Saturday, 25 October 2014

Beneath - The Barren Throne (Album Review)


Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 29/4/2014
Label: Unique Leader Records

‘The Barren Throne’ CD/DD track listing:

1. Depleted Kingdom
2. Chalice
3. The Barren Throne
4. Putrid Seed of Affection
5. Iron Jaw
6. Sovereign Carnal Passion
7. Sky Burial
8. Veil of Mercy
9. Mass Extinction Codex
10. Storm Drainer
11. Unearthed

Bio:

Formed in the winter of 2007/2008, the members of BENEATH have all been active in the Icelandic metal scene for some years, with current and former connections to Sororicide, Changer, Atrum, Azoic and Diabolus to name a few. After making their live debut supporting The Black Dahlia Murder in January 2009 and after winning the inaugural Icelandic finals for the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle they became the first Icelandic band to perform at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2009. More festival appearances followed, amongst others Death Feast Open Air in 2010 and Neurotic Deathfest in 2011. In February 2010, BENEATH released their debut Hollow Empty Void EP on Mordbrann Musikk which landed them a record deal with Unique Leader Records. In 2012 the band released their first full-length, Enslaved By Fear, which was mixed by Daniel Bergstrand at Dug Out studios in Uppsala, Sweden.In 2013, singer and founder Gisli Sigmundsson left the band and was replaced by Benedikt Natanael Bjarnason (Azoic).

The Band:

Benedikt Natanael Bjarnason | vocals
Jóhann Ingi Sigurðsson | guitar
Unnar Sigurðsson | guitar
Gísli Rúnar Guðmundsson | bass
Ragnar Sverrisson | drums

Review:

‘The Barren Throne’ is a great release from Beneath, showcasing loads of talent. It's a mix of Black, Death, and a little bit of Prog, all mixed within a cauldron of dark imagery and a tale of a dark being awakening and creating a world of despair and destruction. 

The opener, ‘Depleted Kingdom’, is a massive 7+ minutes of heaviness, with a beautiful clean guitar section to introduce it and the music really takes off from there, with more technical and melodic guitar sections sprinkled throughout, balancing the brutality of the black and death metal influences. It's a very heavy album that likes to go up for air and then right back into the blackened depths. The album has the band projecting a destroyed landscape, that is only going to waste away now that a dark god, or similar being, has awoken, and it’s captured well by the overall sound.

It’s very dark and brooding, with overdrive and distortion galore, knifing at the listener with harmonics and squeals, and rasping with speed runs along the tortured guitars. It’s a grand sound, and brings you right into the world they are describing at length.  

Another great track is the titular ‘The Barren Throne’, which gives some room for the drummer to really give it to the listener. He is fast, not too concerned with driving the listener to insanity with crash and splash, and holds both guitar and bass with his rhythmic pummeling of what I assume are flayed skins of failed groupies. Production on the album is pretty spot on, all the way around. No one out balances the others, the guitars are clear and heavy, drums are balanced, and the singer is gargly yet clear, like tortured static coming at you through an instrument of flesh and sinew, with everything meshing well to the ear. It’s never muddy or distorted, and this is a very big plus. You don’t want to miss any detail on this release, as madness never riffed this good! 

The album is rounded out with some stellar artwork, displaying the titular being, and the destruction pontificated throughout the album. It's beautifully done, and shows that some of the money went pretty far. It's a great album to snag, and will compliment any music collection. Just make sure it doesn’t summon wanton destruction when you’re not looking!

Words by: Hunter Young

You can pick up a copy here



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Demonauta - Caminando en la Luna LP (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 21/11/2014
Label: Bilocation Records/Kozmik-Artifactz

‘Caminando en la Luna’ LP track listing:

A1. Hotel (5:57)
A2. Hacia el 6to Sol (04:48)
A3. Caminando en la Luna (05:40)
A4. Mr. Magnet (03:20)
B1. Al Viento Entender (03:51)
B2. Camaleón (03:02(
B3. El Refugio (04:18(
B4. Kom-v (04:10(
B5. Seamos Libres (04:47)

Total: 39:53 Min.

Bio:

Demonauta were founded back in 2008 in Santiago de Chile with David on guitar and vocals, Giovanni on guitar, Ronnie on bass and Rodrigo at the drums. In 2009 the first 6-track Demo was recorded and released on several blogs in the net.

After several line-up changes (now with David/v&g, Miguel Angel/b and Ale/d) the band went to studio again in 2011 to record their first full length called "Vol. 1", which received great reviews all over the planet. In 2012 the next full length followed, called "Caminando en la luna". The second full length is a big step forward: Demonauta never sounded more intense, sharp and to the point. The riffs are simply amazing mixing the intensity of stoner metal with the sun-drenched sounds of desert rock and fuzz rock superbly. One minute absolutely heavy and the next some superb fuzz riffs. Demonauta cultivate stoner fuzz rock in the best South-American tradition.

