Thursday, 27 September 2012

Blood Mortized - Blood Mortized

BLOOD MORTIZED -  Blood Mortized (VRYKOBLAST - CD 2009)
Wow, maybe Blood Mortized shouldn’t be labelled as the so called “super-group”, as the people who play in it aren’t fuckin’ rock stars, but it is definitely worth to mention that people like Mattias Borgh (ex Crypt of Kerberos), Mattias Parkkila (ex Egypt, ex Stigmata, nowadays Malfeitor), Benny Moberg (Malfeitor) and Anders Biazzi (ex Amon Amarth) are involved in the band. And while some of such bands turn out to be a disappointment, like Crucifyre and Mr Death for instance, then I must say that I liked Blood Mortized quite much. First thing, which I’ve heard from this band was their tape EP “Bestial”, with three absolutely crushing death metal tracks. Soon I decided also to get the debut CD, what wasn’t so easy, as the label, which released it - Vrykoblast Productions from Singapore – had really poor distribution. I don’t even know if they still exist or if they didn’t fuck the band up in the ass after the release of “Blood Mortized”, but fuck that… I’ve got the CD now, so I’m happy.
There’s one thing, which I don’t like about “Blood Mortized”. It is the fact that the album has 12 songs and lasts for about an hour, what in my opinion is simply too much. That long running time affected the quality of the material and let some more mediocre songs appear on the album. I don’t wanna say that some of these tracks are shit, because really the whole album is either very good or good at least, but I guess it would have a stronger and more lethal effect, if “Blood Mortized” was shorter and had only eight, but really killer songs. Like for example I’m not so fond about “Devil’s Vengeance”, which annoys me with the harmonies in the Amon Amarth style. “Cannibal Object”, “Winter Tale” and “Autumn Whispers” are also some of those mediocre songs… not terribly bad, but just not as good as rest of the material. “Autumn Whispers” is almost boring, with these over seven minutes of slow, melancholic playing… It doesn’t really work, especially if after such song you would expect perhaps something faster, but the next song, “Black Bird Blues”, is again slow (but much better than the “Autumn Whisper” in my opinion, with really killer main riff).
But luckily there are also songs that are so fuckin strong that they’re able to crush the walls and turn the cities into dust. Like “Wishing Hell” – what a damn good song, so damn heavy, with great riffing and chorus part. Also “Suicide Escape Plan”, “Slay Me Down to Rest” (slow, heavy… arrghhh), “To Advance is to Die” (great riffs!)… I can mention really quite few songs from this album. “Funeral Ride” is another great track – very melodic, very catchy, almost epic and melancholic, but really good in my opinion. And “Black Bird Blues”, which I already mentioned and which has one of the most infectious riffs (melodies) from the whole album. Style wise Blood Mortized sounds obviously 100% Swedish: the production of their “Blood Mortized” is classic Sweden and also the music is traditional Swedish stuff. But I think this album sounds more like the recent Swedish albums rather than Nihilist; think of some of the last Dismember albums, as well as Entrails, Evocation, Unleashed and these sort of Swedish death metal bands. Don’t expect death metal, which would be very fast or very brutal; it’s rather mid paced or slow all the way through, often melodic, but not overly melodic luckily, well played and produced... Definitely very typical for this country, not original, but damn good anyway! I wish the band was maybe more violent, maybe in the way, which Bloodbath did their early albums – what means shorter songs, but with some more relentless and straight forward attitude in them? Well, something what Blood Mortized did on “Bestial” EP really. Anyway, I like this CD, so all those complains are nothing major and in the end I can focus just on the good riffing, good melodies, aggression and great feeling, which such music creates. Hail!
Standout tracks: “Wishing Hell”, “Blackbird Blues”, “Suicide Escape Plan”, “Funeral Ride”
Final rate: 73/100

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Ascended Dead - Ascended Dead

