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    Archived pages: 290 . Archive date: 2012-07.

  • Title: Imhotep - ...the devil speaks... - Ne Obliviscaris - "Portal Of I"
    Descriptive info: the devil speaks.. Code 666 (2012).. Forming in 2003, the six piece extreme metal band from Australia Ne Obliviscaris (pronounced Nay Ob-li-vis-kar-is for those wondering…) appear to be one of those groups that few will understand, and yet those who do will fervently follow every musical move these musicians make.. To describe their style accurately appears impossible- melodic and tender with clean vocals one moment, blasting death the next- with nuances of thrash, black, avant-garde, jazz, and flamenco parts.. A full time violin player goes toe to toe in neo-classical meets Robbie Steinhardt (Kansas) form- many times taking the instrumental lead against the sonic assault steamrolling from the intense strumming, dissonance in chord sequences and hyper kinetic percussion salvos.. Most of the 6 songs on “Portal Of I” are over the 10 minute mark- so this is not the music for you if your preference lies in repetitive three chord structures and simplistic, catchy choruses.. Ne Obliviscaris doesn’t beat your brain in with super complex technicality- they instead set diverse mood landscapes, allowing the listener to escape or immerse themselves within these arrangements..  ...   points.. Ne Obliviscaris do not clone Opeth- they take some of the 70’s reference points into an epic, outer world experience for your ears, but I think the flamenco and jazz edge on a song like “And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope” combined with the turn on a dime black metal riffs to progressive soloing for “Of The Leper Butterflies” makes every return engagement exhilarating, spine tingling- and beyond entertainment.. There’s a reason why Australia is gaining significant attention for its domestic output.. The government grant money aids the final product, as brilliant songwriting and performances deserve an equally potent production, mixing and mastering job.. Watching video of some of these songs in a live environment, this six-piece will not remain remote or obscure for long.. Passionate, engaging, uplifting, risk-taking, and an album that should gain plenty of year end (and decade end) accolades- “Portal Of I” will not be the last we hear from this upper tier extreme metal act.. www.. neobliviscaris.. com.. code666.. net.. Composed by Matt Coe.. Roy Kristensen 11.. 06.. 2012 11:55.. Login or create account to blog.. Name.. Email.. Password..

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  • Title: Imhotep - ...the devil speaks... - Deathspell Omega - "Drought"
    Descriptive info: Norma Evangelium Diaboli (2012).. i woke up on this beautiful day.. and thought about this life.. The Sounds Of Distorted Guitars.. made me realize that not.. all i see is beautiful.. Sounds That Fill The Room With Horror.. made me comprehend that behind.. the beauty there is drought.. With Variation These Voices Sang.. of god, chaos, human famine.. and the lack of hope.. Stop Start Begin End Recovery.. after realizing that we are.. empty shells of no meaning.. The Drums Of Perdition In All Directions.. send us to the flames of the sun.. where we perish in hopes of splendour.. But Without Words There Is Eeriness.. sneaking up behind you, around you.. and you get this uncomfortable feeling.. That  ...   and secure zone.. where there is no such thing as music.. Disturbing Tracks Of Nonlinear Blueprints.. give me hunger for more but.. also the feeling of not belonging.. In This Doomed Black Metal World.. where blastbeats are not straight forward.. And It Gave Me Complete Satisfaction.. caused by all those ideas spread out.. on this short time, focused.. Big Horns In The Side Of The Skull.. make my head explode.. i do not identify with the first and the last.. Instrumental Tracks Filled With Insanity.. and sorrow, the longing for understanding.. and the acceptance of lack of accepting.. "Drought".. 20.. 55 minutes.. Slow.. Fast.. Big sound.. Varied.. Perfect.. Again.. noevdia.. Composed by Roy Kristensen.. Roy Kristensen 21.. 05.. 2012 14:32..

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  • Title: Imhotep - ...the devil speaks... - Isengard - "Vinterskugge"
    Descriptive info: Peaceville Records (2012).. Originally released in 1994, just a shave short of twenty years ago, by Deaf Records, one of Peaceville’s younger sisters.. Now resurrected with added commentary.. I bet the British version rules!.. I was there back in the day.. I went through the catalogs.. I sent the money in the mail.. “Send cash well hidden in envelope” was a regular line on fliers back then.. I waited for weeks.. Then the compact disc arrived from my kvlt dealer during that time and I listened.. I visited the forest.. I was inspired.. Things weren’t just Black Metal.. Things were nature.. Listen to the trees! I don’t listen to the trees anymore, but I like to hang out with them occasionally.. I listen to the commentary disc a bit but I’ve never hung out with Fenriz.. Why ruin a good relationship?.. Isengard never was a “Black Metal” band.. In fact I don’t really know where to lump the band, but as Fenriz puts it forth the recordings on “Vinterskugge” were  ...   out.. There are no kvltings to be found here, only Fenriz! And Fenriz isn’t about kvlting it up, creating a false image around the legend that Isengard is.. It’s straight forward talk about what was happening around that time and his inspirations.. There are no cloaks and daggers, no candles and midnight rituals.. No theater.. Might this make things too mundane for those that seek to create demigods out of their idols? I would think so.. If you want to believe it’s 1993 stay away from commentary discs that are included in the re-issues of legendary Black Metal releases, don’t go on the Black Metal Bus Ride and only buy organic food.. However! If you want to get a bit of an insight into the who’s and how’s of Isengard’s “Vinterskugge” then get this re-issue.. Oh, and get the Neptune Tower’s re-issues while you’re at it.. They might not be Metal! but they are essential!.. peaceville.. Rating: 5 / 6.. Composed by Eyvindur Gauti.. Roy Kristensen 13.. 07.. 2012 15:15..

