Friday, May 27, 2011


Currently being hailed by everyone who has heard and/or seen them live as the best new band in Ireland, here is W.O.F.M.. This five piece is - like quite many other bands these days -  delivering a retro 70's heavy rock, but don't think they jumped in the "trendy" wagon, because they're not similar to the genre of Ghost or The Devil's Blood, neither Blood Ceremony or Jex Thoth, no occult imagery or cliche here, just a powerful music, fair, positively catchy and natural,  and if I really have to compare them to any actual band, I think Graveyard would be more appropriated... Maybe not as bluesy as the swedish, the music is still strongly 70's heavy rock influenced, Led Zeppelin and the local irish legends Thin Lizzy  first come to mind, but a few parts could sound like an unlikely Electric Wizard, delivered from the occult forces and flourished à la sauce psychedelic 70's !!! Filled with warm and charismatic vocals, fuzzy and frenetic guitars, their music drips with authenticity and feeling. Their demo-ep which contains "sonic war" and "dollar hips" can be downloaded for free, so now please you got nothing more to do than going immediately here :

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Here's a totally new band from Wales (UK) whose name should be soon revealed far more largely to the whole underground. The song "sands of time" is actually the only studio recorded stuff they have to propose but what a hell of a metal song !!!! There's other great (live) material to listen on youtube, but just this one helps to identify a very skilled musicianship and a true personality emerging. Despite its name, the style of this band is not exactly doom, netiher sludge or stoner or thrash... a mix of all ? difficult to precise, I would say this is simply pure down-tempo METAL, heavy and loud with bright and harmonious guitars,  catchy raw vocals and a massive rythmic. Early june, the 5 piece will record five songs for a mini-album to be released certainly by the end of summer... As for now, give a listen to "sands of time" and enjoy D.C. ! 


Formed in 2003 around JD Williams on vocals (ex Internal Void) and Kyle VanSteinburg on guitars (Earthride), this 5 piece Maryland based doom band recorded its first album "tribal eulogy" three years later but due to unfulfilled contacts with 2 labels and various problems, this one has been only released last year by the spanish label Blood and Iron Records... Considering the quality of the product, the first thing that comes to mind is that such a long waiting is very surprising, but well it's out now and deserves your total attention. "Maryland, Internal Void, Earthride"... three names that make you easily guess that we are dealing here with a  heavy rockin' doom band of the highest order but also to whom the band's sound is accurate (we could add The Obsessed though), just enriched by a few crushing 80's early Celtic Frost overtones (they cover "procreation of the wicked" live)  and 70's hard rock for the catchiness of some memorable leads. A very skilled musicianship for a guaranted 100% fuckin' pleasure ! An interview will follow this summer, just enough time for you to familiarize with this great release... 


W.B. is a new Stockholm-based project with Chritus on vocals (ex St vitus and Count Raven, actually Lord Vicar)... and this is just more than potentially interesting !!! I strongly recommend you to listen to the recently uploaded 2 demo tracks "Hammer and the Cross" and "King One." on their myspace. You'll quickly recognize one of the most beautiful voice of today's doom scene, not as mournful as in Lord Vicar, Chritus is perfectly in tune with a raw and unrelenting trad doom; except an interesting spacey psychedelic part in "king one", the general tempo is quite removed, solid and heavy  but no complex nor epic riffing, just nice true sabbathian crushing guitars. Sure only 2 songs is a bit short and can leave you a bit on your hunger, but remember this is (top quality) doom, so that's still about 15 minutes long in all, he he ! This should be largely enough to catch some labels attention and lead to a full-lenght album  pretty soon...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

THE GATES OF SLUMBER -"the wretch"- : int' with Karl S.

There's quite many great new doom releases these past months, but whatever happens before the end of the year, THE GATES OF SLUMBER's new album "the wretch" will be for sure one of the most significant album of 2011. Reviving a very gloomy trad doom, Karl, Jason and Clyde (the new drummer, whose impressive power is  really palpable) have released here TGOS best album and gone even far beyond the earlier works with a personality and a musicianship much more asserted, that tend to make this work very catchy, gripping, overwhelming and shattering. Then you can easily guess that I'm particlularly happy to have had this cool following interview with Karl :

* Hey Karl, so how did you enjoy your recent european tour with Place of Skulls ? Wasn’t it a bit special to play new songs that nobody heard before ? Why has the Parisian date been cancelled ?
The Place of Skulls tour was awesome, great times indeed! First time ever in Finland and it was awesome. Really I can not complain at all! As far as the songs go we'd played a few of them on the Cathedral tour in Fall before doing the record... but I take your meaning. I guess we just wanted to focus on the new material. Frankly, I'm bored of the older stuff. Hopefully it was an incentive for people to go out and buy the new one.
We cancelled the Paris show because we felt that a day off was needed, a member of the touring party was feeling quite sick and it just wasn't safe to continue; at least that was the feeling.

* Your comments at the end of “the wretch” booklet is something very deep, sincere and personnal, that sums up all your feelings towards the album and the last years events concerning TGOS, did you feel it necessary to explain things that way to your fans ?
I've done similar things since Suffer No Guilt, actually. I got the idea from Blackie Lawless, who has put these kinds of open letters in WASP CDs for years now. I think it's a good way to communicate more deeply, you know?

What are the answers to “the wretch” you have heard so far ? of course I presume you’re conscious that some fans of “conqueror…” and “blood…” could find it a bit disconcerting while early fans (like me) who didn’t enjoyed as much those both previous albums will be certainly blown away ?
In general the response has been what you'd expect. Some people really like the new album, some are less enthused... . Ultimately, it's the record we wanted to make; one that I've wanted to make for some time now, and that's what's most important to me. Commercial concerns are unimportant to me.

* You recently wrote in a forum that you would have prefered to put “the scourge of …” as the first song of the album, instead of “bastards born”, do you think it could have marked a less abrupt transition, as the song is certainly the best link between the 2007-2010 period and the actual new one ?
Yeah, that's kind of right, more to the point it was written with the idea that it would be the lead track for the record. The transition idea you put forward was a part of it. In the end I feel that opening with Bastards Born was as good an idea... .

