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Interviews

To date, we have conducted 1495 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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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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Cult Of Lilith Prepares To Unleash Debut "Mara"

As discussed in the recent interview with Volcanova, Iceland's metal scene seems to be growing every week. Everything from doom to black metal is emerging from the frosty nation and perhaps most notably, death metal. One such band to sprout from the Icelandic death metal bed is Cult Of Lilith, hailing from the capital city of Reykjavík.

This Friday (September 4th,) Cult Of Lilith will be releasing their debut full length album, "Mara," through Metal Blade Records. To find out all about the record, signing to such a distinguished label, the rising tide of Icelandic and much more. You can watch the chat in full below.

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Elixir Guitarist Discusses Latest Album And NWOBHM

The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal might not be so new anymore, but for those who love classic metal, especially younger listeners, there'll always be new discoveries when digging deep into the movement. While the likes of Iron Maiden and Saxon will always grab the headlines, bands like Raven, Praying Mantis and Witchfinder General will always be regarded as excellent bands that deserve more recognition. Another band which falls into this category would be Elixir, from the English capital city, London.

After releasing a truly stellar debut, "The Son Of Odin" in 1986, it would be another four years until their sophomore "Lethal Potion" would hit the shelves. While the band hasn't always been as active as some of their contemporaries, Elixir has always done their best to give fans slice after slice of high quality heavy metal. In March of this year, the group released, "Voyage Of The Eagle," their seventh full length album and undoubtedly one of the best in their long, storied career.

To find out more about the album, as well as the side project Midnight Messiah, sharing their singer with Desolation Angels, thoughts on the New Wave Of British Metal and much more, I spoke with guitarist and co-founder Phil Denton.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on the release of your latest album, "Voyage Of The Eagle." Could you tell us what the meaning of the title is?

Phil Denton: Thank you! The title refers to the name of the ship in our adventure, ‘The Eagle’. The album tells the story of how some sea-fairing folk overheard a tale of a dead man’s buried treasure from some drunken seamen in a tavern. From there, they press gang a crew, set sail, try to avoid the temptations of The Siren, survive storms, mutiny, and blood-thirsty crew-mates, to get to the treasure. I won’t tell you how the story ends, but the album documents the adventure, hence the title.

Oz: This is your first album for ten years. Obviously in that time you've changed some band members, but what would you say sets it apart from the previous album, "All Hallows Eve"?

Phil: We have changed one band member. Original bass player and co-founder, Kevin Dobbs, decided that he didn’t want to continue with Elixir in 2012. As we are a tight-knit group who had been together since 1984, we didn’t even contemplate replacing him with someone else, we just thought that it was the end of Elixir. Paul and I formed a spin-off band, Midnight Messiah, to carry on Elixir’s legacy.

When I started recording ideas for a new album, I felt that, as the lyrical ideas were based on a track called ‘Dead Man’s Gold’ from Elixir’s debut album, ‘The Son Of Odin’, that the new material should be recorded by Elixir. I contacted the guys and asked whether they would be interested in making a new album. They were all keen to do it, except for Kev, who still didn’t want to continue. He felt that we had ended on a great album, ‘All Hallows Eve’, and wanted to leave things there. However, he could see that we were all keen to do it, and so he gave us his blessing to get another bass player to continue. That was important to us, because, as I mentioned, we grew up together and are like brothers, so we didn’t want to replace Kev if there was any chance that he may want to continue.

We found a young and talented bass player called Luke Fabian to record the album. He did a great job on the recording, but when rehearsing for live shows it became apparent that Luke wasn’t quite right for us as a permanent replacement for Kev. He is quite younger than us and from a different musical background.

Just before the pandemic and lockdown happened, we had a great rehearsal session with another bass player, who I don’t want to name yet. We are intending to get a band line-up photo done and then announce him in September. We like him a lot, not just for his playing, but as a person we could relate to both musically and personally. When you spend hours together travelling in a van or stuck at an airport, you need to get on well with your band mates. He has been learning the live set and material from the new album, and after the rehearsal studios re-opened following lockdown, we have had a few more rehearsals with him. He is coming along a lot better than I had dared to hope, and is a pleasure to play with. We are sounding like a tight band again. He has stayed respectful to Kev’s legacy, maintaining Kev’s sound and replicating Kev’s bass runs where required, but also has been adding his own touches too. I feel that we have found the perfect replacement for Kev, and cannot wait to get out and start playing live shows again.

