Returning to play – An interview with Fredrik Croona.

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This month sees the debut album from Swedish harsh EBM/industrial/dark electro band Cynical Existence unveiled, a release which ignites further the already blazing passion inspired for the one man project of Fredrik Croona as forged by his previous two EPs.  The founder and one half of the excellent aggrotech/industrial act Project Rotten and former vocalist of dark electro/industrial band Menschdefekt, Fredrik with his first album Come Out And Play ventures further in to the darkest corners of the human condition through his own personally inspired and emotive experiences and thoughts to provoke and evoke. Grabbing the opportunity to talk with the man again and ask about his new imaginative and melodically abrasive dark engagement we asked him about the release and more…

Hi Fredrik and welcome back to The RingMaster Review. It has been a year since we last talked with you how has the time treated you personally and with Cynical Existence?

Thanks Pete, Wow…really? Time flies when you’re having fun eh? I’ve been keeping active that’s for sure, working on new stuff and playing around quite a bit. I can’t really complain, 2012 was a pretty damn good year and I hope 2013 will be even better.

You are about to release your excellent debut album Come Out And Play in February, how are the emotions as the date it is unleashed draws closer?

I am eager that’s for sure, and I really hate to wait. It will drive me crazy one day, that’s for sure. And it’s not close enough! Damnit, I want it out now! But to be honest, it’s exciting to be able to watch what you’ve been working on for quite a few months become something physical (yes, I already have a few CDs here at my place).

After the well-received responses and acclaim garnered by your previous EPs, A Familiar Kind Of Pain and Ruined Portrait, are the emotions different in regard to Come Out And Play this time around?

I have no idea, haven’t gotten any reviews of the album yet, besides yours of course and you really seemed to enjoy it. I’m hoping that when I do get other reviews and opinions from people they will enjoy it. Well I actually lied, because a few people have heard my teasers and really seem to be digging it haha.

How would you say your songwriting and sounds  have evolved between your first release and the new album and certainly the stuff AM1187CDyou are working on now?

In the beginning I don’t think I evolved that much to be honest, I just kept working and working and working on new stuff every f*cking day and basically shooting out tracks. When I started out I could make a track in one day more or less, but the more I actually worked and played around the longer it took to make a track. Now it can take me 3-4 days to complete the music alone (if not even longer sometimes). And when it comes to sound it always depends on what I am listening to at the moment.

Come Out And Play has a stronger intensity and investigates deeper shadows than the EPs, is that fair to say?

Yes, mainly because the album focuses more on my own life and my experiences throughout it. Sure the older tracks are also connected to me in most cases, but this one holds more feelings and I try to express them through my music and vocals. What I can say now thought is that my new stuff is even more personal and deep than the debut.

Again the album is borne of your personal experiences and thoughts then?

Every track I make is more or less personal in its own way and holds a story of its own. What I want to do in the future is actually make a “concept album“ with every track linked to specific events of my personal life. Even thought everything might be personal, there’s still some fiction in there.

How difficult is it to interpret your feelings and thoughts into your music and do you attempt to get the listener to feel exactly what you are revealing or just to feel something?

It’s not really hard at all, since basically as soon as the lyrics are connected with a track and the vocals are on there the song changes from “just another track” to song that actually has a meaning to me. I write music for myself and if I can manage to deliver a message or get the listener to understand what I’m trying to express it’s all great. But in the long run I still focus on making something I feel strongly for.

Where do you start when writing songs?

Hell if I know lol. I just start with whatever comes to mind.

Are you a writer who once a track is finished can leave it alone or someone who has to keep nibbling away at it? I ask as you are known for some great remixes of other artist’s music so wonder if it also applies to your own creations unofficially 🙂

It depends, sometimes I throw a track over to a friend to see what they think of it and then maybe we’ll bounce it between each other every time I change something and in some cases I just work on it and feel that it’s ready and well that’s that. And about remixes, I have no idea what you mean since I’ve only made about 3 remixes so far. I hate remixes, it’s boring as hell.

Fredrik CroonaThe album also includes a couple of tracks from the earlier A Familiar Kind Of Pain, both songs Paradox and Insecure two of our persistent favourites. Why the inclusion and have you tweaked or revisited them creatively for the album?

Those are two of my first and best tracks ever, so why not? They will rip the dance floors apart! And about changing anything about them, I don’t think I actually did. The album has after all been ready for a few months now.

Do you have any particular moment or track on the album which makes you the proudest or gives you a personal tingle?

I’m broken which is reworked by Pre Emptive Strike 01 is probably the best track in both terms of music and vocals, since it’s very personal to me. Other than that track GDI is fun, and I wonder how many of the listeners will actually manage to figure out what inspired me to create it and where the samples are from.

