Fornicus – Storming Heaven

Fornicus Promo Photo

If the hordes of the hell lay siege to the pearly gates above you can be sure US black metallers Fornicus will be to the fore sound-tracking the whole apocalyptic event with their incendiary debut album Storming Heaven. The self-released onslaught is a vicious torrent of sonic and pestilential animosity bound in compelling craft and inventive hostility. It is also a collection of individual triumphs combining to create one mouth-watering and blasphemous assault giving not only American but world black metal a refreshing shot in the arm.

It is fair to say that Storming Heaven is not a template to undiscovered realms within its genre but Fornicus has sculpted it with a tenacity and ingenuity that cannot avoid being some sort of inspiration to fans and bands alike. Hailing from America’s Bible belt, the Kentucky quartet emerged in 2013 and took little time in creating thrilling violations with a ferocious blend of black and thrash metal veined with a healthy staining of death metal insidiousness. Their first year was spent creating and honing their sound and songs before Scott (guitar/vocals), Chris (bass), David (drums), and subsequently Kelly (lead guitar), settled down to recording Storming Heaven in Scott’s own studio. Themed and driven by “a bold statement chastising Christ and his blind sheep for their “righteous” ways with the ultimate goal of destroying God’s Kingdom”, their album is a sonic pyre of discontent, malevolence, and hellacious enterprise which either sets the passions blaze or has them smouldering greedily, but never leaves then less than thoroughly satisfied.

The album opens with an intro called The Pledge, cinematic vocal samples and threatening atmospheres merging to intimidate and spark the imagination before We Are Sin launches a toxic web of whipping beats and caustic riffery. It is Fornicus Storming Heaven Artworkintensive and appealing bait which is enhanced by husky vocals squalls spraying venom with every syllable. The track soon strides with greater infectious enticement, riffs roving with relentless resourcefulness employing similarly addictive acidic grooves whilst vocally the varied voices of hell seem to have their gripping say. It is a masterful declaration of sound and intent brewing up a hungry appetite and intrigue for the devil inspired irreverence to come.

The following Pallium Mali intensifies the merciless infectiousness spawned in its predecessor, luring in the passions with a thrash seeded rampancy of riffs aligned to an addiction forging groove. There is an overall swagger to the blaze of persuasion too which is as open in the rhythms and guitar as in the caustic delivery of Scott. The track is an irresistible and mighty anthem of intent and uncompromising antagonism, but also casts a net of melodic endeavour and creative flames through the guitars which leave thoughts and passions greedier. It is the first major pinnacle of the album giving King of Egoists plenty to live up to. It makes a powerful fist of the challenge by coating its individual swing of beats and riffs with a hostile festering of abrasive maliciousness and corrosive rabidity. The track scars and entices with simultaneous and equal success, raging as it purposefully meanders with magnetic enterprise through its riveting and exciting tempest, only as its predecessor, the closing fade out a little annoying.

Both Into Obscurity and Thirst for God enthral and please with impressive effect, the first a maelstrom of spite and demonic demanding seared by a sonic and vocal enmity. It is an even more intensively imposing track than previous songs, a raw storm veined with inviting temptation whilst its successor is a doom leaden prowl preying on ears and emotions with erosive weight and ravenous ferocity. Neither song has quite the potency to inflame the heart as earlier tracks but both provide another depth and rigorous shade to the album which only adds to its strength and appeal.

An impressive cover of Sepultura’s Antichrist which comes next, the song painted in a black hearted tone and a bracing voracity which challenges the original. Its excellence is soon forgotten though as the brilliant title track sets out on its scintillating violation. From an opening avalanche of vindictive rhythms and a blazing sonic squall, the song hits the senses in a furnace of harsh causticity which in turn evolves into a ridiculously contagious, groove amidst a just as gripping charge of riffs. It is another track which intermittently goes for the jugular or slowly preys on ears and psyche, it’s stalking and rampage a fluid and constantly interchangeable treat.