Musically, I don’t think there is a lot of difference between ‘All Hallows Eve’ and ‘Voyage Of The
Eagle’, they are both traditional classic heavy rock albums in our usual style. Four out of five band
members are the same, and our fans are telling us that the new album is what they had hoped for and expected from Elixir in 2020.

The main difference musically is whilst ‘All Hallows Eve’ is themed around the old Pagan and Celtic ritual of Samhain carried out traditionally on 31 st October, and has the 14 minute ‘epic’ song ‘Samhain’, the new album actually tells a continuous story, like a concept album, and doesn’t have any songs of such length.

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Ahab Drummer Talks "Live Prey" And Next Album

The ocean really is a never ending source for metal lyrics. The ongoing black abyss, the giant creatures that dwell within, the dangers and excitement, it's all the material is there to craft the heaviest music is possible.

I must confess, this hadn't occured to me until I spoke with Ahab drummer Cornelius Althammer, who a lot to say about the subject, as well as the band's first live album, "Live Prey," which was released last June through Napalm Records (as all their albums have been so far,) as well as progress on a new album, upcoming new material from Dead Eyed Sleeper, the death metal band which also features Ahab bassist Stephen Wandernorth and much more. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Ages Attempts To "Uncrown" Black Metal Tropes

While Norway gained most of the attention when it comes to black metal, their next door neighbours in Sweden have always had a good track record themselves. From Bathory to Dissecction to Marduk and beyond, the elongated country has produced some of the very best the genre has to offer. This still rings true today, as listeners will find out tomorrow when "Uncrown," the sophomore full length from black metal supergroup Ages is released, boasting a soundscape and audio assault the likes any band would be jealous of.

To find out more about the album, I caught up with Daniel Beckman (AKA, Eldhrimnir, also of Twilight Force,) to discuss everything from why it took five years to follow "The Malefic Miasma," the reason why the band favours good production over the old "necro sound," artwork, the status of Twilight Force and much more. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Manticora Singer Talks New Album, Book And More

Denmark is a country which seems to be overlooked when one discusses metal from Europe. Sandwiched in between Germany and Sweden, which unquestionably get more attention, the country of nearly six million has nevertheless given the world some fantastic bands over the years but much like Iceland, it seems to finally be getting some recognition with a wave of excellent younger bands like Myrkur, Baest and Konvent to name a few. Of course, every metal scene has its veterans and one band from the Copenhagen suburb of Hvidovre which has defied being pigeon holed for years would be Manticora.

Formed in 1996, Manticora has utilised everything from power to death metal to create their own brand of metal music and keep listeners on their toes. After a lengthy break in 2010, the group returned with "To Kill To Live To Kill," based on the book of the same name which frontman Lars F. Larsen had written. Appropriately, the book also is a heavy work, but with plenty of nuances itself, the perfect inspiration for a Manticora album.

On August 28th of this year, the band will release the second part of the double barrelled concept album, titled, "To Live To Kill To Live" and to find out more about it, I spoke with Lars F. Larsen himself. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Photo of Unleash The Archers

Band Photo: Unleash The Archers

Unleash The Archers Singer Invites Us To "Abyss"

If only YouTube views translated to dollars, some of the most exciting bands in metal would be getting the rewards they deserve. The site has definitely helped launch the popularity of a number of bands in metal and one such band who never fails to attract listeners with their bombastic sound and white hot tunes would unquestionably be Unleash The Archers, from the beautiful city of Vancouver.

In seven days time, the band will release "Abyss," their fifth album and one that promises to be another big hitter. Already the singles "Soulbound" and the title track are gaining a huge amount of attention and with a story that continues on from the stellar "Apex" album from 2017, Unleash The Archers are creating a legacy of boundless imagination as well as power metal greatness.

To find out more about "Abyss," the challenges it's brought and the innovative ways the quartet have been promoting the album at a time when touring is practically impossible, I spoke with vocalist Brittney Slayes, who had some truly eye opening revelations about the record. You can listen to it in full below.

