Thursday 30 June 2016

"Blood Will Flow!" - Amped & Doomed with Simone Bertozzi (Arcana 13)

By: Aaron Pickford

Today I speak with Arcana 13, a band who do not sound track Disney, but instead embrace two things that I hold dear, old horror movies, specifically the visionary directors of Italia Cult Horror, Lucio Fulci and Darion Argento, and heavy metal music.   Arcana 13 have taken the imagery of Italian Horror and infused these influences with their love of heavy music, and in the process of have released one of best occult infused doom album so far this year, in the form of “Danza Macabra”. 

Not only have they released one of the best sounding records, “Danza Macabra” is also one of the best looking, due in no small part to the artwork for the album, which was created by legendary artist Enzo Sciotti, who during his 50 year career has illustrated more than 3000 movie posters, including cult horror masterpieces like Lucio Fulci’s death trilogy “The Beyond”,City of the Living Dead” and “The House by the Cemetery”; Dario Argento’sPhenomena”; Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness” and “Evil Dead”; Joe D’Amato’sAntropophagus”; Lamberto Bava’sDemoni”; Stephen King’sMaximum Overdrive”. 

So, please welcome Simone Bertozzi from Arcana 13, who was kind enough to talk to us about the inception of the band, the magic of the “Suspiria” sound track, his inspirations as an aspiring guitarist and everything else in between, oh and let us not forget, nerding the fuck out about gear.  Check it out.

SL) Can you give us a brief history of your playing career?

Simone: Have you ever wondered how could have been a Lucio Fulci cult movie with a Black Sabbath soundtrack? This is Arcana 13.

The band was summoned in the winter of 2013, as a bunch of good old friends jamming on Black Sabbath tunes in a stinking rehearsal room, cracking beers open and busting the amps at ear-shattering volumes. Here and there we were laying down some new riffs and recording some stuff on a tape recorder like it was 1974 again. However the magic started when I started to improvise the theme from Goblin’sSuspiria” in the rehearsals… Being fanatics of the legendary Italian Horror movies of Argento, Fulci, Bava as much as we’re addicted to Black Sabbath and Pentagram the step was really short.

From that “Suspiria” cover we couldn’t help ourselves, we put an old TV screen with a rusty VHS player in the rehearsals and basically jammed while watching those Horror masterpieces, such crazy fun times. Sometimes a specific scene inspired us riffs some others we had a specific atmosphere in mind from a song and we searched for the best film to picture it.

SL) Can you remember who or what inspired you to pick up the guitar? Are there any bands, guitarists, currently on the scene that continue to inspire you and push you to try new things?

Simone: I can honestly tell you that my very first inspiration to play guitar was George Harrison, my dad has always been a Beatles fanatic and used to play me all those legendary tunes I’ve grown so fond of. From then on my tastes turned into the heavy side: Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Pantera were the driving force to get better at the instrument.

Things went totally upside down when the “Lord of Riff” shed light on me: Tony Iommi. I understood that heaviness is not in shred playing, quite the opposite. Iommi knows and will tell you everything about it, even with two fingers less. When I jam onto those classic Black Sabbath tunes I always find some new nuances in the way he plays a riff, the fingering, the resonating strings, the placement on the neck, its magic!

Speaking of contemporary guitar players, one that absolutely changed the game for me is without doubt Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth. His melodic playing and progressive-laden riffs are top notch, and he got unbelievable pipes as well making him close to god-like.

SL) Whilst we’re on the subject of inspiration or heroes for example, do you have 5 records that stand out as favourites, what influence did they have upon you and what is it about those record that particular resonates amongst others? 

Simone: Hardest question ever. Let’s go, in random order, first three classics:

Black Sabbath – “Master Of Reality”
None heavier. 34 minutes of madness that revolutionized heavy metal as we know it. Riffs, riffs, riffs, riffs and more riffs. Tune down, bust up, sabb off!

Pantera – “Vulgar Display Of Power”
None tighter. There won’t be another guitar god like Dimebag, shred chops from the heart you can singalong with.

Opeth – “Blackwater Park
Finest extreme metal prog ever, I have many favourite Opeth albums but this is the one that sparked the plug.

Then two newer ones:

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – “Blood Lust
Black Sabbath meets The Beatles and I’m sold. Hard to get off my stereo in 2011 and so forth, fantastic record!

Witchcraft – “Legend”
This is the album that kicked Uncle Acid off the stereo the year after. I absolutely consumed it to the point I was getting nauseous. Magnus Pelander’s voice is legendary and the production of this record is simply amazing, modern and powerful yet organic.

