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Interviews

To date, we have conducted 1471 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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Ensiferum Prepares For A Thallasic Journey

Folk metal has come a long way since it was pioneered by Skyclad and Cruachan. Other sub genres such as thrash, death and black metal have found their way, almost seamlessly, into the field. Nowadays much of the attention of folk metal seems focused on countries such as Finland, Norway and Germany and one such band who helped lead Finland to become leaders of folk metal was born in 1995 was Helsinki's own, Ensiferum.

Four years after forming, the band were signed to Spinefarm Records and have since released seven albums, with a new opus, "Thalassic," set to be released next month through Metal Blade Records. To find out more about the album, I caught up with bassist Sami Hinkka, who revealed all about the record, as well as the effect the global pandemic has had on the group and much more. You can listen to the interview in full below.

Read Diamond Oz's full interview »

Beyond The Black Vocalist Looks To New "Hørizøns"

While the world has slowed to a crawl, it's important to remember that albums are still being released. It goes without saying that it's a critical time for artists, but many of them are looking into new ways to promote themselves and treat fans to different experiences. One band who is about to release a brand new album hails from the city of Mannheim in south west Germany, a band guided by the creative vision of one extraordinarily talented woman named Jennifer Haben. A band called Beyond The Black.

Though only in their sixth year as a band, the group are just two days away from unleashing their fourth album, "Hørizøns," which promises to be explore new musical territories and boasts a guest appearance from Amaranthe vocalist Elize Ryd, whom BTB were scheduled to tour with before the pandemic struck. To learn more about the album, I spoke with Jennifer Haben all about the record, the expectations from fans and the surprises that they'll receive and much more. You can listen to the interview in full below.

Read Diamond Oz's full interview »

Jonas Stålhammar Talks New Bombs Of Hades EP

Sweden has given the world so much when it comes to rock music. From Blue Swede's classic sing along, "Hooked On A Feeling" to a legendary punk movement to a style of death metal all of its own, the Scandinavian nation has been very generous to headbangers. One band which has been steadily combining two of those three styles for eighteen years now is Bombs Of Hades, who hail from Västerås. This past April, the band unleashed a new EP, "Phantom Bell," their first release in four years and now frontman Jonas Stålhammar reveals that a new full length album is set to be recorded this September.

In addition to his work with Bombs Of Hades, Stålhammar is a recent addition to the At The Gates lineup and had some surprising revelations regarding the direction of the new album and when they expect to record it, as well as the progress of the sophomore album from The Lurking Fear, which features such other Swedish luminaries as Tomas Lindberg and Adrian Erlandsson. You can listen to the interview in full below.

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Interview With Exulansis

Can you tell me a little about Exulansis--its origins, band members, and history?

James: Exulansis started in the winter of 2015/16 with Mark Morgan and I jamming as a two piece. We’d practice at the Morgan’s childhood home in Colestin, Oregon right at the edge of the California border. We were very much a black doom grind outfit. We added Alex Grey on bass in the spring of 2016 and played our first show at Club 66 (RIP) in Ashland, Oregon. In May we recorded “Chaos Reigns Demo'' and played our 2nd show with Steaksauce Mustache, Jay Jayle, and Sumac (also at Club 66). We were inactive until October 2017 while I was wildland firefighting in California. We came back for a few shows in fall of 2017 and were getting ready to record our 2nd demo “Cyclical Sentient Struggle''. We were trying to veer away from dissonant caveman riffs and go more in a melodic black doom crust vein. I had envisioned stringed parts and immediately thought of Andrea Morgan. We went up to Portland and recorded “CSS'' in her house with her partner Dave Clark. Her first time practicing with us was in the studio! During this time we had members in Portland, Southern Oregon, and Oakland, California, meeting up once a month for band practice in the Colestin. In late 2017 Andrea got us on a tour with Isenordal and Omens. After the tour we played two more shows in the summer of 2018 before deciding to part ways with our bassist Alex Grey. We were starting to lean heavily into the melodic and folk elements from Andrea’s classical training and my busking background. We played two more shows in late 2018 before turning these collections of songs into what would be our full length “Sequestered Sympathy”. We now are located in Martinez (California), Portland (Oregon), and Oregon City.

exulansis Photo by Tatiana Ray

Where did the name Exulansis come from?

James: I was looking for a name that embodied the project, and we were trying to avoid being pigeon holed into a single genre. Our lyrical content varied from personal, philosophical, to political. I found the word via a meme that was circulating and was like THIS!

Exulansis - The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it.

I resonated with the idea of not being able to express oneself. At the time I was having a hard time with communication as a person due to addiction and trauma, while being in a toxically masculine career and damaging relationships where I wasn’t heard or understood. It was also the best name we had in the running, so we went with it.