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Volcanova Prepares To Unleash "Radical Waves"

Given it's frosty climate and heritage, the Nordic countries have always been a perfect place for metal music to be born and thrive. Over the past thirty years, the world has witnessed the rise of Swedish death metal, Norwegian black metal and Finnish symphonic metal, but now it's their cultural neighbours Iceland who are beginning to grow and make their own claim to be a new home of rock and metal of all kinds. In this sparsely populated nation, bands are signing with bigger labels and attracting a global audience, the ears of which are soon to be treated to the stoner metal/desert rock sound of Volcanova.

Forming in 2014, Volcanova, from the capital city of Reykjavík, are now less than two weeks away from the release of their debut album, "Radical Waves," which will appropriately reach shores on August 21st through The Sign Records. Iceland may not be the country one would expect the sounds of the American deserts to reach, but the trio have a brilliant take on the genre and could very well become one of their home country's most beloved bands in just a few years.

To find out more about the album and the band, I spoke with frontman Samúel Ásgeirsson and bass player Þorsteinn Árnason to discuss the record, as well as the vibrant artwork which adorns the front cover, the hilarious music videos for "Sushi Sam" & "Super Duper Van" and much more. You can listen to the interview in full below.

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Ingested Frontman Discusses New Album

It's a brutal time across the world right now and to paraphrase an old saying: Brutal conditions require brutal solutions. In seven days time (August 14th,) one of Britain's premier death metal bands Ingested will be unleashing their latest burnt offering, "Where Only Gods May Tread" through Unique Leader Records. The fifth full length from the Mancunian metallers has already got people talking with its visceral singles and eye catching artwork and the end result promises to be every bit as devastating as Ingested's previous outings.

This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Ingested vocalist Jase Evans about the album, working with renowned artist Dan Seagrave, how Crowbar frontman Kirk Windstein came to appear on the record and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the band. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Dark Sarah Spins Another "Grim" Tale

One of the wonderful things about metal music is how much freedom lyricists have. People can sing about political or social issues, create their own worlds and beings, share fond memories or wove their own tapestries to tell stories. There's been no shortage of bands who have made concept albums, but a band who dedicates themselves a particular story or character are much rarer.

Such is the case though, for Finland's Dark Sarah. Led by former Amberian Dawn vocalist Heidi Parviainen, the idea of the band was formed around the jilted bride Sarah, who would soon embark on a journey no one could see coming, least of all her. Now on to their fourth album, "Grim," the character of Sarah may seem to have finished her story, but the new protagonist, debuting on this record, may have closer ties to the band's back catalogue than initially thought.

To find out more about this amazing story, the history and future of the band and how Dark Sarah are coping with the global pandemic, I spoke with singer Heidi Parviainen earlier today. You can listen to the interview in full below.

To purchase tickets for the band's upcoming live streamed show (Friday August 7th), click here

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Let Us Prey Shares The "Virtues Of The Vicious"

Without question, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the music industry hard. Bands are unable to tour in most places and releasing albums is proving to be a different kettle of fish from the normal process. So what about bands who are releasing their debut album? This is exactly the dilemma supergroup Let Us Prey has had to deal with, but in keeping with the never say die attitude metal musicians embody, the group has forged ahead and their first full length, "Virtues Of The Vicious" has proved to be an absolute scorcher, one well worth the time of fans across the whole metal spectrum.

Boasting a stellar lineup as well as guest appearances from members of Anthrax, Testament, Autograph and the late Oli Herbert of All That Remains, "Virtues Of The Vicious" is as impressive a debut as there's ever been. To learn more about the album, I spoke with frontman Marc Lopes (also vocalist for Ross The Boss) about the record, how the collaborations came about and how the band has been dealing with the pandemic.

Diamond Oz: The album has so much to offer, particularly in the thrash department but it's also quite progressive. With such complexities, does it take longer to write songs for Let Us Prey than it does your previous bands?

Marc Lopes: Yes writing for LUP is quite a process for sure, it may appear to the listener at times to be sporatic chaos but its very organized chaos. (laughs) A lot of trial and error. Some come together easier than others as any artist will tell you.

Oz: Another notable feature of the album is the guests who appear. How did these collaborations come about?

Marc: All the guest are personal friends of mine. We all have wanted to work with each other, so this seemed like a great chance to collaborate like this with the kind of schedules we all have. It was fun and each person fit the tunes perfectly for what I wanted to achieve.

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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.

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