Unforgiving the black and raw: an interview with Thorns of Kult

Thorns Pictures by Blazing Visions

Pictures by Blazing Visions

It has been six years in the coming but the return of Italian black metallers Kult with their second album Unleashed From Dismal Light has equally regained and reinforced the band’s presence and reputation as one of the rawest essential old school black metal provocateurs and ignited another fervour of passion from fans and those new to the band. With a new vocalist on board, the Como quartet has uncaged a force of sonic causticity, vitriol, and rapacious malevolence which provides the healthiest depths of satisfaction in its victims. To learn more about Kult, their new album, the long time between releases and much more we had the pleasure to talk with drummer Thorns.

Hello and thanks for talking with us at the Ringmaster ReviewCould you start by telling us about the beginnings of Kult and the origins of its members?

Kult was born in 2002 with the only purpose of playing old school Black-Metal. The band released one demo tape, 2 albums and a split EP with The Stone so far. The band had some line-up problems during the years and also some problems with personal life that forced the member to stop activities for almost 3 years in the recent past. But actually I have to say we’re finally back to stay. The actual line up is composed by:  Kacele (guitars), D.White (bass), Tumulash (vocals) and me Thorns (drums).

You mentioned that purpose which came with the band has that intent changed or evolved over time?

Nope. Nothing has changed from the beginning actually. When the band was created the guys wanted to play old school and as you can listen on the new album after more than 10 year of existence, nothing has changed, and of course I can assure nothing will change in the future as well.

Your sound is bred in raw old school black metal as you say, what have been the influences over time which has seeded inspirations?

Well, as you can imagine we’ve grew up listening to raw music so our influences are actually from that. I’m the older guy of the band so I can speak from myself telling that Darkthrone, Burzum, Gorgoroth or early Immortal were my solid basis of my youth…but well I can also speak for the guys saying they loved hell bands like Armagedda, Craft or Gorgoroth as well…and we can definitely say we can hear that from our music!

kult_unleashedfromdismallight_cover (1)You have just released your strongly anticipated second album Unleashed From Dismal Light, how has it been received from those waiting appetites?

I have to say that I never expected such a great “welcome back!” As I told before, the band had to stop for 3 long years and you know…a lot of people usually forget what it was so I truly believed a lot of people forgot about us…but I have to say I was wrong. A lot of people wrote us back saying they were happy to see we were still alive and kicking with a new album out. This was awesome for us…these kinds of things give you more energy and determination to go ahead stronger than before.

It has between six years between Unleashed From Dismal Light and debut album Winds Of War; you touched on it earlier but can you elaborate on the reasons for the long stretch of time?

Life sucks man…some of us got into some troubles with jobs, other personal issues about family…and also consider we’re not living so close (me and the other guys around 400km) so it is not easy all the time to get the right mood and be strong enough to “survive”. Sometimes you just need a break because it is too much. This is what basically happened within the band…but as you can see after all those problems were solved, the band rises back from the ashes with renewed energy and strength.

We suggested the album was not concerned in breaking down boundaries for black metal but concentrating on giving it a new and fresher toxicity and sonic pestilence to get excited about; a fair comment?

Not sure to understand exactly what you mean…but by my side I can surely tell that this new album is more powerful and direct than the first one…but if you listen carefully the music is also slower than the early composition. We actually focused on the songs, not asking ourselves what people would expect from us after a so long break. We could release a killer high speed album to get people some fresh meat to grind but we preferred going ahead completely true with ourselves, following our hearts. Mostly of the new songs are mid tempos or slow and the mood is more heavy and “pestilential” I would say. This is pure bone-breaking music, no bullshit! There are many bands out there playing fast…we’re not in the same race; we’re not looking for some medals! We’re not interested in competitions!! Do you want to get sick? Do you want to get mad? Do you want to get pain in the neck? “Unleashed From Dismal Light” might be what you’re looking for. Give it a try.

How has the creation and recording of Unleashed From Dismal Light compared to its predecessor and how would you say your sound and songwriting has evolved between the pair?

