Sunday, June 30, 2013

... DRUG HONKEY "Ghost in the Fire" (Album review)

When I listen to an album for the first time I do it with headphones, if possible. So I did with Drug Honkey’s album “Ghost in the Fire”. This was basically my first encounter with this band’s music. It was twice, during this first listen, that I pulled the headphones from my ears to check if the sensations happening in my head would go away when I do and I even considered shortly to stop listening at all, but I continued (maybe addiction had already set in?).
With “sensations in my head” I don’t mean pictures and thoughts in my brain, but rather in my head as a physical place, so that a strange desire appeared to open my own skull to see if there are “things” in it that had no business there,things that were able to unleash my carefully dungeoned demons.

Drug Honkey are a four piece Chicago IL. based band that formed in 1999 and “Ghost in the Fire” ( May 2012) is their fifth album .
In terms of genre categorization the music is something like experimental, psychedelic, electronic, industrial, Sludge Doom, but actually it is a sonic mindfuck, psychosis turned into sound, endless torture and pain condensed into a lysergic addictive drug named “Ghost in the Fire”

The basic structure of the songs is kind of minimalistic. There’s rarely something you could call melody or a dramatic build up. The songs are somehow crawling, creeping and wavering along, carried by riffs that are stretched and slow and barely recognizable, fuzzy heavy  bass lines and an incredibly slow plodding drumming. An almost permanent, slightly varying droning background sound induces an uneasy feel that accumulates into a kind of sickness not unlike a naupathia from the soft but permanent sway on a long time boat trip.
The multiple layers of electronic effects, distorted sounds, industrial noise create an incredible dense atmosphere, a lysergic hallucinatory disturbing soundscape immersing everything in a boiling thick viscous filth, painfully slow, heavy and dissonant.
The most effective element enhancing the eerie psychotic atmosphere are the vocals. These vocals that appear in nearly every possible form utterable by a human being and often additionally electronically modulated sound strangely humanly unhuman and really freak me out, scare the shit out of me and speak to my unleashed demons.

All of this is put together so carefully and cleverly like a well directed horror movie.

The first extreme listening effects that caused me to pull off the headphones lessen, of course later, which is a good thing... for one thing I have to cope with my demons and get them back in the dungeon, and for another thing I can enjoy this masterpiece of diabolical psychedelic heaviness much better when I’m not scared to death.

words by Ulla Roschat

DEA MARICA "The Curse Of The Haunted"(Album review) : Hades I'm sure must be missing a demon...

...for he's currently playing Doom Metal in an english band. Type O Negative joke aside, here's a record I've been expecting since the previous one came into my ears.

Less than a year ago, I was writing on this very website the expectations I had for Dea Marica's second release. And so it came to me, one evening, not bumping at my window but simply through a bunch of MP3. Which is damn sure less gothic than a raven saying endlessly 'Nevermore !', but is still as good when it comes to the feeling I got when listening to it.

Those who have been enthralled by the band's 2012 release 'Ritual Of The Banished' won't be lost here : it's still the same mix of classic Doom and Doom/Death, both with the same roots than the music played in their brother-band Gallow God and yet with a result somewhat different. In some way, I can say that dea marica is the melodic side of Gallow God. Both bands complement each other well, musically speaking.

'The Curse Of The Haunted' follows the same course than 'Ritual Of The Banished' : it's still melodic and epic as Candlemass was in their Marcollin era, and it's still more gothic and gloomy than the Père Lachaise cemetary on a cold november day. In fact, both albums are so similar when it comes to the interpretation that some will think that 'Curse' is more an add-on to 'Ritual' than a follow-up. This is far from being the case, as you can spot more than once some small differences. There are few, and there are well hidden, but they show a maturity that was somewhat missing in 'Ritual'. It's especially true when it comes to the longer songs, that actually never sounds dull or boring at any time. In some way, you could see the shadows of the mighty Godsend (from Sweden, and none other!!) looming from time to time over this album : be it the use of both clean vocals and growls, the funeral pace of the drums that is not afraid to speed a bit once in a while, or the crushing  guitar riffs that also know how to sooth your soul with some melodies.

It's pretty difficult to advocate for an album when, in the whole, it sounds so close to the previous one . But If I had to choose between both, my preference would go to 'The Curse Of The Haunted' : it got exactly what made 'Ritual Of The banished' so good, except it's just better written and played. If you didn't knew Dea Marica before that, here's your chance to correct that mistake.

Laurent Lignon

Friday, June 28, 2013

…ROTE MARE – ‘The Invocation’ & ‘The Kingdom’ (Albums review)

Frantic drumming, repetitious 80’s riffing, and a banshee-like wail opens ‘The Invocation’, the first of two simultaneous releases from Australia’s excellent doom soothsayers Rote Mare. While not technically a double album ‘The Invocation’ and ‘The Kingdom’ are irrevocably bound by a shared release date, complementary album art, and a reverence for traditional doom and heavy metal in general. My expectations were set exceptionally high for this release based on the strength of their split with Dire Fate (another Australian band worth checking out), their previous full-length ‘Serpents of the Church’, and the slew of self-released demos via the band’s Bandcamp page. Overall, ‘The Invocation’ and ‘The Kingdom’ don’t veer too far from the band’s earlier releases, but there is less of a focus on melodicism and more of a shift toward experimentation and a slightly rawer sound.
If anything, Rote Mare have proven that they are not slaves to convention. The 14 tracks that comprise the dual release of ‘The Invocation’ and ‘The Kingdom’ are irrefutably cut from the doom cloth, but the band doesn’t hesitate to play with style, tempo, atmospherics, or vocal delivery. The inclusion of cover songs ‘Holocaust’ and ‘Destroyer’ from Big Star and Twisted Sister, respectively, illuminates some of the band’s influences and helps to keep things interesting. Rote Mare—like most great bands that include cover tunes—tear apart, mix up, and reassemble the source material into something that is a reflection of the original, yet something new and intriguing, especially with their Big Star cover.
‘The Invocation’, ironically, opens with “The Kingdom”—a track that kicks off at a blistering pace before plunging into a vat of molasses. Band leader Phil Howlett alternates vocals between a hoarse, throaty snarl and a cleaner delivery that accompanies the more melodic sections of the song. “The Furthest Shore” not only is the shortest track to be found on either release, but it is probably one of Rote Mare’s most unique tracks to date and relies heavily on a bouncing bass groove and finds Howlett really belting out some soulful howls.  ‘The Invocation’ highlight “The Stones of Blood” sounds like the Rote Mare of old, particularly during the latter half of the song. The weepy dual guitars of Howlett and Sean Wiskin captures the melodicism that Rote Mare does so well before the tracks speeds up to a climactic gallop.
 ‘The Kingdom’, alternately, isn’t the flipside to the ‘The Invocation’, but rather a continuation or sister release. Like ‘The Invocation’, though, ‘The Kingdom’ opens strong. The intro of “Shadow of the Grave” is an atmospheric mélange of creepy keyboards and guitars that begins to stagger with the inclusion of drums before the song really establishes itself.  Similar to “The Furthest Shore”, “Shadow of the Grave” hearkens back to the Rote Mare of yore due to the track’s melodic sensibilities and Howlett’s vocal approach. The riffs are huge, memorable, and the prefect way to launch this second album. The second track, “Shameless”, is notable for devolving into a dischordant yet rhythmic exercise in hypnotism that wouldn’t be out of place on a Shellac album. “The Thief”, is a catchy, mid-tempo tune that is sporadically punctuated by Howlett’s cry and psychedelic leads.
Despite being in constant rotation for the past few weeks, ‘The Invocation’ and ‘The Kingdom’ are still unearthing secrets…the depths have only been plumbed on a seemingly superficial level. Rote Mare have continued to impress with their brand of traditional doom metal and their ability to navigate and include a variety of styles and influences without sacrificing cohesion. While it’s almost impossible to separate the two releases I find myself returning to ‘The Kingdom’ a bit more frequently. While it may be the stronger of the two it would now feel incomplete without its twin. Highly recommended for all doom aficionados.
 Words: Steve Miller

Thursday, June 27, 2013

... SOLOTHUS "Summoned from the Void" (Album Review)

After their promising debut demo "Ritual of the Horned Skull", Finnish band SOLOTHUS didn't hurry things up, the  guys wisely took more than one year and a half to work on their identity and simply improve as a collective... and the result is a pretty exciting death/doom 1st album ! not the kind of lame atmospheric stuff with omnipresent keyboards or another clone influenced by the big three from UK; no no no,  this is ultimately some crushingly slow and ominous soundscapes that are waiting for you here !