The Band:

David | Vocals, guitars
Miguel Angel | Bass
Ale | Drums

Review:

Chile seems to be oozing out the sludgiest heavy rock from its borders of late. Standing far to the front of this pack roars Demonauta with their second album “Caminando en la Luna” now availiable on vinyl, which without looking at a translation program I believe means ‘walking on (or in) the moon’ roughly. Looking it up it does (I still got it Ms. Duckworth and Mr. Fallico!); the album name is an apt description of the tripped out fury that awaits you.

Boasting a slurry of explosive riffs and blistering leads, their sound is the closest comparison to Palm Desert scene, without actually sounding derivative. Indeed Demonauta sound fresh, with their laid out chilled grooves and the deep rhythm section interplay, it is unmistakeable throughout the record.

Some of the nuggets separating Demonauta from their peers, is their heavy, HEAVY 80s metal groove, balls to the wall on the second track “Hacia el 6to Sol” and the amazing solo on the title track. Turn up the solo on the title track and watch it echo through your brain, it is an EXCEPTIONAL solo and one of the best I've heard in years.  This track alone is worth purchasing “Caminando en la Luna.”


Moving deeper into the review, I would like to begin with stating that the fourth song is named “Mr. Magnet,” which clearly is an amazing name marking an amazing song. The riffing on “Camaleon” reminds me quite a bit of “Whitewater” era Kyuss with those big sliding power chords riffs. The most unusual track on the album is “El Refugio” which crosses into a lot of different sonic territory, with a very interesting clean almost funk chord verse riff which seques into a heavy chorus.  The outro of the chorus section is pretty unusual sonically and sounds quite unlike anything I've heard. Then it gets even weirder with a minimalist solo over what sounds like a very jazzy walking bassline in waltz time.

Oddball stuff but great, a bit reminiscent of the song writing on Captain Beyond's S/T; it's always a pleasure to see when these kind of unusual experiments turn out great.

I feel like mentioning the mix now. This is a perfect example of how to mix heavy music, everything is clearly audible and the vocals are a touch recessed back in volume, but still clear giving the instrumentation room to rock you. In addition, the tones present are ‘godly’, particularly the fuzzed bass tone in the title track which crushes like a tanker hitting a bridge.  Not to belittle the guitars thought, because the ‘wah’ work here is outstanding and the maturity displayed on the leads throughout is breathtaking. The drumming is outstanding with busy fills in the right places and some fantastic propulsive grooves, this guy swings a 4 on the floor harder then almost anyone I've ever heard and his drumming reminds me of Nick Lucero and Gene Trautmann, who mostly played on QOTSA's “Rated R.”

In closing then, all I have to say about “Caminando en la Luna” is the grooves are infectious, the beards are luxurious, and the tones are sublime. Treat yourself to what is one of the better albums you will hear from recent years and certainly check out the new vinyl. Check it out below.


Words by: Chris Tedor

You can pick up a copy here

VINYL FACTZ

- 150x transparent red with white
- 150x black
- all high-quality heavy 180g vinyl
- pressed in Germany
- matt laquered 300gsm gatefold cover
- handnumbered
- especially mastered for vinyl by Tony Reed


For more information:


 

Intercostal - S/T (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 01/12/2013
Label: GBS Prod

‘Intercostal’ CD/DD/LP track listing:

1). Hellfire Helix (03:05)
2). Sea’s Calling (03:07)
3). Barrels (03:22)
4). Tools of War (02:40)
5). Wrath (02:42)
6). Lay Down Arms (02:56)
7). Tons of Humans (03:10)
8). Hammered (02:09)
9). The End of Knowledge (03:47)
10). Blood Runs Cold (02:58)
11). Sagawa (03:24)
12). Aftermath (04:11)

Bio:

INTERCOSTAL is a 4 piece massive down-tuned progressive stoner band from Geneva.

The Band:

Batist | guitar
Tavern | guitar
Fred | bass
Mario | drums

Review:

If you have been watching the NOLA documentary series that is currently running on Noisey and has been for the last couple of weeks, you would have been reminded about the vast array of kick ass metal that has emerged from that part of the world over the past twenty or so years. Well for fans of all things NOLA, Intercostal (despite hailing from the bayou formally known as Geneva Switzerland) will take you on a walking tour of all the best of southern metal

Ranging from the progressive stoner vibes of Torche, to riffs reminiscent of ‘Remission’ era Mastodon to the Southern Carolina groove of ‘Deliverance’ era Corrosion of Conformity, throw in the occasional sludge of Crowbar with a lot of pot and you’ve got Intercostal.  The bands self titled album manages to contain all these varied influences whilst at points balance many of the flavours of the NOLA scene at the same time.

The mostly instrumental album is packed with twists and turns, it ploughs through its succession of groovy riffs and are backed up by a high quality rhythm section, held together mostly by an insanely dirty rumbling bass sound that bellows throughout the record alongside the thundering drum beats.