The album is concluded by The Beckoning, the gates of hell and the band’s inventive hostility swung open for a final furnace of exhaustive and insatiable destructive antipathy. It is a mighty close to a tremendous release, one as suggested earlier with all the quality and bad blood to push Fornicus into a potent spotlight. Storming Heaven is an encounter for fans of bands like Marduk, Goatwhore, and Emperor but also the early settling of the band into its own distinctive corner, and well worth everyone’s investigation.

Storming Heaven is available digitally and on CD @ http://fornicus.bandcamp.com/album/storming-heaven-2 now

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9/10

RingMaster 17/08/2014

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Hollow – Mordrake

Hollow - Press Photo

There are some debut albums which impress, some which raise a depth of excitement sparking a long term connection, and then there are some like Mordrake from Canadian death metallers Hollow which simply have you shouting feverishly from the rooftops. The release is an extraordinary maelstrom of startling invention, mouthwatering imagination, and enslaving hostility which simply blows thoughts and passions away. There has been talk of great things about the Montreal quartet from their live performances and previous release, the six track EP Cynoptic Eschaton, but it is fair to say we were not expecting something so devastatingly brilliant for our first introduction to the band.

Formed in 2009, Hollow has earned a fine reputation and potent presence across Québec and Ontario moving across their homeland through their live incitements which has seen them excel alongside the likes of Voïvod, Suffocation, Sword, Jungle Rot, Iwrestledabearonce, Blackguard, The Agonist, Beyond Creation, Marduk, 1349, Tyr, Orphaned Land, and many many more. Cynoptic Eschaton drew further strong acclaim and attention with its release in 2010 which Mordrake is sure to emulate in much greater strength and expansion. Bringing new character to some of the tracks on the previous EP and plenty more new breath-taking encounters within its twelve song body, the Kevin Jardine (Slaves on Dope) produced, with Dan Lauzon (Entropy) and the band, album was recorded with an uncluttered ‘analogue’ like approach which brings a raw and honest dimension to the proposition allowing music and individual craft to paint a stunning fiercely textured adventure.

Opener Lament Configuration emerges upon a sonic prowl which is almost lumbering in its gait and thoroughly engrossing in its Album Cover - Hollow - Mordrake 2014 - smallsearching sonic exploration over the senses, the fingers and strings of guitarist Cadaver already capturing firm attention. Pungent rhythms add to the portentous tension brewing within the dramatic coaxing whilst orchestral melodies and harmonies soak the oppressive atmosphere lying thickly over the evolving scenery. Eventually the band step from the initial evocative smog with a surging stride of riffs and concussive beats from Blaac which vocalist Mott roars over with every muscle of his malevolence. It is an impossibly contagious charge which is just as compelling in its imaginative twists and enticements, not forgetting individual skills, as in its turbulent catchiness. The track is the thrilling declaration of things to come, a tempest of bewitching ingenuity and lethal aggression within a blackened pestilential beauty of sound and creative intent.

It is a staggering start which both Cryptic Howling and A New Life explosively reinforce. The first is a voracious torrent of rhythmic rabidity matched by an unbridled hunger in riffs and outstanding vocals, Mott gloriously unpredictable in his venomously corrosive varied delivery. Within the scourging onslaught, bassist Snow finds an even more intensive bestial voice from his strings to add to the hellacious web, a tone which is as at home sculpting a carnal texture to the vitriolic attack as it crafting deliciously haunting lures to the enthralling melodic hues which seduce robustly later in the track. The track is a severe examination of senses and psyche with more riveting rewards in its single body than most death metal bred albums offer across their full lengths, a treat repeated by its predecessor. Entwining ears in a climbing vine of sonic imagination which is soon under a tsunami of pungent antagonistic intensity and ravenous enterprise, the track adds to its surprises with contagious grooves which lead to a heavy metal endeavour beneath a symphonically seeded elegance. This is all around a heart which is predatory in the extreme and soaked in a simply irresistible rapacious appetite.

