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70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise


To date, we have conducted 1582 interviews. If your band is available for an interview, feel free to contact us and we'll see what we can do. Here are our latest:

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Zmarlym Speaks On New Album And Poland

If you’ve never heard of Zmarlym, put this beauty on in another tab while you read the interview below.

Zmarlym only recently popped up on my radar. I listen to several Polish metal bands (Vader, Behemoth, Gruzja, Batushka--the first version anyway, Kriegsmaschine, Belzebong, Decapitated, Mgla, Truchlo Strzygi, etc.). Maybe I listen to more Polish metal than any other country other than Denmark? Anyway, Zmarlym's new album was probably randomly selected by Youtube for me to listen to because of all of these other Polish bands I appreciate. I was immediately hooked. You don't really sound like any other Polish bands that I know of, although there are occasional hints of Behemoth, Mgla, and Gruzja I suppose. Can you tell me more about the band's origin, members, and the making of your recently released first full-length album Druga Fala?

Andrew: The band Zmarlym was formed in early 2018 at the initiative of me and Mlody, who is also a drummer in another polish band Hegemoon. Me and Mlody were playing together in other bands before, so we know each other well. We invited our friend Marcin to this new project, and so it began. Material on the EP Ziemie Jalowe was created very quickly--in just few months--but for a variety of circumstances, we didn’t released it until September 2020 despite it being recorded in early 2018. In the meantime, we worked on new material, and I have to say, that before the start of the pandemic, we had composed maybe 75% of the music for the new record. But Druga Fala doesn’t contain any songs created during that time…

Since March 2020, initially due to the situation related to Covid-19 but later also influenced by other reasons, we haven’t had a place to have rehearsals. So the band was in some kind of coma. It’s not revelatory, if I would say that this was a very rough time, probably every person in the world felt some kind of depression in this time. After a few months of inactivity, which I really hated, I started to regularly play guitar again. Then the first sounds that you can hear on our debut album appeared. And I have to tell you that we did not plan to create any new music, it just happened. I mean literally, from the first riff from the first track on
Druga Fala haha, that’s exactly where it started.

So I decided to talk with the other bands members. I sent them a demo of the first song, and we decided that we wouldn't let the fact that we didn't have a rehearsal room stop us. Instead we decided to create some music remotely--just by sending files to each other. It was the very first time when we were working that way, and it was a challenging expeerience, but we were determined to do it. Why didn't we decide to finish the previous material I mentioned above? We couldn't even imagine working on that material without regular rehearsals, and that wasn't an option as it was a completely different concept.

Going back to the topic of new material that we started writing that eventually turned into
Druga Fala, this was supposed to be maybe three songs at most, released as an EP. We just wanted to get through this hard time doing something creative and then come back to the material that we orginally were working on and finish it. But the more we worked on this new stuff, the more the music sucked us in, the concept got bigger and bigger, until finally we realized it wasn't going to be just an EP; it was becoming a whole album. And that’s how it happened.

What bands have influenced Zmarlym?

A: There are a lot of bands that we were listening to, and the more I think about it… the more I don’t know how to answer the question, haha! But I can tell you some names, but this will be just the tip of the iceberg. And these are not only metal, or black metal, bands. So for sure Mayhem, Burzum, early Satyricon, Emperor, Furia, Lux Occulta (you should really check them out, they are non active at this moment but albums like a
My Guardian Anger and The Mother and The Enemy are just fucking brilliant!) but also Pink Floyd, Archive, Massive Attack, and many many others, including some electronic or even hip-hop stuff.

On the other hand, I think that Zmarlym is influenced not only by music, but also by other areas of art--like film etc. For me a big influence would be the work of David Lynch, his extraordinary approach to creation, his courage to combine often seemingly contradictory elements into one bizarre, but still coherent, vision.

I called Zmarlym "proggy psychedelic black metal" when talking to a friend, but it's even more than that. Druga Fala is incredibly varied, which is especially rare for a band's first album I think. How would you describe the band's sound or genre?

A: I really don’t know, and I have to say that we weren't spending too much time on thinking about it. If I read that someone calls our music progressive black metal, it’s good, but it is not so important for us. When we are creating music, we don’t think about locking it in some kind of genre borders or anything like that. We just follow the ideas which are coming to us and let ourselves be led by these ideas.

When we were setting up our profile on bandcamp I was wondering how to add a tag for our music besides the obvious one "black metal". In the end we added the tag "post black metal", but I have no idea if it really has much to do with what we play. Haha

I visited Poland for the first time in 2021. I spent time in Krakow, Posnan, and Warsaw--seeing a few shows along the way. I want to go back in 2022 and visit some new places including Gdansk. Do you have any "must-see" locations for foreigners like myself who visit Poland?

A: You actually listed most of the most important places, haha! But if you wanted to really get to know our country, you should just hit the road and drive somewhere away from those bigger, more famous cities. Go through the Swietokrzyskie province for example; just drive around a town like Skarzysko Kamienna or Konskie, and then maybe you would see one of the reasons why there are so many black metal bands in our country, haha! If you actually happen to be there, don't stay there for long. The climate of abandonment, collapse, and depression could consume you so much, that the subsequent therapy could be very expensive and time consuming.

Many countries have some great metal bars. I've been to some in Japan, Denmark, Czech, and the UK. I couldn't find any in Poland. Do they exist and if so, where? Can you tell us more about the Polish metal scene?

A: I don't know too many such bars in Poland. Yes, there are some, but they seem to have more of a rock/metal character than a pure metal one, like for example Od Zmierzchu Do Switu in Wroclaw or Voodoo Club in Warsaw. Moreover, some of these bars collapsed financially during the pandemic.

What’s your favorite album from 2020? 2021?

