Saturday, May 19, 2012

Countdown to MDF X: (2) Saint Vitus

The word "legendary" is usually never appropriate when describing even the most well known musical acts. Its overuse can make it meaningless. In the case of doom metal band Saint Vitus,  however, the description of legendary may qualify as officially sanctioned.

Hailing from Los Angeles, Saint Vitus quite possibly invented doom metal.  I won't insult you or the band by attempting to recount their history over the last 30 odd years. You can read that all on the official Saint Vitus website.

What I will say is this. Their first new album in 17 years, Lillie: F-65, comes out just two days before the start of the 2012 Maryland Deathfest, where Saint Vitus will play outside on Sunday, May 27. They will play a few festivals in the US this summer, including the Scion Festival in Tampa and the Chaos and Tejas festival in Austin before heading over to spend the rest of the summer in Europe.

The group's current lineup includes founders Dave Chandler (guitar) and Mark Adams (bass), on and off and now on again vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich and newest member Henry Vasquez on drums. I've seen Wino perform solo, but never with Saint Vitus, nor have I ever seen any incarnation of this band. As a newer  fan of doom, I am particularly excited to catch their performance this year. Here is something brand new, as well as something old from these doom metal pioneers. Wino sings vocals on both.

Countdown to MDF X: (3) Suffocation

Suffocation is from Long Island, New York. This will be evident the minute vocalist Frank Mullen opens his mouth to speak, which he is want to do between songs. When the band begins to play, however, you will forget all about his New YAWK accent and turn your attention to not being killed in the mosh pit.

Did I say Suffocation plays brutal death metal? Did I say they were pioneers of the genre? Be warned. Suffocation plays outside on Sunday evening at the Maryland Deathfest and the violence that will undoubtably erupt will be on concrete and asphalt. There will be blood, my friends, there WILL be blood.

The current line up of Suffocation includes the aforementioned Frank Mullen (Vocals), Terrance Hobbs  (Guitars), Guy Marchais (Guitars), Derek Boyer (Bass),  and the recent return of drummer Dave Culross who played for the group in the late 1990s.

The following live video is not the best looking, but the sound and feeling of Suffocation's live performance are accurately captured. Expect to be obliterated.

Previous drummer Mike Smith is seen in this music video from 2009. 

Countdown to MDF X: (4) Morgoth

I am no Tolkien fan, but I do know the name of Germany's death metal band Morgoth comes from book The Silmarillion. Although disbanded for more than a decade, the group has experienced a rebirth since 2010 and is set to release a DVD of live performances in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release of their album Cursed.

Not only that, Morgoth will play a string of European festivals and appear on the inaugural Barge to Hell cruise in December. Not bad from a bunch of guys who went their separate ways in 1998. Of course. they don't have their complete original line up, but the spirit of the music is still there. 

Morgoth's current members include founding members Marc Grewe (Vocals), Harry Busse (Guitar), and Sebastian Swart (Guitar) with newest additions Marc Reign (Drums) and Sotirios Kelekidis (Bass).

Morgoth is down and dirty death metal with perhaps some black metal influences. Their live performances are energetic and fun. But I particularly like this instrumental title track from their second full-length album Odium. They play the 2012 Maryland Deathfest on Sunday, May 27.

Countdown to MDF X: (6) Yob

Yob. The name evokes memories of that disturbing Warner Brothers cartoon "Rocket-bye Baby" in which a Martin baby is mistakenly delivered to Earth parents.  Few people under the age of 40 will remember this cartoon.

As a band, Eugene, Oregon's Yob can be just as unsettling. Grinding, doom-y guitar riffs, plodding and pulsing rhythms and other-worldly vocals make Yob's sound memorizing. And as most of their songs are around 10 minutes long or much longer, they give you plenty of time to fall victim to their hypnotic charm. It is the perfect stoner metal.  Given the right circumstances (ahem, if you know what I mean), you could still be hearing the sound of Yob for many minutes after a song actually has ended and not even realize it.

Yob is Mike Scheidt ( Guitar, Vocals), Aaron Reiseberg (Bass) and Travis Foster (Drums). They play the 2012 Maryland Deathfest on Sunday evening, May 27. Even without a bong in hand, you will probably enjoy them.

