliphoth – and the seals and sigils associated with them are of great benefit in the pursuit of gnosis. Music can be the ultimate ritualistic gateway; music has the power to take you to that grotesque, carven portal that leads to the world beyond.  Music as bhakti can do that!

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One important theme for this issue of Kaleidoscope is cultural awareness; the question about the importance to understand your own cultural roots and their role in your life. I think that with your life story you could be a right person to say a word or two about this topic. But first could you tell something about your life between Canada and Bangladesh and how have these two cultures affected to you?

– These are two very different places we are talking about here. Canada: developed, vast, wealthy, cold and ‘tolerant’, Bangladesh: poor, small, densely populated, hot and ‘conservative’.

– I do believe that Bangladesh still has some it’s own culture left – I won’t go into detail as to what those cultural traits are (you can Google that), but for one of the most populated regions on this shithole of a planet, there is still something of a ‘Bengali culture’. Does Canada even have its own culture? I don’t see how it could, since the foundation of this whole continent are immigrants from every corner of the world who are more interested in bringing their own customs across the border than to adapting to whatever has already been established.

– It is important to know where one comes from, and to have an awareness of the country one resides in. Aside from that, my interest in borders and heritage is quite non-existent.

So can you say that you even have your own culture, or does this become unimportant – maybe spiritual and Satanic belief and rituals have replaced it?

– At this point in my life things like culture and background are very uninteresting to me, except from a musical and religious standpoint. I am not some humanitarian, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there are people of high intelligence and intellect from all ethnic backgrounds, just as there are morons and idiots from all places. When it comes to social interactions of any sort I’m interested in the merit of the individual, not his/her people.

As you already hinted, you have seen places and people who live under the laws of very strict belief systems and religions. But can we say that this kind of a pressure can also create the strongest opposition? For example a black metal band in Iraq must be very strong in their belief while it’s easy to play black metal and shout – usually hollow – Satanic statements here in Finland…

– I don’t think it’s fair to generalize that just because a band is from Iraq or Bahrain or whatever, they must be 100% genuine in their conviction. Yes, logic does suggest that individuals who grow up around immense hostility and conflict will walk the talk, but this is a musical subculture we are talking about… a very watered down, mutilated and trendy musical sub-culture. Finnish or Iraqi, British or Chilean, Canadian or Bengali – my blade will be merciless and vehement upon ALL.

For me Weapon mixes different cultures and ways of evil together – like this Kali / Jesus duo on the cover of From the Devil’s Tomb – so it makes me think that maybe nationalities aren’t the most important element after all; maybe we can find the common ground from our spiritual point of view – for example Satanism as a new connecting factor?

– That’s the principle tenet of LHPY – Satanism as the ultimate connecting factor, connecting the dots and reaping the rewards.

– Weapon isn’t here as some wake-up call to some “patch-vested, bullet-belted infernal, satanic horde” or other such nonsense. We find that sort of mentality plebian at worst and juvenile at best. Crowley’s words are very applicable here – DO WHAT THOU WILT. Satan’s fire, nation, empire – is something that has to dwell inside of you, the SELF. All else is irrelevant. Jai Bhairava!

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THE CHOSEN THREE: MARCH 2013

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The grip of winter has started finally to fade away, and although as a true servant of black and death and doom I should curse all this light and warmness, I can’t do anything else than just caress this coming spring. Great things are happening in a Kaleidoscope camp, and the posts in this blog will have a totally new meaning soon. You will see.

This month’s cocktail is quite interesting: it’s balancing on the edge of cold and warm, Nordic and exotic, so be open-minded.

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CULTES DES GHOULES: Henbane (Under the Sign of Garazel 2013)

Somehow I hadn’t paid attention to Cultes Des Ghoules before this – this is just one of those situations that you know the band but don’t bother to check them out. Luckily I changed my mind, because this Polish act proves to be a unique band – and their latest album Henbane is one of the highlights of the early 2013.

But where does lie the charm of Henbane? I guess the trick is the way how Cultes Des Ghoules combines old and new. As one of the song titles say, this is ‘Vintage Black Magic’ so you get lots of Celtic Frost, Tormentor and Mayhem but same time you get long songs with different shifts and changes. Simple caveman riffs are interrupted by twisted guitar attacks, and the vocals – one of the strongest elements on this album – differ from chanting mumbles to screams from a grave. There is something similar with Negative Plane, and surprise surprise – Nameless Void, a guitarist/vocalist of this US occult metal group, is lending his talent on Henbane. By these powers, Cultes Des Ghoules creates five stunning songs. My personal favourite is maybe Festival of Devotion, which is one of the best metal songs I have heard for a long time – from thrashing Mayhem tributes to blast frenzies and limping grooves, everything works… and the song is almost nine minutes long!

