Tag Archives: Transcending Obscurity

ARRIVING IN PEACE,PREGNANT WITH WAR: AN INTERVIEW WITH NORSE

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of reviewing NORSE and their phenomenally bleak and twisted new record “The Divine Light of a New Sun”  Below, group founder Forge and I discuss inspiration, the “scene” and how creating such disturbing music keeps Forge sane.

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S.B:  Greetings FORGE. First off I’d like to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.

FORGE: Thanks for the opportunity!

S.B: I recently had the extreme pleasuring of reviewing  “The Divine Light of a New Sun“ To say I was blown away would be an understatement. Congratulations.

FORGE: cheers! I appreciate you taking the time to check it out. Compared to earlier albums, this one came together quite quick, which was a nice change. ADR and I set a few deadlines for this release, and having clear ideas of where we wanted to take this album helped make it smooth sailing.

S.B: This is album number three for NORSE. How has the group’s and especially your attitude changed since the early days?

FORGE: Hmm, quite significantly I’d say. When we started 10+ years ago, Norse was a ball of energy, with no real focus, taking a hundred ideas and throwing them together and hoping for the best. Over the years as members have come and gone, the band has distilled down from 5 to just 2 creative contributors, both with a definite vision and goal for the band. Our intent is to push the bleakest of boundaries (to the point of alienating of nearly all of the bands original fan-base.)

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S.B: What’s your song writing process? Do you write individually or as a group?

FORGE: Never as a group any more. Writing as a group means compromise or tolerance of others input that waters down the original intent. It just doesn’t work. Unless you are lucky enough to meet 5 people with EXACTLY the same goal in mind, there’s always going to be some straying from the path. That and i just don’t have the patience to put up with bullshit politics any more!  If I don’t like something, I don’t need to carefully word my thoughts or suggest another idea. It just gets deleted.

…That being said, I did extend the olive branch and got some bassists in to write bass for this album and I really wanted to get a bit of a different approach to some parts of the songs. The people i chose were highly talented and complemented what I had written.

With this new album i wrote all of the guitars first, and arranged the songs with guitars only. I figure if I can make a song flow and be exciting with just guitars, it can only be improved with other instruments.

I was getting up at 2 am every morning and writing until 7, then off to work for 8 hours. Once home and kids were in bed I’d go back to the studio to write drum parts till 10. Repeat that for 3 months and it wears you out!  But it was the only way i could find time to get it all done.

S.B: Something that struck me while listening to the new record was the atmosphere. A sense of claustrophobic madness seems to permeate the entire album. What inspired you to create such an ominous and foreboding record? Is there an overall theme or concept weaving “The Divine Light of a New Sun” together?

FORGE: Yes, that is always my goal to strive for. I just love the idea of bleak, dark music that creates an atmosphere of suppression. It seems to be my outlet for frustrations in life. Which in turn allows me to be a highly positive person day to day!

 

Robin-StoneS.B: The video you made for “Cyclic” is almost like a trailer for a horror movie and indeed works as a teaser for the album. Does horror, be it film or literature, inspire you?

FORGE: I am a fan of certain antique horror and fantasy authors, but the video clip was mainly inspired by the music. It was just a really simple idea I came up with while in the final mixing stages of our last release PEST, but we never got around to completing it for that release, so I kept the idea for the song ‘cyclic’.

It’s the first real video clip Norse has done, and it took all of 2 hours to shoot. All in one take. No CG or digital touch-ups, raw and dark to suit the album production.

 

S.B: You hail from the Southern Highlands of New South Wales – a far cry from sunny beaches and the Sydney Opera House – When I look at photographs of the band I can’t help but think the remoteness and isolation of the Australian countryside has influenced you not just musically but also visually?

FORGE: Totally 100% everyone thinks of Australia and thinks sunny beaches or desert. I’ve never even seen the desert! I live in the highlands where we get snow, rain, minus 0 degree temperatures as well as scorching heat in summer. It’s a country of extremes.

I’ve also worked for many years in isolation on farms and in pine forest plantations. I could go weeks at a time and only see the same 3 people. Only ever going into big cities to play shows. The isolation is a big part in my inspiration.

BANDPIC

 

S.B: Expanding on my previous question. Why do you think Australia is producing such extreme and avant-garde metal these days?

FORGE: We are so far away from every other scene in the world; we are not influenced by current trends and movements. We make music that resonates with us on a personal level and don’t try and shamelessly copy every other band.

That being said, there are TONNES of terrible bands in Australia hopelessly copying everyone else and destined for nothing. Just the same as anywhere…

S.B: Is there a sense of camaraderie amongst today’s Australian groups?  Also, could you tell us a little about the “scene” down under?

FORGE: I know a few people and a few bands that I love and get along with, but other than that I couldn’t tell you. I write music, record it, perform it and then disappear back into my own world. I’m just not a social person and being part of a ‘scene’ doesn’t interest me.