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  • Title: Imhotep - ...the devil speaks... - Darkthrone - "Goatlord"
    Descriptive info: This isn’t a ‘classic album review’ per ce but a look at the 2 disc Peaceville Records re-release of Goatlord.. The album was originally intended to be a follow-up to “Soulside Journey”.. Stylistically, it didn’t fit in to where Darkthrone saw themselves going at the time and so it was shelved for three years before Fenriz recorded the vocals, finally seeing the light of day five years after its initial recording in 1996 (on Moonfog).. In this version all but one of the original tracks are repeated with audio commentary from Fenriz and Nocturno Culto.. These commentaries speak about the recording of the original demo and one of the guys’ favourite topics: their influences at the time.. Not much new perhaps, but the spoken parts are done in the typical candid, self-effacing style fans of the band are used to, meaning that it is informative and highly amusing at times.. Maybe not the type of thing you’d re-listen to a lot, but a pleasing bonus that gets you inside the mind of the beast.. Musically, “Goatlord” probably makes more sense to fans of the band now  ...   organic black thrash drumming and a dirty, home-grown production.. It has an endearing lack of restraint – it is as if the guys decided they wanted to do everything they could think of in every single track on the album! Of note on this release, Fenriz experimented with pitch-shifted vocals to achieve a bizarre falsetto that many have found reminiscent of King Diamond (I find it more closely resembles some of the languid and operatic female vocals used by early Celtic Frost).. Kind of effective but sometimes funny too!.. As far as the songs go, “Goatlord” is a hit and miss offering.. There are frequent flashes of genius here and there, lost in a morass caused by the overall lack of focus and direction.. However, even at their most challenging, the songs are still have that inexplicable compulsive character that make me return to the Darkthrone back catalogue so often.. And if that is no good, at least this one will guarantee a laugh for Fenriz’ girly vocals and the down-to-earth commentary.. darkthrone.. no.. Rating: 4 / 6.. Composed by Peter Loftus.. Roy Kristensen 18.. 2012 12:26..

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  • Title: Imhotep - ...the devil speaks... - Enslaved - "Yggdrasill"
    Descriptive info: A new day and another re-issue from Peaceville.. You might remember my review of another re-issue by Peaceville, the re-issue of Katatonia's "For Funerals to come", that was posted within Imhotep's realm a bit back.. In which I noted that there wasn't anything changed, everything was basically the same, the extras were extras, not alterations for the sake of modernization.. Perhaps you wonder why this was re-issued, seeing as it had already been re-issued by Moonfog back in the day, but let's face it, that CD is about as useful a stack of mp3's with no real information or notes from the bands, just the music and the track-lists.. Boring..  ...   fuss about, you start fussing when they start fiddling with the knobs and altering the sound.. You value extra songs, you value the added liner notes that give you a fly's view of the musician's experience during that era and you value the inclusion of the lyrics and the photos you hadn't seen before.. Like lifted straight from the demo tape itself, they are, and the whole layout is laid out like a demo tape would be.. Roy Kristensen 06.. 2012 10:56.. RE:Enslaved -.. You are on the right track, I have the tape and the front cover art is exactly the same.. good demo nonetheless!.. bollverk 06.. 2012 14:56..

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  • Title: Imhotep - ...the devil speaks... - Katatonia - "For Funerals To Come"
    Descriptive info: Peaceville Records (2011).. This album was originally released way back in 1995 via Italy's Avantgarde Music.. Now, some 17 years alters I have here in front of me the "an improved" version courtesy of Peaceville Records which decided to re-issue this lost classic.. Nothing's been altered.. No re-mixes.. It still sounds the same.. But it doesn't look the same, thanks to the added liner-notes, for example, that Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström contributed.. This adds a lot of value to this re-issue for nerds like myself that enjoy reading the recollections of rockers.. There is a small  ...   previously only appeared on a compilation released by Wrong Again Records back in 1995.. This re-issue is definitely worth your money whether you are or aren't Katatoniaphile.. The added liner notes as well as the extra album tracks make this album worth getting as well as it allows a genuine look back into Katatonia's past before they changed into the depressive rock rollers we are more familiar with today.. The only bad thing about this album is the drum sound, electric kits should be outlawed from Heavy Metal music.. katatonia.. Roy Kristensen 07.. 03.. 2012 09:09..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Interviews/Articles - Epica - Conspiritual Thoughts
    Descriptive info: Interviews.. Epica - Conspiritual Thoughts.. Epica is a tremendous band, becoming even more pompous and bombastic when some probably expected otherwise.. Imhotep’s Lizar Borowski and Roy Kristensen talked to Simone Simons and Mark Jansen both prior to and after the recording of “The Divine Conspiracy”.. part I II by Lizar Borowski.. part III by Roy Kristensen.. part I – simone simons is a singer, not a model.. How was Epica's experience in its first ever North American tour?? What can you tell us about the American fans response to the band?.. “Since some of the members are on myspace we got in contact with some American fans saying that they are really happy that we were coming to the States.. Of course we had no idea if there were more Epica fans over there.. We were welcomed with open arms and above all our expectations there were many Epica fans who had our whole discography! The fans were very nice, respectful and said that they are waiting for our return.. The promotor of the tour was very pleased with the shows and wants us back next year! I had a wonderful time and can't wait to go back.. ”.. Were there one or more shows that stood out for you?.. “I must say that there wasn't even one show that I didn't like so much.. I loved playing at BB King in NY, it was a lovely venue with the perfect ambience.. The venue was packed, the fans were screaming.. The show is San Fransisco was also nice.. We arrived pretty late and were still soundchecking when the audience was already getting in.. It was a small venue but nice.. I remember that I was staying in bed that day 'till 6 pm, when the bus was still driving and everybody was sitting in the lounge.. I prefer to stay in bed and read a book or watch a movie.. The show was great! Lights were shining in my face so I couldn't see the faces of the fans which was a pity.. Later that night I wanted to take a shower while Kamelot was still playing.. It was a weird shower and I couldn't see where I had to make it colder.. It was a shower from hell, so hot! I had a fever after it and was very weak.. Luckily after drinking 