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Interviews

To date, we have conducted 1506 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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Imha Tarikat Detonates The "Sternenberster"

For all the stereotypes and cliches when it comes to black metal, the corpsepaint and church burnings etc., the sub-genre is about so much more than that. Black metal incorporates everything from Nietzschean philosophy to fantastical landscapes and creatures. This is perhaps why black metal remains a strong force in the metal world today and why young musicians continue to perform and develop this controversial but endearing artform.

One such young band with fresh ideas for black metal hails from Germany, under the Turkish moniker, Imha Tarikat ("extermination sect,") led by Ruhsuz Cellât. In the beginning of 2019, Imha Tarikat, then a solo project, unleashed their debut album, "Kara Ilhas" and now, just shy of two years later and with a second member, Philipp Wende (drums,) the band are set to release their sophomore full length, "Sternenberster" in North America.

To find out more about Imha Tarikat, "Sternenberster" and much more, I spoke with Ruhsuz Cellât himself. You can read the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on the release of your new album, "Sternenberster." What would you say makes this different from your debut album?

Ruhsuz Cellât: Hi, thank you. To answer this I may have to state a couple facts. Making music for me is a continuous process of learning by practising and is highly bound to my urge of stimulating emotions to be genuinely felt. With each time I compose a song, write lyrics and record them, my goal is to become better at what I am doing. Concept-wise "Sternenberster" links to the previous releases, but the execution has become more "professional" by my rising personal standards.

Oz: Lyrically, the album is strongly influenced by dream interpretation. What was it about this form of psychoanalysis which interested you and how well do you feel it translates into metal music?

Ruhsuz: You find yourself amidst an infinite amount of input each moment and some strings of happenings turn to key factors in effecting your being. Dream interpretation is a vague process that requires and encourages one to take a step inside and to try deciphering things behind veils, to which you only have access in moments led by coincidence and in purest vulnerability.

Amidst abstract descriptions and surreal happenings you will come to cross points in trying to understand: "What do I envision and why?"

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My Dying Bride Singer Opens The Macabre Cabaret

"It's grim up north" goes the old British saying. This might not always be true, but it can certainly apply when discussing one of Yorkshire's most treasured metal exponents, My Dying Bride. Formed in Bradford in 1990, the band released their debut album, "As The Flower Withers" two years later and became one of the first death/doom bands. Their status as one of the most important British metal bands of the nineties was cemented with further albums like "Turn Loose The Swans," "The Angel And The Dark River" and "Like Gods Of The Sun," with the stellar material continuing into the 2000s and 2010s.

Now in the year 2020, the band has got off to a great start with "The Ghost Of Orion" being unleashed back in March, as well as a new EP, "Macabre Cabaret," which will be released tomorrow (November 20th.) To find out more about the album, the EP, the emotional road to the studio, why their live performances are so special and even to discuss the effect My Dying Bride's music has on puppies, I spoke with vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Photo of Dark Tranquillity

Band Photo: Dark Tranquillity

Dark Tranquillity Vocalist Discusses New Album

Death metal is almost certainly the most popular of metal's many sub-genres. What began as a heavier offshoot of thrash metal soon developed a life of its own and it was thanks largely to the now famous scenes in the Swedish cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg that it became more than just heaviness. In Gothenburg particularly, death metal became a more melodic, song driven artform, with brutal music suddenly becoming earworms and classic albums being released in the nineties. Though England's, Carcass deserves some credit for this too, a lot of fingers get pointed at three bands from Gothenburg: At The Gates, In Flames and of course, Dark Tranquillity.

Dark Tranquillity's story since their inception in 1989 is one of a band who always stayed true to themselves, yet evolved over time. In 1994, their sophomore album, "The Gallery" was released and became an instant classic in the field of death metal, with other albums such as "The Mind's I," "Damage Done" and "Character" also going on to receive critical acclaim. This Friday, the band are set to unleash another monstrous creation in the form of "Moment," an amazing collection of melodic death metal, encased in a beautiful album cover and with some truly fascinating themes. To find out more about "Moment," the themes within, how badly the record and band have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the introduction of new guitarists Chris Amott and Johan Reinholdz and more, I spoke with vocalist Michael Stanne. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Harlott Frontman Talks "Detritus Of The Final Age"

As mentioned recently in our interview with Warfect, in the mid 2000s, thrash metal experienced what many refer to as a revival. What was once pushed aside by grunge, alternative and industrial, had come roaring back with a new generation, ready to remind headbangers of a sub-genre which combined the social awareness of punk rock with the fun of heavy metal. This movement saw new thrash bands emerge all over the world and over in Australia, there was, and indeed is, no better band to hone their craft than Harlott.

