Sunday, 29 July 2012

Entrapment interview!!!!!!!!!

I had to wait some time before I got those answers from Michel Jonker, the man who stands behind monstrous and horrid thing called Entrapment. I had to send some plagues and viruses to The Netherlands and treat him, before he finally started to answer it. But it was worth waiting. Even though the answers are short, but it's good to support such great bands as Entrapment and see what Michel have to say about his old styled death metal band. Enjoy! And I'm waiting for the full length album from this band!  
You’ve been skinning the death metal maniacs with your band Entrapment since 2009. Tell me how did you come up with an idea to form a death metal project, especially one, which would evoke the old style, especially the Swedish sound? What have influenced you most and pushed you into it? And why have you decided to make it just one man band, instead of having a full line up, in which every member would be able to put his ideas and riffs into the music? Have you got some dictatorship tendencies or what hehe?
Actually I was so busy with other stuff that I didn’t have time for a full band anymore. At the same time I learned to make songs on my computer so I started to make death metal songs. After a while I had about 5 songs and I drew a logo and asked a friend of mine to record it. I made a myspace page, putted the songs online and Detest Records was interested.

Have you played in some other bands before Entrapment or this is actually your debut, as a metal musician? I ask about it, because you handle all instruments, including the drums, so you’re either very talented and learn to play very quickly or have experience from the past years, if you played in some other bands! Unveil the mystery, please!
Yes, I played in many bands already, all were underground metal, punk and hardcore bands. The metal bands I used to play drums in are Absorbed and Massive Assault. Both bands play Swedish style death metal haha what else. I also played in a very Swedish death metal styled punk band with female vocals called Makiladoras… We played about 230 shows in total.

Entrapment has released two demos in 2010. Tell me something more about those two tapes and what feedback did you get from the underground press and maniacs when these two demos were spread around?
Both tapes were recorded by a good friend called Richard Wieringa. He just started to record bands and was not much experienced. Good for me because I needed that old 80’s demo sound. We just went to the local practise room, set everything up and started recording. I didn’t mind about the tightness of the drums or the quality of the kit. I just battered the hell out of it trying to create the right atmosphere. After that we recorded the bass and guitars also very easily. A day later we did the vocals and the solos and that’s it.  The first demo released by Detest was sold very well. And still people asked for it.  The second demo I released myself and it’s time for a third round now… still also got mail people asking for it.

I must admit I sometimes cannot believe how suddenly the tape format has come back into the metal demo scene for good! I mean, few years ago everyone would probably release a CDR’s, as they were cheaper and easier to play. Recently 50% of bands are just doing the digital demos, which is something I cannot tolerate and stand. And then there are many bands, which all of a sudden started doing the tapes again! Don’t get me wrong, I like this idea, but what pushed you personally to release Entrapment demos on tapes and in such small quantities?
Well actually I didn’t know either, since I found out that tapes were back again. After Detest released the first demo I thought it was a good idea to release the 2nd demo on cassette too. Since I still love tapes I preserved all my old demo tapes very well.

Speaking of the limitations, “Putrefying Stench of Death” was released in the annoying quantity of 100 copies, which sucks, if you ask me! Any chance this material – as well as the first demo – will be re-released, maybe on CD, maybe on tape or maybe on vinyl?
100 copies was just a matter of money. I didn’t have the money for more copies at that time. But by now more than 200 copies are sold and soon I will get new copies.
There's an EP "Crawling Morbidity" just released by Detest Records. And this is how I got to know your band – I bought the EP and was blown away with the killer music. How did you get in touch with Detest and how come the demo ended up as an EP? Whose idea was it? And why have you decided to change the front cover of it (the MC version has different layout)?
“Crawling Morbidity” was meant as an EP straight away and was never released on cassette. After the recordings were done it still took about half a year before the release date. To kill time I just put the raw mix online under the name “Demo III”.

If you would have to compare “Crawling Morbidity” to the two previous demos, what would you say? What are the biggest changes, comparing them all? What makes you proud especially, when you listen to “Crawling Morbidity”?
Well, when I recorded the tapes there were no expectations at all, so felt very free to do whatever I wanted to do. Since those tapes sold so very well and people sending me mail about how they like the songs. There was a bit more pressure on my shoulders with creating the songs for the EP. But according to all the reactions it worked out pretty well!

