ALBUM PREMIERE & INTERVIEW: Valaraukar’s ‘Demonian Abyssal Visions’

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The world’s foundations

Alight in hellish flame

Red eyes behold the heart of ruin

Embracing the glory of blasphemy

Rejoice in the beauty of pure destruction

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I love watching a project develop. Back in Bandcamp Misanthropy: Volume 17 we took a brief look at devastating Scottish dyad Valaraukar and their debut demo EP Harnessing of Hostile Forces, which I was extremely amped about and looking forward to their upcoming full-length debut that was in the works at the time. Well, that same full-length is finally being unleashed upon us via the considerable might of Iron Bonehead Productions – and we are honoured to be streaming it in full for you here today.

Delivering on the promises made by the demo with ease, Demonian Abyssal Visions takes all the aggression and songwriting nous displayed there and rips it wide open to flow untempered and screaming into our realm. Their knack for writing a commanding tune is propelled to even greater heights by three driving forces: the immense riffage, a deliciously antagonistic guitar tone and the punishing percussive assault. Taking ancient Scandinavian blueprints and infusing them with both scathing modern ire and a disregard for genre norms, Vagath (guitars, vox) is channelling power beyond belief and creates riffs all through this thing that will make you want to destroy everything in close range, while skinsman Sovereign is utterly omnipotent on the drums and always does precisely what the song needs, as if propelled by mystic intuition.

Weaving a web of visceral sonic impact is all well and good, certainly, but it’s also perilously clear that Vagath brings the pain both thematically and in vocal delivery too – his compelling, archetypal bark seems drawn from other worlds as he roars profound doctrines and metaphysic convictions. I’ll let him explain this in greater detail however, as today we also have both Vagath and Sovereign here to tell us all about it and lift the veil ever so slightly on the creation of these visions made form. So read on below, listen deeply and bear witness as Valaraukar become absolute world eaters… for, considering the arcane sigils and violent esotericism present in this remarkable debut incantation, the void that they summon between them shall undoubtedly devour us all.

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Hails Valaraukar! Great to speak with you. I’ve been awaiting your debut album since your demo last year, and now it has finally arrived – the intensely diabolical Demonian Abyssal Visions, which we are streaming in full here today. So first up, how do you both feel about the album? What was your goal, did you achieved what you wanted to with it?

Vagath: Each time I listen back to the album I’m consistently satisfied with the sound, it has everything I would have hoped to capture with our live sound and playing style in mind. The goal was to keep it raw, energised, tight and aggressive and it ticks all the boxes for me. The guitar sound is suitably full and yet has that defined raw edge on it.

Sovereign: It’s difficult to look at an album you created yourself in a way comparable to other music – the process of recording and writing absorbs you – puts you through the wringer, even. When it’s done, it’s hard to know what to think – the relationship to one’s own material is unique. To listen to the finished product, to know that you brought it into existence – there’s pride in that, especially knowing I gave my all.

The two tracks from the demo both reappear here, ‘Harnessing of Hostile Forces’ renamed from ‘Hostile Forces’ to match the actual title of the demo. Did you change anything else about those two tracks for the album versions?

V: Ah, so using the shortened name on the demo then extending it for the album, that was a conscious decision taken back in early 2018 when working on the demo. The album version is a bit faster, it felt like it had more attack when we sped it up. Some drum parts were slightly different on the album version as well.

It’s a high energy yet pulverizing, heavily riff-driven piece of work. I particularly enjoy the moments when it breaks out in more d-beat, rocking or even almost thrashy parts – I daresay you had more than simply blasting, traditional black metal in mind during the compositional process. What were some of the influences or personal musical touchpoints you drew from whilst creating the album?

V: There’s not a style in mind as we’re writing, and the range of influences is pretty vast. The out and out blasting style is a factor of course, but so are others like dissonant, cavernous, styles or slow parts with picking riffs in there. The material is constantly evolving. It’s never going to lose the edge because that edge is utterly vital.

S: Rhythmically, black metal has a lot of options on the table; often more than it ultimately decides to exploit. I actually have a real love for some of that quintessential blastbeat-centric black metal… but there can be so much bombast and manic-energy in something like a d-beat that I’d have been remiss not to find a place for some in the material.

The press release states that Vagath is driven by “inner demons and primal aspects of the subconscious” to create his art, which sounds fascinating. Could you tell us a little about that, and the creative process involved in these songs? Are those aforementioned themes also touched upon lyrically throughout the record?

V: The creative process is almost entirely introspective, it’s coming from within me rather than from anything external. To write anything truly evocative it’s necessary to look pretty deep and to get in touch with something, then give form to these abstract visions by weaving in some poetry and translating into vivid scenarios.

Whatever inner power I’m connecting with is not clearly defined, “primal” is probably a fair description. I could expand more on this but for now I’ll just say this: it’s unquestionably an empowering process, and that empowerment is a strong theme in itself. I think this is evident in the music.

It is most definitely present in the lyrics, that’s what ‘Harnessing of Hostile Forces’ is referring to. It is a factor lyrically in other songs but that one refers to it directly.

Valaraukar was born from the ashes of your previous band NNGNN (or Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta). Why did you decide to end that project and begin afresh with Valaraukar, as opposed to simply continuing under the same name?

V: It was time to take a more uncompromising and honed approach. In a sense it was a new direction, but it was also a natural evolution from where we were with that previous entity. To me it’s now all about Valaraukar, not particularly keen to look back at what came before.

Speaking of names – the name Valaraukar is another word for Balrogs in Tolkien’s work. At a cursory glance I couldn’t spot anything, but does the Tolkien theme flow through into any other aspect of the project? What drew you towards selecting this moniker to represent your sound?

V: I do have a connection with Tolkien’s Legendarium, I actually wanted to use this name back in 2008 or so with another project but never got the opportunity. The lyrics for ‘Servants of the Nameless’ refer to the Valaraukar, apart from that there is no other direct use of Tolkien themes. Several themes appear on the album.

The cover art is quite striking, showing what appears to be a void opening up between two stone columns. Who is the artist, and what does the cover signify in relation to the album?

V: The cover art (and our logo) were done by the formidable View From the Coffin. The pillars represent myself and Sovereign, the void in the centre is the screaming abyss that these raw visions are drawn from. Demonian, or demonic, because the whole process is dark and driven by inner demons. Abyssal, because there is an indefinable depth and majestic power at work alongside the direct aggression, this more prominent at some times than others.

In great news, Demonian Abyssal Visions has been picked up for release on LP and CD by the mighty Iron Bonehead Productions. You must be pleased with that, how did this partnership come to pass?

V: I contacted IBP linking them to our demo and expressing our desire to work with them, they are formidable and we have a lot of respect for them. They must have heard something in the demo they liked. IBP are always one to watch, they release a lot of good material, I’m sitting digesting some as I write this.

In my opinion, the music of Valaraukar is a strong exponent of one key ingredient that I believe should be present in the best of black metal – power. You can feel it seething like electricity in your compositions, empowering and charging you with dark vitality. Do you feel this is an important part of what black metal is to you?

V: Absolutely. Feeling empowered by the music is essential, without that it’s nothing. I think it starts the other way round, pouring that power into the material with vision, inspiration, emotion or whatever else makes it what it is. For someone who is not empowered by playing black metal, the end result is not going to be powerful in itself.

For me Demonian Abyssal Visions has captured that power you refer to, more so than anything I’ve been a part of in the past.

And finally – What’s next for the two of you? Are you working on any new material, or perhaps considering taking Valaraukar to the live setting and playing some shows?

V: Live shows are on the horizon, when the right opportunities come up. So far we have one appearance booked, playing with Desaster / Root / Archgoat / Mork in London, on the 1st of December. A monstrous lineup!

There is new material in the works but we haven’t written much at this stage. The next album will be quite different, that much is clear.

Sincerest thanks for your time, Valaraukar. Any parting words for us all?

V: Mastery Of Diabolical Strength!

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Demonian Abyssal Visions unleashes June 21st under the banner of Iron Bonehead Productions.