2 litres of water I was back to my old self (smiles).. ”.. How was the experience of recording the "One Cold Winter's Night" DVD with them? What do you think about this release and also about your participation and role on it?.. “I love the DVD.. Thomas sent me a couple.. It is very nicely done from the package to the artwork.. It was recorded in February in Olso, Norway.. I remember Roy picking us up from the airport.. He was so stressed since he was taking care of a lot of business things that day and the weeks before.. He drove us to the hotel.. It was the first time for me and the guys to be in Norway.. It was beautiful, there was snow everywhere, the air was blue.. When we arrived at the hotel most of us took a nap because we were very tired.. After our 'beauty sleep' we headed to the venue.. They were still soundchecking and finishing the last details.. Backstage was very cozy, everybody was having fun and looking forward to a very special evening.. The Epica show went great and I had of course another show to do.. I am happy to have the DVD because I never can see the whole show when I do “The Haunting”, I have to slip into another dress, get rid of the Epica sweat, eat something, do my make up and then go onstage.. In August 2006, you stated that Epica had already 13 songs written for the new album.. Are those songs ready or are you still adding details and putting some final touches to them?.. “At the moment we are still finishing them.. We are all composing music on our computers so we created this album digitally (smiles).. Songs are never really finished, many things change while you are recording them.. Coen is now working on the choir arrangements and I am practising my vocal lines.. This album will be a concept album and CTO Mark and I wrote half of the lyrics.. Because this is a concept album our lyrics have to fit well together.. About the composing nothing changed so much, just the fact that I recorded some vocals on my own computer and that I am getting acquainted with the recording technology.. When I have an idea I can record it immediately and then send it to the guys.. In the past Mark had to record it always.. Now we re-recorded the vocals after I recorded them, in his home studio.. Are there some tentative song-titles that you could reveal to us?.. “There is one that I can reveal to you because we played it already a couple of times live.. It is called “Never Enough”, a pretty plain song title but it describes what the song is about.. This is the only commercial song on the album.. We finished this one pretty fast and that is why we could play it live.. The new songs are more mature and a little bit more on the edge.. I think that people might have to listen to the songs a couple of times and that it has to grow.. It is another level and for me a very special feeling.. I can't wait to play the songs live!”.. Epica latest release was the Photo-Sound Book "The Road To Paradiso".. Was this something exclusively prepared by the label or did you guys participate of its whole conception, giving ideas, etc?.. “Our record company came with the idea and of course we loved it! To create something special so soon in our carrier is very special.. It is a collector's item and I think it is very beautiful.. I love to take a look in it and think back of all the great things that happened to us.. What is also very special about it is that it was also created by the fans.. They could send in photos, funny stories about us.. It is a book made by and for the fans.. It's definitely an essential release for the die-hard fans.. However, I've been reading many Epica fans complaining especially about the live/demo tracks picked of the CD that comes with the book, and actually complaining about the outcome of the CD in general.. How do you see that? Are you satisfied with the live recordings included there?.. “In my opinion the only thing that had to be added were the demo tracks.. We recorded a live show in Paradiso (which unfortunately is not released yet) and that would have been enough for me.. I just listened once to the CD that was included in the book.. A little mistake in the manufacturing of the book is that the envelope where the CD is in is not so good.. Many people damaged their CD while handing it over to get an autograph, which is a pity.. I try to warn them but the CD slips out faster than I can speak (smiles)”.. Even with all the complaints, "The Road To Paradiso" reached high in the Netherlands TRTP (Dutch Albums Top 100).. A lot of people link this success is a consequence of your beauty as.. well.. before all, this is a photo book.. How do you see that?.. “Appearance is very important in the music scene, I understand that.. It is another part of decoration; you have to present yourself in good way.. The fact that I am not ugly is a nice side affect but I do want to tell everybody that I am a singer at first and that I do modelling aside is just because I like it but the beauty from the outside is transitory.. It is important that you are a good person and that you treat people with respect.. First key to beauty is to be happy with yourself and then you will radiate that.. There is nothing more beautiful than happy people!”.. You once told me: "I am a singer, not a model".. However, we can't deny that most of the love manifestations towards you nowadays have to do with your beauty, and not your talent as a singer.. It's a shame, because you're an incredible singer, but this has been happening, and it seems be something on the increase.. What's your take on that?.. “I gave an answer to that question in the previous one.. As I said I like to do photo shoots and buy nice clothes, experiment with make up.. It is a nice incidental circumstance that I can do that with Epica, but it is not the reason why I am standing on stage.. Music is about the soul and not the outside, it can stimulate your imagination but it will still be inside of you.. "The Road To Paradiso" includes a lot of inputs, ideas, thoughts, poems, messages, etc, from fans.. This interaction between Epica and the fans is truly an appreciable thing.. How do you see this interaction? How important to you is to keep in direct contact with your fans?.. “I think it is very important.. Too bad we cannot speak to every single fan, take photos with them.. We try to as much as we can but we need to think of ourselves.. That is why we all now have a MySpace website to be in closer contact with our fans.. I think MySpace is a wonderful thing! I like it that with the book you can see through their and our eyes, two worlds combined.. During those first years of career, Epica played also some After Forever tracks, composed by Mark Jansen.. How did you feel singing After Forever songs?.. “We just played one After Forever song for a very short time just because we didn't have enough songs of our own.. It was “Follow in the Cry”.. It is a fun song to do live but it wasn't ours.. It is a bit different to do that song instead of another cover since it was Mark's band and he now has a new band.. He loves that song and wanted to play it live for a while.. Talking about vocals, you made the headlines after a gossip magazine in Finland published a note saying you would probably be Tarja's replacer in Nightwish.. What can you tell