Stone Cold Dead – Lava Flows

STONE COLD DEAD _RingMaster ReviewPhoto 1

Lava Flows is one of those encounters which grabs rigorously, cuts off all forms of escape and in turn plies you with intoxicating persuasion which leaves you woozy and desperate for more. The heavy weight groove fest is the debut album from Greek metallers Stone Cold Dead, a band entangling the richest essences of groove and heavy metal with those of experimental and alternative rock. The result is a virulent form of predatory rock ‘n’ roll which leaves a thick greed for more as ripe as the outright enjoyment experienced from its thrilling introduction to a band destined to great heights.

Stone Cold Dead is the brainchild of former Rotting Christ and Nightfall guitarist George Bokos, a project which is not so much a solo adventure but one luring the talent of equally experienced and innovative guests. The Athens hailing Stone Cold Dead gave a potent hint of the quickly impressing sound fuelling the album a few short weeks back with the release of the single Hubrism, a teaser which awoke intrigue and anticipation with ease band now proven to be just the one facet of a triumphant beast.

The first inescapable seduction of the album comes through the union of Bokos’ glorious baritone guitar enticement with that of Charis Pazaroulas’ (ex-Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra) irresistible bowed contrabass temptation. Both aspects are a theatre of invention and controlled rabidity, of creative attitude and expression colluding to create bestial stomps of fierce rock ‘n’ roll with an unrelenting appetite to devour and incite ears and imagination. That ingenuity alone makes Lava Flows a must investigation but add the majestic and fearsome rhythmic bait bullying and igniting the senses throughout , and you have a proposition which is pure metal alchemy. Split into three sections; Stone, Cold, and Dead, which “unfolds along the Cosmic Tree, which connects three different realities”, Bokos has given the three tracks in each part to a trio of exceptional drummers to drive, twist, and elevate the nature and personality of each movement within the album. Yannis Stavropoulos takes the first section, to be followed by Dimitrios (Vorskaath) Dorian, the multi-instrumentalist behind Zemial, and Nile drummer George Kollias respectively. It is an aspect to the release that just adds further formidable drama to the provocative journey of the album, a potency which makes more of a thrilling impact than was definitely expected.

cover_RingMaster Review     The album opens with Climbing The Cave and straight away it is prowling ears with sonic craft as a rhythmic rumble builds into an anthemic addiction. As becomes the diverse mouth-watering norm across the release, riffs nag and gnaw on the senses as quickly enslaving vocals and the jungle of beats from Stavropoulos descend to seduce and ravage the body. Like a mix of Bloodsimple, Killing Joke, and Black Tusk, the track swings its bait whilst drilling deeper in to the psyche with every torrent of rabid riffs and web of insatiable grooving. It is probably right to say our passions were hooked from this point, a submission ensured by the contrabass seducing of Pazaroulas but only confirmed time and time again across Lava Flows starting with Cyclone Speaking.

Instantly the second song is more bestial in the tone of guitar and bass, and strolling with an antagonistic gait soon drawing in melodically enflamed roars of sound and voice. Rhythmically things are another maze to explore and be willingly trapped by as the melodic tenacity of Bokos flirts and explores new designs and instincts within the bruising rock ‘n’ roll climate. As with its predecessor, swift submission and a lusty reaction from body and thoughts are given, a success found again by the album’s title track. Lava Flows, as its title suggests, smoulders and crawls from its first breath but around an already keen burst of rhythms which provide the spark for a subsequent sludge bred swagger as volatile in energy and hunger as it is immersive in weight and ambience. Pazaroulas again bewitches with his bow on strings whilst Bokos and Stavropoulos entrance as they turn limbs and neck muscles into their puppets.

An apt colder steely hue flows through the album’s Cold section, Death Drive preying on ears with increasing intensity and energy as a punk ‘n’ roll attitude and irritability runs through the song’s pulsating veins. The craft of Dorian has a more rock ‘n’ roll energy and swing to its attack which is translated in the sound around it, that in turn creating another strain of alternative and groove metal united in stoner-esque toxicity to grip ears.

