To date, we have conducted 1149 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:
The Estonian band Metsatöll has another folk metal offensive on the horizon, as new full-length "Karjajuht" is about to drop via Spinefarm Records on May 27th.
Metsatöll's Lauri Õunapuu ("Varulven") was gracious enough to answer all of Metalunderground.com's burning questions about the battles, beer making, and ten-armed monsters that make up "Karjajuht." Read our full interview with Lauri below and discover the logistics of combining traditional folk instruments with electric guitars on stage, the mythology behind the "Külmking" music video, the distinctive look of each album cover, and much more!
Even though founding member, Mike Hill isn't sweating it, his group, Tombs has a lot to live up to since the release of "Path of Totality" three years ago. Said album was at the top of many journalists' lists including Decibel and Pitchfork. Hill doesn't give much relevance to publication awards and online promotions such as The A.V. Club's premiere of "Deathtripper." He would much rather talk about the events that led him to penning this song or working with famed producer/musician Erik Rutan's production.
Living up to a certain standard can increase the pressure on a group looking to step into a different direction, but "Savage Gold" is a return to the blackened experimentation that characterized the first two albums, although with more maturity. To say this album is better is a subjective claim, but its one more album under the proverbial belt, so it only makes sense that journalists would expect progression. Before "Savage Gold" drops on June 10th, I was able to get Mike Hill's insight on these ideas and much more in the following email conversation.
Sometimes, it's just not enough to have an album be heavy, innovative, and consistent. In fact, for the really good ones, it's got to be more. "It has to have some kind of vulnerability to get to me," says vocalist Henrik Fevre of the monumental progressive metal foursome, Anubis Gate. It has to be able to touch its listeners with sincerity.
Men of their word, the creative forces behind Anubis Gate have been consistently achieving that vulnerability from album to album while still being quite novel in their melodic choices. On their latest album, "Horizons" (reviewed here), the members stretch out in a few new directions, adding in nods to older rock and 80s pop, as noted in their earlier release of the "Sheep" EP, featuring covers of Pink Floyd's "Sheep" and Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings."
Speaking to Metal Underground, they opened up a little more about the inner workings of "Horizons."
The U.S. death metal monster Autopsy was slain back in '95, allowing a gore-soaked phoenix to rise from the infected ashes as Abscess took over, injecting a dirty punk vibe to the usual death metal mayhem.
2011 saw history repeat itself, but this time in the opposite order, as Abscess finally succumbed to internal rot and imploded. In a ritual involving headless zombies, brain-consuming metal fanatics, and self-mutilation, Chris Reifert managed to resurrect Autopsy from the pits of Hell, and since then the demonic musical manifestation has released a stunning three aural assaults on the mortal world.
With Autopsy recently being covered in our Sunday Old School column and new album "Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves" out now, I braved life and limb (mostly limb - I mean just look at that album cover!) to speak with the necromancer/musician Chris Reifert and discover what foul magic has been enacted on this latest go around. Read on - if you dare - to learn the final fate of Abscess, the blasphemous imagery soon to hit the digital world from Autopsy's comic release, and how Reifert is getting out his punk urges with a new project.
In recent years, the glorious musical legacy of the late Chuck Schuldiner has been injected with a new burst of life. This has happened thanks to the the impressive Special Edition series that Relapse Records and Chuck's estate (Perseverance Holdings LTD) have been putting together. These albums (which include most of Death's, Control Denied's and Mantas' recordings) feature a plethora of new bonus tracks, remixes, remastering, and an outstanding overall packaging.
Death's iconic second opus, "Leprosy," is the latest entry in the series. Classics hymns like "Pull The Plug" and "Left To Die," among others, can now be enjoyed with a renewed, crystal clear quality thanks to remastering work courtesy of Alan Douches (Mastodon, Nile). Between that and Ed Repka's unforgettable cover artwork, the liner notes and extra photos, it's difficult not to feel that this is, indeed, a true labor of love.
We talked with Perseverance Holdings' master chief— and Schuldiner former manager—Eric Greif, about bringing this metallic gem back to life. He also made revelations about what's coming next for Death's recordings and the future of Control's Denied's unreleased opus, "When Man And Machine Collide". Greif's answers were, to say the least, extremely compelling.