us about that? And mainly, what would you say to Epica fans, some of them freaking out because you might leave the band to join Nightwish?.. “It was all a lie.. I will stay with Epica and will just continue to listen to the Nightwish albums.. I sent a sms to Tuomas asking him how he was doing.. He said he got like me many phone calls about it.. I think that there will be more gossip, It will stop once Nightwish announced their new singer next Spring.. I would not leave Epica to replace another musician in Nightwish.. Epica lies closer to my heart, I would not like to replace Tarja who gave such an unique sound to Nightwish.. My voice won't fit NW, it is meant to be used for Epica and that is where I will stay (smiles).. Sincerely.. haven't you ever thought in filling Tarja's shoes in Nightwish? Isn't that a dream for every female singer in the Metal world nowadays?.. “No, as I said I don't want to replace someone who was in a band for so long.. Tarja belongs to Nightwish and I to Epica.. I love to listen to Nightwish but to do the songs myself is just for me when I am taking a shower (smiles).. I believe in Epica and believe in our new album.. From Ethereal on Within Temptation and After Forever chats to Simone Simons, one of the female singers with the biggest following in the world.. How do you review those first years of your career?.. “I find it still very weird.. At the moment Epica is not performing.. I am reading and looking at pictures online and it is hard to believe that that is me.. A lot has happened in only 4 years.. I think that we are all very lucky to be this successful.. I always felt I would be in a band but it was more a whish.. I prayed for it and worked very hard.. We were very lucky to have such great fans who believed in us from the start.. Because of them we could start playing shows and travel all around the world.. Thank you for that!”.. The fans have also been asking about the reasons behind the sudden departure of drummer Jeroen Simons.. Why did he leave? How did the band receive the news about his departure?.. “It was not so sudden for us that he would leave.. He was not happy in the band for a longer time.. Touring was not really his thing and he loved different styles of music.. He wanted to concentrate on a different music style.. He is a marvellous drummer, he can play different styles of music.. He was with us for 4.. 5 years and he was part of the band and the sound we  ...   played it more than 100 times by now, and it’s quite long, you know.. I also like the second album a lot, and that’s even a double album.. I gave Aryeon’s “The Human Equation” 10/10 (or 6/6 using today’s Imhotep standard).. The music on “The Divine Conspiracy” is, thinking of Epica, more extreme in all ways.. There’re even parts that could’ve suited well on certain black metal albums… Besides that it probably felt right, why did you end up with the extreme parts on your album?.. “One reason is the things that happened the previous year, like the problems with the previous label, which went bankrupt.. There was supposed to be a DVD, but due to this bankruptcy we couldn’t release it.. The reason behind this was that the owner of the label sold all the rights of the albums to his wife.. This made us very angry.. And when I’m angry while writing music, I allow it to be a part of the songs.. Another thing was that our previous drummer left.. We were in the middle of the American tour, and then he decided to leave.. He wanted to go right away, but we got him to finish the tour first.. But the atmosphere wasn’t that good after this announcement.. These happenings influenced the album, but also the concept itself needed the extreme parts.. Some of the songs’ lyrics are very brutal, so the music also needs this feeling.. Then I tell Mark that I just talked to Tuomas of Nightwish the day prior to our conversation, and he said pretty much the same on why the new Nightwish album turned into what it is.. Laughingly, I wonder if Tuomas and Mark have conspired!.. “We met in France just recently, due to pressdays.. I met him at the hotel, and he was already quite drunk, but it was still possible to conspire together.. I also feel that Simone is improving still, as she seems to have more control on her voice than previously.. Now she’s trying less, and she’s relaxed and singing more naturally, if you see what I mean.. “Yeah, I totally agree with you.. On the new album we did, for the first time in Epica, a pre-production for the vocals.. I think this made a huge difference, because the previous times we changed a lot of the vocals in the studio and Simone didn’t feel that comfortable.. You know, she was used to the line, then we altered it and she became less secure.. This time every vocal line was ready when we entered the studio, so she only had to focus on the technique and not how the vocals lines should go.. In addition to this we have improved songwise.. On the “Consign To Oblivion” album…, I think that if we’d worked more with it, it would’ve been a better album.. But there was time pressure and we just had to go to the studio.. We wouldn’t want that to happen again.. There are some songs on our former album that we are far from being satisfied with, and which we will never play live.. Aha, so that’s why you made such a long album, since you simply can pull it off by playing only songs from “The Divine Conspiracy”.. Mark laughs.. “Well, that sounds like a plan.. Seriously, I know that I’ve been very disappointed with certain bands when they’ve dropped many of the fans’ favourites and only played songs from their new release.. It’s music in my ears when Mark confirms that “Mother Of Light” is one of the tracks they are satisfied with, and which they will perform on stage.. He also adds that the title track from “Consign…” will remain in their setlist for quite some time.. When I mention “Trois Vierges”, Mark informs that Roy Khan have done the song together with Epica one time, in Amsterdam.. In fact, it was for the mentioned DVD recording.. “I hope the DVD will be released some time.. But since the rights were transferred to his wife, there’s nothing we can do with the material right now, which of course is a pity.. If we get the opportunity to release it in a couple of years, we will still do that because it will be a great possibility for our fans to see the early days of Epica and because it will be a good DVD.. So I really hope this solves in the end.. the divine conspiracy.. The bombastic aspect of Epica reaches new heights on the new album.. At the same time the music is as diverse, with the result that it doesn’t get an “all bombastic album”.. “We wanted to have enough variety.. If it only was bombastic I think it would be too much.. Sometimes this happened with Rhapsody.. I like the band a lot, but too much is too much.. We both agree that “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands” (the first part) are our favourite Rhapsody album despite that it is over the top when it comes to the bombastic approach.. But, at that time they were the first band to do this.. After that, Rhapsody have had a tendency to repeat themselves.. “So, we tried to avoid this overload.. There are ballads on our albums, and I hope that the diversity is one aspect that makes the album