Chasing Sanity – Anathema

Chasing Sanity is the new solo project from Erik Martin, formerly of Erik Dismembered and one half of Skin Drone; a new creative adventure born from the ashes of the first of those two when Martin decided to “start over and rebrand” himself and his music having felt “uninspired to write anything under the Erik D moniker”. In many ways, Chasing Sanity is closer in style to his work with Otto Kinzel as Skin Drone but as swiftly revealed within debut album Anathema, creating its own unique and fascinating world of imagination and sound.

Though you might primarily tag Anathema as Avant Industrial Metal, it is equally a kaleidoscope of atmospheric and cinematic textures drawn from the darkest corners and depths of the imagination. Every track is a challenge and canvas for the imagination to conjure upon and a place where intimate horrors collude with broader nightmares. Themed by “anxious depression and anger” bred in Martin’s own experienced emotional turmoil, the album opens with You Fiend. Primarily an instrumental release, the first track features the vocal prowess of Nate Exx Gradowski from Isolated Antagonist, AutomatoN, and Quo. Straight away the raw snarl of guitar stalks the senses, inserting their toxic magnetism as Gradowski adds his multi-textured presence within a similarly diverse lure of synths. Every second of the song leads to a fresh turn and unpredictable twist, Gradowski’s switches between harsh and clean vocals matched very second of the way by invasive yet captivating sound.

In many ways, the opener is a straight forward proposal to embrace compared to its successors where the imagination is as active as ears.  Cursed is next up, gliding in on the infectious throb of bass as an increasing web of sound and noise insert their suggestive glimpses into the track’s brewing landscape. Drama fuels every second, metal nurtured riffs and trespasses gripping bait but persistently interrupted by haunting atmospherics and sombre shadows to catch ears and thoughts off guard time and time again. As with all pieces, interpretation will be unique to the individual but unavoidable as the track provokes and inspires before Depths Of Euphoria immerses ears in its own disarming quiet suggestiveness. Even more cinematic than its predecessor, the song is like a flight through night clad scenery with sinister shadows and dark traps waiting to spring.

The industrial intimidation of Haunted Walls quickly has thoughts and emotions involved next; danger and innocence entangling within its guitar veined gothic body. It is a dark place though with the invasive intent of a Hostel found cell, every step within its fascination wrought with tension and ill-intent before Dismembered Thoughts brings some light to the release with its infectious waltz. Yet it too is a tenebrous dance with treachery and menacing asides, keeping ears and thoughts again wary and busy throughout its passage through to the steely net of sonic intimation cast by Orange Bottle. A blend of textures and styles unite for its metal nurtured shuffle, the track prowling the senses as it commandingly ignites physical and mental involvement.

Pills, Pain And An Autopsy creates its own travelogue through the dark tunnels and layers of psyche and suggestion where caliginous beauty and thought infesting angst breed their own unique connection. The track continues to grow and blossom, never escaping its haunting shadows but nurturing a myriad of melodic hues and evocative textures within its atmospheric immersion.

The final pair of tracks upon the EP sees Martin linking up with firstly Rockwater Pictures for Red Death and its percussive and inhuman infestation of the psyche and lastly with Chris Bollinger of Kill Point Protocol and Varicella in Salem, 1666. The final track only needs Vincent Price’s distinctive growl to be the complete cinematic nightmare, one offering extreme and industrial metal surges seemingly glimpsed through a damaged canvas slashed by the claws of the horned one. As the album, it needs numerous plays to settle on a final interpretation, if you ever can, with thick enjoyment flowing through every attempt.

There is no doubt that Anathema is a challenge, one only venturing within its dark realms will reveal whether you  will embrace or flee from it,  but as is the theme with Erik Martin’s work, it is a testing which leaves you mentally and physically alive and indeed welcomingly exhausted. Chasing Sanity pretty much sums up the sound and experience of Anathema, something we all do in varying ways through life.

Anathema is out now across most stores and @ https://chasingsanity.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/chasingsanityband

Pete RingMaster 26/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Coursing struggles: an interview with Mike Haggerty of Krebs

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    Industrial/ebm is about to feel a new fresh breath of imaginative and caustic creativity with the debut release from Philadelphia band Krebs. The Cellophane EP is a potent and evocative treat with a metal apocalyptic breath riding the captivating industrial and electro snarls. The solo project of Mike Haggerty, Krebs is set to make an instant mark with its first release via Bluntface Records so we took the opportunity to find out more about the release, band, and Mike himself.