In a genre that often seems to have revealed its whole essence for a long long time, the comparison to Hooded Menace naturally comes to mind; indeed the suffocating and crushing somberness of the music and the kind of hopeless diatribes Solothus likes to get into-  irremediably remind their fellow countrymen. On the other hand the approach is a bit different, the horror  moody samples and atmospheres are H.D. mark where Solothus is substantially more melodic and epic.

If you're looking for progressive fluctuations, maybe you'll pass your way but nothing is monotonous here and in fact this doesn't prevent at all to enjoy variable atmospheres and more dynamic parts like on "Plaguewing" and "Magus of Doom" whose tempos are gradually up-beated  thanx to the extended average length of the songs (from 7 to 11 minutes for the last one). Don't expect blastbeats though but here the tone gets consistently nasty and shreding with more cavernous and tortured like vocals, those being slightly more harmonized with the overall, something that was lacking on the demo but now even if they're still prominent, those growls don't sound too typical anymore, being to my ears more wicked and cryptic than before. 

This "Magus of Doom" is certainly my fave song with those guitars à la Candlemass/Solitude Aeturnus - could it be with stunning melodic rythmics or twirling leads, both guitarists know what epic Doom Metal means and this is here the main quality of the band : they manage to find the right balance between the thrills and creepiness of early 90's death/doom metal and the chills of epic Doom Metal !!! And this makes this album highly recommendable to fans of Esoteric, Coffins, early Cathedral, Runemagick and obviously H.M. who aren't afraid of subtle introductions of doomy and epic melodies!!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

... Cthulhu Doom Quiz pt1 : ARKHAM WITCH, TENTACLE, BRETUS, YIDHRA, TAAK etc...

Here we have a very extended publication, therefore let me be brief. Mister Lovecraft has an unimaginable influence upon these filthy heavy bands, and Ancient Ones are one of most popular characters in doom genre. So it was logical to reach some bands who deal with Cthulhu myths or work under it’s impression (or at it’s command?!) and do a kind of quiz. Here are the questions which were asked to our honored guests:

1. What is the band’s state at the moment? What kind of sinister affairs you plan to perform for summer and on?
2. How did listeners and critics meet your last album?
3. What does stimulate you to play that kind of music against all difficulties? A thirst for glory? An itch for countless treasures? Obsession? Government?!
4. How does your vision of Lovecraftian revelations differ from vision of other bands of that kind? Do you consider it as original? Can you name bands which Cthulhian dreams you like too?
5. What is your greatest achievement in the sphere of Elder Gods cults?
6. What will you do (or rather where will you run?!) when Elder Gods awake?

Our guests today are: necromystic Arkham Witch, vernal Atragon, archaic Bretus, sharp’n’heavy Damnations Hammer, abyssal Fungoid Stream, grotesque Space God Ritual, heathen Taak, tentacled Tentacle and hulking Yidhra.
And stay tuned for a second part of Cthulhu Doom Quiz including Aarni, Astral Sleep, Cthulhu Rise, Evangelist, Grimpen Mire, Innzmouth, Lord Vicar, Tortured Spirit, Y'ha-nthlei.

Simon Iff? (vocals, bass)

1.  The band has a very busy time at the moment! We are currently writing songs for album number three which should appear sometime next year. In the meantime we have recorded a four track ep which we will shortly be releasing entitled Hammerstorm. After that we play the opening show for HOA in Germany and then in October we are playing a lot of gigs and going on tour! We have a mini tour of England, a few dates in Germany and Belgium with our old friends Hooded Preist and Iron Void, an appearance at Doom over Vienna, an appearance at Live Evil with Satan and Midnight and to cap it all the chance to play in Dubai with Manilla Road and England’s finest Pagan Altar! Also - our first album On Crom’s Mountain has just been released on vinyl by Journey’s End records. So sinister affairs abound!

2. It has largely been very positive and we have been lucky enough to get some really good reviews of ”Legions of the Deep” and a couple of mentions in magazines. We are not everyone’s cup of tea, but that is to be expected!

3. I think for all of us it is addiction. We don’t really know anything else. We have all been in heavy metal bands for the past twenty years and our goal has always been to make heavy metal songs in the style of the bands that we loved and respected growing up. It’s great that the fashion has come back around and that the internet has allowed us to reach a larger group of people because we can remember playing this stuff to bemused  nu metal audiences who were wondering why the big guy with the afro wasn’t rapping in the middle!

