Cathartic violations: An interview with Throat of Lesch-Nyhan

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Formed in 1989, the journey of Philadelphia metallers Lesch-Nyhan has been one of two halves, their first coming rich with potent horizons ahead but derailed before their realisation could be smelt. The return of the band in 2012 though looks like being a different matter. Returning with all the potential and inspiring qualities of before but honed into an even more rewardingly imposing and thrillingly incessant beast of an encounter, as evidenced by their new album Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, the quartet has emerged again as the ravenous and inventively savage proposition their fans always declared them to be. The new album is a wake up swipe to extreme metal so we called on the time and kindness of band founder and vocalist Gary ‘Throat’ Hadden to take us into the heart and creativity of Lesch-Nyhan. We get the frontman to talk about the two different periods of the band, reasons for its break up and resurrection, the band’s take on the current metal scene and plenty more…

Hi Throat and many thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

Before we talk about the new album Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, can we look at the beginnings of the band back in 1989? What was the spark to its birth and intent to its heart?

In 1989 it was a time in metal where Thrash ruled, and Death Metal and Grindcore were not heard of that much… I was asked by Mark and Anthony Delacandro if I’d like to form a band, Hell Yeah, I said. We then asked Greg Oreski RIP to join the band and it was rounded out by adding Mike Carr; we started to form and create the sound of Lesch nyhan… The intent was to have fun, we never expected what was about to happen…. It was a great time…

lesch nyhan2It is fair to say that the band was moving and brewing up a strong and potentially potent future with its unique sound and presence, but some of its members were not ready or were unprepared for that step? What was the core reason for that do you feel and the halt to the band’s progress?

Yes there could have been a chance Lesch nyhan would have had an opportunity to get signed and be a part of the start of what was still a growing scene, changing a lot, but still growing. The demise of the band; first off we had a lot of attention from Peaceville Records, with that came parents who disagreed with their sons’ decision to continue to play in the band due to its possible signing. As I mentioned previously, Thrash Metal was popular and the musicians were far and few between… I did find several musicians one being Dan Kamp who moved onto Incantation. The other members in the band just couldn’t create what we previously were and it was not working out… So that was it…

Was this a slow turn or a swift punch into the heart of the band as members realised the possible future of Lesch-Nyhan?

It was quick; we were active playing with today’s Legendary Bands in Suffocation, and Incantation, amongst others… So with all that was going on it seemed clear we had a chance to make a name for ourselves.

I know the band went through a few members at this point, what was the final straw which brought the band to an end back then?

Overall lack of interest…. or skill to play our form of music…again Death Metal or Extreme Metal was really at its birth so it was hard to find the right people to carry on… I also got involved in drugs that messed me up for a few years… Hope that answers that….

It was not until 2012 that the beast rose again, what did the interim years hold for you musically etc.

Envy… My best friend Kevin McLintock played in Mortal Decay and also had and still has his band Polterchrist, so during the last 22 years I’ve been a huge fan of Death and Black Metal, it has kept the spirit in me and the desire to once again create something unique, even though so much has been done and tried. I went to a lot of shows and remained a big fan of music.

Was there a trigger to the band’s return in 2012 or was it something brewing in thoughts and emotions for a while? Lesch Nyhan

It happened real sudden, I was approached by a former member in Rob Vandeerveer to see if I’d be interested it trying to get back to making music. I asked around, Chris Miller previously of Crucifier and Afterbirth joined forces and brought in his friend and drummer Mark Vizza; Jimmy Dabatista was also in the reformed band at first. So now Chris and I have parted ways with all those guys. Jack Carmichael formerly of Afterbirth was long time friends with Chris so he joined and we found Mark Stanthorpe Jr to round out this line up…Which is finally solid and steadily progressing.

How did you approach things this time around, musically and just in the process of being a band?