It may not being doing something completely innovative or even bothering to think about possibly having a go at reinventing the wheel. But Intercostal’s self titled album is a solid release which would fit well into any stoner or sludge fans record collection. This is surely an album that will appease its intended fans without question with its Southern NOLA influences, mixed with a blend of stoner rock, making the bands output boom whilst sounding as massive as Andre The Giant on stilts.

Words by: Dan O’Brien

You can pick up a copy here



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The Art Of Burning Water - Living Is For Giving, Dying Is For Getting (Album Review)


Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 20/10/2014
Label: Riot Season

‘Living Is For Giving, Dying Is For Getting’ CD/DD/LP track listing:

1. No Day Is Tragedy Free
2. You Get What You're Given
3. Happiness Always Ends In Tears
4. At The Hands Of Them
5. Feast Of Testicles
6. Snake State Nausea
7. It Will All Make Sense When We're Dead
8. December 14th 1990 (Sadness Begins)
9. Great British Hope Destroyer
10. How To Be A Worrier

Bio:

Noise was made and dance halls emptied. Tears were shed and sorrow was aplenty. Laughter filled the vans and the smoke filled our lungs. With tinnitus to unite us, only we can make failure fun. Beats and noise strength in the face of some grim and harsh times. Intestinal fortitude tenfold. We'd make Mr. Balboa proud

The Band:

MIKE | Drums and P.M.A
KUNAL | Sub noize
GRIEF | High noise and throat

Review:

I’m not entirely sure how or why I thought The Art of Burning Water were some kind of quirky indie band, until I came across them a few years back. Since this point, I have come to associate them with bands such as Palehorse and the Afternoon Gentleman, and whilst different to the utter misery of the former and raging grind of the latter, they are definitely pushing their own kind of extremity.

Which brings us nicely to their latest; ‘Living is for giving, Dying is For Getting.’ After a brief sample ‘No Day Is Tragedy Free’ drags itself along in reluctant malice with white noise screams searing over the top and then, without warning they blast into the hyper punk of ‘You get what you’re given.’ It’s pretty clear that accessibility is not much of a priority, there is no feeling that they are making music for anyone other than themselves and as a result they go wherever they please and make a brutal but intelligent racket in the process.

Sonically they fall somewhere between Knut and various grind / noisecore bands, although there are some (relatively) straight up and memorable riffs  to be found in the likes of ‘At the hands of them.’ and ‘It will all make sense when we’re dead’, which makes a good contrast and holds your attention without becoming monotonous.  There is some interesting times signatures and clever flips in rhythm in the middle of “It will all make sense when we’re dead” and genuinely sinister chord progressions in “Snake state nausea” add variety and make for a listen that seems more progressive and intriguing on each listen.

At the time of writing there are still new elements coming to light which highlight how much thought has been put into the record.  The playing is impeccable, well planned and clearly they are all masters of their respective instruments.

The vocals are never anything less than all out fury and desperation. Serving almost as the proverbial nails down the board in the background, it’s as if they are there purely to be unpleasant for the sake of it (which by the way is meant as a compliment).  The riffs and aforementioned dynamics and technical changes carry the overall sound and for me are what form the songs, rather than relying on standard structure / verse / chorus.

If you’re looking for pure nihilism and fury and an example of a band pushing themselves to the extreme, with no regard for others opinion and with the intention of making a hideous racket, then look no further. At 20 minutes long it’s a little brief, but needs to be no longer. This is a crushing work of utter despondency which I can’t recommend enough.

Reference points; - Knut, Ken Mode, Eyehategod

7/10

Words by: Chris Wilson

You can pick up a copy here

'That's A Fact, Jack!' - An Interview with Brant Bjork


Here I am about to interviewing one of my all-time fave musicians, Brant Bjork for the 2nd time within 12 months. Last time I interviewed Brant was when he was drumming for Vista Chino. Now Brant is back to promote his brilliant new album 'Black Flower Power' with Brant Bjork And The Low Desert Punk Band.

The band recently completed a short 4 date mini UK tour and I was given the chance to interview Brant before the gig at Leeds Belgrave Hall on Sunday October 19th 2014.

So lets get down to business with one of the coolest musicians around, Mr Brant Bjork.


SL – Hi Brant. Thanks for doing this interview. How has the tour been going so far.

BB – Tour has been great. We're almost done. Got another 4 or 5 shows. Yeah it's all good.

SL – How have the new songs gone down with the crowd.

BB – The songs are going well. Their new songs and it takes time for everyone to understand. The initial response has been really positive.

SL – Your new album, 'Black Flower Power', is a fantastic album. It's one of your heaviest albums so far.

BB – Thanks. Yeah for sure but in terms of emotion and sonics, it's kind of a whole trip. I felt that I needed to make a really mean record.

