Monday, February 13, 2012

Dark Metamorphisis - In A Heartbeat (Review by Stephen)

Dark Metamorphosis - 
In A Heartbeat
by Stephen Latimer

On a personal level, this album has struck so much to my soul, it’s almost perverse to actually talk about this on a public format. The Count must be a bastard step-brother of mine, or quite possibly my doomed enrage doppelganger (40). I’ve never met anyone that was quite obsessed with the video game series that Dark Metamorphosis is name-sake from, let alone the song titles. For those who have no clue to what this may be, figure it out on your own, or perish in your ignorant bliss. To the Count: L,UL,U,UR,R+ATT or DEF.

Down to the brass tax, this soundscape journey is veiled in that hunting tone we all hope to expect from black metal, but only are reminded how Dimmu Borgir single handedly destroyed that endeavor. At the heart of what’s “true”, there is fowled remnants of what the 80’s scene actually conjured into a favorable style, yet forgotten itself by glazes of synthesizers and classical orientations. Somehow, bewildered upon me, Count Draclacarde manages to blend swiftly into the night the majesties of classical tones, hallowed terror, and buzz sawed guitars of yesteryear into an incantation worthy to sit alongside Burzum’s “Det Som Engang Var”, Craft’s “Terror Propaganda”, and Horna’s “Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne”. “In A Heartbeat” honestly sounds as if Nocturno Occulto decided to remake Satyricon’s “Dark Medieval Times” singlehandedly after listening to Bathory’s “Blood Fire Death” (song), and “Enter the Eternal Fire”.

It’s fascinating that the title of the album is actually the name of the favored song of John Murphy’s composed title featured in the film “28 Weeks Later”. As for myself, I actually thought this song, along with the score of the film, was actually very ambient in black metal form. So it’s actually a hellish coincidence to me that my favorite game and favorite musical score are actually blended into an album of my favored genre. This daunting composition of dire hope can actually be heard by the Count’s strapping ode, at the tail end of “Avert Not Thine Eyes”. This track is also infused with a brilliant rhythmic riff that’s one part groove, one part requiem; followed heavily by a simple chugging solo that is full blown nocturnal fucking hated.

Another ominous praise to those once forgotten, is Ludwig Von Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”; again a lullaby that has haunted me in lustful serenade for ages since first hearing it, oddly, in another video game of the same era. This is actually preceded by a small piano composition that I am actually unfamiliar with, however gives off that nostalgic feeling of the score of the “name sake” game, but am sure is actually an original. All of this can be found in “Welcome to My Humble Tomb”. Oddly, probably the oddest yet greatest ode of all the covers in the history of covers is the bonus track Dan added. Its a cover of Ted Nugent’s “Cat Scratch Fever”. Here, you can hear the Counts precise execution on the guitar, displaying he can actually play beyond the tremolo, however, can craft a unique rendering. At first, you ask “is this fucking real, am I actually hearing a Black Metal version of Ted Nugent”, and then after hearing it you find yourself saying “That’s an honorable metal salute to a Rock icon”, and feel yourself throwing the horns out of respect as well.

A ravishing intro to “Person of Lordly Caliber” is highlighted with high octave, full notes very favorable to some metal bands pre 80’s, maybe “Judian” or “Maidenesck”. Either way, it’s not a usual commodity you’d expect out of your everyday BM project. This rumbles off into a hopelessness of a night shade shrieking in the fog, to a succulent solo. This beauty is pulverized by a groovy riff similar to the one in” Avert Not Thine Eyes” that is laced with electric wizardry that is truly spellbinding. It comes full circle with the gloomy intro only to leave me heartbroken for more.

All these examples are honestly just an emotional explanation what happens within these glorious audio hexcrafts, and are only interpreted by an individual that is drastically moved by the outwardly vibrations. It’s these emotions that are triggered, like in “Symphonic” compositions, which are hidden in plain sight. In these triumphant occultic raptures, that makes me tear with joy. These sonicscapes that are sorrow in nature, that bleed the hope of possibility “truly” leave me breathless. On an ending note, let us go out this evening for pleasure. The night is still young!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Latest update I done here in awhile and I just want to make it aware to all the 100 bands on the compilation being released by Satanica Productions that the compy is now being set up for release the best we possibly can. Now, I am busy atm recording new material for a 3 way split album with 2 bands Solace and Valkynaz with my current drummer Dietrich Mueller (Bitter Dawn/Goat Regime) and also Rashid Ghafur (Zebulon Kosted) on bass so I am pretty busy but we are slowly getting everything done and set up properly step at a time. This release will include band pics on the disc in a folder, and all the songs are in mp3 format for downloading them all to your computer, and play in your mp3 compaitable players. The art is also being worked on too and so far we are 80% done to making a master disc for release. Please be patient and it will be out probably early March I think.