Hi Mike and welcome to The Ringmaster Review, thanks for taking time to talk with us.

First thing we have to ask you is to tell us about Mike Haggerty, as well as your background and musical history before Krebs.

Thanks for having me! Well I’d say I’m just an average guy who loves music, videogames and junk food. Music is really my passion, it relates to everything I do. Genres like punk and metal really captured my attention at an early age and got me into making music myself. I was in a band before Krebs with a few friends, we played grunge inspired hard rock. Then I discovered industrial/electronic music and that all brought me to where I am now.

Was there a specific intent when creating the project Krebs?

My intent was really just to try my best to make something fresh and hopefully capture the attention of old school and modern industrial fans alike and maybe even draw some new fans into the genre.

What are the inspirations which have most impacted on your ideas and sound?

To start, I always loved Front Line Assembly and the unique sound they have, so they are a big influence on my sound. Skinny Puppy’s ability to experiment and still sound like themselves is another thing that had an impact on me. Videogames and books also influence my ideas and song writing strangely enough. I love apocalyptic themes as well as futuristic themes that are explored, and if the two are brought together then I’m in heaven!

You are about to release your debut EP Cellophane, a release which captures the imagination with its varied and inventive mix of flavours. You can only assume your personal tastes incorporate a wide expanse of genres and styles.

I always try to find ways to make each song really stand out on its own and separate itself from the others. I always say that each Krebs song is its own animal and I do my best to give them all their own identity, if that makes sense.

Tell us about the EP, its creation and the songs within.krebs-cover-600 (1)

The EP was formed simply because I happened to have five songs that I considered finished and at that point Otto (Kinzel) mastered them for me. They were the product of several weeks’ worth of writing and recording. The songs themselves are mostly the product of what emotions I had at the time I wrote them. Other times I would have ideas that I thought were interesting, so I literally started writing thoughts down in my notebook and lyrics formed out of that. It’s basically poetry set to music. The album art was the last piece of the EP that was needed. My friend Jake Skalish created it at my request and I think it came out very well.

Everything comes from your ideas and craft on the release, but did you bring anyone else in for any aspect of the release or is it truly the complete solo release?

For this release I wrote and recorded everything myself, so it is a complete solo release; I did get insight from my friends Chris Pasquarelli and Chris Bollinger from Varicella. They really encouraged me and continue to help me get Krebs out there and I can’t thank them enough.

How do you write your songs and expand your ideas musically?

I usually have a melody or a rhythm in my head that I record right away, and then I figure out the structure. That’s when I create an atmosphere and layer more sounds. I compare it to starting with framework for a house, then gradually adding on to it, then decorating it and adding the finishing touches. Lyrically, as I’ve said, it’s usually the result of a strong emotion that I feel at the time or anything that I’ve read about that catches my attention.

Musically, I try to incorporate various sounds and instrumentation to expand the sound further. Things may sound strange upon the first listen, but strange is what I do!

Listening to the EP there is the sense that songs have an organic and continual growth to them. Do your songs evolve right up to the final mastering?

My songs do tend to go through multiple changes; it feels like my work is never done. The songs have all undergone change from the time I made the first synth line to right before I had them mastered. It varies between how drastically they change. I like to layer sounds and create hidden parts that people can catch. I also hope to invoke introspection in the listeners with each song.

Is there a theme or intent behind the songs on Cellophane and their lyrical paintings?

A theme that carries through most of Cellophane is the idea that people are always suppressed and restricted in some way or another, be it by government or by their own conscience. The themes oscillate between external and internal struggles and the goal of songs with internal struggles is to make something that people can relate to. It’s almost like letting the listener get to know who I am as a person.

As mentioned the EP is your debut release, is there any part, moment , or aspect of it which gives you the strongest thrill or tingle?

What really excites me is the fact that my songs will be out there and open to a broader audience, maybe not huge but it is something I always wanted. Just having an official release is something I always dreamed about and the fact that it’s actually happening gives me a euphoric feeling, it’s crazy!

krebs-2And any elements you wish you could have explored further or since have developed the appetite to investigate in future songs?

There are aspects of ambient music I hope to delve into for future releases. I also hope to bring in more elements of punk, like the speed and raw feelings associated with it. I feel it will be a very interesting mix.