SL – The album feels like a tribute to your musical heroes such as Black Sabbath. It that something you wanted to do with this album.

BB- It's both, as when I was younger I was attracted to music that was heavy and sounded so emotional. And it had the blues with feeling and because I felt that way. That's what brought me into music like bands such as Black Sabbath and Black Flag. Heavy Music was where it was at with me. These last few years have been exhausting and trying for me. I felt like I needed to go back to  that 13 year old kid inside of me. That just wanted to 'FUCKIN SCREAM AND FUCKIN TURN IT UP'.

Wasn't a whole lot of feeling going on. I assembled this band, a combination of players who come from the same musical background as Rock and Punk Rock. First of all, they're friends. It was going back to basics with the record.

SL – The album is a lot more bluesier as well.

BB – Yeah. Black Sabbath is definitely an influence and one of my fave bands growing up. The were were masters of combining American Blues Rock with British Hard Rock. I am very much an American Musician and this is very much an American Rock Record in terms of what it is with style and stuff. Having said there are a lot of British Rock Bands that I love over the years such as Cream.

SL – Was this an easy album to write and record for.

BB – I wouldn't be as bold to use the word easy, but it really was when coming time to write it. I began writing and I was exhausted, frustrated and angry and I just started writing as I hadn't worked in so long. All this music came pouring out of me. It felt good. But I was keep saying – 'That's Not It'. 'That's Not It'.

It felt like a painful exercise and I was sweating shit out and I finally exhausted myself where I went to my most primal effort. And that's where I said that's it. I wanted that exhausted primal feeling, where I almost kind of given up on something.


SL -Was it an easy decision to sign with Napalm Records.

BB – You know I had been doing things myself for so many years and that was another exhausting thing. I am married and I have kids and stuff. I just can't be quite as hands on and I can't obsess on everything. I have to relinquish a little bit of control for time management. Napalm, characteristically, are a label I assumed I wouldn't be interested in me and vice-versa.

But they had been pulling on my shirt for 4 years and they really kind of offered me deals which is kind of hard to turn turn down. So we looked at the mechanicals of it all and they do really good distribution of music in my main market which is Europe. They got a little funky with my artwork but we managed to sort that out. Other than that, they let me do anything, whatever I want.  It's been a really positive experience, but lets just see when the record comes out.

SL – What inspired you writing the record.

BB – To me this is my version of a Punk Rock Record. It's like Punk Rock in the most basic spirit of that genre. Where the original wave of Punk Rock was really trying to get to the most primal essence of rock and roll music. Also taking action as artists and creative people. So you have bands such as MC5, The Stooges, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and all that original shit was really there.

Along with my love of Blue Cheer, Cream and Sabbath. To me Punk Rock is involving it all. The spirit of Punk Rock is what it's all about. I combine all the stuff I was loving as kid.

SL – I am surprised you come out with a record so quickly, because you had a busy couple of years with Vista Chino. I thought you would of taken a break.

BB – I am one of those musicians for better or worse who cannot afford to take break. I think musically it was meant to be, as I haven't done my own thing for a while. There was a lot of positive element to my turn to Kyuss Lives and Vista Chino. But as a solo artist that's my main focus and my main passion. It was time to open that door again.


SL – You have just done a US Tour with Corrosion Of Conformity, BLAST and Lord Dying. How did that go.

BB – That was fun. That was good. Mike Dean called me up and said - “I have this idea, What do you think?” - I was like that would be awesome to do. I thought it would be a great idea to get people in the States up to date with where we were at. Break the band in. I was surprised as I feel optimistic with people in the States and where they feel rock music is at.

SL – You had Lord Dying on that tour. Totally different sound to yourselves.

BB – Lord Dying. Yeah they were great. That's why it was a such a cool tour as it had all 4 corners of Rock there on that tour. It was great and the crowds were good. We still have some work to do in the States but it's getting better.

SL – So after this tour is that it. Or are you coming back to Europe next year.

BB – No, No. We have already booked some Festivals in April and May 2015 lined up to promote the record. Probably fill them with a couple of dates. Makes sense for the terms of the tour.

SL – You don't have to answer this question. Nick Olivieri recently did an interview where he said Vista Chino is over. Can you tell us what is happening with Vista Chino.

BB – I think that John, Nick, Bruno and I coming back putting Kyuss back together, we celebrated that and it made a lot of sense on every level. When the shit hit the fan and we forced spiritually and conceptionally to change what it was. It changed things and I could tell. When John and I are working together in terms of return to Kyuss, it can work together but outside of that it doesn't really work or make music sense. I prefer to go and do my own thing. I don't see VC happening again. Anything can happen but right now we're not doing anything. I think VC ends part of a journey in what we were doing. Me and the guys in the band should be lucky we were able to squeeze that record.

SL – 'Peace' was a great record to come out with.

BB – I see it as a great adventure and what we wanted to accomplish and I think we did it. I think the story is over.


