ARES KINGDOM – A Kingdom where the battle never ends!

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Ares Kingdom is a kind of an institution of American Metal scene. They are considered by many a cult band, playing in festivals for the truest headbangers in US and Europe and having a loyal fan base across the globe. Their sound differs from the other bands though: Their sound is warlike but in a sui generis manner. Here they assure they are going to play in Europe so European fans wait for the massacre! Read now the point of view of one of the most respected bands in the world wide underground!


10670_photoDSU  —  Great to have Ares Kingdom featuring on DSU. I do believe it’s a universal doubt and I wish you could solve it for those who don’t know: in which moment did Ares Kingdom separated from Order From Chaos as a proper entity?

AK  —   There was about a year between the dissolution of Order From Chaos and the beginning of Ares Kingdom. Long before OFC split we had discussed coming back together and starting a new band, but in the end it was just Mike and I that did it.

DSU  —  Although Order From Chaos sound being very “Voivodian”,  Ares Kingdom gets another direction and seems to focus in the universe of thrash, death and black metal underground… Was that process a natural thing or did you force yourselves like “okay, now it is a new band and we are going to make a different sound”?

AK  —   Truth is there is very little difference between the music of OFC and Ares Kingdom. I write in precisely the same manner, style, and habit as I did during OFC. You can make the argument that our additional experience gives AK a maturity that OFC always lacked, but the biggest difference is in production of our albums – OFC had terrible production. AK performs several Order From Chaos songs, including ‘Plateau of Invincibility’ and ‘The Edge of Forever,’ as part of our live set, and we’ve even rerecorded ‘Of Death and Dying’ and ‘The Scourge’ for releases, and those songs fit seamlessly alongside original AK material.

DSU  —  Your album Veneration brings totally unorthodox covers of Dokken, R.U. Dead? And the Aussies of Slaughter Lord… I believe the intention was to make a different album from the traditional stuff bands have been releasing… Am I right? Tell us more about the decision to put out a “cover” album…

AK  —   We’d always wanted to do our own Metallica-ish ‘Garage Days’ release, and ‘Veneration’ became that opportunity. We consider it a compilation of covers and not a real album, even though we recorded and packaged it like one of our own. We had been discovering that many fans were unfamiliar with the bands that inspired us originally, so we gathered songs from a few of our many favorite bands and recorded them.

related: read here the review of the new Ares Kingdom Album, The Unburiable Dead

DSU  —  Skipping to the present: You must be very happy with the result of The Unburiable Dead which I had the honor to review first-hand and the sound is marvelous. Are you methodic when you write your stuff? What was different this time around?

AK  —   Very methodical, yes. My composition process for individual songs remains the same as always, and just as with ‘Incendiary’ I had planned out the flow of songs for ‘The Unburiable Dead.’ The only change this time was that instead of being written randomly, the songs were written in the order they appear on the album. Looking back, I pleased that it worked so well, however I don’t feel like it needs to happen that way again.

DSU  —  The lyrics talk about the War to End all Wars… Normally bands tend to talk about the WW2. But do you consider The Unburiable Dead a proper conceptual album? Did you have the intention to bond the lyrical content track by track?

AK  —   I’m not sure how to define a ‘proper’ conceptual album, so I’m not prepared to say ‘The Unburiable Dead’ is one. If others want to call it ‘proper,’ that’s fine by me! I did indeed approach the lyrics episodically, each song selecting a certain aspect of the conflict and generally staying on topic. Think of it as some odd artful history lesson.

DSU  —  I’ve read elsewhere that the cover of the album was made by an actual WWI combatant and it turned out to be “The Pit” by George Grosz (correct me if I’m wrong). It seems obvious why you picked that. My question is: what does that paint mean to you? What do you see when you observe it: the blood, the pain, the stalemate?

AK  —   You have it correct. Doesn’t matter what it means to me particularly, just that it sums up the contents of the album with appropriate force, and pulls in new listeners!

DSU  —  Just out of curiosity had you read THE SLEEPWALKERS by Clark Christopher? I tried it last year but I’ve never finished, but I intend to return… 

AK  —   I’ve never read it.

DSU  —  Is The Unburiable Dead going to receive a continuation? Maybe something like Treaty of Versailles and The Great Depression, I don’t know…

AK  —   No, I’ve selected a general direction to develop for the next album. While the central theme is going to be a bit vague compared to ‘The Unburiable Dead’s’ identifiable theme, the overall presentation will be suitably dark. It’s going to take a while, but will be worth it.

DSU  —  Ares Kingdom reigns supreme in the pantheon of Underground Metal alongside countless number of truest acts like Cianide, Impetous Ritual, Morbosidad and the likes… Thus you are entitled as the paradoxical underground “tip of the iceberg”, not being unknowns and not being palatable to pseudo-intellectual “extreme” modern metal fans either. Do you see yourselves in the heavy metal limbo or is it exactly where you wanted to be?

AK  —   Yeah, just as OFC was in its time, we exist in a strange limbo, as you called it. Certainly it’s not where we want to be – more recognition, bigger tours, more fans listening to our message would be great…but of course we remain for the few!

DSU  —  It seems you were billed to play in Berlin in NWN! VOL 5, am I right? As of  September/October your name wasn’t on the bill anymore. What happened?

AK  —   Not sure where you saw that, but we’re still playing the fest and will be developing a European tour around it as well.

DSU  —  I can see that your influences range from Sadistik Exekution, Deströyer 666, Poison (Germany), Sabbat and the likes… is there any other bands that you like in the current underground scene and that you want to leave registered here?

AK  —   We’ve got many friends in the current scene whose music I enjoy, from Abigail and Barbatos to Cianide to Pentacle to Negative Vortex to Zuul, High Spirits, Destructor, etc. Lots of great bands!

DSU  —  To finalize: what is your fave song of The Unburiable Dead? Mine is Stultifera Navis (Armistice and League) because I like epic sounds…

AK  —   It’s too hard for me to say since each song has its own special personality. It’s interesting you picked ‘Stultifera Navis’ – it always seems like people really like our longer tracks, which is very cool to me!


(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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Torqverem -The misanthrope universe of Brazilian Black Metal Scene

11665561_993525524002042_215509967244596950_nSecond half of the decade of 2000’s. That’s when my relation with the entity Torqverem starts, maybe because there were no great amounts of Black Metal bands in the region where I live and soon the name of the band started to spread like a wild fire. Some people were very supportive while some imbeciles were talking shit about the band. The fact is that Torqverem never ceased its controversial existence, maybe because, beside the music itself, the true and black side always appears like a halo of negative light, never letting people indifferent to the obsidian art of Torqverem. This interview was made some time ago, and no drummer were billed yet, but now is confirmed that Alcoholic Death (aka Magno from Laconist) got the sticks. The other members are: F. Iser (bass, Evil’s Attack, Exterminatorium, Lalssu, Malediction 666, Morte Negra) and the mastermind behind the occult philosophy: V. A. Necrovisceral. Continue reading

Cryptopsy – The Book of Suffering Tome 1 – self-released

The book of ultra brutal technical death metal.

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Cryptosy is the best death metal band in the moment. Since their self-titled album three years ago, nobody should have said that they were going to beat their best offering to date. They just did it!

With The Book of Suffering (Tome 1) they accelerated the impossible to overdriving vortexes of insane velocity.

This is an EP with just 4 tracks, and as it is said that it is the tome 1 I believe this history will have another chapter soon…

Anyway, what is in the table here is the absurd technicality of a group that evolves with which release. The only thing that gives some guide to the listener is the lyrics, and even they are quite impossible to keep track, being for the velocity, being for the intricate metrics.

The drumming is of course, otherworldly. I simple don’t have any idea how they keep so much information in a matter of seconds and how they manage to orchestrate the whole thing.

Violent and brutal, this is not an imitation of another famous band. Normally technical death metal is a style where the bands keep similarity between them, but not with Cryptopsy: they go further, they defy the physics, they defy the speed of sound going by the speed of light. It’s incredible how any riff, any drum fills are full of rocket science information.

I listened to this opus exactly 25 times and let me say something: it would take six times this number for me to understand the whole opus! Is that bad? No, it’s that marvelous, the way the mind is kept alive by music. They are like a free jazz ensemble, but a free jazz from HELL: violent, no frills, no quarter, no stoppage, no shortage of energy, this is a release that is, for sure, alongside their 2012 album one of the best metal releases of the XXI century. Nuff said!

The Book of Suffering Tome 1 is out now and it’s SELF-RELEASED


 

 

(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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Baron – Torpor – Svart Records

English lads trying to give something new.

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Baron is not a well-known name to me, but their alleged sophomore album presents 8 distinctive songs, trying to bring the old with the post punk.

To start out the band is a kind of depressive band with strong nuances of various musical genres.

Starting with the song Dragonfly whose baritone voice is really not my thing, but, hell, I can see lots of qualities in composition, the sound kinda marks the pace of the whole album. I mean kind of, because the sound shall conspicuously change. This not metal, it’s rock. I won’t say pure and “simple” rock because there’s nothing simple here, the musicians use the basic to create different nuances and that is salutary.

But the second song called Mark Maker start to show ebbs and flows and the sound is too much artsy for little seventies approach they try to show. It’s a kind of modern approach of old brit rock from the 1980’s and the sound resounds Morrissey and for some times Depeche Mode. Of course they don’t rely in these “influences” but it’s far from saying that they are the last word in originality.

But yeah, not so terrible, until the track Stry shows up with its eight minutes of pure nonsensical music, no hooks, strange soundscapes, lost in rhythm: The nadir of the album.

But here goes the good news: the Zenith comes two tracks after with the song Deeper Align which is upbeat, intelligent, and summons up what the album should be. From the middle to fast tempo (thus rejecting the sad framework) to the most restrained in velocity but no less intelligent slow parts, this song is great.

Torpor is not a masterpiece of the rock this year. But, and this is a strong but, it will captivate the fans of the “post-punk” with psychedelic influences mainly with the European kids, and with some luck, they shall reach the US and Canadian shores. Its sound is segmented and it’s impossible to analyze a work without these special lenses. If you don’t repudiate the different, taste it out.

 Torpor  is out now on Svart Records 


(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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