A: There were so many great albums that it's really hard for me to choose just one. But if I have to, in 2020 it would probably be
Rzeczom by Polish Odraza. As for 2021, it's not over yet, and I'm not able to choose a favorite album at the moment. Ask me in 2022, haha!

What are your touring and future recording plans?

A: We would definitely like to start playing concerts as soon as possible. However, the rehearsal room problems I mentioned earlier have delayed everything. We've only recently started rehearsing, and we are working hard to present the new material live soon.

Thanks a lot for the interview! Greetings to all Metal Undergound readers!

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W.E.B. Invites Listeners Into The "Colosseum"

Greece has always been a great place for metal music. The beautiful, historic country which has given the world so much has always enjoyed the heavier side of music and in turn, they've treated the world to some excellent bands too. One area that the Mediterranean nation particularly excels in is black metal, with the Hellenic scene forging a more melodic, traditional heavy metal approach to this extreme style and producing such legendary bands as Rotting Christ, Necromantia and Nightfall. Today, another dark Greek collective will unleash their latest album, "Colosseum," who themselves are well on their way to become one of their homeland's most revered exteme metal bands, W.E.B.

W.E.B. began life in Athens in 2002 and despite lineup changes and other setbacks, has released an arsenal of finely crafted extreme metal music over the past nineteen years. Today, fans are treated to the first offering from the current lineup, despite them being together for the past three years. "Colosseum" was already looking irresistable via the singles, "Dominus Maleficarum" and "Dark Web" and now that the final product is here, it's safe to say that fans have not been disappointed.

To find out more about "Colosseum," Metal Underground caught up with frontman and founder Sakis "Darkface" Prekas and latest recruit, bassist Hel Pyre, to discuss all things related to the record, signing with Metal Blade, how the current lineup works together, touring plans and much more. You can watch the conversation in full below.

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Photo of Obscura

Band Photo: Obscura

Steffen Kemmurer Talks New Obscura & Thulcandra

Recently, we discussed talented musicians who have masterminded more than one excellent band, that being in the form of Maudlin Of The Well and Kayo Dot frontman Toby Driver. Today will see something of a similar tone, as Metal Underground caught up with Steffen Kummerer of technical death metal wizards Obscura and black metal force Thulcandra.

Only last week, Thulcandra unleashed their latest offering of grimness, "A Dying Wish," their fourth official full length album and one which has earned high praise already. Sixteen days from now, Kummerer will see even more of his time taken up when his main project, Obscura, released their sixth album, "A Valediction." To find out more about both of these records, as well as lineup changes, influences, the importance of music videos and much more, Metal Underground spoke with this amazing talent. You can listen to the interview in full below. A transcript will follow in due course.

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Kayo Dot Frontman Discusses New Album And More

Progressive metal is a term which arguably goes against its very name. If something is easy to class as "progressive," is it really progressing? Nevertheless, there are those musicians who truly do progress and continue to push the boundaries of their music and art and no one will disagree that Kayo Dot's, Toby Driver is one such artist.

Driver originally made his name with the acclaimed avant garde metal band Maudlin Of The Well, which blended a variety of genres aside from metal such as jazz, ambient and electronic music to craft a genuinely impressive legacy that still leaves fans stunned to this day. Following the break up of Maudlin Of The Well in 2003, Driver moved on to a new project, Kayo Dot, who last week released their tenth studio effort, "Moss Grew On The Swords And Plowshares Alike." This latest offering is sure to please not only Kayo Dot fans, but also those who miss Maudlin Of The Well. To find out more about the record, we spoke with Toby Driver, who answered a variety of questions not just about Kayo Dot, but about the history of Maudlin Of The Well, working with jazz legend John Zorn and astral projection. You can watch the interview in full below, as well as read an excerpt from the chat.

Diamond Oz: First of all, congratulations on the new album, "Moss Grew On The Swords And Plowshares Alike," which is some title! I don’t think I’ve heard an album title like that before.

Toby Driver: Thank you. I really like florid titles. I didn’t come up with the title, the lyricist Jason Byron did. It comes from a biblical verse, I can’t tell you exactly what the book or verse is right this second but there’s a biblical verse which says "Go and turn your swords into plowshares," which basically means take war things and turn them into peaceful, productive things. In the case of this title, it means that moss growing over both swords and plowshares is kind of like the theme of the album, which is that everything, no matter what you do, turns back into nature and this decayed Earth. It’s almost nihilist, almost like saying that no matter what you do doesn’t really matter, whether you try to be a hero or not, it all leads to the same place.

Oz: It’s interesting as well because like you say it has like a nihilistic tone to it, but also when we think of nature we always talk about the beauty of it, so you could look at it the other way in that even the most violent things you do will become a part of something beautiful.

Toby: Totally. I’m not a nihilist at all and I don’t think our lyricist is either, so I think it’s all about, kinda like what you said, it can be a beautiful result or a painful one, but either way, nature rules over all and it becomes a part of this singularity in a way.

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Bloodred Hourglass Guitarist Talks "Your Highness"

Finland has given the world of metal music so much over the years. Whether it be the symphonic titans Nightwish, the grizzly grindcore icons Rotten Sound, black metal extremity with Impaled Nazarene or the classical grace of Apocalyptica, this relatively small country has had its hand in every sub-genre and always produced at least one band which masters it. Melodic death metal is no different, as bands like Omnium Gatherum, Before The Dawn and Mors Principium Est have proved. Today we examine another of these groups, whose new album, "Your Highness," blends crushing heaviness with some of the most lush melodies in recent years. It can only be Mikkeli's own, Bloodred Hourglass.