SL – Would you ever form another new band or just focus on your own thing.

BB – I think that whole couple of years with Kyuss Lives and Vista Chino just made me realise this is what I really want to do. I needed to do this. I need to kind of do my own thing and the way I wanted to do it with this band and this record. It's a perfect representation of me on the road back to home.

SL – You were supposed to release 'Jacuzzi' last year. What happened.

BB – Yeah (Brant laughs) – This record gets a lot of attention. The reality is, I was doing my first solo record for Napalm Records and in the middle of that solo session and this has happened before. Something flicked a switch when recording it and it turned into a whole other different record. It became more Jazz and Funk influenced. I kind of wrapped the session up. I didn't really have any formal idea of what I would do with the record. I had a bunch of songs sitting there all recorded and that's when John called saying:

“Let's get the band back together. Lets do this”

That was really an appealing opportunity and it was perfect timing with 'Jacuzzi'. It's really the sound of me exhausted as a solo artist. I was like 'FUCK' I have been working so hard. So it just sat there ever since. I have been wanting to get it out and distributed by Randy at Cobraside in LA who has distributed my labels over the years. He really wanted to get it out. Then because of my deal with Napalm and because of my work with John. It started to become so complicated. So now I have returned back to my world. I am free now to put it out. Though I was so intent on releasing 'Black Flower Power' as it expresses more about where I am at and hopefully within the next 6 months I will release 'Jacuzzi'.

SL – Last time we spoke we talked about you producing Black Pussy debut album and it's still not out.

BB – I don't know what Dustin is doing as I have spoken to him a couple of times. The music business is really changing constantly as music consumption relies so much on technology now. Technology is always evolving and devolving. So I get the scent that certain musicians and some of the people I know are kind of sitting back to see where things go. 9 months before they drop a bomb. See what windows open and what kind of windows close.


SL – What records are you currently digging right now.

BB – I am proud to say that the record I am loving now as I don't listen to much nowadays is Tom Petty new album 'Hypnotic Eye'. It sounds good and the lyrics are super, super fresh and meaningful. I have never gone on record saying I was a Tom Petty fan. His music is good and he's a great songwriter. For a guy at his point in his career and what's going on right now in the States and to make that record is a pretty courageous thing to do. I am pretty stoked on that record.

SL – Are you more at ease being considered a Stoner Rock Pioneer.

BB – It's funny that, as I saw that online the other day. He said that he played Stoner Rock, Classic Rock and Punk Rock. I was thinking that guy was delirious. I thought it was cool. I know that he's a stoner for sure. I didn't know if he knew what that term was. Though I have started to see the word Stoner being used in high places. I have seen it to describe a Jack White song.

I have seen it to describe so many different things. Stoner Rock in the States has always been considered a low brow word and dirty term. It's finally started to be looked at as a legitimate art form or art style and music style.

SL – You have artists such as yourselves, the Kyuss guys, Fu Manchu and Dave Wyndorf still rocking at almost 58 years of age. Can you see yourself doing for that long or will your retire by then.

BB – It's hard for all us to do what we do and not being part of something we didn't want to be apart of in the 1st place. We always did what we did. Dave always back in the Monster Magnet days and even Kyuss and Fu Manchu, we had a kinship amongst us because we weren't playing Punk Rock, Metal or Grunge. We we're kind of doing our own thing. We were all very different to each other. There was no idea to think there was a term for it. When someone came up with a term to describe our music. We never got to choose what to call it.

Stoner Rock to me means – Non Commercial Rock Music.

SL – Brant, Thanks for doing this interview. Best of luck with tonight's show and the album launch. It's a superb album.

BB – Thanks a lot man.

Thanks to Brant Bjork for taking the time out to talk to me at Sludgelord HQ. Thanks to Mona and Andy at Napalm Records for arranging this interview. 'Black Flower Power' will be available to buy on Napalm Records and from here. You can read Marc's incredible review here

Words by Steve Howe

For More Information

Interview with L'IRA DEL BACCANO


I really thought today's guests had call it a day as it was over 6 years ago since they released their awesome debut album - Si Non Sedes Is Live. A blistering Psychedelic Doom/Space/Stoner Rock extravaganza which I have featured numerous times on Sludgelord Pages over the years.

Thank The Stoner Rock Gods that L'Ira Del Baccano have finally released their eagerly awaited 2nd album Terra 42 an album which is more groovier and spaced out that it's predecessor. This is what I said originally about the album:

"Terra 42 a sprawling epic that combines Doom, Stoner, Space Rock and elements of trippy Trance based vibes all wrapped up in one delicious and addictive jam-based package. With this being an entirely instrumental album it is still a highly intelligent and exciting album as it contains quite a few ambient-based noises to make you question the world around you.

