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Interviews

To date, we have conducted 1617 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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Photo of Nervosa

Band Photo: Nervosa

Nervosa Guitarist Talks New Album & Lineup Changes

It can be devastating for a band to lose a crucial member, much less two of them. Some groups never recover from losing a vocalist, but then, Nervosa aren't most bands. Formed eleven years ago in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nervosa burst on to the international metal scene in 2014, following the release of their debut album, "Victim Of Yourself." The band were soon playing across Europe and supporting big names such as Brujeria, Sepultura and Venom and in 2016, released their sophomore full length "Agony," which earned them further recognition. After another two year wait, the trio released "Downfall Of Mankind," which featured a slightly more death metal orientation.

Last year however, Nervosa fans were shocked to learn that vocalist/bassist Fernanda Lira and drummer Luana Dametto had left to form a new band, Crypta, with Burning Witches guitarist Sonia Anubis, leaving guitarist Prika Amaral as the sole member. Not one to give up, Prika assembled an amazing collective of musicians, including Abbath bassist Mia Wallace, vocalist Diva Satanica and drummer Eleni Nota, to create a multinational unit of metal. Early this year, the quartet released, "Perpetual Chaos," a truly stunning and ferocious album which has already garnered plenty of praise.

To find out more about the album, the lineup changes, guest appearances, the Revolta side project featuring Ratos de Porão vocalist Joao Gordo and much more, I spoke with Prika Amaral herself. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Photo of Slomatics

Band Photo: Slomatics

Slomatics Guitarist On New Split EP And Live Album

Northern Ireland tends to get overlooked when it comes to rock and metal music, but from Gary Moore to Sweet Savage to Therapy? and beyond, the small nation has had no shortage of great musicians and headbangers. Over the past seventeen years, another band has emerged which may not have reached the commercial highs as some of these aforementioned bands, but rock just as hard and have earned their place as one of Northern Ireland's fiercest trios. The band in question, as if there was ever any doubt, is Slomatics.

We're only two months into 2021 and already Slomatics is gearing up for their second release; a pulverising split EP with Ungraven of Liverpool (see Ungraven interview here.). With all new material, this marks the ninth split release from the band, who continue to give a platform to other talented artists while reminding us all of what a high quality band they are themselves. To find out more about the split EP, the live album, "Live At Start Together Studio" and much more, I spoke with guitarist David Majury. You can find the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. You've three new songs on the upcoming split with Ungraven. Were these written specifically for the release or are they a taste of a new full length to come?

David Majury: They were written specifically for the release – we’d talked about doing something with Jon straight after our last album was out, so when we started writing again we had the split in mind. This tends to be how we work, as soon as one recording is done we are looking forward to the next project, whatever that might be. The songs were written to hopefully provide some light and shade, one of the things about recording 18 minutes of music is that it means the writing should try and cover as much ground as possible, so it was a nice challenge. We knew Ungraven would absolutely bring it too, so we tried our best to compete!

Oz: This is the ninth split release that Slomatics has been a part of. Why do you feel that this format works so well for you?

David: It’s a bit of a strange situation to be in having done so many – and we have two more planned for this year – but yes it is a format we like to do. There are artistic reasons, like it’s great to share a release with a band we really like, usually who are good friends too, and I’ve always liked how a split can give the listener a nice mix of music on one record. Splits are really common in the hardcore scene, or at least they were, and the whole Man’s Ruin series of splits was something we enjoyed a lot. Then there’s the practical side – releasing a split is fairly cost effective, particularly if you want to be prolific in putting music out. I think this year will mark our 19th physical release and we’d not have hit that milestone if we only made full albums. I like how writing for a split is different to an album too, so it keeps both processes fresh.

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Dreamshade Guitarist Talks New Album & Carl Sagan

Over the past hundred years, space has played a huge role in not only entertaining people, but fuelling wonder and a desire for knowledge. Though mankind has always been fascinated by the stars, the planets and what lies unknown in the vast black yonder, after Sputnik, our thirst to learn more intensified and men like Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin fulfilled the dreams of our ancestors by leaving the very Earth itself. Space and astrophysics have continued to be popular subjects, thanks to the celebrity status of such scientists as Stephen Hawking, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Patrick Moore and Carl Sagan, who referred to Earth as "a pale blue dot."

