Noteworthy Report: April 2017

Welcome my friends to another VERY late Noteworthy Report of Against The Fragmentaire. ATF is a project I run on my free time, which is becoming more of a rarity nowadays, but I try to keep active no matter the circumstances. Want to know why?

In today’s overcrowded metal scene, more than 100 albums are getting released every month. Granted, some of them aren’t all too great, but how can anyone tell? Nobody has time to listen to every single one of them. That’s what the Noteworthy Report is all about. Every month –or so- I gather my notes and talk about the best releases that usually pass under the radars of big publications.

Enough with the chit chat, on with my list for April!

Prometheus – Consumed In Flames

I’ve known Prometheus through some demo tracks and I’ve known them to be a Hellenic black metal band. So I was a little surprised when their debut landed. Here they have a clearly more blackened Death orientation. The album is packed with great riffs, inventive and intense drumming and occult atmospheres. An absolute must have!

 

Atrexial – Souverain

We stay in the blackened death metal ballpark, this time coming from Spain. Bombastic songs clearly inspired from the Swedish scene, with Marduk-esque riffs but on a different track. Some of the songs may sound unfitting, but since this is their debut I find it natural to explore a few paths and wander off from time to time. Don’t let this fact turn you down and enjoy this fresh release in any case.

 

Corpus Diavolis – Atra Lumen

Melodic Black Metal from France, bold enough to step outside the dissonant prog/black playground that has been set up there. Their music is brilliant, their drumming has a spark of genius, but their most striking aspect are the theatric vocals. A true masterpiece.

 

Ulvegr – Titahion: Kaos Manifest

Sometimes I just have to stand in awe before the talent of certain musicians. The guys responsible for this release just spit excellent album after excellent album on an unmatched pace (and under many names: Elderblood, KZOHH, GreyAblaze and more). In this 4th full length they touch on the Egyptian mysticism (bringing to mind the Greek band Acherontas at points) and they intertwine songs with prayer-like intros, the way Acheron did in “Rites of the Black Mass”. One of the best releases I heard lately…

 

Cult Of Erinyes – Tiberivs

Occult progressive black metal from the masters of the kind. The duo from Belgium returns with an album that won’t let down any of their followers. Hit play, breathe its intoxicating fumes and travel somewhere dark, to a place you can call “your unknown”…

 

So that was it. I still haven’t posted my “through the cracks” NWR, but I sure will. But first I have a review in the writing, so stay tuned because this won’t take too long to finish. As always, if you have any suggestions leave a message or send me a mail…

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Interview with GreyAblaze

Back in December I had a great opportunity to talk with Astargh regarding GreyAblaze’s fresh full length album. As a musician myself, I am always curious about the way other people of my ilk work as well as the business end of things. If you too are curious, read below and be enlightened.

Give me a short bio of your project.

The project has no biography. Once I had the idea to write DSBM project, but it turned to something else.

The album was recorded back in 2013 but got released just now. Why is that?

I didn’t want to give it indiscriminately to someone, all proposals for the production of the album were unsuitable. Ashen Dominion did everything as I wanted, so they released the album.

 

What is the feedback so far? How are the sales going?

I do not know how many CDs were sold, I do not follow it. But we got a lot of positive feedback.

Now that the album is out, would you change anything in it?

No, everything turned out as planned. All I wanted to do now, will be on the new album.

You haven’t gone into the usual great lengths that most labels require to market the album (professional photo shootings, videoclip etc). Was this deliberate? Are you happy with the label’s support so far?

Here, it was not necessary. There are music and images in the lyrics. Think that this album not needs in musicians photos and music clips, we give to listeners the freedom of imagination.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

It is very difficult to say where it all comes from. I think it come from inner state, some feelings, from music of old bands, such as Queen or Pink Floyd.

What are the lyrics about?

All the lyrics for the album written by Helg (Khors, Ulvegr, KZOHH).  They didn’t have some sending or concepts, but they are filled with a very expressive images that emphasized Greyablaze music.

What is your creative routine? Can you tell me anything about your favorite gear or software you use?

Usually I compose music at home. When all the demos are ready, we start working on the Dark Essence Recording Studio. At work, I use a lot of software, the main DAW – Pro Tools, also I use many Kontakt libraries. I have old American guitars BC Rich and Jackson, I used them on all recordings.

 

What are your future plans with GreyAblaze? Are you planning to play live shows?

Now I compose a new album which I want to release this year. About the live performances anything difficult to say. If there are proposals, we will play concerts, but there is the same problem as with Elderblood – for organizers of concerts is difficult to carry a band from Ukraine.

Any albums you listened lately that you would like to share with us?

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
Cult of Luna / Julie Christmas – Mariner

What can you tell me about your local scene? Any bands we should lookout?

I do not watch the local scene. All worthy groups are already known.

What do you know of the Greek metal scene? Do you have any favorite bands?

From the Greek scene, I heard a lot of bands. Favorites are Septic Flesh and Acherontas.

Anything else you want to add?

Thanx for the interest in GreyAblaze. Horns Up!

greyablaze-2

 

To stay tuned with GreyAblaze, follow the band at:

https://www.facebook.com/greyablaze

https://vk.com/greyablaze

Review: GreyAblaze – GreyAblaze (2016)

greyablaze-cover

GreyAblaze is the debut album of the homonymous Ukranian atmospheric post-black metal band. Formed in 2013 by veterans of the scene (having served in bands like Ygg, Ulvegr, Nokturnal Mortum and more), this is their first ever release, yet it shows their proficiency both in performance as well as songwriting.

The album blurs the lines and easily crosses the boundaries of genres. There is a calmness and a sadness present throughout the five beautiful compositions, and a recurring theme of soundtrack-like melodies. If you play this on repeat, you lose sense of time and it feels like one huge track.

Inventive use of synths and pianos, mesmerizing guitar work, powerful riffs combined with sensational dual solos, elaborate drumming pointing the right dynamics and a distinct bass that ties everything together. On top of them all, vocals that carry an essence of despair that matches the gloomy mood of the music.

The mix is clean and has enough air for the dynamics to unfold properly. The album feels shorter than its actual duration, which is indicative of how good it is. I have spent the past two days listening to it and I am confident I will keep getting back to it for years to come. An absolute masterpiece. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

For more info visit

https://www.facebook.com/greyablaze/

http://shop.ashen-dominion.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=62&product_id=50

 

SMT/ATF Episode 20: Ukraine

You know what happens when you haven’t slept for two days and then throw a party, right? Well that happened to me and here I am, waking up after some fifteen hours of sleep and almost a day late to post the next installment of Against the Fragmentaire, a series about Ukraine… ehhrmmmm, about the weird cases of metal music –weird cases ms. Moenia, not only obscure underground bands (let alone I bet Andrew considers Cannibal Corpse underground too :P)…

 

As my sleepy state already mentioned, today we are going to see what Ukraina, or ‘Borderland’ has to offer. Andrew is SO not going to like this…!

 

The first Ukrainian band I ever got exposed were Nokturnal Mortum a NS black metal band that knows how to instill the tradition of both the land and the genre in their songs. Excellent melodic yet extreme music…

 

Another band that also knows this specific mix of traditional Pagan Black metal is Kroda. I know nothing about them and it is quite late to check them out, but the one CD I have is quite interesting…

 

All that being said, Ygg is probably the minority here. They are quite new but their atmospheric black metal doesn’t let that show. Why they are the minority then? Only because they aren’t knee-deep into pagan tradition…

 

And now for something a little different… Azuth are walking the path of Summoning, but on a more experimental track. They don’t always hit the bulls eye, but they sure are interesting to the point of getting a slot in here…

 

Do you remember Portal, a death metal band that sounds like recording inside a washing machine? I have for you something like it but a bit more melodic. I remember that Blood Of Kingu was a shock to me. I felt like I hit gold. And then my ex-bassist told me of Portal just in case I really wanted to get dirty. Jackpot!

 

The last band for today is Drudkh, my personal favorite of this short list. Atmospheric, pagan, yet lately with a twist of progressive jazz stuff. They are the best choice for a trip…

 

Hmmm, seems that so much black metal is happening in Ukraina these days, right? Have a nice week everyone…