Terra 42 is a success on every level. The production is flawless throughout and L’Ira Del Baccano sound incredible from start to finish. It’s a very expansive album with the emphasis on volume and Terra 42 packs quite an emotional punch.

Terra 42 is a must have album. You cannot pass this one by. An incredible release. Let’s hope the guys don’t leave it another 6 years for album no 3.”

With their new album being released very soon and their classic debut album starting to win a whole range of new fans 6 years after it's original release. I thought it would be time to catch up with these fuzzed up spaced out riffsters.

Q1 – Hi guys. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today.

Ciao Steve!! Well..let's say pretty chaotic.. The new album has just been released and we are working to maximize the work on the web and we're also planning moves for the next months. We are of course very happy that the new album Terra 42 finally is out… and honestly it feels a little strange almost! Its been out for a month in Italy and we've really had a lot of great reviews. The CD version of the album is out since 2 weeks worldwide and the first reviews are also starting to appear around the web. Yours was the first in English!


Q2 – Can you give our readers a brief history of the band and where it is today.

Me and the other guitarist Malerba started to play together back in '95. We played a sort of doom-death metal even if I think that some of "our" trademarks already were somewhere in those composition. In '97 we changed the name to Loosin'o'Frequencies and the Italian guru of doom Paul Chain produced our MCD "Regeneration".

Later in 2000 we recorded an album that never was released. After that, in 2003, we took a pause in searching for a good singer and finally decided to simply turn the band into an instrumental act (in that period we also met our drummer Alessandro Salvi and the bass player that's on the first album). That decision was mostly made because at that time we were all very busy with our real jobs and to play music was more about the "need" to feed our passion for music, but without the pressure of making album, etc.

At that time me and Malerba were associated to a club with live music, working as sound technicians with our own equipment and we also had a small recording studio inside the club, near Rome. It was on that stage we played the concert that was recorded and became our first album " Si non sedes iS..Live". The past 3-4 years we've had a change of bass player, and Luca Primo joined the band forming a real great rhythmic section finally together with Alessandro" Fred". 2 years ago we entered the studio to record Terra 42. And just after the recordings Davide Cantone, boss of Subsound Records, got in touch with us and we found a deal for the release..and..here we are - Terra 42 is finally out!

Q3 – How would you describe you music. As I feel it's it better for that description from the band themselves.

Usually we write "Instrumental doomdelic space rock" as description..I know that every band says its hard to be categorized, of course..but you know our music well Steve, and you know that in our case its really not that easy!! And I must say that this is also one of the things that personally, even if it from a commercial perspective isn't the easiest way, make me feel more satisfied thinking at this project. We really feel very free in our way of composing and playing. We try to gather up different musical attitudes, more than a specific sound reference. That's why we say that our influences span from Grateful Dead to Rush, Black Sabbath, etc. But we try to not focus our sound on a specific band or genre, I think that's our real "key".

Si Non Sedes iS ...LIVE cover art

Q4 – I have been a fan of your great band for over 6 years now since I discovered your debut album – Si Non Sedes Is Live – which you recorded live. That was a brave decision releasing a live album as your debut album. Was that your original intention to release a live album.

We had no intention to release an album at all!! This is the story; working at that club I meet a lot of bands and musicians and people often asked me if I had a band and my answer was always "Yes, I have an instrumental, strange, band. Right now we play just for the pleasure to meet and play our instruments". So after some time more people asked me to let them listen to something by us so we decided to play at "our" club on Halloween.

I decided to record the performance with my equipment, mostly just to have something to practice on as sound engineer. Months later, when I started to mix the concert and let some friends listen to the first results all told me that both sound and songs were great and that I needed to think of publishing them in some way. Since that was the "Myspace era", I created one for the band, uploaded the songs and prepared the free downloads. As a social network for music Myspace was at its climax in that period, and the name of the band started to spread around the web very fast.

Q5 – How were the reviews/responses to your debut album when it was originally released back in 2008. Were you pleased with the original responses.

Oh yes, definitely.. One cool thing..and I'm very proud about this.. is that we never sent the album to receive reviews. Because as I told you, that wasn't our purpose when we built our Myspace page, we just thought about people having the possibility to enjoy and hear those songs, and not to "once again" enter the circle or world of reviews, etc. But after some time we started to receive mails from people saying that they published a review of the album or people asking if they could write a review. And I mean..we had a review on Decibel Magazine and I still don't know how! We were also on album/band of the day on the Roadburn site.

Q6 – With it being a live album, was it an easy or hard album to record for. As if you make a mistake you have to repeat the whole process at another gig.

It was just a concert in that moment, the only huge tension was the fact that we had never played on a stage with that line up. And it was also, for both me and Malerba, the first concert we had played in at least 4 years. I really don't remember so much from that evening, for example, if I even told our drummer and the former bass player that I was recording it all on a multitrack recorder! From a point of view we could say that we have been very lucky, because with a bad recording or a bad performance on that day I don’t think I would be here, answering your questions Steve.. hahaha.


