Crawling shadows and serpentine seductions: coursing the depths of Sidious with vocalist/guitarist Isfeth.

Sidious © Fabiola Santini

© Fabiola Santini

 

The recent release of Revealed in Profane Splendour from British blackened death metallers Sidious, showed that the band’s first EP Ascension to the Throne Ov Self was not just a flash in the fires of hell. It was also compelling evidence that the band had discovered and was exploring even richer depths to their sound and intensive invention. The time between releases also saw the band facing line-up changes whilst forging equally potent heights with its members other projects like Eye Of Solitude. Revealed in Profane Splendour provides an insatiable temptation of sonically carnal and uncompromising raw beauty which skilfully enslaves ears and ignites the imagination. It also sparked a thirst to explore the heart of the band and the corners of their release, so with big thanks to vocalist/guitarist Isfeth we looked at the origins of the band, the impact of the changes within it between release, lyrical inspirations and much more…

Hello Sir and thanks for taking time out to chat with us.

First up can you give us some background to the beginnings of Sidious?

Sidious was founded by Indomitus, Baalrath and I in 2012. We had collectively played together in various acts for many years – particularly in the case of Indomitus and I, for which it has now been 8 years. At this point we had been involved in various death metal acts, yet decided the time was right to pursue our true passion, black metal. The idea had been discussed continuously, but it had to be the right time. We infused our technical and aggressive death metal background with the grandeur and venomous roar of our black metal influences to create our sound.

Many of you are involved with Eye of Solitude as well as having other projects and experiences under your belts. Where or what specifically in Sidious and its sound did you deliberately start exploring which was different to the other bands you are involved in?

The will to create Sidious was always there, it was more a case of waiting for the right time and maturity in our collaboration to act upon it. We initially began exploring darker and more elaborate elements, maintaining the aggression but also focusing on atmosphere.

So the band and its music been brewing up inside in thoughts and ideas long before Sidious was born but was the coming together of the band more a swift let’s get together and see what we can come up with or a long-term process?

There was nothing swift about the process and founding of the band, it had been a long-time coming and had been thought through.

Your debut EP made a potent mark and statement upon its release last year and now you have unleashed the beast that is debut album Revealed in Profane Splendour. Immediately it sung sidious 2out in new adventure and exploratory evolution from its predecessor; how from inside the band do you feel your music and the album has moved on from the Ascension to the Throne Ov Self EP?

The line-up has changed since the EP, the departure of Void (vocals) and Fahim (drums) resulted in the recruiting of Khrudd (drums) and repositioning of myself to vocalist – whilst continuing my role as guitarist. I feel the music has evolved naturally during this process and we have further refined our sound. The album conveys a more intense array of emotions and certainly a wider range of influences.

In our review we described Sidious as blackened death metal but the album shows there is a maelstrom of flavours and elements which make up your incitements. Were there specific elements you went after on songs musically or was it predominantly an organic emerging of ideas and tracks?

When writing a song, it typically starts with an emotion or message we want to convey within its contents. An example I can give here is Infernal Reign having a barren and cold atmosphere to represent complete isolation from religious hypocrisy. Sections of the tracks, including speed riffs and the more technical elements, are added during the process, which are either brought in by a member or collectively written in a more organic writing session.

Are there any inspirations which you might say have added a colour to your music, or certainly sparked ideas within Sidious?

By majority we are all big fans of classical music. This has inspired our use of orchestral elements and added to our overall sound. Both Baalrath and Indomitus are classically trained to a high standard. Khrudd and I are big fans of depressive and atmospheric black metal, so there is also influence in that respect when concerning atmosphere and ambience. In terms of lyrical content I am inspired by literature concerning anti-theism, and Satanism.

Talking lyrically the album is as brutal and antagonistic as it is sonically, what was the core bait for your furies on the album?

My lyrics seek to denounce religious systems and ignite the realisation of self-potential and purpose. I am enraged by the continual recycling of ancient ignorance. There is no place for it. The masses pander to the foreboding call of failure; it sculpts the existence of the weak and leads them blindly into an inevitable void. Although the themes are consistent throughout, I present them in various forms. This ranges from anger and complete hatred, to the stating of principles and demands, many of which are based around my personal interpretation of Satanism.

Sidious coverTell us about the recording of Revealed in Profane Splendour; did you approach it any differently to the previous EP especially with new members involved and musically did you explore any different ideas and technics with the album compared to your other projects?

We recorded again with Russ Russell at The Parlour Recording Studio. Russ is a master of his craft and working with him is always an inspiring experience. We did explore a sharper and more aggressive guitar tone for the album and also spent considerable time finding the right sound for the orchestral and atmospheric elements.

Was the album mostly complete going into the studio or did it evolve more in that scenery?

I would say the album was 90% complete before entering the studio. We always leave a little room for improvisation and spontaneous ideas – from experience, being in a studio setting, particularly with Russ Russell, inspires all kinds of ideas. We always aim to create something authentic.

How long did it take to bring the album to life and was it difficult to bringing it all together because of your other bands any time restraints etc.?

The album was written over 6 months – within which we met up pretty much every other day. The recording process took a total of around 11 days. There was no difficulty in bringing everything together, we are always focused on what we want to achieve.

Sidious has seen a couple of changes in personnel as you mentioned earlier since the recording of the EP, how did that specifically impact if at all, on the band and more so the recording of Revealed in Profane Splendour?

The key song writers in the band have remained consistent throughout the line-up changes, so there were no major changes during the writing process. The addition of Khrudd (drums) naturally added a new creative element to the drum tracking. The realignment saw me take over vocals and therefore naturally gave me a dual role which I embraced completely.

Additionally taking on that role how does that affect songs with obviously no voice being the same; did you have to tweak existing tracks slightly in that department for your own tones?

For live shows I have certainly presented my own take on Void’s vocals from the EP. The songs have remained the same by majority, and we maintain playing various EP tracks during our live set.sidious 3

Is there any particular moment on the album which gives you a personal tingle down the spine? For us it is that opening rhythmic coaxing of Sacrilegious Majesty.

The intro to Annihilation Ov Abhorrent Credence and the mid-section of the title track are personal highlights for me.

Going back to Russ Russell, he seemed to find and understand in production the sweet spot between the hostility and melodic beauty which unites across the release?

Russ is certainly a master, he really takes the time to understand the intentions behind a song or section and through him we have been able to present our creations in their full intended form.

Tell us about the outstanding artwork wrapping the album.

The artwork was created by Giannis Nakos of Remedy Art Design. We had worked with Giannis through Eye of Solitude, therefore he was the number one choice. His art is outstanding and we are very proud to encase our music within it.

What is next for Sidious now the album has been uncaged?

We have so far played some nice shows including, main support for Anaal Nathrakh, Kaotoxinfest and Wrongstock. We were recently confirmed for Incineration Fest and are in discussions with another UK black metal band about arranging a tour for next year.

Thanks again for talking with us. Any last words or thoughts you would like to leave us with?

Thanks for the questions.

To readers: Check us out. Keep supporting extreme music. Infernal hails.

 

Read the review of Revealed in Profane Splendour @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/sidious-revealed-in-profane-splendour/

https://www.facebook.com/sidiousofficial

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/12/2104

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http://listen.kaotoxin.com/album/revealed-in-profane-splendour

 

The Black Black – Boogie Nights

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There is no denying that the One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger 7” single from The Black Black towards the end of last year, scored a deep rooted place on the soundtrack of our and a great many other’s passions with its three tracks of psyche flirting post punk. The release was not only confirmation of an already impressing emergence from the Brooklyn band but a sign post of greater exploits being brewed. It is a recipe which has come to a scintillating and seriously compelling boil on the trio’s debut album Boogie Nights, a salaciously contagious and schizophrenically toned incitement of post punk devilry. Inspired by the 1997 movie of the same name, the album is dirtily seductive and sonically swarthy, though no fakery in colour or overblown additives can be found on the lean and creatively rapacious groove machine. If you thought The Black Black was already the tang to your ears and day, be prepared for melt down once the rhythmically voracious and sonically irresistible Boogie Nights takes hold.

Formed in the latter months of 2011, The Black Black were soon luring attention with the self- release of a pair of EPs in 2012 and a split 7” with fellow Brooklyn band Low Fat Getting High. The early weeks of 2013 saw the band entering the studio with drummer Stephen Chopek (The Everymen) to record the double-A single One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger, the first for Money Fire Records and released in the September of that year. It was the spark to a far broader awareness and attention upon the band, the acclaimed release also in the words of the band, the first which “truly captures the bass-driven, groove-heavy sound and energy of the band.” With drummer Tomo Ikuta joining the founding pair of guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Daily and bassist/vocalist Chris Schnaars also that year, the band has obviously continued to hone their sound and invention resulting in an album which stalks new plateaus of imagination igniting alchemy.

From the first stubby rhythmic swipes and acidic strikes of guitar, opener the plan is, there is no plan has thoughts and appetite on their feet and throwing moves. The angular spicy sparks and grooves of guitar are instant flirtation which the wonderfully throaty bassline and crispy rhythms match in imposing kind. Teasing with a bluesy scent to those grooves and its air, the song continues to rumble and shuffle vivaciously as expressive vocals behave as mischievous and predatory as the sounds around them whilst sudden dips into restraint and melodic seducing add extra bewitchment.

The tremendous starts is straight away emulated by black black snow, the second song again throwing out wiry and tasty grooves as its body swings beats and riffs like an Ian Curtis dance. AlbumCover-MichaelSincavageThoughts of Wire come to the fore quite swiftly, as too of The Gaa Gaas whilst the raw and rhythmically addictive side of the track is bred from the same primal instincts as The Fall. The track is a scuzzy turbulence of pure addictiveness and sonic sexiness, but it and its predecessor soon have to bow before the brilliance of until death do us party. The lead single from the album, it is a temptress from start to finish with a compelling acidic groove, coldly exotic hooks, and anthemic vocals as its biggest weapons out of many. Discord as ever is a vibrant colour to the band’s sound whilst a toxic melodic hue only excites the already vivacious adventure, but with grizzled bass tones and agitated rhythms courted by Mekons like sonic tenacity, the track breaches an ingenuity which is breath-taking.

The following what the world needs now strides purposefully in next with a beat carrying bulging biceps and a grizzly bass enticement which soon has the appetite licking its lips. A low tone to the vocals adds to the addictive drama before the song expels a caustic breath and garage rock ferocity. It slips through both elements again before twisting into a psychotic swing and vocal bedlam which again has body and thoughts dribbling in pleasure. The glorious tempting takes a different avenue with the darkly shadowed machine, who me?, cold almost sinister essences draping over the vocal agitation and Joy Division seeded revelry. As in all encounters though, numerous side steps and unpredictable turns bring greater fascination and ardour the way of the eventual Baddies flavoured evocation.

The previously exalted you’re a danger soon has ears and feet engaged with its slightly unruly but seriously infectious sonic emprise. Wrapped in richly spiced tendrils of melodic fire and intimidating bass menace, the song simultaneously smoulders and stomps on the way to hypnotising the senses with its unrelenting and feverish tapestry of alluring discord and searing guitar toxicity. The track as so many from the band, just seems to grow and worm deeper under the skin over time, a persistence which flows through the album and especially in songs like this drink’s familiar. Shimmering loudly with every shudder of guitar strings and grouchily tempting with every bass slap, the song slowly swarms over the senses, flirting with ears on the way through with bright flickering moves and raunchy beats.

Things get dirty and greedily energetic again with the silence is deafening, a grooved beast of riotous and infection fuelled escapades, and restrained with the sultrily tempting phillip gets divorced. The second of the pair is unafraid to occasionally fire up its bedlam though and bursts into occasional fierce blazes of sound and vocal fury, whilst both songs treat the imagination and passions to exhilarating doses of bracing and abrasing rock ‘n’ roll.

With the similarly irresistible creative psych-out of this land is not your land bringing the album to a close, Boogie Nights has little difficulty inflaming old passions and triggering new lustful responses. It is a certain challenge to all best of lists due to be offered around now and for newcomers to The Black Black an inescapable and thrilling doorway into post punk anarchy whilst for fans it is simply the best thing since…well the band’s last sonic plaything.

Boogie Nights is out now via on Money Fire Records digitally and on 12″ white vinyl @ http://moneyfirerecords.com/boogie-nights-by-the-black-black/ and http://theblackblack.bandcamp.com/album/boogie-nights

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RingMaster 12/12/2014

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Ascending Dawn – Coalesce

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The name Ascending Dawn brings images of light emerging from dark and that in a way is exactly what the UK melodic/progressive metal band’s sound is like, except the rugged intensive shadows which frequent their music embraces and shares the moment with its dazzling melodic light. The release of debut album Coalesce shows there is no conflict between the opposites either, instead they make a tempestuous union which emerges as one compelling and very often bewitching proposition. The release is an immediate dramatic persuasion with the soaring tones of Greek/Cypriot vocalist Marlain Angelides a constant rich seduction against the sonic blaze and aggressive tenacity which colours each evocative exploration within the album. Equally there is a potential within the band and album which as the songs entwine around ears and imagination, you come to feel is still not being fully realised and on the strength of the impressive first full-length, makes for a rather exciting prospect ahead.

Consisting of guitarist Owen Rees, bassist Constanze Hart, and drummer Mark Weatherley alongside Angelides, the London based quartet emerged last year and swiftly started turning heads with their diversely flavoursome sound. The first couple of singles from the band’s album wetted the appetite and sparked strong anticipation for Coalesce, but really only hinted at the depths and strengths of the Jochem Jacobs (ex-Textures) mixed and mastered album.

The second single taken from the release opens it up, All in Now immediately teasing ears and imagination with a tangy guitar coaxing before expelling a huge breath of spiky grooves and combative rhythms. It is a spicy start which mellows slightly as the emotive tones of Angelides opens up the narrative. Around her though riffs and beats continue to impose and stalk the senses, intimidating openly within the expanding weave of melodies and harmonies. The song is an enthralling and invigorating start, its sinews and intensity aligning perfectly with the warm elegance and melodic vivacity of sound and voice around them.

The following Miscommunication is more of the same in its individual way, riffs and basslines a predatory protagonist within the smouldering sonic lure of the encounter. Also as in its a1987805667_2predecessor, Angelides opens with a low key delivery, a touch which is alluring but maybe lacking the spark of when her lungs let rip and she impressively roars and soars across the songs . She takes charge of the song swiftly though, extending her vocal chords and delivery to inflame ears and thoughts as the rich tapestry of sound flames around her and the lyrical incitement she shares makes a potent impact. The captivation continues into the band’s first single Cannonball, the song entering from a distance with a melodic swing within a provocative ambience. Riffs and hooks are soon gnawing wonderfully away at the senses before the song slips into a melody rich embrace, crooning with every aspect of its magnetic enterprise. There is still that heavy threat to the pop infused proposal though; raw textures combining almost flirtatiously with the melodic rock weave.

     As impressive as the first songs are, the album’s pinnacle comes with the pair of Integral and Opposites, the first a bordering on carnivorous blaze of hungry wiry riffs and heavily swiping beats with a blistering melodic flame to its temptation. The track stalks and seduces the senses simultaneously, every scythe of guitar and throaty bassline a dark protagonist courting the radiant elegance of voice and sultry invention. Its successor similarly bares its rhythmic and riff laden teeth, snarling and leering at the listener whilst a bloom of beauty rises from the throat of Angelides and in the guitar enterprise. Not for the first or last time, song and sound reminds of US band Vajra, the more exotic essences they bring finding a less vocal but certainly matching potency and success within song and album.

Both the fiery mystique lit Simplify and the contagion driven Inside the Silence spark further hunger in ears and appetite, in the case of the first exploring the adventurous aural exoticism of their predecessor for an even more riveting creativity whilst the latter of the pair alternatively writhes and stretches with almost visual imagination and ingenuity. Each leaves thoughts and emotions basking in startling creative colour and temptation with the second an anthemic and intricate slice of rock pop setting the listener up for the immersive instrumental Opaque which leads the imagination into its own landscape of adventure and interpretation.

Coalesce ends with the sonically spidery Indiscretion, grooves and melodic washes sculpting a web of intrigue and emotional drama upon another infection lit canvas of barbarous riffs and uncompromising rhythms. Veined by the vocal majesty and power of Angelides, the track is a fierce and tantalising encounter with mesmeric charm and adventure.

If we were being picky, there is arguably a slight lack of surface diversity amongst some songs within Coalesce which warrants a closer focus to avoid some blending together, but as we all should be listening attentively anyway it is no issue and just another part of the great potential still locked up in the band to emerge. For an introduction to Ascending Dawn, the album is a potent stealing of the passions, the first of many from the band we suspect.

Coalesce is available now as a name your price download @ https://ascendingdawn.bandcamp.com/album/coalesce

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RingMaster 12/12/2014

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