What is the next step for Cynical Existence after the album, possible live performances?

Going straight forward! Going to work on my second album and get that done and then I’m going to play a few shows in the US this spring, hopefully I might get some more interesting ones. We’ll see what happens.

Could you bring us up to date with your other band Project Rotten? What has been happening in that area of your work over recent months?

We’ve been busy working with the new album that’s been in the works for almost 2 years and then of course we have a new EP coming out tomorrow (1st of February)! So it’s been a busy time and this year will probably also be really busy, hopefully.

Is it still challenging to juggle the two bands or have you found a more relaxed working schedule between the two?

It’s not challenging at all really, I mean I just do vocals and lyrics and Kettil makes the music and the production. So basically he sends me a new track when it’s ready and I create my magic and BAM it’s done. So it’s very laid back.

How different is the buzz between working and releasing something which is created and performed by just you and working with Fredrik Croona2another creative force in Kettil for Project Rotten?

Project Rotten is obviously a lot bigger than Cynical Existence since we’ve been around longer , so I guess PR’s fanbase is bigger and well then it’s pretty obvious that you hear more from the fans on that side than on CE’s side. Naturally I hope that CE’s fanbase will grow even bigger and expand a lot these coming few months. I have to show people how awesome I can be.

Many thanks for sharing time with us again Fredrik and good luck with the new album.

Thank you and hope you will enjoy it even more after a few more listenings.

Would you like to leave with your personal favourite tracks from both Cynical Existence and Project Rotten?

Do I have to? LOL, just kidding. With PR I’d go for a new track called In Total Control and Club Death.

With CE I would go with I’m Broken and GDI

Read the review of Come Out And Play @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/cynical-existence-come-out-and-play/

https://www.facebook.com/cynical.existence.official

The RingMaster Review 01/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Audrey Horne: Youngblood

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    With their third self-titled album, Norwegian rock band Audrey Horne made an explosive and triumphant climax to their journey as a band, the release placing the hard rockers into the higher echelons of the genre with critical media and fan acclaim to match. Even for those like us who have only a passing affection for their chosen genre it was impossible not to take note and offer a solid appreciation for its craft and sounds. Such its response and creativity it was not difficult to wonder if they could follow up the release with the same strength and invention. New album Youngblood more than answers the questions with its impressive and thrilling contents.

Formed in 2002, Audrey Horne has been on an accelerated and energetic ride ever since with a continually impressing  evolution in sound and rewards coming through the earning of a tremendous reputation for their live shows, a series of releases which captured the imagination reaching a crescendo with the self-titled release, and winning a Norwegian Grammy in 2006. Youngblood feels like the beginning of the next passage of the band, the album bringing all the riches of the previous one with another fresh twist of invention on top. Released through Napalm Records, the album is a rich slice of classic and hard rock at its most impassioned and stylish with an equal imagination and craft. It also sees the Bergen band as a quintet for the first time with bassist Espen Lien now a full time member alongside vocalist Toschie, guitarists Ice Dale and Thomas Tofthagen, and drummer Kjetil Greve.

Redemption Blues opens up the album with an eager and accomplished brew of keen to please rock n roll. It takes its time to fully 468 Audrey Horneengage all its charms with a lingering teasing entrance but into full swing it is a vibrant riot of enticing riffs, a wonderfully grouchy yet mischievous bassline, and sizzling sonic accomplishment. It is one of those songs which recruits the passions with ease and takes them on an energetic ride too impossible to resist. Not for the first time on the album, the bass of Lien is sensational, a mesmeric predator, whilst the guitar invention and craft is just delicious, an incendiary pleasure to fire up the heart.

Across the keen rampage of Straight Into Your Grave, a song which reminds of Napalm Records, at times with the great vocals of Toschie and its straight forward intent to ignite the energies within its recipients, and into the magnetic title track the album continues to leave a deep satisfaction and endeavour to bask in. The second of the two is an easy going tenderly crafted slice of melodic rock at its finest bringing further diversity to the album and heated elegance.

Well into its stride Youngblood breaks out its finest moments starting with the wonderful sirenesque There Goes A Lady, a song which lures one in like the mythical enchantresses musically, lyrically and in its personal theme. One of the highlights of the album is the lyrical content of songs, and the avoidance of the band to offer the routine predictable premises of others. The words employed by the Norwegians are thoughtfully crafted, constantly intriguing, and evocative pictures upon the musical canvas and no more potent than on this excellent track.