* As I told you previously, your set at the Roadburn fest completely blew me away but you gave it only a 7.5, while the date in Essen got a 9, what made the difference ? maybe some tiredness of the audience (it was the end of the 3rd day) and/or more surely the abuse of strong weed ?!!! Is the german audience generally the best you met in Europe ? Which countries would you like to play in next ? Which european country did you find the most different (culture, attitudes, food, etc...) ?
Oh, that rating was for US, not the crowd; the crowds are pretty much always awesome! No we just didn't play as well as we could have, and I think that's because we were pretty tired! Ha! The Germans are always good, but then so are the Irish, and the Italians, the Finns were insane too, and then you have the English... really it's good all over! No one throws trash at us, so that's good, you know? As far as where we'd like to play: everywhere! As far as the culture and attitudes... really all of Europe is different to the US, but personally I'm pretty much beyond that. It's just different and I've learned not to talk about those things: it's pretty pointless! Every now and again someone will want to talk to me about something political, but what can I do, really? I'm a fucking guitarist: if you don't like the USA, join the club you know? But don't bother me with that shit, because I have very little political sway here at home... I know that is hard to believe, but it's true. It's a lot like yelling at the guy who takes out the trash at McDonnald's because you don't like their corporate policies. But, no in general people are pretty cool.

* You’ll be soon on the road again, touring the US with Orange Goblin and Naam, then coming back to Europe for some festivals including the Hellfest , cool program !? do you think you could come back in Europe later this year as headliner ?
Actually, I have some bad news for you but due to personal reasons beyond my control we had to cancel out of Hellfest, but don't worry we'll be back in the Fall for make up dates... I can only hope that we get an offer to do Hellfest next year. It's really sad, but it could not be avoided really.

You wrote “in the end I think that our move from the fantastic to the personal was best for this album, best for the band”, do you think otherwise you would have turned round in some way ?
I'm not sure I understand the question. I think that we'd kind of run our course doing fantastic songs... if we'd done a record that was full of the same themes that we'd covered over the last three it would have been us just doing something because "That's what we do"... like Slayer writing about Satan or some bullshit. Really, I believe that you have to follow your heart with regards to music, and our heart was not into making another fantasy based record. (you did understood !!!)

* The title track “the wretch” is my fave song of the album, again I feel completely gripped by this sorrowful masterpiece, others like “castle of the devil”, “of iron and fire” or “bastards born” have many dark and majestic feelings too, but this one is the most representative, what’s yours ? I feel this song is very much in the vein of old St Vitus, is it a real influence for you or is there any band which ( equally or more a source of inspiration  -"fuck ! that was the end... sorry" -) ?
I think your question got cut off here man... but to answer it I'd have to say my biggest influences would be Saint Vitus, and Black Sabbath. That's it. I probably could live the rest of my life with only those two bands in my collection. As far as my favorite tracks, I'd have to say they would be Bastards Born, Day of Farewell, The Wretch and To the Rack With Them, because all of them go down really well live and are just fun to play.

* The coming of Cool Clyde (ex- Sourvein) gave you a new strength, in which way did he allow the band to "re-explore its sound" ?
Oh yeah, without a doubt, I don't think we could have done this record without him. His moribund style of drumming is so important to the sound of the record.

* How do you share the lyrics side with Jason ? I presume that each one has its favorite themes ?
Jason writes his lyrics and I write mine. I've actually pushed him to write words. Jason writes what he's into and I do the things that I do. You know? Jason is more concerned with historical themes and what not in his lyrics than I am. He's also a bit more esoteric with his lyrical topics whereas I tend to be more cut and dry.

* The cover of the album also marks a logical but radical break with the previous ones , how did you work with that guy Arik Roper ?
We had done three warrior type album covers back to back, and it was just not something that I wanted to do again... it was starting to feel like role I was playing rather than doing music that I love. This record is a new turn, or a return if you prefer... so we felt that it was important to have the cover follow the music. Arik is someone that I've always wanted to work with and he was kind enough to licence a painting to us.

* You recently posted on your facebook page a vote for the best local metal band of your area, you're particularly in "competition" with Apostle Of Solitude I suppose ? what's the expected reward ?!
Ha, nothing. There is no reward. It would be nice to have some attention from our hometown paper, but that's about it.

* If you had to play tomorrow a cover or being party of a tribute album, which band and song would you think first about ?
Man, we've done so many covers over the years I really don't know. Probably a Motorhead cover as they are one of my favorite bands, probably right behind Sabbath and Vitus... I'd want to do Lost Johnny, even though that was originally a Hawkwind song... I like Motorhead's version best... that or Traitor.

* This new album looks like a very important step for you, what are your real expectations for this new step forward ?
We are going to tour as much as we can for this record and then go out and write a new one. I expect that we'll do at least 3 more US tours and 1 more EU/UK tour before the year is over and then we dive into working on the next record. At this point I have no more expectations, you know? This is one of the things I do, because I like to play music. Trying to be some kind of rock star is the furthest thing from my mind. Playing and touring and not going broke would be the goal... .

*  ok Karl ,thanx a lot for your time... I'm really impatent to see TGOS live again next month at the Hellfest, before that all the best for the US tour...
Thanks man, sorry about Hellfest again! But we'll see you in Fall! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOARGH!
check out the album and a cool shirt through Rise Above or Metal Blade :

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

UZALA - doomed despair -

It's kind of hard for me to try and succeed to limit my enthusiasm towards new bands I present here... I do NOT want to give the impression that I always think that the bands I feature here are all the best newcomers you could ever imagine; but on the other hand, for the moment at least , one thing  sure is that I'll never present here bands that I don't like !!!
UZALA comes from the state of Idaho in the USA and should be, nothing else, than your next female singing doom band sensation !!!  The band was  formed in 2009 by Darcy Nutt (voc/guit), Chad Remains (guit/voc), joined by Mirce (bass) and Stephen Gere (drums, also in Atriarch). Their demo "plague" consists in 4 songs for just about 20 minutes. The vocals of Darcy (also a wellknown tatto artist) reminds me my two faves of the genre  -Jex Thoth and Alia O'Brien- but the music is generally a lot slower and more direct than Blood Ceremony, more closed to J.T.  with a darker emphasis and a pronounced like for sorrowful majestic atmospheres. There's also a song, "fracture", which is very different from the other, with Chad on vocals, a lot more raw and metal,a song that could have been included in Celtic Frost's "pandemonium" !!!  it's maybe a bit too different from the rest, but I'm sure the band can also developp on this side, being perhaps more cohesive with the rest if mixed vocals were applied. Anyway, UZALA, very logically,  has some great plans for the second part of the year, judge by yourselves : 
- first full length actually recorded with Blake Green from WOLVSERPENT/PussyGutt/Aelter manning the boards; it'll contain 9 songs and will be released by the mighty At War With False Noise records on vinyl and Witch Sermon Tapes on cassette in Autumn 2011.
- Possible split 7" with PALLBEARER and another split 7" with MALA SUERTE this year as well.
The demo is available through AWWFN and 20 Buck Spin in very limited quantities (if they have any left...)
Now, do yourself a favour and support them, no regret guaranteed...