Bloodred Hourglass were formed back in 2005 and after a long time fighting and honing their craft, they unleashed their debut "Lifebound" seven years later. Three more albums would follow, with the most recent of which, "Your Highness" being released a mere seven days ago. To find out more about the record, its title, the use of melodies and much more, Metal Underground spoke with guitarist Lauri Silvonen. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new album, "Your Highness" is out now. It's quite an interesting title. Can you explain the reason behind it?

Lauri Silvonen: Yeah, I think we chose the name of the album a long time ago. The album is about strong and powerful women that have been, or still are part of our lives and also strong and powerful women from around the world. Lyrically it's about lost chances of love and life in general. So, there you go, "Your Highness."

Oz: There you go. As for the recording of the album itself, was this a smooth process? Were you able to get together or was this all done in isolation?

Lauri: No, despite the pandemic we managed to rehearse together and also we managed to do the recordings together. In a way we were more together than I think we've ever been because before, we would do it with each guy into the studio to record his parts and then comes the next guy. Now we recorded drums in a different studio and booked a cabin for two weeks. Of course not every guy was there for the whole two weeks. Some were there for only one week, or three days one week and two the next. It worked out really easy.

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Ad Infinitum's Melissa Bonny Opens "Chapter II"

It's always nice to catch up with people you respect. Whether it be family members, old friends or in today's case, bands which one is a fan of. Earlier this year, Metal Underground spoke with renowned vocalist Melissa Bonny of Ad Infinitum (then also of Rage Of Light) where we discussed the band's debut, "Chapter I: Monarchy." Now, nearing the end of the year, we once again had the opportunity to speak with one of the most talented singers in symphonic metal and discuss the second Ad Infinitum album, "Chapter II: Legacy," the plans for and making of the album, as well as Bonny's departure from Rage Of Light. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: First of all thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me today. More importantly the new album, “Chapter II: Legacy” will be out on October 29th. What would you say makes this different from “Monarchy”?

Melissa Bonny: The songwriting process was very different and so the end result is as well. I would say that the big difference is that “Chapter I” was recorded and written with the additional view of a producer who would supervise everything, whereas this time we only worked together as a band, from the beginning until the end. We were only involved with two other people: Elias Holmlid for the orchestration and Jacon Hansen for the mix and post production. So, this album is very much us and I think you can hear it in the music that there’s an evolution. It’s a little bit younger, fresher and heavier.

Oz: Absolutely, I think that was immediately noticed when “Unstoppable” came out. Even people who loved the first album were praising it as the best Ad Infinitum song yet. It’s a very cool music video too with the fire and everything. How was the recording process for the video?

Melissa: It was fun. We planned everything with the video director Ralf Leitner and we travelled to Austria for this video and for the next one (“Afterlife.”) The only difficulty we had was the fact that it was in the middle of the pandemic, so we didn’t know if our flight or the train would be cancelled, or if suddenly the border of one of the countries would close. So it was definitely a little bit stressful but finally when we were all there, we were ready to film, it was fantastic. I remember that it was pretty cold, we shot during the night and as we started to film, the adrenaline kicked in and we knew we were all about to create something special. I was wearing a shirt and short clothes but I couldn’t feel anything because I was so like, “Yeah! This is finally happening!” and also with the fire around, it was so cool.

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Whitechapel Guitarist Discusses New Album "Kin"

Back in the 2000s, the metal scene was presented with a new and popular sub-genre named deathcore. Like many other styles that gain a large following, it received plenty of detractors, particularly from seasoned metal fans. But also like most styles which receive criticism, there's always one or two bands which gain the respect of even the most bitter of naysayers and almost certainly, the bands which received the most praise was Whitechapel.

Formed in Knoxville, Tennessee in 2006, the band are still going strong fifteen years later and are less than two weeks away from unleashing their latest album, "Kin." This eighth full length follows on from the previous release, "The Valley" and continues to see the band evolve their sound, songwriting and lyrical output. To find out more about "Kin," Metal Underground caught up with guitarist Ben Savage. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new album, “Kin,” is out on October 29th. It seems like it’s come about quite soon considering it was only announced at the end of August.

Ben Savage: I know, it’s nice. We’ve been sitting on this album since the last note was recorded in January, so we’ve been sitting on it for a good eight months and we’re ready to get it out.

Oz: Why has it taken eight months to release?

Ben: Just the mixing and the mastering and album art, which was started after the album was finished. I suppose that took about a month and also the vinyl printing, plus everything’s all backed up with the pandemic so it takes time.

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Naraka Guitarist Talks Debut Album "In Tenebris"

France has an interesting history when it comes to metal music. Geographically between the United Kingdom and Germany, two countries which are more famous for their metal, they are often overlooked. Nonetheless, if one knows their history, they will be able to tell you that the French have always been there, giving the world such bands as Trust, Sortilege and more recently, Gojira, Dagoba, Beyond Creation and Fractal Universe.

Last week it was the turn of another French band to hit the scene, as Naraka, featuring former Dagoba drummer Franky Costanza, burst on to the stage with their debut album, "In Tenebris." Draawing comparisons to such bands as Septicflesh, the French four piece have already begun earning rave revuews for their work and will soon be hitting the road to support their full length introduction. To find out more about the band, Metal Underground caught up with guitarist Jean-Philippe Porteux, in an interview which you can watch in full below.

Diamond Oz: First of all, congratulations on the release of your debut album, “In Tenebris.” What can you tell me about the title of the album?

Jean-Philippe Porteux: Thank you. “Tenebris” is a Latin word which in English means “Darkness” or “Hell” and as a title for our music, it’s a good thing, we think.

Oz: Definitely. I’ve been listening to the singles and they’re very striking. It’s very fierce music.

Jean-Philippe: Thank you. There is no concept about the band or the album, but there are three songs which are only orchestration and no vocals and these all have Latin titles, which is to underline that these are the instrumental songs.

Oz: And how important is orchestration to your music?