SL) Can remember your first electric guitar, bass?  

Simone: Sure thing. It was a Ferrari red Japanese Fender Stratocaster my dad bought me when I was 12. Quite a lot of guitars followed, sold all of them ‘cause I don’t like stacking up guitars I don’t play, but this one is a keeper. Recently refurbished by my dad and I, changed to color to black with cream pickguard: Blackmore style!

SL) What guitar(s) bass (s) are you using today and how did you gravitate towards the guitar you currently use? 

Simone: I use a 2013 Gibson USA SG, ebony. ‘Cause Iommi rules. Don’t need anything else that this axe. I’ve looked for something else to spice up the sound but the SG is such a versatile and comfortable guitar to play with, it’s the DOOM machine.

SL) What do you like about the guitars you currently use and has there been any specific modifications to it? 

Simone: None, Gibson USA guitars comes from the factory ready to play and that’s the beauty of it.

SL) What amps and pedals do you currently use?  Do you use a combination of amps, or a full half stack? Talk us through your set up both in the studio and in the live environment? 

Simone: “Danza Macabra” was recorded with Andrea’s ’78 Orange Overdrive on a Orange 4x12, with a Maxon OD808 in front of it.

Although I love that vintage sound I recently got an Orange OR100 and I love it! Vintage style with modern features, so versatile: crunch channel is perfect as it is, clean channel has a lot of clarity and headroom, if you plug a fuzz onto it you’re in Electric Wizard territory with a blink of an eye and an hit from a bong haha!

SL) What one pedal could not live without and why? 

Simone: I couldn’t live without the OD808 but the Orange OR100 is so good sounding as it that I plug it just on solos, and the Proco Ratt for heavier fuzzy parts. So my pedal-to-die-for is the MXR Carbon Copy because it’s so organic, straightforward and cuts through the sound like heaven. You can go from spacey parts to bucket style havoc!

SL) What are your amp/ pedal settings?

Simone: I’d say pretty much flat eq, rolling down the highs and cranking up the bass, ‘cause doom you that’s why!

SL) What tunings do you use and why, and as a result is there a specific brand / gauge of string you prefer ?    

Simone: We tune to standard C# (“Master of Reality” anyone?) and drop B. For that I use D’Addario nickels 11-56. Recently I’ve been trying D’Addario NYXL, I dig the added clarity and brightness!

SL). Do you have any advice for up and coming guitars players, bands?

Simone: I’m the last in line but truth has to be told. Switch off those computers, build up your chops on those goddamn records and play as much as possible, focus on writing good songs for yourself to be happy and for the audience to entertain. Doesn’t matter if it’s gonna take one year or two, or three, you need to be 100% confident in it!

SL) Do feel there are deeply help misconceptions about being in a band? 

Simone: The biggest misconception is the amount of work involved beside writing and playing music. So much stuff to take care of and focus on to get your message through. But the feedback of your listeners will repay every second of it!

SL)  Moving on a little then,  what can you tell us about any of your current projects, tours, cds, etc you’re currently promoting, completed and anything else band related we should know about?

Simone:Danza Macabra” is about the turn 3 months old, we already reprinted it once and this is huge for a small band like ourselves. We’re promoting it live as much as possible but we don’t want to oversaturate people that are already subjected to so many musical inputs nowadays and we’re also selecting the best venues to take our live show in.

Our “Danza Macabra” show is featuring all the Italian Horror movies used in the album, with visual videos put together by ourselves, it’s a tribute to the golden age of Italian cinematography, that goes so well with old school doom, innit?

Currently we’re working  an European tour for the next fall, can’t wait to take our doomy horror visions out there! Blood will flow.

SL) What springs to mind when you think about the completion of your new/current record and how is the mood in the camp at present?

Simone: The mood is obviously as high as the feedbacks we’re receiving so far, but we’re staying focused and also starting to make up our minds on the next steps. “Danza Macabra” took 3 years to be completed, ‘cause at the end of the day what matters the most is the record you’ll hold in your hands, that’s your legacy for the future generations. The bar has been set so high by all the bands before us; it’s our duty to deliver the best.

SL) What are your favourite songs to play live? What is it about them that makes them so good to play live, crowd reaction, etc?  Anything from your catalogue that you wouldn’t play and why? 