Formed in in Melbourne in 2006, it would be seven years until the release of their debut album, "Origin," which garnered praise from thrash fans and began winning over fans across the globe. Their sophomore effort, "Proliferation" followed two years later, before "Extinction" in 2017. Only a few days ago, Harlott unleashed their latest sonic assault, "Detritus Of The Final Age," which may very well be their best album to date, with a matured sound and timely theme that's sure to have delighted fans, as well as catching the ears of newcomers.

To find out more about the record, I spoke with Harlott frontman Andrew Hudson to uncover more about the lyrical themes, music video plans, how the pandemic has effected them and his thoughts on the thrash revival itself. You can listen to it in full below.

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Eleine Prepares For "Dancing In Hell"

Since emerging in the nineties, symphonic metal has gone on to become one of metal's most popular sub-genres, with bands of the ilk becoming household names, releasing classic albums and headlining festivals across the world. While people will immediately think of the legendary names like Therion, Nightwish or Epica, there seems to always be a steady stream of new groups to capture the imagination, including Surma, Scardust and Visions Of Atlantis. Another of symphonic metal's rising stars hails from Landskrona in Sweden and are already making their mark with a pummelling sound, guided by a truly commanding voice, namely; Eleine.

Eleine was formed in 2014 and only a year later released their eponymous debut album, before really catching listener's ears with their sophomore, "Until The End" in 2018. A new EP, "All Shall Burn" followed in 2019 as a stop gap before their next album, which is now only two weeks away in the form of "Dancing In Hell." The songs released so far are going over very well with fans and newcomers alike and to find out more about the album, its background, concepts and more, I caught up with vocalist Madeleine Liljestam & guitarist Rikard Ekberg. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Warfect Bassist Discusses "Spectre Of Devastation"

Thrash metal's heyday was unquestionably the eighties. But in the mid 2000s, metal fans all over the world, tired by the dominance of metalcore, death core and before that, nu metal, took inspiration from the likes of Exodus, Overkill and Destruction to forge a second wave of thrash metal. This new generation, featuring bands such as Evile, Warbringer and Gama Bomb has achieved varied success since the launch, with more and more bands performing the tried and tested sub-genre. One group who has taken up this mantel hails from the Swedish town of Uddevalla and go by the name of Warfect.

This Friday, Warfect will unleash their fourth studio album, "Spectre Of Devastation," their first through Napalm Records and which boasts impressive cover art by Andreas Marschall. To find out more about the album, the art, the concept, signing with Napalm and what it's like to be a thrash band in a country better known for death metal, I spoke with bassist Kris Wallstrom. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Surma Vocalist Shines The Light Within

While 2020 has been a year unlike any other, almost totally negative in fact, the one thing which has surely got the world through the year is music. While a number of old favourites have released new albums, we've also seen some amazing debuts from the likes of Konvent, Calyces and Cult Of Lilith. Tomorrow sees another stellar debut unleashed upon the world in the form of "The Light Within," the first full length from Czech symphonic metal band Surma.

With its bombastic sound, majestic vocals and razor sharp hooks, "The Light Within" may well be the debut album of the year and almost certainly the first step into making a new household name in symphonic metal. To find out more about the record, I spoke with vocalist Viktorie Surmová and discovered a fascinating story behind it, as well as the process behind their music video, "Until It Rains Again" (see below,) how the COVID-19 pandemic has effected Czechia and much more. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Macabre Invites Us All To The Carnival Of Killers

For as long as metal has existed, it's had a fascination with serial killers. Everyone from Jack The Ripper to Ed Gein to Richard Ramirez have found themselves further immortalised by the harder side of music. While some bands have touched on this subject, there are those which find these people so fascinating with endless material to write about, that most, if not all of their lyrics tell the gruesome details of the world's most wicked people and their deeds. One band who perhaps does this better than all others, would have to be Chicago's own, Macabre.