Sagan's influence has spread not only across science and television, but to music too, with a Nightwish song named after him, as well as the touching Symphony Of Science electronic music project sampling many of his quotes. Now in 2021, his influence can be heard once more on the new Dreamshade album, appropriately named, "A Pale Blue Dot," which is set to be released on March 5th. Though originally Dreamshade attempted to sample the scientist as well, they instead took greater inspiration from his work to craft a vibrant album, filled with the same sense of experimentation and excitement that makes connects music with science.

To find out more about the album, including its breathtaking artwork, Sagan's influence and much more, I spoke with guitarist Fernando "Fella" Di Cicco and discovered a truly fascinating story behind the band's first full length album in five years. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Jon Davis Previews New Conan Album & Ungraven EP

Britain has a long and storied history when it comes to heavy metal music. Though most will say that the genre was born on the island, fathered by Black Sabbath, with other icons such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Saxon following suit, it never quite achieved the popularity and attention as it did in Germany, Scandinavia, or even America. Despite this, there has always been a steady stream of British metal bands and in 2012, the world was introduced to Conan, perhaps the best doom metal band from England since Electric Wizard.

Since then, Conan has established themselves as a vital part of the global doom metal scene and frontman Jon Davis has also extended his creative outlet by forming Ungraven, a more black metal laden affair. Though it started as a solo project, Tuskar's Tyler Hodges joined in 2019, before the lineup was rounded up with the addition of former Fudge Tunnel bassist David Riley.

To find out more about Ungraven and their upcoming split EP with Belfast bruisers The Slomatics, as well as the current status of a new Conan album and their new live release, "Live At Freak Valley," I spoke with Jon Davis and discovered some truly exciting things about both bands. You can listen to the interview in full below.

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Demon Head Vocalist Discusses New Album "Viscera"

There's certainly many ways in which the darkness of life and the cosmos can be represented. Whether it's through stories, paintings or most familiar to those of us on this website, music, the wickedness within existence doesn't go unrepresented. Last month, Danish quintet Demon Head unleashed their fourth album, "Viscera," a record which certainly lives up to its title, featuring a bleak atmosphere but overall, an effort with an underlying hopeful message.

To find out more about one of the most interesting albums of the year so far, I spoke with frontman Marcus Ferreira Larsen, who explained the role of depression on the album, the fascinating story behind the cover artwork, how his training in anthropology came into play and much more. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Frozen Soul Vocalist Opens The "Crypt Of Ice"

It seems that at the start of each year, a band comes along with a debut that immediately gets people talking. Last year, it was Danish death/doom quartet Konvent and this year, burning bright as the Texan sun, comes Frozen Soul, whose debut album, "Crypt Of Ice" has already got death metal fanatics' tails wagging. The quintet from Fort Worth released their first full length through Century Media last month and it's already being considered one of the best releases in the early stages of 2021.

To find out more about what promises to be the most exciting Texan death metal band since Devourment, I spoke with vocalist Chad Green. Among the subjects we discussed pertaining to the album was the engrossing front cover, designed by Velio Josto, the striking music videos released thus far, how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the recording of the album as well as it's release and much more. You can check it out in full below.

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Heave Blood And Die Guitarist Talks "Post People"

Metal music has never been a stranger to tackling serious issues. The likes of Sepultura, Megadeth, System Of A Down and Ministry to name a few have written plenty of songs about corruption, slave trafficking, genocide, the environment and the dangers of nuclear capabilities. Now more than ever, it's important to continue to speak up about the perils we face as a species and fortunately, a number of young bands are continuing this approach.

One such band hails from the culturally rich city of Tromsø in north Norway; Heave Blood And Die. Despite their somewhat grizzly name, their music combines doom metal with lush melodies and landscapes, in addition to superb musicianship and a philosophy which isn't afraid of stepping on some toes to get their point across.

Recently, I had the opportunity to put some questions to guitarist/vocalist Karl Løftingsmo Pedersen about the band's brand new album, "Post People," which is out now. You can read the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on your new album, "Post People". What would you say makes this different from "Vol. II"?

Karl Løftingsmo Pedersen: Thank you! I think the main difference between the two records is that Post People is more unique, it brings on more experimenting with both the composition and the sonic adventure, it feels like a breath of fresh air for us.

Oz: The studio where you recorded the album looked very beautiful with great windows overlooking the outside. Did the natural landscape outside help shape the song writing on this album?

Karl: Being isolated with only music equipment on an island by the coast of the western part of Norway surely must have done something for the music, I guess the most important part for us when recording the album was to get away from the anxieties and stress of everyday life. I don't think it would have turned out the same if we recorded it in say Oslo.

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Photo of Sirenia

Band Photo: Sirenia

Sirenia Founder Discusses New Album & 80s Music

It takes a lot of bravery to leave a successful band to start your own, but twenty years later, few can doubt that leaving Tristania to form Sirenia was the right thing for Morten Veland to do. The band has gone on to craft an extensive catalogue of quality Gothic and symphonic metal, earning critical as well as commercial success, charting in several different countries.

Fast forward to the present day and Sirenia are still going strong, with their tenth album, "Riddles, Ruins & Revelations" set to be released on February 12th through Napalm Records. The record makes their third release with vocalist Emmanuelle Zoldan and their first with guitarist Nils Courbaron and drummer Michael Brush and promises to add a new dimension to the band's sound, taking particular influence from the synth music of the 1980s.

To find out more about the album, the effect the pandemic has had on its release, recording a music video for "Addiction No. 1," the eighties influence and more, I spoke with Morten Veland himself. You can listen to the interview in full below.

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Everdawn Channels The Spirit Of Cleopatra

There can be no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world of music hard, all but stopping live music outside of New Zealand and socially distanced shows. For some bands, it has put a strain on releasing material too, as it was the case for Everdawn, formerly known as Midnight Eternal, whose new album, "Cleopatra" was actually recorded in 2019. This week, this stunning combination of progressive, symphonic and power metal will finally see the light of the day and those who have had the privilege of hearing the album already will tell you that it was worth the wait.

To find out more about the album, why it took so long to be released, the lyrical themes within, working with Therion vocalist Thomas Vikström and much more, I spoke with keyboard player Boris Zaks. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Dragony Bassist Discusses New Album Viribus Unitis

When it comes to metal in Europe, a lot of attention is given to the United Kingdom, Scandinavia or Germany. But what about Germany's southern neighbour and lingual partner Austria? While it may not get a lot of credit, Austria has given the world some stellar metal bands over the years, including blasphemous black metallers Belphegor, death metal favourites Pungent Stench and more recently, symphonic metal exponents Visions Of Atlantis.

Speaking of Visions Of Atlantis, withing the ranks of these up and comers is musician Herbert Glos, who's also a major part of Austria's most talked about power metal band, Dragony. Now signed to Napalm Records, this sextet from Vienna are about to unleash their most ambitious album to date, "Viribus Unitis," a cyberpunk take on the events leading up to World War I. Taking its title from the motto of the royal Hapsburg - Lorraine house, as well as an Austrian battleship, this story of Emperor Franz Joseph I may not be the most accurate, but it's certainly the most badass.

To find out more about "Viribus Unitis," I spoke with Herbert Glos, who shed some light on the concept album, as well as their signing with Napalm Records and much more. You can check it out below.

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Death Dealer: "We've Got Two More Albums Finished"

As much as heavy metal is known for piercing guitars and bombastic drums, it's also renowned for some of the most powerful vocals ever recorded. The likes of Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio and Geoff Tate have given our beloved genre a reputation for vocal prowess which continues to this day.

In the late nineties, the metal world was introduced to another talented voice, when Cage released their debut album, "Unveiled." The pure, uncut heavy metal band was led by vocalist Sean Peck, whose soaring voice earned him favourable comparisons with some of the previously mentioned singers and since then, Cage has continued to bear the flag of metal proudly.

While some may be content with the success of Cage, Peck himself has been involved with several projects, including The Three Tremors with Jag Panzer singer Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin and former Judas Priest and Iced Earth frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens, as well as Death Dealer, a project featuring ex Manowar guitarist Ross The Boss, who recently released their third album, "Conquered Lands."

Recently, I spoke with Sean Peck about the new Death Dealer record, as well as the legacy of Cage, the polarising response to The Three Tremors and much more. You can check it out below.

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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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