Jean-Philippe: That’s an influence from the bands we like. We’re fans of Septicflesh, Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Fleshgod Apocalypse, things like that. We have many more influences like Gojira or, for me, old stuff like Pantera or Sepultura, but I think orchestration brings a little melancholy or sadness. As the guitars and drums are very aggressive, I think the orchestration can bring some melody. It’s a good thing

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Massacre Vocalist On "Resurgence" And HP Lovecraft

Florida is known for so many things; Oranges, sunshine, beaches, Lisa Simpson's geography pageant costume, but to metal fans, it will always be the home of American death metal. It's easy to point to the likes of Obituary, Morbid Angel, Deicide and Death, but one of the best albums of this time, "From Beyond," was given to the world by Tampa's own, Massacre.

Though Massacre followed "From Beyond" with the stellar EP, "Inhuman Condition," things would soon take a disasterous turn with the sophomore album, "Promise," which led to vocalist Kam Lee quitting, extremely negative reviews and ultimately, the band's demise. Several attempts were made over the years to restart the band, including a somewhat successful run from 2011 to 2014, which saw the group perform at the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise and a new album, "Back From Beyond" being released in 2014, before they disbanded again a few months later.

Two years later, Massacre were back, this time with Kam Lee on the mic once more, but legal issues forced them to use the names Massacre X and Gods Of Death, before a lengthy court process awarded the rights to the Massacre name to Kam Lee. Now, Massacre are just a few days away from unleashing their fourth album, "Resurgence," which they claim is the follow up to "From Beyond" and thus far, fans have been very happy with what they've been offered. To find out more about "Resurgence" and the story behind it, Metal Underground caught up with Kam Lee, who revealed all the details about the record, the legal process, the influence of H.P. Lovecraft and much more. You can listen to the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: On October 22nd the new Massacre album, “Resurgence” will finally be out. It’s been a long time since Massacre fans have heard you fronting the band, unless they’ve been to a live show, of course. So first of all, how does it feel to finally put out a new Massacre album?

Kam Lee: Actually, it feels justified. I guess that’s a good way to say it. It took a long time to finally do the album that the band deserve after “From Beyond,” because pretty much everything after “From Beyond,” not counting “Inhuman Condition” because it’s an EP and the majority of “Inhuman Condition” was recorded during the “From Beyond” session anyway. A lot of people don’t realise that that’s how it goes sometimes with EPs, but the only thing recorded for the EP that was new would have been the title track and “Warhead.” The other two songs were recorded prior, during the “From Beyond” sessions.

So, I never felt that the band had a proper follow up to “From Beyond” because after that, the band was pretty much out of my hands. Other characters took over, I’ll put it that way and then the albums that followed and all the problems that followed… Everyone can see the result of thirty five years in between and what happened. But yeah, it feels justifiable, like I finally got a chance to redeem the band and myself in the band because of it.

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Photo of Hate

Band Photo: Hate

Hate Frontman Explores The History Of Rugia

Poland has long had a great history with metal music. It was the first country behind the iron curtain that many metal bands were able to perform in and the Poles themselves have a tremendous history of producing many awesome bands. From the thrash metal fun of Acid Drinkers, to the pioneering death metal of Vader, the blackened death metal stars Behemoth and the vicious black metal courtest of Blaze Of Perdition, Poland has always been the masters of Slavic metal. There's one more band which needs to always be in the discussion when it comes to Polish metal, which hails from the capital city of Warsaw and has been decimating stages and ears for twenty five years now: Hate.

Beginning life under the name Infected and then as Somuchhate, the band released a string of demos before their debut, "Daemon Qui Fecit Terram" was unleashed in 1996. Since then, the band has only got stronger, creating a loyal fan base the world over and crafting a legacy of excellent extreme metal music. Tomorrow, Hate will release their twelth studio album, "Rugia," their second through Metal Blade Records. To find out more about this album, Metal Underground caught up with the band's frontman Adam "ATF Sinner" Buszko, who revealed the inspiration behind the album's name and much more. You can watch it in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new album, which I’m sure I’ll mispronounce, "Rugia"...

Adam Buszko: *corrects pronunciation* It is a Slavic name, in an archaic Slavic language, but I have no problem with it (soft g pronunciation).

Oz: And is this a Polish Slavic word or from the Balkan territories perhaps?

Adam: It’s actually Pomeranian so it’s close to the Baltic sea, because it’s the name of an island of the Baltic Sea, which is now the German island of Rugen. So "Rugia" is an archaic Slavic name for it and it was a religious hub ten centuries ago. Also it was like the last bastion of Western Slavic paganism because this was the place where the famous Arkona temple was located and they were pagan until the twelfth century. Poland had been Christianised for two centuries at least and those tribes who lived in that area were actually the enemies of the Polish princes and later the Polish king.

Oz: Nice. Did you choose to name the album as a tribute to that resistance?

Adam: Yes, exactly. You can call it a tribute album or something like that for this reason, especially since I’m so inspired by the history of this place, those tribes and their beliefs, culture, philosophy and so on, I felt it would be a good idea to restore their history in a way, to remind us of this great heritage. That’s why the album is called "Rugia."

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Blood Red Throne Opens The Imperial Congregation

Ask any metal fan about Norway and the first two words that spring to mind are, "black metal." That's completely understandable, given the nation's infamous black scene of the nineties which put the genre on the map, but Norway has always had so much more to offer than corpsepaint and shrieks. Take for instance, death metal, which saw such bands as Cadaver gained the attention of Carcass who signed them to their own label Necrosis, or the more progressive sounds of In Vain, who have been going strong for nineteen years now. Perhaps however, the most prominent name in Norwegian death metal, will always be Blood Red Throne.