After an eleven year hiatus, this twisted trio are back with perhaps their most exciting album to date, "Carnival Of Killers." The songs released so far, "Lake Of Fire" and "Your Window Is Open" prove to be as varied as the cavalcade of killers which adorns the colourful front cover and with Nuclear Blast behind them, it seems that this could not only be their most enjoyable album, but their most successful too.

To find out more about the album, I put a series of questions to guitarist/vocalist Corporate Death and discovered why there's so many murderers in the lyrics this time, the visual concepts and meeting John Wayne Gacy among other subjects.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on your new album, "Carnival Of Killers." This is your first full length in eleven years? What was the reason behind such a large gap between albums?

Corporate Death: Thank you, we are happy to have a new release out for our 35th Anniversary as a band. I pretty much write music when I feel like it and that's kind of the way we've always done it. But when I get going I can go pretty fast on writing new songs. I never push myself when I feel like writing music, I do it when I come up with an idea, I write it down or try to figure the music out for it later. I have always kind of done it this way. I have periods when I really want to write songs, if I don't feel like doing it I don't force myself to write.

Oz: What would you say has changed between "Grim Scary Tales" and "Carnival Of Killers"?

Corporate Death: Well I think this new album shows a continuation of expanding upon musical ideas from over the years. Plus, I split up who we sing about. I wrote about some killers on this album that we already sang about in the past, then the other half of the album is about killers that we have never sang about before. I think this album also shows a progression of the Macabre sound. We really tried to do a lot of musical and vocal styles on this album, and I think we achieved that.

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A Fall To Break Explains Being Divided By Tyrants

Every local scene has its hometown heroes. The bands who've been around for a good while, performing with some of the biggest names in the business and give the younger, aspiring bands someone they can look up to. For rockers in Tucson, Arizona, that honour surely belongs to A Fall To Break, the alternative metal band who now have five albums under their belt, shared the stage with such bands as Rob Zombie, Lacuna Coil and Godsmack to name a few and even had their music featured in the trailer for the video game Postal 4.

Now, the quintet has unleashed what may be their most important album to date, "Divided By Tyrants," a timely and powerful record which packs a Tyson Fury-esque punch combined with poignant lyrics. To discover more about the album, I spoke with guitarist Craig Artz about the meanings within "Divided By Tyrants," the importance of releasing the album before election day, collaborating with Robby Lochner (Jack Russell’s Great White/Rob Halfords Fight) and much more. You can check out the interview in full below.

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Scardust: No Longer "Strangers"

As any art or form of entertainment grows, fans will always expect an evolution to take place, whether that be music, film or even professional wrestling. Perhaps then, this is why progressive metal and symphonic metal are two of today's more popular sub-genres, given the fine musicianship and experimentation that comes with both territories. It should come as no surprise then that we're beginning to see more bands fuse the two to create something very special and one of the most promising groups emerging from this crossover genre, is Israel's own, Scardust.

Formed in 2013 under the name Somnia, they changed their moniker to Scardust in 2015 before releasing their acclaimed debut album, "Sands Of Time" two years later. Fronted by the incomparable Noa Gruman, who has previously worked with the likes of Amorphis and Orphaned Land, this quintet look to be on their way to becoming one of Israel's most beloved metal exports. Only two days ago, Scardust unleashed their stunning sophomore album, "Strangers," which already has fans delighted and newcomers won over.

To find out more about the album, I spoke with Noa Gruman, as well as drummer Yoav Weinberg and discovered the fascinating concept of duality that binds the songs together, as well as the pressure they were under to film four music videos in a time of uncertainty and much more. You can check it out below.

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Accuser Guitarist Discusses Return And New Album

Thrash metal remains one of the most beloved sub-genres in metal. The combination of heavy metal and punk rock saw a new, vibrant sound emerge all over the world, making stars out of the likes of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Suicidal Tendencies. While thrash historians will tell you that there was a scene in almost every part of the world, everyone agrees that the two countries who did it best were America and Germany. German thrash spawned its own cult heroes such as Kreator, Sodom and Destruction, but all gave the world some other gems like Assassin, Holy Moses and of course, Accuser.