Simone: So far the “Danza Macabra” show is comprised of the whole album from start to finish, hard to pick one’s favorite but I’d say that my personal favorite remains ‘Hell Behind You’. It’s the song that closes the album and the show, it’s epic, moving and written on one of my favorite movie ever, ‘Inferno’ by Dario Argento, whose soundtrack was written by a musical genius that recently left: Keith Emerson. RIP.

SL) What can fans look forward to from you over the next 12 months? How is your schedule shaping up?

Simone: We’re gonna promote “Danza Macabra” throughout Italy for the whole summer then European tour next fall and we’ll see! Things develop fast in the Arcana 13 HQ.

Finally, do you have any final comments/word of wisdom you’d like to bestow upon us?

Simone: Thanks for the nice interview, loved the gear part as every guitar nerd out there! For the readers: crank up “DANZA MACABRA” with a nice beer and some old school Italian horror on your TV and trip with our doom tunes! Hail horror, doom on!

Transmission Ends

Helloween - “Ride The Sky” The Very Best of the Noise Years 1985-1998 (Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Compilation
Date Released: 06/05/2016
Label: Noise Records | BMG

The image of Helloween would, for many, always be beset by cartoon pumpkins and odd musical turns did not exactly help, however  Disc 1, is a musical triumph- cracking material treading the line between power, speed and trad metal with no small amount of charm and a ton of ability. The second disc has a staggering 11 fine tracks out of 14! So if you like power/trad metal, then this two disc set comes as a timely reminder that German metal is not all about Teutonic thrash. An excellent compilation which is well worth checking out.

“Ride The Sky” The Very Best of the Noise Years 1985-1998 CD//DD track listing:

Disc: 1

1. Oernst of Life
2. Metal Invaders
3. Starlight
4. Murderer
5. Ride the Sky
6. Gorgar
7. Judas
8. I’m Alive
9. Future World
10. Halloween
11. Eagle Fly Free
12. Dr. Stein
13. March of Time
14. I Want Out
15. Keeper of the Seven Keys”

Disc: 2

1. Kids of the Century
2. Back On the Streets
3. Step Out of Hell
4. Get Me Out of Here
5. Where the Rain Grows
6. Why?
7. Mr. Ego (Take Me Down)
8. Steel Tormentor
9. Wake Up the Mountain
10. Power
11. A Million to One
12. Hey Lord!
13. Time
14. I Can

The Review:

Helloween operate in an area of the metal world which I don't have too much to do with: Euro Power Metal. A world where high pitched vocals are the norm, victory is a theme in most songs and triumph is never too far away. However, that was not always the case...

Going back to their early days, Helloween were, I suppose, a power metal band who bordered on the realms of thrash. Perhaps this would have been speed metal at that time, a term which fell out of favour or just merged with thrash. Certainly, their early work is MUCH heavier than you might expect. It is by turns, pacey, melodic, well played and distinctly Germanic in its practised efficiency. Kicking things off with “Oernst of Life” (an obscurity I think, as I do not recognise it from their first releases...). “Metal Invaders” follows and the band proves that they were no slouches in the tempo department.

Simply put, I like the early Helloween material a lot. It is essentially a revved up version of early Iron Maiden, albeit without the lyrical themes and street credibility. The other tracks from “Walls of Jericho hold up well; “Murderer”, “Ride The Sky”, as does “Starlight” from their debut EP. The production on this era's material does just fine also; it is surprisingly good, even, coming out of the gates with Accept-like energy and possessing a similar metallic sound to that band's work. The band play tight and fast, easily on a par with what the US was throwing out at the time and streets ahead of well worn British offerings who tried to emulate the Yanks with only fleeting success (for the most part).

The bombast and aggression of the band's nascent recordings would not really last, though, and things took a different path for the next record. If that sentence implied some kind of impending wrong turn, then I gave a false impression. “Keeper of The Seven Keys Parts 1 and 2” (“Part 1” in particular) are hailed as genre classics and with good reason. Strangely, Kai Hansen switched to guitar only to make way for Michael Kiske on lead vocals- who made his presence felt with his high pitched wails and clean delivery. Michael Weiketh, sadly, could not play on “Part 1” due to an injury, so Hansen picked up the slack masterfully. “Keeper...” then, is the first and possibly best example of the power metal sound. Fast and technical with lots of triumphant melody, but underpinned by a rock solid foundation of blazing bass drums and lightning strike guitar. Certainly, the difference between the grit of “Murderer” and “I'm Alive” is pronounced.

