Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Abrasive Audio – An interview with Beltane


Greetings and welcome to another installment in the Interview series. In this installment I find myself chatting with an act from out of New Zealand. Recently I covered a Slayer tribute compilation, within it were a few tracks which really caught my attention and amidst those one which grabbed me with such force I had to put digit to keyboard in order to learn more about the band behind the recording.  May I present Beltane in their own words…

Where/when did the idea of forming a band come about, when did Beltane come into existence?


Arguably one of the most important BM albums of 1992

I was introduced to Black Metal in 1991, got really into it in 1992. I was already playing in quite a successful NZ Death Metal band at the time, but started writing my own Black Metal material at the beginning of 1993 and decided upon the project name of ‘Beltane’.

Not too much came of this until the 28th of October 1994 when I recorded the first Beltane track – “Into the Night” – as a solo effort on a flatmate’s (room-mate) Amstrad four track stereo system. I played all the instruments myself, including the drums. I certainly am not a drummer but for the track I played it was OK. I distributed this song around the local Nelsonian scene by dubbing it on the end of Burzum and other bands that I traded with people.

St Vincent Street Hoard

It happened here.

By the end of that year it had evolved into an actual three-piece band and it was this lineup that recorded the “Rehearsal April 1995” demo in the hallway of the St Vincent Street Horde direct to cassette. 

The lineup dissolved in 1996 and Beltane became a project again and as such it has had a number of evolutions over the years, but has never returned to being a purely solo project.

Any reason in particular for the Beltane moniker?

Totally. I was (and still am) very much into the occult and paganism. I had one of those Lewellyn Press “Witchcraft” books and learned about the Celtic Cross Quarter days, and that Beltane or Beltaine was considered to be on April 30th, which is my Anniversary of Born’d Day. It is also known as Walpurgisnacht, and the day Anton LaVey officially formed the Church of Satan in 1966.

Later on, I learned that these Cross Quarter Days do not directly apply to the Southern Hemisphere as they relate to the Seasons and have to be reversed down here. I also then further learnt that these days that many consider as fixed are not fixed at all. So that actually puts the Day of Beltaine around November 6th in the Southern Hemisphere.

However, the more I learned about this the more it became integral to the project, just as it became more integral to my lifestyle. Which leads on nicely to the next question.

Is there anything which makes Beltane stand apart from other bands in much the same genre?  

Nelson in New Zealand

Many things I believe.

Although, to begin with maybe the only real point of difference is that we were from Nelson, New Zealand. And the beginning of what was for a time the largest and most committed Black Metal scene in NZ. Other centres had great metal scenes but they tended to be either Death Metal or Grindcore during this period. The Nelsonian scene was unique in that it fully embraced Black Metal. It also had a good supply of LSD as the EDM Trance scene was big in this region at the same time. That helped.

Later on though, when things started to evolve I didn’t see any limits to the kind of sounds I might explore with the project, which is something that the original Norwegian bands did, but then that fell away and now it’s all cookie cutter “raw” Black Metal etc.

After Dyrkyn, our original drummer, departed we never really had a permanent drummer on board again. Which opened up massive possibilities to work with sampled drums, loops and drum machines. Then with the advent of the internet, different drummers and drum programmers all around the world. The nost notable of these would be The Ineffable Mark Dubanowski, who we started working with in 2009, and still he does stuff for us on occasion.


Also, location recording in forests, cemeteries etc became very important. At times becoming the main activity of the band rather than playing live and doing what “normal” bands do. By no means are we the only Black Metal project to have recorded in a forest etc. Yet, because of the frequent occasions that we indulge in this type of activity and the systematic way it is approached, I think sets it us apart in this regard.

In December 2004, on the Day of the Summer Solstice, Beltane began something we have done ever since. Recording on the Cardinal Seasonal & Cross Quarter Days. This is something that no other band or project in the world has achieved.

How would you describe your sound, are there any major influences you cite for your arrangements and/or style. Or themes which you feel are important within your work?

Mainly Black Metal, but with deviations into other styles and (mainly metal) genres, most notably Industrial. But always with a distinct Black Metal production style. The general idea here being to “capture a lo-fi sound in a hi-fi envelope” if you get what I am saying? So, production is a very deliberate part of the sound.

beltane in a slayer tribute comp

The track in question resides here.

I think that our cover of Angel of Death showcases that. I mean, we didn’t do anything massively different with how we played the song, pretty much kept close to Slayer. How it was produced gave it the “Beltane Sound”.

As for themes, the main thing is atmosphere, with a lot of pagan references. Not so much to particular belief systems, but to the overall essence of it all. And always in a search to find the magick-in-the-real. A secondary theme that has become more common over the past decade would be anti-globalist messages, which is something we feel strongly about. We made an entire album based on this called ‘Democide’, which essentially means death by government.

Do you currently have any favorite artists/albums you might wish to share?

Impaled Nazarene

The Nihil LP

Of all time, my favourite artists are Morbid Angel and Celtic Frost, and definitely much of the early Norwegian and Finnish Black Metal, such as Mayhem, Burzum from that side and Beherit and Impaled Nazarene from the other. And I must point out that I like all the experimental releases from Beherit and Morbid Angel too, including the much hated “I” album. Plus, I dig “Cold Lake” from ‘Frost, which Tom G Warrior would probably be upset about. Lol.

Naturally, I also like a lot of Thrash Metal, and certainly Traditional Heavy Metal & Hard Rock. Not so keen on Nu-Metal though, and (modern) Power Metal only in very small doses!

However, I enjoy many different genres of music including EDM, selected fem-pop, classical, selected rock’n’roll etc. And lately have even been tuning into the occasional country LPFM station when out and about! Some of this open-mindedness has come about more in recent times due to being the manager and main DJ of a community radio station. But I can tell you, metal is very well represented on there!

Maelific by Design “Definitive Indication of Supremacy”

In case you were curious, I know I am

As for a recommendation of something current. I rather enjoy the album from Finnish band Maelific by Design “Definitive Indication of Supremacy”. One of the guys from it, Ville the guitarist sent, me a CD copy of it. Which of course captured my attention much more, than it might have otherwise.

The thing is, with the way things are today with the internet so much awesome stuff comes down the pike it becomes a bit of a blur. I probably have dozens if not scores of great albums sitting around as ZIP files that I have been sent.  In the old days, obtaining new content was such a slow process you had the time to enjoy and really get to know what you obtained before something new came along.

I know some people try to do that now by taking a stance something like: “I only listen to pressed CDs or cassettes, vinyl etc”. However, I reckon that is not really an organic attitude in this day and age – it’s somewhat forced and maybe just a little poseury.

Nevertheless, I still feel there is something special about listening to music from analogue sources such as vinyl or cassette or even uncompressed 16bit 44.1 KHz digital audio that is converted by the electronics in a CD player, rather than an Mp3 that is decoded by a computer or smartphone.

How did your contribution to the Antichrist/Grand Sounds Slayer Tribute come about (did you get to choose the track)? I’ve heard rumor you had a ‘little help’ in the vocal department. Can you tell us a little more?