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TRACK PREMIERE – ‘Spare No Wrath’, by Trench Warfare

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HATE

VIOLENCE

WAR

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Some albums, they might want to sweep you up and take you on a journey. Some albums might want to make you feel, to reminisce. Others might aim to summon forces from unseen worlds, whilst others still might just want you to nod your head. And then there’s albums that simply want to obliterate your brain with repeated point-blank bursts from an MP5 whilst the other hand spools your intestines out onto the floor via vicious thrusts with a combat knife. Care to guess which category Hatred Prayer, the debut full-length from US carnage merchants Trench Warfare falls under?

When I first heard this record I sat up and shat. No word of a lie, the sheer vitriol the trio of Tony Goyang Jr. (Guitars, Bass), Lee Fisher (Skins) and Jay Gorania (Throat) pack into their assault should almost be listed as a war crime. On tracks like the already-premiered titular Hatred Prayer or first taster Axioms their extreme, grinding form of bestial black/death brutality reaches heights of intensity that push the very limits of what the human body can endure, and today we bring to you another tantalising glimpse of their arsenal: an exclusive stream of second album salvo, ‘Spare No Wrath’.

One of the shortest tracks on the album, it only needs a mere two minutes and nineteen seconds to do its dirty work as it holds you down and mercilessly beats the shit out of you. Those will be the longest minutes of your life… but you’ll simultaneously, and with a hefty dose of healthy masochism, wish they’d never end. The percussive blasts and d-beat artillery fire (tastefully recorded, no fake shit here) will splinter every bone in your body while the guitars gnaw at your face in pure unbridled savagery, ferocious riffs lacerating the cacophony with a jagged edge. Utterly ravenous, filth-encrusted vocals proselytize certain death as you can almost physically feel the hatred and disgust emanating from the collected relentless punishment of each element combined; and then before you know it, it’s all over… until the next track slams in with equal if not greater force. But that’s another story and one that you’ll have to wait three more weeks to hear, when the full thing is finally unleashed through the great Transcending Obscurity Records.

Available for pre-order now on CD digipack and limited autographed box set, and for the love of genocide… don’t miss this. Violence incarnate.

Hatred Prayer releases August 9th via Transcending Obscurity Records.

Pre-order Hatred Prayer on CD, digital or autographed box set from Transcending Obscurity Records here.

Support Trench Warfare:

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FULL EP PREMIERE: ‘Primordial Hollow’ by Primordial Hollow

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It haunts my mind

Voices of the night

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Here’s an undeniable fact: USBM has been fucking killing it lately.

“Lately,” you might say; “it’s been killing it for decades!”, in which case you would be correct – but I’m specifically talking about these last couple of years because a certain group of US musicians seem to be hell-bent on pushing the limits of the human creative capacity, releasing albums of extreme quality at an astonishing rate of fire. If you follow black metal at all you’ll have undoubtedly heard the names Chaos Moon, Entheogen and Gardsghastr before… and I mention them now for two specific reasons:

  1. I’ve heard rumour that brand new project Primordial Hollow, of which we are immeasurably pleased to premiere the full stream of their self-titled debut demo EP here today, has connections to all three of those projects
  2. If you’re a fan of those three, you’re definitely going to love this.

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But those rumoured connections are ultimately inconsequential and definitely unimportant – the music is what matters and whoever the mysterious trio of Decimator, Void and Phantom may actually be, what they have summoned is immense. Effortlessly communicating through twisted clairvoyance the indescribable magic of black metal’s prime era, these gentlemen have crafted three tracks from the night itself; moulding and shaping it to their will. Opener ‘Come Forth and Perish’ sets the tone with a bombastic, dread-inducing introduction of ominous chords, choral synth tones and the tolling bells of purgatory… then erupts into a classic roar that, as their label Fólkvangr Records puts it, “sounds like it stepped out of a time machine straight from 1996”.

Killer, clattering drums propel buzzsaw guitars along with driving diabolic power as swathes of haunting keys settle like monstrous shimmering cobwebs over it all. Reverberating vocals rasp and tear through the mix… it’s a thoroughly enjoyable sound that immaculately marries atmospheres of sinister malevolence with explosive raw physicality to enrapturing effect, and as you move through this grand triptych of devastating dirges the interplay between synth and riff alone will have you raising clawed hands to the moonlit sky. The songs move through familiar tempos and changes, devilish grooves give way to monstrous blasts and an evil melodiousness that tickles your blasphemy glands in all the right spots – ‘Winds of Ire’ is satanized sturm-und-drang, while the punchy ‘Chaos and Serenity’ hurls itself at your face with nefarious energy and scrabbles in through your ear holes, burrowing down deep into your brain to lay eggs.

For a debut demo it is ridiculously good. At only 17 minutes long I’m not going to give it a detailed play-by-play, you really need to discover its mysteries for yourself and it deserves your full attention as it shows more in three songs than many albums do in a full eight or nine. A wonderful howling hymn to the children of the night, releasing June 21st on limited cassette through who? Why, the mighty Fólkvangr, of course. Only 50 copies… don’t sleep.

Oh, and my educated guess as a writer and fan as to who these guys are? From the faces in that photo up top and the fact that a certain Alex Poole has taken care of the mastering, I’d say at least one Blackburn brother might have something to do with this infernal creation. Don’t quote me on that, though – and probably don’t even think too much about it. Just listen to the music and lose yourself in the glorious crepuscular madness of Primordial Hollow.

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Pre-order Primordial Hollow digitally from the artist’s Bandcamp here, or on limited cassette from Fólkvangr Records here.

Support Primordial Hollow:

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TRACK PREMIERE & INTERVIEW: ‘Bandages Over Boards’ by The Projectionist

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How often are you fully invested in art whilst experiencing it? I don’t mean merely liking something – I mean having every iota of your attention immovably locked on to whatever it is you’re seeing or listening to, gripped by it. It’s something that’s unfortunately not common enough, as most art seems satisfied to be mere background noise or passive entertainment… which is where Canada’s The Projectionist then comes in, the very antithesis of those simplistic ambitions.

Led by the inimitable Lörd Matzigkeitus (The Black Sorcery, Thy Sepuchral Moon, many more), he and his extended horde of fellow cacodemons Parageist, Destroyer, Malphas and Orpheus aren’t content with the mundane, and instead have crafted a viciously engaging and conceptually dazzling black metal opera that veritably demands your attention. Entitled Visits From The NightHag and split over two parts – the first dropped on All Hallows Eve last year whilst Part 2 is currently bearing down on us at pace ahead of its June 28th unveiling through Appalachian Noise Records – it tells the tale of George, the Projectionist of Todendorf, and his tumultuous encounters with the titular NightHag. It’s a challenging, intensely personal and utterly entrancing piece of art, and we here at BMD are proud to present you an exclusive listen to the second last act of the forthcoming Part 2 – the ripping ‘Bandages Over Boards’.

A dynamic journey of a track, it has some undeniably killer riffs holding it together as it careens along wildly, through varying emotions that manifest at the end of this sprawling tale – but I don’t want to say too much about it, as in another incredible stroke of good fortune we have the Lörd himself here to unravel some of the mysteries behind this macabre and affecting work and he’s one of the most eloquent and forthcoming guests to ever grace these stained pages. So settle in, listen above, read on below… and give yourself over to the compelling tale of The Projectionist.

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Greetings, Lörd Matzigkeitus! Sincerest thanks for speaking with us today, I hope you are well.

LM: Good evening. My pleasure…

Part Two of your Visits from the NightHag series is being unleashed very soon, less than a year after the captivating Part One. So, let’s get it straight from the creator: what’s happening in the NightHag universe? Where do we pick up with our protagonist George this time?

LM: After suffering a wildly invasive surgery to save his life from unexplainable necrosis of the legs, George comes back to consciousness half a man, and begins to spin a phantasmagorical tale to the attending Doctor Bendix. The baffled physician tries to piece together the events leading up to George’s current state. What he hears, will shatter his psyche and move the poor Doctor on a most foul trajectory… (but that is another story altogether)

For those unfamiliar with your inspirations and personal connection to the story being told – could you tell us a little about the genesis of the NightHag series, and why it exists?