BLOOD FARMERS - 2011 : THE comeback ! -

With  their recent (1st) successful european tour , BLOOD FARMERS have proved, if necessary, that its cult reputation was not overused at all. One of my main regret about Roadburn was to have seen them just 35 minutes, which have been  a too short happiness, but for sure (or at least logically) we won't have to wait 16 years more until they come back in Europe !!! During their both Roadburn's shows (on thursday + for the afterburner on sunday), among their numerous classics, they have played a killer new song called "thousand yard stare" that you can hear and watch on the video below ! Let's cross fingers for an album to come, cause this song prefigures something huge ! While waiting for this, a split 12' ep with SOLLUBY will be soon released on Land o' smiles rds (exclusive vynil and tape label, who alreday released eps from Rwake, Solace, Earthride..). I coudldn't find  "a bullet in my head" (my fave song from them) played at Roadburn on Youtube, so I've also posted  "behind the brown door" which is still one of their most memorable anthems.... Enjoy this outstanding trad doom band with one of the very best guitarist of the genre...!!!


Monday, May 9, 2011

BARABBAS - beware of the french doom attack !!! -

Do you believe in lightning strikes ? In love, I absolutely do  not, but in music yes obviously, and this is my latest :  BARABBAS ... This quartet from the suburbs of Paris just released its first mini CD ( with an exact total lenght of  33.33 minutes) which contains 6 songs (including 2 intros) and proves to be an oustanding (good) surprise.  The band plays a rather traditional  doom in its origins and structures, with influences from Cathedral and St Vitus detected here and there, their slogan "heavier, slower, deafer" is globally very suitable; but what sounds  very different from the mass and make them sound somewhat modern at the same time, is that vocals are in french and the remarkable power of the whole interpretation, both these elements make their style very original and refreshing. Those french vox, a massive production and a pounding rythmic, give an amazing stunning power that I hadn't ever heard at this point in this genre, in this sense they also can remind a bit the good early C.O.C. or the likes who enjoy extreme power and heaviness. Nice programm for sure! Read the following interview with their guitarist Stéphane, and SUPPORT them.

* Hello Saint Stéphane... you formed in 2007, ok you took your time and it was really worth waiting for the CD release, but other reasons must explain this rather long delay, right? As Barabbas delivered by an earthquake, is it the tsunami that made you free of your chains ?! (oops sorry...) Do you think one must necessarily be in the thirties to display the best possible doom ?!!! What's your background ?
S : Ave Steph ! Indeed, four years for the first ep, that seems an eternity, but seen our advanced ages, the doctors disadvised us to go faster. More seriously, we have all jobs who need quite a lot of investment, family lives and some of us are in parallel musical projects, all that doesn't facilitate the rehearsals. All in all, no matter about the time it has taken, that's not a race and as said  JC (the other one, not our drummer(beater)), " the last ones will be the first ones " (we feel reassured as we can). Concerning our history, it is of a distressing commonness : simply four buddies, all coming from local bands more or less known (Sarkazeinfor JC, Call Us As You Wish for Jérôme), we're now gathered by love of the heavy, slow and gloomy musics (and hearing losses), just to  write it I already find that razor, I feel sorry in advance for your readers, mea culpa...

* "la question de Pilate" should certainly be used as intro to your live performances ? on stage, if that's materially possible, do you plan to play the movie on backscreen or something?
S : "Pilate's question" is a sample reworked from the film "Barabbas". This peplum is our bible in some way, more for its existential dimension than for its religious aspect : this bandit delivered instead of an innocent, clumsily seeking to understand why he was allowed a second chance ... This suggests both the arbitrary nature of existence (or opacity of destiny, if you believe in determinism), the difficulty of giving meaning to one's existence ... In short, a theme totally doom to our senses. To play this sample as an intro for gigs,  can therefore set the scene and, implicitly, to understand the music that follows is a symbol of excess, the bombast specific peplum. Regarding the broadcast of images of the movie, I know that Jerome is currently working on a visual idea of this type for our next electric mass but this little devil has not yet said what he intended to do exactly ...

* "Judas sold Jesus for 30 pieces, Barabbas sells its CD for  7 €" is one of the best marketing slogans I've ever heard, do you have any others like that on hand for the future ?!
S : Vanity is a sin, but we're pleased with your compliment. We have some in reserve, such as "Jesus Loves Even Barabbas" or "Speak louder, I play in Barabbas" that will perhaps soon end up on a T-shirt.

* Was the choice of singing in French an evidence since the beginning ? To my knowledge you are the first French group of doom to sing in its native language, one can say that french sounds fine soft, rich, delicate to hear, but paradoxically, I find that this gives a very sharp edge to your trad doom, how do you feel its use ? Do you think that french vocals can bring something that english could not ? 
S : We would be perfectly unable to sing in English, we already badly master our mother tongue ... !
Singing in French has become obvious, we attach importance to the text content and we certainly could not express ourselves as accurately in another language. And in these times of globalization, the use of our native tongue has a small edge of  "resistance to uniformity"that is not displeasing to us, although we recognize that this may limit our audience. For the cutting edge, I think it comes from Rudolph, his voice exudes a real aggressive rock'n'roll, all in power. Surprisingly, he had never sung before Barabbas, while you just can see it quickly on stage :  he is made to be frontman.

* I agree your music is actually inspired by trad doom but its raw power and groove in some ways remind me sometimes HC à la early Corrosion of Conformity, may be due to your previous experiences or older influences, am I definitely completely stoned or is it realistic ?
S : No, you're not far from the truth since some of our influences go beyond the doom (or even metal) and I know that JC and Jerome listened and still listen to a lot of HC, so nothing abnormal at all to point some little HC feelings in the way they play.