Well, I had been in contract with Olecks for some time and Beltane had actually taken part on two consecutive earlier tribute compilations (Death & W.A.S.P.) and weren’t sure if we should put our hand up for the next one…maybe it was feeling a little “piggy”? Lol But when he announced it was Slayer, we couldn’t really turn that down!

slayer angel of death single art

With the tracks on these compilations, it’s first come first served and we were in fairly promptly, but a lot of bands had already chosen. However, Angel of Death is the song we wanted to do and no one else had dared touch it. I think I know why, because it’s a cunt of a song! To explain: It’s rather fast so a little tricky to learn, and it IS one of those Slayer tracks that you had better get right or else! So in many ways it was a risk to choose it.

My 12-year-old son – Vikaroth (or Vikey) – did the vocals on the track. All of them. It’s not his debut on doing vocals with Beltane. He recorded a version of Countess Bathory a year or two ago amoungst other things. And has clearly shown he has talent at the vocals. I think he did a killer job and his part is a major contributor to the impact of our version I believe. It could well be that Beltane is turning into a Black Metal version of the Partridge Family. haha

Where else might inquiring minds be able to sample your work?

The largest body of work available for legit free download is on our Reverbnation Page Hey, we got a decent URL for that one! In early! It’s still the place where I will first post new “net drop” single releases. But as far as supporting us and purchasing compleat albums etc, that would be from the label I run – – or directly from Beltane’s old-school Angelfire site

(not such a convenient URL!) if you can dodge the barrage of pop-up advertisements that now exist there.

I feel I just ask, as I write for a gaming zine (of sorts), do you have any history of enjoying Tabletop RPGs (Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, Etc)?

christians warn DnD

Guess they have a problem with anything that’s “fun”

When I was young, I was very much into Dungeons & Dragons, mainly the basic game. I got into it again in my twenties with a group who mainly played Rune Quest. And would probably do it again if a group started around here. My friend Owen was considering starting a group a couple of years ago, but nothing became of it. I would like to investigate Varg Vikernes’ game at some stage.

The Christians always used to say that D&D leads people into the occult. Well, in my case it certainly did. Lol.

What might the members of Beltane be doing when they aren’t creating, composing or playing? 

Since the core lineup of the project currently consists of me and my partner Baphgirl, a lot of time is taken up with domestic stuff. And we live an off-grid lifestyle so there are chores to be done! But my main “gig” currently is running Radio Foxton, and DJ work on there and some live stuff. And of course, the label, but that’s really a little underground affair. Although it did keep me from answering this interview sooner as it does a small but fairly steady stream of business.

Are reading books or watching movies a part of the bands extra-curricular activities?

Baphy reads lots of books. Both physical ones and e-books on her tablet. I find I just haven’t had the time to really get into a decent book for quite a while. So, I read magazines, mainly vintage ones on electronics, which is another one of my interests. We don’t have network television at home, nor any sort of internet version of it such as Netflix. However, we do settle down of an evening to “watch the telly”. Often stuff from BitChute etc.

V gif

Poor lil fuzzy bugga

Lately we have been watching the 1980’s Sci-fi series “V”. It has some strange resonances to what is going on in the world right now, while still being a useful distraction from it.

What does the horizon hold for the band, are there any plans for future releases?

Well, after we started doing our Seasonal Recordings on the Summer Solstice of 2004 we also started a Seasonal Release Program. This was quite ambitious, releasing an EP every Season, so four per year. This later evolved into an EP per Season or a full-length album every two Seasons.

Eventually, this became grueling but it did push us to get a lot of material out there. We finished a decade of doing this with a “Best Ov”, which featured some new versions of older songs, which was recorded in the Spring of 2014, on the Vernal Equinox and the Day of Beltaine. It was then time to take a break from this. Ten years of a constant release schedule was a good enough achievement I reckon.

beltane pic

Beltane basking in the Sun

Since then, we haven’t released an album or EP, although the recording on the Seasonal Days continues as I mentioned earlier. So, an album is definitely due, but no really solid plans as to when this might be. However, there are a couple of tracks that are nearly finished that we really want to release on the internets soon, so look out for those.

(The Beltane discography)

That’s about it. Huge thanks again for allowing me to send over a few (ha) Q’s your way. Is there anything you want to say in closing or anything you wish to promote?

Really, in regards to Beltane that main thing is check our Reverbnation Page out over the next couple of months, for those new tracks I was speaking about. And do consider supporting our work by purchasing a physical release. We don’t have Patreon nor sell “digital” material online – all that stuff is free.

satanica org

We are always looking for new deep-underground bands to release on and we have a very unique and rather decent deal there for any projects that wish to get involved. It’s not a label for those who think they are rockstars! Rather, it’s a way for small projects to have an outlet, that is more than merely posting a track to Mixcloud or something.

And of course, there is the radio thing too. I do live metal shows every fortnight on Radio Foxton 105.4FM on Friday Nights (20.00h NZ time), and replays of these can be heard every week night at 22.00h (NZ time).  The stream address is:

Bands are welcome to send tracks to be included in the show. Everything that is sent will get played. Mp3 submissions are fine, but it is an advantage to send me something physical such as any CD format or cassette etc, as this tends to result in ongoing coverage of a band. That’s mainly due to the way I select material for a show – it is more intuitive to rummage through a stack of physical releases than to hunt through files on a computer!

Cheers for the interview, and glad you enjoyed our Slayer cover!

Have a good one! Hailz, Xan.



Abrasive Audio – An Interview with afterperception

minions whaaaattttt

We live in unprecedented times. Many of us are still somewhat able to conform to a normal schedule while others have had their whole universe flipped on its ass. During these uncertain times I’ve found that my free time has been radically reduced. However, for some reason I’m still able to keep the ball rolling to some extent as I find it a great deal easier to compose (email based) interviews rather than spend a great deal of time (which I don’t have, courtesy of my baby staying home from daycare/preschool) listening to and laying thoughts upon the audio in question. In this installment I’ll be chatting with the newest act to join the Cult of Osiris stable with a debut release, “Blades Over Despondency” slated for June 1st upon all self-respecting digital/ streaming platforms.

afterperception band album

How about we start with an introduction…

Who is Afterperception, and how did “it” (the idea) come about?

– My name is Joe Rega.  Afterperception is a solo project, something I’ve wanted to pursue for a long time.  The name, “Afterperception” was the title of a song on the self-titled debut album, Perpetual Suffering (2004), of which I was co-founder and vocalist.  Perpetual Suffering was the “Perpetual Opener” for Death Metal acts travelling though the NYC area at the time.  The band was plagued with all the clichés, drug abuse, Yoko Onos and conflicting ideas etc.  After it fell apart, I bounced around always trying to find the right mix of musicians, until I just retreated inwards and decided to devote my time to creating my own vision. The “Blades Over Despondency” E.P. with Cult of Osiris is just the beginning.

mixing board

This is a mixing board, hardly a substitution for a complete act.

I’ve often wondered, how difficult is it transitioning from a traditional act to a “one-man outfit”? I can only imagine there are various obstacles involved.

– Yes, because you are only listening to yourself over and over, it can become a challenge not to hate everything you create.  On the other side of that, you don’t want to become over-indulgent or pretentious.  In a band setting, striking that balance can come due to the competing interests, but solo, you’re left with your own mania to deal with.  In the end, I try to create songs that mean something to me and either it comes together or it doesn’t.