S.B: Do you have much experience playing outside of Australia? Might there be plans for upcoming Europe/US tour dates?

FORGE: I personally do a tonne of session work and have played all over the globe, but never with Norse. Norse is my band. I take it out and play with it for a while, and then when it starts being stressful or expensive or a pain, it goes back on the shelf. Unless we get invited to play some overseas festivals where the $30k expenses are covered, there’s not a hope in hell that I’ll bother to take Norse on the international stage.

S.B: Well Forge, I just have to say it’s been a joy to speak with you and I will leave the final words to you,

FORGE: Many thanks for your support and great questions!

“The Divine Light of a New Sun” is available now through Transcending Obscurity Records

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INNOVATIVE EXTREMITY: NORSE — THE DIVINE LIGHT OF A NEW SUN

Australia has been steadily producing some of the best avant-garde metal to be found anywhere in the world today. With bands such as PORTAL, MISERIST and the now disbanded The Berzerker pushing extreme music into frightening and refreshingly original directions.

Hailing from the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, NORSE, who are already 12 years into a career that has spawned two EPs and 2 full lengths, are set to unleash album number three in the form of “The Divine Light of a New Sun” on May 25th

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With jagged riffs, frantic yet precise blast beats, anomalous song structures and a terrifyingly ominous atmosphere  —  “The Divine Light of a New Sun” is violent, uncompromising and almost impossible to categorize. Yes, its foundation is rooted in Black Metal. Yes, there is clearly Death Metal inspired moments, but is also experimental and innovative. Tracks like “Exitus” and “Synapses Spun As Silk” are measured and rhythmic, while “The Divine Light Of A New Sun”, “Sandarkan” and lead single “Cyclic” are swathed in dissonance and bring to mind images of insanity and decay.

Both production and musicianship are impeccable throughout. With moments of rabid aggression and even some very catchy melodies sounding crisp and clear, making “The Divine Light of a New Sun” a painfully enjoyable ,and above all,  thoroughly memorable experience.

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When asked recently by Bruder Des Lichts how he would describe the band to someone who has never heard their music before, founding member FORGE had this to say:
“Don’t even bother listening to it unless you like the sound of large machines falling into a pit of lava.”

With “The Divine Light of a New Sun”  —  NORSE have created a sound that is entirely their own —  but that sound is sure to appeal to fans of Miserist, The Axis of Perdition and Deathspell Omega.

———–By: Shane Bermingham———-

Label:Transcending Obscurity Records

FACEBOOK:BANDCAMP

NORSE

Line-up:

Forge: Drums, Guitars

ADR: Lyrics, Vocals

K Southcott: Bass

PJ: Live Guitars

Marcus: Live Guitars

“The Divine Light of a New Sun” 

Release date: May 25, 2017

Catalog ID:TOR23

Format:DIGITAL/CD/VINYL

Genre: Dissonant Black Metal

Review: Mourning Soul – Ego Death – Ritual I; Exclusive Premiere of A Single

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Imagine a traditional black metal sound scourged with a modern death metal vibe (similar to SepticFlesh or Devilish Impressions). Now you have the primary idea on how Mourning Soul is going to sound like. This comparison, doesn’t merely represents the talent the band has showcased while composing the materials for their debut album ‘Ego Death – Ritual I’. The stunning amalgamation of fury and melody prevails throughout the 9 chapters, accompanied by poetic lyrics relating to death and humane suffering.

Mourning Soul excels in mixing up the two very different genres to a perfect balance. You can feel the shivering lunacy of black metal as well as the splendor of melody driven death metal. A noticeable level of synth has been implemented to enhance the background; polishing the atmosphere with a more darkened vibe. The synth is not over-imposed, thus leaving more room for the guitars to shine. In brief, the sound of this record could be considered as a tasteful melodic black metal. The singing styles vary mostly around mid-ranged to high pitch vocal, with frequent use of clean voices. The sound on full-length is not over produced, but provides a clearer tone. Often, the music gets to a bit raw sounding, which are pretty handy.

It’s pretty hard to pick the highlights from ‘Ego Death – ‘Ritual I’, most of the songs being very solid and enjoyable. Personally, I’d select ‘Resurrection through the Serpent’s Light’, ‘Bleeding by Bones’ and ‘The Judgement of Gehenna’.

Mourning Soul has been around for 14 years, therefore you can estimate the efforts and brilliance they put in their debut album. ‘Ego Death – ‘Ritual I’, therefore is not another brick in the wall. Anyone having interests on Swedish/German black metal should check these guys out.