Very seriously, we know we aren’t a group of young guys; we are doing what we know to do to spread out our music. We are grateful to be where we are today, being ready to record our first full length CD. The music is written by the band, I write the lyrics. One important thing with the band is Chris and Jack were fans of Lesch nyhan back in 89/92 so that helps keep the vibes alive.

Did it feel any different as Lesch-Nyhan rose again other than what maturity and experience brings?

Yes, we are proud of what we are doing and have done so far… It’s an awesome feeling to see some old heads that used to come to our shows back in the day and for some new young and old people to find interest in our music is a great feeling.

How different was the death metal scene when the band reformed to when it left it, and did that have any impact on your thoughts in regard to sound, songwriting, and just returning?

No, actually the guys in the band don’t even listen to today’s Death Metal, so they write what they feel. Myself I write about a lot of things from hating life, gore, some political stuff and anti-religious stuff. We don’t care what people think, we’re not trying to impress anyone, and we are doing what we feel and what we want. So trends and popularity isn’t important, being honest to ourselves is more important… Nothing fake here.

You have just released new album Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome. Has its emergence in some ways been unfinished business or more a new chapter looking ahead only?

I think it’s a look ahead; we do have Bathed in Phlegm on the CD that was previously written in 1991, other than that all new material…

How has your sound changed between the new release and Indistinguished Remains of 1991 in your ears and thoughts?

In 1991 we were young; I used a harmonizer on my vocals back then and used it live as well. Over the years I’ve been upset with the decision to use that effect, to us at the time it seemed inventive and different. So in today’s music it is raw, it was recorded that way ‘because we play it live that way. This to me is a dream come true, and don’t think we all don’t put in time, we practice a lot and enjoy creating music. The basic elements of the old music are still alive today… Done with more talent and intent of making unique music, not typical run of the mill…Lesch nyhan

Has your inspirations for songs and the raw passion and craft which breaths in your music and songs still the same which lit up your early compositions or has that also changed and found new seeds over the years?

For me the passion runs deep, I feel my vocals are one of a kind and try to make it that way; creativity is vital to all of us. We keep it in the same vein as early days but much more advanced in writing and song composition…I think…

frontcoverHow did you approach the recording of Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, was there a certain intent with its creation or did it find a more organic evolution once expanding and recording the tracks?

We knew going in what we wanted and were looking for…. we’re not a polished band, we’re a live band, we practice a lot and I think are pretty tight so recording this CD was easy. It actually took us 12 hrs, my vocals 2.5 hrs…We all hammered it out quick and were quite pleased with the results.

Are you someone who likes to have songs predominantly finished one recording starts or likes to give them that freedom to evolve and surprise you in the recording process?

Yes I rehearse a lot, I put together the songs vocally during practice; if you’re familiar with Lesch nyhan there’s a lot of vocal changes and it takes time to work them into the songs, although a lot of Lesch nyhan Syndrome just came out as a surprise… Not all some though…

How does the songwriting primarily emerge in the band?

Chris Miller, Jack Carmichael, Mark Iii as he’s known, write all the music…I basically just listen for it to move me, if it doesn’t than it won’t work …. They have become a machine. I practice mostly at Chris’ with him and Jack with the drums through the Pa, that gives us time to practice often and for me to do my thing… The song writing is going great.

How have responses to the release met with your hopes before its unleashing?

It’s gone well, the intent was to get the music heard; we really didn’t have expectations except enjoy having completed this after all these years. We definitely have sparked a flame here and I hope the next recording takes us to the next level, and see where things go.

What is next for Lesch-Nyhan, in regard to playing live, new songs, and direction?lesch nyhan3

Live shows is what I live for, in August we are making our way up north to Rhode Island and playing in Pray for Death Fest 2; our next local show is in September at Harpers pub. New music is coming along nicely, we are recording ten tracks at the end of this month, and the direction we are going is our own making music we enjoy and expressing ourselves as we please.

Again many thanks for sparing time for us here. Would you like to leave a final thought or word?