Both The Black Snake and Hubrism transfix with their individual invention and natures, the first emerging on a tribalistic, mystique clad trespass breeding a caustically flamed swing of riffs and incendiary grooves. The perpetual niggling quality of both continues to make the juiciest irresistible bait matched by vocals, rhythms, and that contrabass and bass ingenuity, manna throughout the album. Here it creates an emprise of colourful melodic and sonic mystique within a net of addictive creative voracity whilst its successor is a more sinister and disentangled weave of voices and atmospheric intimidation crowded by a great irritant of waspish grooves and robustly dynamic rhythms. Once more songwriting and sound infests and twists the listener this way and that with startling invention and imagination, and though many elements are familiar there is no doubting they are employed and evolved into something rabidly fresh and unique to Stone Cold Dead.

The exceptional Deconstructing The Architect is the first offering in the Dead segment of the adventure, Kollias sculpting a wonderfully intrusive and anthemically invigorating wall of rhythms as the guitars open up their own net of inimitable and irrepressible imagination and craft. The body becoming a puppet to the strings of band and album is nothing new at this point but certainly strung out and sent into their biggest frenzy yet as the song builds into its Torche meets Mastodon meets Trepalium emprise of sound and temptation.

A shamanic scent opens up with the entrance of Umbilical Cord next, the guitar again spinning a sultry and exotic coaxing before the track erupts into its muscularly predacious and erosive glory, which itself is never absent of unpredictable and smouldering flavours from distant shoes and cultures. The track, as all, simply engrosses and thrills, a tempting emulated in the closing extensive exploration of And The Tree Becomes A Sphere, a travelogue of sound and inspiring hues in its own right that has ears and thoughts as enslaved as the emotions amidst a massive greed for more.

Lava Flows is real heavy groove woven magnificence for the ears, and even if others find themselves to be not quite as lustful in reactions as we found ourselves to be, Stone Cold Dead are still a big reward all should give themselves a chance of getting excited over.

Lava Flows is out now via digitally and on CD via Volcanic Music @

Pete RingMaster 10/11/2015

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Dark Hound – Oceans

dark_hound__RingMaster Review

Nashville is going to have some major metal explosion to persuade people to stop thinking musically of only its country scene and heritage and you assume would be a feat too far, or maybe not if there are more bands like Dark Hound bubbling away and emerging in its underground scene. The quartet has a sound, as evidenced by their new EP Oceans, which does not yet dramatically startle or threaten the limits of originality to any of the varied metal flavours it skilfully employs yet it persistently entices with something fresh and unpredictable as it provides a thoroughly enjoyable time. The follow up to the band’s acclaimed self-titled debut album, the EP is an immediate and constant adventure of craft and imagination which maybe will not have you shouting from the rooftops but has a fair chance of making Dark Hound a band you hungrily want more of.

The 2009 formed band consists of long-time friends in vocalist/bassist ET Brown, guitarists Elliot Gordon (Clorange) and Evan Hensley (Nightfall), and drummer Josh Brown (Enfold Darkness, Nashvillbilly). Their first full-length pushed their local success into a broader attentive spotlight with accompanying critical acclaim but now with the release of the Frank Serafine recorded Oceans it is easy to expect a more forceful nudge on wider recognition and appetites.

Oceanscover_RingMaster Review     The band’s influences list the likes of Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Arch Enemy, Testament, and Dream Theater, numerous hints which do indeed spill in varying degrees from the enterprise and imagination of EP and opening song Thread. Classic melodic enticing and drama opens it up, rhythms commanding as they stir things further and spark the song to hit an infectious and muscular stride. Already imagination is fuelling vocals and the landscape of the song, unexpected and spicy twists wrong footing expectations as the band reveals a potent almost mischievous resourcefulness to their songwriting and ambition. As suggested earlier there is a spread of many spices within the band’s sound, engaging ears here with anthemic thrash and heavy metal aligned to old school and modern creativity.

The strong start continues with To Know End, a song brewing up its magnetic persuasion from its first sonic breath with bass and beats an instant imposing flirtation quickly enhanced by wiry strands of guitar grooving. There is an early predatory swagger to the track too, one emulated in the appealing variety of ET Brown’s vocal delivery with his tones as imaginative as the sounds around him. A sense of familiarity is also, as with every song, a swift temptation but soon woven into something refreshing on the ear and impressing on thoughts. For all the variation of metal involved, again thrash and heavy metal a rich essence, there is a healthy if understated whisper of Suicidal Tendencies blowing across the tempestuous landscape at times, a probably coincidental spicing which just adds something extra to the song and release.

Just as Blind shares a grungier hue to its earthy melodic stroll next, the track more a stalking than a charge but with a volatile belly of energy and voracious shadows constantly giving depth and intimidation to the satisfaction bloating encounter. The band calls their sound metal and that is best as just trying to pin down the flavours within the third song would use a paragraph in tagging it.

The EP keeps its best two tracks for its climax starting with Rearview Mirror, a masterful and incendiary collusion of contagious endeavour and predatory textures twisted into a seriously addictive and fierce waltz of new and old ideation. The track has body and emotions enslaved, recruited to its cause early though even it has to conceive best track honours to the EP’s closing encounter. The title track toys with the imagination through its dark drama from its opening seeds, ears caught at the same time and seduced further by the flowing slip through frenetic and mellow creative scenery. Hooks and grooves are no less potent and relentless, whilst the bass of the frontman seems to get heavier and more bestial with every passing minute.

It is a tremendous end to what is a mouth-watering and severely enjoyable release. Dark Hound has a sound and presence, as mentioned earlier, which does not cause major surprises but it would be unfair not to admit each listen leaves a stronger and increasingly lingering impression. It will be interesting to see how the band continues to evolve but more of the same next time will not be a cause of disappointment.

The self-released Oceans EP is available from 10th July

Ringmaster 10/07/2015

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Drones For Queens – Practically Weapons


It may be only four tracks creating barely ten minutes of hellacious fury but listening to the Practically Weapons EP from US punks Drones For Queens, is a hostility which withers the senses and scars the psyche. It is by no means an easy listen, to be honest a barbarous one at times, but for braving its tortuous climate the rewards are thrilling. Creating a venomous brawl of thrash, hardcore, and grind with extra searing spices, the Philadelphia-based band goes for the jugular with a sonic bloodlust and enterprise which is as inventive as it is fearsome. Breaking through its blistering surface though you find a warped enterprise which tantalises, and though to embrace it may prove difficult for some for others the EP is sure to ignite a greedy appetite.

Drones For Queens features ex-members of Woe, Woods of Ypres, and current members of The Green Evening Requiem, Population Zero, and Dirt Worshipper, and has already lured in attention and acclaim through firstly their cassette EP Health in 2012. Even more potent acclaim came with their split 7” release with Occult 45 which came out at the end of the following year, but recorded with Steve Roche (Stinking Lizaveta, Rat Healer, Nightfall, Witch Hunt, Serpent Throne), it is easy to expect Practically Weapons to push the band into wider recognition such the vicious, uncompromising, little treat of an assault that it is.

State Your Terms is the first to corrupt ears, its initial sonic scrub soon battered by a flurry of voracious stick swinging and d-beat hostility from drummer Evan Madden. It is a tsunami of spite and intensity equally driven by the malicious vocal squalls of guitarist Shane Madden. There is no hiding place as the song consumes every inch of the by now ringing ears but beneath the raging tempest, the bass of Bob Stokes is crafting dark virulent temptation and the guitar a spiky but addictive web of sharp hooks and nagging grooving. It is compelling stuff, a clash of brute force and anger against a creative seduction which is almost flirtatious in its understated but open adventure.

It is a fusion continuing across all the remaining songs in their very individual characters, the following EP title track unleashing a heavy ravenous texture of sound and intent built on groove metal agitation and thrash animosity. Though it does not instantly sparkle in its depths as the first song, the grooves which spear the onslaught are mouth-watering and the rhythmic tenacity and enterprise of Evan exhaustingly gripping, whilst its closing melodic twist just steals the imagination.