4. I think our Lovecraftian leanings differ from most bands in that we really do focus on the ‘pulp’ aspect of Lovecraft, rather than the desired effect of the literary weird tale. Some bands aim for that, using discordance and eerie atmosphere to evoke the spirit of the old ones, we try and do it through the more esoteric means of using his old gods and ancient ones as a kind of shorthand to rock! I always loved the idea of the overt cheery rock song carrying covert messages of doom and destruction as we gleefully sing along to our own imagined demise - I don’t know why! I think one of my favorite lovecraftian songs is Morbid Angel’s ‘Angel of Disease’, which, even in it’s death metal form, has a really good cheery singalong chorus!
Here’s “Kult of Kutulu” - inspired by Alan Moore’s ace comic book “Neonomicon”.

5. Probably invoking Cthulhu with ‘woos’ in the song “Lord of Rl’yeh”!

6. No point running - we shall serve them faithfully until they chose for us whatever oblivion they deem fit, which if we look at Lovecraft is usually an incurable and complete insanity! No change there then!

ATRAGON (Scotland)
Ruaridh Daunton (guitar)

1. We are currently in the process of writing our debut album, which we should hopefully have recorded and released by the end of the year. We have the majority of it written and should be ready to get into the studio very soon.

2. The reception of our debut E.P "Volume 1" has been outstanding. More or less everyone who has reviewed it has been extremely positive and supportive and even the less than enthusiastic reviews just push us to up our game and grow as a band. 

3. The huge passion and respect that we have for the genre and the bands that have come before us as well as the insatiable desire to wreak sonic warfare and auditory destruction upon the world.

4. We do not have songs based upon Lovecrafian tales although we are hugely inspired by his works. All of our songs are original tales of despair and woe conjured up by our singer Jan Gardner. The bands who we are inspired most by are Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Cathedral, Reverend Bizarre, Pentagram, The Obsessed, Saint Vitus, Sleep, Orange Goblin, Hawkwind and Candlemass, however each band member has many other different inspirations from many different styles and genres of music.

5. Our greatest achievement so far has definitely been opening for Saint Vitus, that was nothing short of amazing. We have all been such huge fans of them for so long that it was just unreal and I still have trouble believing that it actually happened! 

6. We love gigging so we'd love to play a show & provide a soundtrack for the end of the world.                             


BRETUS (Italy)
Ghenes (guitars, bass)

1. We are working (with extreme calm) on a new full length but, for now, I don't want to speak about details. News will be out very soon. I can say only that it will be something amazing and also something new for us.

2. We had got many good reviews of “In Onirica” on fanzine and musical magazines. We are very glad about it, especially because we are from a very forgotten land (I don't speak about Italy sure) and we don't think that someone would have appreciated our music so much.

3. Nothing like that sure eh ehe he! we take care of the earth problems, but we are not a band of politicians eh he eh... all of us play with other bands and so everyone can express himself in many sides. Then with Bretus we satisfy our wishes of raw and dark vibrations. that's all!

4. We love Lovecraft's universe totally and for many years I personally was obsessed and very "under spell" about it. Then growing my passion was normalized, but reading his tales for me is a crescent pleasure now more than before. But in these years too many people speaking about Lovecraft or Cthulhu or The ancient Ones, and the last thing we want is all to expire in the ridiculous one. Bretus were born also without Lovecraft but his inspiration is deeply rooted in our music. To be considered original was never our wish. The first band that reminded me Lovecraft's feeling were sure High Tide. But probably less knows about this great dark/progressive band. In our times we love Sleep deeply and their new development High on fire.

5. To discover them and theirs degenerated sons! What kind of achievement is better than this?

6. We will wait for their arrival on the top of the mountain and to the right moment we will drink together an amazing fresh beer.


Tim Preston (guitars, vocals)

1. We’re actually writing for our second album at the moment – we have four songs complete with another two part completed. The idea is to have seven full songs and two atmospheric soundscapes one of which will be The Hex iii. Once we have everything recorded we plan to play a few live shows, but I guess that will be early 2014 as we still need to find a full time lead guitarist to play live. Andy the bassist plays the leads on the album.

2. “Disciples of the Hex” has met with some really great reviews, actually it has been quite humbling to read some of the positive comments people have said about the music. When we released the album I wasn’t sure if people would ‘get’ what we were trying to achieve – for me personally I put Damnations Hammer together as a tribute to avant-garde metal from the 1980’s such as Celtic Frost – I wanted to capture the same felling I had when I first discovered Celtic Frost. So, for us to receive positive reviews it’s really quite exciting. Obviously not everyone has been complimentary towards the music as we’ve had two really bad reviews – however I don’t mind at all as it would appear you either love or hate Damnations Hammer, no one has sat on the fence and said ‘well it’s just ok’ – you either get it or you don’t!

3. The whole concept of the band is to capture the same atmosphere I had when I was a kid growing up in the 1980’s and discovering new bands such as Voivod and Celtic Frost. I love writing this style of music, it seems very natural for me to do so and we are in a position to record at home so I guess Damnations Hammer is going to be around for quite a while – slowly and steadily releasing albums. The Hex is upon us!

4. I guess we are somewhat original in the current musical climate – we’re not death metal or doom metal as such – I describe  the sound as Doom laden metal, I try to keep a certain amount of melody in the sound, I guess it helps the songs have a groove. Check out the video we did for Disciples of the Hex…

5. Releasing the album has been as great achievement for us – especially having the guys at I Hate Records behind us, their enthusiasm has been great! Disciples of the Hex was our first time to record ourselves so as you can imagine we made quite a few mistakes on the way. The second album should be a little easier to complete as we won’t make the same errors again – I hope it will be a worthy sacrifice to the Mythos and that mighty Cthulhu will spare us!

6. Well I guess if mighty Cthulhu has awoken and left the city of R’lyeh the safest place would be to make our way to R’lyeh. I just hope Cthulhu like metal so we can pacify him if he returns.


Simon O. (vocals) and Joseph C. (all instruments)

1. Simon O.: We've just finished the recording our third album, called "Prehuman Shapes" (you are the first one to know that, it is not yet announced). The album is now on the release schedule of Furias Records, but date is not certain by now. Even the booklet art layout is already designed. 

2. Simon O.: In the best possible way. We received very good comments about "Oceanus" and it was even nominated for 2010 best extreme doom metal album by a well-known metal site.  

3. Joseph C.:None of above. Our stimulation comes from the compelling of creation, of composing music, obscure music, trying to give the adequate atmosphere to the Lovecraftian cosmogony. 

4. Simon O.: Under my point of view, most bands seem to welcome the Great Old Ones, hailing Cthulhu and his progeny. Our vision about Lovecraftian revelation is: what HPL wrote was a warning, not a welcome or a prophecy.

Joseph C.: In spite of lyrics, track names or album titles, I'd like to say Cthulhian MUSIC dreams, not only Cthulhian dreams. Dreams are nothing, music is everything. I completly enjoy adding lyrics to our music, but our main goal should be that just for hearing our music, the listeners' mind would evoke the Lovecraftian universe, with no titles, no track names, no lyrics. And speaking about Lovecraftian bands, I could name like Thergothon and Tyranny. Speaking about funeral doom, I'll add Skepticism, Colosseum, The Howling Void, Abstract Spirit, 1000 Funerals, Consumatum Est, Ea, Mistress of the Dead, Until Death Overtakes Me. 

5. Joseph C.: the fact of knowing that there are much more things underlying the daily life than we can imagine, some of them simple, some of them complex, some of them monstrous, some of them glorious.

Simon O.: the ability of correlating the contents of our minds and the facts we are witnessing every day in our world.

6. Joseph C: The Elder Gods are already awaken. Quoting Lovecraft: "The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom."

The real question is: what side is yours? Would you fight for or against the Great Old Ones? We follow the HPL legacy: we are going to fight them, for throwing them away once more to the Outside, even if the battle seems already lost.


Lee Waldron (guitars, vocals)

1. Chtulhu fthangh! Ia Ia Ph'nglui Mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
Well right now we are sort of hanging out. We aren't the most consistent group, we converge, release something, then work on other projects until it's time for another SGR album. As for the summer, we are working on a music video, hopefully that will see the light some time this summer. As a studio band, we would like to record more albums. Maybe we'll record another album this summer, who knows

2. Well our last releases were both demos. We did “Beyond the Beyond” in 2010, and then “Pay the Price” in 2011. They have their fans for sure, but in my mind they are still just demo's, and they sound like it! Our debut, “R'lyeh Beckons” is the good stuff. It’s loud, heavy and full of killer riffs. So far, it's has received a great reception with listeners, though as of now it has yet to be reviewed.