* Starting with some  musical connotations, I found some similarities in the overall approach with The Bottle Doom Lazy Band, a sentence like "the music of Barabbas may be boring to hear but it is even harder to play" may be closer to their state of mind (musically very square but quite a few 2nd degree and good humor), do you know them? What is your state of mind rather "fun"or "sorrow"?
S : We do not know them personally but we do really enjoy all the stuff from TBDLB. Moreover, we have been seeing them in concert there in a little local pub, they were supposed to share the bill with Red Mourning and  Mudweiser, but they had barely begun to turn the bass and drums that suddenly the sound limiter has failed to plunge the room into darkness. As a result: they have repackaged rather than betray their sound. Frustrating for us ...but class  in the attitude "no compromise". Back to your question "fun or sorrow, " I would say that one does not preclude the other, see Ozzy or Lee Dorian. I do not remember who said "Humor is the politeness of despair, " but it pretty much sums up our mood, we are some kind of happy pessimistic guys and  to self-parody (even self-deprecation)  is natural. And pride is a deadly sin, right?

* This last quote joined in the spirit your drummer's little message towards you in his thanks list, is it so difficult for him to play doom ?! Is he technically bored over what he did before?!
S : No, I think he just wanted to be disagreeable with us because we are committing towards him an implacable hatred. This is the pretty boy of the group and it makes us jealous. So it doesn't make us too much shade, we stuck him to the back of the stage behind the drums and that he does not forgive. Moreover, in rehearsal, he played with headphones just not to hear us (and in retaliation, we neither do listen him).

* The story of Barabbas goes back to the supposed responsibility of the Jews in the crucifixion of Jesus (deicide), could your lyrics speak precisely about that or might it be too subject to controversy? Do the band  name and the general concept imply mainly lyrics relating to this story or this historic period (for the moment at least ...)? Just like for Huata, one could quickly note your religious approach and inevitably classify you straight into the occult range, how do you feel about that ? Are you closer to an Electric Wizard or a Place Of Skulls ... ? do you feel invested with a divine mission?
S : We do not intend to limit ourselves to the biblical universe but we do not want to abandon either. For the ep, we had even pre-recorded songs with to non-religious themes, but we finally didn't kept them to favor the "concept album" edge. In fact, the biblical references in our songs are not necessarily to be taken literally, they function more as metaphors, like the themes of "dragon / rainbow / sorcerer" from RJ Dio (rip) as I wrote above, "Barabbas" is about the sense of absurdity of existence that you can sometimes feel, 'Horizon Golgotha ​​", it's the inevitable that arises in your life, this could be the history of a heavy smoker who has just learned he has terminal cancer and who looks in the mirror, sneering "thou hast indeed sought sasshole ?  So, between Griffin and Osborn, we feel much closer to Electric Wizard. No divine mission for us, our Church of the Holy Riff Sonic Redeemer is inspired by Hendrix Electric Church: a movement open to all without distinction of sex, color, religion, an invitation to purify themselves and commune together rejoice in the big sound. Our only idol is Euterpe (this said, if possible any disciples want to elect us as spiritual leaders, we are ok : nothing better than a good old sect to make lots of money without being trampled and abused its followers ...).

*  I guess the end of Cathedral nearby wasn't a very good news for you as fans, with that happening, the coming back of St Vitus with especially a brand new album is a great pleasure,  right?
S : I admit, doing the first part of Cathedral was one of my secret fantasies. Now, barring a miracle, it seems grated (unless playing in Lourdes, perhaps). That said, there is not just messiahs who die and rise again, who knows if this split is final, see Black Sabbath with Dio (sorry, Heaven and Hell) and St. Vitus, precisely, for whom a new split probably drown Rudolph into a deep depression. I await their new album with impatience, will they live up to their legend? Sometimes, even the gods can fail ...

* The Holy Trinity (Black Sabbath, Cathedral and St Vitus) that you cite as influence, that's cool ok, but that's not necessarily all in a doomster's life, so which more recent bands do you particlularly enjoy? (frenchies included!)
S : In total disorder: Ramesses, The Puritan, Cough, Blood Ceremony, Lord Vicar ... Personally, I really appreciate the last Wounded Kings, its daring and hypnotic mood with regard to the genre (I think especailly about the use of piano). At the risk of being expelled from true metalheads paradise, we really liked Ghost ... although it has a just a bit to do with doom (or metal ...). For nationals: Huata, The Bottle Doom Lazy Band, Hangman's Chair are unanimous in our congregation.

* Any plan for future gigs? I suppose that nothing's easy to find some in France, according to yo, what can "repulse" most, the fact that you play doom or the religious connotation of  your name?
S : Both, sir! Even some close friends have raised questions about us after the release of the album ... And when you see how many we were at the Glaz'Art in Paris for Blood Ceremony who have still two albums under their belts, you know that programmers are not going to fight to get the unknown Barabbas .. . But we still have some dates to be confirmed for the autumn and we perform a mini-concert for 30 minutes next 25th June à l'Empreinte (Savigny-le-Temple, in 77). Economic miracle: the entrance is free! Deaf brothers, if you're in the neighborhood...

* The end has come, last words ? thank you very much Stéphane and  long live BARABBAS !
S : That's us who thank you for opening us your doors to the Temple of Perdition and contribute to the spread of the Gospel Sonic Barabbas. For the final word, in these troubled times, what would you think about : "Love each other"? Well thinking again, I have the feeling of having yet heard it somewhere ...