“Mass Obliteration” is my favourite track from this EP. It sounds just killer, I especially like that ending part of it, when you slow down a lot and play almost Asphyx-esque sort of melodic guitar lead! Really, really awesome stuff... It’s almost a shame this song doesn’t continue for 2-3 minutes more, so good it is! Anyway, I’ve noticed your songs are pretty short, within the 2-3 minutes length. Is this the ultimate timing for the song for you, as this way they can be more right in your face and straight forward or something like that? Or maybe you consider composing some longer songs also, maybe more doomy, maybe more epic? I don’t know…
I was indeed very inspired by Asphyx writing that outro. I always loved the melancholic parts on Asphyx’ first releases.  The fact that the songs are pretty short must have something to do that I listen a lot to punk and hardcore too. I also think that my riffing is not interesting enough to continue more than 4 minutes haha. Actually I hate it with a lot of bands repeating riff after riff for like 6 minutes.  If people like the song I prefer them to put the song on repeat instead of getting bored by the fact that it goes on and on.

Zombifying Soultearing Death Metal… I’m an alien and have no idea what could that mean, try to explain it to me then!
It just popped up in my mind when I was creating the website. I guess the “Soul Tearing” part has something to do with the “Hellraiser” movies haha.

Cenobite death metal slaughter??? Hehe!!!! Being Dutch, I’m sure you’re full of admiration for the old death metal scene in your country, tell me then which Dutch bands or albums you like most? I mean there were so many once great acts – Acrostichon, Asphyx, Thanatos, God Dethroned, Sinister, Pestilence, Burial, Delirium plus a handful of demo bands, which are less knows, but still great like Excavation. Few of those bands have returned to death metal scene. Asphyx is awesome in my opinion, Pestilence did one great LP, but “Doctrine” is shitty... And Gorefest has split up again, because they didn’t get as much money as they expected!!!!!! Fuck! What do you think about such attitude towards playing metal of death?
Well all the bands you mention I love their first releases just as much as all the other classic death metal releases around that time. The more obscure bands like Excavation (I love their “Psychotic Possession” 7”) or Obtruncation, Bluuurgh etc. etc. are great too. Still got their demos. Maybe it’s nice to know that Henke (God Dethroned) is also the bass player in Entrapment on stage.

I’ve noticed on Metal Archives that you’ve found three live session musicians, so Entrapment is able to play live! Cool, but tell me if these guys will join you just for the gigs or will they fill up also the studio line up so Entrapment will start to be a real band?
As we speak we’re busy with recording the full length that will be released by Soulseller Records around October this year.  For the upcoming releases we will probably record as a four piece. For now only the other guitar player Jeroen (also in Herder) is contributing to the album.

I’ve watched on youtube a live recording of “Mass Obliteration” from the awesome Kill-Town Death Fest 2011. Tell me something more about this event, your view on the performances of the bands from it and the overall impression and memories you’ve got from this festival, which was like a great old school metal event?
Kill Town was a blast! The whole fest was based on only one thing: Old style death metal!  The bands were great, especially Sonne Adam blew me away!!

On Metal Archives photo you’re wearing King Diamond’s t-shirt! Are you a fan of master of horror? I think he’s done some of the best concept albums ever in the metal history! Nowadays I love Kam Lee’s The Grotesquery, which is also one big conceptual work, but in the death metal vein. Listening to his music while reading the lyrics is an excellent experience!
Yes I love concept albums like Sabath – Dreamweaver, but I guess it’s a tremendous work to create a monster like that. For sure I love the King… “Melissa” is probably my favourite record. Reading lyrics is not always a recommendation haha… I know many great albums with ridiculous lyrics. Also releases for Entrapment do not include any lyrics haha.

There’s a cover of “Supposed to Rot”, which I’ve found in the internet and which haven’t been used on any of your demos. Any plans to publish it on an EP or other future release? I ask, because this cover sounds so damn fuckin great!!!! Almost as good as original! Anyway, I guess this band (or bands: Nihilist / Entombed) was your main source of influence, what is undeniable when listening to such tracks as “Carnal Fears” for instance?
The song will be released on the Demo Discography (released by Godeater Records) and Slap Bet Records will do a 7” version of the 2nd demo which also will include this song next to a cover version of Crucifix’ “Three Miles to Oblivion”.

What are your nearest plans about Entrapment? Are you working on the new material, maybe you’re planning something really extra, like a full length album? I need to ask, if a debut LP is in plans, are you going to compose a fully new material or maybe put a mixture of old demo songs plus few new ones or whatever?
For sure we are working on new material. I give you the complete list of things to come: Entrapment –Demo discography 19 songs Digipack (Godeater Records), Entrapment – Full Length (Soulseller Records), Entrapment – Split 7” with Torturerama, Entrapment – Demo II 7” (Slap Bet Records), Entrapment – Split 7” with Massive Assault and Entrapment – Split 12” with Pyre (Detest Records).
Thanks for showing interest in Entrapment! Sorry for the late answer, I’m damn busy with shitloads of things at the moment!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Ectovoid - interview!!!!!!!

