Thursday, January 31, 2013

Surtr Stormhammer of Valkynaz (Interview with Zamiel)

Interview by Zamiel, for TFE-zine, and various Blogspot pages.
All trendy people, bands, ëzines and labels FUCK OFF AND DIE!!!!!

1. Greetings Surt Stormhammer. I know you write music under Valkynaz,
and also the eponymous Stormhammer. What can you tell me about these
projects, their respective Modus Operandi, and what are you currently
doing with them?

Greetings, mighty Zamiel! I appreciate the time you're taking to interview
me and my surrounding grim works, as well as the due apologies I must offer
you in regard to the length ov time it took for me to get back to you! I'm
in the process ov setting up my new computer for optimal recording and design.

ANYWAYS!!! As you well know, Valkynaz is my main source ov creativity
since about '09, and as such, I've been trying to hone and perfect my
craft into a signature sound incorporating the misanthropy and
aggression I hold so very close to my heart. My ambient project,
Stormhammer, on the other hand, is much different, drawing on meditative
sounds and frequencies that I try to utilize in order to elicit a feeling
ov euphoria within my listeners. Yes, I try to get high off ov music, hahaha!

2012 taught me many things, least ov which is how to go about exacting my
music. With Valkynaz, I learned different styles and sharpened what I knew already,
and with Stormhammer, I did some digging and researched applying harmonic theory
to my music, hence Toterhaufen, which is basically one big experiment on how
to treat sound as a controlled substance. 2013 bodes well for both fields, kinsman!
I can scarcely wait to see what I'm reminiscing on at the dawn ov 2014!

2. I know you used to do another project called Vinterblot. Why did
that end?

Vinterblot was one ov my first actual bands, and one that I remember
very fondly. However, since I was still a novice at guitar and music
overall, there were many mistakes made in the process ov churning out
songs and lyrics. I'd felt it was just best to finish up the last album
and retire the band afterwards. I also have to admit, I looked to you
and your success with Wende in that regard considering your transition
from Nidhogg. Don't get me wrong, your Nidhogg material was great! But
Wende is just mightier, y'know?

3. Have you ever thought about forming a whole band? Maybe even playing
live? There probably arenít too many people misanthropic enough down
there (Nevada)Ö

Hahaha that's funny you should mention it, because I've attempted
multiple times to form a live act! I created this death / drone
band called Arkhitekt with the sole intent to play live. I'd based
a lot ov the lyrical themes on apocalypse and deconstruction ov
human civilization, much like the band V:28 and influenced heavily
on this show called Life After People. However, when I put ads up
for drummers, bassists, and vocalists (admittedly, the vocalist ad
was half-assed, because if need be I could probably do that myself,)
all I got were these yuppy cockleeches expecting me to be starting
"the next great American Emo band" or some shit. It was discouraging,
but such is life.

4. Continuing from the last question, what is the scene like in
Las Vegas/Henderson area?

Truth be told, I wish I'd had more involvement with the Vegas scene
than I've gotten. However, it's healthy. We still are pretty underground,
but we have Breath ov Sorrows and Dead Reckoning (and my various projects,
to a lesser extent.) Another nice thing is we have mainstays like Lord
Clovenhoof to help orchestrate shows and keep the scene from stagnating.
Since I'm from northeastern Nevada and literally the only black metal band(s)
to come out ov Elko, it's nice to have others around to appreciate!

5. What is Hammerkrieg Productions and what are your plans for that?

That is a good question. The ultimate goal for HKP is to help my friends out.
Hel, that's why I started it up in the first place. I was in a position where
I could do more good without fearing too many consequences, so I offer limited
handnumbered releases and various merch items if I can afford it. It'd be
awesome if HKP started to grow to the size ov a label like Moribund Cult or
Debemur Morti, but that's way down the road, especially considering all ov the
things I do for it come out ov pocket for the time being. But it's a labor ov
love. I usually try to go to local shows and sell some merch and releases to get
my friends' music out to the local scene here, and have had moderate success with
it, so at least there's some amount ov prosperity for the bands I sign.

6. I know ìValkynazî is taken from the Elder Scrolls series - theyíre the most
powerful Dremora warriors if Iím not mistaken. What can you say about drawing
inspiration from the fantasy world of Tamriel and where do your works fit
within that world/mythos?

Hahaha yes they are, kinsman! And, being the nerd that I am, I couldn't help but
reflect on how black metal has always drawn from a nerdy source. Burzum, Gorgoroth,
Summoning, all ov them drew from JRR Tolkien, at least for their namesake. So, in
true metalhead fashion, I decided that it wasn't nerdy enough and had to go one-up
them by drawing from video games. I've only seen two other bands do this, though
I'm surprised there aren't more! One even chose Tamriel, like me. Sancre Tor (a
holy site located in the province ov Cyrodiil), also signed to Satanica Productions
for awhile, and Gannondorf, though I think that one might just be a troll band.
Tamriel is rich with mythos, especially from TES III through V! It's more ov a
medieval life simulator than an actual video game!
(latest valkynaz logo)

7. I also know that you are studying game design down in Henderson. What can you
say about that? Any plans?

Game design is another masochistic passion I have in life! Demands such a toll, but
getting to that final product and seeing your game played and people either loving
it, or sucking at it and bitching, is the greatest feeling in the world! Again, I was
inspired by Bethesda Softworks and their Elder Scrolls. I suppose the ultimate goal
there is to fuse gaming with sound design into a truly unique, immersive experience.
A lot ov game design studios these days are going that route, and I can completely
understand why! It's the next frontier for virtual gaming!

8. (Inevitable question!) What are your thoughts on religion and/or spirituality?
Any thoughts on current political climates? Anything to say about the wider world?

Haha I figured this one would be coming. Been staring at this question for about
15 minutes now, trying to figure out how to answer the first part, so we'll save
it for last. Politics don't interest me, mostly because it's all the same market.
Didn't vote in the last election for the same reason. Neither proposed to destroy
Guantanamo Bay, or stop giving Tax breaks to churches, so I figured they could do
fine without my input anyway. Same goes for the wider world, though if it concerns
my friends in other parts, then I am interested if I can make even a slight difference.
Alrighty, back to religion!! People get too damn uptight about it. I believe that
we're responsible for our own actions and if there is any god or gods, then they would
hold us to that standard as well. I myself am Asatruar and treat my gods as friends
and drinking buddies, not crutches!

9. You, like me, are an avid beer drinker. What are some of your
favorite beers? Any recommendations?

Anything dark and bitter, my friend! Preferably German! A long-time
favorite has been Kˆnig Ludwig Dunkel. Amazing stuff!

10. Danke Schˆn, Stormhammer! Any last words?

Exact pain. Take life. And thanks, kinsman.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dark Metamorphosis - A Grandiose Display of Self Destruction (Review)

Hey guys, it has been a DAMN long time since I did a review here, and I plan to do more I got on cd recently, just been busy with music myself but I am sure you understand. Lets get this one started!

Here we have here is another album by The Count of his band Dark Metamorphosis. This is the sequel to his last album I reviewed entitled "Blood Burden" and is another home run in my collection and has slight improvements over the Blood Burden as well. The vocals are just as the menacing, the guitars stand out even more and the drums are improved as well. The album itself has its own concept, and has its moments. The atmosphere continues to grow as the cd plays on and has a very dark desolate feel to it. Most tracks hit the over average song length but are nothing short of marvelous and offer something more along the lines of a great wall of atmospheric sound within the barrage of guitars, and ghastly vocals you could find in albums like Volahn - Dimensiónes del Trance Kósmico and early Xasthur. Personally I call them "ghost vocals".

I really enjoy it because it is not too overwhelming, the guitars keep the listener intrigued, and it is not boring or BM cliche, it is fresh and has some powerful but simple meanings to them, for example, You're All Worthless, The Blame Game, Eve Of Extinction (ps2 game title?), All Hail The Age Of Cinder, Instant Eradication Phenomena, Passion City Night Life, and so on. The title of the song and musical base behind them is like a story, and each song offers its own story behind them, use your imagination...

Pitch black screams surround the album, but you can also find clean vocals in Passion City Night Life, and tremolo picking coupled with stellar riffs from the Count. All Hail The Age Of Cinder has these clean vocal passages as well, reminds me of a Emperor in a way ala Anthems To The Welkin at Dusk, and keep you on your toes because I was not too sure what to expect this time. Most songs it seems from most black metal bands today are very boring and typical but this album is something to behold and has more of a flow then most albums of today. It keeps you interested and wanting more.

As each song goes along it takes your mind into a journey of a place... just like the albums art, it is place that is unknown, damp, dark, filled with hauntings and mystery. Apart from its imagery, its sound is tight and solid. The solos also stand out more then the "Blood Burden" I believe so it has a slight edge over the last offering. The vocals sound more demonic and ferocious then ever.... I must have listened to this album 10x over and still am listening to it. That is how much I like it. \m/

The Count could be working on a trilogy so be sure to spot it here once it is ready, and I have a new rating I go by when I review albums, and if I had to give it a solid rating I would, but being it is a band with many improvements lying ahead of this album and being my personal taste in the black metal genre of music may differ to most and real drums are not in the album, I give this cold masterpiece a 9 out of 10. I dare you to pop this cd in and/or give it a listen on the Evergrim Recordings stream, but I strongly suggest you get the album, for developing artists every little bit counts. I just cannot express how strong, meaningful and honest this release is. It has been awhile since I reviewed something so I hope you all enjoyed it. A grandiose display of self destruction holds its own place in my collection amongst the top albums I own. Thanks Count for making a release which entices my mind and makes me want to make sickening and atmospheric black metal on guitar as well. A true inspiration......sorry if I sound like I am on your dick. 

I also forgot to mention....Dark Metamorphosis has shirts too!!! (prints section)

If you do not follow up or understand what it is I am trying to say..... then like the Count says....       You're all fucking worthless!!!! \m/