Saturday, May 7, 2011


HUATA from Rennes offers a very solid stoner doom in the vein of Electric Wizard  with a very occult edge. Their first album "atavist of man", out soon on Throatruiner and Boue rds, should not be just "another release" eventually to check out but certainly a masterpiece of extremely heavy and hypnotic stuff. This band has recently opened for two of their major influences : ELECTRIC WIZARD and RAMESSES, as well as for COUGH; let me tell you that the headliners had to be at their best after their performances and I'm sure this is just a beginning... With BARABBAS, another very promising french doom band, you'll read about  them here very soon, HUATA awakes more than a bit the french doom scene which has a few great bands but isn"t enough dynamic; we'll speak about that and other interesting things  for sure when I have an interview with Ronan "carcinos" (vocals) soon after the release.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

DOOMMANTIA - interview with ED

If there's a reference to always keep in mind concerning doom medias, this is the one and only DOOMMANTIA webzine ... An incredible source of informations, constantly updated with reviews, news, interviews and dozens of links; the guy behind this is ED from Seattle who's also known for his activities with Doom Metal Alliance records and Earthdog Promotions. I must admit that ED really impresses me by the quality of his knowledge, his reflexion,very deep, fair, experienced and well-ordered; he breathes doom, lives for doom and is actually in my opinion one of its very best ambassadors in the world... Read what follows carefully, practise Doomantia regularly, register to his forum and you'll quickly see that there's no exagerations about that... Enjoy this cool one;)

* You’re native from Australia, have lived in England in the early 80’s and live now in the USA for about 20 years… what made you moving like this and why did you choose to stay finally in Seattle ? After all these years, do you now consider yourself as american or still australian ?

ED: Long story, I always liked to travel so when a friend said he could find me work in the UK and somewhere free to live, I went for it. It was great because when I arrived it was the peak of the New Wave Of British Metal so I saw all those bands in their early stages. I haven't lived in the US for 20 years but I first came here all those years ago and been going back and forth ever since. I met my wife in Seattle in 2004, got married and settled down in Washington State. I still consider myself Australian but for good or bad, the American way of life has rubbed off on me.

* I know you started to get involved in the underground about 20 years ago contributing for a small fanzine (that didn’t really work out), but between this and Doommantia, which have been your activities ?
ED: Normal, boring stuff like working many jobs from Truck Driver to factory work. Music-wise, I worked as a roadie for a few years, got some jobs as a lighting man and so on but mostly just got out and saw as many bands as I could and did a lot of partying.

* Doommantia started in Sept. 2008, not so long ago, but it has grown in a very impressive way, with now about 150 000 views and 70-75 posts (reviews, interviews, etc…) each month, is this an unstoppable doom machine ?! for sure your very deep knowledge of the scene and enormous investment make above all this possible, but do you see any other particular reason for such a quick development ? Do you have new ideas in mind for the future ?
ED: Doommantia has just grown from word of mouth and from promotion from musicians and other websites. You can find links for Doommantia all over the Internet these days and I am always finding the site mentioned in the most unlikely of places. The site has been reviewed in Russia for example and I have been interviewed myself a few times and that is always strange to me. The site has been mentioned in magazines like Decibel and even Electric Wizard or Rise Above Records used Doommantia in advertising their last album, Black Masses. Stuff like this has made the site a success. For the future, just more of the same. I don't see any reason for changing the format, it seems to be working the way it is. However I would like to offer readers some Doommantia merchandise in the future, maybe t-shirts or something. I want to expand the store-page to include clothing and possibly start another website just for the merchandise alone. The store page makes up about half of all views to the site so next year, I might move it to another dot com.

* The Doomantia team now consists of about a dozen of contributors, how do you organize this ? Is it people who propose their contribution or you who “recruit” ? Do you give any particular directive lines ?
ED: There is always an open invite for writers so anyone can contribute to the site if they wish. It has always been like a community-based blog so anyone can join in. There is not many rules when it comes to writing reviews or conducting interviews. If you can use a computer, you can join the Doommantia writing team. The only requirements is 'put in some effort' as a one sentence-long review or whatever will never be accepted and keep it as honest as possible.

* How do you manage to spend so much time on promoting doom (through Doommantia, DMA, facebook) chating on your forum (and maybe others !?), while you have a regular job, a family with kids… ? do you just need 3 or 4 hours of sleep per day ?!!
ED: Yes, I don't sleep much at all, maybe 4 hours a night if I am lucky. I have an endless amount of energy for this stuff and it takes up virtually all of my spare time. I use my spare time always for zine-work and promoting even if it is just a spare 5 minutes, I will jump on the computer and type some ideas. I have typed up reviews for examples in the strangest of places too from trains and buses to bars to public bathrooms ha ha. I know that is an image you probably don't want to imagine but I am always either reviewing or thinking about reviewing. I do zine-work before work, during work and after work. Even lunch breaks are spent with a computer close by.

* When you discovered ST VITUS you said you moved away from other forms of extreme metal (death, thrash…) to concentrate almost exclusively on doom, but don’t you still feel good to listen sometimes an “altar of madness”, “show no mercy” or “seven churches” ? What did bring you especially doom and its related genres that the previous styles didn’t ?
ED: Oh yes, I will always love those albums and I still listen to thrash, black, death metal music but doom-metal is my favorite genre and has been since the early 80's. The main thing with doom-metal that got me hooked was emotion. It has an extreme emotional pull that is almost hypnotic and that is something the other metal bands are lacking in my opinion. Saint Vitus was the band that made me realize that fact for the first time. I first heard them around 1985 and became obsessed with all things doom. I heard something in Vitus that was so different, especially in 85 when most bands only cared about was playing as fast as they can and being as evil as possible. Bands like Saint Vitus gave metal another dimension.

* Some people say that doom can’t be 100% understood and felt without smoking weed or doing other drugs, you have lived a period with lots of various abuses but are now clean, so what’s your opinion about that ? and do you feel any difference in your approach of this music between these periods of your life ?
ED: No drugs didn't change anything with me, straight or stoned, the music has always sounded the same to me personally. Drugs enhance the moment but I don't think it makes the music any better at all. If anything I think you hear less if you are high. The only mind-expanding drug that I was ever addicted to was LSD, that did open my mind to hearing sounds I didn't hear otherwise but every other drug did nothing to enhance the music as far as I am concerned. I think if you need drugs to appreciate doom-metal, you do not truly like the music anyway. I know many people now who used to smoke weed, listen to stoner and doom but now don't because they gave up the drugs. In my opinion, they were just living in a false reality and being a fake fan or a poser with doom-metal. This is why the stoner-rock tag bugs me as most stoner-rock fans I know are 100% clean, most don't even drink.

* Having to face some problems, DMA records is somewhat asleep these days, but you’ve got new plans for the 2nd part of this year… could you tell more ?
ED: Yes, it will be re-launched later this year with a new emphasis on vinyl. Lets face it, the CD market is dead so I want to focus on vinyl and limited-edition type releases. Cater for the serious collector rather than the people who only care about downloading music for their I-Pods and wanting it for free.

* You discovered Black Sabbath in 1973 when your parents were listening very much early hard rock bands, since then you venerate this band, who do you think have been or actually is their best disciples ? Do your children pay attention to the obscure sounds you listen, just as you did 35 years ago ?
ED: Yes, Black Sabbath to me is almost like my religion. I still listen to them every week even though I first heard 40 plus years ago. Since 73 when I bought my first Sabbath record, I think the first two Trouble albums, Saint Vitus, Cathedral's Forest of Equilibrium album, Candlemass and Electric Wizard have been the most important touchstones for doom-metal. There is many newer bands too but time will tell if they are up to the challenge of becoming the new gods. And my kids, my oldest is 8 years old and hates the music I listen to so I don't think there is much hope there but that is typical of children these days. They are so brainwashed by television and no talent dicks like Justin Bieber that they wouldn't know good music if it hit them in the face. It was different when I was a kid, music was very important and musicians like Tony Iommi and Jimmy Page were idolized by kids everywhere, now its cellphones, video games and sugar-coated manufactured pop-stars.

* Who do you think is the first real DOOM metal band to have emerged ? (St Vitus, Trouble, Candlemass, or …) If doom would have to be represented by just one person, who would it be for you?
ED: Saint Vitus, no question. Sabbath created the style but Vitus made it their total direction so they were the first 100% true doom-band. For a individual, I honestly don't think there is one person that sums up the genre but Iommi is the godfather of it all. The closest ones in the modern era would be Wino, John Perez, Gary Jennings, Victor Griffin, Al Morris, Leif Edling, Jus Oborn and Chad Davis who have done more for doom-metal than most people.

* Which are your fave newcomers ? from these bands, who would you choose, if you had to cite just one to represent the future of doom in the next 10 years ?
ED: The Wounded Kings, Serpent Venom, Witchsorrow, Wooden Stake to name a few. I think The Wounded Kings have the most potential to be the next doom super-group but there is other bands that deserve to be huge in the underground. They are not really doom but I think Orchid will also be very popular within the next 2 years.

* Despite the growing success of the webzine, the “doommantia forum” has difficulties to attract new members, this is not an isolated situation, I think there’s actually no dynamic doom forums in the world … On the (french) forum I practice most, we’re just a handful guys to post on doom and related genres, while there’s dozens on thrash or just classic heavy metal, so is the doomster a shy person or antisocial or … ?
ED: I do think the average doom-metal fan is a bit anti-social but not in a bad way. They are generally stay at home types that like to keep to themselves. More of an issue though is the general laziness of people who listen to the underground heavy genres. People don't really support music like they used to, people steal music from the Internet instead of buying a CD. People don't go to gigs anymore and that attitude extends to the forums as well. It is a bit sad but I feel it will only get worse in the future.

* Although it couldn’t ever become a trend, the doom scene has never been so productive, how do you explain this ? do you think it takes mainly profit from a much better promotion (with webzines particularly) ?
ED: That has a lot to do with it but it is music that best represents the world of today. The world is doomy and bleak and doom-metal is the perfect soundtrack to that. It is true there is more doom-metal bands around today than ever before but a lot of it has to do with the Internet. Anyone with a guitar and a computer can record and share their music. You don't need a label and a lot of people have no interest in getting out and gigging or touring so they feel comfortable in making download only albums or just simply having fun with their friends in a garage band situation. I also think doom's rise in popularity is a small backlash against all the other forms of metal that has dominated the scene for so long. So many people I speak to are so bored to death with thrash and black-metal growling about satan so they are looking elsewhere. The other thing is of course is the bands are so damn heavy, if you want riffs and heaviness in music, you will find more of it in doom than any other genre.

* From Europe, we have the impression that the American scene is huge… maybe in terms of bands quantity, but according to you this isn’t so brilliant in reality, with not that many real fans, gigs, festivals, etc …? In fact you would be rather more envious towards the Europeans ?
ED: For sure, Europe is the home of doom. Here the scene is full of bedroom bands, Myspace bands and a lot of it isn't that great. There is of course killer bands in the US and some states do have a solid but small audience for doom-metal but there is more places that have dead scenes than places that have a happening scene. America is a place of trends, American Idol bullshit and scenesters. One of the big differences is in the USA people preach a lot about how they love bands but when it comes to the crunch, they wont support it. That is why we don't have Roadburn type festivals here and the festivals we do have usually get a very poor to average turn-out. Europeans show how much they believe in the music over and over again and put their money where their mouth is, you don't find that here too often.

* In France we’re actually living a progressive economical rise, I do feel this is not actually the case in the States, the crisis has been more severe for you , with an increasing precariousness … am I wrong ? one proof of that is the actual extremely low value of the dollar compared to the euro, it’s good value to order albums in the US for us actually !
ED: You are right. I am no political expert so I wont go into details as I might get things wrong but from what I see and hear, America is hitting rock bottom right now. America needs a revolution like what happened in Tunisia before anything changes but Americans are so brainwashed by governments and the media, they will believe anything that is fed to them. It is strange that people from other countries still think Americans live in this wealthy environment but since living in the US, I have met more poor people than Australia and the UK combined. Food and gas prices are skyrocketing and wages are staying the same which are incredibly low anyway. The future for people living in the US is very bleak right now.

* What does France evoke to you ? any french bands which you listen to regularly ?
ED: Lux Incerta, Ataraxie, Sektarism, Remembrance and Black Heat Shujaa are a few bands that spring to mind and I hope they are all French and I didn't get that wrong (* that's ok) . The French bands I have heard have all been great and I can't think of a bad one right now. I know very little about France to be honest apart from the tourist attractions. I would love to go there one day though.

* Thanx a lot for your time ED, add something if you wish…
ED: Support your local underground doom bands, buy their CD's, don't steal their music. Go to gigs and show your love for this music. Keep on checking out Doommantia and thanks for all the support you have shown over the last couple of years. Please visit the store and buy something, again it is time to start showing true support for the music and its various scenes. Doom On.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


After a few years of silence, this great american doom band prepares a very awaited comeback... ORODRUIN has been pretty active between 2002 and 2005, releasing a memorable debut with "epicurean mass", soon followed by a split with Reverend Bizarre and a bit later by a Dvd. To be ranged in the category of trad melodic doom (influenced by Cathedral, Candlemass and St Vitus), the guys affirmed themselves as being one of the most interesting american new doom band. But then came silence...during the past years two of the  3 original members have been quite busy with their other band BLIZARO (horror doom.) But in march this year, the band (joined by a 2nd guitarist, who used to be a former member back to the demos period) finally entered the studio again, very good news for sure !!! Some new songs are "dark rune", "letter of life's regret" and "into the hands of darkness". The album should be out within a few months and I'm convinced that it's gonna be a masterpiece not to be missed.The band played regularly gigs over the last months with Argus, The Gates Of Slumber (Karl Simon is one of Orodruin's biggest fan !), etc... and one of the next show will be at "days of the doomed fest" which is gonna be certainly the best doom fest in the US this year !

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


"Horns in the air, Metalheads! Spawned from the urban sprawl of Washington, DC, Yesterday's Saints is back with a vengeance that will blacken the Earth. Originally formed in 2008, a new lineup returns with enough heavy metal firepower to generate a quake felt throughout the metal nation. Original vocalist, Matt Rice carries the YS standard with allies: Albert Born, Witt Black, and Phil D'Arcangelis.
With an EP release scheduled for early May 2011, a full-length release later in 2011 and an ever-increasing tour schedule, Yesterday's Saints delivers high-voltage, no remorse, devastation to the metal faithful.
Remember: Today's sinners are Yesterday's Saints"...
This is how these 4  guys (including the actual Pentagram's drummer Albert Born) present their band and there's not much to add, except to  point that they have reason to be confident in their high potencial, cause they display an high quality melodic yet very intense  heavy/thrash metal, rather 80's typed. No doubt, you'll read more about them here when the album is released; as for now listen to their powerful sound here :

Monday, May 2, 2011


I've yet posted some lines about Disembowelment and Winter, it's now time for another old classic band, but this one's far more under-rated : ACCIDENTAL SUICIDE. It's not that they're boring or unoriginal, it's more that  they came ouf after Autopsy and just don't have created a kind of new style like both bands above.
This 4 piece american band released a cultish masterpiece in 1992 on Deaf Rds (sublabel from Peaceville); "deceased" contains 10 songs for 45 minutes of sickened death metal. Don't expect here fast grinding stuff but rather slow to mid tempos, brutal, catchy and haunting at the same time. It reminds mainly  Autopsy indeed, but Viogression and early Obituary, meanwhile I don't see anything which could sound like any european band from this era, which is enough rare to be mentioned ! You cocksucker who dig early 90's death metal, if this name meant nothing to you until today, you now have a few songs on youtube to be definitely convinced that A.S deserves your attention ;)


Well, most of you have certainly yet heard or read (great) comments about this french band, but did you all give an ear (or two) to their killer album "entering darkness" ? If not, you really missed an essential release like just a few french bands (all metal styles included) have released so far. This int' with Jérôme (drums) should definitely help you on the way of redemption to drown in their abyssal, ultramassive sludgy doom metal, full of anger, cold and oppressive atmospheres. So after this reading, have a look on their site with all merchandising infos and support them right away !

 Hey Jérôme, it’s been just a week since we met at Roadburn , but that was after no more than 15 years… you didn’t change at all, congratulations !!! (I used to be very closed to one of his old bands -Astral Rising- back in the early 90's, I also knew at that time Stéphane -bassist- who played in Garden Of Silence... Georges -vocals- also played in Drowning... no trendy newcomers here as you see !!!)
Haha, you too man! You would have had another opinion if you had seen me 10 years ago, at the peak of my yuppie period, hehe. But as we say in French: "Chassez le naturel et il revient au galop" !!

“entering darkness” came out almost one year ago now, what’s its history since then (sales, reviews, fans response, etc…) ? Where did you get the most interest from ? Scott Kelly has programmed it on a radioshow, how did that happen ?
I can say that nearly every people who expressed an opinion on 'Entering Darkness' had something positive to say about it. And it is still true today as 'Entering Darkness' keeps getting reviewed in various mag/webzine. As of Scott programming Eibon in his radio-show, we simply sent him the 2 tracks EP and he seems to enjoy it enough to air both tracks. It is a great pleasure and honor to have some kind of recognition from such great artist that is a great source of inspiration.

Just as your music, your lyrics are totally dark and sorrowful, dealing with pain, war, depression… is it inspired by real facts or books or just by a damned imagination ?
A bit of both of that actually. Like for the music, writing lyrics is a collaborative process in Eibon. We start from drafts written by one of us, or someone close to us and we gather to bring all our own piece to the puzzle. As we all strive to express the same find of feelings that you mention, it enable us to have several views of any particular subject that a song deals with.

A 2nd guitarist joined the band just after the album release, was it something planed for quite a long time (I mean maybe it took time to find the right guy) or did you just feel this need at that time, maybe for gigs especially?
We wanted to add another guitar for quite a long time. Initially, the objective was being able to play the songs live the most closely as possible as they sound on record. This is also the reason why we trigger the same loops and samples. This said, it came that Guillaume has a lot more to bring to the band than just playing riffs on stage. Therefore, it was obvious for everyone to enrol him as a full-time member and he has already written his first track that we play on stage and that will feature on our next album.

On the song included on your split ep with HKY, I think that there’s also 2 important new facts to notice : 1st Stéphane sings and 2nd with a (nice) clear voice… just like you , he’s been playing in various bands for about 20 years and that’s the first time he sings (officially at least) how did it happen ? do you think his rising vocal talents could be developed in Eibon’s music in the future ?
To have Stephane performing some vocal parts is something we had been discussing for quite some time. In addition, you mentioned Scott Kelly earlier and at the time we recorded the track, we and specially Stephane, were listening a lot the latest solo album from Scott. So when we felt that a cleaner voice would fit in this song, we encourage to do it. Of course, like every first-time, things could have been even better but this is probably something we will do again in the future.

The french doom scene is developing slowly in terms of quantity but the quality is honestly very good, more than above the average, with bands like Hangman’s Chair, T.B.D.L.B., Children of Doom and newcomers like Huata or Barabbas… What’s your opinion on it and how do you see the place of Eibon between these bands ?
We do not really feel like we belong to any particular scene even though, all the bands you mention play music that is kinda close to ours in various aspect. You could have also mention Mourning Dawn & Fatum Elisum, 2 french doom acts which are on A.D. as well. As of Hangman's Chair, this is quite different as there are a lots of ties linking our bands. To name but a few: we share a split-EP, we share the same rehearsal place and we have been playing more than a dozen of gigs together.

you told me you were pretty much satisfied with Aesthetic Death rds, which is cool, but don’t you think things could go more faster with a bigger independent label or do you think that Eibon can’t expect much more than 1000 copies sold and is perfectly at its place with A.D. ? will the next album be out on the same label ? when do you plan the 2nd album ?
It is fair to say that without A.D., we couldn't have developed the band as it is today. A.D’s owner Stu is the one that trust us in the first place. He is the one who proposed us to release the 2 tracks and support us for the recording and the releasing of 'Entering Darkness'. Stu is a very dedicated person and it is a great pleasure to work with him. We have built a relationship with Stu that should we ever move to another home, it will  be a natural step forward for the band and not just a short-time opportunity. But as of today, the 2nd album will be released by A.D. We are still in the process of writing materials. We aim to enter the studio by the end of the year.

Your style is hard to describe, a weird cold mix of doom, sludge and even black metal… even if there’s common elements (heaviness, darkness) this is rather far from the sound of your old bands… what’s your opinion about that ? how do you see this evolution ?
I tend to disagree with that for one simple reason: in all of our projects, we played the music we wanted to listen to. Therefore, Eibon sounds quite different than let's say, Garden of Silence, simply because we do have different influences as our tastes have evolved over the last 20 years. If you listen to GoS ep, it easy to spot that 2 of our main influences at that time were At The Gates and Candlemass. Now with Eibon, it is less obvious to dig any particular bands because we are now open to more kind of music and we do not really restrict ourselves to one or two bands in particular.

Does the new guitarist compose, bring new/different ideas ? Could you tell something about new songs ?
As I said previously, Guillaume has already wrote one new song and another one is on the way. Most of our new songs reflects the actual evolutions of the bands, meaning that every aspect of our music has been pushed further. The angry parts are lot more brutal and the melodic ones are more subtle. One of the new song that lenght 20mn is a perfect example of that as it includes nearly post-rock ethereal guitar lines and it finished by a wild Discharge-like sonic chaos.

Sadly you don’t play live that much, having to organize several gigs by yourselves in Paris and waiting for something serious elsewhere… this is the case of most French bands… in 20 years there has not been any real evolution !? How was your latest gig with Ramesses and Hooded Menace ?
We have played a pretty decent number of show in Paris, including a couple of them organised by us. It is true though that we have been more rarely seen far from our home base. There are several reasons for that. The main being time and money: in order to lower our fees per gig, we need to find several dates in a row which not a easy thing to do. This said, we will play at the Sludge Fest in Eindovhen on November 12th. The latest Gig with our good friends from Ramesses went fine. We missed a few dozen of people to break even but bands receive really positive feed-backs during and after the show.

15 years exactly after the split up, what’s your look on Astral Rising ? which are your best or most noticeable memories: the recording of “in quest” with Tim Buktu ? dates in Germany with Mirror Of Deception ? last gig in Dijon ? … ?
I do have quite clear recollections of all those events you mention. I would say that the most memorable is probably the recording of the Astral Rising’s album ‘In Quest’. This is the most professional recording session I’ve ever been involved so far. Tim has built his studio in his basement and we were staying in his house during the 15 days that last the recording. Therefore, we had no really pressure from the clock and Tim and his Guys did anything possible to make us feel comfortable and relax. That includes all kind of substance and beverage as well as a lot of good laugh! These are definitively good time memories.

 Who do you think had the best potential between all your old bands (Cemetery, Garden Of Silence, Astral Rising, Weld, Horrors Of The Black Museum) ? Ridwan was really a brilliant vocalist, don’t you think that it’s a terrible shame that he couldn’t have been revealed in a largest way ?
I think that among all those project, GoS is the one I feel the most frustrated when I think about its potential. Guitarist Nicolas Vintejoux and Ridwan are really gifted musicians and I feel we could achieve greater things. At least an album and some gigs. This said, Eibon is the most full-filling project I have been involved, being on a artistic level and on the personal level. We have been knowing each for so long that it’s being a family without the wrong side of it.

So what did you think about the Roadburn fest ? (fave sets, ambiance, etc…) Could we expect EIBON to be on next year’s bill ?
This was my first Roadburn this year. I had read and heard a lot about and I had great expectation. As of the bands, the ones I was the most excited to see did really meet my expectations. Should it be Winter, Candlemass or Godflesh. I also enjoyed a lot the sets from Weedeater, Ramesses, Voivod & Winterfileth. My only regret is not having attended show of bands I did not know. I can surely say this was one great experience to be part of and I will surely come back for more, hopefully with Eibon! That woud be a great achievement and I am sure, a fantastic moment to share with my mates.

There’s a delightful black metal edge in some parts of your music, how do you think that this music has evoluted ? Are you just interested by old influential bands from the late 80’s/early 90’s or maybe any recent ones too?
We are old enough to have witnessed the birth of Black Metal and its evolution throughout the years. What makes it such appealing for me is the duality of extreme raw brutality vs. the depressive and gloomy atmosphere. Since the early stage and probably even more now, some bands succeed to bring something interesting and some did not. We do love a lots of BM from the ancestors (Bathory, Burzum) to the younger wolves (Deathspell Omega, Leviathan).

A canadian label has released 100 copies on tape from the album and previous ep, that must be something very special and enthusiastic for old-school motherfuckers like you (!, )how did that happen ?
Having our two main releases available on tape appeared to us like a pretty fun thing to do.Mike from Media Tree contacted us to release ‘Entering Darkness’ on tape and we propose to add the self-titled EP. When we started talking about the project around us, people mostly like the idea and this has been confirmed since its released.

Thanx Jérôme, add something if you want (merchandising…) ?
Thanks Steph’ for this interview, it was nice speaking to you after all these years!
We are now fully dedicated to writing new materials, our next gigs will be this November. In the meantime, you can checkout our online boutique at Doom on!