Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Interview with GRÁ (SWE)

Tonight we bring you a interview with GRÁ. For those who don't know, GRÁ was started in 2010 by Heljarmadr, the current singer of Dark Funeral.
They just released a new album on the 27th of April, called Väsen, through Carnal Records. Let's read!






What is the idea behind the band? What are the main themes in your music? 


The idea behind the band is to create great music of course! As Grá is a black metal band the themes revolve around death, chaos and evil. Throw in a fistful of aggression and Scandinavian philosophy and mythology and you're pretty close to the essensce of Grá.


How important are the themes or concepts?  


For me personally the thoughts behind the lyrics are as important as the music itself. I do enjoy my fair share of brain dead music but I don't want to create it myself. I'm a perfectionist so I can't just let things go if they aren't up to my standards.


How have the themes or concepts changed since the inception of the project?


It has and it hasn't changed. It's all about what's in my head. The previous releases were (as our long time fans all know) bound to the concept of Death. With the new album "Väsen" the gate is open and the frame is wider but at the end of the day it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks and the grass isn't always greener on the other side. It's hard to be the judge myself of course and when I look at the first album for example I do see a quite big difference. Get the album and judge for yourself!

Is variation important?

Variation is very important I'd say. Although I don't think it's too wise to walk too far astray at once but step by step. Now people are scared that we are heading towards some kind of weirdness with Grá but that's not the case. The variation comes with evolution and Grá will always be Grá!


What is the idea behind the new release? How would you compare to earlier releases?


The idea is to release the best possible album that we can be proud of for the rest of our lives, like with our previous ones.
I'd say the new album is a bit more technical at times and very intense. The atmosphere is there as always but with more aggression. It's a bit more compact.


How did the project arise?


I don't really understand what you mean with "project" but assuming you mean the band itself we started it in 2010 as a surprisingly successful spin-off from the band Cursed 13.






What does the songwriting process involve?

Blood, sweat, hate and strong, black coffee.


How is this band different to other projects and what are the similarities if any?


I don't know what to respond to that. I'm me and I do music. Listen and compare for yourself.


Do you think you have accomplished your goals of the project so far?


In a way we have. We release albums that we are proud of, we are touring now and then, we do whatever we want. Our initial goal with Grá was to jam and to just create and I think we have gone way beyond that long ago.


How long did it take to get to this point and how does it represent what the band is about?


I think I just answered that question too with my previous reply. We are doing Grá with a passion and we get to do it over and over again.


What music or bands are you inspired by and how do they influence your musical output?


I used to be able to do some name-dropping in the past but now it's harder. I listen to a big variety of music and it's hard to tell what's inspiring and what's just recreational listening. Yesterday I was listening to the Manes album "Be All End All" which I find very good.


How would you describe your style of music?


Swedish Black Metal.






What is it about the style/genre of music you play that drives you to create it?

The darkness obviously. I've always been drawn to the dark and extreme.


What are your plans after the release of the album? Tours etc.


Yeah we will start booking and hopefully get out on the road as soon as possible. We start with Eradication Festival in Wales now in May. Then we have a gig in Gothenburg on the 1st of June. More to come!


How important is it for you to gain a more varied international audience?


As we enjoy performing live I think it's great to be able to also travel around with the band and see many different places.


What if any would you say are the differences or similarities of your audience from different countries?


For Grá I think they're pretty much the same everywhere, dedicated and focused.


What are the future plans for the band? Long term and short term.


Short term to promote the new album, long term to be out on the road as much as we possibly can.


Anything you would like to say to your current or potential future audience?


Thanks all for your support! See you on the road!