Exulansis doesn’t really sound like any other band to me (which is a good thing). However, occasionally I hear slight resemblances to Wolves In The Throne Room, Dawn Ray’d, and Giant Squid. How would you describe Exulansis’ sound and who are the band’s major influences?

James: I describe our recent album as Atmospheric Melodic Blackened Doom with some Dark Folk songs.

Influences include: Leech, Thou, His Hero is Gone, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Townes Van Zandt, Emma Ruth Rundle, and Elliot Smith

For someone who has never heard the band before, what bands would you say “fans of ______ band will also like Exulansis”?

For Fans Of: Embers, Sangre De Muerdago, Subrosa, Panopticon, Dead to a Dying World, Falls of Rauros, Vradiazei, Fall of Efrafa, Buried Inside

“Sequestered Sympathy” was recorded a bit over a year ago and has been out for over six months now. Can you tell us about that album’s creation and what the reception has been like?

Andrea: When we recorded this album in April of 2019, there was a lot going on personally for each of us, and the process of documenting this music was as intense as it was cathartic. It really brought us together and helped establish our foundation not only as friends and family, but who we are as an ensemble. It was clear after completing this album, that we were in this for the long haul. Our relationships with each other and our ability to communicate musically has continued to grow ever since. The reception of the album has been truly humbling. People from all over the world have reached out to us to express the challenges they were enduring when this music came into their lives, and the catharsis it has brought them. To know that the energy we put into making this music could then be transferred as a form of healing to those receiving it, reminds us of the powerful bond that is forged from unified intention. This exchange makes it all worthwhile and we’re so grateful for that experience.

Exulansis had a west coast tour planned for this month and were scheduled to perform from Tijuana all the way up to Seattle, but those dates were all cancelled due to COVID-19. How else has the pandemic affected the band? Have any new dates/tours been scheduled? Have you written any new material because of the lockdown?

Andrea: Though the three of us have been affected financially from the virus, we are extremely lucky to still have our health. There is not much more we could ask for at this point. We have experienced an outpouring of generosity from fans and fellow artists who have gone out of their way to support us during this time through donations, purchasing our merchandise, and reaching out with uplifting and encouraging messages of love and solidarity. Though we had no choice but to cancel our tour, we have been rescheduled to play at Northwest Terror Fest 2021 and hope we can reschedule some other shows we planned this year as well. In the meantime, already at a significant distance from each other before the pandemic, we have begun using the technology at our fingertips to exchange ideas and begin writing a lot of new material. All of this is helping us stay focused and look towards the future however uncertain it may be right now.

Let’s pretend you can tour any five countries with any two bands. What countries and what bands (and why)?

James: It’s hard to think about. We’re seeing huge ecological recovery from the lack of travel due to the lockdowns. Returning to “normal” will undo all of this progress. But since we are pretending: we’d love to tour Germany, Uruguay, Mexico, the UK, Japan and so many others.

As far as bands, we’d like to tour with: we want to go with bands who have a chill, humble, funny, positive attitude, and who aren’t xenophobes.

What’s your favorite album from 2019? 2020?

2019: Lingua Ignota - Caligula, Abigail Williams - “Walk Beyond the Dark”, Haunter - “Sacramental Death Qualia”
2020: Panopticon/Aerial Ruin - “Split”, Occlith - “Gates, Doorways, & Endings”, Tre Burt - “Caught it From the Rye”

You can pick up Exulansis stuff here. Listen to “Sequestered Sympathy” below.

Read AlCase's full interview »

Tokyo Blade Launches The "Dark Revolution"

As was stated recently in the introduction to the Desolation Angels interview, the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal gave the world some of the greatest cult favourites in the history of the genre. From Venom to Raven, Tank to Cloven Hoof, there are plenty of bands that inspired a loyal following. Another of these bands was Wiltshire's own, Tokyo Blade.

Since forming in 1979, the band has played with both melody and ferocity, crafting some excellent heavy metal over forty one years, especially their self-titled debut and superb sophomore effort, "Night of the Blade." Now in 2020, the band has another solid slab of steel in the form of "Dark Revolution," showcasing perhaps the best lineup Tokyo Blade has ever had. I had the pleasure of putting some questions to guitarist and driving force Andy Boulton about the album and more this week, who had some very interesting things to say.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on your new album, "Dark Revolution." This is the first time since the eighties that the band has released two albums in the space of two years. What is it about this lineup that you feel gives you so much momentum?