Blood Red Throne began life in 1998, following Daniel "Død" Olaisen and Terje "Tchort" Vik Schei's departure from Satyricon. Tchort in particular had roots in death metal, being a member of one of Norway's first death metal bands, Green Carnation, before playing with other black metal bands such as Emperor and Carpathian Forest. Eventually the band released their debut album, "Monument Of Death" in 2001 and would go on to become an established name in the whole sub-genre.

Fast forward twenty years and Blood Red Throne, now only featuring Daniel Olaisen from the original lineup, has unleashed what could be their most vicious beast yet, in the form of their tenth studio album, "Imperial Congregation." Boasting stellar music and incredible artwork, Blood Red Throne are once again proving why they're the ambassadors of Norwegian death metal. To find out more about this record, we put some questions to Olaisen. You can read the interview below.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on your new album, "Imperial Congregation." What would you say makes it different from your previous full length, "Fit To Kill"?

Daniel Olaisen: Thanks! Most definitely. This is our 10th album and we wanted to do something special and step up everything. Main focus was to write the best riffs and songs and give them a worthy production. Ronnie Björnström mixed and mastered the album and it's the best production we've ever had. Also worth mentioning, the leads on this album are better than ever. Melodic and epic, It's simply our best album!

Oz: What was the recording process like for this album? Was it affected by the pandemic in any way?

Daniel: Pandemic doesn't affect anything. The last decade I've recorded all guitars, bass and vocals for all my albums in my home studio. We don't rehearse. I write most of the songs and record them and then the other guys put on their stuff. Meathook also wrote a couple of songs and I helped out with some riffs, leads and arranging them.

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The Agonist Singer Discusses New EP, Beer And More

Everyone knows that when a band starts out, it's a long way to the top and they'll have to endure some very hard times to get where they are. Some bands don't just fight their way to recognition and fame, they battle to stay there, which only makes them more endearing. Take The Agonist, a five piece from Montreal who worked damn hard to make it, and still had to keep the wolves at bay and deal with all manner of adversity. But fight they did and now, they're arguably better than ever with a legion of devoted fans.

At the end of 2019, the band released their sixth album, "Orphans," but touring for this magnifficent opus was sadly cut short thanks to the pandemic. Nevertheless, The Agonist has done what they always have and soldiered on and now, almost two years later, the metal world is being treated to a brand new EP entitled, "Days Before The World Wept."

To discover the meaning behind the title, why the group decided to release an EP instead of a full album, their recent partnetship with Vox&Hops/Brewtal and much more, we caught up with vocalist Vicky Psarakis. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new EP, “Days Before The World Wept” is out on October 15th. What can you tell me about the title of the EP?

Vicky Psarakis: Well the title is from one of the songs on the EP. It’s pretty representative of the lyrics on the album and I felt like it was just the strongest title. It’s a title that you read and you can’t help but feel something while reading it and when we were trying to think of an EP title, it was just the one that stood out the most to me.

Oz: It’s a very strong title and very evocative, as well as being appropriate for the real world right now.

Vicky: Funny enough, I actually wrote the lyrics to that song way before any of this craziness started with the pandemic and all that. I actually wrote it in mid-2019, so it has nothing to do with the current situation, however I can see how one would relate to it.

Oz: Yeah, unfortunately it seems it’s going to be one of those titles that people will associate with the pandemic.

Vicky: And that’s OK because I think the way I write my lyrics anyway, they’re always up for interpretation and I like writing in a way where anyone can relate based on their own experiences, because I think the song is stronger when you do that. If you write about something specific that you only relate to and no one else, then you’re not really grabbing someone and pulling them towards you. So I’m perfectly OK, like, when I hear other interpretations of my lyrics, it actually makes me smile.

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1914 Treads Where Fear And Weapons Meet

Heavy metal has long had a fascination with history. Whether it's ancient Egypt, Greece & Rome, the medieval kings of Europe, feudal Japan or the two world wars, metal has always studied these people and events and documented them through their music. Of course, World War 2 gets plenty of attention, it being the biggest war of all time, but if one looks at the war which preceded it, a four year tale of suffering, violence and fear is in store. Bands such as Iron Maiden, Metallica and Sabaton have all dedicated songs to the subject, but one band from Ukraine, who are quickly making a name for themselves, focus entirely on the global conflict. Appropriately enough, the band in question is 1914.

1914 were formed in Lviv, the largest city in Western Ukraine which itself has a very interesting history, the quintet combine black, death and doom metal perfectly to tell stories from the Great War, from the famous battles of Verdun and Paschendale to personal dramas faced by everyday privates. In two weeks (October 22nd,) 1914 will unleash their third album, "Where Fear And Weapons Meet," which is as dark and brutal as ever, but also contains a theme of hope. To find out more about the album, and to be schooled on the Eastern front of the war, we spoke with the band's vocalist Dmytro Kumar. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new album, “Where Fear And Weapons Meet” is out this month. I find 1914 to be a very interesting band because it grabs the listener’s attention for all manner of reasons. So with that being said, how is “Where Fear And Weapons Meet” different from “The Blind Leading The Blind”?

Dmytro Kumar: First of all, “Where Fear And Weapons Meet” is totally about hope. It’s not about death. It’s not about mud or suffering, it’s totally and completely about hope. Every soldier, while they were in the trenches, only had one thing: hope. If you compare these two albums, “The Blind Leading The Blind” was totally about the shitty mud in the trenches, about death and suffering, so everyone on every track had died.

On this album, you get a lot of stories about heroes who survived, became a hero and went back home. So that’s the main difference, it’s not about death. Even our art, where a wounded soldier is reaching out for Death, covered in blood and having lost some of his body parts, but Death refuses to take him. He wants to die but Death looks at him and says, “No. You deserve to live.” I have some other stories that go from the first album to the second and then to this one, but I don’t want to spoil it before the album is released because it won’t be interesting!