I hear a few styles within the 5 tracks I’ve enjoyed (thus far), a few influences pop out at me. And the style is hardly what I would seem traditional black or even traditional anything. I could be miles off. Mind telling us a little about the varied influences involved?

Are there any specific acts or albums which drive your spark more than any others?

hypocrisy abum

– I’ve always been attracted to Black/Death Metal bands that combined the ferocity of the genre within a more “traditional” song structure, i.e. Old Man’s Child, Hypocrisy, Necrophobic to name a few.  In the non-death/black metal realm, I admire Mike Patton as a vocalist for the range of styles he can project.  Afterperception fluctuates between Black and Doomy Death Metal and hopefully succeeds as not “traditional anything” at times, as you said.  Thanks for that. For me, the contrast is important and heightens the impact of the individual parts.  Where the style lands is up to the listener.

I can only imagine that each listener will hear what influences they wish based on their listening history within the extreme audio realm and come to different conclusions as to where the inspirations for your work might originate. If you were to pick any artists (let’s pretend this is an ideal work in which everyone gets along and ideas flow like an uninterrupted stream) to join you in your endeavors who might you pick and why?

pete commando sandoval drums

-Oh man, with everything flowing I’d have to go with Galder, Peter Tagtgren on guitars and Pete Sandoval on drums.  That’d be something else, I wouldn’t know where the fuck to start!

Loves me some Pete “Commando” Sandoval action.

In the same arena, have you ever considered the possibility of having guest musicians? Another vocalist perhaps?

-That’s a possibility.  I’ve spoken to some musicians I’ve known over the years about teaming up on a song here and there.  Or maybe I’m destined to scream alone in my basement studio. We shall see.

Off topic, how’s the current state of affairs affecting things for AP?

– I’m not writing as much as I predicted with the added free time.  It’s hard to focus amidst the new concerns that confront all of us now.  I fear what America and the rest of the world will look like after this crisis.  We are at a major inflection point and things can go downhill fast.  All this doom and gloom is perfect fodder for Black Metal material and it’s there waiting to be vomited forth soon enough. Now however, reflection and solitude are in the cards.

And obviously no shows either. Will there be a possibility for shows in the future? I can foresee the problems arising with this and AP’s solitary “presence”.

afterperception older album

A vintage afterperception album

– Afterperception is one-man Black Metal.  It will remain on the fringes, a reflection of reclusive anger and misanthropy.  I have no desire to bring it on the road, so to speak.

Any future thoughts as to Split releases? Are there any artists you would nominate to join you in such an endeavor?

– No plans for anything yet. Perhaps one of the artists on Cult of Osiris would be interested in the future.

I’ve always wondered about Splits. Do both artists need to be on the same label?

-Unless the band has an exclusive contract with a label, the artist would be free to release splits on other labels.  In the underground there is a lot of flexibility.  For example, the Archgoat, Satanic Warmaster split was released under Hell’s Headbangers Records, while individually on other labels.

Archgoat, Satanic Warmaster split

The Archgoat, Satanic Warmaster split

Ah. So, what do you enjoy when you aren’t composing or creating music?

– During the fall and winter months I bowhunt.  I find meaning in getting out into the woods and perfecting such a difficult skill.  One that has been with mankind from the beginning.  Come to think of it, this hobby may come in handy given the current situation. (it might, though hopefully it doesn’t – Ed*)


I’m also a horror movie fan. I love the old Italian horror flicks i.e. Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento and Mario Bava.  To me these guys were like the Black Metal of horror cinema.  They turned gore into art that was over-the-top, repulsive and appealing at the same time. True renegades of the genre. I respect that.

I do believe you nailed that description and such a fantastic way to describe it.

I’m into the same kinda’ thing, adore me a chunk of unapologetic grindhouse every now and then. There’s a few newer films which have captured the attention. The Void is fantastic if you have yet to see it.

Is there any non-music related material which incites the creative spark?

Any favorite authors?

Patrick Rothfuss books

The Kingkiller Chronicle

– I loved “The Void”.  I do keep up with modern horror as well.  Occasionally you come across a gem like that.  As far as authors go, I’ve always been into reading philosophy, particularly concerning ideas of nihilism, existentialism and nothingness.  Through extreme music, I try to paint a picture of that nihilistic idea but ultimately, I don’t think that’s where one should land.  We as humans need meaning in our lives, even though at the end, an eternity of nothingness awaits.  So, I also enjoy inspiring stories of the hero’s journey; Tolkien and modern fantasy writers like, Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson.

It appears I have a little discovering to do (my fantasy comes from the likes of Terry Brooks and Piers Anthony). Being that you are a one-man act this gives total freedom in where your musical direction turns. Might we see AP evolving in the future or yourself branching out into different styles under different monikers?

-There’s no question afterperception will evolve.  Right now, I prefer the idea of Afterperception being the main vehicle, no matter the musical direction.

Who’s responsible for this release’s art? It bears an aged vintage feel, an aura of diabolical menace. Is this a commissioned piece or an existing piece?

– Cult of Osiris suggested I take a look at Jill Colbert’s work at She had several designs available.  I was immediately drawn to this piece.  It works great for the title of the EP, Blades Over Despondency and the creature looks like it has a plague mask on which is relevant for the timing of the release.  The fact that there are mushrooms in artwork is perfect as well.  Psychedelics play a part in much of Afterpeception’s content.  It was meant to be.

this is a mushroom

This is a mushroom!

It has a certain haziness to it I couldn’t quite place. Now you mention mushrooms I’m thinking of spores, mold and fungi which fits perfectly.

– You’re right, that works too.  It’s serendipity.

Are there any other artists whose talents you might have turned to if Cvlts suggestion wasn’t made?

– I reached out to the artist behind concerning a piece of work he had done.  Unfortunately, it was already sold.  He offered to do commission work for me, which I will likely take him up on for future releases.  I like the hand drawn bestial look that he captures.

The style embodies the old school style, raw and primitive nature perfectly.

Let’s bring this to a close. Thanks again for your patience. Is there anything you’d wish to say, or do you have anything you wish to promote or anyone to thank to bring this to close?

– Thanks for an interesting interview.  Appreciate Cult of Osiris setting it up.  Check out their compilation “A Road Less Traveled” (releases May/4/2020) Pre-Orders are up now; some sick bands participated.

a road less traveled compilation cult of osiris

A spot of class, in promoting someone else’s material, to bring this to a close.

You can find the compilation here;

Afterperception older works here;

And the newest Afterperception “Blades Over Despondency” release on CultofOsiris here;

Thanks again to Joe for his patience (in having this a more conversational flow piece rather than the more traditional email-based interview) and honesty. And Cvlt for helping to set this up. A shorter version of this can be found in the newest issue of (huge Thanks to Paul for the additional coverage.) Blades of Despondency is slated for release June/1/2020 and promises a great deal to enjoy for both traditional/ non-traditional black metal and extreme music fans alike.


Abrasive Audio – An Interview with Proscrito

proscrito the band

Proscrito in their nautral habitat

Recently I was lucky enough to be able to scribble a few words upon the newest release from an act who I believe meld doom and death perfectly. Imagine my surprise when they submitted to a request for an interview without complaint. Here is what went down. Before I start however, I’d like to state that their responses are unaltered, uncensored and at times (thankfully) brutally honest.