Score: 84/100
Venustas Diabolicus is premiering the sixth track off the full-length exclusively, which you can hear from the link below:

Release Date: 25th March, 2016
Label: Dolorem Records
Lineup:
Sacrifice – Vocals, Bass, Synths
Decrepit – Guitars, Synths
Nocturnal Fog – Drums, Synths
Mourning Soul: Facebook || Web
Dolorem Records: Facebook || Bandcamp

 

 

Altars of Spiritual Redemption: Interview with Preludium (Pol)

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Musically, Preludium has close kinship with the other Polish blackened death metal acts. The band is active for more than 16 years and it is a pity that the band is little known comparing to a lot of other contemporaries of Polish black/death metal scene. Over a year ago, the quartet has released a brilliant album, “Redemption” (Review Link: http://wp.me/p42NGB-bX) through India based record label Transcending Obscurity. The frontman Łukasz Dziamarski has joined us for an in depth conversation about the different aspects of the band.

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Salutation Łukasz. Before moving on to the core of this conversation, I would like to ask you to give a brief introduction of Preludium to our readers.

Łukasz: Hails. The band was formed by the Skowron brothers in about 1999.  I joined the band as a session bass player before ‘Infernal Force’ demo recording session. Unfortunately in 2003 Piotr died in an accident. The new drummer in PRELUDIUM was August from (DECEPTION/STILLBORN) and a new bass player Wojciech from my previous band. With this line-up, we recorded our debut album ‘Eternal Wrath’ and the second one ‘Raping Mankind Disorder’.

“Eternal Wrath” – Debut Full Length of Preludium

After that, both of them – August and Wojciech – abandoned the band so we had to Continue reading Altars of Spiritual Redemption: Interview with Preludium (Pol)

Preludium – Redemption

 

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Monstrous riffing and murderous drumming, these two criteria would first come to one’s mind to describe the music of Polish black/death metal scene in short words. Preludium, from Mielec, Poland is no different from their contemporaries in terms of delivering the combo of extreme riffing and intense drumming. Band’s latest offering Redemption is different from their earlier releases to some extent. Previous releases were constructed with war and blasphemy based lyrics. Surprisingly the band switches its lyrics to the spiritual teachings of Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda in this full length, which is obviously a new theme in the extreme metal music.

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Who have listened to the band’s previous creations can feel that Preludium’s sound has strong kinship with the bands like Behemoth, Hate and the like. But the band has got ways and means to successfully put some new elements into the album that turns the whole atmosphere into a stronger position and that atmosphere definitely reflects the band’s intention to sound a bit different from their old materials.

Initial track of the meditative journey, Soul Torment trudges almost at the same pace with some riffs. Second track, Altars of Redemption transports an array of some atrocious drumming, solid bass and strong vocal deliveries. Third track, Incarnation is one of the best tracks of the album. One is supposed to get overwhelmed with the monstrous riffings of this track. Some of the guitar works of the track bear some resemblance to the Icelandic black metal bands, but Preludium’s work can be considered as faster comparing to the works of Icelanders. Circle of Life, Destiny of Morals and the final track, Sins of Mankind are some of the other tracks that can startle the ear-hole of the listeners. Beginning vocal part in Circle of Life reminds me of the crushing voice of Mors Dalos Ra of Necros Christos. All of these three tracks are enshrouded with mesmerizing guitar works and destructive drumming. A memorable rhythmic bridge appears in Sins of Mankind as if to add a unique vibe in this spiritual expedition.

Aesthetic artwork of the album perfectly gives a glimpse to the listener about the lyrical theme of the album. Atmosphere presents in the album also perfectly conveys a spiritual feeling that the band is trying to preach with their music.

Considering the downsides of the album, there are a few. Even though the band has tried to do something divergent from their typical Polish extreme metal sound, a lot of elements are present in the album that were previously done by the contemporaries. Initial track Soul Torment is less appealing in terms of its overall composition and cannot be considered as a descent tool to open the album. Lyrics obviously transmit strong messages, but the spiritual theme that is conveyed through the lyrics has complicated connection with the black metal lyrical theme and it may throw cold water on the listeners who prefer evil oriented lyrics on black metal music.

Redemption can be regarded as the best release of Preludium so far. Yet, I have not checked their demos and first full length, but it should be on the climax comparing to the other albums that have come across to my ear. Most remarkable works in this album are done by the guitarists; guitars are mightier than the swords. Another successful release from the label, Transcending Obscurity.  “Redemption” is surely a recommendation to the listener of blackened death metal.

Score: 78/100

 

By: Zoheb Mahmud

 

Stream the entire album on Bandcamp:

Released on: January 05, 2014

Label: Transcending Obscurity http://transcendingobscurity.com/Label.aspx

Lineup:

Lukasz Dziamarski – Guitars, Voc
Jan Skowron – Guitars
Piotr Ungeheuer – Drums
Marcin “Mrzawa” Deszcz – Bass

Homepage: http://preludium.metal.pl/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/preludiumband