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Illudium Founder Discusses California And COVID

When one thinks of California, images of sunshine, surfing and celebrities immediately spring to mind. But this sprawling area of the United States has much more to it than the Hollywood cliches. It contains some of the most lush forestry in the country, the staggering height of Mount Whitney, vast lakes and of course, the Mojave desert, which all come together to create a contiously interesting landscape and climates. Music has always been a big part of California's history too, be it the surf rock of the Beach Boys or the Bay Area thrash metal scene, but perhaps no one has captured the spirit and soul of the state more genuinely than Illudium.

Beginning life in 2011 as a solo project of Shantel Amundson, Illudium released its first album, "Septem" in 2016 and now, five years later, the world is being treated to a second helping from the Santa Cruz native. This new album, "Ash Of The Womb," encapsulates the true spirit of California, from its known beauty to its turbulent relationship with mother nature and is set to be released through Prophecy Productions on October 15th. To find out more about the album, we caught up with Shantel Amundson and discussed everything from the title to how she recorded her vocals while battling the COVID-19 virus to the deep seated love and pride she takes in California. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new album, "Ash Of The Womb" is out on the 15th of October. What can you tell me about the title? It’s a very interesting title, very dark and evocative. For you, what does the album title mean?

Shantel Amundson: You know, it’s hard for me to go into great depth about it because it is a very personal title, in terms of the choice. The elements of the album is something that I feel people can relate to without me having to go into my own personal depth as to what it means to me. But it’s basically meshing together these two elements that people don’t often relate to one another, which is death and birth and also, death within birth. There’s some other environmental aspects that are going along with the album thematically, but that’s basically the choice of the title for me personally, embodying that idea.

Oz: Is it important to you to have that mystery when it comes to your album titles and lyrics?

Shantel: Yes, it is. For the time being, yeah. It’s just a personal decision. I think that overall this album has a lot to do with the personal and collective experience, for me, of just living in California for the past four years and everything that’s happening, on all levels, with the world right now.

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"Now Is The Time" For Perpetual Etude

It's always exciting to get discover a brand new band and to get it on the ground floor as they take off. The past decade has seen so many thrilling and fascinating artists make a name for themselves in the metal world and the 2020s, despite the obvious setbacks, have been no exception.

In less than two weeks, October 15th to be exact, another newcomer will burst onto the scene, when Swedish quintet Perpetual Etude unleash their debut album, "Now Is The Time." Though it only features eight tracks, each song is guaranteed to pack a hell of a punch and showcase the talent the group possesses. To find out more about the album, the band's formation, how big of a role eighties metal music plays in their sound and more, we caught up with the band's founder, Magnus Mild. You can watch it in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new album, “Now Is The Time” is out very soon. What I’ve heard has been great, high energy heavy metal. Do you feel you were able to take that spirit from the eighties and translate it into modern day?

Magnus Mild: Thanks very much. I don’t know really. I think it’s the music that formed me as I grew up. I’ve found that it was pretty natural, if I don’t think about writing in a certain genre, then this is the thing that comes out naturally. I think I’m so heavily influenced by the music that it’s purely from the heart that I don’t try to make it sound like this or this, it just pops out from my head.

Oz: I think that’s why it comes across so well. There’s a lot of retro bands now who just copy Maiden or Saxon, but Perpetual Etude has its own energy. As for the album itself, obviously, “Now Is The Time” is a great title for a debut album, but what does the title mean to you?

Magnus: In the beginning it started out as a smaller project. I always like to sit down, play guitar and write songs and I had a bunch of songs that didn’t suit any of the other bands, so I thought, “Why not make a demo of these songs?” So we released the first song, “I’ve Got The Power” and after that we were contacted by two labels, from which we chose to sign with Black Lodge Records and I just felt, now is the time to do something with all these songs. I’ve got a lot of songs on my computer that have never seen daylight but this time I thought, “Why not do something about this?” So it all became very clear, now is the time to do it. It all sounds pretty natural.

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Kryptos Explains Why They're A "Force Of Danger"

Since the turn of the millenium, metal fans have been able to discover more bands from all across the globe and in turn, groups have had the opportunity to be heard by more people than ever before. Perhaps one of the most notable bands to benefit from a global metal community would be Kryptos, the quarter from Bangalore, India who have become their country's most well known, and well loved metal export.

Keeping the spirit of traditional and thrash metal alive since 1998, Kryptos has to date released five albums, with a sixth, "Force Of Danger," set to be unleashed on October 1st through AFM Records. The band has been able to break down barriers and become heroes for young metalheads in India and with their new album displaying a fiercer Kryptos than ever before, their reputation will only become bigger and more positive. To find out more about "Force Of Danger," Kryptos' long relationship with AFM Records, how the pandemic affected them and what it's like to be a metal band in India, we caught up with vocalist/guitarist Nolan Lewis. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new album, "Force Of Danger" is out very soon. It’s definitely an appropriate title for Kryptos, given that the band has always been a high energy force…

Nolan Lewis: And we get a bit dangerous when we drink too much! (laughs)

Oz: Well, for you, what does the title mean?

Nolan: It doesn't really mean too much. It’s kind of inspired by eighties and nineties sci-fi action movies such as Escape From New York and things like that. So it's kind of like, when you hear all this ominous sci-fi music and you see the bad guys showing up with guns, that kind of sounds like a force of danger and that title always kind of stuck in my head. I thought, "I need to use this as an album title or for a song one day." We actually got the artwork before we named the album and once we got the artwork I was like, "Yeah, I need to put this title in there!"

Oz: Speaking of the art, it does look very cool. How satisfied were you with it and who came up with it?

Nolan: It was done by a good friend from Visual Amnesia. He did the initial art, which actually didn't really look like what it does now. He’s the one behind the figure, but he gave us a very plain background with blue sky and stuff, which was kind of weird, like the Terminator was going to a picnic or something! We were already working with another artist from Colombia, she was designing our booklet and sleeve and everything. So we just asked her if she could touch it up. She understood what kind of theme we were going for and she did the background, gave it kind of an 80s sci-fi finish. So it was a combination of both really.

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Necromantia: The Alpha And Omega

They say that all good things must come to an end and sadly, 2021 marks the end of one of Greece's most revered extreme metal bands. Necromantia was formed in 1989 and soon became known as one of the pioneering forces of Greek black metal. Their debut album, "Crossing The Fiery Path" is regarded by many to be a must have for any self-respecting fan of the genre and led by bassists Magus Wampyr Daoloth and Baron Blood, they forged a legacy of extreme music which few can match.

Tragically, in 2019, Baron Blood suddenly passed away after suffering a heart attack. Magus confirmed to fans that while Necromantia couldn't continue without him, he would nonetheless release a new EP in memory of his fallen brother. Due to the pandemic however, Magus was gifted more time and the EP has transformed into a final full length album, "To The Depths We Descend." To find out more about this album, the process behind it, the legacy of Necromantia and Greek black metal's differences to the Scandinavian style, we caught up with The Magus, who now fronts Yoth Iria. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: Necromantia has always been held up as one of the premier bands of Greek black metal, which itself is highly regarded. Obviously with the passing of Baron Blood, it's an appropriate time to end the band. Why was it important to finish with one last album?

Magus Wampyr Daoloth: When Baron Blood departed two years ago, it was kind of a shock. Not because I lost a band member, I lost a friend. I knew him since high school. We were thinking about making another Necromantia album but we didn't have time to do it due to everyday obligations like family. So I felt obligated to do a final recording dedicated to him, it's like we continued where we left off. In the beginning it was going to be an EP with just a couple of songs; One for Baron Blood and maybe another one or some re-recordings, but due to the pandemic and the lockdown, I had more time on my hands. So it gave me the opportunity to concentrate more on that, because when we record a Necromantia album, we have to always be concentrating on it, otherwise it doesn't work.

The second most important thing is that I found a good team: George Emmanuel from Lucifer's Child on guitars and Yiannis Votsis on drums. So I had a good team, I had the time and I had the inspiration after all this time of, let's say inactivity, musically, to make an album and I think we kind of owed it to the people who have supported us over the years. A farewell album before the band stops forever.

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Rivers Of Nihil Vocalist Puts In "The Work"

There's plenty of new albums hitting the shelves today, but perhaps none are more intriguing than "The Work," the fourth full length output from Pennsylvania's technical death metal band Rivers Of Nihil. Once again unleashed via Metal Blade Records and with amazing cover art from veteran artist Dan Seagrave, this promises to be the group's most ambitious record yet, featuring more experimentation and variation than ever before.

To find out more about the album, we caught up with vocalist Jake Dieffenbach, who shed light on everything to do with the album, their lasting relationship with Metal Blade, plans for the future and much more. You can watch it in full below.

Diamond Oz: What can you tell me about the title, "The Work?"

Jake Dieffenbach: The title, "The Work," as far as I understand, basically represents everything that we've put into this band and the process of it. So I feel like it kind of connects to the creative grind of doing every single thing on every level that we do as a band. Through the writing process, the touring process, recording process, every aspect of it, we see that as a representation of the work. Putting time into something that transcends the wear and tear feeling of it but in the end it becomes something artistic. That's my interpretation of the title, but I mean, if you ask someone else in the band you might get a different answer. I know that on one level it represents all that we've done up to this point. Not just with this album but everything leading up to this point in our career as a band.

Oz: Yeah, sometimes the simplest of titles can mean the most. I've noticed a lot of comments on the "Clean" and "Focus" people are saying that you've changed your sound a bit but it's still Rivers Of Nihil, so the music itself really does encompass everything Rivers Of Nihil have been and progressed to being.

Jake: Yeah, it's definitely a bit different than I think most people would have expected. Even the first time I heard the title, I had to sit with it for a second until the meaning really registered with the personal relationships we have in the band and I think it works. (laughs)

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Rage Frontman Talks New Album "Resurrection Day"

Album titles are a funny thing. Sometimes they sum up the music within perfectly, sometimes they just sound cool and sometimes they're a fitting metaphor for where the band are in their career at the time. This is particularly appropriate for Rage, whose new album, "Resurrection Day," sees something of a rejuvination for the German veterans, following a mixed reaction to their recent output and a change in lineup. The album is comprised of the high energy metal which earned the band a loyal following and may well be their best album for decades, displaying traces of power, speed and at one point, even folk metal, painting a varied picture of what makes the genre so intriguing.

To find out more about this amazing album, the changes Rage have gone through over the past year and more, I caught up with vocalist Peter "Peavy" Wagner, the sole original member and driving force behind the group. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Criminal Frontman On New Album, Brujeria & Lock Up

When it comes to South American metal, most people tend to focus on Brazil, which has after all given the world such legendary names as Sepultura, Ratos de Porão, Sarcófago and Korzus. However, when one looks beyond the surface, there are so many bands of note across South America. Some may be drawn to Inquisition of Colombia, or Hermética from Argentica, but for the most part, people will mention Chile's own Pentagram (internationally known as Pentagram Chile) and their founder Anton Reisenegger, who would also go on to form another beloved South American thrash outfit, Criminal, along with guitarist Rodrigo Contreras.