Well, to tell you the truth this album, except for some lyrics, is 3 years old. I mean we already composed it back in 2010 when we had the break. Everything was ready to be recorded shortly after but well, you already know the story. So basically I can say there is not much difference between the 2 albums except for the fact that on the second one it’s me on drums, and on the first one they had another drummer. Technically I can say the new one is more tight and powerful but musically I feel not much difference. Probably we could start noticing some years passed on new compositions but I can tell nothing about it right now.

What is the writing process with Kult?

Probably nothing exciting: the guitar player show the other guys some riffs and all of the band starts working on it. Average band modus operandi.

kult pictures by Luneth Vinönen

pictures by Luneth Vinönen

We already knew, knowing before his vocals style, that the album would have sounded completely different so we gave him the complete freedom to express himself the way he liked the most. We are friends since a long time ago so when we asked him to join the band we already had some kind of common vision of how the album should have sounded. We also downtuned the guitars/bass to give it the general mood. To be honest everything went better than expected ’cause I had an idea about the final result that Tumulash completely burned to the ground ‘cause he sung in a completely different and new way I didn’t expect from him. So yeah, today I’m more and more confident about the decision to take him on board.

Please give us some insight into the recording of the album and its raw unforgiving sound, was it as it hints at done as a live recording to achieve the rich merciless sound?

We didn’t want to record the new album in a proper studio this time…we wanted a raw approach that only someone who knows what we’re talking about can give it. So we recorded it in our rehearsal room (Beastcave Studios) with the precious help of a friend of mine that is a talented black-metal musician and sound engineer. We used our equipment and all the things we usually have in the dark room, so even if all instruments have been recorded separately like in a normal professional studio, the general mood sounds like a live recording. It is exactly what we wanted.

Lyrically the songs feel like a statement and attack on the toxicity in the world and us as people but also at times seem to carry a personal breath or essence of the writer, how much of the album is that close to the personal thoughts and experiences of the band?

Some songs come from the previous singer and have just been revisited and adapted by Tumulash, others have been written by Tumulash himself and they speak about some personal things I really don’t like to talk about. Some lines are quite clean to understand, some are more cryptic. Each listener can find his own way to decode them.

It is hard for any band to grab a spotlight when releasing an album, even a band like Kult with a strong and acclaimed pedigree from previously releases; how have you found it with Unleashed From Dismal Light especially within black metal circles?

Our previous label, French Debemur Morti Productions, did an amazing job some years ago spreading the Kult name all around and selling/trading a lot of copies as well…so well, when we recorded the new album we just sent some promos around and Folter Records was the fastest one which gave us a good offer. Actually we knew the label and the guy behind it for a long time so we quickly agreed to work together. It is always easier when you know the guys personally and there is some kind of mutual respect for each other work.

KULT_BandfotoCan we expect a full on presence from Kult from now on live and from the studio, no six years before the next release? 😉

I hope not of course! ha ha! Kult are back to stay but you know, life is full of traps and misfortune behind every corner. The only sure thing, except Death, is that we have a lot of live shows booked for the next year including some interesting festivals as well, so no time to slow down even for a bit!

Talking of those live shows is there anything planned tour wise to promote Unleashed From Dismal Light?

We discussed many times with Folter Records about a possible tour for Kult but we need to check all the details each time. It is not easy ‘cause we all have a regular job but we’ll see what we can do. For sure we’ll play as much as we can and are talking about single shows or festival appearances.

Once again many thanks for sparing time to chat with us, any last thoughts you wish to share?