Q7 – It's a brilliant debut album that I feel that has a cult following within the Doom/Stoner Metal community. It's received a lot more praise from fans over the last few years or so. Have you noticed this yourselves recently.

Uhm, honestly not so much. But in this sense, the bands name went around a lot between 2008 and 2011 and as I said we've had a lot of contacts, reviews, and so on. But from 2011 we had no opportunity to get out and play as we would, so the web was our main way to keep the band alive and active in music listeners mind.

That was also the time when Myspace went from being the main social network, to getting beat by Facebook. And I must say that in that period of not having more material out and having a break in our live activity, we sort of got forgotten in some ways. Facebook has grown hugely and very fast in the last 2-3 years and I think a whole lot of the, let's call it "generation", of people who have gotten involved in the stoner/psych/doom scene never have heard about us and our first album.

Q8 – Looking back would you change anything about the album.

The answer is, Yes ALL, and at the same time, No NOTHING. We are better musicians now and following our own attitude we left those songs changes a lot back then, gig by gig. So naturally when I listen to for example "Tempus Inane..." from our live debut I feel that its now much better, but at he same time I'm very proud and happy because that version represented the band in that specific moment. that song is the perfect example of our attitude. It will never stop to "move" so it will be always right for that moment and wrong in our perception for the time that has been after.

Q9 – Now lets talk about Terra 42. What an album that is. 6 long years I have waited for that album. Can you tell us why the incredibly long delay for the album.

Ah well...there are many, many reasons and some involve the personal life of everyone of us in the band. Let's say that a pretty huge dose of misfortune and some changes in the line up basically is the reason for all this delay!

Q10 – Terra 42 is an album influenced by the works of Douglas Adams. Are you big fans of his work and Hitch-hikers Guide To The Galaxy in general. Are you fans of other Science Fiction based works.

Yeah, I’m a huge fan of the Guide and of Douglas Adams as "thinker". And I introduced the other guys to the Hitch-hikers Guide To The Galaxy when we were composing the 32 minute long song that became "The Infinite Improbability Drive". The main characteristic of that song is the fact that in those 32 minutes, its only at the end that there's is a repetition of a previous part/riffs.

In Douglas' world "the infinite improbability drive" is a way to travel with a space ship going from a point to another, passing through every conceivable point in every conceivable universe simultaneously, not knowing exactly where you will arrive. I thought that all of this could fit with the dynamic of our song, especially thinking of the "first listen". Of course, as many know, the title of the album itself, TERRA 42, is based on the Douglas saga since 42 is supposed to be "the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything".


Q11 – Was Terra 42 an easy or hard album to write record for. It's a very different sound to your debut album. Was that your intention to release something different and push yourselves further as musicians.

All the music inside Terra 42 has been written starting from some months after the release of Si non sedes iS..and it has been in constant evolution through these past years. Let's say that we had all the time to search and challenge ourselves to find the best way to play these composition, that definitely are more complex than the songs from the first album.

The last "huge" change in the songs was probably when we changed bass player and Luca joined the band. His skills as musician and knowledge of the instrument really made me take the song where I wanted it to reach from the beginning. So we decided that it definitely could be worth to re-arrange all the songs, thinking of Luca's way of playing. So after all this work we entered the studio really well prepared and knowing exactly how we wanted this album and the songs to sound. The most hard part has probably been the "trauma" to come back into the studio instead of making a live performance.

But I decided to keep the production pretty simple, not so much editing but more the act to choose for example the best of 3-4 different drum takes, also, the guitars are mainly arranged to play all the parts live. For what concerns the musical concept of Terra 42, as we explain in the album credits, its is a sort of trip and exploration into how many different ways to play and structure a song we could use.

As I said before "The Infinite…" has a structure that never repeats itself for almost all the song and it opens the album. On the opposite end, "Volcano x 13" that is the closing track, we have a completely different structure. We play almost always the same theme for 14 minutes, but changing the perception of the listener with time signatures, rhythmic patterns, etc. "Sussurri…", the song in the middle of the album, even if is the shortest song lasting "only" 11 minutes, is an extreme summary of the other 2 songs concepts. The first part is very static, only noises and sounds that move around the leading bass until the second part starts that has 5 minutes of different riffs.

Q12 – The album is being released on Subsound Records. How did you hook up with that awesome label.

Subsound Records is based very close from where I live. We have a lot of friends in bands under Subsound so when Davide Cantone, the owner, contacted us knowing that we where about to finish the new album recordings, we started our communication. Thus, he was the first one to listen to the album and we found a deal very fast.


Q13 – Congrats on Terra 42 being released on Vinyl. Did you have much input into the design and recording of the vinyl. Or was that left upto the label.