Founded in Siegen in 1986, Accuser has had a steady career with no less than eleven albums under their belt and a brand new, eponymous record ready to be unleashed in just a fortnite. To find out more about this new release, I spoke with returning guitarist René Schütz about all things related to the album, as well as his return to the band, Germany's response to the pandemic and much more. You can check it out below.

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Calyces Frontman Explains The "Impulse To Soar"

One of the great things about writing for a heavy metal website is finding out about brand new bands coming through. This year, we've seen stellar debut albums from Volcanova, Let Us Prey and Konvent, as well as awesome sophomore efforts from Blacklab, Ages and Serpent Omega. Only this month, another stunning debut was let loose on the world, that being "Impulse To Soar," the world's introduction to one of the most fascinating emerging bands in Greece, Calyces.

A progressive metal band who walks on the groove metal side, this Athenian quartet has brought a fresh sound to listeners around the world and nothing demonstrates that more than "Impulse To Soar." With its incredible front cover enticing in metalheads, the music within proves to be every bit as vibrant, captivating and even challenging as the artwork and is a strong contender for debut album of the year.

Recently, I had the pleasure of finding out much more about Calyces by putting questions to vocalist Manthos Stergiou, who explained all about the album, the music video for "The Great Void" (see below,) the Greek metal scene and much more.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on the release of your debut, "Impulse To Soar." How long had you been working on material before being able to release the album?

Manthos Stergiou: Hey, thank you! The idea of Calyces started at the end of 2017, when Tardive Dyskinesia (my ex band) was put in ice. I decided to start something new, something I really needed to do for a long time. I gathered all the ideas and riffs I had and they got put together in my home studio. After a few months, the first version of 10, still instrumental tracks at the moment was well into pre-production stage. Then, I approached my friends and great musicians, Alexis Stavropoulos (Drums), Giannis Golfis (Guitar) & Stelios Tragos (Bass) all of them already being key members in top notch Greek bands.

They listened to the material and they were on board immediately, so we wasted no time, got to study on and rehearse all the tracks intensively, until they are solid and feel alive. This process lasted about 1 year and in early 2019 we got into the studio to record this album. “Impulse To Soar” was recorded in 4 different studios in Greece, co-produced by Ektoras Tsolakis and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music Studios (New York).

Oz: Lyrically, what kind of themes are represented on the album?

Manthos: Each track on the album has its own story to tell, musically and lyrically. The human is always the point of reference, his weaknesses like greed and selfishness, the addiction around the image they project through social media and everything that goes on in the world and the way it affects all of us.

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Photo of Skalmold

Band Photo: Skalmold

Skálmöld Drummer Details New Live Album

Viking metal is a strange genre. While the lyrical themes make bands obvious candidates for the tags, musicially, it's a little harder to define. Taking cues from black metal, death metal and even power metal, it's normally epic in sound and aims to transport the listener back to the days of longships, swords, pillaging and pretty badass mythology. Most metal fans and critics tend to agree that black metal pioneers Bathory spawned the genre with their "Blood Fire Death" and "Hammerheart" albums and since then, groups such as Enslaved, Amon Amarth and Helheim have pushed the style into a fully fledged genre, giving way to more bands, including Iceland's own, Skálmöld.

Skálmöld, with their name appropriately referring to a time of chaos in Iceland, may be considered a relatively young band in their grand scheme of things, but in their eleven year history, they've released no less than five stellar studio albums, as well as a live album with a full piece orchestra. Now, fans who are yet to see them are able to get a better understanding of what a typical Skálmöld show is like, with the release of a new live album, "10 Year Anniversary - Live In Reykjavik." This fierce collection of material, performing with precision in front of a sold out crowd in their home country, demonstrates perfectly why Skálmöld are fast becoming one of the most beloved bands in Viking metal. To find out more about the album, I spoke with drummer Jón Geir Jóhannsson, who revealed all about the show itself, the surprise mastering, their latest studio album, "Sorgir," upcoming tour with Finntroll and much more. You can watch it in full below.

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Photo of Varg

Band Photo: Varg

Varg Drummer Discusses New Album "Zeichen"

It's a funny contradiction that in the modern world, one of the most popular sub-genres of metal is one which focuses on the past, particularly the pre-Christian ways of Europe. Pagan metal, as it is often dubbed, blends metal music with melodies, themes and at times intruments to remind the world of where it came from and the fill in the missing parts of the soul.

