DEPRAVED LITERATURE X - TOUCH RIFFS Magazine 1-3
It's always great to read some underground (extreme) metal fanzines. The more is there, the better, I always say. Recently I had a pleasure to get and read three issues of Tough Riffs Magazine. My first encounter with it was by their website http://toughriffs.weebly.com which I found as damn interesting, filled with interviews with some of the best death metal bands out there. And later I saw also that some of this material has been printed. There are three issues, so it was surely a pleasant surprise that the editor of Tough Riffs Dima was so kind to send me his works. This is why I do this article now. Let me just say that I think that all these three issues of Tough Riffs are still available, so get in touch with Dima. Or you can check the website, as all the content from these issues is there as well.
But let's get to the point. Tough Riffs is death metal magazine. No black or thrash, just death metal, in all its forms and styles - from old school to brutal and slam, even with a bit of grind here and there. As such it reminds me Chaos Magazine. It focused on one genre and includes some more well-known and respected bands, as well some new acts... and some bands, which are on the battlefield for years, but they still live deep in the underground. All issues are professionally printed, issues 1-2 are in colour, but I prefer the style of issue 3, with its black / white and more interesting layout. It looks much better and underground. There are only interviews. No reviews, no articles. For me it's OK, I don't need reviews. I know they're usually an important part of every zine and magazine, but instead we can get more interviews. With 40 plus pages, every issue is filled with chats and with some cool bands. The quality of interviews is varied - some are better, more in-depth, some are quite short and basic. Questions, which Dima asks, are all music and band focused, he doesn't really ask about anything else. This again has good and bad aspects - good, as the music is what counts the most. Bad, as the interviews are pretty standard and usually more topics would give more in depth and interesting conversations. Anyway, I don't moan. I've read all issues with pleasure and it was nice to go through Tough Riffs. I'm not into every band from Tough Riffs 1-3. Usually it's like 5 bands I do like a lot, 5 which I know but I'm not so much into (brutal, slam death metal mostly) and then there are some bands, which I've never heard of. So, let's go through the content of every issue.
Issue 1 contains chats with: Skinless, Protector, Brutality, Grave, Lividity, Profanity, Dead Infection, TON, Internal Bleeding, Soils of Fate, , Defeated Sanity, Internal Suffering, Fulgora, Slaves, Beneath, Disgrace, Massacre, , Horrified.
Yeah... I've never heard the music of quite a lot of these bands. I am a fan of such Grave, Protector, Horrified, Massacre, Brutality, so it was cool to read these chats. But I have to say that the best interviews are those with (I have to check their demos now, damn!) and Profanity (I immediately bought their "Slaughtering Thoughts" album after reading this chat ). Interviews with , Brutality and Horrified were pretty interesting also. Generally, it's a good work and solid debut issue. I lack maybe deeper interviews sometimes and from my personal taste, there are too few bands that I am personally into... but I've read all interviews anyway. And enjoyed them!
Issue 2 has interviews with: Misery Index, Pestilence, Skuld, Ossuary, Master, Malignancy, Prophecy, , Blood, morgue, , Burial Ritual, , Cerebral Effusion, Nervous Impulse,
The second issue brings also some bands, which I like a lot, as well as plenty, which I either don't know or don't care about. But I definitely did enjoy chats with Master, Morgue, , , Skuld... also Pestilence, although I had a bit of laugh reading that Patrick cries that all fans want to hear only old Pestilence songs, not the new ones. What a surprise, considering that old albums are legendary, while the new ones are shit. There's a bunch of brutal death metal / slam bands presented as well, but all I can say is that I've read these interviews, but I cannot say that many of these bands would interest me. Generally, the quality of second issue is the same as issue one, both are pretty similar, also when speaking of the layout.
Issue 3 with: Monstrosity, Sinister, Malevolent Creation, Devoid, , Disharmonic Orchestra, Immortal Suffering, Holy Terror, Aborted, Morpheus Descends, Criminal Element, , Rotten Sound, , , Blessed Sickness and
Issue three is the best of all, in my opinion. I prefer the black / white colouring it has way more, the layout and design is also more interesting... and there are I think some better interviews. They have more interesting questions and are longer, more in depth. Also, the choice of the bands is more what I like, because I'm big fan of quite few of these acts. They're all death metal of corpse, but some killer names are here like Monstrosity, Sinister, Malevolent Creation, Devoid, , Morpheus Descends, . Still no reviews or anything except the interviews, but I don't mind that. This issue was a fantastic reading and I enjoyed it a lot. Good to see that Tough Riffs has evolved and got even better, so I am sure that issue number four will keep the great quality. And bring more great interviews. Very recommended then, check http://toughriffs.weebly.com/ for more details. all interviews are also published on this website, in case you prefer to read from your laptop or tablet.