Wednesday, 31 January 2018

SABATON Interview [Pär]: We like to stay away from current warfare. We tell about historical events

Swedish Heavy Metal giants SABATON- who are well known for writing music based on wars, historical events and heroism. Their songs usually have a grand appeal that draws influences from classic Heavy Metal of the 80’s with a subject that strongly defines their music alone. We are interacting with Pär Sundström; the band’s bassist and the only other original member alongside Joakim Brodén. Excerpts: 
MJM. Hello and first of all thank you for taking the time to chat with us. How are you doing today?
Pär: I am fantastic, we have had a few weeks of non touring which we have used wisely to work on future music. At the moment, we don’t have so much more to reveal but at least the songwriting started!
“We are more away from our families than most people”
MJM. Your last album ‘The Last Stand’ came out 2016; how has the response been?
Pär: Fantastic, we are absolutely excited about how fans enjoyed our latest album. To be able to play more than half of the album every night and see that the fans love it is great. It means that we do not rely on songs we wrote in the past but still have the ability to write new songs that is great.
MJM. Being almost constantly on the road, touring; how do you balance time with your personal life?
Pär: We live very closely with the band and it’s a part of everything we do. We ensure that all members have a good life and we make the best of the free time we have. We are more away from our families than most people but still there are a lot who have it more harder than us.
MJM. Sabaton has quite a spread discography having put out as much as 10 full lengths so far with ‘The Last Stand’, how do you go about when it comes to choosing songs for a tour or live set list?
Pär: Its getting harder and harder to select songs for live sets. But we are happy as long as we can focus on a lot of songs from the latest release. We cannot play 4 hour sets every night so it is always a compromise which older songs fit in. We try to rotate and always get in some older and unexpected songs to vary also!
“The 2012 big lineup change was a result of no chance the previous 13 years of the band where we held together”
MJM. Sabaton is known for covering world war topics of various kinds; is there any war or happening in the world you haven’t yet covered?
Pär: There are many current wars that we are not covering for the reason that we like to stay away from current warfare. We tell about historical events and not about what is happening today. There is a chance we will in the future sing about conflicts that are happening today. But first they must be solved in one way or another, become history and then we can tell that story!
MJM. Being one of the leading and heavily touring bands in Europe; the life style must be quite hard with being on the road and stressful times as well; could that also be a reason perhaps for the line-up changes for Sabaton over the years?
Pär: The 2012 big lineup change was a result of no chance the previous 13 years of the band where we held together, but people grow and change priorities of their lives.
It is hard for people to imagine this life before they try it and it is definitively not for everyone. For me personally it is great since I am a very simple person without too tight connection to any place or anyone in the world.
MJM. Sabaton has been around for a long time what are your best moments in your career with Sabaton?
Pär: There are lots of fantastic times. And we have done great shows in our lives. But to see a number one chart position in our home country is something that is hard to deny as a fantastic feeling. When it comes to shows, I’m not so interested in numbers, I remember many sweaty tight club shows as well as the arena shows. But one thing that was a big highlight for me personally was after the big lineup change in 2012 when we did our first show and saw that it actually works great now!
MJM. How would you compare Carolus Rex with your last two albums- Heros And The Last stand; musically and lyrically?
Pär: Carolus Rex of course has a completely different lyrical theme, being a concept album about Swedish history. I would also say that it is one of the albums that I have something I would like to change afterwards. I think it is too much of everything. We overuse the might of choirs and mighty orchestral arrangements in every song. The album gives not much room to breathe. On the same time I hold the Swedish version of the album as the highest.
The other two albums you mentioned are both written where we started to include new members in songwriting and I think that was a big leap musically.
MJM. How does the writing process for each album start? Do all guys get together and share your ideas or is it mainly Jaoakim and Per who is known as being the main composer for Sabaton or does anyone in the band incorporate their ideas too?
Pär: An album starts with me and Joakim who sits and discusses the possible themes. Joakim is the main songwriter who would later go ahead and create the majority of the songs by himself or with other people. And finally me and Joakim would be writing the lyrics when we are close to recording times.
MJM. Which of the recent tracks would you say is your personal favourite?
Pär: Shiroyama, and Winged Hussars for sure! 
MJM. Aside from playing at various European festivals you also have a festival in your own home town ‘Falun’ called ‘Sabaton Open Air’ how did that idea come to life?
Pär: I wanted to make something more than just a show. Its my way of doing things that I always wanna push everything to the max. So the festival started with a one day event with mainly local bands and evolved into what is now a 4 day open air event with 2 stages.
MJM. What sparked your interest to write about War?
Pär: We always were interested in war, history. And when we were looking for a theme for our music this seemed very close at heart. I personally think it fits great with the music and the lyrical theme.
MJM. Which era of the wars would you say is the most interesting? What provokes that idea in you?
Pär: World War two is my favorite since it involved so many different kind of warfare. Water, air and land plus it was a time of very quick inventions and since it was fought on several continents and with lots of countries there are many stories. But also it is the first really good documented war. Films, photos and stories are quite accurate compared to previous war stories.
MJM. Out of all stories you’ve read and researched, what was the hardest war to research about? Or rather found great fascination with?
Pär: Sometimes the themes only are a few local rumors in a part of the world and we have to do a lot of research and try to dig out what actually happened. It happens if we find a interesting idea without any information about it. Today, its much easier than when we started to write songs about war in 2004. Internet made it easier to seek the info and to connect with the necessary people!
MJM. Out of all festivals that you played how would you compare the European festivals vs the Swedish festivals as well as audiences?
Pär: I think the major festivals are many times similar no matter which country they are in. Only our own festival is something different since it gathers the most dedicated fans from all around the world.
MJM. It was great talking to you. Thank you for your time! All the best!
Pär: Thank you too!
Connect with the band
Interviewed by-
Oliver Dahlbäck
PS: All pictures belong to respective owners. No copyright infringements intended.
All b/w pics by Ryan Garrison; Photo credit by Tim Tonckoe; Severin Schweiger respectively. 