It should be noted that whatever description tracks are given here they only hint at the whole picture, so much going on and being sculpted that it is impossible to truly represent their brilliance and impossible to take all in on just a few encounters ensuring the album is a constantly giving proposition with every assault. The next up rampage of Landscape is instant proof, its ferocious vehemence in sound, vocals, and imagination a senses eroding, thought provoking ruin which wrongs foot with majestically flighted harmonies of keys casting seducing melodies. As ever it is just a twist in the soundscape of the song’s blisteringly shaped and exposed narrative, the track a purposeful sublimely designed meander that chains mind and soul from start to finish, whilst lorded over by the just as impressive vocal diversity of Mott, more of which coming later.

The pair of Iscariot and Sunriser throws senses and imagination into further exacting furies, both again intensive weaves of addictive hooks and toxic grooves upon exhaustingly adventurous and demanding canvases. As with every track on Mordrake, each is a distinct individual with the first finding a poetical grace in the keys within a uncompromising plague of voracity whilst Mott brings a brief but just as impressive clean twist to his vocals amidst another range of guttural and poisonously squalling growls. It is a glorious track which is followed by the just as staggering triumph of Sunriser, clean vocals given another outing whilst standing in a storm of demonic toxins from the raw throat of the frontman. The bass of Snow is also a real highlight in the foreboding drenched climatic air of the song, though to be fair to all the encounter is a scintillating blur of inventive animosity and imaginative pestilence for which all deserve the outmost credit.

     The emotively driven Vlad comes next, a track we assume inspired by a former band member from the band’s first days who passed away unexpectantly. With keys and violins an insatiable seduction, the song is another which rabidly suffocates as it inflames senses and emotions before making way for the provocative epidemic of sound and fascination that is Anomie, a track bringing orchestral flumes into an entanglement with heavy metal wantonness; keys, bass, and guitars conspirators in a savagely hued, magnetically cultured creative virus.

Generally in an album so incredibly gripping and awe striking there are going to be lulls or weaker moments but honestly Mordrake holds no such inventive languor, the following innovatory alchemy of both the chilled Snow where those cleaner tones of Mott are given extra time and the hypnotic maze of Birth, rhythmically and sonically as spellbinding as anything on the release. The same applies to closing tracks Hate and Death, two final incendiary expanses of fertile minds and musical ingenuity.

Mordrake is simply remarkable, one of the most promethean debuts in a long time and certainly within death metal this year, though Hollow have a sound and presence which you cannot confine to a single genre or singular mind-set. A brilliant album from a brilliant band, what more do you need to know?

The self-released Mordrake is available via http://hollowcanada.bandcamp.com/album/mordrake

http://hollowofficial.com/

10/10

RingMaster 30/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Burial Hordes – Incendium

burial hordes cover art

    Spiritually dark and sonically ravishing, Incendium the new album from Greek black metallers Burial Hordes is a captivating tempest of threatening imagination and corruptive craft which leaves the deepest satisfaction in its venomous wake. A release which at times makes you work for your rewards but perpetually intrigues and excites with unpredictability and incendiary adventure, the album easily fulfils and satisfies the anticipation which brewed for its arrival. There are moments which slightly labour alongside other towering and scintillating offerings on the album but from its first toxic note to the very riveting last, Incendium is a recommended immersive treat.

     Since forming in 2001, Burial Hordes has earned a respected potent place within European underground metal. Two well-received and acclaimed albums in the voracious shapes of debut War Revenge and Total Annihilation in 2005, which received a re-release via Pulverised Records three years later, and its successor Devotion to Unholy Creed also in 2008 and again through Pulverised, pushed the band’s presence along with demos, subsequent splits, and further releases into greater awareness. Now the new Devo Andersson (Marduk) produced album is primed to take things to another level with a shift in sound and maturity which only puts the band under a spotlight.

    The first rapacious violation on the Hellthrasher Productions released album comes through Unleash Havoc, thumping beats and galloping riffs bringing the opener immediately into compelling view before a melodically honed sonic weave of imagination and skill paints an evocative and enticing invitation. Once secure in its mission the track explodes into a ferocious scourge of suffocating intensity and ravaging riffery driven by the malevolent guttural squalls of vocalist Cthonos. It is a predatory seduction which enthrals without making grand hook gifted gestures thanks to the persistent, almost nagging, and inventive guitar and bass craft of N.e.c.r.o and Psychaos.