From its opening second A Blinding Future has a niggling groove which works incessantly away at ears and psyche from within the rhythmic turbulence buffeting the body. The severity of the track’s examination, indeed the EP’s, is fierce and unrelenting but again the ingeniously intrusive invention of the guitars beneath the turmoil is bewitching and backed with similar endeavour by Stokes’ bass which manages to abuse and seduce simultaneously.

The closing Duress emerges as the best track on the EP, its twists and inventive spite standing toe to toe with the savage storm at the surface of the contagious voracity. The song is a maelstrom of grooves, hooks, and flailing rhythms interspersed with acidic melodic twists and the grouchiest bassline you are likely to meet this year, and with a growl to match. It takes tops honours on the release and reinforces the impressive weight and creative exploits of the EP.

Practically Weapons pushes on an already impressive emergence by Drones For Queens and suggests that fans of everything from hardcore and crust punk to grindcore and extreme thrash/metal might potentially have a new proposition to lust over. They certainly have us hooked.

Practically Weapons is available on 7” white vinyl limited to 300 copies via Riff Lifter Media @

RingMaster 11/03/2015

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Týr – Valkyrja


The past decade has seen Faroe Islands metallers Týr grab and cage their own potent place at the fore of folk metal, their Faroese or Norwegian lore spawned creative narratives and traditional seeded sound an ever dramatically enthralling confrontation which has ignited the passions of a loyal growing legion of followers. Their new and seventh album Valkyrja continues the ever persuasive and riveting stature of their presence and their inventively bred form of Viking metal. It is a release which maybe at times struggles to emulate the full heights of previous Týr albums such as By the Light of the Northern Star and The Lay of Thrym, but equally very often it roars from new pinnacles set by the band with fires of imagination and quality burning fiercely. Overall Valkyrja is a pungently agreeable and strikingly riveting encounter, the notice that Týr is still a leading power of folk metal.

Their first release with Metal Blade Records, Valkyrja is a ‘concept album themed loosely around an anonymous Viking age warrior who leaves his woman and goes off to impress the Valkyrie on the battlefield so that she may bring him to Valhalla, or to Fólkvangr, the home of Freyja—the goddess associated with love, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, sorcery, war, and death’. At the same time seemingly looking at how far men will go to impress women and their influence on these acts and ideas, the album took a year from writing to completion. Recorded with Jacob Hansen, the album also sees George Kollias (Cerebrum, The Circle of Zaphyan, Extremity Obsession, Nightfall, Nile…) providing the drums on the recording alongside vocalist/guitarist Heri Joensen, guitarist Terji Skibenæs, and bassist Gunnar H. Thomsen, his skills replacing Kári Streymoy who parted ways with TÝR after the band completed their US run on Pagan Fest.

The addition of the Greek stick master immediately has an impact with opener Blood of Heroes, his touch debatably less intensive and Ty'r - Valkyrjaaggressive than his predecessor but offering a more stylish blaze of rhythmic provocation and framework for songs. The first rapping of the ear amidst fire steeled grooves and melodic twisting is respectful but commanding as it casts a firm web for the ever impressive vocals of Joensen and the scintillating guitar imagination to carve their exceptional design within. The opener alone reports that the artistry and melodic ingenuity of the band is as rich and absorbing as ever whilst the energetic urgency and persuasion of the musical narrative is overwhelmingly insistent and tempting.

The following Mare of My Night, with its succubus like sexual seduction laying down an intensive and sonically hued adventure which seemingly has come under fire for its lyrical content by a few for some reason, dances with the imagination and passion through a shadow clad bewitchment which itself preys welcomingly whilst its successor Hel Hath No Fury takes little time in taking and holding onto best track status upon Valkyrja. As many of the songs there is a thrash predation to the track to provide a rapacious hunger and sinew within the infectious torrent of anthemic allurement from vocals, harmonies, and chorus underpinned by a deliciously blistering guitar ingenuity and rhythmic stroll. Irresistibly contagious and epically magnetic, the song is the band at its captivating best.