3. Nothing quite as epic as all that. We just love heavy metal, H.p Lovecraft and other weird shit, and thus! Space God Ritual. We would like to be known in the scene, yes, and we would like to be selling mountains of records. But that not really our drive, its more about fun. We don't have any stress while recording, we come up with a bunch of riffs, pull some lyrics from a book or film and suddenly, we have an album. It's a rewarding process.

4. Lovecraft has been a huge influence in pretty much everything we enjoy: in film, music, art, popular culture, you name it. So with this in mind, no, it's defiantly not original. There is a ridiculous amount of Lovecraft influence in metal, from bands ranging from Arkam Witch, The Wounded Kings, The Gates of Slumber to, hell, even Nile. But for us, the point is not originality, it's about adding to the mythos that Lovecraft created. About continuing the legacy of his work through music, expanding it and adding to it. I like to think that we've succeed in that.
So one of the more surprising events in the history of SGR was this fan video we found. Philip here was one of our first fans actually, and he put this cover of our song Burning Girl together. Check out his other stuff too, he's a talented individual. And he has good taste.

5. Without a doubt out newest selection of hymns, R'lyeh Beckons. It's heavier, better produced, and, its our debut album. Check it out.

6. When the Elder Gods come, there is no where to run, and no where to hide. Might as well get drunk and go down swig'n


TAAK (Estonia)
Mart Kalvet (vocals)

1. We did a couple of shows recently in Tartu, one of them as part of the literature festival Prima Vista, which was unusual, but since I do write horror-tinged science fiction stories and Taak’s latest album was released together with one of the stories in book format, that clicked just fine with us.
We’ve no shows planned for the near future (well, besides a “river festival” in August in Purtse; I promise we’ll not try not to raise any batrachian, deep dwellers of the streams there…) and will mostly concentrate on writing new material as well as re-learning ancient Dawn of Gehenna songs, because our first demo „The Old“ from 1994 (I think…) is going to be re-mastered and re-released as a split with Discrucior’s „Mundus Subterraneus“ (a truly chthonic, if not overtly Lovecraftian masterpiece of the early 1990s Estonian underground doom metal scene) and we’re going to have to support the release with a couple of shows in autumn. Kaido “Tsunami” Tiits is going to rejoin us for the occasion. I hope it’ll be fun.

2. Mostly the reviews of “Rist Viletsuse Teel” have been positive; we haven’t received much feedback from abroad, though. People still come to the gigs, so we’re reasonably assured our newer material captures their fancy.

3. You know, I’ve been pondering this myself. By now it might mostly be force of habit. I attended the international showcase festival Tallinn Music Week, and several people there pointed out that being in a band these days is like participating in a lottery where the main prize is an opportunity to spend the next 10 or 20 years in a tour bus. Such a winning ticket might have been feasible for me 10 or 20 years ago, but I’m too old for it now. So we’re not setting our sights much higher than occasional shows in Estonia (and, hopefully some day, a couple of shows a year in Finland for crowds of more than 20 people) and releasing a new album every three or four years.
Also obsession — or even addiction — might explain why we still bother. The process of writing and developing songs that we like is an eternally fascinating and exhilarating process.

4. I don’t think we’re that original in our approach to the Bard’s legacy — which does not feature overwhelmingly in our output, to be sure. I’ve been as much or more inspired by the writings of Philip K. Dick, Robert Anton Wilson, Aleister Crowley and Charles Stross, to name a few influential authors. The most original aspect is probably the use of the Estonian language, which, I hope, sounds a bit more exotic than most of the Lovecraftian lyrics in English.
Other bands? Well, Black Sabbath, to be sure (“Behind the Wall of Sleep”). Celtic Frost, Deicide, Entombed, Gwar, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Mekong Delta, Morbid Angel, Nile, Rage, Samael, Thergothon, Therion, Vader, John Fucking Zorn… The magnificent Electric Wizard, of course… I think the most recent discovery for me were the Polish Cthulhu Rises, whose 2012 demo “Ku Chwale Mrocznych Eonów I” was a breath of fresh air… or a breath of cold air, at least.
Speaking of our own videos, we don’t really have any. But you can listen to the song “Linnadesööja” (“Eater of Cities”), which is inspired by a couple of Lovecraftian stories, mostly by T. E. D. Klein’s “Black Man with a Horn”.