Cellophane is released through Bluntface Records. How has linking up with Otto Kinzel and his label helped the realisation of the EP apart from the obvious of course.

Otto really helped this take off. He helped me realize that there is nothing wrong with self-promotion and that really helps gain confidence (and fans haha). As a side note I also started to realize that people have a different view of a band or artist when they see that they are on a label. Sadly, it’s almost like a lot of people have a bias towards bands on labels.

You have Chris Mattioni join you for live shows, how did you meet and is there a chance the band could expand further for your live performances in the future?

Chris and I have been buds for a few years. He expressed interest in doing vocals with me a while ago and he eventually decided to come on stage with me and do backup.  I do hope to get more friends to contribute to live shows in the future, a drummer hopefully *cough* Ryan Skalish *cough*.

How about in the studio ahead?

I have songs in the works already for a full length album. This one will be a concept album inspired by a certain game, but I won’t reveal anything else. I’d like to keep it a surprise. 😉

You are also releasing Peace Injection as the single from Cellophane. Can you tell us about the track and the single package it will come in?

Peace Injection is a song that was sparked by my thoughts on America. The fact that our country feels the need to intervene in affairs in the name of “Peace” and “democracy” is something that has bothered me and this song is a response to that. The single contains the original version from the EP and three remixes, by Virus Cycle, Otto Kinzel, and Varicella. They are all talented guys and it was really awesome to hear their takes on my song. It’s also free and is available for download now.

What is next for Krebs once the EP is out there?

Krebs will hopefully get to perform some live shows in the near future and work on the concept album for a not too distant release date! Stay tuned.

Once more thank you for chatting with us, anything you would like to add?

First, thank you so much for having me and for the review. I’d just like to thank Otto for arranging everything as well. It was a pleasure and I hope to talk to you again soon!

Cellophane is A FREE download available in the Bluntface Records online store at midnight, June 29th!

www.bluntfacerecords.com

Read the review of Cellophane @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/krebs-cellophane/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 31/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

 

Krebs – Cellophane

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    Krebs is a new electronic/ebm project to recently emerge and on the evidence of its debut EP Cellophane, will be one we will be hearing a lot more of across future horizons. Just signed to excellent independent label Bluntface Records, the Philadelphia, PA band mark their next step with a release which is potent and evocative, and though in some ways it manages to miss providing the sting which listening to its five tracks you sense is within its heart, there is nothing but unadulterated and exciting promise left in its wake.

Started in 2012, Krebs is the creation of Mike Haggerty, the vehicle for his merger of ebm synth sounds of the 80’s and 90’s with industrial and electro snarls. There is also a metal apocalyptic breath to the shadows which permeate the sounds for a resulting cross genre adventure. Influences come from the likes of Front Line Assembly and KMFDM with further whispers of others such as Skinny Puppy, Combichrist, and Virus Cycle all making suggestions within the imagination capturing invention. Honing the sound through a full range of industrial exploration Haggerty, since joined by Chris Mattioni on backing vocals for live shows, has sculpted and unleashed a debut which seduces and excites with a freshness and enterprise that suggests 2013 will see Krebs making an immediate impact.

The June 29th released Cellophane stares directly at the ear with opening track Humanity Drained, its sinister toned Krebs-cover-600atmosphere and brewing rhythmic dust hazing the skies before a dark melodic hook prowls and intimidates with a compelling voice. It is a suggestive and provocative lure which mesmerises to leave senses open for the following industrial metal cast of energy to pervade and thrill. As the vocals of Haggerty enter with the shadowed narrative the track takes a step back, his tones given space and assistance to bring a rich expressive dark caress to bear upon the ear. At this point the track reminds only of Fad Gadget, the vocals with a Frank Tovey gait and the sound heavy in suggestive ambience but with an electro temptation which is never far from lighting passions. The coarser presence of the air surrounding the chorus presses into further adventure whilst the song itself twists and turns across varied industrial pastures for a captivating encounter.

The great start is followed by Chisel (Guitar Mix), a track which expels a venomous rabidity to its electro wash and intensive energy. It is an oppressive light smothering test but equally creates its own acidic radiance with addiction making melodic taunting and electro venture. Like the first, the track does not settle into a straight forward passage but shifts and turns in on itself to ensure intrigue and eager attention. It does not quite match the opener for contagion and strength but still leaves the strongest satisfaction in its wake and hunger for more.