Thank you so much. As I said, we entered the studio before getting in touch with any label so when Subsound Records contacted us we just discussed about the best way release an album in these times. And of course we all agreed that we had to take advantages of this return of the vinyl market. I like vinyls even if I don't care so much about the aesthetic side, in terms of different versions, etc.

So I let the label lead and decide on what would be the best, Davide knows very well the actual market and it was natural to trust his decisions and the common thing in all the 3 versions is that it will be a double gatefold, 180 gr. And I must say that the artwork, that's already great on digipak, will be stunning as a huge version on the vinyl.


Q14 – Who designed the fantastic covers for the album. Trippy as hell.

All the artwork has been done by the Italian artist Fabio Listrani. Fabio is a long time fan of the band and I'm a huge fan of his works. Even if his work usually has been more into cyber sci-fi art. I contacted him and we started to talk about the album title, songs etc. He soon started to send me the first ideas and in some months of feedbacks and hours of chatting and talking we reached the result. I'm a very, very happy and proud of it and also that I decided to call Fabio. He's also working on the new T-shirts so I can say that this collaboration is still going on very well.

Q15 – What is the song-writing dynamic in the band. Is it a group collective or down to one individual.

Usually when we rehearse all start from me riffing, or from a drum groove on which I start to play on and then we jam all together for even a couple of hours. I listen to the recording during the days after and start to imagine a possible structure or way to use the ideas. And so when the band meets again the follow time I start to explain, let the other listen to specific parts they played, etc, and we proceed from there. And this usually takes a long time, ahahah, before we decide that "OK, the first incarnation of this song is born". Its really a group work mostly, let's say how I often like to say it, that I'm the director that gather all, trying to maximize the qualities that my incredible band mates have as musician. No one writes a song alone, each song is always an ensemble work, from my point of view.

Q16 – Can you tell our readers what is your musical setup when performing live and recording new material.

We have a very simple set up, even if by listening to our songs a person could think that for example we've used a lot of pedals etc. Well, its definitely not this way… I only use my amp, one channel I do most of the parts just working with the guitar volume and change of pick ups during the song. I only use a reverb pedal for the more quite clean parts and even Malerba who plays 90% of all effects of guitars and synths, uses very few things. One delay, one chorus one wah-wah. The bass has no pedals at all.


Q17 – L'Ira Del Baccano have been going as a band for over 15 years now. What have been your favourite moments with the band. Also your least favourite moments as well.

Considering all the various stops and breaks we've had I can say that the best part still is creating and jamming in the rehearsal room. Because that's probably where we, from a "egoistic" point of view, give our best in the sense that its our safe place that we go to. We still go to for the most simple reason…we love to play. We need to play to escape the stress for some hours, the stress of our works, problems, etc, and I'm very happy we still keep this attitude after all these years. Because otherwise, again as I wrote about the first album recordings, in this moment I would not be here writing to you and your readers.

About least favourite moments, well, I have some but you know Steve it is people who are " bad " so I cannot say that about the band as an entity and concept. It is a huge difference! Because the band is always something good and is always only a positive thought in my mind.

Q18 – Italy has a lot of brilliant Doom/Sludge/Space/Stoner Metal bands to call their own. What is the scene like in your own words. Do you gig much in Italy or do you have to travel further afield.

This is a difficult question. Well let's say…yes, Italy definitely has that, and that is true from many years now. An incredible number of really great bands in what we could call the doom/stoner/psych genre.

But since we have been "frozen" for a long time, except for the virtual contacts, I honestly think that I could answer this question about "the scene" and how it is nowadays, in full only in a couple of months Steve. We still have to get a taste again of all the dynamics that then will allow me to talk about an actual "scene" in Italy regarding the world of both band and live promotion.

Q19 – Apart from your new album, what other plans do you have in store over the next 12 months or so.

We have material to work on for at least another two albums already, material that has been recorded during the last years rehearsals and such!! But for now my real wish is to have the possibility to bring our music on stages around Europe. It's not that easy due to many factors..to cross the italian boundaries from Rome already means more than 700 km. And lets just say it…the general economic crisis is making a wide cut between those who economically can afford risking to lose money on going on tour, and those who cannot. We really hope that the response about Terra 42 will let promoters, etc, be interested in L'IRA DEL BACCANO. And we are already in fact searching for someone to organise a tour for us as soon as possible.

Q20 – Before we go, Do you have anything else to say to your fans.

I would like to say something to someone who still isn't one of our "friends". First of all, be curious!! The internet, with its blogs and social networks give the opportunity to discover so much music and so many bands, but don't just follow what the "others" share on their pages just because everyone does it or because it's band of the moment. Listen to what you've never heard, not what has the most "Likes".

Well guys thanks for doing this interview. See you in 2020 when I review album No 3. HA HA.

Thanks to L'Ira Del Baccano for talking to us here at Sludgelord HQ. Terra 42 is now available to buy Digitally from BandCamp now. CD/Vinyl from Subsound Records.

Words by Steve Howe

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