    The strong start is soon cemented by Horns of Consecration, its entrance also a scourge of pestilential energy and vocal spite but with an even stronger expectations avoiding exploration to its intrusive design. Like its predecessor the song is not setting down raging flames in its corrosive tracks but again provides a tumultuous engagement of invention and enterprise which seduces and grips the fullest attention whilst raising a real appetite from thoughts and imagination. That hunger is impressively taken care of with scintillating endeavour from here on in, starting with Nailed Curse. From its first breath a groove is dangling irresistible bait from its lure whilst a rhythmic barracking only weakens and absorbs any possible resistance. A stomping provocation with the strength of a battalion and ingenuity of an alchemist, the track casts a maze of twists and detours within a riveting expanse of fierce atmospheres within an annihilistic evocation.

   Both Path of Bloodshed and Abomination keep the album foraging senses and thoughts on this new lofty plateau. The first combines melancholic and cantankerous emotiveness into a slowly pervading and consuming temptation which seduces and menaces simultaneously whilst unveiling an ever increasing and infectious weave of barbed melodies and caustic grooves. Insatiably addictive the emotional entrapment is soon exceeded by its outstanding successor, again bold adventure and virulent grooves adding potent temptation and thrilling enterprise to the niggling black hearted incessant call of the song. The best slice of deleterious mastery on the album, it sparks greater rabidity in the appetite for the song and the release itself which the emotionally intensive Scorned (Aokigahara) reaps. Near on eight minutes of scholastic teasing, injurious sonic adventure, and mouthwatering ruinous majesty the track is a gloriously evolving and investigative aural examination of theirs and our imaginations. It is epidemically contagious at times and ominously malignant in others to match the previous imperious peak on Incendium.

    Black Shrouds of Depravity and the album’s title track almost come as an anti-climax having to follow the stunning quartet of tracks before them. Both are impressive and uncompromising slabs of blackened pestiferous excellence but more straightforward and direct without the spark of adventure which elevates the previous treats. Nevertheless they complete an impressive and commandingly satisfying provocation with a centre which sparks up moments of rapture in return for their brilliance. Burial Hordes has turned into one of the new essential investigations within modern black metal and Incendium the undeniable reason why.

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8.5/10

RingMaster 22/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Vreid: Welcome Farewell

   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Following up their immense 2011 album V, Norwegian melodic black metallers Vreid have in Welcome Farewell unleashed another impressive and enthralling encounter. Whether it is the equal of its stunning predecessor is debatable but certainly the new nine track journey of enterprise and invention is a masterful confrontation of the imagination and thoughts as well as the instigator of another wash of passion for the ingenuity of the quartet.

Across their impressive albums the band has shown that tagging them as merely melodic black metal is short changing their invention as the band weave a web of sounds which court varied flames of rock and metal across numerous decades. Often referred to as Black & Roll their sound once more upon Welcome Farewell explores and re-invents a varied spicery to create songs which are consistently compelling and perpetually thrilling. Since forming in 2004 out of the demise of Windir, the band has been a blur of releases and touring, Vreid having performed over 300 shows in 22 different countries across 3 continents, lit up numerous festivals, played alongside the likes of Enslaved, Pestilence, Marduk, Unleashed, Eluvetie, Belphegor, Einherjer, Paradise Lost, and Kampfar, and released acclaimed albums in the shape of Kraft (2004), Pitch Black Brigade (2006), I Krig (2007), Milorg (2009), and of course their tour de force V.

Released via Indie Recordings and produced by bassist Hváll (Jarle Kvåle), Welcome Farewell brings the senses into its arms with01framside the opening melodic mists of first track The Ramble. It is a gentle beckoning which before long opens up its muscles with rumbling rhythms, a seductive groove and sultry sonics weaved into a hungry rampant surging gait. The bass of Hváll growls with hungry saliva dripping from its carnivorous tones whilst the beats of Steingrim (Jørn Holen) jab, punch, and roll over the ear with merciless intent. Carved into compelling shape by the exceptional craft brought to bear by guitarists Strom (Stian Bakketeig) and Sture (Sture Dingsøyr) whose vocals grasp and rasp over the senses with serpentine malevolence to temper and compliment the heated melodic wash, the track commands attention and rewards with a mix of uncomplicated and finely crafted sounds.