The song also is one with fails to deliver the bite it suggests is waiting to break out, something which can be applied to the whole release. Across its excellent invention the wish it would go for the jugular especially with its more industrial metal escapades, is a strong feeling which is never quite satisfied, though as the only aspect lacking within Cellophane it does not defuse the enjoyment and quality skilfully played out.

     The Corner opens with a Visage like beckoning, that eighties pull wonderfully potent again especially as once the vocals join the stance and the sound spreads its arms further thoughts of Fad Gadget again make their irresistible persuasion. The track is an emotive slow stroll across weaves of shadows and through a kaleidoscope of electro imagination, its enveloping tone and impacting textures hugging thoughts and emotions tightly with a hint of menace though without an element of danger. The track makes way for the first single from the release, Peace Injection. With bold and heightened rhythms and hot electro stomping, the track is a full contrast to its predecessor with a swagger and hungry enterprise which enflames the air. At times it looks like the song will unleash its predatory hounds but restraint wins the day and from start to finish the excellent temptation eagerly taunts and teases with impressive craft.

Closing song Rings is a pleasing riot from combined shafts of harsh ebm, rapacious ambiences, industrial malevolence, and rhythmic intensity. It is forceful and highly infectious, a song like the album which enrols varied flavours and spices into a gripping and fascinating confrontation. At its conclusion the proof that Cellophane is an excellent debut is open evidence, proof that only sparks a greedy appetite to hear more from Krebs. Accompanied by the first single Peace Injection, which itself comes in a full package containing remixes alongside the song from new label mates Virus Cycle, Otto Kinzel, and Varicella, and released as a free download, Cellophane is the arrival of one of the more inspiring and exciting bands within industrial. Are you ready for the shadowed temptation of Krebs is the only question left to be asked.

www.bluntfacerecords.com

http://www.bluntfacerecords.com/fr_krebspeaceinjectionsingle.cfm

8.5

RingMaster 27/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Dark corners and caustic intent: an interview with Varicella

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A maelstrom of ravenous intensity and demonic caustic caresses, the debut EP from US industrial band Varicella has brought an uncompromising destructive start to the year. Released through the impressive emerging underground label Bluntface Records, We Belong Dead was a predator of old school eighties style industrial which experimented with and pushed brawling sonic boundaries. Taking the opportunity to find out more about the project through founder Chris Bollinger and guitarist Chris Pasquarelli, we looked at the release, the origins of the band and horror movies…

Welcome to The RingMaster Review and thanks for talking with us.

Varicella – Thank you! And thanks for giving us the chance to talk with you! We appreciate the opportunity.

For the uninitiated, tell us about Varicella, its beginnings, and the inspiration for the project.

Chris Bollinger – Well this is going to be a “really” long story, and I will try to shorten it as best I can, LOL. Varicella is at the moment, a two person industrial/metal/electronic dance music/experimental band. And when I say at the moment, I mean, that we did have a bassist who also did some synth work. He was responsible for a decent amount of what the band sounds like now. But sadly, we had to let him go from the band, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. We do hope to add a live bassist and drummer at some point, but it is hard finding the right people who fit and so forth.

As for the beginnings of the band, well as it states in our BIO on Facebook or Reverbnation, I started the project back in 2008. I’ve always wanted to do an industrial type of band, even when I was in high school back in 2000/2001. I just never found anyone that was on the same page as me or liked what I liked. But anyway, I started this in 2008 and did a few things wrote a few songs, some are on our We Belong Dead EP actually. We just updated them. Then I had to put it on hold because of to many people coming and going. I mean, I think I went through 4 or 5 guitarists until I found Chris Pasquarelli. I posted several ads online and for about 2 years, I never got an answer or I did but their style didn’t fit my style, or they wanted to do the more aggrotech / terror EBM style of industrial and I don’t want to do that. So it was a super long time between people. And during that our old bassist answered one of my ads. We talked and began to work together over the internet with a site called Soundcloud. At the time he was working a job that was 3rd shift overnight and I work a standard 9 to 5 type of job. So our schedules were completely opposite. But I’m determined to do this so things got done! LOL. Then as I mentioned above I found Chris Pasquarelli, through Facebook no less, LOL. We both were clicking like on each other’s posts or comments, and then somehow he saw I did music and said we should jam. I was really impressed with him. That was last April and he’s been in the band ever since that first jam. Yes, he’s that good!

As for the inspiration, I’d have to say just my love of the old 80’s and early 90s industrial, bands such as Ministry, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, and Frontline Assembly. And then on top of that I love White Zombie and Nine Inch Nails, and thrash metal type of bands like Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, Pantera and other hard rock or punk bands like Alice in Chains, Danzig, Tool, Filter, Misfits and The Ramones. So, I just wanted to do something that was in the vein of those bands/artists but not a direct rip off. I wanted to make heavy dance music. Songs that have a heavy dance beat that’ll make the girls shake their asses to it, but at the same time it has a thrash metal guitar part or groove to the guitars that’ll make the dudes head bang to it. Hopefully that makes sense to anyone out there. LOL.

What was it about music which you felt was missing and leaving you cold as a listener as well as a musician, when starting Varicella?

Chris B. – Pretty much as I said above, everyone was making the all synth based aggrotech / terror EBM type of industrial, and I didn’t want to do that. I have nothing against it and I like most of it. I listen to Combichrist, Psyclon Nine, Imperative Reaction, Wumpscut and other various bands that have that sound. It’s just not the type of music that I wanted to do personally. And I think that made it harder to find a guitarist too, because that style is really popular right now. The style we do is not popular. Which does make things harder but at the same time, we can transcend a few genres of music and play with different types of bands. Which I find pretty cool! LOL.

Chris Pasquarelli – When I joined Varicella last April I liked the music, but I wanted to make it heavier and more edgy. Most of the songs had basic plug-in computer guitars which the typical computer programs use and I liked it but I didn’t like how noticeable it was that it was not recorded by real guitars as opposed to computer guitars. Within the last 9 months I’ve been in the band I can say that I am really happy with the overall sound our music has with my added guitar and bass tracks.

Was this music in general or more the industrial/electro genre you did not find a connection with?IMG_0014

Chris B. – I’d say yes, mostly in the industrial/electronic genre, but I’ve been a little bored with the rock and metal genre too. Not much is catching my attention in the rock and metal genre. There are a few “really” good bands in the all of those genres, but you have to weed through thousands of copies or clone bands to find the 4 or 5 good ones. It’s tough.

How do you feel about the scene and music now we stand in 2013?

Chris B. – Pretty much the same. Some things have gotten better. Like, it’s easier to spot the better bands versus what I call the “bedroom” bands. These are people that just sit in their homes, make and release music, but never play a live show. Ever! There were a massive amount of them back in 2007 to 2009. Maybe even before that. I’m not 100% sure. But now, it’s about 99% easier to weed through and see those types of bands. And I’m not knocking those people. Some make very good music. I probably own some, LOL. But it’s just not what I want to do. I want to actually see the fans and talk to them and so forth, not sit in my bedroom and stare at a computer monitor.

What are the biggest influences which inspires your sound?

Chris B. – Ministry, mostly the early stuff, Twitch, The Land of Rape and Honey, The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste and Psalm 69. Those 4 albums blew my mind and still amaze me. I can’t believe Al and Paul did what they did at that time. It’s amazing! KMFDM, almost anything they do is great! Same goes for Skinny Puppy. Got to love Ohgr too! And then White Zombie, La Sex and Astro Creep are two great albums that shaped my teenage years!

Chris P. –  Behemoth, Deicide, At The Gates, Cannibal Corpse, Cradle Of Filth, Children Of Bodom, Burzum, Darkthrone, Death, The Black Dahlia Murder, Cryptopsy, Anorexia Nervosa, Nine Inch Nails, Orgy, Deadsy, Psyclon Nine, Dimmu Borgir, Marilyn Manson, Static x, Old Mans Child, SOAD and many more!  As far as my sound goes I’m influenced by many bands, I just try to make the heaviest guitar and bass lines too fit our songs.

The early days were unsettled for the band I believe, through line-up problems? Was this the reason for Varicella going on hiatus or actually at the time was it the end of the band? 

Chris B. – They were. And I think I quit about 4 or 5 times. Gave up and stopped all together type of quitting. I was just really frustrated, and things were going nowhere. As I said, it was about 2 years before I found Chris Pasquarelli on guitar

Varicella reformed/re-emerged in 2011, what was the spark that made that the time to bring the project back to active life?

Chris B. – Skinny Puppy. Skinny Puppy came out with a new album called “HanDover” back in late 2011. Also Ohgr released another one of his solo albums early in 2011, called “undeveloped”. And I just said, fuck it, these are super good, I need to get my shit together, and get this project going! Especially “HanDover”! It’s over a year later and that album is still constantly on my iPod.

Chris P. – I was still in high school when I joined and I was in several other projects at the time when I joined Varicella. I’ve been serious about music for most of my life And I felt frustrated with a lot of the people I jammed with at the time because no one else was as into the band thing as I was until I joined Varicella, so I was really excited to be a part of a band which was serious about their music.

 Back to influences/inspirations, which predominantly spark and shape your songs and lyrics, the areas which ignite your ideas?

Chris B. – Movies, mostly horror and sci-fi movies. TV shows, comics and/or graphic novels. You wouldn’t think it, but Doctor Who is another spark that started two songs lyric wise. And one song music and lyrics, called “The Sound of Four”. And then there are some ideas that come from real life experiences. Like the song “Obsessed with flesh”.  The lyrics in that song can be applied to anything where a person feels they are being used and/or abused. But the major theme of that song comes from a person I wanted to date, but she didn’t want a steady boyfriend or a relationship. So we were just friends with benefits. After a few months of that she all the sudden stops talking to me. I can’t get a hold of her. She doesn’t want to hang out let alone do other stuff. Then a few weeks go by, and I find out she’s in a relationship and that’s why she just dropped me. I was fairly pissed off, and felt a little used. Same goes for the song “All Hail”, that’s sort of my views on brutal honesty with a little jab a religion. I’m a brutally honest person and a straight shooter. I just think we all spend too much time putting up a front or wearing a mask for certain people. It’s ridiculous.

Chris P. – As far as our music goes guitar and bass wise, I kind of do a Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Static X guitar and bass meets extreme metal vibe. For example in our song Mind Fucked I wrote a melodic guitar rhythm that a stripper could dance to, and metal heads could throw down too and fuck each other up in the mosh pits too as well. This has been a huge influence in writing for me, and I’m not exaggerating at all. Every time I right new material For Varicella I always keep Strippers and mosh pits in mind.

TrayCard_OutsideYou have just released your We Belong Dead EP via Bluntface Records; does this contain all new tracks or material with seeds and feet from the earlier presence of the band as well?

Chris B. – A little bit of both actually. The songs Obsessed with Flesh, All Hail were written back around 2008. Of course they were updated to match the other songs that were new, specifically the song Obsessed with Flesh. There’s this sort of machine type sound going on with the guitars. That’s from the way Chris Pasquarelli plays the song. He bends the strings a certain way at a certain time to get that specific sound. That’s all him! So if we had a different guitarist that didn’t play it that way, it wouldn’t sound that way.

How long did the EP take to create and how far did it or songs evolve from the initial ideas?

Chris B. – It didn’t take too long actually. Most of the blue print was laid out in 2008. We just updated some things here and there as I said. We started working on these songs in late 2011 and finished in the fall of 2012. Obsessed and All Hail didn’t change much. Chris Pasquarelli just added his own style to them. The Sound of Four came together very quickly! Music and the lyrics. I think it was done in only a few months. We Belong Dead went through a few changes. LOL. The original idea came from our old bassist Tim. I just sort of took the synth sound, and remixed it adding in other elements. I went through about 4 versions of that song until we hit on a verse / chorus / verse pattern. But it didn’t become what it is now until Chris Pasquarelli joined, and added the guitar riff that grooves over top the synth part in the verses.

There is a cinematic feels to your tracks on We Belong Dead, a visual ambience beyond the lovely corruption of sound and breath. Obviously it has seeds in the influences to songs you mentioned earlier but has it been a natural result of your personal interests or something you have crafted intentionally?

Chris B. – Thank you very much. I would say this is not intentional, at least on a conscious level. I mean, I try to create songs that have multiple meanings on multiple levels to them. This is why I like to add in certain Movie or TV show samples. They help me to tell the story of the song better. Or they reference things in my lyrics.

What are your hopes for the EP in relation to opening up future opportunities for the band and is there a particular moment or track on the release which is Varicella at its purest, where its heart is most open?