– Before we start would you mind telling us a little about yourself.
sabadell spain

For those needing a visual aid, this is where Sabadell, Spain is

We are Proscrito, hailing from the Sabadell (Spain) depths. We’ve been crafting our music(k) for quite some time and now working with a new line-up featuring Gusi on drums (Graveyard, Insulters, Morbid Flesh) and the recent addition of Marc as second guitar (Mahara, Calderum and several others), which will boost our limits with further output and a more panoramic perspective whilst retaining our boneheaded and conservative style. Dani (bass and growls) comes from Voidkush, along with Gusi, and by now is devoting all his forces to Proscrito, just as I do since my power electronics output (José Bretón) lies dormant for the time being and I’m not really interested in personal/side projects consuming time and energy at all.


– Your sound (and style) is vastly different than most in the ‘same’ genre. Was there a moment in which you took that specific direction, any reason in particular?

Thanks for the compliment. Some major guidelines can be traced but still I think our best trait is how we blend them creating discernible songs instead of just amalgamating riffs – I mean, the albums we worship were made like that, just think of “Seven Churches” or most of the heavy metal and thrash classics. The path that we cross comes quite naturally although our influences are clear and much respected/studied. We don’t aim for a specific sound nor boundaries and at the end of the day we can go to sleep knowing we haven’t betrayed our essence, since what we play is what we breathe 24/7 and there’s no way we’re polluting it with wimpy elements. When I started Calvario (pre-Proscrito) the sound was much less accessible, sloppier and more crepitating, imagine some kind of amorphous, deviated brainchild of Necro Schizma, Winter, Unholy, Funereus, Lord of Putrefaction et al. Playing with different people and adding more resources to the palette surely shaped our sound, not necessarily in a different view but actually more dynamic.

proscrito band rehersal

Proscrito in action

– On the same topic. Do you have any major influences (be it music, or otherwise) you cite for this?

Well, here we go…, Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, Necro Schizma, Winter, Asphyx, Cianide, Lord of Putrefaction, Samael, Goatlord, Unholy, Slaughter, women, fights, melting flesh, pouring fire, napalm, shrapnel, lead, dead stuff found on the road, insects, blood and scalps of enemies, old r’n’r (Rock and Roll? – Ed*) albums, dark cinema before Vice/blogger connoisseurs, sects and religious cults ‘n processions, devotion, abandoned factories, glass coffins, decay, metal before safe spaces and circle jerks…, I think it gives a hint or two.

– I’ve recently had the pleasure of being able to impart a few words on your newest release. Could you tell us a little about it?

“Llagas y Estigmas” (“sores and stigmata”) features five heavy tracks of darkness and despair, around 40 minutes of music(k) for those with fondness for maggots crawling through decayed flesh and whatnot…


The newest unholy offering

– The lyrics and titles are in Spanish (please tell me this is a correct assumption, I’ll feel silly if it isn’t); I’ve often wondered how does one make the conscious decision to pick a language in which to compose? As I see you are rather proficient in English also (unless you’re using a translator to answer this, which I would fully understand as my grammatical skills aren’t that polished).

Yes, Spanish indeed. We thought from the very beginning that Spanish features some harsher and crude phonetics in comparison with the rather “stylish” English language, for instance, so it seemed much more akin to our bare bones overall musicianship and compositions. Also it provides an extra point of originality among many copycats that follow the same route and tend to use the “lyrics generator” approach with really boring themes that get reflected in less interesting song/album titles. Well, also to show some respect and pay homage to old bands that avoided the hegemonic tongue when it felt common, i.e. Kat, Master’s Hammer, Muro, Barón Rojo, Santa, Turbo, Debustrol, Dorsal Atlántica

-For those of us (like myself) with limited language skills would you mind translating the titles and perhaps give a few words on each track.

I don’t think this is quite what he meant by “Marked by the Hoof”

I don’t really like explaining my own lyrics, since I prefer them to evoke abstract images that could fit the foggy, surreal, nightmarish atmosphere of the music. Anyway, “Persistiendo” (“persisting”) is about being ostracized yet with a clear vision as driving force against all odds and life’s betrayal (“persisting where eagles dare”), “Tronos de Oprobio” (“thrones of opprobrium”) features a barbaric imagery of conquest, triumph and command (“what’s best in life?”, if you know what I mean), “Exequias” (“obsequies”) shows a devastated wasteland of insects swarming over coagulated blood, with a willingness for a time to come for steel to rule, “Marcado por la Pezuña” (“marked by the hoof”) is just another symbol of might, depicting horrors and memories of a (forgotten) past. “Pantalgia” is the instrumental track and its name mainly reflects intense bodily pain, to leave on a high note.

– I would be remiss in not asking about the albums art. Was there an artist in particular you had in mind to use? (I detect undeniable homage, am I wrong?) Can you tell us a little more about it?
entombed back cover art

A youthful Entombed and a cross similar to that found on the “Left Hand Path”‘s back cover

Not really, we gave Alejandro a good dose of freedom and put our trust in his duties. A giant cross could remind of Entombed‘s “Left Hand Path” back cover but hey, ours is upside down. Nothing more than a flagellant covered in sores and stigmata, as the title suggests, kneeling in front of an inverted cross (unworthy of a regular one, if you want it to be). Just another symbol of devotion and triumph of spirit over matter.

– In regards to the region in which you live/ originate. Do you face any difficulties performing, practicing or promoting?

Sabadell has no active metal pubs at the moment and the more clandestine ones where we fit don’t have license for shows, so there’s no place to crash in to play. Luckily, we live about 30 km’s of Barcelona where we’re usually summoned to die. Since it’s a relatively small region we all know each other and there are not backstabbers nor envies/competitivity contests among us, everyone’s very supportive and even there’s some kind of endogamy/cooperation between bands sharing members (it’s mostly Gusi who’s involved in every single band in the Sabathellian ring, I salute them). We have no shortage of rehearsal places whatsoever, or at least the active bands don’t outnumber them.

– Staying on topic. I’ve always been interested as I know (somewhat) how difficult it is to juggle responsibilities (with work, the family and the site and various places I scribble for). How tedious is it for the Prescrito collective to get together to practice, collaborate on new material and to perform at events?
Gusi - Proscrito

Gusi – perhaps the busiest man in metal?

We all have our (supportive) families and jobs (well, most of us), but we are no pussy-whipped cucks either and Proscrito is a priority of us rather than a weekend pastime. Also, we don’t live in the 80’s anymore and we’re closer to our 30’s than to our 20’s, so rehearsing all day long to make a living out of it is not an option, therefore this may work in terms of keeping our creative process and weekly rehearsals less tedious. Also, working with Gusi, our drummer, is inspiring since he’s succeeded at being a caring father and never missing a note for several active bands, so how come could I skip a rehearsal due to a slight headache or “not feeling very well”?

–  Backtracking just a little. How is the creative process? Do you find inspiration from everyday things or does the Muse pounce when least expected?

We live ‘n breathe (death) metal, so a train wreck, news headlines, an open casket funeral or a stressful situation are certainly inspiring and our minds could think in terms of riffage/lyrics. Taking into consideration that Proscrito is like a limb for us, everything transpires and inspires in our creative process, whether we actively look for it or not. Obviously, there’s no such thing as muses without hard work. Composition-wise, I’ve usually taken the riffs and almost complete songs from home to the rehearsal place but now, with the new line-up and the addition of another guitarist, we’re becoming a much more collaborative unit and rehearsals are just another camp to improve, mix ideas and discard some other ones if they can’t pass the test of time. No wonder our newer stuff is much more dynamic and riff-based than droning, still retaining our caveman vertebrae.

– In regards to touring. Have you performed outside of your native land (Spain)? Do you have any venue, or incidence, in particular which comes to mind when you reflect upon playing in a live setting?

Is this the ultimate tour bus. probably not but its got some badass decals

We haven’t toured outside Spain as of yet. As incidences go, I’ve learned the hard way that, whereas a couple of drinks and whatnot may boost your performance and Nikki Sixx poses, that’s where it’s at and more than the required may backfire against you. Hot venues, sweat and annoying first rows placing beer cans close to our pedals help building up that infrared vision and therefore a violent show, too. As for technical specs, those are boring and I ain’t no professional musician whatsoever. And that the “one last song to go” limit is your ally when you’ve got long-ass songs in stock.

– Are there any venues you have in mind to perform at in the near future? Festivals perhaps (there’s one in Portugal in late March, “Extreme Metal Attack” I believe, I’m think you’d fit into nicely)? Anything in the works a fan can be eagerly looking forward to?

We ain’t picky with dates, sp. when outside (we’ve had enough rotation around the Barcelona metropolitan area for some time, so foreign offers would be pretty much appreciated). Just write us with a place to crash in, travel expenses covered and we’re sold. What we don’t like is going after promoters and beg for attention, we let people dig our stuff and it’s up to them contact us for live shows (or anything, for that matter).

– Keeping on topic is there a fantasy line up, that if you had total control over the event itself, you’d like to be a part of?

cianide album

It’s always better to play with likeminded bands and individuals, so a dream gig would involve the legendary Cianide, Funeral Nation and our countrymates Apparition, who are playing for the first time in a couple of weeks, and Oniricous, for instance.  Usually acknowledged musicians end up acting like divas, so no classic bands dropped for the sake of it, sorry. I’d like to tour with (Betsy) Bitch but that’s another story.

– In a similar vein. Is there any possibility of a collaboration in the future be it either in a “Split” release or any guest musicians you’d love to have be a part of your output?

The same can be said, I guess. We like to keep it stripped to the core, so I’m not really interested in external influences adding their grain of salt, plus I’m an awful guitarist and it’s always hard to replicate those collaborations onstage (i.e. Javi Félez’s 2nd solo, “Anuda la Soga” off El Calvario MLP/MCD). Well, actually some tortured moans by Chris Reifert would be cool. Maybe if Paul Speckmann is able to record a couple of lines in Spanish for us we could make an exception to the rule, too, haha.

– Composition wise; Are there any topics you tend to steer clear of when creating?

Death metal is and should always be about, well, death. There are many ways to interact with it without being tiresome and it’s perfectly possible to lead a whole career out of it, so it was a bit disappointing when bands like Death or Kreator opted for social or even humanist issues. The same could be said for openly political bands (be them left or right-winged, even though both sides of the coin truly hold some casualties under their respective banners…). Comic book zombies, like that of Cannibal Corpse, may look cheesy and childish to some, but still the chunks of flesh derived from the musical overtones of, let’s say, “Eaten Back to Life” make them truly reliable and apt.

necrophagia 35 years

In the end, Necrophagia’s 1st LP is one of the darkest, if not the darkest, albums of DM and it didn’t need life-changing lyrics either. So, I don’t know, I don’t foresee ourselves singing about gender inequalities or the nostalgia for a lost childhood.

– Moving on. I’m intrigued. When you aren’t playing, creating, composing or listening to music what might you be doing, do you have any other rabid interests you wish to share? Favorite movie/book?

I’m an avid reader, at least I’ve been so for a whole chunk of my life. Hundreds of classic authors but lately it’s been more historical essays and 1st person accounts of the Great War. If I’m to say a favourite book, maybe it’s Céline’s “Journey to the End of the Night”, but I’ve truly had my own dose of depravity, acid, corrosion and powerful imagery with Henry Miller, Bataille, Marquis de Sade, Burroughs and the likes.

lucio fulci

This is Lucio Fulci “There’s Death Metal, then there’s Death Metal!” and this isn’t an actual quote by him

For cinema I’m a sucker for Ingmar Bergman in general (and now sir Von Sydow has left us), but my favourite movies would be Apocalypse Now (Redux, pure evil), Straw Dogs (not the remake), La Dolce Vita and Excalibur (for decadence), Videodrome, Mad Max 2, Conan the Barbarian and Cross of Iron (for strength), Eyes Wide Shut and Taxi Driver (for nightime inspiration), Paths of Glory, The Godfather I & II, Salò and Caligula (for depravity)…, lots and lots of gialli and vintage terror (Henry: Portrait of a Killer, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre saga, Hellraiser I & II, Hammer flicks, Lucio Fulci, Mario Bava…). Fuck, literally hundreds of them.

– Winding down. Are there any albums in particular the band are listening to (vintage, new or otherwise) that that they can’t get enough of (which they believe should be garnering more interest)?

Any post-reunion album by Iron Maiden, Motörhead’s lesser known jewels from the 90’s and beyond (Snake Bite Love worship ’til dessssss…) are the obvious ones, since they have a wide public but not so in the subterranean underground and those are the only classic bands I worship from the first to the last album. I don’t know, mate, Funeral Nation and Armoured Angel’s whole discography, In Torment’s Lamentations (best doom/death demo from Spain), Necrophagia’s “Holocausto de la Morte” LP, At War’s “Retaliatory Strike” and Infidel LP’s (pretty much decent follow-ups to the debut), Wild Dogs’ “Reign of Terror” and Dr. Mastermind’s LP’s were my latest “dollar bin” acquisitions that were giving me some good times… and from the recent days, The Fog and Ascended Dead LP’s are mandatory, and so are Oniricous. Torture Rack, Carcinoid, Usurper’s “Lords of the Permafrost” LP and Cianide’s “Unhumanized” MLP (can’t wait for my copy to arrive, thanks sir Perun) have made metal return to its place, and I’m sure Blood Storm’s will do, too. Maybe they aren’t occult or hooded enough for the crowd, what do I know. Our drummer Gusi also plays in Krossfyre, a great act for all ye Nifelheim worshippers, and our newest addition, Marc, drums in Mahara, that will appeal the Electric Wizard devotees.

– That’s about it. In bringing this to a close is there anything you wish to say, or promote, before we sign off and part ways.

Pick this up, you can thank me later.

Fine, enough for now. Pretty much has been covered so far. At the moment we have some copies of “Llagas y Estigmas” and “El Calvario”, both CD (8 €) and vinyl (12 €), and some shirts left (10 €). Spend your money on our albums and merch, watch us live and buy us some beers. Here you have some sites to reach out:

Huge thanks to Proscrito for their godly patience, allowing me to pick their brains and letting me annoy them with my amateurish barrage of constant emails. Don’t forget to check out their newest release, and their first, on Bandcamp and at whatever fantastic establishments, some not so much, where great audio is exchanged for currency.