Pentagram Chile guitarist talks first US gig, new drummer and first studio album

Pentagram Chile is not the first band in the world to place a country designation after their name to avoid confusion with another well known group. Usually this is required because of copyright, but in this case, the group did it out of respect to the doom metal band Pentagram that started in the late 1970s. Once you have heard this South American group, you will never have a reason to confuse them.

Death and black metal are definitely the foundations upon which Pentagram Chile's sound was built. Pounding heavy drums and blazingly fast guitar riffs under a death growl is what Pentagram Chile brings to this heavy metal banquet.  You can definitely hear the influence of groups like Slayer in their earlier recordings. Founded in 1985 by guitarist Juan Pablo Uribe and vocalist and guitarist Anton Reisenegger, the band has had its ups and downs since the group's inception in 1985. Even while disbanded, interest in the group was maintained through fans trading tapes of their demos and one EP. To date, they have never produced a studio album, but that is about to change.

Now the group is back in action and Anton Reisenegger was kind enough to reply to my basic email questions to give us North Americans a glimpse into what is in store for us on Sunday, May 27 at the 2012 Maryland Deathfest.

Who are the current members of Pentagram Chile?
The two original members Juan Pablo Uribe (guitar) and myself, Anton Reisenegger (guitar, vocals), our new drummer Juan Pablo Donoso and CRIMINAL's Dan Biggin filling in on bass. [See Pentagram Chile's Facebook page for more specific details from Anton on the group's recent line-up change.]

What songs will be on the set list?

Since it's our first time in the US we'll be focusing on the classic demo songs, but we might play one track from the new album. We just thought since it's not out yet it wouldn't make much sense to play more of it.

Will you be playing any other shows in the US while you are here?

We are focusing on finishing our first-ever studio album, so we had actually decided not to play live for a while, but MDF was something we couldn't refuse. There's nothing else planned on the live front so far, but as soon as the album's finished and a release date is set we'll start working on tours.

What special items will you have for sale at MDF?

We're going to have a re-issue of an old, semi-official shirt design that's very cool. And also of course the classic "bat" shirt.

Anything else you want to say?

PENTAGRAM CHILE is here to stay. Watch out for our new album, it's going to kill!

Friday, May 18, 2012

INTERVIEW: Tatsu Mikami wants you to join his Church of Misery

I am not a fan of church membership in general. But if I were to be a congregant in any church, it would be Church of Misery from Japan. Spacey, psychedelic, doomy and ultra heavy, rest assured Church of Misery will do a great job transitioning the audience at the 2012 Maryland Deathfest on Sunday afternoon to the grittier soundscapes expected later that night from Saint Vitus and Electric Wizard.

For whatever reason, Church of Misery likes to write songs about serial killers. But their sound is so 70s old school psychedelic that you will have to keep checking to make sure you are not listening to something recorded around the time of Black Sabbath's first album. In addition, their live performances are reminiscent of Cathedral.

Founding member and bassist Tatsu Mikami earns a beer from me for his replies to my basic interview questions. He wears his bass slung so low on his hip that I am not sure how he manages to play it. But I guess that is his secret to success. Other current members include Junji Narita - drums,  Kensuke Suto - guitars, and Hideki Fukasawa - vocals and analogue synthesizers.

"This is first time we will play the US. So we are prepared to play our 'BEST' set list including all three albums. All C.O.M fans surely will be satisfied!" Tatsu said.

Just before MDF, Tatsu said C.O. M. will be finishing their seventh European tour. This latest three-week outing included the UK, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. I know the Swedes were digging their sound, as this New Wave of Psychedelic Doom Metal is really popular there.

While they are in the US, Church of Misery. will be making several stops. Tour dates can be found here. Each date includes Gates of Slumber and either Rwake or HailHornet.

What special surprises will they have for deathfest attendees? "We will bring special T-shirts for MDF. It's available only at MDF - very limited!" Tatsu said.

Church of Misery seems anxious to perform for America. "I would like to say - very sorry for keeping you waiting! We will be devastating all venues like GOZILLA!"