Andy Boulton: Basically the momentum part is easy as I’m a createaholic! I’m happiest when I’m creating new things and that’s always been the case. The problem with doing albums in the past is funding the bloody things. Studio time is expensive and record deals are few and far between. Deals where the company will actually pay anything towards the cost of the album is also rarity these days. Luckily I have had my own home studio for some years, the problem was having the confidence to make a commercial release. However as most of "Unbroken" our previous album was recorded at my home studio, owing to things not working out so well at the studio in France, Alan suggested that we do the whole thing here and he gave me the confidence to go for it.

Read Diamond Oz's full interview »

Secrets Of The Moon Welcomes All To "Black House"

We see so much evolution when it comes to black metal. From Venom to Emperor to Behemoth, it's a sub-genre which continues to evolve. While many bands themselves don't change their style too drastically, for others, it's part of growing as artists and musicians to utilise more influences and so it is with Germany's, Secrets Of The Moon. The quartet, founded twenty five years ago in the city of Osnabrück, have gone from being one of the country's best black metal bands to one of its most interesting, incorporating Gothic and progressive elements to create a sound of their own.

Now with a new album, "Black House" available worldwide. I spoke with guitarist AR about the record, the themes it presents, why there was such a big gap in between "Black House" and previous album, "Sun" and much more.

Diamond Oz: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. It's been five years since your previous album, "Sun." Why was there such a long gap in between albums?

AR: Thank you for your time and interest! It actually took us more than 2 years of constant work on that album. The first recording session started about 2 years ago, after that we took about a year working on arrangements and details in the studio. With the mixed blessing of working out of my own studio, we had the chance to revisit the songs over the time. After all, I think Black House profited from having a very thought through production. The year after we spent planning/ realizing the quite ambitious visual concept of the album.

It's a strange feeling now to share these songs after working on it for such a long time in private with the public. Suddenly they are not only ours anymore.

Oz: What makes "Black House" different from "Sun"?

AR: That's something that lies in the eye of the beholder and something that I don't want to influence too much with my point of view.

I've listened to “Sun” a few days ago for the first time in years and I became quite surprised about its intensity. It was an incredibly spontaneous album, we were all very struck by personal experiences at that time and I hear that in the songs. You can't plan an album like that, it's as if something spoke through us. “Black House”, on the contrary feels more like an architecture. We knew before what it should become. It bears more of a deeply personal message from us. If “Sun” was possessive, “Black House” is very obsessive.

Read Diamond Oz's full interview »

Photo of BlackLab

Band Photo: BlackLab

BlackLab Offers A Glimpse Into The "Abyss"

Doom metal truly is a fascinating sub genre. Detractors may point to the surface and say it's something stuck in the past and derivative from Black Sabbath only, but there's so much more to it. Since progenitors of the seventies such as Sabbath, Pentagram, Sir Lord Baltimore and Buffalo, the style has evolved and given the world some amazing artistry and seen some of the most creative and ambitious works from any band from the metal plains. This indeed still rings true today, with many festival favourites and cult heroes keeping the flame of counter culture burning brightly and in Japan, two women have poured their love of the music to create one of the finest albums of 2020 yet. Their name is BlackLab and their sophomore album, "Abyss" serves as both a reflection of the world in it's current state, and a vicious, pulverising lesson in doom metal.

Recently, I had the pleasure of putting some questions to the duo of Yuko Morino and Chia Shiraishi and found out all about the band, "Abyss," their previous album, "Under The Strawberry Moon," how the past has shaped their sound and much more.

Diamond Oz: Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me today. Congratulations on your new album, "Abyss." It's an incredible album. Why did you choose "Abyss" as the title?

Yuko Morino (guitars/vocals): Thank you for giving us time to speak. I'm so happy you liked it. The title of the album was the last thing we decided on. When the cover art was finished, I saw it and came up with the album title "Abyss". There were a few other ideas that combined "Abyss" with other words, but eventually, after we discussed it, we came to the conclusion that one simple word would be more affective. I really love this album title, and I think it's a good representation of the world-view of the album.

Oz: What do you think makes "Abyss" different from your debut, "Under A Strawberry Moon"?

Yuko: Soon after "Under The Strawberry Moon" was released, I started to write the songs for the next album. I thought that I'd try to create a bit more variety to the songs compared with the previous album, but still keeping the elements of hardcore punk and lo-fi. I also thought about channeling more traditional stoner rock elements like Kyuss. I had ideas like these, but there was no change in the recording method or our attitude. In terms of sound, most of all, the guitar sounds are getting more mad, the vocals are rawer and the drum sounds are more clearly defined. These are due to little changes in the mixing and mastering.