interesting.. The rather calm “Chasing The Dragon” came after the heavy “Menace Of Vanity”, which opens with a black metal-like voice.. “We opened the album in a very loud way, to kind of shock people.. So, the two tracks after the introduction are rough.. After “Chasing…” we have “Never Enough”, which is a sort of mainstream song.. We wanted to give the album some space after the two heavy tracks.. Then the “The Embrace That Smothers” trilogy is very big again, before we once more give the music some air.. And with the final track you life everything to even new heights.. Mark agrees with me.. He also said earlier that the album is angrier, so I asked him to tell us how they approached the recording, having the angriness in mind.. “We also did preproduction musicwise in our home studios.. For the vocals we did the preprod in the studio where we recorded the album.. So, when we new what we were going to do in the studio, we could focus more on technique and our tasks.. I didn’t feel the need to experiment during the recording, so I could put more effort into the vocalization itself.. This was something I missed in some of our previous songs.. I noticed it when we recorded “Crystal Mountain”(Death-cover) that my voice was more powerful than ever before, and I wondered how it was possible that I sang more powerful on a cover than on my own songs? Then I thought that it had to be because I knew exactly what I was going to sing.. So, now I used that experience on the new album, and it turned out great.. Thing went easier due to this, but also the new drummer added a lot to the whole.. Ariën van Weesenbeek did a marvellous job, and it was a pleasure to us to build our songs on his drumming.. We still try to convince him to be a part of our band, but he is in God Dethroned, so…”.. I tell Mark to say that Epica is better than God Dethroned.. He laughs, and ensures me that he will.. “I have already told him a thousand times.. I laugh.. Apart from not having a steady drummer at the moment, how does the band work together? I mean, it seems to me that you’re more democratic than previously….. “I don’t like the word band-leader, because that sounds more like dictatorship.. In Epica I only take the decision where there’s no clear point of view in the band.. You know, half of the band turns left and the other half right.. Normally we vote in a democratic way, and I think this is better in the long term.. Sooner or later one of us will not be content if we didn’t do it this way.. Simone and Mark also used to be in a relationship.. “We ended it two years ago.. I think it became too much.. We didn’t get any rest from each other.. There was always the band, wherever we were.. Now, when we’re not on tour, doing or rehearsals or recording our albums, we have free from each other.. Now, Mark, how do you view humans in the Western Society’s endless search for bigger, better, stronger, faster – everything?.. “I think these times show our path to self-destruction of the human beings.. We are definitely on our way there.. The weird thing is that we’re aware of this, but not many are willing to sacrifice anything to change the lives.. When I saw the movie by Al Gore “An Inconvenient Truth”, there was a good example of human kind.. If you have a frog in water, and then you put up the heat, it doesn’t jump out even when the water begins to boil.. If you heat the water first, the frog doesn’t jump into it, it gets scared.. We humans just sit and wait, even when we feel the heat.. We just site and wait for someone else to fix everything.. We have the tool to change it, but we don’t do anything due to economic reasons.. Everything’s a question about money!”.. As you say in “Beyond Belief”, “a voice in the wilderness fights a futile war”….. “Yes, it is scary.. The more I read about this topic, the more I understand that we’re in trouble.. The weather conditions are more extreme than ever, and everybody can see this happening.. Damn, there are places where there has fallen more water in one day than what’s normal in one month.. The more we’re destroying our earth, the more extreme in example the weather is.. I think everything is connected with each other – humans, animals, the Nature – so if we harm one of the elements, we harm ourselves.. “Beyond Belief” deals with this topic, and when you hear the news-flash in the middle of the songs, it deals with tsunamis and natural disasters.. But this isn’t the only theme on the album, Mark tells us.. “The main theme of the album is religions, and that they are released onto humanity and what happens with this.. But everything is connected despite the various themes on the album.. The way we destroy ourselves not only due to how we treat Nature, but also how we use religions for the sake of war in order to destroy!.. In every religion I can find something that I totally agree with, some thing are just beautiful and can’t be better.. But on the other hand there are many things I don’t get, like many of these rules for mankind.. An example is when the Pope says that we can’t use condoms.. Normal people just ask “what kind of shit are you talking about?”… They’ve already made so many mistakes, like claiming that the Earth is flat, or that it is the middle point of the universe.. And still they don’t see that they have to stop these kinds of rules! They never learn from their mistakes, it seems.. Yeah, back to the thing you said about the frog and the boiling water.. People are just waiting for somebody else to save them.. “Many people think like this.. But it looks as if more and more people realize that something must happen, there have to be some changes as soon as possible.. When I look at the cover, I think of the temptations that we human can’t resist, the wrong temptations that is!.. “The world is full of temptations.. And we can’t resist it, especially that which concerns power.. It has been a part of our society for so long, and this hunger for power simply won’t go away.. If we look at “The Obsessive Devotion”, it seems like the huger to own the other in a relationship is one interpretation.. “Yes, it is.. Another one is to feel devotion to someone so much that it simply becomes too much in the end.. And, when devotion is too much, and the other person doesn’t want to do anything with it, then stalking is very close.. People don’t want this to happen, but it does anyway.. So, when people like you so much that it becomes an obsession, then it’s getting sick.. It’s quite a strong statement to say “I prefer to be unhappy with you rather than being depressed without you”?.. “I actually came up with that sentence, and I thought it was good so we had to use it (laughs).. But that’s writing lyrics, you know.. You try to find a line that really makes a difference.. My favourite part is so far on “Menace Of Vanity”.. After the blackish first verse, there are the lines “I cannot know how you feel when you don’t say anything”.. What’s yours? Or are they all like babies to you?.. “Ah, poooh, that’s a very hard question.. If I have to pick one, it has to be the middle part of “Fools Of Damnation”.. I’m very happy with how it builds up.. And it sounds exactly like how it has to sound!”.. epica.. nl.. myspace.. com/epica.. nuclearblast.. de.. indiedist.. Roy Kristensen 09.. 10.. 2007 17:57..