Back in March, Century Media Records announced Angela Gassow would be stepping down as Arch Enemy's singer and taking on a management role. The voice of Arch Enemy for 13 years, Gassow lent her seething pitch to 6 albums. In addition her longevity, Gassow is seen as one of the greatest female vocalists in the realm of extreme metal. This being said, finding another female who can crush it like Angela seems a lofty task. She looked to Canada to find a pretty, blue-haired maiden named Alissa White-Gluz.
White-Gluz possesses the attitude, voice and experience the band so desired. She had released three albums with fellow Century Media artists, The Agonist. Her ability to growl certainly raised a few eyebrows including those of Angela Gassow. Gassow called her and asked if she could fill the spot, which White-Gluz obviously accepted. Since then, White-Gluz left Canada for Sweden to record the band's 9th studio album "War Eternal."
With just a month to spare before the album hits American shores, I called Alissa to get her thoughts on the new album. She was on vacation in New York, but still found the time to discuss joining the band and making this album.
The terrifying technical death metal force that is Archspire just released a new full-length album last month titled "The Lucid Collective." Matching the dizzying heights of technicality found in the instrumentation, the album's themes explore the concept of infinite parallel realities and all life existing in a state both living and dead.
Wanting to spread the word about the release, Archspire got in touch with Metalunderground.com for a new interview. The full text can be read below, which covers everything from how the band connected with Season of Mist, why the members are drawn to this style of death metal, and what's been happening with fellow Vancouver metal outfits lately.
When we hear about Iran nowadays, it is often in a heavy context wrapped around religious or political narratives. Iran is almost never associated with Heavy Metal - in fact, metal is barely tolerated in Iran, and is a subject aligned with devil-worship, ostracized to the fullest extent of human ability and political power.
However, where conflict and revolution percolate in response to perceived oppression and omission, a growing interest in all things forbidden, dark and heavy is born. Mist Within is just one example of Iran's youth seemingly corrupted and ruined by Western culture. Their hunger and passion for our literature, cinema and music - utterly nonexistent to Iranian eyes and ears just 50 years ago - has contributed to the emergence of a diverse musical underground rife with intensely talented men and women looking for a way to be heard.
Here, Mist Within vocalist Alireza Motevasel enlightens us on their upcoming album, the Iranian scene and what it is like to be a metalhead in one of the most controversial nations on Earth.
Before Cradle of Filth released its classic debut full-length "The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh," the band issued a 3-song demo appropriately titled "Total Fucking Darkness." When the group released this recording in 1992, it incorporated palm-muted guitar licks and hideously low growls. Keyboards added a cinematic touch to the Romantic slant Dani Filth gained from reading classic poets such as Wordsworth and Lord Byron. All these variants helped COF stand above a wilting crop of shitty death metal demo bands.
Now 22-years later, Cradle of Filth are set to reissue these raw recordings in the grand merchandising fashion we've come to know the band for. On May 5th, Mordgrimm will Records will release the recordings as a double LP and a double LP. It will also arrive in a very limited edition box set, which is already sold out. Remastered by Tim Turan (Emperor, Thin Lizzy) at Turn Studios, these versions not only sound better but fans will get a chance to hear previously unreleased tracks.
Mordgrimm owner, Frater Nihil not only appeared on these recordings, he was responsible for releasing COF's first two studio recordings. Dani and his band mates left Nihil's former label, Cacophonous Records nearly twenty years ago, and let's just say it was not an amicable departure. As filth tells us, though, time heals wounds, as Nihil and Filth, plus Paul Ryan have once again connected to bring their fans this multi-media experience. Conducted fittingly on the day of the witches Sabbath, Walpurgisnacht, Dani Filth talks about the original recording session and how this new, remastered version has moved out of the darkness (total fucking) and into the light.
A behemoth is something gigantic. The word also pertains to a hippo (a gigantic creature) being described in the bible. Both of these usages can be applied to Poland's black/death creation of the same name. Their music is large and lyrically looks to the Bible's antagonist, Lucifer, for inspiration. In terms of touring and selling albums, Behemoth has become a giant in the extreme metal market. Part of this can be attributed to touring. Part of their success can be attributed to their merchandise and on-stage visuals. Another facet of their success, obviously, is putting out good records.
In their early days, Behemoth played a major role in defining Eastern Europe's black metal scene. Midway through the band's career, they started moving into death metal territory in the vein of U.S. bands such as Morbid Angel and Deicide. The last couple of albums including recent hell blazer "The Satanist" showcase a black/death approach with a greater philosophical bent in the lyrics and epic transitions. I was fortunate to catch their act on the Metal Alliance tour. Their set was mired in theatrics--horned masks, face paint, fire and elaborate back drops. While the band has always wore costumes while performing, they bring so much more than the armor and corpse paint of the last show I caught in 2009.