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Winterfylleth Frontman Hails "The Reckoning Dawn"

Britain has produced so many of metal's most beloved bands when it comes to metal. From the originators, Black Sabbath to Judas Priest to Motorhead to Iron Maiden and beyond. When it comes to metal's sub-genres however, many feel that the island often gets overlooked in favour of American or Scandinavian scenes, which is especially true of death and black metal. However, Britain has a closer tie with black metal than those who focus on corpse pain and church burnings might suspect, not least since it was Newcastle's Venom who coined the term to begin with. Over the years, a number of black metal bands have risen up from the green and pleasant land, but perhaps none have grabbed listeners ears the way Winterfylleth has.

Winterfylleth began life in the mid 2000s and in 2008, unleashed their debut, "The Ghost Of Heritage." Ever since then, a new album has followed every two years and each one has impressed black metal fans the world over and built their reputation further as one of, if not the best black metal to come from England. Today, Winterfylleth are treating the world to their seventh opus, "The Reckoning Dawn," which marks a return to their harsh sound after the 2018 acoustic effort, "The Hallowing Of Heirdom." I recently spoke with frontman Chris Naughton about the album, its themes, the history of the band, British black metal, Brexit and so much more. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Desolation Angels Opens Up About "Burning Black"

The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal is the gift that keeps on giving. While everyone and their dog knows Iron Maiden, Saxon and Def Leppard, the movement contained so many quality bands that the deeper one digs, the more gems they find. Cult favourites like Tygers Of Pan Tang, Raven, Girlschool and Tank immediately spring to mind, but then even more excellent bands find their way into regular listening such as Dealer, Cloven Hoof and Desolation Angels.

Desolation Angels' have a particularly interesting history. Starting up in a London scene which also featured the likes of Angel Witch and the aforementioned Maiden, the band eventually moved to the United States to try their luck across the pond. They would call it a day in 1994 but it's very hard to keep the spirit of heavy metal down and so in 2012, guitarist Robin Brancher and Keith Sharp resurrected the band, eventually releasing the album, "King" independently in 2017.

Marching on with vigour and determination, the band now find themselves signed to Dissonance Records and with a new album, "Burning Black" almost completed, featuring production by Grim Reaper vocalist Steve Grimmett. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has halted work on the album for now, but I caught up with bassist Clive Pearson to discuss the album, the return of the band, the highs and lows of playing heavy metal, working with producer Chris Tsangarides and much more. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Blaze Of Perdition Talks "The Harrowing Of Hearts"

Black metal has gone from strength to strength since Venom first coined the term. It's become perhaps the most infamous genre of music, taking its war based on individualism and opposition to Abramic religions to extreme heights from time to time. At its core though, black metal is all about expression. While Norway hosts some of the most legendary names of the genre, the country which follows the ethos of free speech and fierce philosophy must surely be Poland, home of such bands as Behemoth, Furia, Batushka and of course, Blaze Of Perdition.

Blaze Of Perdition began life simply as Perdition, before changing their name in 2007 and releasing their debut, "Towards The Blaze Of Perdition" three years later. Only a year later, the group released their sophomore effort, "The Hierophant," but tragedy was soon to strike. In 2013, the band suffered a horrific automobile accident, which killed bassist 23 and severely injured vocalist Sonneillon and drummer Wizun. Despite this, the band returned in 2015 with a new album, "Near Death Revelation" and ever since, have been getting bigger and stronger with each release, culminating in "The Harrowing Of Hearts," released this past February.

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Sonneillon all about the album, as well as signing with Metal Blade, how the band tours without him, the power of the Catholic church in Poland and much more. You can listen in full below.

Read Diamond Oz's full interview »

Photo of Paradise Lost

Band Photo: Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost Guitarist Sheds Light On "Obsidian"

It takes a lot to become a successful metal band. It takes even more to make a real impact on the genre. Paradise Lost have never been what one would call an ordinary band however. From their first show supporting Acid Reign to headlining festivals around the globe, Paradise Lost pioneered death/doom, being credited with the invention of Gothic metal and even blending electronic influences perfectly with their sound.

Now, at the beginning of a new decade and thirty years on from their debut, "Lost Paradise," the Yorkshire quintet are back with their grim and grizzly new album, "Obsidian." Two weeks from today, the visceral and timely record will be available through Nuclear Blast, the perfect soundtrack to a worried time. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with guitarist Aaron Aedy about the album, as well as the pandemic, the history of the band and much more. You can check it out below.

Diamond Oz: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me Aaron. The new album, "Obsidian" is right around the corner. How would you compare it to "Medusa"?

Aaron Aedy: My pleasure! Well, I’d say it has a little more diversity compared to Medusa. It’s a bit less doom-centric and it has many more all-round PL sounds within the songs - including some of our more Gothic moments too.

Oz: What's the meaning behind the title "Obsidian"?

Aaron: The artwork and title are synergistically tied by the dark earth stone, Obsidian - the forklore and superstition around it and how it brings totemistic good luck charms over the ages to help us and give us courage to do the things we must or do not wish, but have to do.

Oz: One of the highlights for me when hearing the album was the guitar work. It seems that you and Greg continue to outdo yourselves with every release. Were there any different approaches to songwriting and playing this time?

Aaron: We’ve always said that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. This has mostly been PL’s mantra for decades. Having worked with Gomez a number of times before, everyone is comfortable in their roles production-wise. The only difference this time is the guitars being recorded at Greg’s studio and then being sent to Gomez.

Read Diamond Oz's full interview »

Photo of Candlemass

Band Photo: Candlemass

Candlemass Vocalist On Opening The Door To Doom

Doom metal is sub-genre which is as old as heavy metal itself. After all, most people will point to Black Sabbath as the first band to perform both styles and soon after, bands like Pentagram and Witchfinder General were tuning low and playing slow much like the Brummie quartet. Since then, doom metal has gone on to become one of the most beloved, if not always most commercially successful of metal's vast offshoots and a big chunk of credit for its popularity is often given to a certain band from Sweden who unleashed their debut, "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" in 1986; Candlemass.

Candlemass have, for over three decades, demolished everything in its path with powerful vocals, searing riffs and bombastic songs. The band are rightly hailed as icons of doom and their latest album, last year's, "The Door To Doom," shows that the band will not be softening their stance any time soon. "The Door To Doom" also marked a new era of the band, as it saw the return of vocalist Johan Längqvist, who previously had only recorded with the band on their debut.

This past week, I had the pleasure with speaking Johan over Skype, to discuss the new album, as well as the band's latest EP, "The Pendulum," how he feels singing songs from vocalists who came after him, the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the band, the guest appearance from Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi on "The Door To Doom" and much more. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Åskväder Discusses Debut Album

"Rock is dead" is a phrase which has been used for decades now. It always seems though that in some shape or form, somehow, rock finds a way to keep breathing and maintain a loyal fan base. Whether that be the Chuck Berry-esque energy of Danko Jones or the Led Zeppelin fueled Greta van Fleet, rock is always able to stay fun and nest in the ears of listeners. Another band to take high energy rock and roll and release it into a new decade actually hails from one of the homes of death metal; Gothenburg. The band in question? Åskväder.

With their self-titled debut album now available through The Sign Records, I spoke with guitarist Martin Gut about the album, the new music video for "God's Grace," the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the band and the answer to the decade long question; Is rock dead? You can watch the interview in full below.

Read Diamond Oz's full interview »

Photo of God Dethroned

Band Photo: God Dethroned

God Dethroned Frontman Goes Behind "Illuminati"

Death metal is arguably the most popular sub-genre of the many that have spawned since heavy metal first rocked the world. When one thinks of the style, thoughts immediately spring to mind of Cannibal Corpse, Obituary and Morbid Angel, but even back in the day, Europe had plenty to offer, such as Benediction, Carcass and Bolt Thrower from England, Vader from Poland and of course, God Dethroned from the Netherlands. After recording a demo of the same name, God Dethroned broke into the consciousness of death metal fans with their stellar debut album, "The Christhunt," though it seemed the ride was over nearly as soon as it started when they broke up in 1993. Despite this, vocalist/guitarist Henri Sattler put together a new lineup and in 1997, the band returned with full fury and a new album, "The Grand Grimoire."

Ever since then, despite another break up in 2011 and return in 2014, God Dethroned have been one of the fiercest names in European death metal, releasing a library of excellent albums, never being afraid to take artistic risks such as releasing a trilogy of albums focused on World War One and remaining at the top of the heap when it comes to live performances. In February of this year, the band released "Illuminati," a record which returns to occult themes and the darker side of spirituality and provided yet another reason why God Dethroned are so beloved. Last week, I had the pleasure of talking with Henri Sattler over Skype to discuss the album, the exploration of the first world war, the imposing music videos for "Spirit Of Beelzebub," "Illuminati" and "Book Of Lies" and how to promote an album while the world is in quarantine. You can watch the discussion in full below.

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Cirith Ungol: Now, Then, Forever Black

Every band dreams of making an impact with their music. Whether that be financial success or better yet, a respected legacy, metal bands are driven by their craft and a warrior like determination. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than Ventura, California's own, Cirith Ungol. The band formed in 1971 and released their first album, "Frost And Fire," ten years later, becoming early progenitors of both power and doom metal in the process. Three more classic albums, "King Of The Dead," "One Foot In Hell" and "Paradise Lost" would follow before the band split in 1992. As is often the case, thanks to the internet, a new generation of headbangers would discover this legendary group and demand for their return grew ever louder.