ASCENDED DEAD - Ascended Dead (Self released demo MC 2012)
I don’t know about you, but personally I love to chase new bands within my favourite metal subgenres – black, death, whatever metal – it is always damn cool to get something new, fresh and killer… and it doesn’t even have to be original or perfectly recorded, as long as there’s the feeling and great, memorable riffs and atmosphere. Here is such demo, which from the very first listen caught my attention and well, it actually became one of my favourite demo releases of the recent months. The band is called Ascended Dead and hails from San Diego, California and features four, it seems, very young Americans who decided to fuel their hatred with some old school death metal sounds. And man, they do fuckin shred! I mean, when I listen to this debut demo cassette it feels like I got a demo from the early 90’s, from some legendary acts, as the vibe, the feeling and the quality of Ascended Dead demo is very similar. I am very impressed, especially if you think that those guys weren’t even born yet, when “Left Hand Path” was released! Ha!
Although the band is American, their music is more European sounding rather than American. Of corpse I can hear also many influences from the early Death, Sadistic Intent and even the demo era Morbid Angel and Slayer’s “Show No Mercy”, but more there can be found the traces of the likes of Treblinka, Nihilist, demo era Dismember, early Merciless and also early Asphyx. So, quite impressive list of bands, don’t you think? The band definitely sounds old and archaic, but I must say that I really like the production of this demo. It is quite raw, but everything is well audible and in many ways it reminds me the recordings of bands like Repugnant, Degial and Invidious. Or maybe also Tribulation, especially if the Swedes has a demo titled “The Ascending Dead”? Well, definitely there’s similar atmosphere in the music of Ascended Dead and each of their fours tracks is truly great and if you like the old and new bands, which I just mentioned, then get this demo right now! There may still be something to improve on the next recording – like I’m not really impressed by the guitar leads, but from the other hand this sort of music doesn’t really require perfect technical skills and 100% top notch production. It can even sound chaotic at few fragments, but who cares as it is a demo, and Ascended Dead did good job here. My favourite track would probably be “Caustic Decay” – it is really violent and one of the main riffs reminds me Cadaver’s “Decomposed Metal Skin” hehe.
Final rate: 80/100

Friday, 21 September 2012

Undead Creep interview

UNDEAD CREEP interview!!!!!!!
This is another interview, which I had to wait a long time, before it got answered. Well, sometimes it is pissing me off, when the band takes 6 months to answer few simple questions, I start to get so angry that I almost become rude in my e-mails, but what else can I do, if someone agrees to answer the questions and then is not doing it? In case of Undead Creep it took about half a year, before finally I managed to get David to answer the interview – and I’m obviously very happy that he replied my mails, as Undead Creep is great band. I already posted my review of their album “The Ever Burning Torch”, soon I’ll also post one of their demo cassette… So, support the band, get their recordings and read this interview. Don’t forget to leave a comment also!

Hello there, Italian maniacs! Great to have you here, answering some of my questions! Ready to spread the terror in my blog? Or maybe, like most of the Italians you’re busy eating spaghettis and watching football (Palermo US, right??)??
Hi Marcin! Yes, we're spending the usual summer in Sicily going to the beach or to some cool countryside, eating a lot (above all pasta) and nothing special to do in the night... just drinking and smoking. Our team PALERMO US sucks this year, I hope we don't relegate, we sold our best players in the last years... but isn't this a sporting fanzine, right?? Ah! 

No, it’s not, but being a music oriented fanzine doesn’t mean there cannot be questions about different topics also! Otherwise it would be horribly boring, right? It’s not a secret that Undead Creep performs Swedish sounding old school death metal. But I wonder why? What’s, in your opinion, so intriguing and exciting in this style of death metal what makes it better than, say, American brutal death metal? Why you’ve decided to play it? What are the best characteristics of it for you: the sound, melodies, atmospheres or what? I guess Dismember must be your biggest source of influence, am I right?
Yes, we focused our sound in that style, we always loved the old death metal done in Sweden (Dismember is surely one of our main influence, "Like an Ever Flowing Stream" is an immortal masterpiece!), and Undead Creep has born to tribute this scene. But we also listen a lot of American death metal, from the almighty Autopsy (always our first influence) to the old Death, Massacre, Obituary and extreme metal in general. 