One of pagan metal's most endearing bands of the last fifteen years hails from the Bavarian town of Coburg and despite the confusion and misguided connotations regarding their moniker, take their name from the Scandinavian word for "wolf." The band of course is Varg and this year, the band released what could well be their strongest album, "Zeichen," which saw not only a return to their pagan metal roots, but the introduction of new vocalist Fylgja. To find out more about the album, as well as the past and future plans for the band, I caught up with founding member and drummer Silvester "Fenrier" Grundmann. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Nasum's Anders Jackobson: A Life Of Grind

Grindcore is a genre with countless bands, but only a handful of true legendary names. Not only this, but every country seems to have one particular grindcore band they can point to as their representatives, whether that be Brutal Truth in the United States, Napalm Death in the United Kingdom or Agathocles in Belgium. In Sweden's case, it would have to be an Örebro founded outfit who released an instant genre classic in 1998, by the name of Nasum.

While Nasum only managed to release four albums in a six year span, beginning with the incredible "Inhale/Exhale" and moving ever forward from there, fans of grindcore, and indeed extreme music generally, still cite them as one of the greatest bands of the genre, who revolutionised grind for the better and whose albums still hold up as masterworks. Tragically, Nasum ceased to be in 2005 after frontman Mieszko Talarczyk was killed in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, while holidaying in Thailand. Though Nasum will never return as a full time band again, they regrouped in 2012 for a one off farewell tour, which saw Keijo Niinimaa, frontman of Rotten Sound (themselves arguably Finland's greatest grindcore band) take over vocal duties.

Finally, fans will be able to own a piece of that tour and indeed, the final piece of Nasum's history, with a new DVD, "Blasting Shit To Bits," which chronicles the final show of the tour and therefore the band, which will be released on December 18th. To find out all about the show, the tour, the legacy of the band and even the future, I spoke with Anders Jakobson, a founding member and songwriter of Nasum, who has played every instrument in the band at different times.

Diamond Oz: Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me today. Your final show is finally coming out on DVD in December. What was the reason for such a long delay between filming the show and releasing it?

Anders Jakobson: The smart answer would be: ”Well, the final show was 8 years after the band ended, so the DVD comes out another 8 years later…”. But that is obviously not the truth. When we shot the show, we didn’t really know what to do with the material. Our director Michael Panduro spent many hours assembling the cut on and off during the following years until it was finished. In 2016, I think, we recorded some interviews that has been cut into the movie and by 2017 it was actually finished and had a cinematic premiere at a film festival in Copenhagen.

Since then the movie has had its life as a festival movie, being shown here and there while we have been finishing some other material and trying to compile what could be a physical release that we could be totally happy with. We haven’t really been rushing it, but the last year or so we have been focused on finishing it. And now it’s ready for a wider release.

Oz: Aside from the show itself, what can fans expect on the DVD?

Anders: To begin with, the “show itself” is more than just a show. It’s shot in a little different way than most concerts I would say. Then it’s combined with interviews with all members telling the story of the band, the tour and final show in particular. It is an emotional and personal document of the end of a band really. Apart from the main film there are footage from before and after the show that combined covers the whole last day of the band. There are also additional interviews and some other footage from the farewell tour. It’s a nice package that is very much worth watching if you are a fan of the band.

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Photo of Armored Saint

Band Photo: Armored Saint

John Bush On New Armored Saint, Anthrax And More

In every genre of music, there are vocalists who shine through as among the very best in their field. Whether that be Pavarotti in opera, Sam Cooke in soul or Mike Patton in... just about everything, there are vocals which stick in the ears of listeners across the world. Metal is of course no exception and while everyone will point to singers like Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Tate and King Diamond, another voice that can't be ignored is that of John Bush.

John Bush has had the kind of career that most musicians can only dream of, first making a name for himself as the frontman of heavy metal outfit Armored Saint, he was so revered that James Hetfield even offered to step aside from vocal duties in Metallica so that Bush could join, though the singer politely refused. Armored Saint would go on to release a string of solid albums, but broke up after the release of the classic "Symbol Of Salvation." It was then that he took on perhaps his most famous position, replacing Joey Belladonna in Anthrax and releasing four albums with the band, as well as the compilation of re-recorded material ("Greater Of Two Evils.") Surprisingly, in 2005, Anthrax announced the reunion of the "Among The Living" lineup and Bush focused his energy back on Armored Saint.

