Necrowretch feature for Iron Fist

The wretched forms of death metal have been yanked from the ground over the last five years by youngsters desperate for the taste of blood and whilst many drag its name through the mud, others keep the primitive roots alive. French duo Necrowretch are one example of this, with frontman/guitarist Vlad picking up a guitar purely because of hearing Death’s ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ and six months later Necrowretch’s first demo was born.

“It was an amazing part of my life when I discovered so many death metal bands and in a certain way ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ was the highlight of this period and today it remains my major death metal influence”, Vlad reminisces. “The unholy alliance between Schuldiner and Reifert is just perfect and it delivers the true essence of death metal: raw, primitive, evil!”

 

This year’s debut ‘Putrid Death Sorcery’ saw the band beginning to find their own path with a record pummelling you from start to finish through a rabid tempo and savage aggression akin to eighties thrash and death coming to a head with one another. Slowly growing their following after appearances at Copenhagen’s Kill Town Fest in 2010, it was during an album launch for Asphyx that their viscious show caught the attention of Century Media. The record label took the band under their wings like label mates Sonne Adam, another band with a passion for traditional extremity but how does one tell between those who are true and those following the latest trend?

 

“I don’t really know, as I’m young and wasn’t part of the previous decade of death metal. I started playing music to make something similar to ‘Scream Bloody Gore’, and then the music became more personal and Necrowretch became its own”, explains Vlad. “Unlike our first recordings, I feel that we don’t sound like Autopsy or Nihilist anymore but actually came up with an evil and sick sound of our own that is hard to pigeonhole. I’m sure it’s the same way for a lot of metalheads playing in this “real” death metal vein. Of course there are also a lot of posers only using a HM 2 pedal to have a flat sound and to play the same riffs of Dismember, and I don’t like this kind of “copy paste” death metal.”

 

One man that refuses to listen to anything other than real metal is of course, Fenriz of Darkthrone. Linked heavily to Live Evil Festival, which will see its third festival causing havoc in London later on in the year, his Band of the Week choices are a strong focus for the line-up, a list Necrowretch were lucky enough to be a part of. The band’s first attack on our shores will be surrounded by the likes of Satan and Midnight to name a few but Vlad, Amphycion (bass) and new drummer Executor plan to step up to the mark.

 

“Be prepared for something very evil! We’ll play with all our guts and add some bestial touches for this show. The set will include many songs off the album that we never played live before. Be ready for your funeral! It was fucking amazing to be picked as a band of week by Fenriz. It’s a real honour for us to be heard by a metal veteran and to play with the other killer bands.”

 

Despite growing up in an area desolate to the metal realms, the joys of tape trading for the band and close friends helped Necrowretch witness the underground scene within their homeland. He believes there are plenty of killer bands “but sadly there is not enough support as people here are more into shitty core bands.” When asked who he would choose if he had the opportunity to step into Fenriz’s boots only French acts are listed, including Ritulalization, Affliction Gate and Cadaveric Fumes.

 

Sticking with the stereotypes of the underground, Necrowretch’s demos and EPs were only available on tape and quickly sold out, however a compilation is soon to be available on CD. In previous interviews, Vlad shared that he felt the past recordings should be left in the shadows of Necrowretch due to their sound evolving so rapidly, however the change of heart means “that for the first time all the recordings between 2009 and 2012 will feature on one disc, which is a great opportunity for people that have discovered us through the album and want to know more about the band and its filthy roots.”

 

Since ‘Putrid Death Sorcery’ was unleashed at the beginning of this year, Vlad claims the band are more ambitious than ever and that despite it being a huge step, the goal is still the same – “to play our passion for extreme metal.” A year has passed since recording the album for which Vlad, Amphycion and session drummer Mörkk quit their day jobs to concentrate on and Vlad believes they achieved the evil envisaged. “I think some parts could’ve been done better but the goal when we entered the studio was to unleash hell through our music and this was reached as the devil appears in the first seconds of the album.” Despite a clean production, Necrowretch keep the raw formula throughout all their recordings and this could be due to a ridiculously quick turnaround time. The recording process for the EPs took a mere day each whilst the debut was completed in ten days, so how on hell does a band work under such time frames?