Chris B. – Well first and foremost this EP is a stepping stone to our full length release that’ll be out something later this year, probably fall or winter of 2013. We also hope this EP will help us get any attention to tour or play more shows. We’d love to do a tour! Even if it is just a small 2 or 4 week local tour. Of course a bigger 2 month or more tour would be great too!

Varicella at its purest? Not sure. Obsessed with flesh is pretty personal. As I mention above, that one involves a bad relationship with a girl. The Sound of Four is about feeling like you don’t exist in this world, so maybe those two songs. They might not sound like it, but most of my lyrics are real and from the heart.

Chris P. – I’m hoping this EP will open more doors for Varicella by getting us more fans and shows etc. I agree with Chris I think Obsessed with flesh is pretty out there in terms of being us at our purest.

How did you and Bluntface link up and what have been the benefits already from their support and presence?

Chris B. – Johnny from Virus Cycle had an open call for bands on his compilation last summer. From there, I saw that Otto was doing another compilation through the Bluntface site. Otto remembered our song and dug our sound, and a few months ago he sent me an email. He said the label was expanding, and asked if we wanted to join up with him. It seemed like a really good offer that we didn’t want to pass up. So we agreed.

There have been a huge amount of benefits! We’ve had internet radio air play. The review of our EP from you guys, and a few other interviews, and we did a “live” on air interview on 13SRadio.com. We also have another one that we’re doing at the end of this month. Everything Otto said he would do for us, he’s doing! So we’re extremely happy.

How are you managing to promote the EP and are there live shows happening or planned?

Chris B. – We’ve been promoting it on the various social media networks, Reverbnation, Facebook, Twitter, and a few other sites. We’ve been playing shows since last October when we opened for My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Left Spine Down, and Panzer Division. Left Spine Down said we were loud and they liked our cover of Ministry’s Burning Inside. Since then, we’ve had a show every month, except for December, we played two that month. We’re taking February off to write and record some songs for the full length album. And we’re playing a show on March 23rd in Philadelphia at Motel Hell. Details are on our Facebook page

There are plenty of opinions from artists within industrial and its plethora of varied corners which say there is a current curse of backbiting and disrespect within the genre between musicians and those involved, how have you found the situation personally?

Chris B. – There are a few bands and people, not exclusively in the industrial/electronic music genre, that have been disrespectful to us. It does bother me at times, because it’s usually from bands/artists that think they’re bigger than they are, but they’re not. They have this ego trip and they act like you’re beneath them. It’s sad actually. And we try to not be like that. If you’re cool with me, then I’m cool with you, simple as that. But that’s just how it is, and it’s the same with the movie business. Everyone’s two faced. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local band or a huge touring band. You will run into a few that are like that.

Is there anything, band or releases, which have captured your imaginations recently and added extra flavour to your thoughts and ideas for your next compositions?

Chris B. – Wow, good question. Not too many “newer” bands. There are some bands that have been around for a little bit that are releasing newer albums. Dawn of Ashes, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, Alice in Chains, Megadeth and Filter. I’m a pretty big Filter fan. Their last album “The Trouble with Angels” was really great! Still listening to that. Testament just released a very good album. Frontline Assembly and Tweaker also just put out newer albums. Even though FLA is more of a soundtrack, it’s still very good. Been listening to the “Tron Legacy” score by Daft Punk off and on for a few weeks. All of those keep my imagination going. Especially the “Tron Legacy” score. That CD just amazes me! It’s really good!

What is next creatively for Varicella?

Chris B. – We are currently working on our full length album. It will be all the songs from the EP plus about 5 or 7 more originals and maybe 2 or 3 remix songs.

Many thanks for sparing time to chat with us, any last thoughts you would like to share?

Chris B. – Thank you for giving us this opportunity. We appreciate it very much! Last thoughts…just check us out on Facebook or Reverbnation. Go to the Bluntface Records site and check out all the great bands there! If you haven’t already, please download our “We Belong Dead” EP. And thanks to everyone who’s helped and supported us along the way!

Finally, you said horror movies are big elements in your personal loves, so give us three films which are engrained in your passions to the extent you know lines off by heart.

Chris B. – 1) The Evil Dead films and Army of Darkness. Classics in my book and Army of Darkness just has so many great quotable line! 2) Almost all of the John Carpenter films, even the movies that are not horror movies. The Thing, Halloween, Prince of Darkness, Escape from NY, Big Trouble in Little China, In the Mouth of Madness, and Christine are some of my favourites of his. 3) Hellraiser 1 and 2. Those movies together feel like one really long awesome movie.