Wizard-Rifle band

Abrasive Audio – Another Interview.

A few words with Wizard Rifle

Recently I had the pleasure of laying ears upon audio which is diverse to say the very least, familiar yet stunningly different and warranting of at least a few dozen spins to be able to fully digest. Wizard Rifles newest is the type of album one can’t easily forget, it leaves an impression, an instant glorious appreciation which led me to this, and honestly my words cannot come close to explaining the audio, perhaps the band can help. Without further ado…

Howdy Guys,

First off, thanks for the consideration and taking the time to ponder over what I’m hoping are a few questions which will serve to introduce your unique brand of audio to those who are otherwise ignorant of its captivating qualities.

Let’s start at the beginning, for it seems like as good a place as any, from where did the name, “Wizard Rifle”, and the bands origins stem?

Sam and myself (Max) were both going to school in Portland, and were both trying to start a band, and we were both finding it hard to get people to commit and keep a practice schedule. We were introduced by our mutual friend, and we quickly started jamming together for hours a day, every day we possibly could. Having just one person to coordinate with made it easy to stay on the same page and just spend a lot of time writing and developing our style. The name was something my roommate said while I was playing Super Mario World on SNES.

the SNES

for all those wondering this is the SNES

How would you describe the style which characterizes the audio for which Wizard Rifle is renowned?

We both developed playing styles to fill up the audio spectrum that normally is divided into 3+ people. My riffs and gear are set up to sound big. Having just one guitar allows Sam to play really busy at times which is exciting.
Our songs go through a whole roller-coaster of different styles and ideas and we try to make it like a journey with different distinct movements or whatever. Basically, we just write to keep people on their toes and surprise them.

wizard rifle in the woods

Wizard Rifle chillin’ in the woods

I’ve seen the terms ‘Art fuck scrap metal’ and ‘Scuzzy spaz rock’ used for those who might be confused (including myself) could you better explain these terms?

I think those are some tags we just came up with on our Bandcamp back in the day. We’ve never been able to properly categorize our music, so I guess those are just combinations of words that somehow capture our feeling of what the music is like, and also that we think are funny. “Art fuck scrap metal”: like a welded together sculpture of garbage and scraps made by some wierdo paying 50k a year to express themselves in some dumb-ass BFA program.

Within your newest audio collection, I detect a number of, what I can only presume to be, influences. In instances a certain familiarity, in others passages which bring to mind acts who are also not easily genre categorized, defined by a willingness to experiment somewhat with that which fans already know but have never thought/expected to have grace the ears in such a well-choreographed ensemble. Are there any acts or albums in particular (an example which immediately leaps to mind is “Mutilation Makes Identification Difficult” by Brutal Juice) which have helped shape how the sound and style of the album came to be?

We pull from everything we listen to, and never are like “okay for this track we’re only doing Sleep and E.Wizard”. We find tropey bands boring. Yes Black Sabbath are the greatest band to exist probably. No I don’t wanna hear your direct Iommi ripoff set.
People are always coming up to us like, “Oh you guys obviously love this album or band” and often neither of us have ever even heard it, and that is very pleasing to us that people hear different things. For instance I have never heard Brutal Juice. There have been some very pivotal bands, albums, shows that we have experienced which set us off. Far too many to mention.


The newest release in all of its seafaring, trash laden collage glory

The image on “Speak Load, Say Nothing” may suggest what to expect from the album (though it doesn’t even begin to hint at its unpredictable exuberance). What did/do you wish to portray/convey with the upcoming (self-titled) albums art?

Well all our album covers (aside from the EP) are photographed sculptures and collages. This cover is a collage of trash and plants and sea creature parts sam put together. We never want our covers to look like a run of the mill metal cover, so we always try to make something that grabs your eye and isn’t as expected. I think the cover Sam did is just really pretty and abstract and has awesome colors. I liked it right away.

Staying on topic of release related queries; It’s been a while since your last album (2014’s “Here in the Deadlights”) with two years separating that from (2014’s) “Speak Loudly, Say Nothing” following on from (2010’s) “Kitties and Pie” were you ever at any point concerned that the new record might not ‘see the light of day’?

It was a long process to finish up the album for many reasons, one of which being that we didn’t want to half-ass it at all. We wanted the songs to be precisely composed and practiced and we wanted it recorded really well. The finished product sounds exactly as I have imagined it should for these past few years so that is pretty cool.
We are always figuring it out along the way in terms of how the band operates, and so there were periods where it took some perseverance to not fall into a hopeless state of mind. Ultimately if our support network fell apart and no one was interested in putting out the record we would have made it happen anyway just because we put the work into the songs and want them out there no matter what. Even if we had to sell our plasma for the next decade or something

The new album is out (August 30th) via Svart Records, a move which might make many wonder – why the split with Seventh Rule Recordings? Can you tell us more?

Scott Flaster over at Seventh Rule was an awesome guy to work with and took a chance putting out our first records. After “Here in the Deadlights” he had a lot going on and just wasn’t putting out new records for a while, so there wasn’t further discussion about the 3rd record.

The first single, and track, (“Rocket from Hell”) from the new album recently premiered on Decibel Magazine (August 30th can’t come fast enough!) and has gotten quite the reaction. Following a brief recording hiatus was it more than expected?

It is hard for me to quantify the magnitude of reaction to content on the internet, maybe because I suck at internet and mostly just try and figure it out for the band. Seems like it’s been pretty amazing thus far, and we definitely have really good people working on it who are killing it. The true barometer will be if people come out to the shows, and if people buy the record.

Acid king wizard rifle tour


A US tour is currently underway supporting Acid King (I’m hoping to catch you as you pass through the heartland). Are there any past dates/cities which have stood out for any particular reason?

I mean Portland is always an amazing amazing time, full of old friends and hugs. Sometimes the smaller cities go off and its rad. I feel like it’d be unfair to shout out specific places too much because we’ve met super cool people who have really taken care of us and showed us a good time all over this dang country!

If given ‘free rein’ and choice from artists past or present/living or not who would you wish to tour alongside? For any particular reason?

The Stooges back in the day.



And with that the interview comes to an end, my thanks again go out to Curtis (Dewar PR) and Wizard Rifle for responding.

The bands discography is as follows;
Kitties and Pie!!!! (2010) EP

Speak Loud, Say Nothing (Seventh Rule Recordings) 2012


Here in the Deadlights (Seventh Rule Recordings) 2014

Their latest, self titled opus, will drop on August 30th via Svart Records

my review of which is here (please excuse the pool of drool that comes with)


The Eldritch Truth Interview

(Would the “Great Old Ones”, and/or the” Elder Things” approve?)
The Eldritch Truth album art

Release date May/17/2019

 I recently had the pleasure of being able to listen to, and put a few words upon, a release which is drastically different than what could be considered a normal run-of-the-mill extreme audio affair. Sanguinary Origins is an EP consisting of only two tracks and runs barely eight minutes in length. Eight minutes? One might ponder; that’s hardly enough time to whet the appetite. And that’s where one would be wrong. That amount of time is more than sufficient to leave the listener dazed, disoriented and flummoxed (what a wonderful word!) I’ve attempted (in my own words) to describe what can only be experienced when hitting PLAY; “A kaleidoscope of styles assaults the listener instantly inciting disorientation, discombobulation, a state leading to madness I would only predict following a slew of repeated listens.” But mere words alone cannot come close to what the audio offers. What better way then, than to delve into the minds of those responsible to get a better understanding of the audio, of what it is they hope to achieve, and what the future might bring.