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  • Title: Imhotep - ...the devil speaks... - Darkthrone - "Ravishing Grimness"
    Descriptive info: So Peaceville continues its journey of re-releasing everything Darkthrone have released, this time "Ravishing Grimness".. Originally released on Moonfog in 1999, it also includes a bonus disc with interview footage on the making of the album and new, gorgeous artwork.. Before this, I only had listened to "Sardonic Wrath" from Darkthrone's Moonfog era.. When they released the classic "The Cult is Alive", I came back on board.. Even though Darkthrone departed the shell of what Black Metal was supposed to sound like, they returned to their spiritual roots, eventually playing Heavy crust punk metal on their latest, 2010's "Circle the Wagons".. "Ravishing Grimness" proves that Darkthrone's Moonfog years really had been dark.. After the first spin, these two lines from "Too old, too cold" (from "The Cult is Alive), went through my head: "You  ...   Grimness from Ravishing: I hate the late 90's, early 00's production where bass and treble is all one can hear.. Where the fuck is the mid-range?.. There are some hints of Darkthrone's beauty present though.. At times, their great sense for (dis)harmony shines through, creating melancholic atmosphere.. Nocturno's vocals remain solid, always a pleasure.. Also, when playing in the background, the album doesn't become unnerving.. It is depressing to have to write this about a Darkthrone release, but if there is a Darkthrone album I can live without, it is "Ravishing Grimness" and if there is a Darkthrone era I can live without, it is the Moonfog era.. It still gets 3 Imhotep-heads, since Darkthrone fans will get a fair amount of pleasure from it.. Composed by Lennard Bertram.. Roy Kristensen 15.. 2012 10:31..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Interviews/Articles - Rage - Playing Roulette
    Descriptive info: Rage - Playing Roulette.. In time for the album’s release Imhotep's Matt Coe got in touch with Andre Hilgers to ask about his long recording history prior to Rage as well as his thoughts on joining one of the longest running power metal bands from Germany.. Succinct may his thoughts be, but it doesn’t discount the fabulous, propulsive performance he’s given to the band through the years.. When you are a veteran drummer joining an equally impressive power metal outfit like Rage, things might be a touch intimidating.. Especially when replacing one of the more notable journeyman in the scene, Mike Terrana.. Yet Germany’s Andre Hilgers had little trouble sliding into the drum kit slot, and is now on his third studio album with the band for the impressively heavy “21”.. You started on your drum journey at age 7, and spent a majority of your adolescent and teenage years taking lessons in rock and jazz drumming, while also picking up the guitar and singing.. Tell us about those early development years, who were some of your mentors or inspirations that you emulated and helped shape your overall style/philosophy when it comes to drumming?.. “I started very young.. As I heard AC/DC´s “Highway to Hell” I was sure that I wanted to make music.. My first album purchase was Accept´s “Metal Heart“, I grew up in the 80’s with a lot of bands or mentors like you said.. This time we had bands like Metallica or all the German bands and many more… Today I guess the young musicians have a lot of very good musicians as mentors I think.. But Pantera´s output changed my life absolutely.. I’m a big fan of Vinnie Paul’s style of drumming, powerful and sometimes very technical.. I love that…also I like, Tommy Lee, Tommy Aldridge and Deen Castronovo.. Tell us about the first original bands you played in- which include Vanize and The Sygnet- and eventually forming the melodic power metal group Silent Force?.. “Vanize is one of many bands I played in when I was young.. That was also the time that I met for the first time Udo Dirkschneider, a very smart and nice person.. The Sygnet was my professional start I guess, we had a great time together on tour and in the studio.. After that I formed Silent Force with Alex Beyrodt.. We found DC Cooper as our singer and I love his work and voice.. We’re still together, but have no time to work on more material.. You have released 4 albums with Silent Force and been able to do a series of tours with the band.. How do you feel about each of these albums in retrospect?.. “I love all the albums the band and hope that we find the time to make a new record.. Our way was very hard, but we had great tours and I think we had a good start.. But the times change and now Alex, DC and me have other main bands to work with.. Still I miss being on the road with this party….. For us it was the plan to make it harder, because we split our orchestral material from the rest.. That means we also plan to go in the studio this year to record our orchestral album.. What circumstances led to you joining Axxis and eventually moving into the drumming position in Rage, replacing Mike Terrana? Also, had you followed the band’s career through the years?.. “Axxis and Silent Force had the same booking agency and Axxis needed a drummer for some shows, so they asked me to help out.. After 3 years I joined the band.. It was also a good time and I love the guys and the music, but there was the time to change something after I joined Rage.. At the beginning I thought it's not so easy to replace Mike and thought I would get a lot of bad emails, but there was nothing.. The fans were very happy instead of mad, also the guys from Rage were very comfortable to me.. Since that time I never spoke a word with Mike…or he with me.. We’ve known each other for many years, because I was also a big fan of Rage and Mike’s style at that time.. I have only good words for him and wish him all the best he can get.. You were able to tour the Ukraine, Russia, Czech Republic and Wacken Open Air  ...   