This band was really impressed me with their music. Once I've listened to the debut album from Ectovoid, I knew it's going to be one go the best death metal releases of this year and I sincerely have doubt that if you're into the old school stuff then you just must purchase “Fractured in the Timeless Abyss”!!!!!! Read my reviews of the demo and this album, to get more information, meanwhile I also have prepared this interview with Chris McDonald. Killer band!

“Sweet Home Alabama” – a certain grindcore band called Napalm Death… oh no, that was Lynyrd Skynyrd  (hehe) used to sign back in the 70’s. Would you mind to start this interview by telling me something about the place you live? What’s Alabama like? You know, everyone will know a bit about California, Florida or even Alaska, but some states like Alabama are not so well known. So, what’s the living there like? What are the most significant things I should know about Alabama?
We've all lived in Alabama our entire lives, so it is home to us. We all like it here and there are good things and bad things just like any location. The weather is usually good, with pretty mild temperatures overall, and the areas in which we live are pretty safe and uncrowded. There's plenty of nice scenery and wild areas, which suits us well. There's not a lot of other significant things about it that I could mention to you, though.

I actually know that Alabama is one of the most religious states in the US, located in the so called bible belt. I must say that this reminds those damn preachers, who make some religious shows, fooling people with the so called miracles and prayers, of course in exchange for shit load of money… Could you say that Alabama really is so religious and maybe also conservative?
Yeah, Alabama is definitely a very religious and conservative state as a whole. We don't really care, and it doesn't affect us much in any way. We don't have any angry zealots out picketing our shows or anything.

Do you think that the place of living influence the bands and their music? For instance the bands, which are coming from the frosty Scandinavia would usually play cold, misanthropic music, while there’s certain rawness and primitiveness which bands from South America share, maybe due to the conditions of living there. What’s your opinion?
I think it depends both on the location and the style of music being played. There's no doubt that certain styles and eras of music are influenced both by the location of the musicians and the history and culture that goes with that location. For instance, a lot of black metal bands in Scandinavia are clearly influenced by their ancient cultures and by the landscapes and scenery where they live.

Do you think that the same can be said about Ectovoid, that your place of living could influence you, maybe not necessarily Alabama as a state, but maybe the metal scene in there? Tell something more about it, about some cool bands from Alabama, if there are any worth checking and you’re in good contact with. I personally know and like Grave Ritual a lot, but maybe there are some more cool bands, which I don’t even know are from Alabama?
No, we definitely aren't influenced by our location or the scene here. I imagine we'd be making the same kind of music no matter where we lived. The scene is very small in Alabama, and while there's lots of good and dedicated people around, we don't feel we have much in common with many other bands here. We are good friends with a black metal band called Vulkodlak, who just released their first demo, which is killer. We are friends with the guys in Grave Ritual as well, and they are a great death metal band. I actually used to play drums with them for a while, back when they were known as Meathole Infection. Beyond that there's not many bands in our state that I'd recommend, but there's several great up and coming bands in the Atlanta, Georgia area, which is about two hours from us. These include Living Decay, Mangled, Disfigurement, and Sadistic Ritual.
Man, you must have forgotten about Chaos Inception, they’re absolutely amazing band! I’m quite surprised to see such young fellows playing this sort of obscure, morbid death metal. You know, most of the youth nowadays prefer more popular styles, while your music is deeply rooted in the old school death metal and bands like Incantation, Immolation, Goreaphobia… How did your interest in the old school death metal start? What appeals to you most in such sounds and which bands are the most influential for you? Quite often the reviewers mention the old Finnish death metal scene, bands like Demilich, Convulse, Purtenance, Demigod and I sincerely agree that some traces of their obscure sounds could be found in Ectovoid’s music as well.
It's just something that we've always enjoyed and connected with. We all listen to a lot of different kinds of music, metal or otherwise, but classic death and black metal is something that we've always had in common, and the more well known bands in these styles were some of the first that we heard. We are definitely big fans of Immolation, Gorguts, Autopsy, Incantation, The Chasm, Death, and many others. We really enjoy bands in the Finnish scene like you mentioned as well, especially Demilich, Rippikoulou, and Demigod.

Finally I need to ask also how did it all happen or what pushed you to begin a band like Ectovoid? What aims do you see for yourselves? Tell me also, and I hope this question won’t be asked in every damn interview you answer, what does the band moniker stand for?
The three of us had already been playing music together in various projects for around five years when we decided to form Ectovoid. We just wanted to start a serious band that we would really concentrate on and take to a level higher than anything we had done before, as well as explore musical styles we hadn't yet delved into. Right now our goals are just to keep writing the music that inspires us, releasing albums, playing bigger shows, and see where it all takes us.
In terms of the name, the suffix "ecto-" means "outer" or "outside," so the name translates to "outer void" or "outer space." Naturally, this name is very much related to our sound and lyrical themes.