From next up Way Of The Serpent with its rampaging breath and slight folk metal whispers, the album lights up thoughts and emotions with a perpetual cascades of flavours and invention. The following Devil’s Hand opens its claws with an energising punk rock abrasion ridden by venomous vocals before merging thrash and rock n roll into its blackened touch whilst the title track offers a classic metal and prog embrace within the intensive ravaging which breathes within the track. It is a continuing and enthralling blend of seamlessly entwined spicery which sets each song apart from each other and Vreid distinct within black metal.

The magnificent Sights of Old takes the album to one of its loftiest pinnacle, a song which challenges and rewards with fiery invention. From a slow stroking of melodic licks the track explodes into a furnace of vicious insatiable rhythms and a spiteful twisted groove which seduces and spears the senses with sabre accuracy. Across its corrosive journey the song evolves and shifts its character to ignite intrigue and unrivalled focus upon the tempting twisted wash of predatory and mesmeric splendour. It is a song you cannot predict one note of and continually keeps the listener off guard and absorbed with the dawning shifting landscape.

The virulent Black Waves also ignites the deepest richest rapture with its goth/blackened swagger and riveting aural shadows armed with lethal barbed hooks and melodic mischief. From drums to bass, guitars to vocals, the song entices and recruits the passions with a lure as catchy and as destructive as you could wish for.

Offering a final almighty slab of muscular grandeur in the best moment on the album, the brilliant At The Brook, Welcome Farewell is simply sensational. This outstanding song is another which breeds an addiction in the listener with its predatory stance and voracious groove amidst an all devouring and insatiable acidic progressive glaze. It with ease leads you right back to the start of the album as after its esurient rewards resistance to the band is impossible.

If there is to be a better black metal release this year than Welcome Farewell it will be something quite spectacular as Vreid yet again has set the benchmark impossibly high.

https://www.facebook.com/vreidofficial?fref=ts

http://www.vreid.no/

9/10

RingMaster 25/02/2013

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Hellspawn: The Great Red Dragon

    hellspawn

    Uncompromising and ravenously destructive, The Great Red Dragon from Polish death metallers Hellspawn takes no prisoners sonically or in intent. It is an album which ravages the senses with impressively accomplished craft and merciless corrosive energy to leave one exhausted and reeling under its weight of sound. It is also admittedly a release which seemingly refuses to take adventurous avenues within the genre or break down existing ideas into something truly distinct, yet from start to finish it leaves one wholly satisfied and unreserved in wanting to stand before its confrontation time and time again.

Hailing from Wieluń, Hellspawn formed in 2003 and by 2005 with a settled line-up had their first record, Demo 2005 released via Chilean label Infernal Overkil and Nihilistic Holocaust in France, the second as part of a split release. 2010 saw debut album Child of Hell released through Exploratory Drilling Productions to strong responses, reactions which have been surpassed by The Great Red Dragon upon its unleashing via Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Psycho last year. An album apparently heavily influenced by the work of William Blake, it is a release which though having been released last year deserves to be in the awareness of all extreme metal fans. As mentioned it does not offer anything new but the release is undoubtedly a thunderous engagement with sounds derived from the likes of Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal, Behemoth, and Marduk and one which leaves no one bored.

The album demands attention immediately with the initial thumping rhythms of The First Banner In The Fields Of Devil and its9696_327937233949105_1666372934_n caustic guitar scraping of the ear. It soon collects all its elements for an explosive torrent of crippling rhythms from drummer Robert Kolman and tight cutting riffs from guitarists Marcin Garyga and Daniel Drosiński, whilst bassist and vocalist Mariusz Konieczny unveils the deepest shadows with his intimidating lines and heavy vocal squalls. The track evolves into a maelstrom of sonic guitar mastery and hungry intensity rhythmically and vocally, the heavy growls of Konieczny malice drenched.

The following Word Becomes Flesh continues the formidable start with its own primal violation and sonic torrent of aggression. Like the first, the song ripples with ideas which though not exactly new keep the song fresh and intriguing whilst in its overwhelming company. It has to be said even at this point that once a song departs it is not that easy to remember anything in particular about them when looking back, and that also applies to the album as a whole, but within their tumultuous battle they do not let anyone or any appetite down.

The likes of Hellspawn, Diabolic, and the title track blast the senses and thoughts with more unrelenting malevolence and undeniably skilled enterprise, the last of the three a particularly carnal ravishment which sears the flesh with its acidic grooves  and callous riffing not to mention barbaric rhythms.

It has to be said the second half of the album is its best started by Intro To The Revelation, the gate way into the most creative heart of the release. The shimmering instrumental makes way for the highest point of the album, Revelation Of The Great Red Dragon. It is a colossal compassionless scourge with viral grooves, captivating sonic imagination, and pillaging violence, and the one song which does linger and prompt memories after its despoiling of the senses, though it is equally matched by The Dice Are Cast, another herculean ravage upon the person and psyche. Both tracks show how good the band are and could be with a richer uniqueness to their presence which conversely does leave the rest of the album looking less impressive in some ways.

The album makes sure every song is at least within its companionship something which leaves scars of spite and pleasure, the final tracks The Greatest King Among Demon and An Obelisk Of The World no weak exceptions. Both drive to infiltrate further within the listener if not with invention than with sonic violence as presented by some great guitar solos and piercing fire branded notes. The Great Red Dragon is without doubt a brief, at less than thirty minutes in length, but great album, and if you are looking for a release extremely well done but prowling familiar extreme metal territories then this is one not to be missed.

http://www.facebook.com/Hellspawn.Metal

7.5/10

RingMaster 15/02/2013

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Interview with Adar and Omut from Shturm

Though still really an undiscovered area outside of its borders the metal scene in Russia has a wealth of diverse and exiting bands that are slowly coming to light. One of the best comes in the powerful and impressive shape of blackened death metallers Shturm. They have just released their new album Karmaruna, an album that rages and rampages with a defined craft and refined thought. Having strongly enjoyed the album and intrigued to find out more about the band we had the pleasure of having twin guitarists/vocalists Adar and Omut from the band tell us more about Shturm and their album.

Hello and welcome to The Ringmaster Review, many thanks for talking to us.

Would you first introduce the band and its members?

Adar & Omut: Hi! Thank you for your questions! Now “Shturm” is 3 persons: Adar (vocals, guitar), Omut (guitar, clean vocal) and Petreno (drums)

When and how did the band first start?

Adar: The group “Shturm” has appeared early in 2003. I and Sinner (bass, vocal) had organized it. At that time we were playing “war black metal” which can be heard on demo “Shape Of Chaos”. A year later the debut album “Fresh Christian Meat” had been recorded. It wasn’t only a black metal album, there was much more death metal. In 2009 label FONO Ltd. released our second album “Kalahia”. It was a blackened death work. Our image was reflecting the influence of black metal.

What were the influences that led you to getting into making music and those that inspire you now?

Adar: First we were influenced by such groups as Marduk, Immortal, Hipocrisy. Later we couldn’t avoid the influence of such monsters as Nile and Behemoth. Now the influence of these bands is very low. Listening to our album “Karmaruna” everyone can notice there the influence of different groups. So it’s difficult to say exactly who has influenced us during its creation.

Your music has evolved deeply between your demo Shape of Chaos and debut album Fresh Christian Meat in 2004 and your excellent new album Karmaruna. How would you describe the change and maturity that has emerged?

Adar: Really, I don’t know how to answer this question. As the years roll by everything turns out of itself. The childish maximalism concerning the views about life, music and fashion disappears. The music horizons broaden and you want to compose more interesting, distinctive music. Hereby “Karmaruna” appeared. The symbiosis of styles and views about life. We couldn’t allow us to make such a bold album before but now the time has come to break musical ranks and to experiment.