Sure, I have to say thanks to all the people who have checked out our music, came out to our shows; thanks to all the promoters who continue to provide us with good shows…in the Spring of 2015 we are headed to Wisconsin to play apart the Spring Bash, then follow up with a road trip where we will be playing Midwest states and north east. I hope to see some of you out there. If you do coke out always feel free to come up say and say hello… Finally I like to say thanks to you for doing a review of Lesch nyhan Syndrome…. and following it up with this thanks. To anyone who may want to check out our bands page it’s LeschNyhanMetal on Facebook, on YouTube type in Lesch nyhan band, and Google Lesch nyhan band…. Thanks Throat

Read the review for Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome @

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 06/08/2014

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Strength through adversity: Interview with Zach Simmons of Goatwhore

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Goatwhore is one of those propositions which triggers extra sparks of enthusiasm and anticipation when you hear of a new unleashing from the New Orleans based band, and their new album Constricting Rage of the Merciless was certainly no different. Following the gripping and exhilarating Blood For The Master, it had much to live up to but rose to the task with ease to provide another brutal and uncompromising, as well as rigorously thrilling provocation. Not needing to be asked twice, we grabbed the chance to find out more about band and album through drummer Zack Simmons, proceeding to discuss the origins of and challenges before the band over the years as well as looking at the recording of and inspiration for their latest triumph…

Hi Zack and thank you for taking time to talk with us.

Before launching ourselves at new album Constricting Rage of the Merciless, can you give newcomers to Goatwhore some history to the band and its birth?

The band started around 1996 after Sammy’s other band, Acid Bath dissolved. It was out of a necessity to keep playing music for him and to take a darker direction than his previous band. I joined about ten years ago and our current bassist has been with us for five years, so this has been the most consistent line-up for the band.

Was there a specific intent behind the band and its sound at the start and has that continued today or evolved into something different?

The band started out with a heavily Celtic Frost, Bathory influenced sound and has sort of evolved to become its own animal. Those influences are definitely still intact but we’ve grown over time to allow some of our other influences to shine through as well. A lot of the stuff we grew up on, like Motorhead and Judas Priest has definitely made its way into our sound.

It is fair to say that the years have brought plenty of obstacles from the maybe accepted like line-up changes to the unexpected such as paranormal activity and natural disasters to bear on members and the band as a whole. Without this kind of trauma to incite the band’s emotions do you think Goatwhore and its sound would have been a different kind of beast?

I think all of those things have a big part in making the band what it is. We are sort of a product of our environment and experiences and even though we’ve had our fair share of negative occurrences, we’ve always seemed to come out the other end stronger.

All bands need perseverance and commitment to the cause but Goatwhore has needed more than most over the years would you say?

I would say so. We’ve been through a lot, man. Ben was involved in a van accident on tour which left him with two broken legs and not knowing if he’d be able to walk again. Also, hurricane Katrina was a major setback for the band. The Goatwhore coveralbum title kind of says it all. All these things that happen just make us want to push harder and keep going instead of being defeated. It makes for some very aggressive music.

As we mentioned you have just unleashed new album Constricting Rage of the Merciless, what was the feeling over it compared to previous albums for you as it was unveiled to the world?

Every album is very special to me because it is kind of a snapshot in time and holds a lot of memories and emotions. I think this is a very special album for the band and it’s just the next step in the evolution of Goatwhore. With every record you try to step things up a notch on every level. I definitely think we achieved that with this one.

How do you see the difference in sound and presence between Constricting Rage of the Merciless and previous albums Blood For The Master and Carving Out The Eyes Of God?

The main difference in the sound of this record and our past records stems from the fact that we tracked to two inch tape instead of digitally. It was a more time consuming process but the end result was well worth it. I think you can hear more of a vibe in this album and a punchier, warmer sound overall. Erik Rutan really outdid himself on this one.

You just mentioned that the new album was tracked to two-inch tape, what was the inspiration and idea behind this and how did this impact on your approach and style?

We thought it’d be a great way to try and capture our live sound on a record. Some bands want the really modern digital sound but that approach doesn’t really work for us. We want that classic, thick, heavy sound and recording to tape really brought that out. Recording to tape really requires you to be on top of your game and very prepared since there is much less opportunity for studio trickery. It’s a much more honest approach to recording and it worked very well for this band.

Where do you see the album pushes the Goatwhore sound and invention most potently?

I’d say there is a bit more anger and venom on this album than some of the more recent ones. It’s got a bit more variation as well. A song like Cold Earth… is an example of something we’ve never really done before. Little variations like that allow the album to breathe a little more and offer more of a ride for the listener.

Did you bring anything else majorly different way in songwriting and recording to the album this time around?

It was pretty much business as usual. I’d say we were more into the idea of trying new things and a little less apprehensive of changing things up a bit. Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone and see what happens. It’s a good way to stretch your boundaries as a musician.

Goatwhore photo01How does the songwriting process work within the band more often than not?

It all starts with getting into the practice room and firing up the amps. We’ll sift through the riff library and throw ideas around until something clicks. We also do a lot of work on our own since we live in different places. We’ll email ideas and song structures back and forth to get a head start on things for the next time we get together.

Other than being bred from the writers and band’s hearts how personal are your songs at their core?

I’m sure every song means something to different to each of us but each song is very personal to me. It’s an outlet of creativity and aggression that we all put a lot of heart into.

As you said earlier gain you linked up with Erik Rutan in the studio; was that always going to be the only choice of who to helm the recording or did you ever contemplate a new direction at any point here or on previous releases?

We never really thought of working with anyone else. We have very much the same vision in how this band needs to sound and how to make that happen. We work very well together and improve upon things with each record.

Eric is in many ways like an unofficial member of Goatwhore?

Totally! He really is the fifth member of the band.

We felt whereas Blood For The Master exploded like a beast in season that Constricting Rage Of The Merciless is more of a predatory proposition, one which prowls and sizes up the listener before going for their throats. Is that something you can see between the two?

I totally agree with that. This album has more of a bloodthirsty, murderous vibe to it. It’s a bit more chaotic and violent.

Every release to some degree opens a doorway to a new train of thought for bands about their sound and ideation ahead. Has there been anything about Constricting Rage Of The Merciless which has sparked certain ideas or intent for the next engagement?

It’s never something we plan or think about ahead of time. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there but I’m sure it’ll happen very organically and naturally like it always has. We are focused on touring now and spreading these new songs to any and every place with a stage and a power outlet.

Is there a particular aspect or moment within the album which gives you the biggest personal tingle of satisfaction? Goatwhore 03

To me, every song on the record gives a lot of gratification but one that really sticks out is Cold Earth…. After being bludgeoned with the first five songs, I think it’s the perfect song to set the tone for the second half of the album. It’s a pretty unique song for us.

What is next in store for and from Goatwhore?

We’ve got another two weeks on the Summer Slaughter tour with Morbid Angel in the US. After that we’ll be doing dates with Samhain in the US then heading to Europe with Dying Fetus in November.

Once again thanks so much for chatting with us. Any last words you have for us all?

No problem. Thank you! I hope to see you all at a show in the near future!

Read the review for Constricting Rage Of The Merciless @

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 06/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard @

Brimstone Coven – Self-Titled


Psychedelically distilled, the dark occult rock fusion of retro-hard rock and doom which is cast by US band Brimstone Coven is a flight of nostalgia and modern enterprise rolled into one fiery proposition. As openly evidenced by their new self-titled album, it is a sound and incitement which roars and seduces with its sounds but also ebb and flows in strength and persuasion at times, especially if there is no dormant passion and appetite for the genre they explore within their recipient. Yet it is only fair to say even with that obstacle before it, the release makes for a compelling and often rigorously captivating offering which awakens the imagination and flirts with the passions.

The album sees the uniting of second release II and a preceding self-titled EP/album from the West Virginian band which began in 2011 with guitarist Corey Roth, who subsequently brought vocalist “Big John” Williams, bassist Andrew D’Cagna, and drummer Justin Wood into the project; the latter replaced by Dan Hercules until his more recent return. The success of the band’s live presence and their first two releases, led to them signing with Metal Blade Records at the tail of last year going into this. The new unleashing gives their previous encounters a combined and wider canvas to enthral from and it is fair to say that the album does that with consummate ease.

The thumping beats opening up first track Cosmic Communion instantly ensures attention and appetite is rigorously awoken, its instinctive raps swiftly joined by flames of guitar and the potent melodic voice of Williams. It is a strong coaxing which finds a potent vein of magnetism with swinging grooves and sonic weaves of flavoursome enterprise over which group harmonies also impress. The song is soon casting a revelry which is as potent urgently shifting its feet or making a more sultry seduction, each leaving ears and emotions fully engaged. Thoughts of Pentagram and Orange Goblin come to mind in varying degrees as the track makes an invigorating start to the release. Its success is not quite matched by the moodier Behold, the Anunnaki, its air and attitude a darker presence to the more celebratory essence of its predecessor. The bass instantly catches the ear, its heavy shadowed tones even more pronounced and intrigue ridden than in the first song, whilst the excellent vocals again smoulder and soar enjoyably singularly and as a group, bringing an Alice In Chains essence to the narrative and feel of the song. A repetitive prowl of bass and aligning riffs equally makes a rich lure to the track which though definitely lacking the spark of the first, still leaves a contented feeling behind.

The Black Door pushes emotions and pleasure back up to that early plateau with its sinister yet absorbing beauty. Grooves and melodic hooks litter the mesmeric landscape of the song, its paths of again throaty basslines and more monotone kissed vocal enticing just as irresistible as those more openly grabbing lures. It is the best track on the album by far, everything about its invention and body dangerously seductive and hypnotically imposing, like an occult themed episode of seventies TV show Hammer House of Horror. The album never quite repeats the song’s glory again though the likes of the sultry Blood On The Wall and The Grave with its ravenous enticement as well as the slowly crawling Lord & Master give plenty to contemplate and striking rewards in. The second of the trio especially ignites a fresh hunger, its rawer and vivacious stoner lit textures a healthily appetising provocation to which blazes of guitar imagination and sonic rapacity flirt evocatively, whilst its successor is a slow burning tempting which grows and enslaves emotions over time with raw elegance and dramatic sonic poetry leading to a blaze of a finale.

The addictive almost predatory riffing which is soon in place through Vying makes for another inescapable baiting, though the song never manages to quite breed the same depth of potency through the rest of its accomplished ideation and craft. Again though it is a song which leaves a lingering thread of allurement which draws you back into its resourceful grasp, something The Séance is less successful in creating despite its presence making for a pleasing if quite quickly forgotten encounter, especially with the intensive weight and atmosphere of The Folly of Faust coming soon after, its thick smothering air a tempestuous spark to the imagination.

The remainder of the album is made up by Brimstone Coven’s first release, a heavier and darker toned collection of songs thanks to their raw recordings and production, but also tracks which just do not have the same spark and life as those before them. It is easy to see why that first EP drew strong attention though with tracks like We Are Forever with its smoky blues atmosphere and the more classic metal hued The Ancients showing all the potential exploited better in the following album. With Son of the Morning making the most potent impression of the remaining songs, the whole album is a fascinating proposition, a journey back to previous eras but finding plenty to awaken a modern palate, even those with a less keen appetite for those older times.

Brimstone Coven has the potential to make a major statement ahead taking their album as suggestive evidence, its persistently convincing presence increasingly persuasive as it immerses ears and thoughts.

Brimstone Coven is available now via Metal Blade Records @


RingMaster 06/08/2014

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