Both The Lay of Our Love and Nation continue the strong start even if within the shade of the previous triumph; the first of the pair a fetching ballad featuring a duet between and guest vocalist Liv Kristine from Leave’s Eyes and its successor a bullish charge with sinews flaring like the nostrils of a muscle driven stallion as it expels a sonically lit intensity erupting into scorching melodic flames. They are soon surpassed by Another Fallen Brother, a song with a thrash embrace which at times undeniably has a Metallica like breath and a littering of grooves and melodic contagion which employs the full range of senses and imagination through to emotions in its irrepressibly galvanic enterprise.

The ‘vintage’ Týr like call of Grindavi’san and the busy melodic weave of Fa’nar Burtur Brandaljo’d keeps ears and emotions riveted whilst between the two songs, Into the Sky regains the lofty heights of some of the previous songs which the surrounding ones let slip slightly. A flight through soaring vocals and sonic flames whilst a melody enriched tonic of excellence smoulders within and ignites the passions into a greedy hunger for the song’s invention, the track is a deeply satisfying treat. Lady of the Slain and the title track are equally dynamically tantalising and commanding of the passions, the first a broad call of full chested rhythmic and intensive sonic invention across yet another fascination of melodic and harmonic folk spawned rabidity whilst its partner is a slowly burning entrapment which builds with emotive expertise and musical grandeur into a spellbinding courting of the listener.

Completed by two cover songs, Iron Maiden’s Where Eagles Dare, and Pantera’s Cemetery Gate, the first simply a more than decent encounter and the second a more inspired and intriguing thrill, Valkyrja is a thoroughly engaging and riotously anthemic release which at its height leaves the majority of folk metal releases in its wake and at its lower levels stands as an inspiring equal to the best many others have to offer. Týr still roam the highest towers of their genre it is fair to say on the evidence of Valkyrja.


RingMaster 17/09/2013

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Brutal melodies: an interview with Efthimis Karadimas from Nightfall

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It is hard to fully measure the impact Greek dark metal weavers Nightfall have had on melodic death metal and its related extreme metal neighbours not only in their homeland but across the genre itself, but with each album they have explored and stretched its limits with imagination and aggressive hunger. Their latest album Cassiopeia is no exception, the Metal Blade Records released triumph an equally mesmeric and intimidation beast of inspiring imagination and dark melodic grandeur. To find out more about not only the album but the band, Greek metal, and its history we had the pleasure of talking with vocalist and band founder Efthimis Karadimas.

Hi Efthimis and many thanks for taking time to speak with us.

Thanks for your time mate!

For over twenty years Nightfall has been not only one of the major underground metal musical voices but also a leader of Greek metal. As your great new album Cassiopeia spreads its senses wakening qualities around the world do you feel extra responsibility over the impressive depth of Greek metal which only now the world seems to be awakening to?

We act responsibly since day one and this is one of the main reasons why Nightfall is still around doing well. Being true to yourself is a big deal in all aspects of life; Nightfall has always acted in prudent ways to deliver pieces of art sincerely and free of expectations other than that of artistic expression.  Making people around the world paying attention to the Greek scene is a compliment. I am honored and proud at the same time Pete.

How do you keep the fire inside burning so intensely after two decades of offering hard work, acclaimed releases, and impressive creative imagination to the world, how have you kept complacency and obstacles all bands find at bay?

It is the spirit of the Underground that’s marking our ways. We have never treated art as a means to make a living or commercial success or to simply have some fun. Through music we try to cure our broken souls; we literally drag the demons lurking within us all the way out to the light where we burn them out. That effort people seem to appreciate in a high degree. I see no other reason really.

How would you say Nightfall has changed or evolved the most over the years?

That’s kinda difficult question to respond to as I am part of this band since the very begging and can’t really see things from outside. Actually I feel like we do the very same thing described previously; killing demons to relief our souls. Techniques and skills surely change but the essence remains the same.

Like most bands line-up changes are a part of things, has the ones you have experienced also gone towards the freshness you have held onto with your nine albums in some way, the new ideas being brought in by new members over the years sparking new ideas organically?

