10/21/14

INTERVIEW: BLOOD CEREMONY'S ALIA O'BRIEN

Interview with Alia O'Brien by Louis Hauguel
October, the wind, the falling leaves... And there are also some heavy riffs, evil organ and flute coming to my ears... Yes, it's time! Stars are aligned, the ancient ones shall rise again "and with strange aeons even death may die". Alia O'Brien, bewitching queen of doom and prog rock accepted to answer our questions about a successful European tour, an exciting single, haunted Toronto and collecting records... Blood Ceremony will also share the stage with doom legends Pentagram and 70's hard rockers Bang for Halloween's night in Burlington, VT and NYC on the 1st of November! Get ready!

Occult Rock Magazine: First of all, thank you Alia for taking the time to answer my questions for Occult Rock Magazine, it's a real pleasure! So first let's talk about your last European tour, what are your impressions/feelings about it?

Alia O'Brien: Every time we've gone out on the road, we've been introduced to amazing bands and inspiring fans, but I would say that this was probably our best tour to date. The live shows were a lot of fun, and the crowds were really receptive, and we had the opportunity to perform in a few places that were completely new to all of us--most notably Moscow. The festivals on this tour were incredible--Temples and Freak Valley were both imbued with such distinct atmospheres, and FortaRock was a magnificent metal spectacle that also boasted a delicious spread provided by Iron Maiden's go-to catering company.

Occult Rock Magazine: The Eldritch Dark Tour was also an opportunity for people to discover and buy your brand new single "Let It Come Down" back with "Loving You", could you tell us some more about it? How did you discover Iron Claw?

I know that Sean has been in possession of a CD reissue of Iron Claw's S/T for a few years now, but I can safely say that our obsession with the song Lovin' You grew out of repeated, beer-addled listening sessions at our friend Katie's bar. When it came time to think about a B-side for our single, it was pretty much a no-brainer.

10/16/14

REVIEW: THE ORDER OF ISRAFEL [WISDOM]

★★★★

REVIEW

THE ORDER OF ISRAFEL

WISDOM

NAPALM RECORDS
by Eerie Eric

It’s been a good year for heavy music, particularly if you’re a lover of all things dark and doomy. Here in North Carolina summer has officially ended and the shades of autumn are beginning to take over. As the season of Samhain nears, the time is right for night skies, bonfires, and indulging in the dark musical offerings from the latter half of the summer. The choice selection for me? The Order of Israfel’s epic, “Wisdom,” which was released in late August. The band hails from Gothenburg, Sweden, a town known for producing superior dark music, (including, but not limited to doom giants, Graveyard.) The Order of Israfel also has the boast-worthy attribute of featuring guitarist, Tom Sutton. With this impressive debut, and in wrapping up a recent successful tour, Tom may have given us one of the strongest traditional doom releases of 2014, (and may be giving other new releases, such as superstar doomsters Electric Wizard’s “Time to Die,” a run for their money.) 

REVIEW: SPIDERS [SHAKE ELECTRONIC]

★★★

REVIEW

SPIDERS

SHAKE ELECTRIC

SPINEFARM RECORDS
by Alex Buckellew


Swedish band Spiders play old fashioned, unironic, long haired, leather jacket wearing, in-your-face rock & roll.  Their new album is Shake Electric, and its heavy licks and bold female vocals will draw immediate comparisons to Heart and Joan Jett - but Spiders has an undefinable Scandinavian quality that sets them apart from their earlier influences (not too surprising, as Sweden is the nation that gave us The Hives and Sahara Hotnights and more recently Ghost).

All the songs are strong and gutsy, infused with harmonica and cowbell and lots of layered background vocals, and they cover all the tried and true classic rock subjects - sex, love, loss, and hard living.  "Mad Dog" and "Lonely Nights" are standouts - only the Joplin-esque ballad "Hard Times" seems out of place .  Spiders have the tools and talent - right now they're just one infectious earworm away from greater things.

10/14/14

INTERVIEW: ELECTRIC WIZARD'S JUS OBORN

Interview by Katharina Pfeiffer

Quite some months have passed since the announcement of a new sonic offering from one of the most hailed and yet quarrelsome bands around: Over two decades into their outstanding carrier, Dorset Doomsters ELECTRIC WIZARD have recently stepped away from their long-term label and partner, London-based Rise Above Records – founded and run by former CATHEDRAL mastermind Lee Dorrian, just in case someone didn't know that – to release their latest attempt, entitled "Time To Die..." through Satyr IX Productions / Witchfinder Records on September 29, 2014. To dive into the depths of the bands' upcoming Riff-o-Rama, Occult Rock Magazine had a little chat with the Wizard - centered around guitarist & vocalist Jus Oborn and his spouse, axegrinder Liz Buckingham.

OCCULT ROCK: When did you begin recording ‘Time to Die’ and when was it completed?

JUS OBORN: We started it in the summer of 2013 and finished it around April 2014. It took a while, but mainly because it wasn’t recorded in one go and there was a bit of a problem getting back into the studio in the middle, if that makes sense…

WIZARD RIFLE TO RELEASE LONG-AWAITED FULL LENGTH THIS MONTH

Los Angeles-by-way-of-Portland stoner, doomed out, mathrock conjurers, WIZARD RIFLE, are very pleased to unveil their brand new full-length in the form of the smoldering five-track Here In The Deadlights.