LM: The NightHag story began as a simple conversation about sleep paralysis that Demoniarch and I had at his home over drinks. He mentioned at the time that every civilization on the planet had a version of it… a witch that came at night, sat upon your torso and held you down with impossible fright. Europeans called it the hag, the old hag or the Night Hag.

It stuck in my craw. I couldn’t shake the idea of it for weeks. My grandfather, George Howard, was in life a projectionist in Todendorf, Germany (yes, the band is named for him) and died in my arms due to complications from having his legs removed. It was the single most devastating moment in my life.

I began to come up with an odd idea of marrying the two notions; what if the NightHag came to him and was the reason his legs had to be amputated? (They were gangrenous due to diabetes in truth)

Fleshing this out caused me great pain, I openly wept during the writing of certain passages…but all great art is meant to be felt in full.

Why does it exist? I’ve pondered on that recently… have you ever loved a dead person so much that you’d create an entire world for them to live in, just to spend time with them?

That’s why.

You’ve been doing something quite intriguing in the lead up to the album’s release, in the form of weekly video shorts wherein you reveal a snippet of a particular track and yourself reveal more of the tale in devilish oration. What was the thought behind these short episodic teasers?

LM: I want to perpetrate the notion that the band are acting as projectionists; that we are unfolding a film for a darkened, captive audience. I mean for this band to supersede what Black Metal is, and take it where it hasn’t or shouldn’t go.

The films are like the movie-serials from long ago in cinematic history. They are there to stir curiosity and drive home the point that these albums, though uncompromisingly Black Metal, are in fact, operas and you are being told a story… something that seemed lost on many when Visits from the NightHag: Part 1 came out.

Following on from that, partially because watching those video shorts made me imagine a Visits from the NightHag television series – I feel NightHag would work quite well told via different media, as it’s an incredibly visual story. Either a series, book or a graphic novel perhaps would be incredible. Are you toying with the idea of anything like this for the future?

LM: I absolutely am. After having completed the 7th operetta and concluding the full saga roughly two months ago, I recently began writing VFTNH as a novel. This would likely evolve into a series of novels given the fact that VFTNH is only the first story in the complete arc. (The operetta for NightHag has already been published in my second book: Chapel of Astaroth)

If I were to have such lofty goals, I’d say that elucidating the story in prose will help me shop it around as a film/series script, and just as Stallone insisted on portraying Rocky, I’d insist on the features being soundtracked by The Projectionist…

Given that it’s such a personal creation that’s clearly close to your heart, I’m curious as to the compositional process involved – how much creative control do you take over the music? Do you write the lyrics and then trust the others to write a suitable ‘score’ to the tale, as such?

LM: As with all music I’m a part of, always the writing comes first. I am perpetually writing, averaging 130-150 pieces per year. In the case of NightHag, it was actually written two years before any music was conceived.

Parageist and I have a very symbiotic musical relationship. Every album we make together, we have a pre-emptive conversation where I outline what I’m hoping to hear, what the rough tone should be and length of songs/level of ambience. Then he plays whatever he wishes from that. I don’t lord over him telling him which notes to play.

Some of my other projects are a bit more “democratic”, but with The Projectionist, and these operas, I have a clear vision of what the overall album should sound like. Mainly that the music needs to follow the level of urgency in the plot line.

On NightHag and it’s follow-up The Stench of Amalthia, Parageist submitted the amount of songs I requested based on the number of Acts I’d written and I arranged them in the order that flowed best with the plot. For the third album in the arc, I want to try a new take on writing and have Ghast and Parageist write the guitars to the operetta itself, drawing inspiration from the events therein.

Whilst your vocal attack is one of the most varied in extreme metal, not every voice on the album is yours: Caesar Tiberius and Aven Haunts also reprise their roles as Dr. Bendix and The NightHag / Nurse respectively. What has it been like working with them? I believe there will be quite a few installments of the NightHag series, are they both in it for the long haul?

LM: Technically, the entirety of VFTNH was recorded as one body of work, however, when complete, it clocked in at 84 minutes in length. So the decision was made to split the album up in two parts. The sixth opera is actually 16 Acts and may end up getting the same treatment, but we shall see…

Regardless, yes, I can perform virtually any style of extreme metal vocal one can conjure, but I felt an entire album of me talking to myself would come off as very confusing. One thing I cannot do is sound like a female. So I enlisted longtime friends Aven Haunts and Caesar Tiberius to add additional texture and dynamic to the delivery. Aven has a very eloquent and Victorian quality to her voice that I really thought captured the essence of the NightHag and she can manipulate her voice to sound innocent and sweet (which is NOT her nature at all hahaha). And that glorious witchy cackle of hers? Some of my favorite sections of the opus. I did perform a Nattramn-like shriek as a backing vocal to her NightHag. That will be a constant as the character evolves over time.

Caesar has a coarse, articulate voice that I think brings a good depth to the Dr. Bendix character. He has a way of delivering a flippancy that I hadn’t anticipated when writing the Doctor’s dialog. It especially shines through on The Stench of Amalthia, which you’ll have to wait until next year for, although it is near complete as of this interview.

Both are loyal, lifelong comrades of mine dating back to my first band Spawned by Rot and going forward, every appearance of the NightHag and Doctor Bendix were penned with them in mind.

You’re clearly influenced to a large extent by film, but one in particular receives a solid mention in this visitation – the 1922 expressionist horror masterpiece, F.W Murnau‘s Nosferatu. I don’t want to give too many details away, but I was quite thrilled to hear Murnau invoked in ‘The Globe Theater’, as it’s one of my personal favourite films of all time. Why did you select Nosferatu in particular to be included in the tale in this way?

LM: Silent horror has always been my main love of film. I’m very partial to the absolute creep that Murnau conjures in his expressionistic pictures. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari deserves an honorable mention.

Nosferatu is a film humanity is lucky to have access to as all copies were ordered destroyed by Bram Stoker’s estate and it remains one of the most chilling features in cinematic history.

Long ago (in the SBR days) I had very long hair and after George Howard died, I was out of my head with grief. I was in the middle of watching Nosferatu when the thought popped up in my mind “I can get away with looking that evil…”

So I shaved my head in the hopes that seeing a new person in the mirror would shake me from the soul-shattering misery that my life had become. My ex-wife sobbed as I cut my hair off and I never let it grow back.

While Nosferatu is easily in my top five best films of all, I’d list Benjamin Christensen’s 1922 movie Häxan as my favorite.

I will say, it was important that film were integral to the plot, and I wanted to choose excellence to represent that.

Whilst the NightHag series thus far has been undeniably great, it is incredibly theatrical and far more conceptually intense than much of your other work. I dig it, but it’s unfortunately not too hard to imagine that for many standard black metal fans (especially those who may have discovered The Projectionist by way of your other more straightforward musical outlets), what you have created here may all seem “too much”. However, I believe that it is this type of uncompromising art, fearless in approach whilst being brazenly and unapologetically passionate, that will be remembered in time. I might be going out on a limb here but look at artists like Silencer, Rainer Landfermann‘s work with Bethlehem… against the grain and potentially divisive in their performances? Yes. Spoken about and revered in black metal for decades once people catch on? Unquestionably. So after that long-winded lead in, my question is: do you ever get the feeling that you’re a “misunderstood genius”, in a way; creating art that’s years ahead of the curve and that later down the track everyone will discover this stuff and be captivated by it? Dare you hope that your own name would one day be spoken about with the greats?

LM: It is appreciated to be thought of in such a way.

There are easier ways to achieve acclaim, I could squawk devilish epithets and sing monotone but my motives for performing music have always been of an intellectual nature. I’ve no grand desire to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Maybe I’ve been able to skate by before this by having isolated songs/lyrics that function without effort or reading before this, and there’s a huge body of every musical community that are happy doing just that… but I want more.

Some of the deepest pleasure I’ve gotten from VFTNH have been reviews where it was said that due to the storyline, they were forced to follow the lyrics and truly invest of themselves to appreciate the album.

This whole question reminds me of the passage in Oliver Stone’s Doors movie where, upon being shown Jim Morrison’s film in university someone in the crowd yells “YOU NEED YOUR ART SPOONFED TO YOU!”