I got your first demo from you recently. I must say that you impressed me with one thing more than with anything else. I mean, you spread the demo to everyone, who just asks for it, even give it for free, what is really cool, especially as many bands nowadays prefer to limit their demo material to some criminal numbers like 100 copies of something like that, which is stupid I think. Tell me something more about that and how many copies of the demo did you manage to spread until now? What purposes did you have for the demo and do you fill they’ve all been achieved, once you have also the full length album releases?
Our intention for the demo was just to establish the band officially and cement our intentions regarding themes and style. We wanted to offer the demo for free for this very reason, plus we recorded it ourselves and it didn't really cost us anything to produce, so we didn't feel the need to charge anything for it. We didn't even really send it to any labels, but we mailed out around 100 CD-Rs to people around the world who requested it, and the demo has been downloaded several thousand times as well. So there was a pretty solid demand for it, considering we were a new and unknown band. We definitely accomplished what we set out to do with it.

Is “Breathing Blackness” the way of how you got in contact with Hellthrasher Productions? I’m quite curious how it all went, as the band was only just formed in 2010! And you prepared the material for the full length album pretty quickly! Did you expect that the things will go so quickly or were rather ready to record more demos, if there wasn’t any interest from the labels?
Not exactly. We had already recorded the album when we started talking to Hellthrasher Productions. We posted a preview song online for people to hear and they contacted us and said they were interested in releasing it. Yes, we were a little surprised that everything happened so quickly and very pleased to say the least. We worked hard on writing and recording the material and it's great that it paid off and that things are moving along at a good pace now.

So, tell me how does it feel like to record such a killer album as “Fractured in the Timeless Abyss”? I’ve been truly astonished by those sounds and as far as I’ve noticed among other reviewers, this album do not leave maniacs careless about your music! You must feel truly proud and satisfied with the results?
Thanks very much for the compliment. Yes, it is very satisfying to have recorded and released this album and we are very proud of it. We are pleased and inspired by the positive response that it's already gotten. I think a lot of people out there understand and appreciate what we are doing. We look forward to hearing more reactions, good and bad, as we become a better known band.

Tell me who’s responsible for those gigantic, awesome riffs on “Fractured in the Timeless Abyss”? How did the songwriting process look like? Was it a contribution of the whole band or it’s one of you, who’s mainly responsible for everything? And tell me, what aims did you put before yourselves when composing this album and then while recording it and did you accomplish everything what was planned? I mean the music is equally brutal and heavy as it is atmospheric, eerie and sinister. Did you aim to combine these two elements together or this is just plain accident?
Our bass player and vocalist C.B. is responsible for writing the lion's share of the riffs in the band, which he usually writes on guitar. He is an extremely talented and motivated songwriter and is constantly coming up with new stuff for us to work on. I started playing the guitar last year and I have started contributing some riffs and ideas to the band as well, but C.B. wrote almost everything on our first album. We are all very involved in putting the finished songs together, however. I generally play a big part in determining the final song structures, and our guitarist M.S. adds his own touches in the form of harmonies, variations, and leads. I wrote all of the lyrics on the album except for two songs, which were penned by C.B.
In terms of plans for our sound, we just write what comes to us naturally and what sounds good to us, and what we feel fits well with our vision for Ectovoid. We try and write music that is dark and atmospheric while remaining very riff-based, energetic, and memorable. I think we accomplished this quite well on the album, but we obviously have lots of room to grow and evolve.

You’ve read my review, so I’m not going to repeat myself, but really the riffs, the atmosphere, ghoulish vocals and finally also this thick powerful production – all these things are top notch in my opinion. But try to review this album yourself, staying as objective as it’s possible, what you would write about “Fractured in the Timeless Abyss” if it came from different band?
Thanks again for the kind words. We are all quite satisfied with the finished results, but of course there's always things you wish you could go back and change. It's interesting to hear so many compliments on the production, because we definitely think that the production could be better, but that's probably partly due to the fact that it's hard for us to take a more distant look at our own work. This was our first time recording in a proper studio, as well as our first time recording this much material at once, so we definitely learned some things to keep in mind for the next recording.
Of course I am a tad biased, but I obviously like the music that we make very much, and I think we executed it well on the album. So if it was by a different band, I'd definitely listen to it.

Does “Fractured in the Timeless Abyss” introduce a sort of a concept? I ask about it even though I haven’t read the lyrics, but I just have this feeling like the awesome cover artwork plus such titles as “Dark Clouds of Consciousness”, “Murmurs from Beyond” or “Locked in Dismal Gaze” have quite a lot in common. Please tell me something more about them, if that’s OK for you!
It's not a "concept album" if that's what you mean, but we definitely have certain lyrical themes and inspirations that we focus on. Our songs generally deal with afflictions and suffering of the mind and soul, existence in various forms before and after death, consciousness inside and outside of the body, and imagery involving space and the cosmos. These are all concepts that we find both interesting and frightening, and are well-suited to our musical style.

You said about the existence in various forms before and after death. Tell me what do you think about such ideas as heaven and hell or reincarnation? Is there anything after death, in your belief? Also I wonder what do you think of the signs of the ghost existence? Do you believe that they may be haunting some places? And also that people, who call themselves as Mediums can actually contact the deceased? Or maybe these are all just mind tricks and people, who fool the others?
Well, I definitely don't believe in heaven and hell. Those are pretty ridiculous ideas, in my view, as moral codes aren't universal concepts. And I don't believe in reincarnation in the way that most world religions do - that is, that our morals and deeds from past lives influence our circumstances in future lives, or that we can meet the same people in different lifetimes, etc. I believe that consciousness is an eternal phenomenon without a beginning and end that manifests itself in the physical universe, and that birth and death merely marks the beginning and end of one particular manifestation of this larger consciousness - in this case, a human being. When the human organism expires, consciousness moves on to manifest in a new form. To go into more detail would take too much time, but these ideas are a large part of the lyrical themes of Ectovoid.
We all have different beliefs regarding ghosts. Personally, I don't think that people's souls come back to earth and try to torment or frighten living human beings - that seems pretty stupid to me. And I don't think people can contact or communicate with the deceased either. I believe that corporeal and ethereal beings reside on different planes of existence, completely out of contact with one another. Of course, people will always take advantage of the fears and superstitions of others to gain fame or wealth, if they can find people who will listen to and believe them.

But I guess every place has some ghost stories or places, which are supposed to be haunted. Any favourite ones from your local area?
I personally don't know of any haunted houses in our area. I would be interested in going to one though, if only for my amusement. Suffice to say, I'm very cynical about things like that.

Do you think that people still read and care about the lyrics of the bands? I’m asking this, as nowadays many, many people (and I deliberately won’t call them fans) just suck the cocks of mp3, do not collect records anymore and are just fine having the soulless music files. In that case they don’t probably care about the fancy artworks and probably also about the lyrics… But personally I always like the bands, which still care a lot about every detail of their records, because there are some maniacs like myself, who still love to collect records, read the lyrics etc. What’s your opinion on this?
I think there are definitely plenty of people who still care about lyrics and artwork, especially in the metal scene. In fact, I think metal has more fans that are into collecting the physical product than most other styles of music do these days. We know there are plenty of people who will download our music and not pay for it, but we don't care. We certainly aren't doing this for the money, and there are more than enough people still buying albums to make pressing them worthwhile. We take every aspect of our releases seriously, from the artwork to the lyrics to the layout and design.

“Fractured in the Timeless Abyss” is going to be released on vinyl format soon. This is great news for me, as I really would love to have it on LP rather than CD. Tell me something more about the Blood Harvest version of the album, will it have some extras like bonus tracks, more detailed artwork or poster or something like that?
Yes, we are very excited about the vinyl release, especially considering Blood Harvest has released numerous albums that we all listen to regularly. The vinyl version will be basically the same as the CD though, in terms of looks and content.

Ectovoid is yet another great US death metal band, which I liked a lot and which belongs to the new generation of old styled bands. I wonder if you know bands like Encoffination, Skeletal Spectre, Horrendous, Father Befouled, Disma, Vasaeleth, Coffin Texts, to mention just these few? What do you think of their music? Maybe you’ve got also some more favourite bands of the present?
Yes, we are familiar with all of those bands. We particularly enjoy Coffin Texts, Disma, and Vasaeleth. In terms of other modern death metal bands, we listen to a lot of Necrovation, Pseudogod, Dead Congregation, Ignivomous, and Grave Miasma, to name a few. We also love black metal bands like Inquisition, Sargeist, Taake, and The Ruins of Beverast, among many others.

I know that you write reviews for one of the webzines. Tell me what is harder for you - to write the music or write about the music? What is your attitude towards the reviewed material usually - do you pick every detail of it, including every technical aspect of the music or simply write what do you like or not about the album?
Yes, I have written for for around five years now and have written over two hundred reviews for the site, as well as several other features. That is definitely an interesting question that you ask. Obviously, writing music and music journalism are completely different art forms, each with their own rewards and challenges. I couldn't really compare one to the other in that sense. When you write music you are creating something entirely new, while reviewing music involves expressing your reaction to something that already exists.
When I review albums, I try and zoom in on individual details, such as production quality and musicianship, as well as give my perspectives on my overall reaction to the music. Sometimes these things may not be in complete congruence with one another. For example, I could admit that an album has mediocre sound while still enjoying its affect on the songs.