Let’s start things off;

Tell us a little about yourselves and how The Eldritch Truth came to be?

The Eldritch Truth consists of myself (Caleb Johnson, Guitar player/Bass/Drum & Synth programming) and Justin Cook who handles all lyric writing and vocals. I had a previous project that was moving too slow for my liking, so I took it upon myself to start something new. I whipped up a 20 second clip to share and posted in a couple Facebook groups looking for a vocalist. Justin was one of the first to comment and seemed super enthusiastic and we hit off immediately and have been 100% on the same page ever since.

(Justin Cook- vocals, lyrics): I’ve always been a huge fan of the most extreme styles of metal. I used to do throat percussion for a band when I was younger. I eventually went full-time into the cannabis industry and didn’t make music for ~10 years. The urge to create had gotten to a boiling point a few months back. I found Caleb’s post on FB and liked the sound immediately!

Lovecraft by Hartman

Lovecraft by Hartman


Why the fascination with all manner of things Lovecraftian in tone?

(Caleb): This one is hard to put in to words. I loved Lovecraft before I even knew who he was. The concept of extra dimensional cosmic horrors living in the same space as us but beyond our mortal sights intrigued me. Though I should mention the music is also very inspired by Bloodborne the video game which itself is heavily inspired from the works of Lovecraft.

(JC): I am an avid reader, and Lovecraft was among my favorites, so when Caleb presented the theme, I was excited to have an excuse to re-re-re-read a lot of Lovecraft’s writing! I have to say that studying the video game, Bloodborne, has been fascinating too!

 How about your influences? Those of us who have laid ears upon your audio can attest to your music channeling influence from across a huge radius of extreme genres. Can you elaborate on your decision to adopt the ‘unconventional’ style which you have?

(Caleb): To be honest the most thought I put in to what style I wanted to make was basically “I want to make technical metal with breakdowns and Lovecraft”. Other than that, I listen to a wide range of music, and have never been one to learn other bands songs so I don’t have a singular underlying influence. My music taste leans heavily on the prog/experimental spectrum so I’m sure that’s where the quirkiness comes from.

(JC): My influences are a kaleidoscope. I listen to everything from Coltrane to Disgorge, etc. I like music that is challenging in terms of structure and play-ability, so as soon as I heard what Caleb was brewing up, I was 100% in!

Lovecraft The Great Old One

This is not an artists rendition of SLC. Or, is it?

 The obvious elephant in the room; your location. The area has quite the rap based on its founding and undeniable religious elements how is the ‘scene’ in Salt Lake (Utah)? Wouldn’t it just have been easier to don a shirt, tie and go door to door preaching the ‘good book’?

(Caleb): You’d be surprised actually. SLC has a great music scene that is ruined by the laws and religion of the land. People don’t go to bars so great bands in the area will go unheard, but I could find a “sub”-scene for every genre of metal from deathcore to doom. Where there’s oppression there’s also rebellion and Utah is rife with it.

(JC): I actually live in Boise, ID.

 What have you planned for the future, anything you might be able to tease? Where might you want to be in like say a years’ time?

 (Caleb): We don’t plan on waiting too long to release a 2nd two-track E.P. which is gonna’ have a surprise or two that we are sure people are gonna’ lose their shit over, and that’s planned for a mid-August release. As for a year or more? Man, who knows. The reception we’ve had has already exceeded our expectations considerably, all I can say is we won’t stop releasing music.

(JC): Wherever we organically end up in a year is exactly where I’d like to be! Just as long as we’re making music, I’m happy!

Lovecraft The Deep Ones

“We’re gonna need a bigger boat”


 If you had the chance to set up an ideal tour or collaborating artist(s) who would you include and why?

 (Caleb): A sick tour which won’t ever happen unfortunately would be Rings of Saturn, Infant Annihilator, Berried Alive (sp?), and us. For maybe obvious reasons, but these bands were a clear inspiration for the project.

(JC): What Caleb said.

Let’s try a Quickfire round:

Favorite Black metal Album?

(Caleb): Enslaved – RIITIIR

(JC): Naglfar- Harvest

Naglfar- Harvest

Thrash Album?

(Caleb): Rust in Peace (Megadeth)

(JC): Seasons in the Abyss (Slayer)

Death Album?

(Caleb): The Sound of Perseverance (Death. Perhaps I should have phrased the question better? *Ed)

(JC): Anomalous – Cognitive Dissonance



Because no article is complete without the inclusion of the wise ‘old green one’

(Caleb): Star Wars in general

(JC): There are too many movies in my

favorites list to say definitively, but 2001 A Space Odyssey, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Into the Wild are definite standouts for me


(Caleb): Does my complete works of Lovecraft count?

(JC): Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted, Palahniuk’s Rant, and Jeffery Lowenfel’s “Teaming With” series (yes, I’m a nerd).

Happy! Comic

Need it deserve mention that the series kicks ass too

Comic book?

(Caleb): I could talk your ears off all night about my favorite comics so best not get me started (ha-ha). Though it’s the cosmic stuff that I read more than anything.

(JC): Happy! By Grant Morrison (Author) and Darick Robertson.



(Caleb): I can’t say I’ve got an answer for this one. If I insult someone it usually has something to do with the context of the conversation.

(JC): I don’t have a favorite. It’s definitely an “in the moment” type of thing for me.

That’s about it, I’ve tried to keep this as painless an experience as able, what better way to finish an interview than by” handing over the mic”. The floor is all yours; Is there anything you wish to add; anyone you’d like to thank or anything you’d like to promote?

(Caleb): Words cannot express the level of gratitude we have for anyone who listens to our music. It is truly surreal and humbling to say the least.

Love craft indeed


(JC): I’d like to reiterate what Caleb said already, words aren’t capable of scratching the itch that is my desire to shower our listeners with gratitude! I’d like to thank Caleb as well. He’s an open-minded guy who writes amazing music that I get to place obnoxious noises and words on, and for that I am grateful! I’d also like to throw out a quick “Thank You!!!!” to my wife, too! She’s very supportive of our project and allows me the time and space to write/record/promote any time I need to!

Thanks again for your time guys. All the best for the future, I’m excited for where it might lead.

The Eldritch Truth (audio and assorted goodies) can be found on many social media platforms including twitter @EldritchTruth

on Spotify –

Bandcamp –

And YouTube


Hopefully my adoration of Lovecraft themed art wasn’t too obvious.



A few Words with Hellripper  and a listen to the newest EP
Hellripper – Black Arts and Alchemy
Release – April/5/2019
Reaper Metal Productions

black arts n alchemy

With cover art depicting a scene from another dimension in which unfathomable arcane beasts are surrounding a priest of sorts deep in study this promises a certain diabolical nature, or so one would think.