Finally in 2016, Cirith Ungol returned to play the second Frost And Fire festival, with further headlining shows coming the next year and the wait for new material ended in 2018 with the single, "Witch's Game." Now, the band are preparing to release their first full length album in twenty nine years, "Forever Black," which based on the songs posted online, promises to be another megaton blast of classic Cirith Ungol. I recently had the pleasure to speak with drummer and founding member Robert Garven about the album, their return, their legendary artwork and much more. You can listen to the interview in full below.

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Death Angel's Will Carroll Interview

MetalUnderground’s Al Case caught up with Death Angel’s drummer, and recent Covid-19 survivor, Will Carroll to chat about a variety of topics. Will is also the drummer for Hammers of Misfortune and Old Grandad, host of “The Fool Metal Jacket”, and all-around good guy.

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Warbringer Loads Up The "Weapons Of Tomorrow"

Thrash metal no doubt had its heyday in the eighties. However in the mid to late 2000s, spurred on by a frustration with the prevalent emo and metalcore genres, it reared its head once more, prompting not only many of the legends and stalwarts of the day to reunite, but unleashing a wave of younger bands performing the style once again. Of course, there were detractors and criticism was placed on many for either being a rehash of particular bands or of being too tongue in cheek. That being said, every sub genre and every generation has their standouts and in the case of the new American thrash bands, it seemed no one was able to touch Warbringer.

Still going strong today and with a new album, "Weapons Of Tomorrow" available in less than two weeks, I caught up with Warbringer vocalist John Kevill over Skype to discuss the album, the thrash metal revival, politics and much more. You can listen to the discussion in full below.

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Anvil Discusses "Legal At Last" And More

While tours all over the world ground to a halt in the past two weeks, one band who have never shied away from living their dream is Anvil. The Canadian trio embarked on a lengthy European tour a few weeks ago, with three weeks in the United Kingdom planned. However, as luck would have it, shows were soon cancelled thanks to the COVID-19 virus and the band were forced to return to the great white north.

The final gig before flying across the Atlantic however, was in my hometown of Swindon and I couldn't have been more excited to meet some genuine legends of heavy metal in my backyard. Before their show at Level III, I sat down with frontman Steve "Lips" Kudlow to discuss the band's scorching new album, "Legal At Last," the longevity of the group, the influence of swing music and much more. You can listen to the interview in full below with a transcript to follow.

Read Diamond Oz's full interview »

Grand Magus Hails The "Wolf God"

Sweden's long and rich history of music has given the world so many classic bands and groups. From Abba to At The Gates, the Scandinavian country has produced a library of legends many other countries would be jealous of. Despite the pop successes and house anthems, metal music is where Sweden has always excelled. Whether it be in the form of death metal like Entombed, In Flames or Dismember, the black metal stylings of Dissection and Shining or doom icons like Candlemass, Sweden has a lot to be proud of. Traditional heavy metal as its place in the nation though and in the modern day, perhaps no band captures that magic better than Grand Magus.

Currently promoting their ninth album, "Wolf God," the band has gone from strength to strength over the past decade, becoming one of the most popular traditional metal bands of the day. During their recent UK tour with Wolf, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Grand Magus drummer Ludwig Witt to discuss this latest opus, as well as traditional metal's place in the modern world and the band's longstanding association with wolves. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: Right now you're still promoting "Wolf God," which has been out for just shy of a year. So far, how would you say the reception has been?

Ludwig Witt: Really good. We were talking about it yesterday actually and according to JB (frontman Janne "JB" Christoffersson) it's our best selling album. So it's cool.

Oz: And compared to other Grand Magus albums, how do you feel this one fits in the overall catalogue?

Ludwig: I think really well actually. Obviously I didn't play on "Iron Will" or "Hammer Of The North" which really are classic albums for us but out of the ones I've played on this is my favourite. I think it really fits in with the others well. It definitely sounds like a classic Grand Magus album.

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Wolf Reveals All About "Feeding The Machine"

Traditional heavy metal is a funny thing in today's world. While the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest still sell out venues wherever they go, many of the younger bands who play a similar style are often overlooked in favour of more extreme strains of the genre. Nevertheless, even in the dark days of the nineties, there has always been bands keeping the uniform of denim and leather alive, one of the best examples of which, hails from Örebro, Sweden and this year turns the ripe old age of twenty five. Of course, I could only be talking about Wolf.

After a six year wait following the release of "Devil Seed" and with a new lineup in tow, the Scandinavian steelers are back with what could very well be their most ferocious album to date, "Feeding The Machine," which hits shelves tomorrow (March 13th.) Last night before their opening set for fellow Swedes Grand Magus, I caught up with vocalist Niklas Stålvind and guitarist Simon Johansson to discuss the album, why it took so long to be released, the striking cover art and more. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new album, "Feeding The Machine" is out on Friday. There's been quite a long gap since the last album, six years. Why such a long wait?