When doing the reviews you obviously must have heard a lot of new bands and albums, tell me then which were the ones, which caught your attention most? Is there something what would you recommend to my readers?
In the last year or so I've given high scores to the albums "Deathwomb Catechesis" by Pseudogod, "Curse" by Wodensthrone, and "III" by Aosoth, all of which I would highly recommend to any fans of epic black and death metal. 

OK, reveal to us the nearest plans of Ectovoid, maybe for some 7”EPs or something and finish this interview with few words of wisdom! Thanks for your answers, taka care!
We don't have any new releases planned right now, but we are already working on material for our second full-length, which is going well. Also, the "Breathing Blackness" demo will soon be repressed on pro-printed cassette with new artwork by Unholy Domain Records, which should be great. Beyond that, our plans are to keep promoting the album, work on new material for the next record, and try and get some good shows set up. Thanks very much for the great interview, we appreciate the support!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Centinex - Subconscious Lobotomy

CENTINEX - Subconscious Lobotomy (THE CRYPT - LP 2012)
Although I have missed several releases from The Crypt Records during the last 12 months, I still consider this label as one of the best around the metal underworld and respect them for high quality vinyl releases. I managed to buy some LPs, which they have unleashed in the beginning of their activity like the first presses of their Excruciate’s “Passage of Life” and Purtenance’s “MCMXCI – MCMXCII”, as well as the LPs of Utumno, Uncanny, Furbowl and Pan Thy Monium, just to mention few, but then I also didn’t have a chance to buy some others like Gehenna, Toxaemia and Antropomorphia (now I’m hoping to buy Thou Shalt Suffer double LP set!). But Centinex’s thrilling debut album “Subconscious Lobotomy” was definitely on the top of my shopping list. Although not all of Centinex’s future albums are so great, this debut from 1992 is my favourite LP of theirs and since it’s the first time it ever has been released on vinyl I just had to have it. Knowing the amazing work on some of the previous The Crypt releases I only expected the best from this version of “Subconscious Lobotomy” and man, I definitely fuckin got what I wanted. The whole set includes two 180 gram vinyls – 300 on red / white splatter vinyl (which I have) and 200 on standard black LP (which I wanted), all housed in a 350 gram reverse board gatefold jacket. The front artwork of it is not the same as on the Memento Mori’s CD re-release, it’s way better, here it’s done by Chris Moyen and it looks fuckin awesome, but if you prefer the original, primitive and somehow funny and ugly original cover with the first Centinex logo then you’ll also find it in the middle of the gatefold. The cover has also all the details about each recording, which is on this version of “Subconscious Lobotomy” plus some words from Martin Schulman. There is also a four page booklet included, with the lyrics from the album, archival band photos collection, all the demo covers as well as the scans of some interviews from old fanzines (unfortunately most of them are in Swedish). Finally I must mention that this vinyl version of “Subconscious Lobotomy” compiles together not only this full length album, but also all the demos, which Centinex did prior or right after this album. And so you’ll also find here “End of Life” demo from 1991, “Under the Blackened Sky” demo from 1992 and “Transcend the Dark Chaos” from 1994. Arrghhhhh, isn’t that a truly awesome collection of some of the best Swedish death metal, which was recorded at that time? And again The Crypt has done amazing work, when collecting these recordings and with the way they putted it all together. Just to give an idea and compare, recently I also bought Funebre’s “Cranial Torment” LP, which Xtreem Music has released. It is a compilation of Funebre’s demos, so it’s something very exciting, but the way Xtreem has released it is so poor that I feel like they’ve just have no imagination or will to make it truly worthy and pay the rightful tribute to this great Finnish band. When I compare “Cranial Torment” to “Subconscious Lobotomy” then I want to laugh. The Crypt has done perfect job. There’s everything I look for in such re-releases / compilations: not just plain music, but also something extra, every detail is treated with care and the result couldn’t be better. See yourself from the photos, which I include here.
As you may have noticed I haven’t really written anything about the music, but I don’t see a point. First of all I’m going to publish a loooonnngggg article about Centinex soon, with the reviews of all their recordings, so there I’ll write more about the music. But will that be a surprise if I say that it is killer death metal? “Subconscious Lobotomy” is definitely my favourite LP from this band’s discography along with “Malleus Maleficarum”, the second album. It’s classic Swedish death metal, recorded in Sunlight, so it really has everything what’s needed to be placed right next to “Like an Ever Flowing Stream”, “Clandestine”, “Passage of Life”, “Seeming Salvation”, “Bitterness” or “The Nocturnal Silence” (just to name few, as there are more obviously). Also the demo recordings are killer. “End of Life” was really good, definitely a killer demo, which maybe has more grind core influences than the rest of Centinex stuff, but that’s normal for the Swedish death metal bands I think and may be more of a result of rawer and dirtier production than with anything else. Then “Under the Blackened Sky” lacked some spark to be honest, it isn’t as good as the first album… from one hand the band has been progressing, but the music started to be too melodic. It’s still great stuff though! But then “Transcend the Dark Chaos” may even be my favourite of all Centinex recordings ever, this EP is simply awesome and is a real must to listen to. At the same time I must say that it is slightly different style wise to “Subconscious Lobotomy”. While the debut LP is pretty much classic Swedish death metal, then “Transcend the Dark Chaos” is more in the vein of melodic black / death metal and bands like Dissection, Sacramentum, Uncanny. It’s still classic Swedish sound, but just a bit different to “Subconscious Lobotomy”, it’s darker, more melodic and more uncompromising. As you can see then, this LP definitely helps then in getting to know the Centinex’ history, of their early sound, so there’s no better option that this wonderful vinyl set.
PS. Oh, did I mention that there’s also a fuckin’ huge poster with the Moyen’s artwork? No, well, there’re so many things on this album to be said about that I must have forgotten. Buy or die!
Final rate: perfect 100/100

