Friday, May 24, 2024

INTERVIEW TOMBTHROAT

"This omnipresent arrogance is the reason for all the shit that happens in this world."

Here is an old interview with the death metal band Tombthroat from Ludwigshafen am Rhein in Rhineland-Palatinate. The band was founded in 1996, it took them four albums, two EPs and the obligatory demo at the beginning and disbanded after almost two decades in 2015. Back then I organized a concert with the band in my hometown of Brühl (Rhineland), shortly after which this interview took place in the summer of 2007. Band founder Björn, who I'm sure some people know from his band Maladie (look for an interview in German here) and who recorded a really great, recommendable death / grind album with (ex-) members of Misery Index and Dying Fetus under the name God Enslavement in 2016, talked about the then newly released album "Blood red history", live gigs, the tour with Vital Remains and also about somewhat different topics such as his beard. In 2012, the band released what I consider to be thier best work, the truly exceptional album "Eden apoacalypse". Now reading the interview,  it's also interesting how time flies, 17 years later, many of the bands mentioned, such as Necrophagist, Veneral Disease and Lifthrasil have since passed away.  But read for yourself what Björn had to say back then...

Saturday, May 4, 2024

INTERVIEW MORTEM

"Perhaps it's in our blood!"

Here you can read an interview with the Peruvian underground institution Mortem, who have been haunting the underground since the distant year 1986. Read here what founding member, drummer and vocalist Alvaro Amduscias has to say about the band's beginnings, influences, goals, upcoming gigs and a new Mortem album.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

REVIEW PENTAGRAM (CHILE) "ETERNAL LIFE OF MADNESS"

The announcement of a new album by Pentagram Chile, the band around the charismatic cosmopolitan Anton Reisenegger, who should also be known from bands like Criminal, Lock Up or Brujeria, came to me out of nowhere. This is only the second album by the band, which was founded back in 1985 and has been on ice for a long time in the meantime, changing its name because of the namesake doomers from the USA around Bobby Liebling and forming the ominous triumvirate of Chilean death metal together with Atomic Aggressor and Sadism.

Just how influential the Chileans have been in the past can be seen from the fact that bands like Dismember have been seen wearing Perntagram shirts on promo photos or Napalm Death have covered “Demoniac Possession”, a track by the South Americans.

Friday, April 5, 2024

INTERVIEW MANDATORY

"When I personally think back to the last really great death metal records from Germany, whose songs I can always remember, I can only think of Morgoth's "Odium" and the debut album by Crack Up, which was released twelve years ago."

Here is an interview with German old school death metal outfit Mandatory, which I conducted in 2007. Bandleader and guitarist Sascha Beselt talks about the German death metal scene in an interesting way- from a music-historical point of view alone this interview is interesting. The new wave of German death metal bands - names such as Chapel of Disease, Lifeless, Slaughterday, Arroganz, Sulphur Aeon, Wound or Revel in Flesh, many of which were or are still based at the busy label F.D.A. Records - only started a few years later. The album "Adrift Beyond" announced here was finally released in 2010 via the renowned Spanish label Xtreem Music, and in 2012 the band released their previously unreleased debut album "Ripped from the tomb" from 2003. Nothing has happened on Mandatory's Facebook profile since 2015, so the band is probably no longer active, even if there was never an official break-up. 
Looking back, you might think that Mandatory should perhaps have stayed active with their old-school sound for a few more years in order to gain more attention in the course of the aforementioned revival of more traditional sounds. But be that as it may, enjoy this little trip back in time to an era when most bands were still on Myspace instead of Facebook.

Monday, March 25, 2024

INTERVIEW MACERATION

"I think it was just a different time back then. You ended up in a studio and the result was also somewhat coincidental."

Maceration from Denmark released their debut album in 1992. After many years in which the band went dormant, the extremely strong follow-up "It never ends" was released in 2022, exactly thirty years later. In September this year, a new album called "Serpent Devourment" will be released, once again via the energetic Danish death metal label Emanzipation Productions. A good reason to talk to founding member Jakob Schultz, who was also part of Invocators line-up on their legendary debut album "Excursion Demise". 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

REVIEW SORT VOKTER "FOLKLORIC NECRO METAL"

Sort Vokter, was a band that occupies a special place in the Norwegian black metal scene. Their only release "Folkloric Necro Metal" from 1996 is a special album, a very harsh but also atmospheric one, which exudes a mystical aura. Even the cover artwork, which depicts a forest in twilight, is a good first indication of this. In later re-releases, this was unfortunately replaced by a far less impressive image of an ordinary nocturnal forest landscape. It is important to mention here that Sort Vokter featured a certain Vidar Vaer, better known for his music in his one-man band Ildjarn, one of the most polarising black metal bands of all time, who were rejected or ridiculed by many for their extremely raw, low-fi nosy style, in which an extremely simple guitar accompanied a distorted screeching voice to partially programmed drums. For a few, however, Ildjarn were an important influence, which can be seen not least in the tribute album "Gathered under the banner of strength and anger: A homage to Ildjarn", released in 2004, on which such well-known and illustrious bands as Urfaust, Xasthur, Nachtmystium, Forgotten Tomb, Leviathan and several others express their admiration for Ildjarn in the form of cover versions. 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

INTERVIEW WARHAMMER

Here is an old interview with Warhammer that I dug up. I conducted it with singer Volker "Iron Lung" Frerich, who sadly passed away unexpectedly three years ago.  To be honest, I couldn't remember exactly when this interview took place, but Volker's mention of his age in particular makes it clear that it must have been in 2006. The upcoming album we are talking about here is "No Beast so fierce", which was released in 2009. I recently read on the internet that there is a previously unreleased album that the band was probably still working on up until the time of Volker's death. It would be very much to be hoped that this will one day see the light of day in some form or other. With this in mind, I dedicate this interview to the memory of Volker (15.02.1970-12-03-2021) -Rest in peace 

Saturday, March 16, 2024

INTERVIEW ATOMWINTER

"My theory includes that they probably couldn't listen to the other polished and overproduced bands anymore."

When you hear the name Atomwinter, you inevitably think of black metal, but under this name there are some metalheads from Lower Saxony, who play their own version of traditional death metal. This interview was conducted a few years ago, precisely in 2013 on the occasion of the release of the debut album "Atomic Death Metal". Since then, the band from Göttingen has released three more full-length albums, most recently last year.  At that time, the band was still a five-piece, as the debut album is the only one, in which the line up included two guitarists. It's also interesting to note that the line-up has remained the same in three of the today’s four positions since the interview, only the vocal position has changed since then, but twice. I spoke to guitarist Benni back then.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

REVIEW DEINONYCHUS "DEINONYCHUS"

Having already reviewed the absolutely outstanding and extraordinary debut album "The Silence of December" by Deinonychus (read here), I'm now taking a look at the self-titled fourth album from the year 2000, released by the long defunct Ars Metalli label. Even the simple but extremely effective cover artwork catches the eye; the band logo and album title are placed in the middle of a blurred white-grey-blue shadowy figure, the outlines could represent anything, it's up to the viewer's imagination. Only when the digipack is unfolded or the back cover is looked at does the entire picture become visible, the silhouette of a person working on a crane or similar in some kind of industrial plant becomes blurred and milky.

Friday, March 1, 2024

INTERVIEW MORTA SKULD

" 'Dying Remains' was a huge album for us and set the tone, lots of fans really enjoy this record and we are so blessed that it's still a great record and stands the rest of time."

After decades in US death metal, Morta Skuld from Milwaukee are a firm institution in the genre. Now they have delivered an absolute highlight with "Creation Undone", which can also be seen from the numerous enthusiastic reactions from the press and fans. A good reason to talk to the only remaining founding member Dave Gregor.

Monday, February 26, 2024

INTERVIEW DEAD HEAD

"Musicians pretending that they never listen to their own music. It’s a great way to come across as cool, interesting or nonchalant. But frankly I don’t believe them."

This interview with Rob, one of the two Dead Head guitarists, is really worth reading. Quite apart from the fact that Dead Head from the Netherlands are one of the greatest thrash metal bands on this planet and have once again recorded an extremely strong piece of extreme music with their new EP "Shadow Soul", the answers are captivating in their entertaining honesty, self-reflection and above all the fact that someone here simply emphasizes that he is pleased with what he and the band have achieved instead of lamenting what has not been achieved. A very healthy attitude to life that would probably make our planet a better place if everyone thought like this. But enough talk, read for yourself...

Sunday, February 18, 2024

INTERVIEW CHRONICLES

In the vastness of the internet I came across ChronicleS from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, who play absolutely great, dark and sinister death metal, as can be heard particularly well on their very strong, recently released debut album "Spirits of the Mortified". A good reason to talk to the band.

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Hello, please introduce ChronicleS to the readers of Systematic Desensitization Zine. Who are you, how did you find each other? According to Metal Archives, the band has existed since 2015, but it wasn't until 2019 that there was a first sign of musical life in the form of the "WarMachine" EP. Did this take a relatively long time because it was difficult to find suitable band members?

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

REVIEW SUFFERSYSTEM "DISINTEGRATION OF THE INDIVIDUAL"

Suffersystem from the beautiful half-timbered town of Hattingen in the Ruhr area will release their sixth album "Disintegration of the Individual" in mid-March, like its predecessor from 2021, once again via Black Blood Records. The two band members Dirk and Daniel, who are active in other bands such as Defected Decay (read a detailed interview in English here, in German here), False Mutation (who are also releasing a new album in March this year) and - relatively recently - Seeds of Torment, have added a new, fantastic chapter to the history of Suffersystem. The music on the ten tracks, which have a total playing time of 45 minutes, always moves between death and thrash metal, with a clear edge towards death metal.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

REVIEW SPECTRAL VOICE "SPARAGMOS"

Spectral Voice, the doom death band from Denver, Colorado, has now released their second album "Spragmos" via Dark Descent Records. Three quarters of the band's line-up also play in the much better-known Blood Incantation, who musically serve the opposite spectrum of death metal to Spectral Voice.The underground attitude is also clear from the fact that Spectral Voice doesn't yet have an official facebook presence, and other websites are also mercilessly out of date. So the music should speak for itself here, and the album booklet only shows vague outlines of the musicians, if at all. Very beneficial in the age of internet narcissism!

Monday, February 5, 2024

INTERVIEW UGRA KARMA

"Nepalese regard their mountains as sacred and have a high regard for everything the mountains provide: annual monsoons, fertile rivers and breathtaking beauty."

We in Europe, or more specifically here in Germany, are mostly confronted with bands from Northern or Central Europe, the USA or Australia, even Southern European bands are less on the radar, and South America is also less present. Now I am pleased to present Ugra Karma, a band from Nepal, based at the capital Kathmandu. Read for yourself what vocalist and bassist Sunil, who founded the band in 1999, has to say about death metal, the difficult early days of the band, mountaineering in the Himalayas, the caste system in Nepal and the serial killer Charles Sobhraj.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

INTERVIEW MASTER

The release of the strong new Master album "Saints Dispelled" provided a good opportunity to talk to Paul Speckmann about the new release as well as other topics.

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Hello Paul, how are you doing with the new record, is it a kind of relief when a work sees the light of day, people can buy it and you see the reactions? Or are you already totally experienced after all these years, so that it’s just routine? 

Sure it’s a relief when it’s finally released, considering the album was recorded nearly a year ago! Nothing is routine in the world of recording, it’s by far one of the best things in the world! We always have a blast recording! It’s killer to get your thoughts and ideas out on the market! It gives people a chance to read your thoughts on what’s happening in the crazy world around us at this moment. I use this platform to share my thoughts and ideas with the world, obviously not everyone is going to agree with all of them, but at least with a recording contract, it gives you a chance to put things out there!  

Monday, January 29, 2024

REVIEW MASTER "SAINTS DISPELLED"

Master have also honored us with a new album via Hmmerheart Records.The strong predecessor "Vincictive Miscreant" is already six years old, so it's high time for new Master material. Mr. Speckmann and his bandmates once again offer an insanely good mix of death and thrash metal, as only Master can. Even though Master's music is of course not innovative these days, which is not the band's aim at all, you can still recognize the band among legions of death metal bands, and that's pretty much the highest compliment you can pay an extreme metal band, which on a spontaneous consideration on my part only applies to a maximum of two dozen bands. 

Saturday, January 27, 2024

REVIEW DROWNED "PROCUL HIS"

Berlin-based Drowned, who have been up to mischief in the underground since 1992 but didn´t release their debut album "Idola Specus" until 2014 after a few great demos and a 7" single, have now released their second album "Procul His".  Like its predecessor, this happens via Sepulchral Voice Records. This label, known for sinister, extreme, authentic and primal underground metal, seems to fit perfect for the band. Drowned don't do anything special per se, but this they do in a perfect manner: they play ancient death metal that sometimes playfully changes tempo or repeats melodies longer than the average metal song.

Friday, December 29, 2023

REVIEW MESSIAH "CHOIR OF HORRORS"

Messiah's third album "Choir of Horrors" from 1991, released on the legendary Noise Records label, represented a quantum leap for the band after the two predecessors "Hymn to Abramelin" and "Extremely cold weather" and also can be considered as a milestone in extreme music in general. The album, which features a cover artwork that is as atmospheric as it is terrifying, starts with monk chants before the death/thrash sounds kick in. Singer Andy Kaina, who sadly passed away last year, impresses with aggressive yet accentuated and intelligible vocals, while the band varies well between different tempos, especially the dragged out parts work well.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

REVIEW DEINONYCHUS "THE SILENCE OF DECEMBER"

This is a truly impressive monster of an album, the likes of which are not unleashed on mankind every day. It's about the debut album "The silence of december" by Deinonychus from the Netherlands, released in the distant year 1995. I still remember a review of the album in some magazine in which the reviewer expressed his enthusiasm for these ominous sounds. By the way, if my memory does not deceive me, Behemoth's debut album "Sventevith-Storming near the baltic" was also reviewed in the same issue.

But this is supposed to be about Deinonychus, who were already playing a special role in the second wave of black metal, which was just exploding, as the majority of the acts at that time were increasingly oriented towards Norwegian black metal and were traveling in much faster realms or, under the impression of the success of Cradle of Filth's debut album "The principle of evil made flesh", began to move into more moderate soundscapes, whereby the peak of the sometimes unspeakably Gothic bombast "black metal" would not be reached until a few years later. 

Sunday, December 24, 2023

DIE BESTEN, OBSKURSTEN UND THRASHIGSTEN DEATH METAL-VIDEOS PART II

Nach Part I (lest HIER) nun Teil II der tollsten und obskursten Death Metal-Videoclips. Wie immer besteht weder ein Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit noch auf Objektivität, aber ich glaube, das versteht sich bei diesem Thema von selbst.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

DIE BESTEN, OBSKURSTEN UND THRASHIGSTEN DEATH METAL- VIDEOS PART I

Hier soll um es eine natürlich rein subjektive Auswahl der besten, obskursten, thrashigsten oder anderweitig besonders hervorstechenden Death Metal Clips gehen, alt oder neu. Höchstwahrscheinlich wird bei einigen von Euch die ein oder andere Erinnerung aufploppen oder auch so manche nostalgisch-melancholische Erinnerung wach werden, ganz nach dem Motto: "Als dieses Video bei VIVA Metalla kam, habe ich gerade Abi gemacht " /  "meine erste Freundin kennengelernt und geschwängert" bzw. wahlweise irgendetwas anderes einsetzen. Gerade die alten Videoclips lebten und leben auch heute noch von ihrem teils billigen, leicht dilettantischen Charme, heutzutage hat wahrscheinlich jeder 13-Jährige mit der neuesten App schneller professionellere Ergebnisse. Aber so war damals zu Beginn / Mitte der 90er eben der technische Stand der Dinge, zudem war Death Metal nie als Hochglanzprodukt gedacht. Heutzutage gibt es immer öfters die aus meiner Sicht oftmals vollkommen seelenlosen mit künstlicher Intelligenz erzeugten Clips, die einfach nur langweilen. Aber fangen wir nun an... 

Sunday, December 17, 2023

INTERVIEW ECOCIDE

"We always stayed in touch, supported each other's endeavors, and maintained a friendship which laid the foundation for the eventual reunion."

When I heard some time ago that the Dutch death metal outfit Ecocide had reunited, I was very pleased. Now, ten years after the already awesome debut album "Eye of wicked sight", the band has released a great second album with "Metamorphosis", which enriches the strengths of the debut with experience and the resulting focus. Read for yourself what the band has to say about the break and the new album.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2023

INTERVIEW FROSTSHOCK

"It was the best first year a band could wish for."

The newcomers from Frostshock are currently stirring up the underground with their self-titled debut album (read the review HERE). A good reason to find out more about the band's background and their excellent, explosive death/thrash mixture. The bandmembers, who likeable don't take themselves so deadly serious, are delighted and grateful for the recognition they are currently receiving. But read for yourself.
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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

INTERVIEW DEPRESSION

"I'm sure that if we should ever call it quits, the friendship will remain."

Some time ago, I rediscovered the Depression albums in my personal collection and listened to them again very intensively up and down. If that's not a good reason to take a closer look at this German veterans of the scene, which have been playing great, goovy death/grind since 1989. This year also saw a split release with Swedish death metallers Repuked on vinyl and CD.  I spoke with band founder, drummer and guitarist Kai and vocalist Ron. 

Saturday, December 2, 2023

REVIEW FROSTSHOCK "FROSTSHOCK"

Rare are the moments when you are so unexpectedly overwhelmed by a piece of art, especially if you have never heard the artist's name before. In this case, the artist is a relatively new band from Germany, more precisely from Haltern am See in North Rhine-Westphalia, and goes by the name of Frostshock.   

Frostshock have been around since 2020 and have released an insanely strong album with their self-titled debut. They were able to prove their live qualities together with bands like Sodom at this year's Turock-Fest in Bochum. Fortunately, a friend of mine was among the visitors, so I heard about Frostshock by word of mouth, because the four musicians don't have a label behind them that could do any major advertising, the album is completely self-released. Given the outstanding quality of the music, pretty much any label from the heavier genre should have been able to get involved, but perhaps it was a conscious decision to do everything themselves, more on that in the upcoming interview with the band. 

Friday, November 24, 2023

INTERVIEW ASCHENVATER

"This music simply needs a voice that sounds like death itself and can convey all the horror that is dealt within the lyrics."

More or less by chance I came across Aschenvater from Saxony, Germany, who create great, primal death metal that should make fans of bands like Asphyx and Hail of Bullets extremely happy! I talked to singer Oliver and guitarist Marko about the not too long band history, the great EP "Landungsfeldmassaker", German lyrics, Martin van Drunen, Bolt Thrower and the influence of the Warhammer universe.  

Friday, July 14, 2023

INTERVIEW MIGHTIEST

"Especially the pre-concert evening we planned in a Freiburg brewery was a sensational meeting. A bunch of middle-aged men babbled about the bad old days over a few beers....genius!"
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Mightiest from Freiburg in the legendary Black Forest was founded in 1994 and I always liked the melodic-symphonic aspect of the band, which never became cheesy, which was often the case with many bands in the past. That is a kind of unique selling point, to play melodic-symphonic black metal, which is still rough, hard and unpolished. I can think of Emperor, with whom the band was often compared in the reviews of "Recreation of the shadowlands". Of course in the early interviews Burzum, Darkthrone and Mayhem were mentioned as influences, the early Dimmu Borgir with "For all Tid" or "Stormblast" certainly didn't pass the band without leaving traces, I think.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

REVIEW SICKENING GORE "DESTRUCTIVE REALITY"

This time I would like to present you the only album of the Swiss death metal band Sickening Gore. This band from Zurich, which previously went by the name Reactor, released "Destructive Reality" on Massacre Records in 1993, only to disband a short time later. I still remember a review of a concert in a big German metal magazine, the band played in Zurich as support of Carcass. A review in the then issue of Metal Hammer compared the band stylistically to Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse. This is quite accurate, even if the world class of the compositions of Morbid Angel could not be reached, but which band can claim this? Nevertheless, the band varied on their only album skillfully between high-speed bludgeoning, grindcore influences and dragged parts. 

Friday, May 26, 2023

REVIEW ANGUANA "SUMAN"

Anguana is a band that exists since 2017 and was unknown to me until now. They come from Marostica, a town in the Veneto region. Marostica is famous for the live chess game (with actors in "medieval" costumes), which for several decades has been held every two years in the town's piazza surrounded by arcades. It commemorates a legendary game, allegedly played in 1454, for the hand of the castle lord's daughter. The band name, Anguana, is the designation for the water nymphs that appear in the northeast Italian mythology.