5. As a band, I think the last album’s tracks like “Linnadesööja” and “Ämblikkude hõng” (The Smell of Spiders) channel the bleak and horrid sensibilities that made HPL’s works immortal. Personally, it must be the two Lovecraftian stories I have written (“Ultima Cthule” and “Sügelisnõia kingitus” (The Gift of the Scabies-Witch)) that connect the Mythos with the prehistoric Baltic Sea and the more recent history of Estonia. The first places R’lyeh smack in the middle of the Baltic Sea, where a team of Swedish marine scientists disturb a slumbering entity when mapping the bottom of the Gulf of Finland for the laying of the Nord Skream natural gas pipeline. The second one combines the bleak, stagnant atmosphere of the Brezhnev-era Estonia with the cult of Old Ones practiced by a cabal of dissident intellectuals hiding in a psychic safe zone in an Estonian forest.

6. There’s nowhere to run, you fool! (Wink-wink.) I might take in some of what has been prophesied — men becoming “free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside”. But I’ll be happy to have Cthulhu eat my house last… or first, to spare me the horrors. Iä!

Ron Rochondo (vocals)

1. For the time being, we wait….dreaming. It was quite a good deal of work putting together our last album and it may be some time before we move on to a new one. Reading, writing, research. Spending some time at our retreat, the strange high house in the mist.

2. Very well it seems. One listener even commented on how “Ingot Eye” vaguely resembled a bizarre musical whistling or piping over a wide range. We greatly appreciated that.

3. Anxiety. Pain. Discontent. Despair. An attempt at relieving these feelings, or at least recognizing and coping with them, through music.

4. Hm. Can’t say as we know many other bands doing this exact sort of thing, not that we are incredibly original though, just have our own sort of vibe I guess. We try not to make things too obvious, or specific in our songs. More of a vague sense of foreboding and darkness is what we strive for. Hopefully it works.

5. Attempting to recognize mankind’s insignificance and its inability to comprehend the answers to its greatest questions even when given them.

6. There is nothing that can be done. There is nowhere to run.


Dave K (guitars, back vocals) Ted V (vocals)

1. Ted: We just finished our 9 song debut LP "HEXED" which we will be releasing imminently. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by the mighty Bill Metoyer at Skull Seven Studios. Bill is the legendary producer who helmed releases from such heavy hitters as Slayer, Corrosion of Conformity, Trouble, D.R.I., Sacred Reich, Hirax, Dark Angel, Morbid Angel, Six Feet Under, Warbringer and many more.
Dave: In fact he JUST finished mixing Trouble's forthcoming release "The Distortion Field." This is what Bill had to say about working with Yidhra: "I am a big fan of Doom Metal. Not since the Chicago band Trouble have I worked with a band in this genre so talented. YIDHRA!… I have no clue what the name means, but to ME it means DOOM!"
Ted: As for performing this summer, we are still working out details but we plan on going to Seattle and back and playing a few local shows as well. We are hoping to get to Europe in 2014.

2. Dave: Well, thankfully, people really seemed to like “Yidhra”. For a demo, it received a VERY positive response.

3. Ted: Truthfully, we just play the kind of music that comes naturally to us.
Dave: We aren't trying to be something that we're not.
Ted: We have always been into the heavier/darker sides of music. Whether it be Punk, Metal, Soundtracks, Blues, what have you, so that's what we write.
Dave: We also draw inspiration from the darker movies, books, cartoons and comics too.

4. Dave: We aren't limiting ourselves to the "Lovecraftian" mythos. Sure, it plays a part, but we draw from all aspects of life and death.
Ted: I don't mean to sound pompous or anything, but I don't really pay attention to what anybody else is doing when it comes to writing lyrics. That isn't to say that I am not influenced in some way by what I've heard. It just means that I don't draw directly from anyone or anything. So, in that way, it is inherently "original" and personal.
Ted: I don't know of any bands that are EXCLUSIVELY "Cthulhian." There a lot of GREAT bands out there that explore mythos related topics but I think it would be a disrespectful to single any of them out over the others.
Dave: Yeah!
Ted: We have 3 "Lovecraftian" songs on "HEXED," "Witch Queen," "Ancient Ones" and "Dagon." Right now you can hear "Witch Queen".

5. Ted: Huh? That is a curious question. I would have to say surviving life on this planet this long is an achievement in and of itself.

6. Dave: Why run?
Ted: Yeah, the lyrics to "Dagon" contain my answer to this question. Thanks for your interest in YIDHRA and keep your eyes peeled for "HEXED!"

Watch out for the 2nd part of this - within the next days on the blog... Thanx a lot to Aleksey Evdokimov for this great work !!! 

link to Part 2  :

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

... 2nd Anniversary CONTEST !!!

Better late than never... Here's finally the little contest to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the blog (a couple of months later) : there's below 10 quotes extracted from Interviews  published here on T.o.P. since its creation, all you have to do is to find which are the bands speaking behind them... 

10 quotes = 10 band names !!! Some are very easy to find, others will need a bit of reflection and/or research in the archives of the blog... 
I don't know if someone will find all 10 names but everyone is encouraged to take part, even if you're yourself one of the mysterious guys to be quoted here !!!

just a little indication : 7 of those bands are from the USA and 3 from Europe !

You'll find a list of the goodies to win below (some of them are actually in my possession, others will be shiped directly from the labels/bands)...

1) "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."

2) "Album artwork is always the hardest thing for me! I like paintings, I’d like to think our covers convey a similar vibe to the old oil paintings you see in the Macato apartment in Rosemary’s Baby, the portrait in the film ‘And now the screaming starts!’ and the cover of Dream Death’s Journey into mystery. Sinister, alive and full of hidden meaning."

3) "We must feed the buzz permanently, places are rare and expensive..."

4) "We feel good being just two, there's more place in the van, more alcohol to share ! I don't have anything against drummers though..."

5) "He learned to play bass and sing while sitting down. In that position, he's most comfortable and also gets his best growl."

6) "There is something about men that just drives us wild, how they smell, their greasy skin, their hairy arms and legs, they just drive us wild. Luckily for us, being homosexual has allowed to have intercourse with some of our favorite musicians!" 

7) "You know, most of the people who bought our cassette, I guarantee at least 70 of them, if not more, haven’t even listened to the tape.  We had to put a download card in there.   They were buying a booklet, essentially.  The whole package.  Our stuff’s online for “name your price”, which includes free, and most people download it for free, but once in a while I’ll open my paypal and be like “Oh shit.  Someone gave us $10. Awesome.”  It still blows my mind when that happens, even though I do it too-  I’ll throw bands a few bucks, and it feels awesome."

8) "I think we are more 70's influenced rock than anything else. We have traditional song formats based around the vocals,not much guitar soloing or overly lengthy musical interludes. I'm a fan of vocal oriented 70's rock,particularly, Deep Purple,Uriah Heep,Free,Lucifer's Friend and of course, Black Sabbath. Genesis with Peter Gabriel has been a big influence as well."

9) "Honestly yeah, when she first joined the band I didn’t really know how it would work out or what she would bring to the table. I was somewhat skeptical of female vocals for our music, but now I’m completely sold and couldn’t picture our music without her voice."

10) "The back photo is from an real Juke Joint in Clarksdale Mississippi, Red’s Juke Joint. I actually got to play a couple songs there and didn’t get thrown out on my ass, that’s when I knew I was on the right track!"

Send your answers at :
Deadline is July 04 !!! 



EARTHRIDE "EP re-release + live Bonus"
EGYPT "Become the Sun"
FISTER "Gemini"
MARBLE CHARIOT "The Burden is so Heavy"
ROTE MARE "The Kingdom"
ROTE MARE "The Invocation"
S.I.M.B."Monday Superblues"
STONEBIRDS/STANGALA "Kreiz-Breizh Sessions"
TOMBSTONE "Where the Dead Belong"
WHEELFALL "Interzone"


NORTHWINDS "Live Ritual"

EGYPT/WO FAT "Cyclopean Riffs" split 12''

PAGAN ALTAR demo 1978 (limited edition of 100)


etc ....

1st prize : 1 LP + 2 CDs + 1 tape + 2 T-shirts + 1 patch
2nd prize : 1 LP + 2 CDs + 1 T-shirt
3rd prize : 1 LP + 1 CD + 1 T-shirt
4th prize : 1 split 12'' + 1 CD + 1 T-shirt 
5th prize : 1 split ep + 1 CD + 1 patch
6th prize : 1 T-shirt + 1 patch + 1 koozie + 1 key-ring
7th prize : 1 T-shirt + 1 patch + 1 koozie
from 8th to 12th : 1 CD + stickers...