Playing with new musicians each time is so refreshing it makes me wonder how some bands keep the same line up for years without getting bored or drown into a loop of repetition, which ultimately kills any seed of art and creativity. Each time a new guy comes in we all get excited and longing for the amalgam of new and old tastes that soon will be produced as a result of that addition. Nothing remains stable for long; nothing remains unquestionable. That motion is energy. And energy is life!

Before we move onto your new album tell us how you see things have changed, if at all, for new bands breaking through from when Nightfall did and those trying to do so now, especially in Greek metal.

Back in the old days the whole process of producing, releasing, and communicating your music was too difficult. However, it was these very difficulties that made most of us, the old guard, to build a character through which our sound and style matured. This sort of maturity is something I feel like missing from the new bands. Easy access to high tech gear is not necessarily leading to any better results when talking about art. It is the struggle and the pain that spawn the lyrical drama. I am sure current economic depression will be the ground for some momentous works in the near future. And please dudes, stop playing the rock stars, the party is over and the chicks have already been pregnant by someone else. No hard feelings 🙂

Your previous album Astron Black & the Thirty Tyrants looked at man and his place throughout time as a theme and 543767_10151129285441682_1965301818_nCassiopeia feels the same at investigating with stronger focus man and his attitude and arrogance within the world even with its more mythical title and initial ‘voice’. Can you delve deeper into the premise for Cassiopeia and its inspiration?

I adore history and mythology. It is the manual of human race. Every single shit you face in everyday life is there to read and see how it first appeared, in which ways it was developed and how our ancestors managed to deal with it successfully or not. Furthermore, for huge issues like those of believing in something divine or of trying to make a better living individually or collectively historical data-cum-guidance is imperative since they are eternal and vast issues to cope with within one’s finite life. That very continuity of these problems proves the smallness of our species. Struggling to give sufficient answers to such questions is a two edge sword; it fuels our lust for knowledge but also fuels our egos when we feel like becoming closer to such an “answer”. Arrogance works as an internal mechanism of self destruction that’s detonated once a person feels superior thanks to a sort of power he happened to enjoy at a certain period of his life. Like a mechanism whose scope is to remind humans about our limited range of action. Cassiopeia’s story is a parable. What happens in the western world the last few years fits well in that story. Politicians and economists as Cassiopeia and Andromeda believed their capacity was great to an extent they could solve fundamental problems like those of harmonious coexistence of millions through artificial wealth and unity. So they came forward providing answers as to prosperity and easy life via cheap credit and unification that apparently eliminated hardships like poverty and wars. Soon masses switched from actors in life to viewers of life losing touch with reality.  Depression, anger, confusion now whip the backs of people and nations as hard as the tamer does to the lions and the tigers in his effort to push them back into their tinny cages. I don’t say it was a good or bad decision. We don’t make a political statement here. We only make a reference to the incapability of human race to overcome our smallness and the punishment follows any effort to step into gods fields and play their role.

Do you find humanity and its mistreatment of the world and themselves a continually inciting source for you creativity and lyrical ideas?

Totally. But it is not about mistreatment exactly. We, humans, are only broken. And as broken creatures we cannot achieve perfectiveness. We always struggle to proceed, and that effort takes its toll from time to time.

Do you see your lyrical ideas in albums as a narrative reporting problems and thoughts or as a more forceful provocation where you hope people will feel a reaction and think for themselves?

I express my worries and share my fears with people who feel more or less alike. It is a matter of mental communication I think. It is like telling a friend of yours, hey I have that fear lately about that thing, and he replying to you, yes, I feel the same too. It is kinda relieving, isn’t it?

The members of Nightfall are based across the world I believe, so how long did Cassiopeia take to emerge as the finished album?

We took advantage of technology. Distances have narrowed and ideas reach the receivers in the nick of time. You know, you exchange ideas and then you physically meet to arrange the details. However, that time we took it a step further by doing the recordings in different places, there where each one felt more comfortable to work with the engineer he preferred best.

How was the recording of the album made, together at a certain point in time or in stages without you meeting?

In stages actually. The process was long and enjoyable

How do you make the album sound so organic and united if recording separately and does doing it this way restrict how you evolve songs as a band which maybe you could push further if all together in a studio?

It is because we don’t try to alter the original course of the compositions. It is what we said previously about how important is to be true to yourself. As soon as a new composition emerges we follow it suit; we add anything it wants and not stuff that may sound “better” or more complicated or unique or they fit that or the other audience whatsoever. Ultimately the track becomes solid like any living organism after having absorbed all the vital elements its body requires to become strong. This is a marvellous process full of excitement and surprises as to how the ideas finally evolve to real tracks. The final stage takes place at our drummer’s studios in Germany (Soundlodge studios).

Are you a band which works on a few songs at the same time or take each individually through to a certain point in their realisation before starting another?

Everything starts from a bunch of ideas. You know riffs and forms that pass through our feeding system so to speak. We never say let’s compose a fast or a slow track or anything else like moving with a plan. Inspiration flows rich and we only channel it through strings and wires 🙂

408398_10151177260046682_993383867_nHow has Cassiopeia differed, if at all, in its creation to previous releases whether in writing or how you approached it in the recording?

To my ears Cassiopeia is a Brutal Heavy Metal album whose highlight is the right balance between melody and brutality. The fact that we recorded it in different places played a significant role to the final result. Think about it, being at your favorite place delivering without stress. Awesome!

Do you constantly find how you approach new albums changing due to experience and preferences gained over the years?

I can’t say we pay that much of attention to such technicalities. Life is taking good care of it. It loads us full of shit and negativity and then we discharge it through creativity. Criterion track from Astron Black album is exactly about that actually.

Is there any element or part of Cassiopeia which gives you the deepest warmth in hindsight?

I love guitar work in it and I love the ways their melodies mix with my brutal vocals. Yes, that’s so cool.

In Britain we try to ignore a certain Mr Icke as coming from our shores haha but you have been inspired to write The Reptile Gods by him I believe? Do you find an appreciation of the views from people with the same kind of beliefs as he and how do you see ‘aliens’ in the fabric of man’s history and beginnings?

That’s a funny story cause nobody can prove it right and those who can prove it wrong don’t have the ways to do it in a manner acceptable to the former. I am neither a fan of such theories nor their enemy. I only admire the distance such minds walk into their imagination’s jungle and how much they believe what they “see” there. This is amazing, but hey, don’t try it at home. 🙂

Cassiopeia is your second album since returning from a ‘hiatus’ for the band from 2005 to 2010, and the second with Metal Blade Records, this is a union which seems to be rewarding for both sides maybe more so than previously found in the earlier years for you?

I agree. Both these two albums and the line-up show some strong signs of serious workmanship. I am not sure about the exact recipe but I am sure the pauses played a good role. The industry is pushing many bands to unstoppable releases, promos, and stuff, ok; everyone understands it is not good but hey when you make a living out of it you need to follow otherwise you are dead. Our decision not to play that game but simply be the old school kind of artists who are making their shit around no matter what has helped us to develop a stress free attitude that I think it really works. Think about it. It is so pity so many bands started from the underground with the aim to play music and finally turned into fully pro acts in the vein of mainstream pop music investments, doing every single shit to expand their fan base. How pitiful and distressed is that really?

You are not a band which has an over active intent towards performing live, is there any reason for this or just down to the positioning of members around the globe alone?

Frankly speaking, the best part of being in a band is the composing and recording process. After that everything relates to marketing and promotion. It is ok, no problem about it, but allow me to believe that the artistic value of a piece of aural art is not becoming greater if you performing it live. And since I have a plethora of other interesting things to do in my life, touring is not among my priorities. However, should a good offer comes in, we always take it under consideration. Maybe for Cassiopeia we will go on and do at least one tour. Let’s see  🙂

What is next on the horizon of Nightfall?

We are preparing a video clip, like the old good days, and then we may travel a bit around to give some shows.

Again Efthimis thank you for chatting with us.

My pleasure Pete.

For the last words of the interview would you like to state the case as to why people need to check out not just Nightfall but Greek metal in general?

Hey, good things come in small packages 🙂

Read the review of Cassiopeia @

The RingMaster Review 18/03/2013

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Nightfall: Cassiopeia


    There can be very few who do not know of the Greek dark metal weavers Nightfall or be aware of their continuing legacy to metal in general let alone their chosen genre of creativity. From deeply impressive and acclaimed albums and putting Greek metal on the wider world map, the Athens band has also nurtured and brought forth many musicians who have moved on to other high profile bands, such as Bob Katsionis and Mark Cross (Firewind), George Kollias (Nile), and George Bokos (Rotting Christ). After a seeming break the band has returned with their new album Cassiopeia via Metal Blade Records, and a senses awakening piece of accomplishment it is.

Formed in 1991 by the now only original member, vocalist Efthimis Karadimas, Nightfall took little time in grabbing attention, their initial four track demo bringing them to the attention of French label Holy Records and leading to the signing with them. The following year saw their debut Parade Into Centuries released to enthused responses whilst the next mass of years saw its success and acclaim repeated and exceeded through albums Macabre Sunsets, Athenian Echoes, Lesbian Show, and Diva Futura. During this time many line-up changes challenged but brought fresh spices to the sound of the band, their original death metal breath honed into an even more atmospheric and melodic wind upon the ear and heart. Via Black Lotus Records, the albums I Am Jesus in 2003 and Lyssa: Rural Gods And Astonishing Punishments a year later were open and impressive realisations of this direction change. In 2005 though as the band ceased performing live and with members leaving, there was a ‘hiatus’ of sorts for Nightfall.

The announcement of a new line-up and the following release of Astron Black & The Thirty Tyrants in 2010 through Metal Blade, showed the band was back stronger than ever, the album the recipient of immense praise from critics and fans whilst their further evolved sound was a passionate and rich soundscape of blackened death metal malevolence weaved into a melodic and dark symphonic grandeur. Cassiopeia is drawn from the same inspiring well of imagination and one which dances with the passions. Whether it exacts the same rapture as its predecessor will be arguable from individual to individual but the release certainly mesmerises and intimidates with equal craft and magnetism.

Alongside Karadimas the band consists of guitarists Evan Hensley and Constantine, bassist Stathis Ridis, drummer Jorg Uken, and 039841516821Stathis Kassios on keys, and again as is notable across its existence, it is a collection of musicians which perfectly fit and further the heart of the band. The album as its title suggests, takes essences for its theme from the constellation and the mythical character of Andromeda’s mother but more so refers to and investigates the arrogant characteristic of the human race. Opening with Phaethon, the release immediately holds attention in its majestic palms, the beckoning weaving of the guitars lighting the way into the shadows of the song which then swamp the senses with the oppressive growls of Karadimas and seductive caresses from the keys of Kassios. The rhythms are reserved though the bass is a prowling entity with strong sinews within the sonic fires being conjured along the journey of the song. From eagerly appealing to deeply hypnotic and switching often, the song is one which ebbs and flows within its lush presence and enthrals throughout. The great starter is a sign of the album in that it is a constant engagement one can only be enthused by but at times ignites greater passions from particular moments of ideas. This could be said to show inconsistency but in this case it is a nice problem to have if the case.

The following Oberon & Titania is a delicious storm of caging rhythms, spiralling sonic enterprise, and melodic teasing with a sensational lone wanton taunt of piano erupting which sparks sheer adoration for its unexpected and enchanted mischief. The track is a formidable encounter, one which stirs up the primal and emotive dark inside to coax it into a vibrant furnace of invention and destructive beauty. From keys to guitars, bass and drums, to the venom coated vocals, it is bruising yet invigorating treat.

Tracks like the infection invoker The Nightwatch with its familiar but knowing melodies and barbed hooks, the thought and senses wrapping Hubris which again stokes the heart with irresistible keys ‘doodling’, and the riveting Hyperion, leave one breathless and captivated. To be fair every track has that grip for the main of its presence making an album in Cassiopeia, which provokes and incites the dark and light within the listener.

At times the album is scintillating and even in its lesser moments compelling, and though it maybe does not trigger the furnace of passion as their previous album, it is one which lures you willingly back again and again.

RingMaster 25/01/2013

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