The Doors had to trim 3.5 minutes of glorious solos from ‘Light my Fire’ to placate the masses and get a number 1 song. I prefer ‘The End’ myself.

We as bands tirelessly promote our wares, but a fan will only get out of an album what they put into it. Or life for that matter…

Anything worth having is worth the effort to pluck that particular fruit. We have created something bold and unusual. The execution of which finds me proud.

Did we make this album for anyone but ourselves? No. (Aside from George)

It would be deeply satisfying to be viewed as something of a pioneer who expanded on the perimeters of Black Metal, but it isn’t my goal. I’m a Projectionist, I have films in my mind to show you and postulating my legacy is quite frankly, something I don’t allow myself time for. I’m too busy making art at a breakneck pace before I’m too old and decrepit to do it anymore. I’m an atheist. This is all I’m ever going to get.

And finally, today we have the great pleasure of premiering a track from the album – the fantastic penultimate composition ‘Bandages Over Boards’. Could you tell us a little about this particular track?

LM: hard to speak too much on this without spoiling the plot…

There has been a huge catastrophic battle between the NightHag and one of the protagonists. The Globe Theater is in shambles, and the survivors believe they’ve achieved victory.

As they repair the decimated cinema, they learn this is not so. Hence “Bandages over Boards”

This act moves along with punch and vigor, taking place right after the violent climax.

Sincerest thanks again for your time, Lörd Matzigkeitus. It’s been a pleasure. Any final words or wisdom for us all?

LM: Death is greedily, hungrily stalking you with cunning as we speak…

Don’t waste a flicker of breath unless it’s what you’d use your last day for.

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Visits From The Nighthag Volume 2 releases 28th June via Appalachian Noise Records.

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Pre-order Visits From The Nighthag on CD, digital or autographed box set from Appalachian Noise Records here.

Support The Projectionist:

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FULL ALBUM PREMIERE – ‘Marquis Of Hell’, by Nocturnes Mist

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We are the wolves of Satan

The true sons of Belial

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Twenty years. Twenty years is a long, long time in black metal. Over these last two decades countless bands have started and finished entire careers and then been largely forgotten, whilst many others that did stay the distance have simply hung around producing albums of questionable quality and touring flaccid, uninspired shows long past their use-by date, a mere shadow of the blazing black flames that once burned within. And then, in extremely rare cases, you might just get a band like Australia’s Nocturnes Mist.

Birthed into blasphemic existence in the heady days of 1997, the six piece of Ominous, Deceiver, Inferus, Zy (also of Ichor), Annunaki (ex-Cauldron Black Ram) and Grotesquery have only gone from strength to indomitable strength. Now, with their absolutely killer new album dropping in a week’s time through Seance Records, the Adelaidian demons have placed themselves firmly in the remarkable position of being over two decades into their career and putting out some of the finest work they’ve ever done. For said album sees the impious pioneers wield a weapon whose blade has been honed further with every countless battle against the hordes of heaven; and you can hear the entire thing here today, as we are beyond pleased and incredibly privileged to bring you the exclusive stream of the fourth Nocturnes Mist full-length, Marquis Of Hell.

So, what torments and agonies does the Marquis have in store? When the ominous introduction of ‘Abyssus’ gives way to the blazing firestorm of ‘Eyes In Fear’ and that no-nonsense, ripping tremolo riff sets in, you instantly know you’re in for a treat. A fluid song that moves from its initial onslaught into a series of evil, dread inducing midsections birthed in 3/4 time and back again; it’s furious, dynamic and dripping in synth that alone calls to mind the morbid glories of the ’90s. The sonorous ‘Cursed’ then slows things down a little and aims for the throat, locking down jaws with a malignant riff to “trap you in hell”… before ‘War Machine’ explodes in a hail of artillery shells and breakneck blasts. This thing absolutely fucking hammers, only broken up by a slightly slower keys-led section with an excellent solo over the top. It’s also around now that you’re reminded how effortlessly and effectively Nocturnes Mist always utilise old-school songwriting variety, a strength that works very well in their favour – in context of the album the impact this track has when it hits is utterly immense. Total energy, total war.

That delicious variety doesn’t take long to be driven home with even greater intensity as the the anthemic swagger and stomp of album centerpiece ‘Wolves Of Satan’ then roars to life. An absolute monster of a song, the diabolically melodic riffs are simply massive – any band would rip their left testicles off and offer them in sacrifice to write a tune this good. One of my favourites, and the perfect counterpoint to the following Southern storm of ‘Marquis Of Hell’. With rabid ferocity the title track tears through varying degrees of carnage on a biblical scale, tearing skin from flesh and flesh from bone in frenzied abandon until a grandiose, despairing conclusion that seals your fate for eternity. In further contrast (I can’t stress enough how each track here has its own identity, and stands alone as memorable and powerful as the next) the penultimate ‘Summoning’ is pure dark poetry, building into a swirling maelstrom that carries into the final movement of this impious series of satanic hymnals; the frenetic opening and slithering, serpentine, beckoning end of ‘Treacherous Ways’ as it entices you into the infernal flames for eternity.

When compared to 2017’s vicious Diabolical Baptism everything sounds great, a more vivid production allowing the leads to strike with greater power. Throatsman Deceiver is in top form too and carrying on his performance from their last opus almost identically, save perhaps a touch more reverb for added atmospheric effect… and all of these ingredients are masterfully blended to create an album that has more variety, ambition and staying power than most of their second-wave ilk. Following on from their superb previous album, Marquis Of Hell feels like these gents couldn’t write a bad song if they tried. This is no retro shit from youngsters looking to recapture glories they weren’t there for. This is pure black fucking metal the way they’ve always done it, stronger than ever, and I hope they continue for another twenty years. Hail Nocturnes Mist, long may they reign in hell.

Marquis Of Hell releases June 13th via Seance Records.

Pre-order Marquis of Hell on cassette or CD from Seance Records‘ webstore here, or on digital, CD or cassette from Bandcamp here.

Support Nocturnes Mist:

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Email: blackmetaldaily@outlook.com

TRACK PREMIERE – Chaînes Fantôme’s ‘DCLXIV’, from ‘Forbidden Rituals for the Destruction of Purity’

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Sociopathy through psychic vampirism

Decadence through self indulgence

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Greetings and salivations, dear readers. Today we have a very special exclusive premiere for you all – and strangely enough I know fairly close to ‘sweet fuck all’ about it.

What you are about to hear landed in BMD‘s fathomless void of despair (aka “inbox”) via the good folk at Akashic Envoy Records a mere few days ago, but quickly proceeded to shred/pleasure my eardrums like the piercing shrieks of a burning nun. What information can I actually provide you with in regards to this mysterious project? Not much – it goes by the name of Chaînes Fantôme (“Ghost Chains”), its debut excretion is entitled Forbidden Rituals for the Destruction of Purity, and it is the sole product of a beast that names himself Diabhal Gormbhrúite.

Intrigued? I was. What Diabhal has conjured here is eleven tracks of harsh, ear-raping RAW black metal with a sound somewhat akin to nails scratching on a coffin lid over and over until it breaks and then clawing upwards from the grave, through dirt and filth… but breaking down all your mental defenses and draining you of your will to live in the process. For buried within the abrasive squall a deep melancholia also afflicts these terrible odes; those who hold their nerve will be rewarded with only deeper agonies as post-punk riffs and other assorted idiosyncrasies filter through the claustrophobic cacophony and alight on you with surprising emotive weight and a considerable amount of pain. There’s no way around it – whether through sheer evil physicality or the infliction of traumatic mental distress, this is a record that will fucking hurt you. Play this shit around your house and there’s a fair chance all your plants will die.

Diabhal himself says of the release:

“This music represents a way to feed from the innocent and prey on the weak. Complete sociopathy through psychic vampirism. Complete decadence through self-indulgence. To tear the throat from the lamb and indulge completely in any vice that one may desire. No remorse. No emotions. Only lavishness and degeneracy.”

By now I’ll be extraordinarily surprised if you aren’t at least a little keen to hear what this sounds like. Thus, BMD is proud to present the first taste of this cruel, decomposing madness to you today in the form of an exclusive track premiere – with no social media or online presence at all and no prior releases this is the very first time any of this diabolical work has seen the cold light of day, so subject yourself to the wretched hell of ‘DCLXIV’ below (the track titles all appear to be Roman numerals, counting backwards from 666) and you’ll be able to hear the rest of Forbidden Rituals for the Destruction of Purity when it is released on an extremely limited run of 25 hand-dubbed tapes, via an as-yet-unannounced surprise drop sometime in the next two weeks.

Not for the weak at heart or the sensitive of ear. The feeble and cowardly must yield and be consumed. Hail Chaînes Fantômes.

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Forbidden Rituals for the Destruction of Purity releases on limited hand-dubbed cassette via a surprise drop on an unknown date before the end of May, under the banner of Akashic Envoy Records.

Order Forbidden Rituals for the Destruction of Purity from the Akashic Envoy Records store here… when it becomes available.

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Support Chaînes Fantômes:

  • No social media or internet presence. Buy the tape.

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Email: blackmetaldaily@outlook.com

ALBUM PREMIERE + Interview: An Exclusive Full Stream of Voëmmr’s ‘O ovnh intot adr mordrb’

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The Red Wine of Death

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Have you ever experienced supernatural phenomena? Heard footsteps down the hall when nobody else is home, or seen objects move of their own accord? Perhaps even encountered the shade of a lingering spirit? The feeling that envelops you when you’re exposed to such otherworldly occurrences is quite indescribable; a mixture of fear, wide-eyed wonder and blood-draining, dry-mouthed dread… which is also a fair approximation of the sensation one is gripped by whilst listening to the sickly, disharmonic depravity emanating from the mysterious Portuguese entity of Voëmmr.

An integral part of the clandestine Aldebaran Circle (a name that should be spoken with increasing reverence these days) alongside Ordem Satânica, Occelensbrigg, Degredo and Trono Além Morte, all their work thus far has been bestowed with an intrinsic sense of the “other” – a sound barely on the edge of this reality, a strangeness exactly unlike anything you’ll have heard before. Their debut album Nox Maledictvs along with the following Sombr Moebrd demo and split with fellow raw sorcerers Sanguine Relic were all superb examples of their queasy, mangled glory that seeps like poison fluid through the gossamer-thin veil between worlds, and now they return crawling and retching from beyond with another unparalleled slab of hallucinogenic ritual madness: O ovnh intot adr mordrb, which Black Metal Daily is incredibly proud to be presenting you with the exclusive full stream of today – alongside a very rare interview with the enigmatic group themselves.

In regards to the album if you’ve been exposed to their conjurations before then you’ll no doubt have an idea what to expect, but not exactly – these men never do the same thing twice. The stale air crackles with alchemical reaction as opening occurence Coecr od Doemrz (part II) creaks and crashes to life, straight into insanity, howling and crazed. Is that a door slamming at 13 seconds in? Are we trapped in here for the duration? Their distinctively unhinged triple-vocal attack and malformed post-punk-esque rhythms begin to place your mind into a state of involuntary spiritual dysphoria as it becomes apparent they’re back with a renewed focus; the rotten organ unsettlingly draped over frantic-yet-detached raw black gives off the bewitching scent of decomposition and burnt sage.

The intro to Vin ad Mordrb showcases their talent for creating a vibe with minimal actual instrumentation. A solitary guitar and the hiss of tape is all you hear for at least 30 seconds, yet it’s unsettling as hell and when the song itself breaks out, it doesn’t so much “break out” as collapse into a shaking, rattling display of shambolic violence and preternatural terror. Del ed Ovtmn revolves around a repeating motif and frantic, minimalist beat which builds steady anxiety… then the ten minute Profvndr is simply stunning as the vocal torment reaches spectacularly inhuman levels and the track itself is layer upon layer of overwhelming melancholia and abject misery.

No matter how frequently you submit yourself to their sound, it never fails to be shocking. O ovnh intot adr mordrb is no different and proudly stands on it’s own; with a murkier blood than Sombr Moebrd it’s a subtly more menacing assault on the senses and exudes a more evenly spread assortment of necromantic vibes than the split-down-the-middle Nox Maledictvs. You may find yourself questioning: is this madness, the deterioration of my mental faculties? Nay – just the subterranean wraiths of Voëmmr infecting our reality with all the malignant malevolence usually hidden on the other side. For O ovnh intot adr mordrb isn’t just an album – it’s a portal to another plane of non-existence. You don’t merely listen to Voëmmr‘s black work, you experience it. You feel it. Let the spirits of the dead flow through you via the streaming link below… and read on for the briefest of glimpses beyond the dark curtain.

Vinyl and digital pre-orders available now for a May 13th release through Harvest Of Death / Signal Rex, cassette coming soon when the official label store is back online after a brief hiatus. Hails.

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Hails, Voëmmr! It’s a true honour to speak with you today; communications with Aldebaran Circle members are few and far between, and I cannot find any prior interviews that you have done. So, please allow me to begin with a little history. I recall a recent interview with Degredo where they mention that they existed before the concept of the Aldebaran Circle was created, and that their members formed part of the genesis of many of the resulting bands. Did this have any bearing on how was Voëmmr was formed, or were you also active for quite some time beforehand? Do you share any members with other bands in the Circle?

– Hails. If you want to know, we share some members from other bands of Aldebaran Circle. But it is useless to talk about that, to talk about persons. What is important is the atmosphere of the music and its dark feelings. Black metal is not a vulgar “human” form of creation.

Honestly I think its wrong to listen to music and think about who is the human beyond that. We feel the truth is to get involved with the essence of music, and his demonic essence.

Now to the present. Your second full-length album O ovnh intot adr mordrb will be releasing soon; I’ve had the privilege of hearing it and it’s nothing short of a hideously warped, corroded and terrifying magickal masterpiece. How do you feel about the album in comparison to your previous works?

– We created it in a very natural way. We feel it sounds even more magical, hypnotic and dark and we don’t want to compare it with our other works because every single one has his moments and emotions on its way. It’s like every record has its own experience. We are very pleased with all releases so far otherwise we wouldn’t put it out.

I notice you once again use ‘gloatre’ for your titles, which is of course the esoteric language created by Vordb of Belkètre and utilised frequently by Les Legions Noires. There are many similarities between Voëmmr and Belkètre (and indeed the Aldebaran Circle and LLN) but in your own words, why have you decided to carry on the use of gloatre in your work? I also have to ask – is there a way to translate it?

– It was inspired by the “LLN” and “gloatre”, and of course they were are an inspiration among lots of Black Metal bands from the ‘90s because we breed about those days. Our lyrics have an approaching to “gloatre” but it’s not the same; I find it interesting to use a language not interpreted or recognized by the civil society. The Voëmmr lyrics talk about solitude, night and how it is to live isolated from the “normal” world in general. Translated to english this album is called “The Red Wine of Death”.

The album almost seems like a spell, starting off with intensity yet becoming more chaotic, queasily resonant and completely ensnaring the further you move through it. Is that part of what you aim to achieve? What is the intent behind this music you create?

– As we said before, our creations were done in a very natural way.

We had some riffs and compositions in mind, we can say half was composed and half was a bit improvised, but what is important is the ritualistic essence in our music.

It’s very important for us to create and record all the instruments at the same time with a ritualistic approach and atmosphere, like sort of a trance, drowning into the night.

Yours is a distinctive and highly unconventional approach to black metal; strange and otherworldly, with an almost improvised quality which continues strongly through this latest album. Does improvisation – or channeling perhaps – play a large part in the creation of your releases? How do you approach recording the work of Voëmmr?

– We feel our music as ritual. We do not think if it is unconventional or not. What is fundamental is that it sounds dark, occult, magickal, with deep devotion…

We find improvisation a very good instrument to get what we want, but not all the time of course. The recording process and mix is made by us as well we don’t want normal humans to touch our recordings and talk about production stuff. This is not for them.

Your 2017 debut album Nox Maledictvs was one of my favourites released that year, and if memory serves me correctly was recorded over two nights at an abandoned farm in the countryside. Were the circumstances for the creation of O ovnh intot adr mordrb anything like that this time around?

– Was created in two nights in an abandoned farm with a ritualistic atmosphere, black candles and under the influence of wine and death. The new álbum O ovnh intot adr mordrb had the participation from two new elements in a close studio known by us, recorded with our material.

The first composition on the album is ‘Coecr od Doemrz (Part II)’, which appears to be the follow on from your contribution to the Invicta Requiem Mass IV compilation from November last year. Why did you decide to do a second part to this track? Were they originally written together?

– Where the original was written, composed and recorded in the same night the two takes of it, one is a bit bigger and ends in a different way from the other and the vocals are different as well. We were very satisfied with both of the recordings, so it was the appropriate track for the IRM IV compilation before we release the album.

Speaking of Invicta Requiem Mass IV – that was absurdly good lineup for the festival and one I would have given my left arm to attend. How was that show for you? Does Voëmmr perform at many live gatherings?

– It was our first and only live gig. It was very special for us, with the appropriate dark and occult atmosphere.

We do not see Voëmmr to play in a live open air during the day light and don’t find reason to play live very often. We prefer to play from time to time in certain places with the right promoters and atmosphere.

As previously mentioned, I can’t find any information available about you anywhere, which is a fantastic throwback to the clandestine days of black metal – the mystery of who is creating this art helps with immersion into it, in my eyes. You clearly feel secrecy and shadow is still important in black metal today – so conversely, what do you think about the modern age of immediacy and connectivity, with fans expecting to know everything about artists and many black metal bands being all about how many likes/plays/follows they can obtain on social media?

– We think these days of modern Black Metal are a pure shit with no serious actions and loads of expeculations, and no devotion to the dark arts and music. The levels of lie are high.

We prefer to do our own stuff. We don’t need to put any names on our records and follow with our devotion.

We mentioned LLN earlier in this conversation, and they are often mentioned in the promo for your releases. Do you count yourselves as having been particularly influenced by them? Are there any other great past or present sources of inspiration for you, musical, artistic or otherwise?

– We think of everyone as influences. We listen to a lot of LLN stuff, but there are a lot of occult and raw underground black metal bands all over the world.

Yes, as I said before we are very influenced by the ‘90s Black Metal spirit and we do our own interpretation of it. We only listen to underground Black Metal as long as we find it true and evil with no bullshit.

You’ve also recently partaken in a great split with Sanguine Relic, another outstanding raw act. How did this collaboration come to pass? Do you listen to many current black metal artists?

– Yes, some Sanguine Relic material came to our hands and we found it interesting, and the more we knew about this act the more we identified with it later. Then we met the one behind S.L and it was natural to make a split. We are always looking for good and true Black Metal underground stuff.

The album, like all of your releases to date, has been released under the banner of Harvest of Death / Signal Rex. It seems to be a very strong partnership; how have you found the collaboration thus far?

– We are very satisfied with the work from Harvest of Death / Signal Rex in general, it have been released great part from all our projects. Things work, simple and straightforward, so we don’t need to change.

And one final question – Voëmmr has been a rather prolific entity over the last couple of years. What comes next for the band?

– We don’t make “future” plans at all. Things come when they had to come.

Once again, sincerest thanks for your time, it’s been a pleasure. Any final words for us all?

– Thanks for this interview. Keep the good work in order of the underground Black Metal.

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Pre-order O ovnh intot adr mordrb on vinyl or cassette tape from Harvest Of Death/Signal Rex here (once the store is back online), or digitally and on vinyl from Bandcamp here.

Support Voëmmr:

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The Terrible End – The Final Primogenorum Interview and full stream of ‘Ye Last Ordeal’

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A decade spent walking the Path of Darkness.

A decade of in the thrall of Inhumanity and Madness.

A decade of devotion to the Throne of the Adversary.

2008 – 2019

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For the initiated, over the last ten years Ukrainian project Primogenorum has been one of the most wretched and thrilling hidden gems exuding from the subterranean raw black scene. A series of superbly torturous demos, abhorrent splits and two soul-rending full length albums have plumbed the depths of filth, impiety and agony like none other – and now, after more than ten years of existing as a churning black hole from which no light could ever hope to escape, head practitioner Lucifug has decided it is all over.

Primogenorum is no more.

Why is this so? Speculation on this matter is unnecessary, as today BMD is privileged to present not only the sole exclusive full stream of his horrifying parting salvo Ye Last Ordeal but Lucifug himself has granted us one last interview regarding Primogenorum, in which he delves into all the depraved details of the final recordings and the reasons behind the death of the project. The limited CD was already released today and is available for purchase via Lunar Apparitions (a division of Nebular Carcoma Records) as we speak, so without further ado – listen, read… and hail the infernal memory of Primogenorum.

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Hails Lucifug. It is an honour to speak to you today, especially for such a significant reason – after ten years of hell, Primogenorum is no more. So, I must start with the question everyone will be asking: why is this the end of Primogenorum? Has this decision been brewing for some time?

– I created Primogenorum in order to express my vision of Darkness and Inhumanity. This was the birth of the spiritual essence, expressed in a raw audio stream with a lyrical component that was most clear and relevant to me. It was also connected with some occult practices and their influences on me at the first time I performed them. At the moment I have said and expressed everything that I wanted with Primogenorum, and I do not want to repeat and stagnate. The decision came at the time of the last recording, and will not be reconsidered.

You aren’t leaving us without one final stab into the heart of humanity, however; you’re also bestowing one last curse upon us in the aptly titled Ye Last Ordeal. It’s a superb record, as loathful and miasmic as anything you’ve done before. How do you feel about it now that it is on the cusp of release? Were you mindful whilst creating it that it would be the last recorded moments anyone might ever hear of Primogenorum?

– I am pleased with the result of this recording, but there were no special settings for this release. Everything was recorded the same way as before, with a slight difference in mixing. I didn’t have thoughts that the latest release would be somehow special. Everything was recorded quite naturally for Primogenorum.

The album is only four tracks long, but does a fair job of displaying almost every facet of your sound – ‘Trail Of Black Fire’ is seething with mid-paced menace, ‘Ominous Nights’ is crepuscular melancholia incarnate, ‘On The Ground Of The Dying Man’ is aggressive and hate-filled whilst ultimate rite ‘Sacrilegious Atrocity’ heads deep into wretched, experimental noise-torture territory. Was this dynamic approach intentional from the beginning of the creative process?

– No, the first three tracks were recorded and presented in the chronological order of their writing, but in the last track I wanted to do something freezing and truly terrifying and weave into the guitar-noise the sounds of human life that are fading away in violent torment. For this, I used a real snuff movie. The idea is that after listening to the final track, an unsophisticated listener will remain with the CD like a corpse in his arms and feeling a little discouraged.

I can glean some fair insight from the track titles, but have not had a chance to read the lyrics as I don’t believe they are available; so for clarification – what topics do you cover on this release?

– All lyrics will be available in this release. It is more related to the personal vision of the Sinister Path. The first track is an allegory on the path of knowledge of the Black Work, the second track is a great ritual as a result of which the human essence will be irrevocably transformed into inhuman. Both together they form last ordeal of a pitiful human soul on the way to Perdition. The third track is the self-awareness among the suffering and dying humanity in whose veins laid murder and self-destruction. It seems to me that in the next century mankind will suffer a big and terrible bloody harvest, something like a world war or at least a very big war. There are too many contradictions in the human world, and they tend to spill out of from the cup in the form of bloody conflicts. The fourth track is strangulation and death. The corpse on a cold floor. The ordeal is completed.

Following on from that, have you felt a thematic shift in the project over the last ten years? Has the way you write lyrics changed at all?

– The subject of the project has always been in more or less the same plane – Darkness and suffering on the way to Her, dehumanization, depersonalization and rebirth in Perdition. Nothing much has changed. I just think that I said everything I thought and wanted to say.

In my opinion, Ye Last Ordeal might just be overall the best you’ve ever sounded; there’s a thickness to the guitars that hits me in just the right spot. Were your production methods or perhaps gear any different this time around?

– Everything was recorded under the same conditions on my modestly accumulated equipment as before, only a small difference in mixing. Also, some guitar parts are duplicated because there is no bass here. Vocals are recorded as before in abandoned underground locations (I no longer go to rehearsal rooms or studios for this).

Seeing as it is now the end times of the project, let us return to its conception for a brief moment. Casting your mind back – what made you first want to start Primogenorum, and how did it eventually come into existence?

– I have always been a fan of heavy & black metal, and since childhood I have been interested in themes of Satanism, black magic, and homicide. Gradually there was a need for self-expression, and along the way I got involved in a deeper study of the Black Work. Everything went quite organically and naturally for me. In Primogenorum, the principles of my understanding and desire for rebirth were laid. Thus was born the spiritual essence, which is perfect for me and is a standard. At the moment it is fully formed and I do not need to continue this further.

Do you feel those same motivations and intentions that you commenced the project with have carried on throughout the life of the band?

– To a greater or lesser extent yes.

The CD is being released by Lunar Apparitions (a division of Nebular Carcoma), a suitable home for this death sermon. How have you found working with them? Are there any further formats in the works to be released?

– We released a tape version of the Damned Hearts album with alternative mix on Nebular Carcoma before, and I am quite satisfied with the result. No other formats are expected yet, although I would not mind the same edition in 10” format.

What lies in the future for you now? You have another excellent project already in Dis Orcus, will you be focusing all your energies on that?

– In the «future» the fog covers everything and almost nothing is visible. There is an idea to focus on the Tangos des Todes project and turn it into a more traditional black metal project with some noise elements. But I will not guess anything and promise. Dis Orcus is project of Haruspex (he recorded bass guitar for the Damned Hearts album) I just wrote the lyrics and record vocals, and the new release of this project depends entirely on him. And I will gladly take part in this if the opportunity comes again.

One final question: Primogenorum has always represented to me the pure spirit of black metal, a channel through which all the hatred and negativity this world has to offer can pass. After a decade of dark art and destruction – how would you hope Primogenorum is remembered, if you have any hopes at all?

– Hope is for the weak. I don’t think too much about it. I always had a sincere desire to make ominous music without any compromises, since black metal has become considerably rotten and humanized in our days. I like to express myself in black metal and if someone else likes it, then that’s fine. If you don’t like it, then just go away and die.

And that is it. Sincerest thanks for your time Lucifug, and eternal gratitude for bringing us all closer to the abyss through the untouchable darkness of Primogenorum. I will leave the final words to you:

– See you in Hell!

Adalord Satan Haegl!

~

Purchase Ye Last Ordeal on MCD from Lunar Apparitions / Nebular Carcoma here.

Support Primogenorum:

  • No social media or official sites.

~

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Email: blackmetaldaily@outlook.com

TRACK PREMIERE – Dwarrowdelf’s ‘The Line of Thrór’

Indulge me for a moment, dear readers, for I must tell a tale. When I first was given the opportunity to listen through the upcoming Dwarrowdelf album Of Dying Lights I was exhausted after a particularly trying day, but I simply had to listen. Previous album The Sons Of Fëanor was one of my low-key favourite albums of last year (and epic black usually doesn’t float my boat, so that’s quite the feat) so there was no way I was putting this one off – I started my first playthrough before bed. Naturally, as one is oft to do when extremely tired and safely ensconced amidst downy blankets and soft pillows, I fell asleep.

Now, I always sleep with music on. Every single night and usually the more intensely hyperblasting/drone/trance-like the better. This time, however; something happened that has never, to the best of my memory, happened before.

The music from this album infiltrated my dream. Nay, not infiltrated, as that’s not entirely unusual – it became my dream. As I slumbered I was transported to a realm within the sound, surrounded by these unbelievably stunning melodies, completely entranced as the energy of the audio filled my entire being. It felt like I had by chance discovered the ultimate music, or the perfect song; every note so precisely selected and placed it created an overwhelming, magical sensation. I remember being in tears, a flood of endorphins exploding in my mind simply from experiencing its simple sequence of immaculate notes – total rapture.

Crazy dream, right? Well, imagine my surprise when after waking and dismissing it as the fanciful exaggerations of a consciousness at rest in the arms of Morpheus, I later threw Of Dying Lights on in the car for a second attempt – and the exact melodies and songs that so entranced and intoxicated me in my dreams began to caress my ears. Let me tell you: I almost crashed the fucking car.

It’s always wonderful to experience a project develop from the first demo stages into the more fully realised vision of the artist. It’s even better when the artist happens to be nice guy like Tom O’Dell, and what he has achieved on only the third Dwarrowdelf offering makes me genuinely happy to see and is nothing short of amazing. If his first two releases were finding his sound and perfecting his formula, Of Dying Lights sounds like he is perilously close to achieving his final, ultimate form – everything is more confident, and from the refined songwriting to the fact that he’s made the decision to sing almost entirely in cleans, the aura emitted is one of total control and command over his talents. When opening track ‘Arien‘ kicks into its superb galloping midsection the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, and that is by no means the only time that’ll happen throughout the journey – the album is overflowing with moments that will at least make you sit up and take notice, and at best leave you breathless. This isn’t just another solid improvement, it’s Dwarrowdelf on the verge of becoming completely world class.

But you don’t have to take my word for it – not only are we premiering the second advance track from the album here today in ‘The Line of Thrór‘ (ahead of the full release on March 30th through the twin excellencies of Flowing Downward and Fólkvangr Records), but our favourite Tolkien fan Tom himself is back to have a chat with us about all things Of Dying Lights. So listen, read, and get ready for another thrilling journey deeper into the ever-expanding lore of Dwarrowdelf.

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Hello again Tom! It’s an absolute pleasure to have you back; I hope this day finds you well.

As we spoke about last time, the theme of the first Dwarrowdelf EP was Dwarves, the debut full-length centered on Elves… this time you’ve stated that your superb new album Of Dying Lights “loosely revolves around themes of light and darkness in Middle Earth”. Does this mean there’s no overarching concept? What sort of tales are touched upon this time?

– Hi Aaron, great to be back! Thanks for having me again, I’ll try not to waffle on for too long… Thematically this album is really just a bit of a variety, to be honest. ‘Where Daylight Dies’ and ‘The Line of Thrór’ are almost a two-part tale of the Dwarves and their expulsion from Erebor, but the others are all standalone. ‘Arien’ is about the sun rising and symbolically representing the Age of Men, ‘Minas Anor’ is almost about the sun “setting” on Gondor, and then ‘The Withering Woods’ is about the plight of the Ents. The Sons of Fëanor was obviously very story driven, whereas this time I decided to just let the lyrics be more thematic and add more to the overall atmosphere than push a narrative.

One of the biggest changes that’s immediately apparent is your vocals – you’ve ‘done an Akerfeldt’ and ditched the growl! In my opinion it sounds fantastic and works exceptionally well with the new material, but what led to the decision to sing almost entirely in cleans for this album – and even get Jack Reynolds (of Asira and Bykürius) in to perform some harsh vox instead of yourself?

– I think I may have mentioned last time how harsh vocals have always been something I’ve done out of necessity; whilst I love listening to them, I’ve never particularly enjoyed doing them! Maybe that’s the classical singer in me… The music I’ve made as Dwarrowdelf has always been intended to be a soundtrack of sorts, and it became apparent quite early on in the writing for this album that I wanted the vocals to be smooth and melodic. Couple that with the fact that most of the reviews of the last album seemed to focus on the singing as a strength, and my mind was all made up!

That’s not to say that Dwarrowdelf will be a totally harsh vocal free zone from now on; the Bathory cover I’ve done for the upcoming Fólkvangr Records compilation album has plenty of them. Being a cover, the last track, needed harsh vocals, and Jack’s been a firm supporter of the project from day one (not to mention awesome vocalist), so I sent him the instrumental to see if he’d be interested. The semi-clean ridiculous/brilliant glam scream before the final chorus was entirely his idea and all blame can be directed squarely at his feet.

The album contains some material written before The Sons of Feanor yet somehow seems like an even larger step up than its predecessor did; it now almost feels like Dwarrowdelf has evolved into its epic final form. In our last chat you sounded like you were already well into the planning stages for this album whilst polishing off the first one – did you purposefully hold that material back for Of Dying Lights, or was it just excess goodness that happened to work well here?

– I think maybe ‘The Withering Woods’ was half written before Sons came out, as well as a song that featured bits of ‘The Line of Thrór’ in a different arrangement. I spent a lot of time honing everything to ensure it all worked; disciplined self editing is an essential task in a solo project, no matter how painful it is. That being said, I really didn’t expect it to come together so quickly! I fully intended to spend a while slowly perfecting the songs, but luckily things just clicked into place.

I absolutely feel like this is a major step forward for the project. In hindsight, Sons relied a little too heavily on Summoning-worship, especially in the first few tracks; these songs feel like I’ve blended my influences in a more unique manner to create a distinct niche in the epic/atmospheric metal pantheon. The all-clean vocals approach probably helps with creating that distinction to be fair! I’ve updated the Dwarrowdelf playlist I curate on Spotify to reflect the different influences that went into this one; hopefully there’s a few surprises on there for people!

I have to say, that cover art is spectacular. You’ve utilized the considerable skills of Jordan Grimmer Art again and it’s almost unbelievable how perfectly emblematic it is of the music itself; before you even hear a note you’re already being helplessly drawn in to the atmosphere of the record. Had he heard the album before creating the piece?

– He hadn’t actually, although maybe I should offer… although I have no idea if he’s into metal! Jordan’s an awesome artist to work with; he’s great at really talking through the designs in detail so that everyone’s on the same page, and absolutely took my vision on board. We discussed how great the play between light and dark is in the imagery of Balin’s Tomb in The Fellowship of the Ring, especially considering the lyrical themes of the album. He then went above and beyond with the details, adding elements of the land of the dead, and his own little details… as you say, it absolutely draws you into the atmosphere of the record!

It turns out Of Dying Lights has a heavy Sojourner connection – the talented Mike Lamb produced the album and Chloe Bray contributes some beautiful guest vocals to the stunning Where Daylight Dies (one of my personal album highlights). How did these collaborations come about, and what was it like to work with them?

– Mike’s a good friend, and he’s always been super supportive with offering advice for Dwarrowdelf. When he started up his studio (Onieros Studio), I asked if he’d be interested in mixing this album for me, and he jumped on the opportunity! He really understood the vision I was working towards, and was so instrumental in shaping the details of the production… with the amount of layers going on, there was a lot to discuss!

The part in ‘Where Daylight Dies’ where Chloe sings was originally a deep bassy chant, but it just didn’t fit with the ethereal nature of the section. I think Mike suggested Chloe, and I certainly didn’t take much convincing. She rewrote the vocal part, adding some mystical harmonies that I absolutely love! I can’t thank the both of them enough for the support and work they’ve put in, the album wouldn’t be the same without them… I definitely owe them both a drink or three when Sojourner play near me later this year!

Continuing the Sojourner love-in, the album closes with a cover of not one, but two songs rolled into a single composition: Sojourner’s ‘Homeward’ and Summoning’s ‘Land Of The Dead’, seamlessly blended to create the epic journey of ‘Home Of The Dead’. That’s something you don’t see too often; what was your inspiration for this grand alchemy and how did you go about pulling it off?

– Believe it or not, this actually started as a joke… However, after messing about and roughly throwing the two together, I realised that it could actually be an awesome closing track for the album. The two tracks fit together creepily well, albeit with a few note changes here and there, so most of it was quite easy to combine. It was then just a case of figuring out which vocals to put where, and adding little details – I also slipped in a little trill from ‘The Shadowed Road’, but I won’t say where! I’m really hoping people like this one, it’s certainly a different approach to a standard cover and I’m so pleased with how it turned out; Jack’s vocal performance absolutely makes it.

The great Fólkvangr Records is once again handling the tape edition, but this time you’ve also teamed up with Flowing Downward for a digipack CD and shirt release. Given that Flowing Downward is the sub-label of the legendary Avantgarde Music I’d imagine you’d be quite pleased with that! I’m also hoping for a vinyl edition… is there any news on that front?

– I was planning on sending the album to Avantgarde once it was finished, but Andrea from Flowing Downward got in touch about halfway through the mixing phase, asking if I’d be interested in working together! I’d heard great things about the label, and really love some of the releases they’ve been putting out (Abstract Void being a personal highlight; synthwave and black metal have no business working that well together!). Flowing Downward have been great to work with, and I’m confident that it’s only the beginning of a great working relationship!

I hope there’ll be vinyl too – it all depends on how the CD and shirt sales go I believe, so you should all buy many, many copies for you and all your friends.

And finally – we’re premiering the second preview song from the album here today, ‘The Line of Thrór’… tell us a little about this particular track, if you would!

– This is one of my favourites on the album; it was originally a lot slower, but I figured that most of the songs were quite slow and atmospheric. After a major Wintersun binge, I upped the BPM and really brought out the melodeath influences to create a nice change of pace. As mentioned, it goes hand in hand with ‘Where Daylight Dies’ as a story of Dwarven misfortune, although this one is more of a triumphant march!

Sincerest thanks once again for your time, Tom; Of Dying Lights is an absolute triumph. Any final words you’d like to leave us with?

– Thanks again for having me, it’s always a pleasure; your questions always get me talking for ages in the best way! I’m really glad you like the album, and I hope everyone enjoys the new song. Stay tuned for the full release on March 30th!

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Pre-order Of Dying Lights digitally or on CD from the Dwarrowdelf Bandcamp here, on CD from Flowing Downward here, or on cassette from Fólkvangr Records here.

Support Dwarrowdelf:

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FULL STREAM PREMIERE: Vorga’s ‘Radiant Gloom’

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Rejoice, dear readers, for today bestows upon us a fine bounty: an exclusive stream of Radiant Gloom, the ripping debut EP from the horde of multinational newcomers collectively known as the cosmic entity VORGA.

Active since 2016 the mysterious quartet of Atlas, Volker, Jervas and Пешо Спейса hail physically from Scotland, Bulgaria and Germany, but with no Metal Archives page, freshly minted socials and a minimum of other information available anywhere else at the time of writing, it’s difficult to say where these gents have musically materialized from prior to combining their powers. However, there is one thing that’s unmistakably clear – Radiant Gloom is not your typical debut.

From the moment opening salvo The Black Age bursts from your speakers with fierce intent, it becomes immediately apparent that what we are dealing with here is not the work of mere amateurs. They dub themselves “modern black metal” and modern it most certainly is, with a sound that borrows just as heavily from the cold and swirling violence of Scandinavian black as it does other influences like the compelling crunch of Gothenburg melodeath, all dragged into the current era by plenty of fresh ideas and a polished production as clear as the starry sky. Vicious vocals tear through the mix as the thundering drums propel the track forward and riffs switch from dissonant celestial shimmers to down-picked muscular menace with seamless ease; as first impressions go it’s a doozy, and definitely gives the impression that this is not their first rodeo.

And there are no one trick ponies in this rodeo, either. On Argil the gents take a more introspective and melancholic approach to the first half before exploding into a blasting black firestorm that could rattle the heavens, then settling back into a satisfying conclusion. It’s a great tune; no extra bullshit, just a solid grasp of effective songwriting. Divine is glorious and as its name suggests is possessed of a galloping celestial majesty, while the ultimate rite of Hunger marries a barely-contained seething desire to sink it’s teeth into your flesh with a brooding nihilism and feeling of helplessness, something that has been building over the course of the EP but comes to a head in the final throes.

It’s an impressive first statement, aggressive and physical yet with surprising depth. It can manhandle you whilst making you think – and BMD is proud as hell to present the full stream for you today. So listen below, grab a self-released digipack CD (pre-orders available now) and remember the name Vorga – this will not be the last time you hear it.

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Radiant Gloom self-releases 20th February on digipack CD. Pre-orders available now from Bandcamp.

Support Vorga:

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