Undead Creep has released just one demo and quickly gained some recognition in the underground. Tell me how many copies of the demo have you spread and where did you send it? Were they just labels or also some zines, webzines or whatever? It was also released in the old school way on tape, which is great I think, but this tape is long time sold out, which is a shame…
Yes, our demo got an unexpected good feedback! We did just 100 copies in the CD-r format, that we sent above all to some 'zines, but we also sold here in Sicily or gave as a gift to friends... the tape, that is our first official release, was pressed in just 100 copies by the Italian label Unholy Domain Records. Unfortunately it was sold out after few weeks... maybe it will be worthy in the near future, ah!  

Did you expect, prior releasing the demo, that Undead Creep will get signed so quickly and so soon will be able to record a full length album? What aims did you have when forming the band in the first place? Also I must say that I was kind of surprised when I heard the demo: it has really great production, which is not so typical for the beginners. It seems like right from the start you wanted to make sure your music will be a damn crusher! From the other hand I have a feeling that your timing when releasing the demo was perfect as this kind of playing just started to get popular and maybe if the demo was released five years earlier you wouldn’t get so popular then? What do you think?
No, our idea about Undead Creep was to record that demo and to break after releasing it, but it has been natural to write a full-length album after we got that feedback. We also didn't expect to find a label, and surely not a label like Dark Descent Records, surely the best one during this so-called revival. Concerning the production, the demo was recorded by a friend producer, but in the D.I.Y. way, we used our dirty rehearsal room and regular gear to record, but nowadays, it's not difficult to get a good production with the nowadays modern software. I agree with you when you say that if the demo was released five years earlier we should have passed unnoticed. In the 2003/2004 the death metal underground was mainly interested in Suffocation clones, only few bands played "old school", like Kaamos, The Chasm, Mausoleum, etc, maybe there were more but it was difficult to discover them. 

In many opinions it was Daniel Ekeroth’s book “Swedish death metal”, which caused much of the popularity and helped to exhume this kind of playing (although let’s be honest, there were few bands before the book, which already have played it like Kaamos, Necrovation, Repugnant, etc). Of course it’s a brilliant book, no doubt, but I would like to ask you about another book, which I think is great and have read it with a big pleasure. It was a book written by your countryman, Nicola Constantini, “Encyclopaedia of Swedish Death Metal”. Great book, reminding me the old fashioned fanzines more than a real book, but it was excellent. Have you read it? Do you know Nicola personally? I’ve heard he’s a big collector and great maniac of old school death metal!
Yeah, the Daniel Ekeroth's book has been very important for actual scene, you can read and imagine how those young bands created a genuine scene during those years, not only a kind of music. It's not a secret that I thought about forming Undead Creep after I finished to read that book, ah! And as you rightly say, we have to give much merit to those bands who played old school death metal in those years. You talked about Kaamos and Repugnant, yeah they fuckin' ruled!! It's a big pity Kaamos broke some years ago. On the other hand, Necrovation did a great new album! They still have an original sound, I'd like to see them on stage again soon. I heard about the Nicola Constantini's book, but I haven't read it yet and I don't know him personally. 

“The Ever Burning Torch” is fantastic album, really. I guess you’ve read my enthusiastic review of it. It’s an excellent LP, tell me then something more about the process of writing and recording it. Did you achieve everything you wanted with it? The album not only has Swedish sounding songs, but also the whole production is in the very classic Sunlight Studio vein. I like it a lot as it’s very organic and raw sound, but don’t you think that maybe (but just maybe!) it would be slightly better to get a different sort of production, less Swedish, what would make the whole music more original?
Thanks a lot! I'm glad people as you liked "The Ever-Burning Torch" so much. Concerning the songwriting process, it took us six, seven months to complete it. After that we played a couple of shows here in Sicily and we enter the Piero Pitingaro's 21Livello Studio to record the album. We spent a week, a day for each instrument and a day for the mixing. Then we engaged Damian Herring from our label mates Horrendous to do the masteing. And he did a great work! Well, if we're musically influenced by the "Sunlight sound", we don't know really much about their production in technical terms, I mean we just use the Boss HM-2 pedal for the guitars, nothing more. 