/Heljarmadr on behalf of Grá



Read more about GRÁ here:

https://www.facebook.com/graofficial
http://www.grahorde.com/

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Review of Carpathian Forest new EP "LIKEIM"



So yeah, good news, Carpathian Forest are working on their upcoming album, after so many years without bringing us any new music.
This is very much anticipated, obviously, and in the meanwhile we can already hear the EP LIKEIM that just came out on the 13th of April.
The EP has two tracks. One is a cover of Turbonegro's All My Friends Are Dead.
And it is amazing. Very catchy and punkish, so good really. It is very much the style of Carpathian Forest, so no disappointments here.
Really good cover.
As for the second track, it is Likeim, the first single of the upcoming album. It is a very Black n Roll song with some horror touch. Very good as well. Has the very obvious style of the band as well, meaning this EP is a good appetiser. Let's all wait anxiously for the next album.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Interview with Ctulu (GER)

Today we bring you the interview with Ctulu, Black Metal band from Germany.
For the ones who don't know, Ctulu have been around for quite some time and had released two demos and four albums.
In October 2017 they released a EP called Cultus in Tenebris.
Lachryma Christi had the pleasure of interviewing them, as below.



How did the project arise and what were the original goals of Ctulu? Do you feel you have achieved what you set out to do?

The original goal was to set up a studio project, back in 2004. So in retrospective, I’d say we’ve achieved a lot more than this goal.

How would you describe your style of music and what overall message or themes you drive towards in your lyrics?

There’s a great underground festival near our hometown. It’s called Meltdown Open Air. They described Ctulu as a bastard of blunt death metal and sophisticated black metal. I guess that’s a good description and at the same time, it says a lot about both genres. Our lyrics are almost always somewhat Lovecraft-inspired.

What music or bands are you inspired by and how do they influence your musical output?

I take inspiration literally from anywhere. A word here, a certain mood there, an image, a scent – all that might already be enough to start something like a stream of inspiration.

How would you describe your E.P, Cultus in Tenebris? How does it differ or compare to previous releases or what is it that you feel more encapsulates the full vision of what the band has been driving towards?

The EP is almost something like a concept album about the Necronomicon. It’s an attempt to show our vision of what Necronomicon rituals should sound like. It’s an homage to the old Babylonian gods.



What is it about the style/genre of music you play that drives you to create it?

With Ctulu, it’s the sheer aggression and tempo of I.D.’s drumming that drives me a lot. We’ve been slowly increasing the tempo of our tracks since maybe 2014 and he has a very unique and extremely loud way of playing blast beats. Besides of that, I feel like black metal has become the metal genre that offers the most if it comes to exploring new sounds. It has been broadened a lot by outfits like Cultes des Ghoules or Urfaust for example. Ever since black metal stopped to stick to the narrow ways it was played like in the 90’s, it evolves into a lot of directions. Try to be original with death or thrash metal. It will be a whole lot harder than with black metal. It’s like a rebellion inside a rebellion because everything that makes today’s black metal interesting is an affront against how it used to be in the beginning. There’s constantly questions like “How far can we go, how much can we change, where does it stop being black metal?” It’s dynamic. This is what makes it so interesting to follow and to see what others do. I used to have a thrash project for a short time and I was astounded by how little possibilities it offers to step away from its 80’s roots. I didn’t even want to leave these roots myself because every other kind of thrash metal that is not musically AND lyrically-wise like Slayer is nonsense to me. Don’t ask me why.But let’s return to black metal. Satyricon changed the world in 1996 by using high res coloured cover artworks and sleeve photography. They made a video clip. The stopped being “true”. Nergal nowadays tries to combine black metal with his vision of new aesthetics. Yoga. Fashion. Is this true? I guess not. Does it have to be? No. But it sure as hell is creating tension and it’s interesting to see how “the scene” reacts. It’s definitely something new.

How important is it for you to gain a more varied international audience?

From the very beginning, when I still used to do Ctulu’s booking, it was important to me to play abroad. I want to expand and I want to see the world.

What if any would you say are the differences or similarities of your audience from different countries? Do you have any favourite places to play for example?

South Eastern and Eastern Europe are very special places that we will never forget. The hospitality there is something nearly unimaginable for Germans.

What are the future plans for the band? Long term and short term.

We have started writing new tracks already and I’m looking forward to finally play in (on?) Malta the day after tomorrow.

Anything you would like to say to your current or potential future fans?

I don’t like the word “fan”, so I’ll end this by just thanking you for your time.


Read more about Ctulu in www.ctulu.de
Ctulu are:
M, guitars, vocals
A, guitars, bass, vocals
I.D., drums

Monday, March 19, 2018

Review to Sojourner album "The Shadowed Road"



On the 15th of March, Sojourner released their new album The Shadowed Road through Avantgarde Music.
Labeled as Atmospheric Black Metal, this album has varied components in its songs, which makes us label it slightly different.
The music sounds pretty Black Metalish, but more Melodic than properly Atmospheric.
Besides not being extraordinarily different, it brings female voices back, which is something that isn't very common on this type of music anymore.
It is definitely very pleasant to your ears, but if you are expecting proper traditional Black Metal influences, you won't find any. You will find proper professionally played melodies, including instruments like piano or flute.
It is powerful, enchanting, full of sounds that can take you to a journey into a fairy tale forest. Very delicate at the same time. With a subtle epicness  you don't find very often nowadays. The cover is just perfect for the music this record holds.
If you're looking for something more magical and less brutal this is the right record for you. If not, can always give a chance to it as it might surprise you anyway.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Review to Soul Dissolution new album "Stardust"



For those who don't know, Soul Dissolution is an Atmospheric Black Metal duo from Belgium.
Their album Stardust is coming out on the 25th of March through Black Lion Records.
This was a very good surprise, to be honest. One word that comes to mind is cohesive. Although there are a lot more words coming, making it difficult to make a solid description.
Stardust is a wonderful record. Very melodic and very catchy.
There's an amazing dragged and strong voice, which emphasizes what needs to be emphasized and on the most appropriate time and way.
Fortunately, it isn't only the voice that does an amazing job. You can tell they know how to work together and how to make magic with their talent. Very together, very professional.
Some tracks are a bit more heavy and less melodic, but certainly always very musical. There's nothing to complain about. Not repetitive, nothing out of tune, is just all simply great.
This is the kind of record that offers different situations for varied expectations. From melancholy to power, with a touch of urgent despair. Also stays in your head for hours. So much energy there, it's even hard to believe. A record you must listen.

Review to Kosmogyr new album "Eviternity"

On the 9th of March, Kosmogyr released their debut album called Eviternity.
Sadly, Lachryma Christi was too busy and it wasn't possible to post this review before the album came out. In any case, here is our opinion and we hope it helps whoever wants to know this band.
Kosmogyr are a duo, split between Prague and Shanghai and we had the chance to interview them here: https://lachrymachristizine.blogspot.pt/2018/02/interview-with-kosmogyr-pragueshanghai.html


As for the release, Eviternity, it has 9 tracks of pure emotion.
The intro is all instrumental, with a very melancholic and even sad melody. It makes you think of everything. All those things you want to think about but also all the negative aspects of your life you'd rather ignore they exist. That's how emotional it is.
When you get to the most introspective mood possible, a very fast and full of rage proper Black Metal tune comes in. Without warning. And it is so good.
The album keeps the same register all along, mixing some very angry music with vocals that suit each song with perfection.
There is still space for some more melancholy though.
The track Quiescent is extraordinary. Not necessarily better that the others, but very emotional and powerful.
In general, the idea you get is that these guys have been working together for a long time and perfecting it, and very well, until they got to this stage. Although this is only their debut album, this is the impression you get.
Eviternity is also full of goodness.
Refulgence is a sweet song, instrumental, that gives a bit of a break from the heaviness of the album, but which makes you keep the same state of mind as before and as after.
When you think it can't get better, it can. It does.
In fact, there isn't much of a novelty in this album, compared to what has been made, but that isn't absolutely necessary when it is good music, and this release is definitely very good.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Interview with Ricardo S. Amorim, author of Moonspell biography "Lobos que foram homens"

Today Lachryma Christi had the pleasure of interviewing Ricardo S. Amorim. Some of you might be familiar with his work, if you follow metal magazines such as LOUD!. Ricardo has been working on the metal journalism for a while, interviewing big big bands, and he just released his first book, the biography of Moonspell "Lobos que foram homens" (Wolves that were men). 


Where does the title "Wolves that were men" (Lobos que foram homens) come from?

It comes from the lyrics of «Full Moon Madness», which is kind of an anthem for Moonspell. It can be immediately recognized by Moonspell fans and it’s also a title that gives an insight into the more personal side of the book. It’s not just a rock biography, it’s a very personal book in which the band members go through a process of self-reflection by looking at their past. Not sure if the English edition will have that exact same name, though.

What aspects of the band are covered in the book? What timelines did you cover? 

The whole history of Moonspell is covered in the book, from their origins to the release show of «1755», their latest album. It has all the musical and career highlights and low points and all the previous band members were interviewed and give their own insight regarding what happened.

How did you decide to convey the information in the book? What writing style did you use?

Kind of hard of answering this one because I feel like I needed to find my own style. I write for magazines for some years now but I never wrote a book, needing to tell a long story and still keeping it interesting. I studied some books of New Journalism, by the likes of authors like Tom Wolfe, Truman Capote and Hunter S.Thompson. The interviews I did were pieces of a big puzzle that then I had to assemble into a coherent story.

Why did you decide to write the book? Why were you chosen?

Fernando Ribeiro, the singer, invited me to write their biography in a very spontaneous way. It’s told in the first chapter of the book, so I wont spoil this one right here.

How long were you a fan of Moonspell before writing this book?

I became familiar with Moonspell around 94/95.

What did the research for the book entail?

Most of the research was done first hand. Of course I’ve read hundreds of interviews but I wanted to talk directly with everyone involved. Sitting besides someone, looking them in the eyes while talking in an open and honest way is the best research one can do.

How closely did you work with the band during the process?

As close as possible. I had full access to them, either on the studio, at shows, backstage, even in their own houses with their families. We became really good and close friends, and that’s definitely the best I can take from this whole experience.

How much input did the band have in writing the book?

None whatsoever, except for the posface that Fernando wrote. All the writing was done by me, with no interference from the band, publisher or anyone else.




How long did the research process take? And from there how long did it take to put it together and write?

The whole project took a year’s work. I started in November 2016 and finished November 2017. The writing was done while researching for a certain period, and both research and the writing were being done almost simultaneously.

Were you very familiar with the band prior to writing or did you find out things whilst writing that you hadn't known before?

We weren’t exactly close friends, as we are now, but I had some familiarity with them and their career. Nevertheless, there are several things that nor I or anyone else outside their closest circle did know. These are the most intimate things about the book, their personal relationships and their trials and tribulations.

How did you become interested in music journalism?

Almost for as long as I became interested in music, actually. I became obsessed with music at an early age and wanted to know everything about the bands that I loved.

How did you start doing it?

I started with fanzines and underground publications, then I became involved with metal magazines. I’ve been doing this since 2001, although it’s not my only profession since I like having some luxuries, such as eating or having a roof above my head.

How long have you wanted to write a book? What was the most challenging part?

For a really long time. I guess that anyone that likes to read and write kind of has that secret desire. The main challenge was the research, because you really need to impose yourself a limit, or else the research is endless. And this is a book that needed a certain flow and rhythm, it shouldn’t be an academic paper, so you have to put yourself in the place of the reader.


What are the differences between writing about a subject for an article or a book?

Not only the research process was a lot more thorough but, as time went by, I became closer to the band and started questioning my own objectivity. There were a couple of weeks that I had to put the whole thing on hold and get back to it with a new look and refreshed mind.


Is it best to be interested in a subject before you start writing or can you become interested during the research?

Absolutely, but I’m lucky enough to (mainly) only write about things I like or respect. But both things happen and a lot of good surprises might come your way when you approach things with an open mind.

Do you have any subjects or people you would like to write with or about in the future?

I don’t have any immediate plans for now besides the English translation of this book. It’s not being done by me, and although I have great trust in my translator, I feel it’s important to be involved in the process as much as possible.

Are you influenced by any other writers or Journalists? If so, who?

Absolutely. One of my favorite authors of all time is Hunter S. Thompson, to whom I pay tribute in this book, as well as Charles Bukowski. Lester Bangs, Nick Kent, Mick Wall, Neil Strauss and Jay Bennett are journalists I really look up to, was well as authors like Truman Capote, Stephen King or Philip K. Dick.




Lachryma Christi would like to add that the Portuguese version of the book is out already, since the 2nd of March, and you may find it here:



http://www.saidadeemergencia.com/produto/lobos-que-foram-homens/