 

“Ten days to record the album was a very long time for us and we even finished the instruments two days before the schedule. When entering the studio we are as possessed as when we are playing live. I can feel a certain darkness embracing me as we’re creating an ugly child. I feel comfortable playing eight hours of guitar non-stop. It’s just a very long trip into the dark. Also the studio was in a basement, so we were totally cut from the world; playing, eating, sleeping and living in this rancid lair for almost two weeks. It added a creepy ambiance to the album that you can feel if you listening carefully with headphones.”

 

Quite frankly, residing in a tomb has added the exact ambience Vlad speaks off and we can only hope that their second effort, which he promises will be “more bestial than the beast himself”, alongside the compilation ‘Bestial Rites’ resurrecting  proof of the primitive , will be even more of a terror for the masses. With a tour crushing over Europe planned alongside Swe-death slaughterers Morbus Chron and a hint that the band will rear their ugly heads at next year’s Party.San Festival, we can be left foaming at the mouth in anticipation for their possessed arrival. “London will burn… and you’ll die!”

Lily Randall

 

Published in Iron Fist

Svart Crown – ‘Profane’ [9]

Despite being a lesser known act compared to many that have been bred in France in the last decade, Svart Crown are by no means flagging when it comes to producing to a first-class metal record. Their previous two albums received rave reviews from those who could be bothered to embrace the blackened death they conjured up and this instalment certainly breaks the third album curse. In a similar vein to 2010’s ‘Witnessing The Fall’, the French four piece entwine death metal brutality with a blackened melody, as vocalist JB’s deep growls engross your aural passages alongside tremolo picking and chunky riffs. The tempos twist and turn a lot more than on their sophomore effort, creating a more organic and technical feel and the layers flow from one track to another with a pleasant unease.

‘Genesis Architect’ is a prime example of blastbeat-fuelled fury full of sinister undertones and ‘Profane’ continues to creep up on you with sudden break downs and slower, more evil-sounding entities. Svart Crown have stayed loyal to their proposed weapon of soul destruction and instead of experimenting with their style, have continued to evolve when room for improvement has been suggested. Hopefully 2013 will be the year that underrated Svart Crown burst into action, just like the pregnant woman on the front cover.

Reviewed by Lily Randall

‘Profane’ is out 22nd April on Listenable Records

You’ll like this if… you like your blackened death brewed to a dark and modern blend of tastiness.

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Published at http://www.soundshock.com

 

Damnation Festival review

Despite their British brothers only just finishing over on the Eyesore stage and the layout of the Union being such a maze, the room is already buzzing by the time Winterfylleth take to the stage. With this year’s release ‘The Threnody of Triumph’ reaching the top of many metal fans’ charts, the band has plenty of positive energy to unleash in such a negative manner. Their black metal continues to flourish with atmosphere and guitar layers epic enough to become an ethereal alternative to the national anthem. LR

Extreme Noise Terror are next on the Terrorizer stage and despite sharing Winterfylleth’s nationality, this is all the bands share when it comes to sound. The crust titans showcase their earlier punk style along with their more modern grindcore twist and despite the loss of late frontman Phil Vane, the band do him proud, as Dean Jones fills his shoes and stomps them all over the stage, inducing the first major pit and crowdsurfing session of the day. LR

Vreid bring back the darkness to the Terrorizer stage with their melody tinged black metal and fly the flag for Norway in style. Despite three band members being previously associated with Windir, Vried have a much grittier attack, which is displayed even more so live with tracks like ‘Raped By Light’ and ‘Pitch Black’ getting heads banging. Their slightly more black’n’roll approach makes for a catchy set and we’re sure many new fans have been created tonight. LR

Norway continues dominate the Tez stage as Aura Noir unleash the black thrash attack we were expecting. 2012’s ‘Out To Die’ sounds as killer as it did when the album was launched and accompanied with a show a few months back in London and the leather clad lads cause the largest pit of the day. Classics like ‘Hades Rise’ receive a respectable shout-a-long as the speedy riffs tire us out further. LR

Belphegor bring their usual sadomasochistic themes to a frosty Leeds with a raw performance. Speeding through the likes of ‘Necrodaemon Terrorsathan’ and ‘Bondage Goat Zombie’ the blackened death metallers stripped down set seems to go down like a lead balloon for many punters with a lack of participation from the crowd. Then again, they have probably been drinking for hours. LR

Despite sharing a set time with the might Electric Wizard, the Terrorizer stage is still heaving as Pig Destroyer set out to have a sonic battle with the doom legends. This year’s instalment from the grind titans has been highly received and seems to have created quite a stir. Luckily, the recent video for ‘The Diplomat’ has not been an influence on any of the performance, but that is mainly down to the fact the music is already aggressive enough and gore aplenty. Admittedly the sound isn’t great, as the guitars get lost in the mix and overall the volume isn’t loud enough to melt faces like the record achieves. After a few technical errors, the band are back on track but there is still a little bit of regret after hearing about what went on upstairs with the ‘Wizard. LR

 

Bane – ‘The Acausal Fire’

After 2010’s promising debut ‘Chaos, Darkness & Emptiness’, Bane continue with a formula that works for follow up ‘The Acausal Fire’. The Serbian’s Scandinavian idolization is as apparent as before with a blackened death gem that has been polished off like a fossil from the nineties. The production is a lot cleaner than its forefathers’, but that doesn’t stop Bane from creating an atmosphere reminiscent of Dissection and the vocal balance between black and death flows in between a symphonic intro and outro in a haunting Belphegor manner. ‘As Chaos Rises’ embraces the epic and although the album seems to lose its ferocity near the end, a blinding cover of Dissection’s ‘Night’s Blood’ reels you back in. It may not be a game changer but it’s good to know that the Swedish storm has spread across the world.

3/5

Reviewed by Lily Randall

To be published in Iron Fist #002

Demonic Resurrection feature

It’s taken several attempts but Indian death metallers Demonic Resurrection have finally landed on our shores and what better debut appearance to have than at Bloodstock Festival. After the success of 2010’s ‘The Return to Darkness’ and a Metal Hammer gong under their belts, Lily Randall spoke to frontman Sahil ‘Demonstealer’ Makhija about Mumbai, metal and meat.

It may have taken over ten years for Demonic Resurrection to get to where they are but it seemed as though everything happened so suddenly. After their release of their third full-length ‘The Return to Darkness’, the band were a part of the prestigious Candlelight records and able to finally tour outside of India. After successful sets at Brutal Assault and Inferno Festival in 2010, Sahil was later informed his death metal five piece had won Best Global Act at the Golden Gods awards, something Demonic Resurrection were not expecting.

“We were actually called by a friend of ours who said ‘come and meet us here’. He’s actually one of the most influential promoters in India, he does a lot of conventions and stuff like that and he had been working with Metal Hammer for something”, Sahil recalls. “He said ‘look guys you’re going to win this award, you can’t tell anyone, go book your flights to England you’re going in ten days’. So the British council was very helpful, they helped us get our Visas and we were just like you’ve gotta be shitting me, this is not real! It was crazy seeing people like Machine Head and Vinnie Paul and Abbath! You dream of this.”

After having to pull out of 2011’s Sonisphere due to Visa issues, the DR are finally here at Bloodstock and playing the SOPHIE tent later on in the day. Demonstealer explains how happy they are to be here and that he “cannot contain his excitement”, as later on they will play to a rammed tent and showcasing their death metal with symphonic tinges. “You’ll see five blokes from India, nothing too fancy, but you’re going to see us play our heart out,” beams Sahil.

It’s not often you hear about bands from the East managing to break out to the masses but this in no way means the scene in India is non-existent. With the likes of Metallica, Machine Head, Opeth and Lamb of God touring over there lately, the metal community is growing. Religion and culture doesn’t seem to cause a collision either and Demonstealer believes it’s because the community is small enough to not get noticed. “I think in India, the metal scene is small compared to the other shit that goes on in our country so nobody really cares, so actually it doesn’t get much shit. It’s only when something could become a multimillion dollar industry that the government and officials would really start to care.” He explains that festivals can cause problems as well, “I mean, we’ve had a few problems but that’s mostly because everything is still very focused on the cities in India. We don’t have a concept of camping and things like that so festivals are still held in the main cities. We have sound curfews because of it but hey, so does London, so I guess we just have to move it outside.”

Makhija explains that although there aren’t that many bands in India compared to elsewhere in the world, the competition is still strong due to a lack of venues and so forth. Also due to the class barriers, the working class have no access to English-spoken music and therefore are loyal to tradition. “I think the bands that are at the top of the Indian scene will realise they need to branch out of India because we’ve maxed out here. There are only so many times you can play the same venue or festival. Once that starts happening I think bands will invest in travelling and then you’re more likely to get noticed and then obviously somebody will pick up on that and everything will become more structured.” Three bands Sahil has told us to keep an eye out for are heavy thrash metallers Kryptos, Mumbai’s metalcore Bhayanak Maut and groovesters Zygnema.

Despite being one of the only bands to break out of India, Demonic resurrection are humble and still feel pressure to do their country proud. Sahil explains how there is a lot of pressure for the band to prove themselves, “Of course you want people to see us and think, if that’s what Indian metal scene is like, then I’m looking forward to it.”

After changing their sound from a more symphonic influenced metal the band continue to slaughter with the blackened death we’re likely to see today. A new record is on the horizon and we hope this calls for a return to the UK. Sahil is sure of it; “As soon as we go back we start the re- production on the new record and hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be done with it. And then plan to release it early next year. We’re hoping to come back to the UK in 2013 and that it will be the year for Demonic Resurrection”.

After playing a fanastic set at Bloodstock and another smaller show in Camden the day after, Demonstealer’s passion for music goes further than on the stage, as he takes it into the kitchen as well. You may have heard of Epic Meal Time and the Vegan Black Metal Chef but you’re missing out if you haven’t checked out Headbanger’s Kitchen. “Well I started out with a production company, the same guy who produced the DR video. I had some free time and I started a food blog on FB and people seemed to like it, so I thought maybe I should do a video of this. At the time Epic Meal Time had just got big and I loved it, so I asked this guy if he’d help me do something similar.” The guitarist is also a passionate chef and takes homemade burger orders from his home in Mumbai, however he managed to find a way to merge his brutal contacts into the mixing bowl.

“Nervecell came to India, so I took advantage and filmed a show. After that it took a while but we got it out in 2011 and then started doing it regularly. We made it a proper show with an interview and a band tasting the food. Then the production company told us we weren’t making any money from YouTube so I thought fuck that I’ll do it myself. I taught myself how to film, bought some lights and did one with a local band called Albatross and more recently Lamb of God. It’s not as frequent as before but I’ve been busy with DR but I’ll keep doing it. It’s my love for food and heavy metal.”

After checking out Headbanger’s Kitchen and watching an awesome set by the Indian guys, we at Soundshock are starving and off to get a pork baguette, deep down wishing it was in fact a bacon bomb.

Feature by Lily Randall. Published on Soundshock.com

Shining/Enthroned/Svart Crown/Order of Apollyon @ Underworld, London

With the Shining’s apparent refusal to play anywhere other than London in the UK, grimsters have travelled far and wide to get their frostbitten fix. With this in mind what better warm up than blackened death debutees Order Of Apollyon, despite this being their first ever time playing together in the same room, the supergroup consisted of members from Akercocke, Aborted and Cradle of Filth. Regardless of their lack of gigging OoA manage to pull off a pristine set showcasing their first album and collecting up more minions along the way.

Next up is Svart Crown, who’s equally brutal blackened death attracts a larger crowd to unleash their varied tempos with a calm and collected live presence. The French metallic furies are definitely a diamond of a find for those here who haven’t heard of them before and cause the first pit of the evening. Lead support Enthroned appear to have quite a following already and concoct a sound much more raspy than the previous. Their almost symphonic black metal creates a Dimmu-esque aura and clearly attracts a similar crowd. Although their performance is tight, it seems a little style over substance for a line up leading up to a band such as Shining.

After faking his death frontman Niklas Kvarforth, is back for his second offering of his enigmatic personality after supporting Satyricon last year. Enigmatic of course, depending on your viewpoint of being vomited on from the stage. Shining’s depressive yet equally enchanting DSBM creates a room full of hypnosis, the audience’s heads banging in sync, almost like a nod of approval despite the front row being covered in sick. The Swedes, not to be confused with the jazz hands of the Norwegian Shining, wail out an array of their discography, which sounds clean and concise, a shame the smell in the air is not the same.

Review by Lily Randall

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