The album does not have any demo songs re-recorded, what means you guys managed to compose new tracks very quickly and obviously you must have felt very certain about the quality of the new material. Am I right? Didn’t you want to record also demo songs here?
Yeah, Giorgio, the main songwriter here, creates music with extreme easiness, so it's not a problem to have new songs when we need! But this is also a specific choice; we always prefer to record a song just one time. 

How did you get in touch with Dark Descent Records? I guess this must be one of the best labels around nowadays, together with Cyclone Empire, Detest, Blood Harvest or Pulverised! Have you agreed to record few more albums for them or just this one to see how the things will go? How would you estimate their work for promotion of Undead Creep so far?
I got in touch with Matt thanks to Dave from the Spanish band Unconsecrated. After he got our demo, he proposed me a co-release of the album between his Dark Blasphemies Records and Dark Descent, but later we did everything with Matt only. As I just said, Dark Descent is the perfect label for an underground death metal band like Undead Creep, Matt is 100% dedicated the this music and he knows how to manage a label. Anyway, we also have to thanks the Italian label Iconoclast Records, managed by our friends Claudio and Davide (Claudio actually join us as new bassist since the end of 2011). They released the album in gatefold LP. 

I bought the vinyl copy of “The Ever Burning Torch” and of course I'm very happy about it, but there’s one thing which annoys me a lot. The CD version has demo as a bonus, while the LP version does not have it! Well, usually it’s the other way around and the vinyl gets some extra bonus stuff… Hmm, why haven’t you include the demo on the LP then? Would you maybe consider then releasing the demo on separate vinyl, like on 10” or something; I think it would be cool idea!
We didn't include the demo songs on the LP 'cause it should have been too long; "The Ever-Burning Torch" has the perfect length for a 33 rpm 12" so we prefer to put the demo songs only in the CD. We could do a double LP but it was too expensive for the label. And also the demo was just released in an analog format, so it's ok for us. Well, if some label is interested in releasing our demo in 10" we can talk about it, ah! 

Lyrically “The Ever Burning Torch” is pretty much a classic death metal album, focusing mainly on the themes of death and horror. But “God’s Disdain” is also very antichristian. Italy is probably as much catholic as Poland, so I guess you must feel the negative aspects that this – and all other – religion brings ever day? For example, I laughed watching the hysteria when the pope died few years ago. Such things only make me feel disgust for the blindfolding religions more! What’s your opinion?
Well, the worse aspect of the catholic power in Italy is the influence in the politics and the other way round. It's a long story and not easy to explain, but I can only say that after fifty years under the government of the party "Democrazia Cristiana", (quoting Pier Paolo Pasolini, an important film director, poet, writer and intellectual: Democrazia Cristiana was a concentrate of unworthiness, disdain for the citizens, manipulation of the public money, wheeling and dealing with oil companies, bankers and CIA, blame in terroristic massacres, destruction of the landscape and of the town-planning, blame of the anthropological degradation of the Italians and partial blame in the wide explosion of the mass culture and mass media, above television) we got Berlusconi (he doesn't need introduction I think, ah!) for sixteen years and now Monti, a dummy of the European Central Bank. Well, after this, the main "left" party is still quarrelling about the gay marriages 'cause some ex-DC member inside the party... 