never thought about becoming a four piece band.. Never ever.. You’ve recently joined Sinner as their new drummer as well- is it easy or difficult to balance your schedule between Rage and Sinner with recording, promotional, and touring duties for both bands? Do you believe both bands offer you enough variety as an artist, because Sinner is coming from more of a classic hard rock style versus the heavier material of Rage?.. “I have absolute no problem to balance it.. Sinner is also a very old German metal band which I grew up with.. We only make a small tour and have some festival shows.. There is no scheduling problem.. And for the rest of Sinner its also a fun thing which we love.. We all have our main bands so we all have enough to do.. You are offering special instrumental lesson work on this upcoming Rage tour with Communic and Tyr across Europe.. What is it like to be a drum teacher and do you try to teach people based on their individual strengths/ skill sets or do you have a standard format you work on with your students?.. “Both, I try to make their skills or technique better for the individual.. But I also have students who ask me about what I play in my songs.. The main thing is that I have enough students every week.. So I like to be a teacher, its my second way to make music, because I see and learn a lot on the road from what I can teach I guess.. We have respect for each other, there is no battle or something like that, when another metal band goes in the charts, I’m happy….. With the number of studio records Rage has to choose from for a headlining set list, how do you hone down the ratio of classics to newer songs? Are there times you rotate in and out a couple of songs depending on the territory you play?.. “Yes, sometimes we do that.. Last year in some countries was the first time that Rage played.. So we tried to play a good mixture from every Rage chapter.. It’s not easy because the fans in Romania or Argentina are very different.. What do you think makes the German metal scene special and unique? There seems to be a great respect musician-wise where everyone is willing to help each other out, making guest appearances on albums, special live shows, and aiding the newcomers whenever possible for the bigger benefit of the music overall….. “Good question, but I think its not only in Germany like this.. We have respect for each other, there is no battle or something like that, when another metal band goes in the charts, I’m happy…that’s all for the metal music.. So the scene has a chance to grow up more.. We have a lot of bands and musicians here as friends with mutual respect.. In the fall of 2011 you played an acoustic set at a fundraiser for Skate-Aid Night in Munster.. How did you get involved and how important do you think it is for the youth to have these outlets for their own personal well being and development?.. “That was great, Titus the organizer invited us to play there.. It’s a complete other scene there, but in the 80’s it was also the way that a lot of skaters heard metal music.. So it’s a good way to give the young people our music….. What do you think are your greatest strengths as a drummer and as a person? What one area of life would you like to improve upon if you put your time and energy into it?.. “I think to be on the ground is my biggest strength.. My daughter gives a lot of energy to me and I wanna give it back every time.. Has fatherhood changed your outlook on music and life in general?.. “Sometimes yes, I think more about the right way to live and wanna be a good father AND a good musician, because its not easy to be on the road for a long time without seeing her.. Every father knows what I mean….. but now she’s 2 and a half years old and knows that papa is a drummer, she loves to play on my drum kit and every time when she’s hearing music, she told everybody PAPA TROMMELT!!! That’s soooooo amazing……”.. Photos by Pia Kintrup Alfedus.. rage-on.. 2012 11:01..

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  • Title: Imhotep - Interviews/Articles - Slagmaur 3/3 - …horror…
    Descriptive info: Slagmaur 3/3 - …horror….. A much discussed band that creates untraditional black metal.. It is eerie, it is evil, it is dark and every sign of joy disappears to the rhythm of the music.. In what is only his second ever interview, and, according to him, it will be a long, long time before he does another, General Gribbsphiiser talks about the ideas behind Slagmaur, about the music, the lyrics and about black metal.. …read part 2/3 here….. Von Rov Shelter - an ending to harmony.. While we sit here and talk, while the sun is shining and all, General Gribbsphiiser and I agree that we really do not like the sound of sun and summer.. He says that he is an autumn - and spring type of human, and I don't know what I am, except that I don't like the sun that much.. He thinks that "Von Rov Shelter" should be released during the autumn and adds that "Skrekk Lich Kunstler" was released in November 2007.. Well, "Von Rov.. " was supposed to be in the streets in May 2009, but self-fulfilling prophecies, how can we live without them.. The date is now 28th of September!.. The music on "Von Rov Shelter" is even more complex than the former full-lenght, and it demands a lot of you.. The album needs a lot of time, something that is interesting in a society where everything is about instant gratification and everybody goes for the more-more-more kind of life, preferably as cheap as possible and without any sign of effort to get anything.. Being a bit out of line, I wonder if "Von Rov.. " is an antithesis to society the way we know it? The General speaks of the production again.. "The production is extremely conscious.. It is anything but superfluous, if you know what I mean.. There's a lot of information, and at the same time the music is hypnotizing.. So, it's not easy to hear everything at once.. On "The Devil And The Life" there is a choir after the first verse, which is quite upfront actually.. But at the same time it's a bit anonymous, which means that on a first listen the brain doesn't perceive what's going on.. ".. Will those who have like easy and crystal clear black metal be able to relate to this.. The General explains.. "A lot of this has to do with the first melody that people manage to relate to, and the music must be catchy enough so that the listener wants to listen to it again.. There are some elements that are in the open and are impossible to avoid.. The best example is the symphonic section in "Klokker Tramp".. That hits the nail on the head.. When we have someone like you, who spends a lot of time on the album(s), it is possible to discover most of the information in the music.. But as I wrote on the cover of "Skrekk Lich Kunstler" if someone slates the music, then he is a poser! The reason for writing this is that I wanted people to feel obliged to listen to the music, since nobody wants to be a poser (laughs).. And when you end up liking the album, you can feel a kind of victory! To overcome your first impression of Mayhem's "Ordo Ad Chao" and even end up liking the album, that's a victory in itself.. Talking about good time, I know albums that have got mediocre score due to publishing deadlines, and when I talk to the reviewer half a year later the score would be five or six out of six.. This is just the way it is, and maybe "Von Rov Shelter" will suffer from this.. Anyways, when it comes to details and the contents in the music, General Gribbsphiiser pretinent remarks:.. "33 minutes with Slagmaur contains more music than fifty Darkthrone albums.. Even if the album has received praise already, 95 % of those have mentioned the short playing