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Brand new interview with Cradle of Filths Richard Shaw Guitarist Cradle of Filth New Album Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay

CRADLE OF FILTH: We wanted to make an old school ‘Cradle of Filth’ album
UK’s Extreme Metal icons- Cradle of Filth‘s axe man Richard Shaw sat down to chat with us about their new album and the future plans and how things have been with COF all these years. The new album- Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay (2017) is now officially released via Nuclear Blast Records worldwide. Excerpts: re post from MJM Magazine by Oliver /Harsha

MJM. Hello Richard Shaw, thanks for taking the time to talk with us! How are you doing today?

Richard: I’m doing well, thank you. Very busy but feeling good.

MJM. Your new album ‘Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay’ comes out September 22 and I personally must say it’s one of my favourite COF album.

Richard: Thank you very much. I’m glad you like it. We enjoyed making it and we’re really happy with the fan and critic response so far.

MJM. A lot of fans and Media are saying that the new songs are way more melodic then previous discography which makes them think of material from Cruelty and the Beast, Dusk and Her Embrace; with a more modern approach is that something you’ve intentionally did with this album or was it just natural progression?

Richard: Half and half I’d say. When Ashok and I joined the band in early 2014 and was asked if we’d contribute to the last album, ‘Hammer of the Witches’, we wanted to make an old school Cradle of Filth album but with a fresh approach. We feel we achieved that on the last album and it was received well by the fans. We began writing that album when Ashok and I had only been in the band a few months, whereas on this album we had been in the band a few years. We know each other a lot better now and we know how far we can push each other’s abilities, whether it be songwriting or technical. We definitely wanted to make a more cinematic sounding album and I think we pulled it off.

He happened to be reading a lot of Victorian literature at the time, and was heavily influenced by the Victorian obsession with death and the occult.

MJM. Cradle is known for doing brilliant concept albums and with ‘Cryptoriana…’ being described as infused with Victorian Gothic horror, how did that idea come to mind?

Richard: That was an idea that Dani came up with later in the album writing sessions. Musically the songs were nearing completion when we were finalizing the arrangements in Brno, Czech Republic when Dani realized he needed to begin writing lyrics (other than ‘Achingly Beautiful’ which he had left over from the previous album sessions). He happened to be reading a lot of Victorian literature at the time, and was heavily influenced by the Victorian obsession with death and the occult. It seemed a natural fit to the music we were writing.

Dani has over 900 film soundtracks in his collection

MJM. On this album you also featured Liv Kristine known from the Nymphetamine era; how did that idea came about? And what did she bring to the table this time?

Richard: Lindsay came in to record her vocal parts and something wasn’t quite clicking with that song. I’m not saying Lindsay didn’t do a good job on the song, it’s just that that particular song required a different kind of vocal approach. Scott (our producer) suggested Liv, and she was happy to be a part of it. It’s a nice little homage to Cradle of Filth’s past, while at the same time, this is a very different song to ‘Nymphetamine’.

MJM. Dani had earlier mentioned that the band is deeply inspired by movie soundtracks. Which are your 5 favorites that you cannot stop loving?

Richard: I think; we all love film soundtracks, but Dani and I are probably the biggest fans. Dani has over 900 film soundtracks in his collection, I have nowhere near as many. My top five (off the top of my head) would be:

Danny Elfman – ‘Edward Scissorhands’

Hans Zimmer – ‘Gladiator’

Wojciech Kilar – ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’

Daft Punk – ‘Tron Legacy’

Danny Elfman – ‘Beetlejuice’

MJM. You joined the band quite recently. How do you share your relationship with the other members?

Richard: We all get on really well. We seem to gel musically and personally. We all have our own little quirks and idiosyncrasies that we respect and we get on great.

MJM. Tell us about your older projects and the bands you played prior to COF.

Richard: As a session musician, I still play guitar for orchestras and musical theatre, as well as playing guitar for local pop singers. I play for a karaoke band and an acoustic covers band. My two old bands, Emperor Chung and NG26, unfortunately are not as active as I’d like them to be, as we are all so busy (me especially) that it’s difficult to get together. I tend to now fit in one off projects between Cradle of Filth tours.

MJM. This is your sixth album where you’ve worked with producer Scott Atkins. What new ideas did he bring to the table this time, I understand you guys are also working with Scott for Devilment?

Richard: He’s a great producer with an incredible ear. He’s a guitarist too so he knows exactly how to get the best of me and he knows what makes a great player play at their best. He’s also great at trimming the fat, getting rid of parts that are simply unnecessary. He has the big picture in mind. He has worked with Devilment too. It makes sense. Dani has found a producer that really understands what he wants but at the same time really pushed him to deliver more than what he feels he’s capable of.

We’d go over the songs for a few hours a day and then just hang out and simply be friends the rest of the time. Like a Cradle of Filth holiday/ team building exercise.

MJM.  Let’s talk about the artwork for this record, Cradle is known for its exquisite art and detail, I understand you continue to work with Artūrs Bērziņš, who also directed the video for “Heartbreak and Séance” How did that relationship start?

Richard: From what I gather, Dani was introduced to him when we were looking at artists for the ‘Hammer of the Witches’ album. He did the artwork for that album and did an incredible job, he’s simply fantastic. We knew we wanted him to do the artwork for ‘Cryptoriana….’ but he mentioned that he’s also a film director. Once we saw some of his work, we knew he was the perfect choice to direct the ‘Heartbreak and Seance’ music video.

MJM. How did the writing process for the new album go about this time around? I read somewhere that you went along with the filths to some Team building weekend in Czech Republic could you elaborate more on that?

Richard: We had been writing by ourselves for some months before we went to the Brno in the Czech Republic. We tend to write whole pieces of music by ourselves. Martin brought in three songs, Daniel, Ashok and I brought in two songs each. Then over a period of months we discuss the notes and chord progressions but the we got together in Brno (where Martin and Ashok live) to finalize the arrangements face to face while Dani started working on the lyrics. That week was great. We’d go over the songs for a few hours a day and then just hang out and simply be friends the rest of the time. Like a Cradle of Filth holiday/ team building exercise.

Cradle of Filth‘s ‘Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay’ in stores and online at the Nuclear Blast Webstore

Friday, 25 August 2017

Austrian Black Death Metallers Belphegor present new lyric video for the track Apophis - Black Dragon taken of their new album TOTENRITUAL,

Austrian Black Death Metallers Belphegor present new lyric video for the track Apophis - Black Dragon taken of their new album TOTENRITUAL, out September 15, 2017 via Nuclear Blast.

Track listing

01. Baphomet
02. The Devil's Son
03. Swinefever - Regent Of Pigs
04. Apophis - Black Dragon
05. Totenkult - Exegesis Of Deterioration
06. Totenbeschwörer [Instrumental]
07. Spell Of Reflection 
08. Embracing A Star
09. Totenritual

Evadne - A Mother Named Death (2017) - Review

Band: Evadne
Album title: A Mother Named Death
Release date: 26 June 2017
Label: Solitude Productions

01. Abode Of Distress
02. Scars That Bleed Again
03. Morningstar Song
04. Heirs Of Sorrow
05. Colossal
06. 88.6
07. Black Womb Of Light
08. The Mourn Of The Oceans

In the last couple of years we have seen a rapid growth inside the doom metal genre, with some older bands like for example My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost still raging strong, it's nice to see more and more underground bands bringing out some amazing doom and the truth is that the underground doom metal scene has actually some of the best bands right now, we got bands like FrowningVanhaSorrowful Land and many more who pretty much conquered 2016 with amazing albums. Now we have the pleasure of enjoying yet another amazing band from the doom universe, Evadne. Their new album A Mother Named Death is as beautiful as it is sorrowful!

The band formed back in 2003 in Spain, probably not the country you'd expect to find a prominent doom band to come out of. With one full length album, The Shortest Way (2012) and one EP, Dethroned Of Light (2014), behind their back, they are now regarded as one of the pioneers and leaders of death/doom in the Spanish scene.

While having toured with bands like Evoken ,Swallow The Sun and Novembers Doom, to name a few, they quickly established a strong fanbase. Their new album A Mother Named Death is again one of those doom/death metal records that you just love from the start, without going into too much in depth talk, we can safely say that everything flows together very nice and the songs feel like they have been matured a bit more while also retaining their old-school sound, one thing that is perhaps a bit unexpected is their blending of black metal influences in some parts of the songs.

Evadne is not the type of doom band where you can expect them to be lingering on one riff for ten minutes, they bring everything to their game. Sometimes the songs are almost too fast for being described as a proper doom metal, but I guess this is up for some other discussion, some people might say its more black/doom rather then actual doom/death, hence the growling vocals. The album is characterized by heavy guitars, strong rhythmic line, gloomy keyboards, and growl performance in combination with parties of pure vocals, and all these things make the music of Evadne diverse, emotional and fascinating.

Overall the highly atmospheric sound on this record is amazing, extremely melancholic and organic. It's hard to pick up favorites as the entire record is a pure milestone of doom, raging from slow funeral doom tempos to more typical death metal tempos and it's safe to say this is a record that will keep the listener occupied for a very long time. Lingering in a time where everything is almost given away at the start, it's nice to find a band that still remains a bit unknown to the more die hard fans.

Evadne's A Mother Named Death is just that extra piece that fits so well with the gloomy days ahead and all human plauges. If you're looking for that one record to keep you wishing for more then this is it. Being a follow up to their previous works this one surely puts the standards a step higher.
Rating: 8,5/10

Tuesday, 22 August 2017



Dark Essence Records' band roster has never been lacking of Black and Extreme Metal,  but the slow, heavy tones of Doom have, until now, been noticeable by their absence.  but as of today's signing that has been taken care of.

Formed during 2014 in Norway's capital city Oslo, DWAAL can best be described as  is a five-headed beast , assaulting the listener with a dense wall of sound that lies somewhere at the intersection of Doom and Post Metal. The atmosphere they create is one of slow motion, laden with heavy, sludgy, gloomy riffs,  punctuated alternately by despairing vocals one minute, and minimalistic, melancholic melodies the next.  Or, as the band like to put it: " A punch in the throat followed by a soothing caress, followed by another punch in the throat".

DWAAL's lineup is comprised of Christian Natusch on Vocals &  Synth, Eigil Dragvik on Guitar & Backing Vocals, Rikke Karlsen on Guitar, Stian Hammer on Bass and Anders Johnsen on Drums.  The band's studio debut was self-released in April of this year to a warm reception from the Norwegian underground.  The EP,  titled "Darben", is a 31 minute, two-track opus which can be heard at

Work has now begun on DWAAL's first full-length album, with tracking expected to start in the spring of 2018 for release later in the year.

More information about DWAAL can be found on the band's Facebook at

A video of DWAAL performing live at Blitz, in Oslo, during 2017 can be seen at

External Links

Band Contact:
Dark Essence contact: 
Dark Essence Records:
Dark Essence Records Bandcamp:
Dark Essence on Facebook:
Dark Essence on YouTube:
Dark Essence Records Webshop:
Dark Essence Webshop North America:
Dark Essence Records KlickTrack:
Dark Essence SoundCloud:

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Toronto's blackened metallers ASTAROTH INCARNATE have announced their fourth single entitled 'Unfleshed'. The song is taken from their forthcoming album Omnipotence - The Infinite Darkness

Toronto's  blackened metallers ASTAROTH INCARNATE have announucned their forth single  entitled 'Unfleshed'. The song is taken from their forthcoming album Omnipotence - The Infinite Darkness, Out  September 8th, 2017 via CDN RECORDS.

1. Obscurity
2. Curse of the Black Plague
3. Unfleshed
4. Sanctum of Torment
5. Re-Creation

Recorded at Monolithic Productions by Tyler Williams
Mixed and mastered by Tyler Williams
Artwork by Dee Gozali / Dee Artwork
Photos by Jordanna Clarke

Astaroth (Sam) - Vocals/Lyrics
Pablo Sagastume - Guitars
Ric Galvez - Guitars
Sergio Moyano - Bass
Émile Giordan - Drums

About the band, frontman, Astaroth, commented the following...

"The vision of bestowing the ideologies of Astaroth to our hell spawns through our interpretations and relating them to our world and society of today. Our goal is to create extreme metal which feels limitless in its creative form while staying true to our roots and influences in metal.

With each member coming from a different musical background, it allows us to craft each song with a different mindset, in an effort to intrigue the listener and entice their mind to dissect the lyrics which are encrusted with multi-layered meanings.

All of our songs, music and lyrics combined, are built around personal exploration for each spawn to experience in their own way."

Combining a cornucopia of the extreme, Astaroth Incarnate are not easily categorized, though their approach is one that coalesces black metal with elements of death, thrash, melodic, doom, and groove.

Too put a long story short , Astaroth Incarnate is a blend of sub-genre fluctuations, which includes a wide spectrum of vocals, progressive drumming, and technical yet groovy bass lines all driven by memorable riffing and solos.

CDN Records Website:

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Finnish doomsters Red Moon Architect are back with their third full-length, Review for Return Of The Black Butterflies 2017

Finnish doomsters Red Moon Architect are back with their third full-length, after the Concealed Silence (2012) and Fall (2015). While their sound dives deep into the death/doom roots, they still manage to create here and there kind of a sound of their own, especially with strong female vocals and captivating melodic riffs. Although the band label themselves as funeral doom, I still feel they are closer to regular death/doom, or even better said to melancholic doom.

Red Moon Architect is clearly no newcomer to the scene and they clearly know what defines a good record. The guitar work is exceptional, just like the whole instrumentation itself. The album Return Of The Black Butterflies is a strong follow up to the bands past works, I can say that it's their best so far and in a way could easily be considered as a fourth part of Swallow The Sun's album Songs From The North.  

The album pulls you under and crushes you under the weaves of the tide. Slowly carrying you out in the open sea, especially the emotional vibes of the amazing "Tormented" or "Journey" where such a catchy melody and breathtaking male/female duet can easily get under your skin. Beautifully and ferociously the album lingers on in its beautiful sorrowful way.

The album consists of six tracks of pure sweeping, yet crushing and highly atmospheric doom that will draw you down into the abyss. With the full album being "only" 48 minutes long its still quite a short one for being a doom metal album. The album name hints to a bit of inspiration from fellow Finnish doom masters Swallow The Sun and their monumental album Plague Of Butterflies.

All of the songs feel lengty yet very open in its sound, allowing them to breath more naturally. The deep growling vocals of Ville Rutanen sounds almost identical to the vocals of Mikko Kotamäki of Swallow The Sun. One might think he just went under a different name for this album. But never the less the album delivers on all basis heavy, melancholic and dark sound while slowly bringing in the melodies and cold vibe that only Finnish doom seems to have. The album is an esential must for fans of atmospheric and melancholic death/doom metal.
Rating: 7,5/10

Repost from Terra Relicta