More news on Strings Of Distorted Doom, the latest rough tracks of songs being worked on now with my new trio lineup working via online, could be found here. There is still alot to do with these tracks but here is some ideas I have down so far. Enjoy and I appreciate everyones positive feedback so far.

Stay True To The Doom -Danny

untitled rough version

Message from Xan of SATANICA PRODUCTIONS...

So what is currently happening?

The biggest thing is that we are embarking on the mastering ov this compilation. 100 bands, anywhere between 500-1000 minutes ov wildly varying programme material certainly creates it's own challenges. Unlike the MUC vol 1, this comp will be professionally mastered. Mainly to even out the volume levels from track to track, creating a better experience for the listener.

While this is happening we will also be finalising the artwork. If you look at you can now see the image that will be the front cover.

And we need something from YOU too. Included on the disc will be a folder that will have an image from every band on the compilation. There is only one rule: This image MUST be a 640 x 480 JPEG. Apart from this it can have anything you like on it.

Attached to this message there is the one we have done for Beltane as an example. Yours need not be so complicated, a simple photo ov your band is fine, but it's a good idea if it includes your band-name!!! :)

For those that want to go all fancy, a point to remember is there is only so much *readable* text you can fit in a 640 x 480 image. Again, the Beltane image should give you an idea ov what's possible.

Why have we chosen this image size? Two reasons: 1) These images cannot take up much ov the disc 2) They are designed for optimal display on a television set that would be typically connected to a DVD player.

Anyone who finds they have trouble sorting out their MUC2 band image can contact Danny DistortedDoom ( ) and he will be happy to help you.

Name the image simply as your band name. Nothing else. e.g. "beltane.jpg"

Once you have done your image send it to this address: DO NOT send it to xanataph@gmail .com

For those who have submitted more than one project; we require an image for each one.

We would like your compleated artwork to received within the next two weeks. This is when you'll receive the next newsletter. It may announce the release date.

That's about all for now. So good job all ov you for submitting and we'll look forward to receiving your artworks...! :)



PS: will also continue to be updated as the MUC2 nears final compleation and release..! So keep an eye on it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Appalachian Winter - S/T (review by Stephen Latimer)

This is a new review by a new member of the tf zine! His name is Stephen Latimer and I welcome him to the underground writing club! Check out his new review on Appalachian Winters latest s/t album! -Danny

‘Appalachian Winter’ was (but wasn’t) what I was expecting, to be a Doom record. And in some aspects, it has some traits what I’d expect to be on a Doom record: melancholy, slight sense of hopelessness, covered greatly in haunting second tack, “Night”. Great sense of valor and victory, and triumphant gleam is also on this record, displayed on the third track “Winter”. In fact, on this song, after a trumpet and piano intro, the guitar bursts in to a marching battle anthem that can only be characterized as riding Falkor the luck dragon into a Narnia sized battle, marching into a frozen Mordor.

The composure of this record is riddled with fantastical audio sensations, which could in fact be shelved right alongside Immortal’s ‘At The Heart of Winter” with its sonic imagery. At times, parts do reflect some black metal sounds, like the frostbitten track “Ice”. In fact, this album feels more frostbitten than probably 80% of the Norwegian albums I’ve heard. Though, it would be farfetched to actually claim Appalachian Winter as a sole black metal project. It does seem too broad in certain portions to say solidly it’s a black metal project, regardless of how umbrella that term can be (Also has some amazing pagan metal flavors, with a Pan style flute on the song “Wolfghosts”). Case in point, in the starting track “Solstice”, smack dab in the middle of the song is a delectable Blind Guardian vocal play, underlined by a soprano falsetto, Tim “Ripper” Owens style; too much power metal for a solid black metal album. With an eclectic juxtaposition, this is definitely a progressive effort to blend several different metal traits in to a lethal injection of serendipity.

On a few objections that certainly do not take away from the album, are as follows. Firstly, some of the synth work is too noticeable, mainly in some of the drum works. On a high note, it adds to the surrealism to the speedy bits. Secondly, I’m never too fond of recycled material within an album. I feel that has been downfalls to Metallica (ReLoad), Slayer (90’s portion of career), and Judas Priest (who’s actually guilty of recycling their entire career on Angel of Retribution). After a good portion of each song, “Solstice” and “Solitude”, actually sounds like they’re the exact same song. On a high note they’re the first and last tracks, and actually make a story come complete circle, which in my opinion makes the best ending to any story regardless of media. Also, a few arrangements almost seem cut and paste, however deliver the exact same emotion every time to give the same joyous feeling to deliver the story to its fullest.

As a full set this album is a total package. It starts off majestically, and sways its crystalized and nocturne magic into a spellbinding wonder. Its climax or what I’d figure to be the start of the B-side, “Mountain”, is a wonderful ode to some great classical and romantic composers. I was greatly expecting it to be followed up by the heaviest and fastest song, but tragically goes into probably my least favorite track “Winds”, which gets way to folky, and not the heathenish style…well then again, I’ve only heard European styles, and “Winds” is very American folky. That could actually be deemed as American Heathen Metal. Regardless of what you may want to call this true genuine masterwork, I would never want to call Appalachian Winter a virtuoso act. It’s not about the “what I can do”, but “what I can imagine”. And there’s a great deal of self-respect in that, playing a marionette to tell a life story. Virtuoso is like looking a realism art, whereas what Appalachian Winter does is “Spider-Man issue #1”.

1. Solstice 10:41
2. Night 08:23
3. Winter 07:35
4. Wolfghosts 06:33
5. Ice 06:33
6. Mountain 04:32 instrumental
7. Wind 05:47
8. Forever 04:05
9. Solitude 06:33
Free downloads at of entire discography at

Friday, February 3, 2012

Perpetual Dawn Interview with Daniel (by D)

1) When did your band start and why?
I started Perpetual Dawn in January 2009. It started as a 10 minute song in which I wanted to mix doom, folk and black styles from all the bands I liked at the time. However, I then saw that an Australian folk promotion page had been created called AusFolk, and that there were Australian bands playing folk/black metal. This motivated me to make the 10 minute song into a proper song (which became …Of night), and to write 3 other songs in a similar fashion. The result was the original demo, which I immediately started promoting. AusFolk enjoyed it and promoted it within their page, which further motivated me to continue my own promotion. Through this a first fan base appeared, and I’ve been motivated to share my ideas ever since.

2) What style of genre of music are you going for?
Initially, the atmosphere I felt from early Empyrium, in combination with the faster, melodic folk metal bands I liked, made me want to make some form of faster, folk-doom. I first started singing / growling in 2009 so I took whatever vocal style I was able to do, fast. Hence the deeper vocals emerged as more natural, and a black metal/melodic death metal growl. Since 2009, with respect to new songs I’ve written, I think the doom influence has gotten stronger. However, at the same time it has kept the speed it got from folk metal, and still has many folk arrangements. In other words, it is weird.

3) Any past bands you guys been in? or side projects at all?
Just various bands with friends, nothing really worth mentioning. I am currently playing guitar in a folk/power metal band started with my friend, called Stormwatch. I’ve also collaborated with Josh from Astral Winter, and recorded clean vocals for his “Winter Enthroned” release.

4) How many albums/demos/material have you guy(s) done so far? and how does the recording process work for you?
I’ve just created the one “…And become the essence of night” demo, which I released as a physical EP later on with an extra song. Originally, in late 2009 and most of 2010, I started re-recording the demo with a friend who happened to be a brilliant sound engineer and drummer. By the end of 2010 we finished 95% of the recording. Unfortunately, I was unable to get into contact with him again and never got those recordings. Hence I decided to release the original demo as an EP, and focus on a new release instead of worrying about the old one. The recording process prior to that included me writing, recording, and engineering everything. For the next release, I hope to make it a much more collaborative process.

5) What is your lyrical content mostly about, and what do you want everyone out there to get out of it?
The lyrical context for “…And become the essence of night” was largely influenced by my 2008 Europe trip, where I visited the area that I spent early years of my life living in. The lyrical content, as a result, is related to life narrative and themes influenced by that specific time and environment. If anything, I would suggest through the music that folk/black metal is not bound to a specific geographic/cultural location. Folklore is essentially life narrative, and everyone possesses such; whether individual or collective.

6) What is the music scene like in your area?
I believe that most interest in Perpetual Dawn is international and interstate. Most of the other bands and musicians I have worked with have been interstate, and 90% of the EP sales have been interstate and international. However, locally there are some great musicians and fans.

7) What has the online world done for you and what has it done good promotion wise for all your bands? Has it been a good outlet for sales, and fans and contacts in which you couldn’t get unless otherwise, or is it the opposite?
Without the online arena we wouldn’t be having this interview. Personally, it has provided me the ability to collaborate with other musicians who live interstate/internationally, and record for each other without having to be in the same place at the same time. Promotion wise, it has connected Perpetual Dawn to fans and other musicians that would otherwise be out of reach. It is also the only way people can hear the music besides owning the EP. However, at the same time, it does lack charm which would have been present in the 80’s, 90’s without it.

8) What do you think of the generation of today? iPods or hard form?
I think metal fans in general prefer to have hard copies of music. Vinyl becomes a fun and expensive hobby, but more fulfilling. With that said, some music is almost impossible to find in hard copy, or it comes only as a vinyl averaging $100-200 on eBay. That’s where the accessibility of mp3 can be useful.

9) What is your life like outside of music? Hobbies? Things you enjoy doing?
Secret social science nerd; writing, reading, vinyl collecting.

10) What are some of your main influences in the metal genre and why?
I think specific band releases were most influential to me. Like previously said, the atmosphere of the first two Empyrium albums, in combination with the faster, metal, and melodic nature of folk metal bands I enjoyed, made me want to make some form of faster, folk-doom. These included bands like Ensiferum, Falkenbach, Windir, etc; along with other bands such as Opeth, Borknagar, Wintersun etc. Vocal wise, deeper vocals felt more natural, such as those similar to Empyrium, Wintersun, and Funeral’s “From these wounds” release.

11) What labels are you associated with and how’s working with them?
I currently run all of Perpetual Dawn’s activity, and as a result most promotion has been through my own efforts, and through the help of the vast friends and musicians I have had the pleasure of being associated with. The last release was miniscule (limited to 50 copies), which made it more convenient to self-publish and release. However, I’m hoping that the next demo/EP will be a slightly bigger release, requiring the support of a label.

12) What was the last album about and how has the reception been to it so far and where can listeners get it?
Like mentioned previously, the latest “…And become the essence of night” EP is the original demo reprinted with an extra song. In terms of reception, it has been good. I’m surprised that new people each year are still showing interest in the music. It was 2009 when I recorded the songs, which was the period in time when I was learning to sing/growl, and when I first learnt to engineer entire songs independently. The songs do have charm, but three years of additional experience will definitely show. The EP is sold out, but the demo is available for free download from the Perpetual Dawn Youtube channel; and the extra EP song is also a Youtube video.

13) Final and last question, what are your main goals for 2012 and what is on your list of things to do for Perpetual Dawn? And where should everyone check out your music at?
Some exciting new updates are definitely in the mix. New demo/EP entitled “Pale Blue Skies...” is planned for a 2012 recording and release. The artwork has been arranged and it also contains a new logo (which can be seen in the Astral Winter / Perpetual Dawn cover of Sleeping Stars). I plan to involve other musicians on the EP, particularly a keyboardist and a drummer. Similarly, I hope to have Josh from Astral Winter drop some guitar on the EP, as I have previously put clean vocals on his “Winter Enthroned” release; a tradition definitely worth continuing. Real musicians and the collective experience between us should make this a nice release. So the main goal now will be to start recording when possible, and release updates when they come! Check out the Perpetual Dawn Youtube channel for music updates, and the Perpetual Dawn Facebook page for news, updates and links.
Cheers for the interview!