It’s a small world, and it gets even smaller at festivals. You never know who you’re gonna bump into – that guy who remembers you from two years ago, that band you love but are too shy to speak coherently to, or the frontman of a new band you’ve discovered – as it were, at Damnation Festival 2012 last weekend.
Say “Hello” to Nick Ruskell of Hampshire’s traditional doom act, Witchsorrow
You may know him as the Features Editor of Kerrang! Magazine, but Nick is at heart an old school doomhead. I’d been told to get in touch with him before by friends, ever since I first ventured into the lifestyle of being a metal blogger, so when the chance to grab him for a few minutes in the press room came up, how could I say no? He loves doom, I love doom, we both love heavy metal more than we do other subgenres of metal – this was an interview jsut waiting to happen.
Whenever it comes to pointing out the merits of heavy metal against the complaints of its (often repetitive) detractors, the connection between genre classics and lyrics (be it JR Tolkien, or even the Bible, if we think about it that way) is one that frequently comes up time and again.
In itself, this isn’t anything unique to metal – music as a whole constantly returns to this or other cultural forms to create its own concepts and direction, and the relationship between literature and music is only testament to the knowledge that art does not exist in a vacuum.
In the case of particular niche genres of extreme music like funeral doom metal, such a relationship makes for immensely dark sounds [best heard with the lights down if not switched off - Ann's recommendation], as heard from the German band AHAB. To listen to an album of theirs is to feel dragged down into the bottomless pits of the ocean, owing to the grand role played by Moby Dick and other whaling adventures in their work.
I managed to catch guitarist Chris Hector, so he could tell me more about this relationship between music and words, and how it came to be for the newest record ‘The Giant‘.
2011 was an interesting year with some ups and downs, yet what better to help mark the end of it with one of the bands that made it to my Top 20 albums list, Isole?
Always on top form with their brand of crushing, doom metal with majestically reaching vocals, Isole’s newest effort ‘Born from Shadows’ delivers more of the same quality that fans have come to expect from them, yet with a few differences here and there.
Though tired from his work as a forklift driver, frontman and guitarist Crister Olsson was kind enough to talk to me about what it was like to create this album, as well as how the commitments between fatherhood and musicianship may intervene with one another.
‘It’s riding, it’s riding… the Devil in Red…‘
I’ll be honest with you – these words were stuck in my mind after I first gave Kampfar’s newest record a spin. So much so, that I’ve even put it into the second episode of my online radio show which you can listen to here. Yet at the same time, I was curious – the devil, the huldre, mare (a creature that causes nightmares in Nordic folklore), the blitzwitch – what did it all add up to?
So it was a stroke of luck for me, when the chance to ask lyricist and frontman Dolk had arrived.
Though there was another thing I wanted to discuss, first of all.
Back in April, not only did I see Dornenreich live along with a few other names; I also got the chance to go backstage for an interview with Neige himself – a man of many projects, not least Alcest.