Tracks such as “Future World” represent a kind of Iron Maiden like metal without the darkness or street themes of Maiden's early work. Helloween, instead, went for pure fantasy- from the album cover to the themes contained therein, this was fantasy metal, one for the Warhammer warriors and readers of Lord of The Rings. Truthfully, “Part 2” was an inferior record. The likes of “Eagle Fly Free” are reliably speedy, but the echoey snare sound and slight dip in quality control meant that the record seemed a little out of focus. The catchy “Dr Stein” is also ludicrous and would condemn Helloween to the realms of comic book metal for many fans. Cracking solo, though. That said it is still a very good album- “I Want Out” features here and is just one of many highlights.

The image of Helloween would, for many, always be beset by cartoon pumpkins and odd musical turns did not exactly help.  Disc 1, then, is a musical triumph- cracking material treading the line between power, speed and trad metal with no small amount of charm and a ton of ability.

On to disc 2, then... I will start by saying that my knowledge of the band really does stop at “Keep...Part 2”. “Pink Bubbles Go Ape” was the studio follow up from 1991 and was very poorly received at the time. Perhaps this is unfair- “Kids of The Century” is a cracking melodic metal track. However, gone were the fantasy themes and the replacement themes involving streets (fine) and “Heavy Metal Hamsters” (not fine and not included here) saw the band lose their way. The less said about the horrible synths of “Step Out of Hell”, the better- by the time of “Chamelon” in 1993, the band were operating in the kind of between genre mire of so many other successful metal bands of the 80's. However, while those bands aped the grunge approach of the day, Helloween seemed content to ape Status Quo. The kindest thing that can really be said about the material from the band's two early 90's albums is that it was very well played and, to be fair, well produced. It was just completely incongruous with the band's history and approach.

“Master Of The Rings” is well represented here, then with “Where The Rain Grows” taking the band back to their earlier power metal sound and themes and doing a very fine job of it. Drummer Ingo Schwichtenburg was gone- sadly never to return as his untimely death put paid to any possibility of that; a huge shame as he was  a force to be reckoned with behind the kit and had imbued the band's first few albums with a sense of urgency and energy as only a good drummer can.

“The Time of The Oath” continued the band's renaissance and tracks like “Steel Tormentor” and “Power” are really very good indeed- in fact, listening to the band in the mid 90's really makes me want to get hold of the albums in full. This is good stuff and PROPER metal. Hard to find in that era, as it was all but ignored by the press of the day. “Better Than Raw” from 1998 is the final record to be represented here- again, the material is well played, well written and well produced. It is also COMPLETELY out of step with what else was going on in the late 90s. “Time” andI Can” are throwbacks to a different musical era and this only gives me more respect for the band.

Over the two discs, it is only three songs (from PBGO and Chameleon) that let the side down at all. The first disc is wall to wall classic material. The second disc has a staggering 11 fine tracks out of 14! Helloween, then, have been rather overlooked by me. Unfairly, as it turns out. If you don't like power/trad metal then Helloween might persuade you otherwise. If you do, then this two disc set comes as a timely reminder that German metal is not all about Teutonic thrash. An excellent compilation which is well worth checking out.

“Ride The Sky” The Very Best of 1985-1998 is available now

Band info: facebook

Merchant - "Suzerain" (Album Review)

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 25/06/2016
Label: Snake Charmer Coalition

A potent mix of the epic vision of Yob and the no-nonsense sludge aggression of Weedeater, these tracks are more than capable of holding their own against the heavyweights of modern doom.  Pulverising riffs worthy of Bongripper beat the listener into submission, repeated until breaking point, before moving onto a higher plateau of heaviness.  “Suzerain” is an awe-inspiring release from Merchant and all the more impressive for being a debut

“Suzerain” CD//DD track listing:

1. Seed & Soil
2. Mourning Light
3. Suzerain
4. Black Vein

The Review:

Suzerain” sees Merchant emerge into the world as a fully-formed psychedelic doom powerhouse. The Melbourne quartet may be a new name to most but this monumental debut album will soon put paid to that.
Over the course of “Seed & Soil” and “Mourning Light” the band perfect their heady blend of filth-encrusted riffs and spacey bursts. A potent mix of the epic vision of Yob and the no-nonsense sludge aggression of Weedeater, these tracks are more than capable of holding their own against the heavyweights of modern doom.

These two slabs of destruction are merely an appetiser ahead of the earth-shattering title track. Over the course of 20 mind-expanding minutes, Merchant take everything that has gone before and crank the dial all the way into the red. Pulverising riffs worthy of Bongripper beat the listener into submission, repeated until breaking point, before moving onto a higher plateau of heaviness. The tension and intensity continuously ramps up over the song’s mammoth duration, building to a pummelling finale reminiscent of Mastodon’s seminal “March of the Fire Ants”.