Personally I see Islamism as a much more worrisome religion, one which starts to danger the European civilisation, with their frightening fanaticism and almost primitive values and deeds. What’s your view on it? Seeing for example the reactions of some Muslim countries on what was going on in Denmark, should we expect a religious war coming in the nearest future?
Personally I also can’t stand the way those people treat women, in most barbaric, medieval ways. European civilization? I don't know what you're talking about! Man, the real problem is that there will be always civil slaughters and wars until there will be armies and economic interests, it's the capitalistic world, and the religion is just bullshit to blind stupid people who watch news on TV. 

One may also say that the natural disasters may cause a real damage to our civilizations. Seeing great tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes like the one in Italy from three years ago in L’Aquila and the one in Haiti (which basically destroyed the whole country) plus the ever growing changes of climate – do you think we should be worried about those things?
Personally I hope nature can take one's revenge to the mankind who is still destroying the planet with that one you call "civilisation". 

Since horror is the main theme in your lyrics and with such a band name as Undead Creep it can only mean… Zombies! Tell me, what’s so fascinating in the walking dead that so many movies and comic books and also albums have been made about them? I always liked them, but two things have always intrigued me – why the dead are rising? And two, why can you kill them by shooting in the head only? I mean why head and not heart for instance? I mean their brains must be rotten anyway and so why?
I loved the zombie’s concept since I was a child, when I discovered fantasy / horror books and role games, and later George Romero and Lucio Fulci's movies. Now I'm still a fan of this world, I liked a lot the "World War Z" by Max Brooks, and I'm looking forward to the movie, I hope it keeps up with the book. Concerning your questions: the reason of the undead coming can be different (black magic, demonic force, exposure to some virus or radiation, extraterrestrial origins or simply senseless), according to the author of the story; if you remember "Day of the dead", Dr. Logan, who studied zombie bodies, asserted an interesting theory about the slowing down of the decomposition process and the cerebral origin of all the zombie functions.

What were the first horror movies that you’ve seen? Were there any, which you’ve watched as a kid that really terrified you and frozen the blood in the veins? Personally I remember watching some ghost movies as a kid – I couldn’t sleep for few days hehe! And when I’ve watched “Exorcist”, well that was like a biggest nightmare in the life of young me hehe!
I've seen John Carpenter's "The Thing" when I was just seven or eight years old, and I remember that I was very scared, ha! 

When talking about Italian metal scene, well there are only very few bands which I like. Let me mention some cult Italian albums and see what your opinion on them and these bands is!
- “All the Witches Dance” (Mortuary Drape)
- “Into the Macabre” (Necrodeath)
- “Neurodeliri” (Bulldozer)
- “Reborn In Sin” (Horrid)
Mortuary Drape is surely one of the few occult death metal bands in Italy who deserve attention, I like a lot "All the Witches Dance" and the first EP "Into the Drape". They're still a good live band. Necrodeath and Bulldozer were the best Italian bands together with Schizo during the 80's; maybe I prefer "Fragments Of Insanity" by Necrodeath, it's a total Slayer worship album, I love it. "Neurodeliri is simply a masterpiece, but also the oldest stuff, from "Day of Wrath" to "IX" is great, while the new album was a big disappointment for me. Horrid is just a good band but nothing special in my opinion.  

Horrid were actually the only Italian death metal band that I liked, it seems like the Italians rather preferred to play a shitty power gay metal, which seems to be very popular in Italy and also there were dozens of crap gothic black metal bands, which I always hated like Evol, Graveworm, Ancient, Opera IX… Don’t know if it’s due to the romantic nature of your country, but these bands suck cocks up to the balls! Are there any other Italian death metal bands, which you could recommend me? I only know Profanal, who’re great band also (I have their two split 7”EPs).
Well, from the second half of the 90's to the first half of the last decade, Italian scene has been really terrible. Bands were only attracted by mainstream bands like Pantera, Cradle of Filth or In Flames. Now there are more good bands, I can suggest you to check Eroded, Voids of Vomit and Doomraiser for example. 