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Countdown to MDF X: (8) Sargeist

Sargeist is another musical endeavor of Shatraug of Horna and Behexen. According to the Encyclopaedia Metallum, the term "Sargeist" is derived from two German words, "Sarg" (coffin) and "Geist" (spirit).

Unlike Horna, which I find more melodic and meditative, Sargeist seems to be a more traditional and much thrashier type of black metal. The production of Sargeist is also dirtier that Horna. Shatraug just seems to be a super busy musician who likes to keep a lot of irons in the fire. This band is just another expression of a deep well of talent and possibly a type A personality.

It is hard to tell which project Shatraug is emphasizing more at this point since both bands play the 2012 Maryland Deathfest. Sargeist performs late Sunday, May 27, while Horna plays on Saturday evening. Horna is touring, however. Stick around and watch them both for comparison.

Other members of Sargeist include  Hoath Torog - Vocals and Horns - Drums.

INTERVIEW: Jürgen Bartsch of Bethlehem

Bethlehem call themselves dark metal and I think it is appropriate moniker. It's kind of like black metal with the growling vocals and tremolo guitar picking. But there's something more: a haunting, echoey, dungeon-y elegance to this music. It's like 80's dark wave took a turn down the left hand path and never looked back. The music can also become industrial with little warning.  Surprises can be a good thing.

I sent Bethlehem some questions via email and bassist Jürgen Bartsch replied. So I automatically "heart" them. This German band plays late at the 2012 Maryland Deathfest on Sunday, May 27. This is definitely music that should be listened to after dark. My questions and comments are in bold and Jürgen's replies are mostly unedited.

Which members will be playing the Maryland Deathfest? 

The final line-up changes have been done at the end of December 2011. This is it then. No more ones cos 21 years of pure line-up chaos should be 'nuff for me personally. The final Bethlehem is: Jürgen Bartsch - bass guitar, Olaf Eckhardt - guitar, Rogier Droog - vocals (ex-Carnivore), and Florian "Torturer" Klein - drums (ex-Belphegor).

What recording material will you be focusing on for your set list? 

Regarding the pretty short playtime of just 50 minutes we basically will play the classics from the "Dark Metal, Dictius Te Necare, S.U.i.Z.i.D." albums + "Maschinensohn" from the "S.a.d.A.W." album.

Are you doing any other shows or tours before or after MDF that you would like to mention? 

No, there won't be other shows before the MDF cos we are working on a new longplayer at the moment which takes our full concentration. After the MDF we just play one Headliner Show on July the 1st in Paris cos a week later we already are entering the studio producing another monument of pure melancholy and solitude. After this is done there will be a European Tour in Autumn blablabla....boring if you may ask me. [Not, boring at all! :)]

Will you have any special or unusual items for sale at MDF?

Yep, we gonna bring some merchandise with us. Some T's which basically are done for Europe and should not be available over there. Not too many items to be honest cos we also are taking our instruments and shit with us.

Any special greetings for your fans? Anything else we should know?

There's nothing more to say I reckon except the usual greetings for our people. Tho they already know about that cos the whole Bethlehem thing always was destined (to be) something pretty personal over all the years. And tho new generations also seem to still be attracted by what we're doing, we are not following bollocks such as the ordinary attitude avoiding listeners of our own music. This more is for the scum thinking they gonna do something extraordinary which is nothing but a lie. Amongst others.

Check out some of Bethlehem's creepy goodness. In the second video, they look like they are wearing some kind of cult-pajamas. I can't wait to see what they do live.

What Chuck Brown meant to me

Granted this is a blog mostly about heavy metal music. But that is certainly not the only type of music I have ever listened to and appreciated in my life. And one of my favorite and most beloved musicians, Chuck Brown, has died.

Why do I care about Chuck Brown, the so-called Godfather of go-go? Well, for one reason, he was part of my childhood and teen years. I grew up in a suburb of Washington, DC, about five miles from the neighborhood of Anacostia, stomping grounds Chuck Brown knew well. You could not drive down a street between my house and into DC without seeing a brightly colored show poster staple-gunned to a telephone pole announcing another show for Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers. I was always too young to go.