Thirty years on from the inception of Criminal and the band is preparing to mark this milestone with "Sacrificio," their first album in five years, which is already promising to delight long time fans and thrill new ones. Recorded in the capital city of Santiago, the ninth full length output continues the band's signature blend of thrash and death metal, and even features a few grindcore influences, thanks in part to Reisenegger's time over the past decade as a member of grind supergroups Lock Up and Brujeria.

To discover more about "Sacrificio," (set to be released on September 17th through Metal Blade,) the social situations and politics in Chile which helped shaped the tone and outlook of the record, as well as more information on Lock Up's new album, "The Dregs Of Hades" and when the public can expect a new full length album from another beloved project he's involved in, Brujeria. You can check out the interview below.

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Wormwood Guitarist On "Arkivet," Armageddon & Art

The end of the world has long been a topic of discussion in metal music. From the early days of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, to the NWOBHM, thrash, death and beyond, humanity's extinction has been an ever present theme in metal. In the modern world though, the subject is becoming much more prominent as we face global warming, a global plague, fires in the sea and even locust infestations. If anyone is qualified to give any insight into these frightening times, it's metal musicians (and scientists, I guess,) owing to the long study and fascination. At the end of the month, five such musicians from Sweden will release their album, "Arkivet," which may be the most grounded look at the apocalypse yet. So it is, we turn our attention to Wormwood.

Formed in 2014, Wormwood has released one EP and two albums, with a third full length, the aforementioned, "Arkivet" (Swedish for "The Archive") set to be unleashed on August 27th through Black Lodge Records. To find out more about the album, the background, concept, recording, why the record has barely any artwork and much more, we caught up with guitarist Tobias Rydsheim. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Wizardthrone Guitarist Discusses Debut Album

As Tenacious D once explained, punk, grunge, new wave and techno tried to kill the metal, but they failed. Over the past twenty months, it's been proven that COVID-19 can't kill the metal either, as bands are still forming and releasing debut albums, as is the case with the likes of Crypta, Cult Of Lilith, Frozen Crown and Vexed. Another group that's burst onto the scene during the Corona virus era is Wizardthrone, a supergroup comprised of members of Alestorm, Aether Realm and Nekrogoblikon among others to forge a new symphonic death metal band with some of the longest titles in recent memory.

Last month, the band unleashed their debut album, "Hypercube Necrodimensions," which boasts excellent musicianship, superb artwork and stellar songwriting. To find out more about the band, its formation, "Hypercube Necrodimensions" and more, Metal Underground spoke with guitarist Mike Barber. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Space Chaser Demands "Give Us Life" With New Album

Back in the early eighties, thrash metal exploded onto the scene, forging a blend of hardcore punk and New Wave Of British Heavy Metal influences. While it experienced strong commercial success in the decade, it would be damaged by the emerging grunge scene, before once again rearing it's head in the 2000s. Just as thrash had once been seen as the opposing force of glam metal, so it was in the new millenium that people once more flocked to the genre to save them from emo music and metalcore.

This of course meant that a new breed of thrash metal bands were born, with some such as Evile, Gama Bomb and Municipal Waste garnering a worldwide fan base. In Germany, where so many iconic names of the genre had been born, there was another collective who wanted to combine their love of thrash metal with the science fiction and horror movies. A quintet by the name of Space Chaser.

Formed in the beautiful capital city of Berlin in 2011, the band would release a few demos before their debut full length, "Watch The Skies!" was unleashed in 2014. A sophomore effort, "Dead Sun Rising" followed two years later, but then the band seemed to go quiet for a while. Faced with the struggles of touring and being an independent band with little backing, problems inevitable came their way. A decade on from their formation however, they're stronger than ever and their new album, "Give Us Life," which will be released through Metal Blade Records on July 16th is solid proof of this.

To find out more about the album, we caught up with drummer Matthias Scheuerer, who discussed the album, its themes, artwork and music videos, as well as why it took five years for a new album to be released, science fiction and much more. You can check it out below.

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Ophidian I Guitarist Reveals All About "Desolate"

It's a strange but definite thing in recent years that more and more metal bands seem to be emerging from the small nation of Iceland. With a population of just under four hundred thousand people, around half of whom live in the capital city of Reykjavik, it's surprising to see more and more bands such as Cult Of Lilith or Volcanova begin to gain fans across the globe. However, given its sparse landscapes, freezing temperature and Viking history, perhaps Iceland really is the perfect breeding ground for metal, given that it can feel so... desolate.

One band who feels that that word perfectly sums up their homeland would be Ophidian I, the Reykjavik quintet who in less than a week will release their second album, "Desolate," nine years after their debut. To find out more about this latest slab of technical death metal beef, Metal Underground caught up with guitarist Símon Þórólfsson, who revealed all about the album, including the meaning behind the title, the stellar artwork from Eliran Kantor and why it took so long to release a new album, among many other subjects. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Loch Vostok Guitarist Tells Us Of The "Opus Ferox"

Progressive metal is a strange thing. On one hand, many progressive metal bands sound very different from one another, but on the other, listeners will almost immediately recognise it when they hear it. Since such bands as Queensryche, Fates Warning and Crimson Glory burst on to the scene, the sub-genre has evolved and taken on a life of its own, becoming one of the more popular brances of metal in the modern world.

One such band which can both be pinpointed as a progressive metal band but has also grown and developed a sound of their own, would be Sweden's own, Loch Vostok. Combining Celtic and Russian words, the Northern European collective has gone from strength to strength over the last twenty years, releasing critically acclaimed music and garnering a fan base the world over.

Recently, Metal Underground caught up with the band's mastermind Teddy Möller, the founder and guitarist of the group who until last year, was also the vocalist. In this brand new interview, we discuss the band's awesome new album, "Opus Ferox - The Great Escape" and the story behind the record, new vocalist Jonas Radehorn, why Möller decided he didn't want to sing anymore and much more. You can watch the conversation in full below.

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