Today, Armored Saint are perhaps in a better position than ever before, with a label that understands them and each new album garnering just as much praise as the old material. This Friday, the band are set to release, "Punching The Sky," which may very well be their best work since the aforementioned "Symbol Of Salvation." After recently speaking to bassist Joey Vera about the album, I caught up with John Bush himself to learn even more about one of October's most anticipated albums, as well as some insight into his time with Anthrax, the possibility of him touring as "Bushthrax" and his surprising links to Metal Gear and Burger King!

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Draconian: Living Under A Godless Veil

Some bands seem to burst on to the scene seemingly the week after they formed. For others, it's a hard road with many bumps to endure, but a journey which will nonetheless see a better, more wisened group finally emerge. Such was the case for Sweden's Draconian. It took nine years for the band to release their debut album, "Where Lovers Mourn" following their formation, but what an introduction it was. Since then the band has released five more albums and become essential for listeners of doom and Gothic metal.

This month sees the release of their highly anticipated new album, "Under A Godless Veil," the seventh endeavour which already has fans delighted and critical praise rolling in. Like everything with Draconian, it's far from a simple affair, with a title drenched in subtext and philosophy, striking artwork and of course, music which touches every aspect of soul. To find out more about the album, the lyrical content and how Draconian are once again overcoming the odds by pushing back a pandemic and reaching listeners around the world, I spoke with harsh vocalist Anders Jacobsson, who lifted the veil on their new opus.

Diamond Oz: First of all, let's talk about the new album, "Under A Godless Veil." Where does the title come from?

Anders Jacobsson: The album title is a little bit of a complex thing that originates from gnosticism. It's the idea that between this world, the material world and the higher realm of pure being exists a veil or cloud where the god of this world or the material god is looking over his creation. This being the god in the bible. So, according to the gnostics, this god is not really a god at all. He is an imposter, a parasite, a highly glorified A.I. system if you will and he can only copy from this creation, he can't create from nothing, he can only copy and project shadows on the wall and this is the reality that we see. Plato talked about it thousands of years ago and so under this veil is the material world, a godless world, a world of matter, imprisonment and parasitic life.

Oz: The album also has really impressive artwork. How well do you feel it represents the music within?

Anders: It fits wonderfully and that's why we chose Natalia Drepina to represent so much when it comes to this album, also the video for "Sorrow Of Sophia" where she did an outstanding job. She's also doing the work for our new video which will drop on the same day as the album comes out. Johan (Ericson, guitarist) came across this artist and this time we wanted to go with something different. We wanted to go with a photographer and not an illustrator like before and it was a good idea. I think this image suits the album very very well. You don't even have to know the story, or what I mean with it to feel the vibe and understand the emotional world behind it if you will. We're very very lucky to have worked with Natalia and we will definitely work with her again.

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Nachtblut Bassist Discusses New Album "Vanitas"

Gothic metal is a strange sub-genre. In one sense, there's a typical sound which make it easy to identify, but in another sense, it defies categorisation, with several bands being labelled with the tag, despite not sounding alike. Whatever the case, it's a varied term which houses some of metal's best (and darkest) bands. One such group who are still going strong after fifteen years of blackness is Nachtblut, the Osnabrück based band which this month released their sixth album, "Vanitas."

"Vanitas" is sure to delight long time fans of the band, yet it also offers new experiences and surprises, perfect for listeners new and old. To find out more about the album, as well as the striking music videos "Das Puppenhaus" and "Leierkinder," the band's outlook on socially distanced show and much more, I caught up with bassist Ablaz, who joined prior to recording the fifth album, "Apostasie." You can listen to the interview in full below.

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Max Portnoy Lifts The Lid On Tallah's Debut Album

It can't be easy being the child of a metal star with aspirations of your own. Surely there's always the desire to step out of the shadows and make a name for yourself, but in Tallah, Max Portnoy may already be on to a winner.

With their debut album, "Matriphagy" out now and earning a lot of attention, Tallah has already forged a reputation for stunning visuals and a musical sound which can't be pigeonholed so easily. To find out more about this unique project, I spoke with Max about the record, the decision to perform a gig inside a penitentiary and how the band is already close to finishing their sophomore album!