Thanks for the space. Give “Unleashed From Dismal Light” a listen.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/KULT/166348940061985

Read the Unleashed From Dismal Light review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/kult-unleashed-from-dismal-light/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 16/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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In The Guise Of Men – Ink EP

In_The_Guise_Of_Men_big

The Ink EP from French metallers In The Guise Of Men is a release which makes a totally convincing and thrilling first encounter that only increases over numerous more plays but all the while it is playing an insidious little game where before you know it the six track feast of sound has evolved from a very welcome guest to a rabid addiction. It is an instant mouth-watering encounter which emerges as a necessity in the soundtrack of the day and passions, and though maybe you can debate its originality at times, the EP is a rousing provocateur which not only satisfies every want but feeds a hunger you did not even realise was lying in wait for a release like this.

In The Guise Of Men first set upon French stages in 2003 and reinforced their emerging presence with a five track debut EP two years later. Sculpting a sound which draws on a flood of metal and heavy rock flavours, the band has not exactly kept their homeland’s music scene busy the years but certainly had it attentive to their presence when they did hit the stage, events which has seen them alongside bands such as Crossing The Rubicon, Aside From A Day, and Anorak, and with a more intensive attack of dates this year. A change of line-up in 2012 was followed by the band entering the studio for their second release and a mighty encounter it proves to be. Recorded with Cyd Chassagne (Magoa), Ink hits hard and with imaginative antagonism, constantly treating the ears and passions to a persistently shifting and adventurous fire of at times recognisable but wholly inventive sounds. It has a presence which merges essences of the likes of Faith No More, Karnivool, Drowning Pool, Downer, and Meshuggah as examples just to simplify things, and leaves a raging appetite for the impacting mix.

Opener Suicide Shop leaps at the ears from its first breath, djent spiked riffs a jagged nag on the senses whilst a dark grouchy 1457645_591172264290068_393570665_nbass growl immediately lights up thoughts. With equally energetic and agitated rhythms behind the excellent flowing melodically cast vocals, though they come with plenty of snarl and growl at times too, the track is an engagingly rapacious introduction. It has a twisting intent to its intensity and drive, a continually hungry want to turn on its invention and the listener to tease and stretch their imagination. It is a dramatic and striking start which soon ignites an appetite for the release, a swiftly emerging greed which is soon wholesomely and resourcefully fed by the following track.

Violent Overthrow again has no need or wish to slowly coax in the listener to its persuasion, riffs and rhythms forcibly shaking up the senses with their predacious craft and energy whilst the guitars equally cast an inspiring and riveting web of sonic and melodic enterprise which scorches the air and expands the tempestuous sonic narrative at work. With a staccato gnawing of the ears and a heavy weight intimidation provided by bass and drums, the track is a glorious storm which steered by the continuing to impress vocals takes the passions to another level with ease which its successor Drowner reinforces with its excellent nu-metal and almost at times industrially honed adventure parading another expanse of structures and corrosive riffery to devour with the ardour of a hungry pack of wild beasts. There is very little if anything to take issue with the release over as this song in particular proves; its light and dark dangers all given clarity to express the individual skills of the band’s members whilst their coming together makes a seduction of the listener which is inventive and dramatically resourceful.

Both Sale Paradise with its glorious vocal and melodic croon which soars across the senses as evocative flames sear their edges, and the potently expressive Blue Lethe lead thoughts and emotions on a varied and exhaustive dive through gripping textures and predatory enterprise. Distinctly different in guise but like all the tracks bred from a linking passion and creative fire which leaves only hunger and rapture in their wake, the pair and especially the second of the two casts another incantation in the release’s spellbinding call on the passions.

The closing Dog to Man Transposition is a final triumph to complete an outstanding release. Running ears and senses ragged with another immense attack of lethal rhythms and flesh chewing riffing, not forgetting that wonderful persistently stalking bass sound, the song is a towering last confirmation of the greatness of EP and band, especially with its just as potent melodic tempting. It leaves In The Guise Of Men and the exceptional Ink EP a fire in the ears and alongside the other tracks an encounter which demands and eagerly receives a long term affair. Let us just hope it is not another seven years before their next creative rampage.

http://www.intheguiseofmen.com/

https://www.facebook.com/InTheGuiseOfMen

9.5/10

RingMaster 16/12/2013

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Empire Of The Scourged – Transcend Into Oblivion

Empire ofthescourged pic

Possibly one of the most vicious and uncompromising death metal releases this year and definitely one of the most exploratory in imagination and intrusiveness, Transcend Into Oblivion from Dutch band Empire Of The Scourged abuses and captivates from its first sonic pestilence posing as a note to the final bestial breath cast over the ears. It is a formidable confrontation which ignites senses and emotions with creative ease through a mix of avant-garde and industrial rapaciousness aligned to a death metal voraciousness. It is merciless and at times exhausts the senses but equally invigorates and fires up the imagination with a mouthwatering blaze of intensity and adventure.

The sextet of uncompromising provocateurs take inspirations into their tempest from the likes of Nocturnus, Phlebotomized, Emperor, and Mysticum forging a presence and sound which is distinctly different and demandingly intensive. Every layer and texture has its own exploration going on to stretch the depths of the songs and demands of the listener, but the rewards are extensive and potent. Transcend Into Oblivion has an oppressive air and presence, its maelstrom of invention flailing the ears within a claustrophobic weight and enterprise which itself comes under an equally suffocating production which swamps the senses without ever swallowing up the delicious nuances and dramatic imagination which stalks and dances throughout the release.

The five track mini-album opens with Der Wanderer über dem Nebelsee, its entrance borne on a gentle sonic wind.  It is a empire-of-the-scourged-transcend-into-oblivion-mcdmomentary peace though as war breaks out and riffs start chewing the flesh of the ears as rhythms batter out their submission. That initial sonic warmth still tantalises across the now in full flight fury though, persistently coaxing heavy vocal squalls which growl maliciously over the violent causticity. The track is prime extreme metal punishment but with industrial seeded persuasion, teasing grooves, and melodic enticement from keys and guitars; it is also a wholly seductive introduction leaving passions lit and the imagination eagerly pondering the sonic narrative and its drama fuelled antagonism clad weave.

From the impressive and commanding start Hollow Machinations of the Foul Spirited flicks up another gear, keys wrapping a melodic comfort around the senses as riffs and rhythms as well as the uncontrollably carnivorous vocals stake their pound of submissive flesh from its recipients. There is a similarity between the first two songs in structure but both are individual in character to whet the already fully awoken appetite that little bit more though equally thoughts wonder if the two songs are already the limit of the invention and exploration to be presented. The industrial harkening of Trapped in This Massive Process soon puts that to rest, its epic casting of sound and intensity evolving from its initial fiery embrace into a torrent of grasping riffs and crippling rhythms. A hypnotic bass line soon is given clarity as it spears the core of the provocation whilst melodic electro suasion paints an evocative intrigue around and within the predatory ferocity which erupts and drives the excellent examination of the psyche and body.

Foul Machinations of a Hollow Spirit has imagination and passions in its rigorous hands instantly, seductive and mischievous keys dancing with the ears from the opening seconds as a dangerous raptor like intensity brews and raises its ugly intimidating head. The track is the soundtrack to the most bedlamic psyche eating nightmare and a scintillating ravishing of the senses and thoughts which leaves the opening pair of songs almost seeming like child’s play in their menace and invention. The track snarls and lashes out, seduces and tantalises with a form of demonic wantonness which easily steals top honours on the release.

Transcend Into Oblivion is brought to its striking conclusion by A Scarred Horizon, another to emerge from a stark industrial wasteland like breath to sculpt a malevolence and sonic scourge, to steal from the band’s name, which thrills and depletes every aspect from ears to emotions. It is a towering end to an album which is not going to be a pleasant experience for a great many but equally a major triumph for a mutually strong legion of extreme metal adventurers. Empire Of The Scourged has emerged with a debut which marks them out as a band to watch very closely and to enjoy right now, if you are brave and strong enough that is.

http://www.empireofthescourged.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 16/12/2013

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Emilio Largo – In Uniform We Divide EP

Emilio Largo

As the year drifts into the frenzy of Christmas and the clutches of 2014, Scottish band Emilio Largo recently gave it a striking parting gift in the shape of their excellent In Uniform We Divide EP. Consisting of four exciting and promise drenched tracks from a band which is beginning to generate a potent little buzz around themselves, the release is a riveting and imaginative exploration of math and alternative rock with plenty of other fruitful essences spicing up its temptation. Written over eighteen months the Mark Morrow of The Winter Tradition produced EP is a declaration of a band on a creative flight set to tempt and enslave a great many to its inventive presence, and certainly the release seduced our eager hearts.