Before playing in front of a 1,000 or so people at Emo's in Austin, Texas, I stepped onto Behemoth's bus to chat with bassist, Orion. In the following interview, he breaks down how the band worked on aspects of "The Satanist" such as working with artists and video production companies to get the proper visuals for the album art and forthcoming videos. He talks about the band's set list, touring cycle and making it in the United States.
A modernized, fancy van sat in the parking lot of Emo's in Austin, Texas. Goatwhore's Sammy Duet sat inside the van drinking a beer. The group's bassist, James Harvey, stood outside. Both gave a running commentary on the band's new album "Constricting Rage Of The Merciless," which raged through the van's speakers. Sammy told me that I didn't hear the album, so I there will be no descriptions of the album in this introduction, although I will comment on the track "Baring Teeth For Revolt" because the group premiered this song during their set.
I didn't approach Goatwhore's van to hang out and hear new tunes. I was there looking for Ben Falgoust to set up an interview time. The clearly visible members of Goatwhore sitting in an open van seemed rather inviting, at least for approaching the band for an interview. A man with long, blonde hair and goatee spoke with a European accent I couldn't place. I thought he was a member of Behemoth hanging out with Goatwhore. He actually was Archaon, guitarist of 1349 and the Goatwhore members were sitting in his group's van.
I learned this fact of van ownership during my interview with Falgoust a couple hours later. We discussed this massive tour that the band had only just begun. In the following interview, we also talk about the band's forthcoming full-length "Constricting Rage Of The Merciless."
Rex_84: Goatwhore has a new album, "Constricting Rage of the Merciless," on the rise. You have a way for fans to purchase it at your shows.
The Belgian black metal masters are back! Following 2012's "Obsidium," Enthroned has released new dark opus "Sovereigns," out now via Agonia Records. This latest Satanic incantation bears artwork painted by guitarist Neraath, featuring the addition of blood and "other tissues" from the band members.
Frontman Nornagest recently checked in with Metalunderground.com for an interview detailing the creation of "Sovereigns," the album's lyrics, his favorite beer, and joining fellow Belgian outfit Goat Torment, which can all be read below.
Canada's biggest death metal export, Gorguts recently undertook one of the best extreme metal tours of 2014. Sponsored by Decibel Magazine, Gorguts joined Carcass, The Black Dahlia Murder and Noisem. After a mind-blowing set, band founder and guitar shredding extraordinaire, Luc Lemay joined me for an interview in Mohawk club's green room. In the following video interview we discuss this massive tour, the band's new drummer and the influence Death imparted upon Gorguts. Video by "The Montopolis Thrasher" Victor Guerrero (The Black Dahlia Murder plays in the background).
Rex_84: How is the tour going so far?
Luc Lemay: Amazing! Good stuff.
Rex_84: How do you like touring with these other bands? This is the first time you've toured with all of these bands, right?
Lemay: Yes. Everything is great. It's been super fun. Everybody is nice. It's perfect. I can't complain.
Rex_84: How do you feel about the difference in style for each band?
Lemay: Killer! You have Noisem who brings this grindcore aspect to the tour. You have us (unintelligible). Black Dahlia has this...(grabs a handful of air) very heavy stuff. They bring the hardcore fans. And then you have Carcass. They've been around for so long. It's perfect. There is something for everybody.
Rex_84: And Gorguts is in the middle spot on the bill. Is this the placement throughout the tour?
Lemay: Yes, we have the second spot.
Rex_84: How do you feel about playing this spot?
Lemay: It's perfect. Whatever spot, we get to play. We get to be part of this.
Rex_84: Carcass is a legendary band.
Lemay: Dude, yes! They sound awesome!
Rex_84: Was Carcass an early influence on Gorguts?
Lemay: Well (shows hesitation in response)...we always listened to their music. Did they influence our stuff? Maybe when we started, even then, I don't know because I had "Reek of Putrefaction" and "Symphonies of Sickness," but I don't think Gorguts ever sounded like Carcass. But I was always a fan. I have those records on vinyl. I have the Peel Sessions on vinyl. Do you remember those Peel Sessions?
Breaking out as an extreme metal band is nigh impossible no matter where you come from. But when your home country happens to be Australia, you're about as cut off from the mandatory North American and European touring circuits and irreplaceable markets as you can get.
So, bands from the antipodean nether realms that flirt with metals harshest borders seem to go one of two routes. One, they build up a good following at home, covering massive spans of distance between isolated cities on red-earth continent and hope the hometown hype machine is enough to catapult them overseas on the strength of a European or American record deal. It got King Parrot signed to Candlelight and over the U.S. It got Psycroptic signed to Nuclear Blast, which sent them all over the world. Adelaide/Newcastle grinders Captain Cleanoff have also manged to tour both the U.S. and Europe on occasion. This is by no means a comprehensive list of Australian bands that have managed to tour outside the borders of their kangaroo and koala-infested homeland.
Andrew Glover’s been making records that you may have heard now for about six years, although you might not know him for that particular skill. This is probably because he’s also the very visible bassist in Winds of Plague when he’s not down at Sound Temple Studio in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Largely responsible for the actual sound of the finished product, Andrew has been flexing his audio engineer muscles (working those ears and that computer keyboard!) to not only make professional modern productions, but to highlight what the bass guitar is capable of within the heavy framework of metal.
Having recently wrapped up a 2-day live seminar with CreativeLive on the essentials of recording bass guitar (which can be viewed here), Glover took some time to answer a few questions from Metal Underground to enlighten readers on the subject.
Every few years you can expect the ever-reliable Finnish outfit Insomnium to let loose another darkly atmospheric bout of melodic death metal.
The band's latest offering "Shadows of the Dying Sun" lands at the end of the month, following 2011's "One For Sorrow" (reviewed here). After keeping a very recognizable base sound across each album through the years, there will be a few surprises in store for fans this time around.
"I would say the core sound of our band is there," said Insomnium member Ville Friman when I spoke with him last week, adding "I think we have used our influences differently on this album, though... It's more diverse."
During our discussion, Ville took me through the writing and recording of "Shadows of the Dying Sun," touching on everything from how lyric videos come together to bonus material on the album's special edition.
The Detroit metalcore newcomers in Assassins just released their debut full-length album "War Of Aggression" and marked the occasion by hitting the road with Carnifex for the "Die Without Hope" tour.
Front man Todd Jansen took some time out from the U.S. trek to check in with Metalunderground and discuss the band's origins, signing to eOne Music, and what the band will be up to now that the album is out and the tour is coming to an end.
Thursday, March 20th, 2014. Destruction had just wrapped a ripping set at Springfield, Virginia's Empire, the third stop of the German thrashers' current North American tour. Since I'd interviewed guitarist Mike Sifringer upon arrival, I thought it only appropriate to finish the night by catching up with the support act: Brazilian trio Krisiun.
Amid a slowly waning bustle of gear breakdown and merch removal (what was left, anyway), I stood before Krisiun's bassist/vocalist Alex Camargo. A formidable rock of a man with a menacing death metal stage demeanor, Alex in his downtime revealed a far different, relaxed side at odds with his swarthy "Machete" resemblance and husky voice. Here's what happened...
The Norwegian thrash maniacs in Nocturnal Breed just unleashed latest sonic assault “Napalm Nights,” which comes seven long years after previous studio album ”Fields of Rot.”
It was a long and winding journey to get this album out, seeing the band go through lineup changes and extended periods of inactivity.
Nocturnal Breed's S.A. Destroyer got in touch with Metalunderground.com for an absolutely mammoth interview covering everything from the band's previous use of professional strippers in live shows, to the many other projects he's been involved with over the last few years, and the guest appearance of Nocturno Culto on several tracks.
This was show number three for the North American tour, and I reckoned I was in for the prime specimen tonight: bands with a pair of performances under their belts, loosening up and easing into a confident routine, yet with vast reserves of energy yet to be unleashed.
Not long after arriving at Springfield, Virginia's Empire (formerly Jaxx), I was propped on a tall stool in the Alchemy Room, a cozy bar just beyond the box office and separated from the venue proper by a pair of corridors and two sets of doors. Setting a half-full scotch rocks on the modest circular table, I glanced left at an unmistakable figure headed my way from the gloom of the concert hall.
I shook his hand. "Mike," I introduced myself. The rail-thin, grizzled figure chuckled, graying lion's-mane curls bobbing slightly. "Easy to remember," came the thick German-accented English, and I realized I was speaking with metal's incarnation of Scar ("The Lion King"), had actor Jeremy Irons used his humorous faux-German from his "Die Hard With A Vengeance" role.
Mike Sifringer, co-founder of Destruction and only permanent member to date, took a seat. The Alchemy Room was nearly empty, sound checks were still in muffled progress beyond the doors, and we immediately dove into a relaxed Q&A session. Destruction had recently booked Hell & Heaven Corona Metal Fest, and our transcript picks up with the event's last-minute cancellation.
Human Furnace, a.ka. James Bulloch, says he's been using this moniker since ninth grade. It was a thing he used to sign his pictures with, like a Pushead signature. He used that nickname even before he even got into the band. These sketched images proved a precursor to his verbal art in Ringworm. When thinking of the band's latest opus "Hammer of the Witch," images bubble to the surface like an eyeball in a witch's cauldron.
"Hammer of the Witch" was just one of the topics we discussed with the front man after his performance at the Metal Sucks Showcase at SXSW. The album is the first to include the words "Relapse Records" on the back cover. This may be the band's first on Relapse, but they have a history dating back 25 years. Human Furnace feels much of their time wasn't promoted properly before signing to Relapse.
Distractions were minimal in the alley behind Dirty Dog Bar. Cops wondered shone their flash lights on us to see if we were packing heat or smoking pot. Austin had raised their level of security after the tragic events from the prior day . For this reason and the multitudes of drunk SXSW attendees passing by, it was not the ideal setting for an interview, but that didn't stop Human Furnace from fully speaking his mind as we discussed the above-mentioned topics.
While UK doom outfit Conan doesn't spend its days cleaning blood-stained battle axes or lounging on jewel-crusted thrones, the band's collision with nylon chords and shimmering cymbals shows their favor with Crom, the god of R.E. Howard's literary creation, "Conan." Moving with the long stride of ancient, forgotten giants, Conan returns with its second full-length "Blood Eagle."
Armed with the experience of several EPs and splits, the UK group now fly the banners of Napalm Records, thus widening the scope to include a larger throng of doom/drone/fantasy fans. In anticipation of the album which arrives on March 11th in North America, the band released a video for its track, "Foehammer."
In the following conversation, vocalist, guitarist Jon Davis reveals clues into the band's sonic alchemy known as "Blood Eagle."
Florida's death metal behemoth Massacre returned from the grave to release the "Condemned to the Shadows" EP back in 2012, and now a proper full-length album is on the way. "Back From Beyond" is due out March 24th in Europe and on April 1st in North America via Century Media Records.
Excited to spread the word about the coming album, bassist Terry Butler contacted Metalunderground.com to talk about how this album came together, and how the sound of the band has changed since the departure of former vocalist Kam Lee. Check out the full interview below.
From the operatic range of Ronny Munroe's voice to the tight presentation of guitarists Rick Van Zandt and Kurdt Vanderhoof, Metal Church's performance at Backstage Live in San Antonio brought to mine the term professional. Songs like "Ton of Bricks," "Gods of Wrath" and "Metal Church" whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Some of these songs have held their fans in thrall for thirty years.
Besides legends like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Kiss and Metallica, few metal artists have the power to stay relevant like Metal Church. In fact, if it weren't for Metallica guitar tech and then-Metal Church guitarist, John Marshall, stepping in as James Hetfield's guitar hand on tour (Hetfield burned his hand on a stage pyro), Metal Church would have never made its way into my ears.
The group's success isn't linear, though, as the group has stepped away from the big lights a couple of times. Their most recent hiatus came in 2009 after releasing "This Present Wasteland." The group issued "Generation Nothing" last year and followed the release up with a reunion show at 70,000 Tons of Metal. Now that the band has returned to its former glory, they've assailed North American crowds with their no-bullshit-brand of true heavy metal. Before speaking from the book of heavy metal in San Antonio, vocalist Ronny Munroe and I grabbed the green room at Backstage Live to Metal Church's experiences on the road and the events that helped make the tour possible.
Kamchatka - the Swedish hard rock trio featuring bassist Per Wiberg (Spiritual Beggars, ex-Opeth) - has now released a fifth studio album titled "The Search Goes On" via Despotz Records.
Metalunderground.com got in touch with Per to discuss how this album came together, the band's new label home, and his handling of both the production and artwork for "The Search Goes On." You can pick up your copy of the album right here, and read our full interview with the band below.