Diamond Oz: First of all congratulations on the release of your new album, "Matriphagy." It's certainly an interesting title. What made you choose it?

Max Portnoy: When we were brainstorming ideas for an album title, we wanted something that summed up the entire concept as a whole. We read through the lyrics to see if anything caught our attention, and while there were some really cool names, we didn't find exactly what we were looking for. I started talking with Justin about words or phrases involving motherhood or maternity and we liked the idea of going along those lines with the album title. We were spitting out names and searching online for anything that had to do with that and that was when Justin was asking me to look up motherhood with insects, so I searched up motherhood with spiders, and stumbled upon the word Matriphagy, which is when the Mother is killed by her offspring. That was exactly what we were looking for, as that sums up exactly what happens in the concept.

Oz: This being your debut album, what themes did you feel was most important to tackle lyrically, given that it's your introduction to the world?

Max: I can't speak too much on the lyrical content as that is Justin's department and I wouldn't want to put words in his mouth. He handles the vocals and lyrics while I handle all the music and instrumentals. But I know when we began working on the songs on Matriphagy, Justin wanted to do a concept, and the only thing I told him to do with it was to "make it dark", so he took that and rolled with it to the extreme, which I love. The story is fiction obviously, even though there is small hints of truth and realism behind it since I know Justin was going through a tough period with his mom at the time and was just frustrated with their relationship at that moment of time, so Justin took some real life emotions he was feeling and put them on a fictitious character and pushed it to the extreme. Obviously Justin never wanted to kill his mom or anything, that type of stuff was all just exaggerations to make the story more dramatic and intense.

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Photo of Trident

Band Photo: Trident

Trident Reveals All About The "North"

Sometimes waiting for new albums can seem like an eternity. It's been six years since we last heard new music from Triptykon for instance, but try waiting ten years for new material from one of blackened death metal's most promising bands. That's exactly what happened to fans of Swedish metal beasts Trident, but now, finally, the quintet has unleashed a new album entitled, "North."

Released through Non Serviam Records and boasting incredible artwork, it's the music within that really makes "North" so special. To find out more about this blistering release, I caught up with with drummer Svart, to ask about the lyrical themes that dominate the record, why there was such a long wait for a sophomore album and much more.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on the release of your new album, "North." It's been ten years since your previous album. What was the reason behind such a long wait?

Svart: Lots of things have happened in 10 years, most notably the Band has gone through changes in its members and record-labels. We got the current lineup together as it is (excluding our Bass-player Bloodlord who became a member during the recordings of “North”) about 7-8 years ago.

At the time there was some material for songs ready but we needed some time to find our places in this new family and finetune our sound. With prolonged silence we didn’t want to rush things but took the decision to record our EP "Shadows" with its release about five years ago, so that the fans would not lose hope and see that we are still alive and kicking. Almost immediately after said release we started to work on new material that would become our upcoming album "North."

Oz: Obviously with such a long gap between albums, things will have changed within the band. How does "North" compare to "World Destruction"?

Svart: We wanted to evolve and define the sound of Trident, the atmosphere we want to create, how we structure that from song to song, how we tell a story and channel all the members emotions into each song.

We are very proud of "World Destruction," however it was not possible to deliver all the elements to the same extent as we did in "North."

This time around we decided not to rush things which made it possible to make it complete so to speak.

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Photo of Armored Saint

Band Photo: Armored Saint

Joey Vera Talks New Armored Saint & Fates Warning

For all the musicians in heavy metal, only a few ever truly reach the status of legends. The word is thrown around a lot these days to describe anyone who's been around for a while, but truthfully, time is only part of the equation, as skill and output should also count. Joey Vera is one such musician who deserves such a tag, having not only been a key member of Armored Saint, one of the best traditional heavy metal bands to ever come from America, but also the bassist of prog metal greats Fates Warning for over twenty years.

Now in 2020, both of the aforementioned bands are gearing up to release new albums. Armored Saint will see their eighth full length, "Punching The Sky" released on October 23rd, while only two weeks later, Fates Warning will unleash "Long Day Good Night," their thirteenth opus, both of which have produced some stellar singles which will have fans of each band excited.