Further highlights exalting the senses are offered in the latter half of the album, a release which arguably can be said to be the strongest in the closing stretch of its aural charge. Cards With The Devil is a wonderfully heated thrill with flames of blues and classic rock smouldering away within its progressively melodic whispers and fully inviting breath. It is a mesmeric piece of songwriting and realisation but surpassed by the following Pretty Little Sunshine, the best song on the album. The track is a continually moving flow of beckoning riffs, anthemic vocals, and infectious energy which hits all the right spots. As the album does persistently, the track treats the ear and heart to the finest vintage spices soaked into an inventive imagination and fire borne solely of Audrey Horne.

The closing pair of tracks This Ends Here and The King Is Dead leaves the listener on a high of impressive melodic craft and exceptional musical vision, both as the album itself, rock n roll to devour with a passion. Youngblood is an exceptional release which has plenty for everyone, even those like us without that instinctive ardour for hard rock. A definite must introduce yourselves to release.

http://www.audreyhornemusic.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 01/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hate: Solarflesh

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    Since forming in 1990, Polish metallers Hate has built and earned a strong name for their unbridled death metal brutality and over the latter years for a more evolved and defined blackened death voice with a diversity of inspirations to their still wholly destructive creativity. They have released acclaimed albums which have brought themselves and Polish death metal to world attention and stood amongst the established powers with impressive ease. Now they stand before the world with their eighth album Solarflesh, a release which sees the quartet at its most powerful and inventive yet.

Hate is a band which has grown into the world through their continually growing towering sound and live shows and tours alongside the likes of Hypocrisy, Scar Symmetry, Carpathian Forest, and Decapitated and through festival appearances at those such as Metalcamp, Neurotic Death Fest, Brutal Assault, and Screamfest. Released via Napalm Records, Solarflesh is another unstoppable force from the band which stretches the evolution in their sound on further from their previous well received album Erebos of 2010. It simultaneously explores, invigorates, and violates the senses with the line-up of vocalist/guitarist ATF Sinner, guitarist Destroyer, bassist Mortifer, and Hexen on drums unleashing possibly their finest moment to date. It is an album which still has moments where it arguably does not go far enough in its original ideas to completely enthral and capture the passions but never offers a moment where Hate have sole control of a willing attention and eager want to hear more.

The album appears through a distant sonic mist in the thrilling emerging shape of Watchful Eye of Doom. Part full length intro 464 Hateand part haunting atmospheric instrumental with a wonderful female vocal quall of intimidation and seduction, the track is a darkly charismatic invitation and quite compelling. It sets a high dramatic bar for the album to walk which it does successfully for the main across its corrosive length starting with the fiery Eternal Might. The song is a blaze of sonic elegance and carnivorous riffing caged within well-structured barbed rhythms. The vocals of Sinner from within the brewing tempest is a rabid squall upon the ear, his caustic growls a perfect counter to the melodic coaxing ripe within the forceful intensity. Within his brawl though there is clarity which allows the lyrical content to exact its purpose too, something maybe other genre bands should note. For its main the track is a tightly crafted tease without unleashing any addiction evoking elements but solves that with an excellent imaginative sonic trade in the latter breath of the song to make it memorable if not a lingering pleasure after its departure.

The first major highlight of the album steps up next with the ravenous Alchemy of Blood. The track wraps its insidious charms around the ear whilst forcing a delicious venom soaked groove through the tightly seized opening. Flames of razor blade sharp melodic shards erupt from the thick intensity and rampant rhythmic assault yet there is a control and purposeful intent which leaves one hypnotised, especially when further hornet stinging poisonous grooves persist and rupture the senses. Being over critical the song like on other occasions taunts, in that it does not go far enough with its addiction provoking moments of serpentine devilry, but still leaves one glowing with the prospect.

Through the likes of Festival of Slaves with its stunning opening of tribal and epic loud whispers leading into a torrential outpouring of caustic intensity, and the equally compelling title track the album continues to draw one willingly and deeply into its black fuelled heart. The second track is a sizzling encounter which unveils an irresistible Middle Eastern tantalizing to its striking guitar enterprise and sonic furnace of passion. From vocals to rhythms the track gnaws on the senses whilst the technical mastery and melodic invention ignites the passions for a full riveting experience.

Closing on another high with Mesmerized, a song which brands itself on thoughts and flesh with an engrossing malevolence sonically and from haunting enchanting female wails, Solarflesh is a release extreme metal fans should focus in on. It dissatisfies slightly in that it does not push its truly inventive moments to their limits but throughout is an album which brings a freshness and power to the world of Hate and death metal.

http://hate-metal.com

7/10

RingMaster 01/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright