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Iris Divine – Cutting Through the Static

…ls, I really want to make sure that the lyrics hold up as well. I feel really good about the lyrics on this album. If someone were to sit down and read them, I really took a lot of time to try and paint a picture, to try to get an idea across, to try and avoid the use of a lot of lyrical clichés that you seem to see a lot in music. Like you mentioned, the last album had a lot to do with conflict. With this one, the lyrical topics are as diverse as…

Xanthochroid – A Journey through Etymos

…unique way. Dead Rhetoric: With the focus on story, what comes first usuallylyrics or music? Meador: It’s a bit of give and take. The music is always first, in the sense that we don’t want the music to lean on the story, or the story to lean on the music. We want the music to stand on its own. If someone was to listen to Xanthochroid, who had no idea what was behind it, we still want that music to be engaging. Not for it to seem like its wande…

Trigger – Churning the Waters

…dren of Bodom, Shogun by Trivium, and Temple of Shadows by Angra. A little bit of Scandinavian death, a little bit of power metal, and the modern touch. You have hooks all over the albums, very mature writing, and very melodic as well. In terms of live shows, I’d say my crowning moment would have been seeing Ronnie James Dio in Heaven and Hell when I was 15. That was quite an impressive moment, especially at that age. Dead Rhetoric: What obsession…

Abhorrent Decimation – Avarice and Indulgence(s)

…plain it – everything flowed. It worked so easily and it came together really quickly. So I just went with a gut feeling and just followed it through. Dead Rhetoric: I know you put in some of your own interpretation as well, but how much reading up on The Pardoner did you do beforehand? Scott: I read the story, then I managed to buy a few copies online of student synopses – where they break things down into layman’s turns and elaborate, and go off…

Unleash the Archers – Reach for Apex Part I

…nning of it all, that we call The Immortal. And I think he was based probably primarily on the crow character from East of West, which is a graphic novel (created by Jonathan Hickman) out there right now that I’ve really been enjoying. He just was an intriguing character to me- but it’s not specifically based on him. This story follows the Immortal who was cursed at birth to always serve whoever awakens him. So the first song “The Awakening” is hi…

The Night Flight Orchestra – A Journey through Space and Time

…in a lot of reviews that we have had for this album – most of them are really good and really enthusiastic – but a lot of people are saying that we don’t take ourselves seriously or it’s a big joke. But we actually take ourselves very seriously [laughs]. Of course, we understand that you have to be a bit humorous, but that whole thing about doing things that are too far out there, or that everything is too much…that’s something that’s missing from…

God Dethroned – Passion Ablaze

…ld be fine. But to think about a new album before this one is out – it’s a bit early. I don’t know what to do – the war themes have worked out well for me from a lyrical point of view, but maybe it’s time for something else as well. Dead Rhetoric: Is there anything different you added to The World Ablaze to make it stand apart, or do you feel it’s more about staying consistent to God Dethroned’s music, given the seven year interval between albums?…

Without Waves – Limitless Creativity

…lly cool to do live, and we’ve hashed it out. It’s a lot of fun, I definitely have felt a little bit more dated now that we’ve played that song on the road. Sometimes no one in the crowd has any idea what the song is. But when people do it’s a lot of fun with the crowd, and it’s one of the songs where Anthony gets to put his guitar down and just sing and hold the microphone. Dead Rhetoric: Three out of the four members of Without Waves dealt with…

Katatonia – The Heart Beneath

…e” Sandin: Well, it’s a little bit weird because time has flown by so quickly. I haven’t really reflected on it too much, but of course, it’s been almost pushing eight years, so it’s been some time in the band already. Things have happened and some lineup changes as well with the new Daniel and Roger coming into the band. It certainly doesn’t feel that long. [Laughs] It feels more like a couple of years. Dead Rhetoric: What was the atmosphere in t…

Overkill – Grinding Away

…ead Rhetoric: It also appears that you wanted to stretch yourself a little bit vocally, especially in the middle section of “Shine On” – how important is it to you to deliver what the fans expect while also keeping yourselves satisfied from a creative and fresh standpoint? Blitz: I think you first write for yourself. I consider myself a part of this metal community, first and foremost. I’m one of those guys that is a lifer in regards to this- I do…

Red Cain – A Progressive Juxtaposition

…s human, citing Lovecraft and Asimov as writer influences? Zayarny: Primarily the lyrics concentrate on story-telling. That’s what I grew up on. I think that stories are what captures the human imagination. And again, at the risk of sounding too pretentious, every good story has to be frightening in some way, that’s where I’m coming from in terms of Lovecraft. I think he was fantastic in the sense of taking the reader into the semantics and the wa…

Sabaton – Endless March to Glory

…ut as he said it was fun for the first couple of years but as he said, slowly but surely it’s become…taxing on him. He always liked the shows- we didn’t see it at the time but kind of looking back at it we kind of saw it coming. It’s always easier to find out things and be smart afterwards. He was always happy for the shows and the rehearsals – but everything else like waiting in the airports, hanging out in the tour bus, he became more and more t…

Diamond Head – All Has Been Revealed

…that, not realizing that album is stripped back to the bone, then rebuilt bit by bit, overdub by overdub over nine months and costing 700,000 pounds. We were supposed to make the album in two weeks. We liked the sound of Pyromania; we were impressed by it. It was hard not to be in ’83. It wasn’t the right album for us to listen to. We grew up listening to Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. You know, the raw kind of performance. When you first hear Led Zeppe…

Ordinance – Metal Fit for an Empire

…become more seasoned musicians, in that we have grown as musicians personally and individually, but also professionally we have grown too. Back in 2011, this was just a thing we did for fun at Alex’s [Rüdinger] house. It was cool – we were all really excited about the reception that it got, but this one definitely reached more ears. A lot of it has to do with the fact that all of us has grown a lot more individually and professionally. Gunter Oste…

Starkill – Taking the Independent Path

…judgmental, and people would show up just to hear “sound.” That was a really cool thing that was a bit different than the American scene. Dead Rhetoric: How do you compare the Chinese fans then, in terms of their rowdiness? Jameson: Again, the communication barrier was a bit spotty, but it seems like American bands don’t come through all that often. So we really took the time to hang out and connect with the fans, who seemed to be a bit more on t…

In Malice’s Wake – Gathering of the Wicked

…rizons, delivering brutal tones that contain a lot of extreme nuances vocally and musically. Choosing to reach out to vocalist/ guitarist Shaun Farrugia and taking into account the 16-hour time difference meant my evening conversation would take place mid-morning for him – prepare to engage in a little bit of a history lesson for Australian metal, as well as how networking got In Malice’s Wake their new record deal, what Testament means to Shaun,…

Satan – Relishing True Metal

…ng to be- there isn’t a set way to do anything. Sometimes it starts with a lyric, sometimes a riff- mainly a riff or a melody line or a title. Dead Rhetoric: When it comes to the lead breaks, is this something that is worked out ahead of time with Russ Tippins or do you decide on a case by case basis? Ramsey: Whoever writes the parts sometimes, or if Russ says to me that a part suits my playing that he’s written, and then I would write a part and…

Gentlemans Pistols – Forward with Sincerity

…ely some interest from Nuclear Blast some time ago, but I’d say the deal only really came together in the last year or so. It took a while to sort that one out, around the same time James was mixing the album. The recording part was very quick, but he just wanted to frame it in the right way. There were a number of months that went by where we were listening to the mixes and getting used to those. Simultaneously there was discussion with the label…

Children of Bodom – Chaos Reigns

…e is a heavy exercise for anybody. If he drank every night it would be really, really hard and dangerous. We had to bite the bullet and think about the physical side of touring. I think Alexi is doing better than I’ve ever seen him do, he’s doing really well. Dead Rhetoric: Do you think you’ve been able to maintain a lot of your early fans from the Something Wild and Hatebreeder days, or has it been a case of gaining new converts to replace old on…

Amorphis – Red Clouds Approaching

…s a good chemistry in the band. Dead Rhetoric: Under the Red Cloud admittedly sounds a bit heavier than Circles. How much of this do you credit to Jens Bogren? Holopainen: Quite a lot actually. We had all of the music written before we started to work with Jens. We sent some rough demos to him and asked his opinion of them. When we started to do pre-production, he said he wanted to take the album into the direction and sound of the Amorphis albums…

Borealis – Purgatory’s Grace

…of birth, death, and suicide on a family, Purgatory is as powerful musically as lyrically – the performances vibrant and stirring up a host of divergent emotions from first cut to last. Who better to discuss all things Borealis than with vocalist/guitarist Matt Marinelli – a man comfortable now in this dual role, still very excited to watch his band build their profile beyond Canadian borders. In this conversation learn about the early ‘symphonic…

Cradle of Filth – Mutating and Surviving

…t. It was very historical and I didn’t want anyone saying anything. Obviously I’m a bit liberal and turned everything into a more fabulous work, but in essence, it had to correspond and correlate with proper time span and proper events. Putting those tracks in order, it wasn’t easy. At the same time, I didn’t want to take any liberties when it came to the truth, historically. So yeah, I did quite a bit of research there. Dead Rhetoric: Is that som…

Symphony X – Welcome to the Underworld

…of neo-classical, progressive and heavier metal styles? Romeo: Yeah, exactly. That’s really what it is. We talked about…with every record the normal mode of operation is we’ll talk a little bit about some ideas, what we want to do with the music. Every album we try to change it up a little bit – Iconoclast was a bit more heavy, The Odyssey was a little more symphonic, the V record was a little more progressive. We always stay within those bounds…

Unleash the Archers – Feed the Metal Beast Part I

…population so the scenes themselves are bigger. In Vancouver it’s definitely a little bit more tight-knit and you could even say clicky, we have our death metal scene and we have our stoner metal scene which is really popular right now. Bands like Anciients came out of that scene, and we have Archspire which came more out of the death metal scene. Being not only neither of those, and also being female-fronted, it did take us a little while to sor…

Third Ion – 13/8 Bit (Glasstone Records)

…pse Beta,” twisting and turning with an more dark rock approach that never missteps through its extended time. The album is rounded out by some solid guitar and bass work, such as the technical riffing of “Collapse” and “Zero Mass.” A pleasantly diverse album, 13/8 Bit should find its niche among progressive metal fans. There’s plenty of crossover potential as well due to the vocals, which should give them a bit of an edge as they continue to expa…

Sirenia – Old Is New Again

…in Oslo. Most of the recording process went quite smooth. We had a little bit of problems, Ailyn had an accident where she broke her foot in the middle of her sessions for recording the vocals. We had to postpone the recordings for a little while and she did the last remaining 3 songs sitting on a chair (laughs). That was a new experience for her and me as well. We managed to get through it in the end. We can smile a bit about it now, but we were…

Soilwork – Moving Past Infinity

…erstand that. I’m a music fan myself, and there are some bands where I’m only really a fan of a certain period they did, but I’ll go see them live and enjoy them. But when those songs come on from that period, it’s special to me. Knowing that, we wanted to offer people that can enjoy Soilwork a similar experience. It was really important for us to cover every album and to make sure that there was at least one song from every album we’ve ever done….

Psycroptic – Tech Metal Evolved

…ng a self-titled, we were actually thinking of it with our last album. Mainly it was just a bit tricky [to come up with a title]. We’ve had a few albums that were named after just a song, but we’re not huge fans of that. We try to have a title that kind of sums up everything. But with this one, there wasn’t anything that suited it as a whole and we had that idea in the back of our heads from the last album, so we thought it kind of suited it so we…

U.D.O. – A Decadent World

…see him perform live a couple of times with his U.D.O. band. Always friendly, very sociable, and flying the flag for traditional heavy metal high – he continues to unleash album after album at a time when most musicians retire to a sedentary lifestyle. The new album Decadent features songwriting contributions from a younger axe duo, which probably aids the band in toeing the line between the past and the present. And even though the album cover h…

Venom – From the Depths of Hell

…o their ears- put the phone down and have a look around the world a little bit. The beauty of the world, you can take a little bit of a breather. Dead Rhetoric: You’ve had to deal with tour cancellations in recent years due to visa/ government denials. How frustrating is it to put in all this leg work in advance only to be denied entry at the last minute? Rage: Actually we’ve been okay, we’ve never been denied a visa, its more from the promoter en…