The EP is the follow-up to debut single My Hopeless Question of late 2011 and a major evolution in sound and craft to that introduction.  In Uniform We Divide employs the Edinburgh trio’s inspirations from the likes of The Mars Volta, Arcane Roots, and The James Cleaver Quintet into their own inspiring melodic and inventive sculpting. Consisting of former music students, vocalist/bassist Scott Waterson, drummer/vocalist Calum MacVicar, and guitarist/vocalist Joe Wyman who it has been announced as we write this review has just left the band, Emilio Largo has laid down a marker with their EP not only for the country to take notice of but for their own level of ideas and ingenuity. Strongly backing up their acclaimed performances with the likes of Arcane Roots, Tubelord, Bronto Skylift, Flood of Red, and Sucioperro over time, In Uniform We Divide is not a perfect release but cored by such potential in its definitely impressive invention and depths it only raises an eager appetite and suspicion of greater things to come.

The release gently strokes the ears with the beginning of In Uniform, the opener taking a reflective melodic guitar crafted 1471981_596147800434427_61011776_nentry before riffs begin to rub their design into the senses and rhythms crisply poke the ears into greater anticipation. Their awakening appetite is soon rewarded with a tempestuous surge of caustic and clean vocals which fly across the bows of the sonically bred enterprise seeping from the tall walls of the rhythmic enticement. The bass of Waterson is a dark provocateur alongside the lighter flames of the guitars and the cleaner vocal delivery, adding a great whisper of menace yet with an intriguing swagger which compliments the stroll of the track. As it moves through its inventive aural narrative there is a definite Reuben meets Baddies feel to the song and as the bass adds a funk mischief to its tantalising presence and the hooks become more jagged it is an outstanding start to the EP.

JudgeMental steps up next and instantly comes under another absorbing and irresistible prowl from the bass and intensive incendiary guitar play and riffing which with the squalling vocals has a definite Rage Against The Machine air to its antagonism. A contagious groove enters the affray soon after to accelerate the strength of the song’s potency and toxicity and though less than a minute and a half in length it is a thrilling avant-garde/math rock stomp reminding in many ways of Halfling’s Leaf. It short but triumphant persuasion is replaced by the much longer We Divide, the track also unafraid to mingle jazz and discord lit adventure with a progressive and intensive fusion of rock. The vocals again are varied and adventurous in their use but as found on the first song the purely clean vocals are weak in comparison to the other deliveries and the music. Certainly they are not badly delivered or poor but against the qualities breeding the heights in this mystique noir lit treat they pale a little too noticeably at times. It is a small issue to be fair though, the harmonies on the third track as spot on as any part of the creative maelstrom of imagination exploration.

The EP ends on another thrilling stomp in the rapacious shape of Disco Volante where the band turns to disjointed dancefloor teasing with a track which is like a stiff legged body jerking dance of noise and psyche rock brilliance. Imagine again Baddies in a conspiracy with Joy Division, We Are The Physics, and Fall of Troy, and you get a pungent whiff of the invention and contagion set to seduce your passions. Our favourite track on the EP, though all are sizeable contenders causing constant reappraisal of that nomination, it triggers another level of enjoyment. The In Uniform We Divide EP is a richly exciting and satisfying treat from a band in Emilio Largo which is easy to expect will be stepping forward to become a major contender in indie and alternative rock ahead.

https://www.facebook.com/EmilioLargoBand

8.5/10

RingMaster 16/12/2013

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