Following the title tracks’ epic assault on the senses, “Black Vein” brings the album to a close in hard rocking fashion. Merchant raise the tempo and bring some dirty stoner grooves to the table, demonstrating another side of their sound, while still retaining gut-churning heaviosity.

Suzerain” is an awe-inspiring release from Merchant and all the more impressive for being a debut. The massive potential documented here will have Merchant’s peers looking over their shoulders in fear for what this band will unleash next.     

Suzerain” is available here and digitally here

Band info: faceboook

Wednesday 29 June 2016

Raging Speedhorn - "Lost Ritual" (Album Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 15/07/2016
Label: Pledge Music

The ‘Speedhorn, these days, are a more measured beast- gone are the almost out of control frenetic changes and overall delivery, and what we have instead is a band still capable of viciousness and aural violence, but approaching their craft in a more measured manner.  As Comebacks go this is a great one- the band has lost none of their power and the ten tracks here are of uniformly good quality. A fine effort, well worthy of your time and a perfect antidote for these troubling times.

“Lost Ritual” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Bring Out Your Dead
2). Halfway To Hell
3). Motörhead
4). Evil Or Mental
5). Ten Of Swords
6). Dogshit Blues
7). Hangman
8). Shit Outta Luck
9). Coming Home
10). Unleash The Serpent

The Review

After all this time on hiatus... have they still got it?! The answer, thankfully, is yes. Albeit that “it” has changed a little in the intervening decade. “Bring Out Your Dead” is a chugging monster, those familiar twin vocals coming back to my consciousness as if my memories of 2002 have awoken. The ‘Speedhorn, these days, are a more measured beast- gone are the almost out of control frenetic changes and overall delivery.

What we have instead is a band still capable of viciousness and aural violence, but approaching their craft in a more measured manner. That's not to say that “Halfway to Hell” doesn't rock like a bastard, because it does. The sound and grooves come thick and fast on this one; excellent bass tone and a fine slow section through the middle to show it off. The prescient “Motorhead” is well worthy of the title and barrels along with force and swagger.

That opening triumphant triumvirate is followed by the excellent “Evil or Mental”, which slows things down and ramps up the hatred. “Ten of Swords” is similarly low and slow; once again giving the sense that ‘Speedhorn have approached this record with a sense of craftsmanship by giving it ebb and flow and allowing all facets of their musical personality to shine.

“Dogshit Blues” plays the ace of spades again- a short and sharp blast of rollicking energy.  And thus the record continues on- a more rock and roll version of ‘Speedhorn in some ways, a more measured one in others. Make no mistake, though, this is a huge improvement on their two previous records and builds successfully on their revered first two. Sludge mingles with Motorhead-ish tracks. “The Hangman” is certainly as heavy and horrible as anything from the band's past, while “Shit Outta Luck” rocks like Lemmy were still alive and stepping out on stage.

The final two tracks slither by with “Unleash The Serpent” providing a suitably unpleasant conclusion. As Comebacks go this is a great one- the band has lost none of their power and the ten tracks here are of uniformly good quality. A fine effort, well worthy of your time. I enjoyed the band hugely first time around and I am enjoying this record hugely as well. A perfect antidote for these troubling times.

“Lost Ritual” is available here

Band info: Facebook

The Sludgelord Song Premiere - "Needles" by Bleak

By: Aaron Pickford


If you’re anything like me, apart from the constant stream of insulting drivel you receive in your feed, social media is the ultimate resource for new music and today’s featured artist Bleak, was a band that many people made reference too, most notably via our friends from Canada at Exclaim magazine. 
The very name in itself, Bleak, offers a perfect pen picture of what the band offer, which is malevolent, ugly and vitriolic chaos.  Whilst many band rest on their laurels and vomit out records every damn millennia, these rowdy noise terrorists, are set to deliver their second full length in a year, with the release of “No Light, No Tunnel”.
Having debuted the track “Teeth” a few weeks back, which was described as “a violent, random stabbing into the heart of comfort and stability” Today at The Sludgelord, we are gonna torture you with “Needles”, the second and arguably most ferocious track from the album, indeed in terms of the album as a whole, the compositions that make up this cacophonous racket, are as utterly compelling as they are utterly wretched.    
So prepare to be destroyed, because this track is grim, lacking warmth and depressingly miserable.  Your future is Bleak, so enjoy as we perforate your ears with “Needles