In high school, free time in art class meant playing records, yes vinyl records, or sometimes cassette tapes in the teacher's boom box. Phrases like "I feel like bustin' loose," "I need some money, I need some moolah, y'all" and "Gimme the bridge now" became part of my vernacular. And that contagious boom-chucka boom chuck sound of the go-go drums could be heard blasting from the speakers in cars screeching out of the high school parking lot. At your high school, the kids might have been blasting Black Sabbath but at mine, it was Chuck Brown, Trouble Funk, and Rare Essence. Check it out, this is some badass shit.

For a variety of reasons, mostly related to overprotective parents and a lack of moolah, I never saw Chuck Brown live until his birthday show at the 9:30 Club in 2007. I then saw him several more times including a free show at Hopkins Plaza in downtown Baltimore, an opening slot with The Roots at DAR Constitution Hall and at a New Year's Ever party with the man who will soon become my husband. (It was at that show that I captured two of video clips that I will post at the end of this writing.)

I had wanted to see Chuck Brown again and had attempted to purchase tickets to the April 21 show at the newly restored Howard Theatre. First the show sold out, then it was canceled because he fell ill. Then it was rescheduled to June. I had a feeling that it just was not ever going to happen. And that is a sad thing, as that historic theatre was a huge part of Chuck Brown's reputation as the Godfather of go-go. I feel sorry that he never got to to play in that space again.  He even had some new music with Jill Scott and sounded as great as ever. I know it would have been epic.

I had a couple of chances to shake his hand but never much more. He was always mobbed with admirers, but Chuck Brown was always gracious, cool and always a gentleman. And while Chuck Brown was certainly a talented musician, he was not a guitar virtuoso or an over-the-top performer. His gravely voice was charming but not the stuff of pop idols. He was just a gentle soul who knew how to bring people from all walks of life together to have a groovy, good time. And in the entertainment business, regardless of what genre you play, you can't really ask for much more than that. RIP Chuckie Baby. (August 22, 1936-May 12, 2012), you will be sorely missed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

INTERVIEW: "Scruff" Lewty of Hellbastard says crust punk label doesn't apply

The group Hellbastard are among the pioneers of what is known as crust punk. Yet, they are much more than that, blending melodic metal guitar riffs with intelligent and intelligible lyrical content. 

As I mentioned in my previous band profile of Hellbastard for the 2012 Maryland Deathfest, I am somewhat smitten with the group. Their sound takes me back to my college years when I listened to punk and dark wave and lots and lots of Killing Joke. I wanted to find out more about them so I sent lead singer Malcolm "Scruff" Lewty some questions via email. He took the time to respond just before they departed to hit the PouzzaFest, a punk festival in Montreal on May 18, 19 and 20. 

If you watch video of live performances of Hellbastard, you can tell Scruff is an energetic, in-your-face kind of person. But even in writing, Scruff is a colorful character. I have decided to run the entire email correspondence with little editing. The parts in bold are my questions. Note: in some instances my name is spelled Maery. This is normal.

Hi, Are you heading to North America soon? Here are a few questions to get started. I will assume you, Scruff, are answering unless someone else wants to provide a reply. Please confirm the current touring lineup.

Hallow there Maery. The current HELLBASTARD line up, touring or recording is Josh "Budda" Harris (Drums), Tom Mc Coombe (Guitar), Paul O'Shea (Bass) and myself (Malcolm "Scruff" Lewty) Vocals & Guitars.

What recording material will you be focusing on for your set list?
Oh, we play loads of old stuff, and some of the new stuff will be played for the first time, too. It is a mixture, we try and please ourselves first, then anyone/everyone else. We have our own soundman for these shows coming up, and we are going to try a few new things for Hellbastard, just a few things we have never done before. Hopefully it'll all go according to plan. We will play stuff from the early demos and material from every album too!

What do you think of the term crust punk? How does it apply to Hellbastard?
I don't think it does....certainly not in the context that it is "in" these days. I am not a fan of labels, it is easy to neatly classify something and then be done with it. We are a lot more than the average band from the aforementioned genre. Great "politics", bland and "samey" music, isn't that usually how it works? It has become another fashion. The POLITICS behind the terminology of "crust" are valid, now more than ever. The actual term "Crust Punk" is just the same as "Hardcore Metal" or whatever, it is a label and nothing more, nothing less. The real message and spirit lie waiting to be activated and thrust upon earth's oppressors. The message is in the action.

Tell me about the part the band played in the UK thrash documentary "A History of a Time to Come." How did you get involved in that?
They contacted us to be a part of it, it was put on hold for months and months and finally they came with big lights and cameras to blind us and ask us questions and film us. I seem to remember being really angry when being interviewed, we'll see I guess. This film is going to be televised (so we are told) and that will be interesting.

You are using Twitter and Facebook (or the band is). How does that feel for an anarchist punk rocker?
You assume we are "Anarchist Punk Rockers" huh? I never ever called myself an Anarchist before, ever. Surely the only real and true anarchists are either dead or locked up. I don't know about TWITTER (that is down to Tom really he loves all that stuff). Me? I can barely use Facebook. If it was possible I'd have us all go back to bartering again, you know - these BOOTS for that COAT kind-of-thing. I don't think ANY of us are 'anarchists' at all. The rest of the band are certainly not 'anarchists' - although it IS the closest descriptive terminology for Hellbastard. From a personal standpoint, I don't think many 'anarchists' would like what I really think. I don't think many commies or marxists would either, nor any fascists or pseudo-nazis come to think of it. I am NOT being facetious here, so do please "excuse" my tone.

Are you doing any other shows or tours before or after MDF that you would like to mention? And if so, where and with whom? I see the festival in Canada. Anything else? What are you planning to do between the show on May 19 and the MDF show on May 26?
We are booked "exclusively" for POUZZA FEST in Montreal and MDF in USA. This was the deal, so to speak. We are not 'allowed' to play any other shows, though it'd be really hard not to perform an impromptu set at a basement show or 'drinking hole' in between the fests. I am assuming we will hang out and look for a place to call home for a short while.... we won't be affording hotels because we are not rich enough,.so I am not sure. I guess the main thing will be to find a bed for the night for the five of us.

What special or unusual items will you have for sale at MDF? Will you have your new recording out yet to buy?

Unfortunately we will NOT have the new recording out to buy. This has to be released as a split side to a 12" on Profane Existence Records first. The other band on the split 12" is "Dresden" from Wisconsin. After this, the "Sons of Bitches" release will be out on different labels throughout the world.

Any special greetings for your fans? Anything else we should know? Is this what you wanted to be when you grew up?
We hope you come to the show and enjoy it. We are using a few things we have never used before so it should be quiet interesting... This is the first time HB will have played CANADA and we are really looking forward to having a great show and entertaining any souls that show up...............

None of us will ever grow up, especially me. I pride myself that, in the 33 years I have been involved with music I have kept my basic mischievious childishness. That is, except when I am in a foul mood.

I wanted to teach when I was a kid, and I did that and quit. Paul our bass player wanted to be a monk - (this is true, but he got too carried away with heavy metal and subsequently landed into HB.) Tom our other guitarist wanted to be a baker, but he can't bake to save his life! Josh, our drummer, wanted to work in the agricultural industry and promote healthy organic farming, but he got carried away at the zoo where he works,........and stayed there.This is the best thing I ever did, at least one of the most fulfilling things anyway. Certainly better than teaching secondary English.

Thank you Maery, thank you for the interview. It is odd. We are a "known" band all around the world and yet nobody knows who we are. Mysterious is always best!


Scruff. Hellbastard May 2012.

Here is something really old from Hellbastard. Circa 1986 I think.

INTERVIEW: Mortuary Drape want to know if US metals heads are as crazy as Watain claims

If you go to the 2012 Maryland Deathfest on Sunday, May 27 you must make one promise: that you will stay to the very end to hear and see Mortuary Drape. After all, they came all the way from Italy to play for you! But more than that, you will regret it if you miss them as this is their first gig in the US. And for all you Ghost fans out there, you can suck on this: Mortuary Drape has been doing that satanic robed and hooded schtick for a lot longer and playing far superior music for more than 25 years. Show some respect.

Mortuary Drape kicks ass in every department. The drumming is pure black metal brutality. The riffs are like Dick Dale on speed. And the vocals are commanding and masculine. Forget crappy production. Mortuary Drape has taken the time on their recordings to let you hear every thrashy beat, every bass pop and every scorching solo. I was particularly honored to have two members of this legendary group, which has inspired so many others such as Archgoat and Black Witchery, agree to answer my basic questions. The following comments come from their lead singer who goes by Wildness Perversion and their guitarist D.C. Other members of Mortuary Drape include  SR (Lead Guitar), SC (Bass) and MR (Drums).

Who will be performing at Maryalnd Deathfest and what songs do you plan to focus on?
Musicians that are going to play at MDF are part of the band since 2010. Now the lineup is stable and we are working on our new album, which we will record within this year. There are no particular surprises in the setlist, we have the benefit that we never played in the US, so we are free to play a typical setlist that includes songs from every album. New songs are done but, as I’ve said before, we must wait until the new album comes out to play them live and do the right promotion.

What other shows are you doing this year?

This year we have scheduled other two gigs in July, at Metal Magic in Denmark and at Hell’s Pleasure in Germany. Furthermore, near autumn, we will play in Italy too, but we still must plan where and when. You can follow us to get infos in real time about news on our website.

What kinds of things will you have for sale at MDF?

We are going to bring a lot of merchandise to sell, but we cannot bring everything to MDF, unluckly there are too much customs inspections and we don’t want to have problems or merch confiscations. By the way, on our website there are contacts to buy our merchandise. If you want to buy something you can always directly contact the band at

Do you have any special message for the fans who will come to see you?

We hope to see a lot of people at MDF. Our friends Watain told us that American metalheads are really strong and crazy, so we are looking forward to see it with our eyes and prove if those words face the reality. We are giving our best to prepare this show, we want to be there for the new album promotion too, maybe with a tour of 20 gigs or more. We hope to realize it.

In spirituals… The Magik… The Way… The 13 Drape

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Countdown to MDF X: (11) Disma

Think of something really heavy. Now think of something 10,000 times heavier than that and then make it music. That is Disma.

Formed in New Jersey in 2007 with former members of Funebrarum, Assuck and Incantation, Disma plays death doom to the Nth degree of heaviness. Members include Bill Venner (Guitar), Daryl Kahan (Guitar), Shawn Eldridge (Drums), Craig Pillard (Vocals) and Randi Stokes (Bass).

Disma's crushing sound is on par with heavy metal hitters like Autopsy. But unlike Autopsy's drummer/vocalist Chris Reifert, who seems to chew up lyrics and spit them out at you, Disma's vocalist Craig Pillard's voice sounds like the all-consuming groan emitted from the gaping maw of Helvete. Even the faster thrashier bits, which are few and far between, are dominated by Craig's powerful pipes.

Still, the music is melodic and memorable. I expect to see a good circle pit going for this set, though it won't be going too fast or for too long. Towards the Megalith is the group's most recent full-length recording and they mention a new EP in the works on their Facebook page. What else is on tap for MDF for Disma?  Daryl answered some questions about the group's upcoming Sunday, May 27, performance at the 2012 Maryland Deathfest.

What recording material will you be focusing on for your set list? Any new songs?

Our setlist is comprised of our early demo songs plus songs from our debut album. New songs will be recorded soon.

Are you doing any other shows or tours before or after MDF that you would like to mention? And if so, where and with whom?

We are currently discussing a European Tour for Disma in 2013. Time shall tell.

Will you have any special or unusual items for sale at MDF?

We will have some exclusive merchandise available at the show.

Any special greetings for your fans? Anything else we should know?

Thank for your interest and support of Disma, Maery! Also thanks to our fans and supporters worldwide. Hail the maniacs reading this and Metallomusikum! Stay Brutal!!!

Countdown to MDF X: (12) Demonical

With a playful name like Demonical, I wanted this band to be more of a lighthearted romp through death metal. I wanted them to be D' Monocle and play snooty gentlemen's death core.

Well, Demonical is not playful and does not do such silly things. This is brutal, eviscerating Swedish death metal. They will obliterate their audience on Sunday afternoon outside, May 27, at the the 2012 Maryland Deathfest. Those driving overhead on I-83 during their set, on their way home from church, will likely mutter a prayer and cross themselves for protection when they hear Demonical perform.

Demonical is Sverker Widgren (vocals). Johan Jansson (guitars), Pablo Magallanes (guitars), Martin Schulman (bass) and Fredrik Widigs (drums). They will do a short US tour leading up to MDF, stopping in Brooklyn, Pittsburgh and Parma (Ohio), then head back to Europe for a lengthier summer tour. You can read some up-to-the-minute news on them at their Facebook page.

Death Infernal is Demonical's most recent recording effort, though they have been busy working and releasing music since their inception in 2006. Demonical gives us everything we love about death metal: epic melodies, sizzling guitar solos, pounding rhythms, growling aggressive vocals. I challenge you to quickly learn these songs so that you can pump your fist in the air and sing along during their set.

Some of their songs remind me of Amon Amarth except perhaps with a slight technical death metal influence. I love Amon Amarth, so to me, that's an excellent thing. Demonical delivers the death metal that makes you remember why come to the Maryland Deathfest in the first place.

Monday, May 14, 2012

INTERVIEW with Tsjuder's drummer Anti-Christian

Anti-Christian of Tsjuder
In the quest to remain "trve kvlt," Norwegian black metal stalwarts Tsjuder have persevered since 1993. They will perform at the 2012 Maryland Deathfest on Saturday, May 26 in the main room following a string of other satanic black metal bands, making Saturday night something of a "ritual" kind of night for the festival.

Tsjuder is also one of my personal favorite groups in the traditional black metal gene. I don't remember when or how I came across them, but I was hooked from the first moment I heard them. Part of their charm is that they are not just all blast beats and guitar distortion. Real rock and roll drumming make them stand out. I was very honored when Tsjuder's beast of a drummer, Anti-Christian, took a few moments to respond to questions via email.

So I believe this is your first time at the Maryland Deathfest. What have you heard about this festival and what do you hope to bring to the audience there?

It´s Tsjuder first gig in USA and we´re looking forward to this. This is one of the few festivals in USA we heard of and the audience will get good old fashion Norwegian Black Metal.

What recordings will you be focusing on to create your set list? 

We are gonna serve some threats from every album.

When do you arrive in the USA and will you be playing any other shows before or after deathfest while you are here? How about other tours, outside of the festivals already listed on your Facebook page?

Nag and I will arrive on Tuesday and we are gonna check out some bars in the states around. There´s no tour or other gigs planed for USA. It would be nice with a tour over there but maybe in the future.

What other groups are you excited to see play at MDF? 

Horna and Brujeria would be cool too check out, but we nearly never get to see anything the day we play a show. I can´t see a band without a beer in my hand, and I can´t play drums with alcohol running thru my veins. Bad combo.

How have American fans reacted to the new recording, Legion Helvete, as compared to other fans around the world?

I really don´t know, but we got some decent reviews as far as I know.

How would you explain explain the origin of the name Tsjuder (pronounced shoe-der) and how you chose the name for the group?

The name Tsjuder comes from a tribe that came to the north of Norway around 1000 years ago. They butchered the Norwegian natives and they where dressed in black leather. How we got the name I don't know but it's hard to pronounce for the majority of the world.

What sort of Tsjuder items will be available for sale at MDF, anything unique or unusual?

If things goes like it should, Maryland will get their own T-shirt made special for you. Only 50 shirts from our own design.

What other types of music do the members of Tsjuder enjoy listening to? 
That is a really hard question. I can only speak for myself but everybody likes Motorhead.

Are there books, films or other things that inspire you? 
I´m into Tom Egeland's writings at the moment and I meditate to Family Guy. Chelsea Cain has got some good books out.

Is there anything else that you want American fans to know or understand about Tsjuder?

It´s our first show in the USA and we are looking forward to sharing some alcohol with our new friends. Cheers. We also would like to know if there´s any good place to party for Nag and me those days we arrive before Draugluin. Let us know on our Facebook page!