Niklas Stålvind: A lot of different reasons. For one, it took like three years to write the songs and during that time, we were working full time day jobs so we really couldn't afford to get fired. That's one reason. Also Simon built a great studio, Solna Sound Recording, which is the studio where we recorded and Simon produced, but it was a huge project to build a proper studio. Years actually. He had four days off in a two year period so it was insane and I just kept focusing on the songs and going to the other guys, travelling to their town and rehearsing with them so they would nail the songs. So it was pretty inconvenient to take such a long time but I think the end result will be worth it and now Simon has a really good studio and we have a good producer and a really good band, so as soon as we have new songs, the next album won't take so long.

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Photo of Konvent

Band Photo: Konvent

Konvent Discusses "Puritan Masochism" And Equality

It's an exciting time to be a metal fan. All over the world, we're seeing bands emerge and performing excellent old school metal from various sub genres. One country in particular that seems to have a thriving scene right now is Denmark, perhaps previously best known for producing Mercyful Fate and Lars Ulrich. While some young Danish artists are a few albums deep into their catalogue now, one who has just come on to the global scene with their full length debut, "Puritan Masochism" in Konvent. I recently had the opportunity to put a few questions to the band, who had some very interesting insight into the album, their history, equality and much more.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on the release of "Puritan Masochism." I must say that I'm loving the record. It was the first I've pre-ordered in nearly ten years! So far, how has the response been?

Julie Simonsen: The response has been overwhelming. We didn’t expect it to go so great and that so many people would actually buy our music that we’ve worked so hard on. We are beyond happy!

Oz: I'm interested to know, where did the title of the album come from?

Julie: The title ‘Puritan Masochism’ (which is also the title the first single) is about how everyone has a tendency to do things, or thinking things that actually hurt us, but we keep thinking/doing those things because we feel like we have to – in order to fit into something or to live up to some imagined expectations. And sometimes we keep doing these things without even realizing it because you just go on autopilot. It’s sort of our way to say that we don’t have to live like that.

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Photo of Misery Index

Band Photo: Misery Index

Misery Index On "Rituals Of Power" And More

While it's only February, Europe has already been treated to one of the most stellar tour packages to come about in some time. Grindcore icons Napalm Death have been storming through Europe, with a new single, "Logic Ravaged by Brute Force" available, and the long awaited album, "Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism" along the way but they've brought together some of the most powerful names in extremity; Eyehategod, Misery Index, Rotten Sound and Bat, to help them crush everything in their path.

At the recent show in Leeds, Yorkshire, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Misery Index vocalists (and bassist & guitarist respectively,) Jason Netherton and Mark Kloeppel to discuss the tour, the band's latest album, "Rituals Of Power," their upcoming twentieth anniversary and Impractical Jokers. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: It's a really impressive tour package you're part of, with Napalm Death, Eyehategod, Rotten Sound and Bat. How did this come about?

Mark Kloeppel: We're all old friends really. Ryan from Bat is also in Municipal Waste and we played one of their record release shows way back in the day. We've known Shane from Napalm for a long time and the Rotten Sound boys, the Eyehategod guys, we've toured with them. So it's just a bunch of buddies. Shame was really responsible for selecting the package.

Jason Netherton: Yeah, it's also an easy package to put together. I think we're all with the same booking agent.

Mark: We did this whole thing, without Rotten Sound, in Japan and I think Shane just wanted to keep it going throughout the world.

Oz: And how long as the tour been going thus far?

Mark: A few weeks.

Jason: Today's the half way point actually.

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1349 Illuminates "The Infernal Pathway"

Over the course of metal history, certain places have become synonymous with particular sub-genres. One immediately thinks of thrash metal when the Bay Area is mentioned, or Florida whenever the topic of death metal comes up and there can be no doubting that when it comes to black metal, Norway is the spiritual home of the genre.

Though mostly known for its earlier bands such as Mayhem, Darkthrone, Emperor etc., the country continued to produce high quality black metal bands throughout the nineties and probably still to do this day, with one of the most revered latter decade bands being born under the name 1349. Over twenty years since their genesis, 1349 are still releasing intense and challenging music with a live show to match. It was at one of these performances, where they shared the stage with fellow Norwegian black metal kingpin Abbath, that I caught up with the band's bass player Tor Risdal "Seidemann" Stavenes, to discuss the group's latest album, "The Infernal Pathway," their early days and more. You watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: Straight into it you're on tour right now with Abbath, as well as Vltimas and Nuclear. How did this lineup come about?

Seidemann: Well, to be honest we were asked to join as part of a package so the lineup was more or less set up by the time we actually joined. It's Abbath, which is great and there's Vltimas, who are "up and coming" kind of new but kind of not, they're all experienced doing great stuff and then of course there's 1349 and we're also experienced doing great stuff, if I say so myself! There's also Nuclear who are also experienced dudes doing great, South American proper metal, so it's a fantastic package and it goes really well together. It's a bit, for everyone. Not just pure black or pure death metal. It's good to have that variation.

Oz: Yeah, it's an exciting time to see 1349 as well because obviously you've just released, "The Infernal Pathway," which is a really strong album. I've seen a lot of people say it's the best one since "Hellfire."

Seidemann: The thing is, when you're in a band for a while you realise that you've always got to do better than what you've done before. "Hellfire" was fantastic but I love all our albums, but we always moved on and tried to top whatever we did before. We have to top it otherwise why? Even Motorhead, they did the same album consistently and it was good because it was Motorhead, but we can't do that, we have to move on and push on and we have to grow as people and musicians and get better. You have to know that what you're going to do next is going to top what you've already done otherwise what's the point? If you've peaked then maybe that's it, maybe you shouldn't do anything and that's why it takes a bit of time for us to do records now apart from all the real life bullshit.

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David Vincent Discusses Vltimas And Country Music

Death metal is without question, one of the most popular sub-genres in any form of music. There are countless bands performing the style today, as well as many groups who have used to create fusion genres and more. Its influence can even be heard in rap music via such artists as Necro and Jedi Mind Tricks. Of course, this all had to come from somewhere and one of the first legendary bands in death metal was Morbid Angel, fronted in the beginning by David Vincent.

Fast forward to the modern day and while Vincent is no longer with the band, he's still pushing boundaries, breaking barriers and experimenting with his new outfit Vltimas, which also includes former Mayhem guitartist Blasphemer and Cryptopsy drummer Flo Mounier, whose debut album, "Something Wicked Marches In" stormed its way into the ears and minds of metal fans the world over last year. Add to this his own take on Morbid Angel, I Am Morbid, as well as a solo career in country music, an autobiography and his past work with Terrorizer and it's hard to tell whether his past or his future is the more interesting.

Vltimas are currently on the road with Abbath and 1349 and I was fortunate enough to sit down with this titan of death metal in London to discuss all these projects, which can be heard in full below.

Diamond Oz: You've been putting your time to good use, most notably Vltimas. The album ("Something Wicked Marches In") is amazing.

David Vincent: Thank you for saying so. There's a lot of really good reviews that have come in at the end of the year. We got number two of the year in Aardshock, we're in a lot of the top tens, which is great because we put a lot of work into that record. Everybody worked very very hard.

Oz: It's very clearly important to you because you all made a point to work together rather than fileshare or anything like that.

David: No and I'm happy about that too. I have done that kind of thing before, I can do that. There's no replacement for the kind of magic that you get sitting in a room with people and the sharing of ideas on a cerebral plane like that.

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Une Misere Opens Up About Debut Album & Iceland

The great thing about the internet is that it's enabled not just fans, but labels to discover bands from all over the world. We're now seeing bands from such places as Ukraine, Moldova and Estonia break into the metal spotlight, whereas not so long ago, it was rare to find a band who weren't from an English speaking country, Germany or Sweden. One such country which now has a growing number of interesting artists is Iceland, thanks to its viking heritage and breath taking if cold scenery, perfect for heavy metal.

Recently, Une Misere, another group from the small Scandinavian country, released their debut album, "Sermon" through Nuclear Blast, a label which has seen its roster display great loyalty and in turn, receive much promotion. Since the release of the record, the band has gone on tour with Darkest Hour and next month will be embarking on a run across North America with Thy Art Is Murder, Carnifex and Fit For An Autopsy. During the trek with Darkest Hour, I caught up with vocalist Jón Már Ásbjörnsson to discuss the record, promotion for the album and Iceland itself. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: Straight into it, the full length debut, "Sermon" is out now. So far I've seen a lot of positive reviews and responses. Have you felt that to be the overall reception?

Jón Már Ásbjörnsson: Yeah, we've kind of always been waiting for that really bad review. There was one guy who commented that we were too much like Gojira, Behemoth, Slipknot and Hatebreed and he is said that as if it was a bad thing. I was like, "Man, that's the best review ever!" But yeah we've been getting some rave reviews and we couldn't be prouder.

Oz: Nice one and there's probably no better label to release your debut through than Nuclear Blast.

Jon: No. I've been going through it in my mind during this tour, where we would fit in if we weren't at Nuclear Blast and... No. It's just Nuclear for us.

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