No Light, No Tunnel” will be released via Hex Records on LP, CD, and digitally on 8/7/16 and can be ordered here

Tuesday 28 June 2016

The Sludgelord Video Premiere - "Masocutter" by Negative Thought Process


Negative Thought Process is a 2 piece Crust/grind/powerviolence duo formed by Daniel Page (Hibernacula Records, Victorian Whore Dogs, Exquisite Ending) and Kyle Townsend (Ex-Strike Offensive)

Their debut album “Methylene Butterfly” is due out through Hibernacula Records on September 17th, featuring 11 tracks of furious blasts, D-beats, HM-2 laden guitar riffs and brutality. Fans of Nails, Doom, Magrudergrind, Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Napalm Death are going to shit themselves, because this is full on rage. 

Conceptually dealing with battles of self harm, drug addiction, destructive relationships and suicide.  Today we are exclusively streaming the track “Masocutter” which you can check out below and can be pre ordered here

Band info: facebook

Monday 27 June 2016

The Sludgelord Album Premiere - "Harmonic Ruptures" by Harvester (Full Stream)

Harvester are a stoner metal band from Galway in the west of Ireland. Formed in 2012 through a mutual love of Black Sabbath and Guinness, (what better combination is there) Harvester  draw influence from the greats, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Sleep, Rory Gallagher, and newer bands Graveyard, Torche, High On Fire  
Friday July 1st will see the band issue “Harmonic Ruptures”, which will be their second full length, following their debut “The Blind Summit Recordings” which was released on vinyl in 2013 via Freak Flag Recordings, to much acclaim. The 8 tracks that make up their new album were recently mastered for vinyl and digital release by none other than James Plotkin (Sumac, Conan, Botch) featuring the incredible artwork by Emmett Connell.
With the release date edging ever closer, today at The Sludgelord we are delighted to present “Harmonic Ruptures” in full with today’s exclusive stream and we’re certain you won’t be disappointed. 

Harmonic Ruptures” will be released digitally on Friday 1st July and be available via their bandcamp and all the usual outlets iTunes, Amazon etc.  In addition they have some upcoming gigs in Ireland, UK on the horizon and were also recently asked by none other than Bill Kelliher to support Mastodon in August.  All the information you need can be viewed below. 


“Harmonic Ruptures” track listing:
1). Summoner
2). The Obol
3). Magnetic North
4). Lapse
5). Dimensionaut
6). Wrought
7). Outlier
8). Past the Mantle
Live Rituals

Thurs 7 July, Galway - Roisin Dubh
Fri 8 July,  Cork - Fred Zeppelins
Sat 9 July,  Kilkenny – Cleeres
Also we will be returning to bonnie Scotland at the end of July. More UK gigs to be added
Thurs 28 July, Edinburgh - Banshee Labyrinth
Fri 29 July, Glasgow - Nice n' Sleazy
Sun 14 Aug, Belfast - Limelight w/ Mastodon
Mon 15 Aug, Dublin - Academy w/ Mastodon
Band info: bandcamp || facebook

Paganizer - "On The Outskirts of Hades" EP (Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 01/08/2016
Label: Transcending Obscurity

“On The Outskirts of Hades” CD//DD track listing:

1). Angry All the Time
2). Adjacent to Purgatory
3). The Netherworld Carnivale
4). On the Outskirts of Hades

The Review:

Paganizer, fine exponents of Swe-death return with this four track blast of nastiness. Opener “Angry All The Time” doesn't tear out of the gate, but rest assured that after the doomy intro the band pick up the pace and rip things up. “Adjacent to Purgatory” is similarly vicious and brings an intensity that has not been matched by some of the bigger names in the genre (Entombed AD- step things up, please).

Although Dismember are gone, it is immensely gratifying to hear bands like Paganizer and Entrails carrying the torch. Certainly, this four track EP is an excellent taster for what the band is all about and is certainly for fans of the REAL Swedish death metal sound. It is doomy and feral with the right amount of grit in the sound to make the fast and slow sections work effectively. “The Netherworld Carnivale” is not a million miles away from Asphyx and is a great example of what Paganizer can do.

The title track of the EP closes things in some style- a malevolent riff kicking things off and then the verses locking in effectively. For anyone wanting some Swedish death metal in the traditional style. Paganizer are a band to check out. Their name may not have the gravitas of Entombed or Dismember, but they are operating in the same theatre- and doing so viciously.

“On The Outskirts of Hades” is available here

Band info: facebook