You started out as a brutal black metal based band really originally as you said earlier, what was the thought behind the band at the time?

Adar: That’s right. At that time we were 17 and we were only interested in protest against society, religion (especially Christianity), foundations, all these fops listening sugary pop music. We were like a bundle of nerves, drinking a lot, haggling. All this was reflected in our music – fast, raw, aggressive. It was a true black metal concerning all: views about life, texts, behaviour, attitude to people. We hated those who differed from us and we thought we were the strongest. We even had a song “Overpeople” which speaks for itself.

It seems that when you Omut, joined the band and struck up a strong understanding and combination with Adar that things really began for the band and the new defined shape and direction to your sound. Is that how it was?

Omut: After my appearance in the band much has changed as compared with previous course of things. But changes weren’t revolutionary. I and Adar, we were developing in the direction which was interesting for us, we were creating “Shturm” and we continue to do it. I think changes were gradual and logical.

So the change as much simply a natural evolution of the music as it was down to this reassessing of things then?

Omut: We always try to generate some unexpected, unpredictable decisions within the scope of our musical and lyrical ideas. That’s why the development of the band and of all that connected with it can be considered as planned (because all is often carefully planned) and spontaneous (because musical ideas for a new material are a great surprise even for us).

As mentioned Shturm started out as a black metal band and has evolved through death metal to an even more brutal form though without losing your skilled intricacies and creativity. Have you found you have lost a few fans from the evolution though obviously gained a great many more?

Adar: Oh, yes! Having broken through the ranks of death-black metal we have been subjected to criticism by our old fans. We were reproached for being pop and fashion oriented. But we don’t anger as it’s not true and we prove at our concerts that we are metal group as before but now we are not interested in playing only within the frames of several styles.

What was the metal scene like in Russia over the first few years and did it help or hinder your progress?

Omut: Metal scene of extreme genres in Russia has always been not impressive especially during the times of the formation of our group. It can be explained by the legacy of ban on this music made in The Soviet Union. While all the world was developing in the sphere of heavy music we had a sever ban on it in our motherland. At the early 2000 extreme metal scene represented an embryo under the influence of impressive bands from foreign countries. All this had a great influence on the lack of colouring and originality of Russian heavy metal. All the same we still loved such groups as Drama and Ragor. Russian heavy metal always makes us glad – Aria, Black Coffee, Master, Legion. We love this music and surely it has influenced on us.

It seems now that music from your homeland and surrounding countries is finding a wider market and attention, is that the case?

Omut: Of course, today there are more interesting Russian bands of different styles within the ranks of metal. Some of them are famous and needed abroad and it makes us glad.

You have had a few line-up changes over the years, how does that affect a band when it happens?

Adar: Line-up changes are always disagreeable. It turned out so that people have never left “Shturm” voluntary. We must dismiss them because of their futile approach to the work or we couldn’t simply find the common language. New people bring changes which are almost always good. I hope “Shturm” will have a stable, solid membership ready to compose for life and to do all for the band development.

You have just released your excellent new album Karmaruna as we mentioned, and your most creative release to date. What are you most proud of about it?

Omut: Maybe it’s a subjective judgment but we are proud of many traits and features of “Karmaruna”. The material was composed in unrepresentative atmosphere – we were discussing the finished riffs, ideas and drafts together and we were making the arrangements. That has had an influence on that the album turned out varied concerning style ranks. We are satisfied with both music and texts which gained our own specificity.

Tell us about the album title.

Omut: This is a symbiosis of two words that we wanted to call our next two albums after “Kalagia” – “Karma” and “Runa”. With the lapse of time we decided not to be in a hurry to release the double album and we created the material for “Karmaruna”. Karma is the law of cause and effect in which Buddhists trust. Runa in our interpretation is a sign, display. So, “Karmaruna” is this is how the fate or the karma of a being shows up in the world. In the form of rune signs can be recognized in trees, rain, love, war. According to the law of Karma the seeds of our past actions germinate in our current life and form it. So, as we understand it “Karmaruna” is the life, all around.

What does it offer that those still unaware of your music will find hard to resist?

Omut: I think people with different musical tastes in metal will be able to find something interesting for them in our album. So, the fans of heavy metal can enjoy melodics, the connoisseurs of black and death will like energy and speed. The sappiness of solos and the richness of drum parts make our music resemble to progressive metal. So, “Karmaruna” can be a very interesting for metalheads with different preferences. I’m too modest, aren’t I? ;)

How long has Karmaruna been in the making?

Adar: It took about half a year to compose the material for “Karmaruna”. It took much time to try different arrangements, riffs and words but it’s worth the effort.

 Did the album come out exactly how you imagined it before going into the studio or did it change during the recording process to surprise you?

Adar: Coming at the studio we had a strict plan of actions, almost all the arrangements were recorded on demo that’s why we needed only to record it with better sound quality. So, there were few changes during the recording and all passed as we had planned it. But experimented recording the vocal and it turned out quite different from our plans.

How does the songwriting happen within the band?

Omut: The songs for “Kalagin” were composed discretely by Adar and me. After that they were united in album playlist with few changes. It was a different thing with “Karmaruna” the material was composed by Adar and me but it weren’t finished songs. Raw material was sifted through and saturated with unexpected arrangements by me, Petreno and Adar. Drums and arrangements (and some riffs) of Petreno who took a very active part in composition enriched a lot the sounding of the album.

Your songs and lyrics are often related to and refer too, quoting from your bio, “…the atmosphere of ethnic music, the heritage of Maya and the nations of Oceania, bearing the wisdom and grandeur of the old ones…” Can you elaborate on this?

Omut: This characteristic can be applied partially only to the material of “Kalagia”. The texts for this album represents our interpretations of legends, traditions and mystic cults of “Buddhist” Tibet. On the text side “Karmaruna” became more wide – most of songs speak not about something far and mystic (as before) but about something vital and close to each person. The base is our modest reasoning on the basis of the Buddhist philosophy. Besides the album reveals the themes of patriotism, our private feelings about everyday life.

 What is it about the subject and themes that connect with you the most?

Omut: All about what we sing excite us to a considerable degree. The past of our nation, our private feelings, reasoning about happiness and suffering based on the covenant of Buddhist teachers. All this is important and impressive for us.

You have a reputation for powerful and memorable live shows I am told, this is always a special event you like to bring to your fans?

Omut: We try to push ourselves to the limit giving concerts. This is our way to express live our feelings and ideas born during our albums work. We try to make our show energetic and emotional. We had a different image before. Now we are disposed to the individuality and hope to surprise more those who give us much attention at out concerts.

Have you gigs lined-up to promote the album?

Adar: Yes, we plan concerts to promote “Karmaruna”. For the present it will be the concerts in Russia and CIS, but we hope to travel farther.

What is next for Shturm?

Adar: I think the future will be more interesting for us and for those who appreciate our previous work. Until we live “Shturm” lives. There will be new songs, concerts, clips. I hope we’ll visit England with concerts. Of course it’s not easy but it’s worth doing! We plan the release of a new clip for one of the songs of “Karmaruna”, the recording of EP which will contain one new song and some interesting compositions known by metalheads and connoisseurs of early “Shturm”. And of course the new album which creation has already begun.

Thank you for taking time to talk with us, very much appreciated.

Would you like to end with some words for your ever growing army of fans?

Adar & Omut: Thank you for your questions and your interest in “Shturm”! We wish every success and prosperity to your portal! We express our gratitude to those who like our music – thank you for being with us! Those who only begin to familiarize themselves with our music – welcome to our world, symbiosis of black, death, thrash, heavy and something else…I’ll be damned if I know!:)))

Follow “Shturm”, everything is just beginning. The most interesting is ahead!

Stay heavy!

Read the review of Karmaruna @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/shturm-karmaruna/

The RingMaster Review 02/05/2012

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