Last month, I caught up with the man himself to discuss both of these records, as well as his position in Mercyful Fate and much more. You can listen to the interview in full below.

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Jairo Guedz: From Sepultura To Troops Of Doom

Sepultura is a name which needs no introduction. The Belo Horizonte band were the first metal band from Brazil to gain international acclaim and opened the door for other bands from their home country to receive attention from the rest of the world. Not only this, but the quality of musicians were so high that the former members have earned success outside of the band, whether that be in Soulfly, Sarcófago, Cavalera Conspiracy or Mixhell.

Now in the year 2020, another of Sepultura's talented alumni is getting his name out into the world once more, as original guitarist Jairo Guedz, AKA "Tormentor," prepares to unleash "The Rise Of Heresy," the debut EP from his new band, The Troops Of Doom. Named after one of Sepultura's earliest fan favourite songs, the band captures the spirit and sound of the "Bestial Devastation" and "Morbid Visions" releases perfectly, whilst still sounding modern and in step with the current metal world. To find out all about the release, I spoke with Guedz to discover what fans can expect from the band, its goals, why he left Sepultura, the surprising link to Dimmu Borgir and much more.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on the new EP, "The Rise Of Heresy." It's very exciting to hear new material from you! Why do you feel that now is the right time for Troops Of Doom?

Jairo Guedz: Yes I am (we are) very excited and proud. The goal is to do songs in the same vibe I used to do with Sepultura back in the old times.

Oz: How important was it to include the Sepultura songs on the EP as well as original material?

Jairo: Well... every member and also ex-member from Sepultura has the right to play their own songs. Max and Iggor are doing it with the Cavalera Conspiracy since the begining...Sepultura also can play their songs from every album and I also have the rights from the first two albums. So, when I decided to join the band together I told the guys from Sepultura that I would like to do it - re-record my own songs form Bestial Devastation and Morbid Visions - and they (Max, Iggor & Paulo) told me to do it. They are more into Arise, Beneath The Remains, Roots era... And I woud like to play my stuff with them. More old school death metal.

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Hinayana Mourns The "Death Of The Cosmic"

Texas has a long and proud history of heavy metal artists. Whether it be the titans of Pantera, the cult stars like Rigor Mortis and King's X or modern favourites like Power Trip and Oceans Of Slumber, there's always something going on in the Lone Star State. Another band breaking down barriers and bearing the metal flag hails from the great city of Austin, namely; Hinayana.

With a sound as progressive as it is brutal, Hinayana has been challenging both listeners and themselves since forming in 2014 and releasing their debut album, "Order Divine" in 2018. Now in 2020, the future could well be very bright for quintet, something ironic given some of their lyrical content. They've just signed with Austrian label Napalm Records and last month, released one hell of an EP in "Death Of The Cosmic." To find out more about the band, the music and more, I caught up with frontman Casey Hurd this week. You can listen to the interview in full below.

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Photo of The Unguided

Band Photo: The Unguided

The Unguided Vocalist On New Album "Father Shadow"

It's always a risk when members leave one band to form another. Sometimes they eclipse their former outfit, sometimes it goes nowhere, but it's always interesting to see where the project goes. So it is with Falkenberg's, The Unguided, which was formed by three members of Sonic Syndicate in 2010. Ten years and five albums later, with a vast story being told both in the music and behind the scenes, no one can say that The Unguided hasn't been a success.

On October 9th, The Unguided will unleash their fifth full length album, "Father Shadow," which continues the story which began on their debut, "Hell Frost." To find out more about the concept, as well as the recording, lineup changes, the effect of the pandemic on the band and much more, I spoke with co-vocalist and founder Richard Sjunnesson. You can listen to the interview in full below.

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Serpent Omega Singer Reveals All About "II"

Looking at today's release schedule, there's so much to get excited for. While some of the bigger names may take centre stage though, one of the most interesting new outputs comes from Serpent Omega, a band which defies convention and labels by mixing sluge, black metal and crust punk to be... Well, Serpent Omega really.

It's been seven years since the release of their self-titled debut but finally the sophomore album is available. This week, I spoke with vocalist Urskogr about the record, why it took so long to come out, the artwork, the strange link between their music and Lars von Trier's, "Antichrist" and much more. You can listen to the interview in full below.

"II" is available to buy now at the band's official bandcamp

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