Well, another familiar with Hellripper might have somewhat of an understanding as to what to expect, be it either from their experiences with ‘Coagulating Darkness’, the various EP’S or the recent collected Split works. In essence Hellripper, in actually one guy, James McBain one ultra-talented individual indeed, does not fuck around!

(the recent collected split works via Reaper Metal Productions)

‘Black Arts and Alchemy’ is the result of several years conjuration and recording. Commencing with an anthem of sorts ‘All Hail the Goat’ (which could well be the track Hellripper opens with from this moment on such is the energy it exudes) the album is off to a thunderous start. At this point if one does not know who (hypothetically), or what, the ‘Goat’ is, or represents, a little research is in order.

whiplash power and pain

This is not a picture of a goat you might have been expecting

‘Decrepit Christ’ is next up and puts me in mind of Whiplash, especially the legendary ‘Power and Pain’ release. Be it either through the lyrics …”nailed to the cross.” or the blackened speed feel with a dash of punk which has the effect of an abrupt surge of adrenaline to my form.

The albums highlight, however, appears in the form of the title track. A lithe playful, mischievous, sprite riffing attack complete with a splash of blackened atmosphere, a dash of folk rhythm and James’ rasping vocal assault. All in all, utter brilliance which is sure to leave a craterous indentation in the scene.

This woefully short EP concludes with ‘Headless Angels’ a rip-roaring audio assault which showcases the Hellripper catalog of influence. Imagine if you will Bathory, Motorhead, Venom and vintage Metallica (‘Kill-em’ All’ era) waking from a month-long drinking, drug-fueled debauchery binge (complete with a NWOBHM soundtrack) only to find out they had an offspring. Hellripper is likely the result of such without all of the ill-gotten side effects one could well imagine. And to think this is merely an appetizer for things to come.

hellripper scotland

   All Hail the Goat!!


The Interview Bit

Cult – So how does it feel, finally getting some recognition for all of your hard work, the blood, sweat and hours behind the board and instruments (I honestly think it’s been long overdue).


James/Hellripper – First of all, thank you for that, I really appreciate it! Hellripper has had more recognition than I ever imagined so anything more than the initial 10 people I thought would maybe enjoy it is a bonus to me haha!

But it is really nice to see that people like the music, it’s something I would be doing anyway regardless of if people enjoyed it or not so I don’t expect any sort of praise or recognition for doing this, but it does mean a lot to me that people like the music enough to support me in some way, whether it be purchasing the music or a piece of merch or just sharing it around to their friends!

(prepare to fall down the Hellripper ‘rabbithole’)

coagulating darkness

Inbetween “Coagulating Darkness”, and all the various Splits (collected kindly by Reaper in one handy dandy collection) have there been any difficulties or unforeseen circumstances which might have resulted in a deviation from your overall goal?

Not at all, the process is still exactly the same! It’s all done in my bedroom at home by myself and nothing has really interfered with it.


In the very near future I see you have a special tour lined up. Can you tell us about it?


Yeah! From April 8th until April 19th we will be heading off on our first “proper” tour. We will be playing a few shows in Germany, Netherlands, France and England. We got the opportunity to play some really cool shows as part of it such as Roadburn Ignition, Taunus Metal Festival and a support slot with Midnight.

As far as a first tour goes, I couldn’t really ask for much more and I’m looking forward to playing some new places as well as meeting a bunch of new people!


What does it feel like to finally be able to play with an act which many tout as being your ‘mentor’.

I wouldn’t say Midnight are “mentors” as I’ve never met or talked to them, but they are a big influence on me and one of my favorite bands so it’s definitely exciting to have been given the opportunity to play with them!

(Midnight Bandcamp)

Does a live setting affect the overall ‘Hellripper experience’, seems as you are solely responsible for all of the bands output, and obviously require more hands to recreate the overall aural assault on stage.

complete and total Fkn

Does the title hint at the atmosphere at a show?

I think the experience is different in some way for every band when comparing them live to on-record. We still try to give the same vibe that you get on the studio recordings, so fast, fun and full of energy but I’m perhaps biased when judging that haha. You would be best to ask someone that has seen us live and ask them to compare it with the records.

But the guys I have in the live band are all great musicians and more than capable of playing the material so there’s no worries in that respect.


Where might one be able to catch you on the road in the near future?

We’ll be playing a few shows throughout April in Germany, Netherlands, France and England and after that we currently have 2 shows booked for later in the year (Bloodshed Fest in the Netherlands in September, and Byker Grave Fest in Newcastle, England in November).

hellriper tour 19

That’s all that we currently have booked but we are always looking to play more, so you can keep up with any new additions etc. on our official website, or Facebook page!

(It would be remiss of me not to include links)

How pleased are you with the latest EP.?

Did you have any specific direction you wished it to take as you were creating it?

I’m very pleased with the latest EP and think it contains some of my best work to date. I think the production and sound of the tracks is “fuller” and overall the EP has a heavier sound than my previous material.

I didn’t have a specific direction in mind when writing the EP but I think it ended up sounding more punk-influenced than ‘Coagulating Darkness’. I was listening to a lot more of bands like Zeke, Anti-Cimex, Toxic Holocaust, Wolfbrigade etc. so I guess that kind of crept into my mind during the creation process.

skadvaldur artist

Only one variation of the outstanding work on offer across a myriad of extreme metal genres

I’ve always been intrigued by the gritty, grotesque and vivid somewhat old school Black and White artwork that accompanies each of the Hellripper releases. Satisfy my curiosity please. Who’s responsible?

Most of my art is done by Skadvaldur! A great artist from Iceland.

(his work can be found, and he can be contacted on Facebook @skadvaldur)


What can fans expect in the future.

Can you hint at any collaborative efforts, studio efforts or anything with the James McBain stamped seal of approval which you are especially excited about?

lord rot

If you like Death metal you need to discover Lord Rot. nuff said!

The two things I am working on at the moment that I am excited to release are the next Hellripper album which is halfway written as of this moment, and the debut full-length from my death metal project – Lord Rot. I’ve been planning the Lord Rot album for way too long now but I keep getting distracted haha. I think both of those will be released in 2020.

(Lord Rot Bandcamp)

I always have something on the go, and right now I have over 20 folders full of ideas and songs for potential new projects haha. Not all of them will come to fruition, but I do hope to release something from a new project or two by the end of this year.

Slightly off topic. What does James do on his ‘off’ time? Could one find him gardening, playing Polo or perhaps winding down with the newest Agatha Christie tome? I’m intrigued, as to I’d bet is a large portion of your fanbase.

I’m not very interesting I’m afraid haha. I will be listening to music, watching TV, watching football (soccer) or playing guitar. Usually on my ‘off time’, I will be writing new music as that’s what I enjoy the most.

hellripper (1)

James enjoying an impromptu  game of ‘hide and seek’.

My thanks for James for being so patient for me and allowing me to pick his brain so close to the bands first, overdue, tour. Perhaps now Scotland will conjure more than merely images of English oppression, tattooed Celtic warriors running at the enemy brandishing naught but their body paint, dishes comprised of the innards of mammals better known for their you-will-one-day-be-a-sweater coats and an array of criss-crossed patterned kilts. Speed Metal is most certainly now a part of what one should be thinking when they think of Scotland thanks to the genius creative of James McBain.