Set for release via Seventh Rule Recordings later this month, the follow-up to 2012's critically adored Speak Loud Say Nothing full-length, which MetalSucks likened to a "Big Business-ified Melvins fucking a baby into Shellac and then hired Matt Pike as their au pair," was tracked by guitarist Max Dameron over three weeks at Breakfast Studio in Los Angeles, then toiled over for a year, with Billy Anderson (Sleep, Eyehategod, Melvins et al) and Jesse Johnstone sharing mixing duties. The album sees WIZARD RIFLE for the first time as a trio featuring Dameron alongside, drummer Sam Ford, and bassist David Boe pushing its sound into far sludgier realms and reaching new levels of monolithic heaviness, while maintaining a propulsive groove which spins and twists itself into oblivion. Tracks range from two to ten minutes, encompassing everything from sprawling psychedelic epics to surf-sludge noise-romps. Drawing from the sounds of Lightning Bolt, Karp, Sonic Youth, Black Sabbath and High on Fire, WIZARD RIFLE cannot sit still sonically for more than two seconds. Prepare thineself...

Here In The Deadlights Track Listing:

1. Crystal Witch
2. Buzzsaw Babes
3. Paul The Sky Tyrant
4. Psychodynamo
5. Beastwhores

10/10/14

NIGHT DEMON SIGN TO CENTURY MEDIA

NIGHT DEMON from Ventura County (just north of Los Angeles) have recently signed with Century Media for the world outside of Europe for an early 2015 release.  The three-piece heavy metal act is currently on tour with legendary NWOBHM band, Raven with a long string of dates that go into the holiday season.  See dates below.  The band had this to say about joining Century Media:

"We are very excited to be joining the Century Media family. For years we have seen the CM logo synonymous with great bands and a stellar product. The future looks bright for Night Demon, especially now that we have a solid partnership with such a legendary label."






10/9/14

INTERVIEW: MOUNT SALEM'S EMILY KOPPLIN

Mount Salem | Photo: Josh Kurpius
by Eerie Eric

Hailing from Chicago, IL, Mount Salem is a four piece psychedelic rock / doom metal band. They started writing music together in the summer of 2012 and released their first EP, Endless, in the spring of 2013. The band puts a strong emphasis on tone and feeling in both their songs and live performances alike. Most of the band switched from their normal instruments and picked up new ones for this band and the result was much more natural than they had hoped for.

Taking influence from the classics like Black Sabbath and Pentagram, they play loud, heavy rock and roll using all vintage gear. Throwing their own twist of dark and mysterious doom into the music, they invite the listener to step into their sinister realm. The imagery in the lyrics will take you on a ride in which you won’t know whether to be scared or grab a sword and join the battle.


Occult Rock: So congratulations on your Metal Blade signing!  It looks like the band has done quite a bit of a touring in the past year. It’s probably not an easy question, but what’s your greatest show memory? Where was it and who did you play with?

Emily Kopplin: We’ve been pretty busy but it’s been a great year. There are so many amazing shows we’ve been able to play so it’s really hard to pick a favorite! We’ve got some friends who play in a band called Grand Mammoth from Dayton, OH so we love playing Dayton with them. The show we played with them on this last tour was a total rager, definitely one of my personal favorite shows because of the fun times and great company.

10/7/14

MONSTER MAGNET DEBUT NEW VIDEO FOR "THE DUKE"


2013 saw the release of MONSTER MAGNET's latest album Last Patrol.  Now comes Milking the Stars a reimagining of Last Patrol.Met with critical acclaim and supported by a world tour, Last Patrol has become a staple in the MONSTER MAGNET discography.

Milking the Stars will be released November 17th on Napalm Records. "Milking the Stars is a "re-imagined" version of Last Patrol featuring four new songs and live tracks.  Today MONSTER MAGNET releases a video for the song "The Duke".  The band worked with acclaimed director Phil Mucci (Pig Destroyer, Opeth, Stone Sour) on the video and today it is receiving its exclusive premiere today below...

10/3/14

INTERVIEW: RUBY THE HATCHET

Ruby the Hatchet | Photo: Gene Smirnov
Interview with Ruby the Hatchet's Jillian Taylor & Johnny Scarps | by Anders Manga

We're loving Ruby the Hatchet! How did all this awesome come together?

East coast winters snowed in together in a basement which later became our house. And with a lot of gear.

I first found the band through the Metal Hammer comp from 2012 that had 'Wicked Ones' on it. That track was from 'Ouroboros' which was your debut right?

Ouroboros was our debut full length. Prior to that we released a self titled EP that only exists in the form of 300 copies somewhere.

Earlier this year you released the EP 'The Eliminator' which is awesome by the way, do you feel in this short attention span world, EP's are the way to go strategically or financially? I know some bands like DOWN are going the 'only EP' route. Was it some other reason?

Both have a place and there doesn't seem to be an 'only' route when it comes to recording. EPs are fun and immediately impactful, especially when you write songs in close proximity to each other. We enjoy being able to explore our songwriting as well as recording methods and in that regard a band can achieve a lot more with a full length record.

10/2/14

KING DUDE TO PLAY ROADBURN 2015

Conjuring the bleakest biblical sound and the desperately fervent devotion of the bygone days of revelation, King Dude, aka TJ Cowgill, has been on a sinister and demonic trip to the fabled crossroads, accompanied by the spirit of all those who went before him.

Using the power of the blues, albeit stained black and drenched in blood of his predecessors, King Dude finds hope and salvation in glorious yet spellbinding hymns, equal parts classic country, gothic Americana ballads, and harrowing British folk at its heart, but embellishments like the heavier sounds of Heavy Metal and warped, echo drenched rockabilly tend to sneak and slither their way into King Dude's own brand of harrowing American music.

A darker, much more shadowy version of Johnny Cash, King Dude is a modern day man in black, ephemerally running the musical gamut between Wovenhand and Der Blutharsch. His death ballads from beyond will lift us up from our darkness of ignorance towards the ever guiding light at the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival on Saturday, April 11 at Het Patronaat in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
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