time, thinking that it is too short.. Man, it's better to leave people wanting more, rather than giving them too much insubstantial stuff.. "Skrekk Lich Kunstler" couldn't have been a single minute longer.. We have even cut out music that didn't fit 100%.. A song that contained melody lines from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" was removed from "Von Rov Shelter", both due to the total playing time but also because things can be too much when we work with various classical themes.. Prior to meeting the General I listened to "Von Rov Shelter" one last time, and after having heard the album ca.. 50 times the two month ahead of our conversation, there were still new elements I heard on the final track "Ramaskrik".. I guess those who hate the album often are those who listen to it one or two times.. All they hear is the monotonous rhythm.. Once again the General talks about the production and explains that he wanted to take things one step further.. "I start with one melody line whose purpose is to hook the listener's attention right away.. And when you reach the point of familiarisation, the idea is that you should start to explore all the other aspects that lie behind the wall of sound.. When General Gribbsphiiser pukes, spits and hisses ".. Let's end this harmonic piece of shit.. ", I become equally surprised every time.. It's ruthless.. "A bit funny perhaps, but my conscience is somewhat bad since the album is so fucking dark, even though I become happy when I listen to it.. That  ...   double-sided tape.. We had to sit and stand in unnatural positions to make it look right.. The General has previously told me that the fruit on the cover is also a melody that is on the album and that we can try to find it ourselves, even though it may be difficult.. When it comes to the theme of the album, it closes by ".. så Dans for meg satan".. General Gribbsphiiser tells me that he anti-Christ, or Satan if you will, is described in the previous album in the same way as in Danichen's books, namely that the gods are austronauts.. I wonder, isn't it strange how so many people believe in God, Jesus, Satan and all their relatives?.. "I don't think so.. They are unhappy, therefore they need something that gives their life some sort of meaning.. This used to annoy me a lot, but.. You have the false sense of security about assuring yourself a place in Heaven.. Yes, first yourself and then perhaps somebody else.. As I said before, I don't see the point in wasting energy on this anymore.. However, I am using some on black metal bands that write anti-Christian lyrics but who wrap their message in music that never reaches those who actually are Christians.. Aside from the musical aspect, it's kind of wasted energy.. The battle is within ourselves.. We are the ones that must grow, and let the others waste their lives trying to whatever they are search for.. I agree, and I have pondered a bit on this topic and how those who began the black metal saga chose to let their har grow, to not dress up like John Doe, didn't enter the politics and got some power.. Instead they burnt a few churches, something that had the opposide effect.. It created fear, yes, but when fear grows people tend to get closer together, such as the Christians did.. "Yes, and we explore this in real life in the next photos we'll shoot for Slagmaur during next year's Norwegian Independence Day (17.. 10), with 2000 people out here in Fosen.. How has the response to your creations actually been?.. "I have already said a bit about this, but there are those who write to me personally and send me stuff they have created themselves.. Not everything has a direct connection to "Skrekk Lich Kunstler", but it's interesting to see how colours are used when somebody paints while being inspired by the music.. There are mostly red and black, and dark colours.. I know some who do not like black metal at all, but who have found something in Slagmaur.. I think that's great.. Everybody has dark emotions, and Slagmaur represents this.. The music has a sombre feeling to it, a feeling of anguish, and that's something people recognize when they listen to our music because it connects with something in their own lives.. But if you really want to understand all this, it comes down to how you perceive and understand the world of General Gribbsphiiser's Slagmaur.. You have enough hints in the booklets, and either you get it, or it just serves as a small insight into a Hell you want to avoid like the plague, yet it is something that attracts you nevertheless.. You know, people love nothing more than the sicker side of thinks, take for example the recent Fritzl case in Austria.. People love to read and hear about these things.. A few centuries ago, in Norway as well, people used to gather to see mass-executions.. It was the equivalent to our World Championships on those days.. It was mystical, it was crazy, it was fucking brutal and at the same time it was fascinating in a sick way.. So, when all comes down to it, humans are basically perverts!".. The General refers to.. grish.. , which shows people being executed.. The amount of hits were insane.. When they found out who was watching these, it was all kinds of poeple.. They need some sort of exitement in their lives, and there are few, if any, taboos left.. General Gribbsphiiser states that due to people's superfluous lives many searches for more extreme situations in order to feel anything at all.. Pedophili is still a taboo, but for how long?.. "Things just get worse and worse.. Humanity shows its true nature with ".. Rov.. We are carnivores and just live on the outside of ourselves, that is something Slagmaur manages to reveal, even though the covers, the lyrics, booklet and the music leave much room for interpretations.. But, as long as something is art, and that is the art itself.. It affects you; you get something out of what you're listening to.. If you become glad or sad, doesn't matter.. I have noticed that those who begin to like Slagmaur easily become super fans, or they don't understand anything at all.. I appreciate that, because I don't want any mediocre feedback.. What about the next album? General Gribbsphiiser gives me the title of the album but we feel it's too early to make it public, since "Von Rov Shelter" is not even released.. "On the upcoming album we will broaden our horizon a bit.. We have kept to the area around Fosen, but there will be English lyrics, something I didn't think would ever happen.. Without giving too much away, the songs and especially the choruses will be even catchier.. Don't worry though, it will remain very dark and eerie and everything I do will bear my signature.. com/slagmaur.. osmoseproductions.. Roy Kristensen 27.. 01.. 2012 22:56..

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