Topeka, KS brutal death metal masters Unmerciful recently released their third album Wrath Encompassed on the venerable Willowtip Records. The album is easily their most punishing album to date and is already poised to go down as one of the most devastating metal releases of the year. I got in contact with longtime bassist Jeremy Turner to discuss the new album and the band’s efforts to create the most punishing music possible.
It’s been two long years since THKD featured any interviews; perhaps due to laziness on my own part, or perhaps because I hadn’t heard any new bands that intrigued me enough to seek them out for an interrogation. But from the moment I heard Ashes Shall Be Made of Them, the second album from Canadian death-dealers Ye Goat-Herd Gods, I knew that I wanted to dig deeper. Having struck up a correspondence with guitarist/songwriter Jeanie Keebler over the course of reviewing the album, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to pick her brain. She graciously agreed and in the process revealed to me a story that’s as much about staring death in the face and overcoming adversity as it about simply loving heavy metal. Read on as the mastermind behind Ye Goat opens up about the making of the album and beyond.
Formed in 1995, Sweden’s Soils of Fate are OGs of slamming death metal. Their two early full lengths, 2001’s Sandstorm and 2003’s Crime Syndicate are the purest distillations of slam you’re ever likely to hear and are among the genre’s seminal releases. After a decade-long break from recording, the band returned in 2014 with Thin The Heard, arguably their grooviest and most crushing album to date. I recently caught up with founding guitarist Magnus Lindvall to discuss the band’s return, their influences and whether or not we’d have to wait another decade for the next Soils of Fate album.
In early 2014, New Jersey-based black metal band Hercyn sent me a copy of their debut release, the excellent Magda. To say that I was blown away by the twenty-four minute, single track demo would be an understatement; this was the kind of gloomy, neo folk-tinged black metal I had been yearning for more of ever since Agalloch released their classic The Mantle back in 2002. A subsequent split with Thera Roya spoke to the band’s dedication to continuing to refine their sound, but it also left me wanting more. Fortunately I don’t have to wait any longer, as Hercyn are about to release Dust and Ages. Indeed, the band’s first full length makes good on the promise of the their previous shorter releases, delivering a pair of epic tracks (plus an intro and outro) that are easily the band’s most accomplished and fully-realized works to date. Curious to know more about the band’s inner workings and the creation of Dust and Ages, I sent the band a slew of questions which they graciously answered in great depth via e-mail.
If there’s one thing I hate doing, it’s writing intros to interviews. Fortunately, Paradise Lost is a band that needs no introduction. The death/doom/gothic metal pioneers have been releasing great music for nearly three decades now, and that enduring legacy continues with their latest full length, The Plague Within, which is out June 1st via Century Media. Legendary vocalist Nick Holmes graciously answered my questions about their stunning new album via e-mail.
After much trial and tribulation, I am excited to announce that the Summer 2014 issue of Backlit zine is alive.
I’ve spent a lot of time covering cassettes here at THKD, not just because I dig them, but because I truly believe that some of the best and most interesting heavy music today is being released by smaller labels who have embraced the format as an affordable way to bring the underground to the masses. As such, my relationship with several of these labels has become far more personal than just receiving an e-mail blast from some faceless PR company; their owners have proven to be incredibly personable and genuinely appreciative of the coverage I’ve given them. But, as deeply as I’ve delved into cassettes and as much as I’ve chatted with those who are in the business of releasing them, I still had many unanswered questions. What motivates them? What brought them to the format? At the end of the day, does the format even matter? In an attempt to answer these and many other questions, I gathered the gents behind the labels for a virtual round table discussion of all things tape-related.