Dark Buddha Rising – II

Finnish psychedelic doom practitioners Dark Buddha Rising are eager to drag you through the mind bending sonic maze of the new EP simply entitled “II”.

Prepare to space out hopelessly with “Mahathgata I”, a super lengthy song that often feels oppressive with several rounds of drastically slow & impossibly heavy doom tinged guitar riffs entangled within monumental drone atmospheres and distant surreal chants yet the band packs multiple rhythmic variations with hidden melodic & contemplative textures but never fails to convey impenetrable darkness.

A sense of despair fills the air on “Mahathgata II” and ominous forces are lurking in the dark as mystical atmospheres and arcane chanting create variegated droning waves that will eventually lead to bursts of monochromatic heavy doom guitar riffs evoking additional occult aesthetics.

The two songs on “II” are seriously drenched in psychedelic darkness and will certainly trigger the listeners’ curiosity as Dark Buddha Rising crafts all kinds of complex enigmatic soundscapes where you might easily & pleasantly get lost.

Mortiiis Interview

Following the reissue of the 2010 album “Perfectly Defect”, we talked to Norwegian musical pioneer Mortiis!

The Offering: “Perfectly Defect” was originally released in 2010, what made you decide to reissue this album now?

Mortiis: Mainly the reason was, it was never released properly physically (it was actually only released as a free download for fans and people in general, as well as a limited edition CD that was strictly sold during the 2011 tours, and a few copies via mailorder), so I felt that it deserved a proper release at last. Also we only released 8-10 songs (depending on what download version you got) at the time. The complete recording sessions for Perfectly Defect, was actually 12 songs, and the CD version contains the complete version, for the first time.

TO: Do you still identify with the music style and concepts of “Perfectly Defect”?

Mortiis: Sure. I still think a lot of people are a waste of oxygen. I appreciate good people, and most people are pretty alright when it comes down to it, but there’s a certain amount of psychic vampires, religious bigots and hypocrites, and downright fraudulent bastards out there, so I’ll always find inspiration.

TO: This album is released via your own label Omnipresence Records, what made you decide to start a label?

Mortiis: It’s not so much a label as just an alternative to selling my soul to a record label and never seeing a dime, or ever getting my rights back. This is what most of them do. I’m not going to bore everyone with how I feel about record label practices. I´m sure there are some good ones out there, and I’d love to work with one of them some day… But so far, it’s mostly been one case after another of signing away every single right for your music, and never really getting anything back. If you luck out and start selling a lot of albums, you might get some money trickling in, but by and large they’ll find every conceivable excuse to recoup and recoup and recoup costs you aren’t even aware of. I was once charged thousands of dollars for a release party I didn’t even ask for. I paid for the bar, the place, everything, and I didn’t even ask for it. So fuck people like that. Cold Meat Industry back in the 90s treated me pretty well, I should mention that. In the future, maybe I’ll work with someone again for new releases, but it remains to be seen. I have had good experiences with licensing older stuff out to labels like Funeral industries and Foreign Sounds, for example, but those are very simple, underground type of deals where it’s more fan based than pure business…And I make more money doing shit like that, than selling 50 times as many records on a bigger label. It’s fucking absurd.

TO: Thinking about your latest album “The Great Deceiver” what are your thoughts and feelings about it now that some time passed by?

Mortiis: Still the best album I ever made. It represents everything I ever felt about a lot of things down the very fiber of my being. I don’t think that will ever change. The Smell of Rain was the most important album I ever made, because I helped me survive myself, and find a new purpose musically. The Great Deceiver, is basically my entire soul and being, manifested into music. I realize this sounds extremely pretentious and cliché, but it’s true.

TO: Are you currently working on new music?

Mortiis: Yes I have a variety of different stuff laying around. It’s more question of finding the time and focus to figure out which way to go. I’m just being really busy with a lot of shows at the moment, and all the traveling between them. I also work a regular job, obviously, since being a musician at this level, is not sustainable in the long run, so a steady income is vital. I wish it was different, but it’s not. Just real world shit, haha.

TO: When can we expect a new album?

Mortiis: I don’t have a date for that yet. I’m pretty sure something will happen next year.

TO: In terms of style how has your music evolved in all these years?

Mortiis: It’s just taken all kinds of twists and turns really. I just do whatever feels right. I don’t give a shit about genres, labeling and pigeonholing. I think that’s for pussies that are too fucking scared to just go out there and do whatever they wanna do. Beyond that, it’s a corporate idea in terms of telling people what they like. I used to call my music Dark Dungeon Music, because no one knew what to do with my records, they didn’t know where to put them..Metal, ambient, alternative…I just made that up as a thing that was unique for me… It´s changed a lot since then and I’ve mixed in various styles, to come up with something I like…metal, industrial, ambient, experimental and electronic…To create something I am happy with and can back up in the years to come.

TO: Thinking about the beginning of your career do you miss anything of those years?

Mortiis: I miss the sales numbers, haha! If that had remained, and everyone hadn’t started taking free music for granted (it costs thousands of dollars in equipment and studio time, and takes countless days and weeks and months to create, people seem to have forgotten that) then guys like me could have done this full time, and we’d be putting out a lot more music.

TO: What motivates to continue to write music?

Mortiis: Mainly the fact that I enjoy creating things, and music touches my soul I suppose you could say. It’s what appeals to me the most…It’s a passion. Unfortunately, this is the passion that record labels will prey on. They know most artists are a passionate breed and will basically kill themselves for the art, so the labels have this upper hand where they can wave this carrot (in reality, a shit deal) in front of artists that want nothing more than to get their music out there. I had to throw that in there, haha!

TO: At this point of your career how important is to have a particular image on stage?

Mortiis: I grew up on big image bands like Kiss, Twisted Sister, Alice Cooper and so on, so image and music has always walked hand in hand for me. I don’t think that will ever change, so yes, it is still very important. Music itself is always #1, but image comes in at a very close second, and I don’t see why I should separate the two anyway.

TO: Do you have touring plans?

Mortiis: I’ve currently got shows coming up across Europe, Australia and South America, so yes there are tours and individual shows happening. People can actually check my shows over at Bandsintown.com or Songkick.com

TO: Do you think you will tour in North America at some point?

Mortiis: I certainly hope so, and we are looking into a potential tour in the Spring of 2019 right now. Still very early stages so I can’t really elaborate right now.

TO: Thank you for the interview!

Mortiis: Thank you. Check out www.mortiiswebstore.com for vinyl, CD, shirts and other merch. Thanks.



A Perfect Circle – Eat The Elephant

We all waited patiently to listen to a new A Perfect Circle album and after fourteen years “Eat The Elephant” is here within our grasp puzzling and moving the listeners with a bold artsy manifesto, tales of impending doom and eclectic contemplative melodies.

The title track favors a very soft mood just like a ballad far from the acidic distortions of the unforgettable album “Mer De Noms” and never really picks up speed yet it does hold a darkened intensity with ambiance tonalities and bittersweet emotions expressed by Maynard’s moody vocal delivery and the impeccable monochromatic piano.  

On “The Contrarian” a dreadful atmosphere becomes gradually more palpable fueled by the gloomy splendor of guitars and the bleak beauty of keyboards that create a detailed series of darkly hypnotic melodic textures.

“The Doomed” might be the strongest song of the album featuring an undiluted emotional turmoil of rage and disappointment as we are close to a catastrophic abyss therefore charismatic guitars often follow a frenetic crunchy rhythm matched by the expected vocal intensity but there are also loads of refined melodies skillfully mixed to ethereal atmospheres that evoke surreal soundscapes.

“TalkTalk” maintains a primary emotive mood with shimmering subdued atmospheric arrangements and soothing rhythmic patterns yet several bursts of essential raw energy will fiercely emerge with waves of distorted guitars and dismal borderline enraged vocals.

Smooth atmospheric layers create cinematic moments on “By And Down The River” as Maynard’s voice becomes disillusioned and forlorn accompanied by lavish somber guitar melodies that will effortlessly embrace a wilder distorted crescendo channeling enigmatic emotions.

“Delicious” offers more luminous moments and a faint sense of hope but mainly showcases some beloved ‘90s alt-rock flavors with a fair dosage of guitar driven grooves accompanied by softer acoustic harmonies and further embellished by elegant orchestral & atmospheric segments.

“Hourglass” explores a modern electro sonic realm consequently focusing on bizarre sounds & vocal effects and atmospheric whirlwinds that inevitably lead to futuristic vibes but will eventually blend with classic piano melodies.

“Eat The Elephant” is not written for the fans as it rather represents what Maynard & Co. wanted to write, record and perform regardless of what others might think or want so it just becomes useless to over analyze these intriguing songs which in the end will always generate tumultuous reactions.
Eat The Elephant [Explicit]

Witchskull – Coven’s Will

Australian trio Witchskull is eager to spread massive doom grooves worldwide with the sophomore release “Coven’s Will” which sees the band raising the bar to confidently deliver strong songwriting and skillful musicianship.

The album opener “Raven” is rightfully packed with loud groovy guitar riffs blending catchy rock nuances and hints of traditional doom despair which leads to the creation of a high impact track featuring also sensational vocals.

“Son Of The Snake” revolves around tight rhythmic segments featuring a super thick bass backbone that works harmoniously with the omnipresent heavy doom guitar riffs while the leads channel a somber melodic mood enhanced by the compelling vocal duet with Erica Stoltz and ultimately reach a spontaneous charismatic acme of the guitar solo.

“Demon Cage” is simply wild and a bit hellish with a serious dosage of heavy riffage and solo acrobatics that don’t need special effects or exaggerated speed to induce instant headbanging as a thunderous rhythmic section fiercely maintains a nightmarish groove.

The fascinating darkness of  “Lord Of The Void” will prevail through a chunky ensemble of melodic hooks and blistering guitar riffs that surround the hypnotic lead guitar work while vocals follow the moody inflamed rhythm with exceptionally fervent delivery.

“The Empty Well” is the song that truly screams doom from beginning to end drawing inspiration from the darkest depths of metal with a taste for all things sinister and an impending armageddon as irresistible galloping guitar riffs nicely build a strong groove in the middle of dramatically slower monolithic guitar work and diabolical vocals.

The music journey of Witchskull is still at the early stages but “Coven’s Will” has a mature sound capable to channel the authentic vibes and raw power of classic doom metal.

Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime Live in Chicago

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Queensryche’s legendary concept album “Operation: Mindcrime” Geoff Tate performed it in its entirety at House Of Blues in Chicago as part of an extensive North American tour. The platinum-selling album “Operation: Mindcrime” was originally released in 1988 and included the major hits “Revolution Calling”, “I Don’t Believe in Love” and “Eyes of a Stranger”. Geoff Tate and his talented band performed a truly unforgettable and energetic show not to be missed!

Cave Bastard – The Bleak Shall Devour The Earth

San Diego based extreme metal band Cave Bastard has put a lot of effort in the creation of the debut full length “The Bleak Shall Devour The Earth” which promises to deliver unrestrained devastation and bleak soundscapes.

“Throes of the Devourer” serves as introduction to the the album’s dark sonic realm with painfully heavy doom tinged guitar chords surrounded by grim atmospheres and distant echoes of despair.

“Neo Genesis” celebrates the band’s ultimate ferocious approach as in the middle of a rationalized chaos guitar riffs march triumphantly through perilously fast and precise rhythmic variations that will later lead to modern dissonant guitar progressions and funereal momentum.

With an intriguing and absolutely grim beginning “Trapped In A World Of Formlessness” is a hymn to asphyxiating desolation with a strong epic and diverse rhythmic structure focused on intricate layers of mournful melodies and crunchy riffage.

Similarly there is torment & despair at the center of “Purity Through Oblivion” where the guitar work continues to hold a dominant role crafting entertaining rhythmic segments and depressing melodic moments.

“Liar Betrayed” can be utterly brutal as the rhythmic section often gains speed and chaotic vibes through punishing drumming and chunky bass lines nevertheless there are also more introspective passages where lead guitars focus on anguished melodies and sludge atmospheres.

Overall “The Bleak Shall Devour The Earth” stays true to its tormented title and fully expresses the extremely dark sonic vision of Cave Bastard.

God Is An Astronaut – Epitaph

With a successful sixteen years career Irish instrumental band God Is An Astronaut is well known for the magical post rock creations that once again will conquer the listeners’ heart in the new work of music entitled “Epitaph”.

The feelings of grief and loss that will characterize the entire album immediately shape the cinematic mood of the title track with emotional piano melodies and ethereal atmospheric layers that introduce the impenetrable gloom of intricate instrumental motifs embracing an intriguing ensemble of fierce distorted momentum and delicate melodic guitar work.

The melodic grandeur of “Mortal Coil” certainly offers plenty of upbeat dynamics focusing on rich epic atmospheres and riffing crescendos without sacrificing the inner dramatic essence that will ultimately gain the deserved spotlight in the final intense acoustic segments.

“Seance Room” depicts an immensely melancholic sonic realm with the effortless beauty of minimalist guitar melodies surrounded by surreal atmospheres yet the instrumental passages will eventually gain powerful post rock tonalities and deliver a complex series of kaleidoscopic synths arrangements and guitar variations that often channel heavier darkened nuances.

The crepuscular soundscapes of “Oisín” close the album with the most somber & raw emotions fully expressed by hazy piano melodies constantly surrounded and dramatically enhanced by moody ethereal atmospheric arrangements that ultimately evoke peaceful yet bittersweet tonalities.

There is a world of pure melancholy and genuine emotions within the poignant instrumental phrases of “Epitaph” so get ready to get lost through the overwhelming gloom of the unique sonic maze carefully crafted by God Is An Astronaut.

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – Dirt

You could get lost within the sonic labyrinth of “Dirt”, the latest effort generated by the shape shifting creative force of Noh-Wave prog rock collective Yamantaka // Sonic Titan.

“Someplace” flows like a daydream as the band concocts polychromatic atmospheres that will shift from sheer melancholy to brighter moments matched by softly ethereal vocals while guitars spice up everything with intense often chaotic distortion and flamboyant rock acrobatics.

“Dark Waters” does indeed dwell in a darker murky sonic realm where guitars feel utterly majestic delivering frenetic unconventional rhythmic variations as well as luminous melodies but will ultimately embrace savage rock tonalities through hypnotic atmospheric layers.

Crushing distorted guitars lead the way on the rebellious track “Yandere” which packs many melodic rock hooks but definitely goes beyond a standard formula creating all kinds of heavier groovy rhythmic dynamics and contrasting electro elements.

You will be fatally attracted by the haunting atmospheres & melodies of “Hungry Ghost” which in the beginning favors theatrical textures but will soon enter a psychedelic realm of raw guitar riffs and avant-garde saxophone floating through dissonant heavy rhythmic patterns.

On the title track the aptly dirty guitar sound will steal the spotlight delivering fiery rocking grooves embellished by unexpected experimental accents and enigmatic keyboards arrangements with dissonant hints while vocals often channel darkly soothing emotions.

“Out Of Time” follows steady rock rhythmic dynamics packing solid rounds of crunchy guitar riffs and almost polished solos that channel a multifaceted melodic essence that will occasionally re-surface through the intricate yet often surprisingly catchy instrumental segments.

If you are looking for a unique music experience then you will need to grab asap a copy of “Dirt” as on this album Yamantaka // Sonic Titan fiercely pushes standard boundaries to craft a magical and artsy work of music.

Hekate – Totentanz

In the neofolk scene German band Hekate certainly has acquired an elite status which will be re-confirmed with the long awaited new release “Totentanz”

A shroud of darkness descends as “The Old King” opens the album with apocalyptic atmospheric arrangements that will later evolve into a more poetic yet absolutely somber acoustic crescendo enriched by soothing vocals.

“Lost And Broken” maintains grave tonalities within impeccable acoustic guitar melodies that contribute to the creation of surreal soundscapes effortlessly enhanced by reverb and lavish atmospheric layers.

The epic atmospheres and tribal percussions of “Ascension Day” clearly channel authentic neofolk elements as acoustic passages create a sense of natural peace yet synths and narrative samples tend to amplify the apocalyptic elements of the song.

The title track becomes a nocturnal hymn with obsessively minimalist rhythmic patterns and strong gothic nuances that sinuously embrace the increasing intensity of the dramatic vocals. “Desire” feels like a medieval dance or a pagan chant as magical folk melodies take the center stage to evoke mystical and ancestral energy amplified by sumptuous atmospheres and neco-classical tones.

“Am Meere” dwells in an archaic realm where industrial synths and folk acoustic passages embrace to craft unique melodies and enigmatic atmospheres with a distinct theatrical delivery,

“Totentanz” shines for the sophisticated melodies and attention for details that fully evoke the darkest nuances of neofolk as Hekate skillfully creates an hypnotic collection of songs.