Revel In Flesh - Deathevokation

REVEL IN FLESH - Deathevokation (F.D.A. Rekotz - LP 2012)
I must admit that I’ve really been waiting to hear this album. Ever since the first news about Revel In Flesh started to appear in the metal (internet) abyss, it caught my attention totally and I wanted to get the LP and that’s because everything around this band looked so exciting and killer. First I saw the logo, which is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen in my life, slightly close to Dismember’s, but fantastic anyway. Also the band moniker is great; obviously it let me think of Entombed’s “Revel in Flesh” track from cult “Left Hand Path” LP. Then I also saw the cover for “Deathevokation” – this time the title pays a tribute to the opening track from the first Dismember’s demo, “Dismembered” from 1988 – and again I was blown away. This stunning artwork, done by Mr. Castellano, is something I admire. This is sort of the artwork I love most, not those modern, photoshop made graphics, which look so artificial, but such drawings like the old stuff from Dan Seagrave, who I bet was a huge influence for Castellano, when drawing this picture for “Deathevokation”. So, you can see that everything around Revel In Flesh was like a “what’s the best in the old styled death metal” and that is why I also really wanted to hear this LP, hoping that the music will also truly possess me and torn to pieces mercilessly.
Well, to some point it definitely did, I do must admit that “Deathevokation” is solid and great LP, but at the same time I may feel slightly disappointed with it. Why? Well, it’s because I’ve listened to similar albums in the past year or so many times and thus it takes something truly exceptional to please me in 666% now. Of corpse I don’t consider myself someone, who is very demanding. Although I’ve been into this sort of music ever since I bought AC/DC’s “The Razor’s Edge” tape in 1990 and I know and worship “Left Hand Path” and “Like an Ever Flowing Stream” since probably 1992, it still takes not so much to really please me, I don’t care about originality and it’s enough for me if I feel enthusiasm, passion, energy and power from the metal. And in that aspect Revel In Flesh definitely succeeded. There’s everything what one would desire from old styled Swedish death metal LP, but from the other hand when I said that I feel slightly disappointed by it, it’s due to the fact that with such a huge number of bands and albums (or EPs, demos, etc), which came out recently with this sort of music, there happened to be few bands, which have done their job better than Revel In Flesh. I’m not gonna mention all of them, as it’s pointless, but I guess it would be enough to bring such names as Graveyard, Morbus Chron, Invidious, Miasmal, Interment, Demonical… and that’s just few (also, Cryptborn’s and Entrapment’s recent EPs are worth mentioning here!). But that doesn’t mean – I must say that again – that Revel In Flesh are not good at what they do. Definitely they are good and I can easily put this band and their debut LP right next to the likes of Entrails and Puteraeon.
If there’s something what I would point out as the biggest disadvantage of “Deathevokation” then I guess I would need to say it’s the monotony. After few spins of this LP I more or less got to know it pretty well, as this music is quite catchy and sticks in the head relatively easily. It isn’t complex, it’s rather groovy in many parts, also melodic, but still very aggressive and often also fast as hell, but despite that there’s this feeling like Revel In Flesh’s music is too predictable, it covers the similar type of ideas and riffs all the way through and so it lacks a spark or something else, what would truly put my stereo ablaze. There are many killer riffs, including some infectious melodic ones, there are also many great tracks, but at the same time there are also some less interesting ones (like “Crowned In Darkness”). I’m not gonna call them fillers, but you must realize that with 45 minutes long material some less effective fragments must have appeared also.
Anyway, I can spot more positives than negatives and as overall I like “Deathevokation” a lot. It’s difficult to resist it and not to bang the head, when the band plays so fast or groovy and when the energy fills my house with exploding effect. Such tracks as “Black Paled Energy” and “Culpa et Inferna” are truly awesome and they make me like this LP a lot, so I definitely do not regret purchasing it. Besides, this vinyl is just wonderfully released. Obviously the artwork looks spotlessly, but this LP includes also an inlay card (great Revel In Flesh’s zombies drawings!), a poster and a sticker. I’ve got the black LP version and I’m happy. I also have noticed that while the CD version of “Deathevokation” has Benediction’s “Subconscious Terror” cover (spelled as “Error”), vinyl has Master’s “Pay to Die” (from “Master” LP) cover (here titled “P.T.D.”), which is “a salute to the long bearded metal monolith from Chicago” hehe. I’m sure Speckmann will be pleased. Enough said! If you dig all those old school Swedish sounding death metal bands, then you must add Revel In Flesh to your shopping list.
Standout tracks: “Black Paled Energy”, “Culpa et Inferna”, “Shadowbreeder - Until Hell Freezes Over”, “Iron Coffin”
Final rate: 80/100