Horrid is very old band, which started to play Swedish styled death metal already back in the 90’s. Are they any influence for Undead Creep at all? Do you know them personally? Maybe you know anything about their plans for the next months, since it seems like ages have passed since their last album!
Our main influences are bands who left their mark in the past, Horrid played Swedish death metal in the early 90's but only that, I didn't feel so excited when I discovered them with the second album, "Rising From...". I don't know them personally and I don't know anything about their plans. 

Well, this questions must be here – how do you see the present old school death metal scene, which either takes the influences from the Swedish style or the good old US sound? Which bands and albums are your favourites? Do you actually care much about it? Personally I bought albums from many of these new bands because the music is just killer and passionate and along with the quantity these young bands deliver also great quality in my opinion!!!!!!!
The present old school death metal scene is really great, there are so many bands (like Dead Congregation, Horrendous, Execration, Diskord, Morbus Chron, Verminous, Necrovation, Necrovorous, Vanhelgd, Cruciamentum, Funebrarum, Grave Miasma, Disma, Funebrarum, Maim, Miasmal, Sonne Adam, Necros Christos, Corpsessed, Grave Ritual, Krypt, Puteraeon, Stench Of Decay, Swallowed, Burial Invocation, Cryptborn, Anhedonist, Coffin Texts, Gorephilia, Revel In Flesh, Emptiness etc..)  that are revitalizing this kind of music. Maybe there are too many unoriginal bands and it's impossible to do a comparison with the old scene raised in the late 80's/early 90's. 

Few words about Haemophagus? I’ve read somewhere that you consider this to be your main band, while Undead Creep is just a project?! And what about some other bands, which you all play in? I’ve seen that there’re quite a few of them!
Yes, Haemophagus is the oldest band where I and Giorgio play; since 2004 we play a mix of old school death metal, grindcore, doom and thrash. We're going to record the new album in November. Assumption is a doom / death project with only I and Giorgio, we did a demo (released in tape by Unholy Domain Records and in CD-r by Decrepit Productions) while Morbo is another old school death metal project with two guys from Rome, Andrea from Corpsefucking Art and Mirko from VII Arcano. We're recording the first album in different sessions during these weeks. 

How’s the situation in Undead Creep at the present, after the release of “The Ever Burning Torch”? I mean, have you played some gigs to promote it, what have you been doing ever since? I’ve heard about some line up changes within the band, is that information correct? Finally, is there a new album coming any time soon??!!
Until now, we did only few gigs to promote the album: we played at the Italian "Into The Void Fest" in Bologna, organized by myself and Iconoclast Records guys in April; we played at the German "Grind The Nazi Scum Fest" and in Berlin in June and just two weeks ago we played at the awesome Kill-Town Deathfest in Copenhagen. Just before this last festival, Blood Harvest Records released our new EP "Enchantments From The Haunted Hills" but just after that weekend, Giorgio left the band 'cause lack of interest in this project. So now we're looking for another lead guitarist and I don't know when we'll be able to record new stuff. 

OK, I think we’ll finish here. If you’ve got anything more to say, please do so here and then end this interview with few sentences. Thanks!
Nothing more to say, just thanks for the support and sorry for my delay!!

And now, for the end of this conversation, due to the long delay, I decided to ask one more question… and just wanted David to say something about the EP, which Undead Creep has released in the meantime…
Ok, concerning the EP: the two songs are new, the title-track, "Enchantments From The Haunted Hill", has been written more than 2 years with the old line-up. So it's the first song after "The Ever-Burning Torch" song-writing process. The other song, "To Be Condemned" has been written last year. Both songs are a bit different respect the album and the demo, it was our first step through a kind of evolution, but always in the old school death metal tradition. About the label, Matt / Dark Descent had too many planned releases, so we asked to Rodrigo to release this EP and thankfully he was interested in working with us. We'll work again with Matt for the second album, sooner or later. Rodrigo is printing 300 copies of all his latest releases, I don't why but it's OK I think.