Another element which is very powerful in Henbane is horror – be it horror stories, horror movies, pure occult mysteries or tales of myths, this album dives deep into the darkness and weaves a web of fear. And what is the best part, this element isn’t just a random frosting but can be heard in music too. Check the tormenting downbeat/guitar wailing end of The Passion of a Sorceress or the lurking atmosphere of Vintage Black Magic for example – if that’s not horror, I don’t know what horror is.

A heavy black horror metal album. Sounds an extravagant description, but that’s how it goes. Okay, a bit dull and tiring sometimes, but as I said, still one of the surprises and dark highlights of 2013.

Festival of Devotion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lM7_y9QHuQ

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SACRAMENTUM: Far Away from the Sun (Adipocere 1996 / Century Media 2013) 

Ah, the memories of the mid nineties… Nuclear Blast catalogs and feverish searching for every band which had Dissection, In Flames or Dark Tranquillity references. Well, during those times I introduced myself to many good bands like Dawn but also stuck my hand in shit (anybody remember a band called Embracing for example?). I guess Sacramentum was too aggressive and ‘evil’ to me back then but now I have a second chance with this Swedish (of course they’re Swedish!) band, when Century Media re-releases their debut album (remastered by Dan Swanö, who else?) with nice liner notes by the band.

What you get is genially fast and dynamic melodic black/death metal which is so full of melodies that you almost taste sugar in your mouth. Luckily Far Away from the Sun isn’t a light album – the raspy vocals of Nisse Karlén, blasting drums of Nicklas Rudolfsson and a general dark aura take care of it. If you think of the structure of this album and also the songs themselves, Sacramentum plays a bit safe – the songs are quite similar compared to each other, and you get those trademark elements like a monumental epic (Beyond All Horizons, a simply brilliant song!). But same time this trio brings everything on the edge, pushing every note and every pace to the max, so it’s impossible to resist the charm of Far Away from the Sun.

Buy this, even the price (12 euros) isn’t an excuse in this case.

And if you’re still unsure, I’ll give the stage to my colleague in Serpentscope, Antti Korpinen of The Serpent Bearer magazine. As an expert of the music like Sacramentum, he’s ready to explain what makes Sacramentum a noteworthy melodic black/death metal band. And if the stars had been in a right position, would Sacramentum have been the next Dissection?

– I probably don’t have a softer spot than the one I have for mid-90s Swedish melodic black metal. Of course I mean bands like Vinterland, Swordmaster, Mörk Gryning, Setherial, Dawn, Vergelmer, Midvinter, Ancient Wisdom and – yes! – Sacramentum. At their best, these bands are just the pure amalgamation of fire and ice – intense and cold, freezing and aflame. And there are other bands, although many of them are the ones you use once and then destroy. Even when you look at the names I mentioned, without doubt their candles burnt bright but not very long. Alas, that’s what happened to Sacramentum as well. While Far Away from the Sun could be considered exceptional – if not original or unique, per se – their second and third albums were real letdowns.

– So I think that answers the second part of your question. The band had the financial backing of Century Media, so I think the stars actually were aligned for Sacramentum, and the only thing missing was a really good second and/or third album. Then again, we’re yet to see a band that fills Dissection’s boots. As far as I’m concerned, Dissection died with their fuckin’ boots on (Reinkaos reigns!) anyway. At any rate, for me, Far Away from the Sun is among the top three releases in that school (not counting Dissection albums) with Vinterland’s sole full-length and Mörk Gryning’s Tusen År Har Gått. So if you’re not Dan Swanö who still laments that Edge of Sanity didn’t make it as big as In Flames, you won’t care about Sacramentum never making it to the big league. Whatever unmet commercial potential Sacramentum might’ve had 17 years ago is meaningless, whereas the artistic accomplishment that is Far Away from the Sun still stands tall.

Sacramentum in Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sacramentum.death.metal

Beyond All Horizons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjSKWrq2hGc

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GOAT: World Music (Rocket 2012)

A band called Goat. A song called Goatlord. What is happening here? Well, very strange things I must say. Take a bunch of musical outcasts from Korpilombolo (Northern Sweden), give them strings, percussions, maracas, shamanistic outfits and a record deal, and you get World Music. This nicely packed album represents its name very well – spices from African, Indian and Scandinavian world music are mixed in a big bowl with the seventies’ psych rock, and the result is interesting. Songs are like improvised pieces of musical rituals, full of hysteric female chanting, screeching guitars, repetitive rhythms, ethnic tempos and those maracas. Also the lo-fi soundscape takes your thoughts to some cheap African music compilations – but this time music is actually good. It’s hard to describe Goat completely, check yourselves and see what happens.

http://goatsweden.blogspot.fi/