Cryptborn - Born From the Grave

CRYPTBORN - Born From the Grave(DETEST Records - 7"EP 2012)
Cryptborn are back! Hell, I have been waiting for something new from this Finnish combo and it did feel like a long time since they’ve released the debut. But as soon as I got the chance I didn’t hesitate to buy this EP. And that’s not only due to the fact that Detest Records never released a shitty stuff, but mainly because Cryptborn’s previous release, killer “In the Grasp of the Starving Dead” MLP, provided an exceptional listening experience and I really wanted to hear something more from this Finnish squadron of death. I know that EP may not be enough to satisfy the hunger, but at least “Born from the Grave” (which has been unleashed on two different colours of the vinyl, mine is black) at least will make the awakening for the full length album slightly shorter.
As you may expect, this EP consists of two tracks only, but they’re both real death metal classics, which are shredding and killing within seconds; I must say that when I listen to them I think they’re even superior to the stuff, which Cryptborn has putted on “In the Grasp of the Starving Dead” – even if there was absolutely nothing wrong with this MCD. But the feeling, when I listen to the track called “Born from the Grave” is just incredibly intense. I mean every time I hear its opening theme, with its infectious melody I just start to bang my head immediately and roar in frenzy. This is truly excellent piece! Definitely Cryptborn is more melodic in it, than they had been on “In the Grasp of the Starving Dead”, but they kept this doomy death metal style from the previous material intact. The tempo is rather slow in this song, what sounds like something really creepy was just crawling towards you, coming out of the catacombs of rotten death in order to turn you into blood and meat stew. Oh, how amazing the atmosphere in this song is, you won’t believe, but it’s truly eerie and as the whole I think “Born from the Grave” belongs to my favourite songs of the past two, three years, speaking not just of the old school Swedish death metal, but metal in general. Meanwhile though it’s time to swap the side and “Pleasing Rotten Image” is on the B side. I think I can say that this song is very similar to the stuff from “In the Grasp of the Starving Dead”, really, what means again doomy death metal with the Swedish sound and with a lot of similarities to the early and recent Grave albums. But again Cryptborn creates truly thrilling atmosphere and again the song is extremely brutal and dense, even despite the fact that the tempo is so slow in it, with only one part, when it slightly fastens and gets even more intense. Ha, I think it actually makes it even heavier, especially when comparing it to many other old sounding death metal bands of nowadays. Oh, “Pleasing Rotten Image” also has slightly more melodic theme somewhere in the middle, so again this song just have everything what I would expect from Cryptborn.
After listening to “Born from the Grave” EP several times this morning I must say that this is yet another killer 7”, which I had luck to purchase in the past months – and yet another from Detest Records, what must be underlined, as this label puts out only killer releases. I thought it couldn’t get any better than “Crawling Morbidity” from Entrapment for instance, but here we go - an awesome slab of obscure death metal, which sounds incredibly Swedish, even though it came from the Finnish band, and incredibly old school, even though it was recorded in 2012. I definitely recommend it to every maniac of this sort of death metal; get it before you regret that you missed your chance!
Final rate: 90/100