Chris P. – I’m right on board with Chris Bollinger’s horror movie tastes especially with the Hellraiser and Evil Dead Series. Some of my favourite horror movie quotes are Evil Dead 2’s “groovy” right after Bruce Campbell put a chainsaw where his possessed hand used to be, The priest’s quote “I kick ass for the lord” right before he fights zombies in the grave yard with his bare hands in Dead Alive and Lastly Chop tops “Oww my plate! My brain is burning nom flashback NOM FLASHBACK!!!!!!” from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

Read the review of We Belong Dead EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/varicella-we-belong-dead/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Varicella/310239362321042?fref=ts

http://www.bluntfacerecords.com

The RingMaster Review 26/02/2013

RingMaster 26/02/2013

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Varicella: We Belong Dead

Varicella

Like being sucked into a maelstrom of ravenous intensity and demonic caustic caresses, We Belong Dead the debut EP from US industrial band Varicella is an uncompromising destructive predator with a primal appetite to match its insidious aggression. It is a release which arguably takes longer than other genre releases to persuade its compelling case but emerges from focused attention as a deeply satisfying and thought inciting confrontation.

Formed in 2008 aiming to explore the roots of old school 80’s style industrial having been uninspired by the popular music and the local all synth / EBM based industrial scene at the time, Varicella due to suffering an instability in line-ups eventually took a break from being an active unit. Founder Chris Bollinger (vocals/programming) began working on songs and music for the project again in 2011 and linked up with Chris Pasquarelli (guitar) early last year, the duo taking influence from the likes of Ministry, KMFDM, and Skinny Puppy in creating metallic guitar driven industrial sonic brawls. Their first release explores distinct dark corners whilst intruding on the senses with malevolence and caustic intent; it is not always an easy listen and at times pushes its limits the wrong way but is always a compulsive and inventive listen and emotive encounter.

Released via Bluntface Records on January 26th, the EP invades the ear and consumes the senses first with Where Does Evil 113594Live, the opener a stalking presence of venomous energy and satanic bestial breath. It soaks the synapses with cold inciting aural fingers whilst its resonating heartbeat chills behind the samples and within the corrosive grip of the track. It is a lingering hypnotic piece which sets the album up perfectly, a dangerous and intimidating journey well into its malicious task.

The title track invades next with a pulsating stance and devilish mischief to its initial engagement. The vocals of Bollinger scrape the flesh as intensely as the sounds, a coarse devouring rub reminding of label mates Virus Cycle at times. It is a tsunami of energy which lumbers over its recipient with a mass of sonic depth and raptorial hunger whilst offering enough to grab limbs and heart into a darkened dance.

The excellent All Hail and The Sound Of Four unleash their thunderous growls next, the first an enveloping senses eating festering with hybrid essences of Nine Inch Nails and the second a rampaging encounter with again a primal gait to its rhythms and at times a White Zombie like infection. It is a track you can see any fallen angel using as their soundtrack and deathly dance and its expanse disturbingly mesmeric. The raw nasty vocals offers an extreme to the acidic melodic craft of the song and is destined to make the song difficult for some though with enough rewards from the well sculpted sounds and menace to be rewarding for all.

     Obsessed with FleshFuck Slave is a metallic tirade of sonic abuse and intense bruising, the guitars a scouring abrasion alongside the riveting rhythms and beats. It is the least successful track on the EP but has enough to make its vulgar presence welcome and intriguing. The same can be said of the closing song too, though Burning Inside is a furnace of continual sonic flames which incites greater attraction. Musically both songs are as impressive as elsewhere but the vocal delivery is suffering from a lack of variety at this point for personal tastes. It is not bad just the continual unpolished grate of Bollinger across the whole release arguably goes too far in making a contrast and provocation to the heated and often mesmeric yet challenging sounds.

We Belong Dead is a strong release which fans of original industrial music will find plenty of appreciation for as well as those with a need for experimentation in their genre based sounds. For a first release Varicella has set in motion anticipation for and promises of greater things in the future whilst leaving a very contented satisfaction in the now.

http://www.bluntfacerecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Varicella/310239362321042?fref=ts

RingMaster 07/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright