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:

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:

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Interview with Steve Fabry from The Nightstalker and Sercati (Belgium)

This time Lachryma Christi would like to present you a interview with Steve Fabry. He is the bass player and singer of the band Sercati and the only man behind The Nightstalker.
The Nightstalker is a Atmospheric Dark Metal band which released the fourth album in January 2017 A Journey in Hell under Wolfshade records.
Fabry wrote a book on the story.

As for Sercati, they play Black Metal with progressive and ambient influences. They released their third record, an EP called In the Shadows and Sidewalks in May 2015 under Wormhole Death.

The two bands share the same concept about the adventures of an angel descended from heaven to help humanity. As Lucifer learns that, he will send troops to destroy and annihilate.

Let's see what Fabry has to say. 
And a review should come up very shortly too. 

Sercati and The Nightstalker share a running concept. What is the background of this and how are the two projects linked?

The two musical projects share the story of a character. The Nightstalker. A fallen angel who's decided to help Mankind against his evil brother Lucifer.
The two projects keep the Nightstalker at the center of the lyrics but take two different paths with the music and the way to speak about him.

Sercati focuses on the main story, The Nightstalker is more personal, more on the characters. 

How did the project arise and what were the original goals of the project? 

It did begin with Sercati. When we wrote the lyrics for the first album, I really wanted to have a story to link the songs of the album. For this I created the Nightstalker.
After recording the album of Sercati, Yannick told me to write the lyrcis but like a story throught the eyes of the main character. I really like to do it.
I've written a second story and a third until having enough different short novels to make a book. 

Sercati was really good but I needed to go deeper in the mind of the character so I created with Yannick's help a side project called The Nightstalker.
It was very nice to take his point of view and spend more time on some parts of the story.

I think the two projects are really perfect to complete each other.

How did the idea of doing the concept come about?

It was just when I saw a movie. My favorite movie is The Dark Knight. When I saw it for the first time, all the beginning of the story of the Nightstalker came in my mind.
I watch this movie four times a year to keep the original feeling in my head.

How has the concept progressed with the two projects and how far to go with it do you have planned for the future?

The concept becomes more and more complex with all the projects. Not only with the two musical projects but with all the ideas of each member. The universe created this way belongs to everybody not only to me.
I hope it will go on this way with new members in the future. Each conversation or each idea is a piece of this universe.

I really like the feeling that everybody has a influence on it.

For example, I didn't imagine making a movie like a found footage. It's just in a conversation that the idea comes in our mind. There is a lot of possibility, just to find the right person.
Actually we try some new stuff like a comic book and a video game. We hope to finish them. We would like to start another movie too but we don't know how to start it for now.
And finally the book takes a big place in the universe, i'm actually working on the second part and the third. 

How would you describe your style of music and how does it fit in with the themes?

For Sercati, it's black metal style with a lot of influences like pagan and other stuff. It's the right style to tell the main story with action. Something strong and really rythmic.

For The Nightstalker, it's sounds like ambient black metal because it's about inner feelings of the main character. Something really personnal.

What music or bands are you inspired by and how do they influence your musical output?
Without hesitation, Satanic Warmaster. I really like the songs and the work on the music (the different versions of Wolves of Blood and Iron are just amazing)
Agalloch too. It's a part of the music with Alcest and Fall of Rauros we like a lot.

What were you influenced with in regards to the concept?

I can say it with a big smile: Batman is the main influence. The Nolan version in the last trilogy. But not only The Dark Knight.
We also use elements from Catholicism. We keep in our mind some books of the Bible, to use this mythology for us and fit as well as possible with it.
We don't want talk about religion, we use it as a background to create our story. 

How do the two projects differ?

In different aspects, the two projects are different.

First is the music, Sercati is more nervous and with energy, The Nightstalker is more ambient and dark. The way to write the songs are really different too.
The Nightstalker is more spontaneous than Sercati. For Sercati we spend a lot of time on the songs together.

The second point is about the lyrics. The story is the same but the writing is different. In The Nightstalker, we stay focused the felling of the main character.
It's based on his point of view and his own feeling, how does he see the world around him and the other characters. Sercati tells the main story.  

The third point is about the composition and mixing and mastering. With Sercati, we work with Jonathan Mazzeo (amazing sound engineer) for our release.
But in the Nightstalker, I do recording, mixing and mastering by myself. So it's more spontaneous. Something more personal even in the way to work the sound. 

How have your ideas or output changed since the beginning if at all? 

They've changed a lot for many reasons. We are not the same persons. We have met a lot of people who changed our vision of music (I think of Jonathan Mazzeo, Carlo Bellotti and Andriy Molchan,...)
We need to evolve, like the story finally evolves with us, but without forgetting what was the beginning and the main meaning.

I said previously that for the first album, we have created the Nightstalker to have an album with all songs linked in one story. But since the first release of the Nightstalker

and the other album of Sercati, we work in the opposite way. We have the story and finally we write the music after the lyrics now. We write the music to support the lyrics.

What is it that you feel more encapsulates the full vision of what the band has been driving towards?

I think the concept is taking paths other than music but all is linked not only by the story but by the same faith to spread the story of the Nightstalker.
The vision is evolving on each new partnership. It's difficult the find only one kind of media to have the full vision.

The next album of Sercati (will be released soon) is more "cinematics" than the olders. We were very happy to take this way and it's more easier to give the story.
The movie (also released soon) gives the right ambiance about the city. But each media have his own signification in the full vision.

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

I don't think it's the style / genre of music who drives us to create. It's the story. We use the music to tell a story. Each part of our songs is created for the story.
We try to give music feeling according with the lyrics. It's very important to us to have this way to write music. The music is there to support the story.

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

Our goal is touch a lot of people, not for popularity but to give a message. I think through the Nightstalker and his story we can give a good message for everyone.
I hope the Nightstalker will become something bigger than us and our band. 

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?

It's awful to say but we have more echoes from the audience from other countries than from ours. It's always a pleasure to play in our country but metal (specially our kind of metal) hasn't got
many places to play at. The venues are really difficult to reach.

You also have a book about the character. What is it about and how did that idea arise?

The idea to write a book came out when the music wasn't enough to tell the story of The Nightstalker. I take the time to write Sercati's whole first album in story. 
But I've developped a taste for writting this story and I've told another one and another until having enough for a book. 

In the first book, we discover how the Nightstalker came on Earth and his beginning as a nocturnal avenger.

Do you have plans for any more books or even films?

Yes, I've got a lot of ideas in my mind. I hope to realize all of them. I work on the sequel of the first book with my editor. 
After filming some short movies, we've worked on a "found footage" with some good friends. Kenny Vrancken, Ludovic Englebert, Michel Garsou and many others.
It was really nice to have all of them with us for this adventure. We hope to release it soon.

I have some project about a comic-book. I would like to have a bigger visual with the universe of our character. 

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

Short term : New album release for Sercati and The Nightstalker. We are working on it. A video clip for Sercati and The Nightstalker too. And the new book.
Long term : A comic book, I hope. A movie, another type that a found footage. And a lot of gigs.

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

Listen our songs and The Nightstalker will watch over you...

Read more about The Nightstalker here:

Read more about Sercati here:

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Interview with Kosmogyr (Prague/Shanghai)

Kosmogyr is a Black Metal band, which members are located in Prague and Shanghai. In fact is a duo.
They will be releasing their first album Eviternity on the 9th of March.
We spoke to Ivan and Xander and thet have some very interesting things to say, so we suggest that you keep reading.
A review to the album will come soon too! 

How and when did the project arise and what are the themes or concepts behind the band?

Ivan: Just over two years ago, when Xander and I were at a dinner. We were talking about music, as we often would, and I’d mentioned how I’d been feeling a creative itch to start up a dedicated black metal project. Xander was down to give it a shot, and so off we went. It took us a while, but here we are.

What is behind the name of the band Kosmogyr?

Xander: Let’s save that one for another time.

How would you describe your style of music and how does it fit in with the themes?

Xander: It’s punishing and aggressive, and often quite bleak, but not without hope. There’s respite in the melody and the structures of the songs.

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

Ivan: With metal vocals, I’ve always been drawn to singers who are able to deliver with multiple growling and screaming styles. Guys like Randy Blythe and Trevor Strnad — I’ll take a vocalist like them over a one-note automaton any day of the week. It’s something I’m always conscious of when coming up with the vocal parts for our music.
For the drums, I tried to approach the programming organically. I’m a drummer, but sadly not one with the chops and precision needed to handle this type of music. The beats and fills on the record are what I heard in my head as I listened to Xander’s riffs, and then I’d do my best to transcribe them as accurately as possible. It’s important to me that the drumming is convincing and musical, despite not having been performed by an actual musician.

You’re about to release your debut album Eviternity, What is the album about or what are the general ideas behind it?

Xander: We’d welcome listeners to read along with the lyrics as they listen so that they might create their own sense of meaning for each song. Each listener should be given the opportunity to approach the music on their own terms with as few preconceptions as possible, and so I’d prefer not to contextualize the album.

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

Xander: It’s been a bit over two years since we officially decided to work together on a black metal band. If anything, I imagine that it conveys how ardently we believe in this music.

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

Ivan: We’ll do our best to get as many ears on this one as we can, while thinking ahead to album #2. I’d like to maintain our momentum and continue creating more music. Touring isn’t quite something we’re able to do just yet, as we’re just two people half a world apart. However, I’d never rule it out, and we’d absolutely love to have the chance to play these songs live.

How have your ideas or output changed since the beginning if at all?  What is it that you feel more encapsulates the full vision of what the band has been driving towards?

Xander: We’ve been quite set on the structural approach of our songs and aesthetic choices of our sound we wanted from the beginning, and Eviternity is a reflection of these decisions. If anything, we became even more narrowly focused on what the sound of Kosmogyr should be as we worked on these songs.

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

Ivan: In the right hands, I find that black metal can be an intensely cathartic experience. I wanted to play a part in creating something that incorporated all my favorite elements from the ways black metal has been interpreted over the past handful of decades.

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

Ivan: It’s most important for me that the music has a chance to be heard. I’d love for it to be heard by anyone, no matter where they live.

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?

Ivan: As a new band about to release our debut album, it’s a bit early on to think about this sort of thing, in terms of a global audience or something like that.
As for places to play, I’ll just say this: nothing beats a post-show meal of Chinese street food and street beers. There’s a legendary club in Wuhan called Vox Livehouse, and the entire street outside the venue is lined with food vendors making the most delicious stuff you can get anywhere in the world at 1am.
I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. China is the shit.

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

Ivan: We’re just getting started with this, despite having been working on this album for the past two years. I’m open to seeing where it goes, and I’d love to take it as far as we can.

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

Ivan: Thanks for giving us your time and attention! I hope we can continue to deliver music that gives you whatever it is that you’re looking to get from it.

Read more about Kosmogyr in:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Interview: Void Ritual (USA)

Void Ritual is a one man project by Daniel Jackson. In 2014 Void Ritual released its first EP called Holodomor and the reaction was very positive.
Afterwards, Void Ritual contributed with three songs for a split with Barshasketh, band from Scotland.
Now, in 2017 Void Ritual is releasing its first album. It will be called Heretic Wisdom and will come out through Throats Productions on the 18th of August.
Lachryma Christi had the chance to interview Dan Jackson. Here is what he has to say.

How did the project arise?

Essentially, it was just a decision to make black metal in a certain style. With me being just one person, you can kinda just decide to do things one day and then do it. I wanted to make music that reminded me of 90s Ulver and Darkthrone, so I just started doing it.

 How did you choose the band name?

A lot of people think of music as a cathartic experience, and the name relates to that. It helps relieve the tension that comes from the negativity we all experience in our lives. The Void Ritual , for me, means releasing this toxic shit from my brain, and putting it into my music.

How would you describe your style of music?

Black metal. I try not to overcomplicate things in that regard.

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

For the new album, Heretical Wisdom, the strongest influences were Satyricon’s Nemesis Divina and Ulver’s Nattens Madrigal. Both influence the way I write guitar parts, and Frost as a drummer influences the way I program drums. There are also melodic Swedish influences, via bands like Sacramentum.

How would you describe your upcoming album? How does it differ or compare to previous releases?

Heretical Wisdom is probably a tad faster and definitely more melodic than my previous material. It’s pretty blast beat-centric, without much in the way of slowing down. It should be in your wheelhouse if you’re into mid 90s Norwegian black metal.

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

For me, black metal has always been the most expressive and emotionally powerful metal genre. I’ve tried creating in other genres, and it just doesn’t feel as natural or as “right” as black metal does. At least for now, it seems to be the only way I can express anything and feel any pride about the result. I’ve been listening to it for the last 20 years and no other style speaks to me, or allows me to speak, the way black metal has.

Why did you decide to  create everything yourself rather than with a band? What are the advantages of being a one man project?

I’ve been recording music on my own since I was in high school. I never released much of any of it, because it wasn’t up to snuff, production wise, but I stopped being in actual bands around 2005 or 2006. I was in a band where we rehearsed in the drummer’s garage. He sold off all of our equipment and moved out of state between practices and that put me off the idea for a long time. Now, it’s just about convenience, and not having to argue with anyone.

How would you describe your songwriting process?

I tend to use my recording software to help put things together. It helps me remember things and I can kinda cut/paste things together for reference. Sometimes it’s the guitars that sort of lead the way for a song, and other times I have a specific drumbeat that I think makes for a good foundation for something and I’ll write a riff to play into that beat. It’s always music first, then vocals. I guess if I had any talent as an actual singer, I’d try building songs off of vocal lines, like bands did in the 80s, but without vocal melody in play, it’s a lot easier to just write lyrics to fit what’s going on musically.

Do you think now it’s more advantageous to release music In various formats?

Sure. Everyone has their own tastes as far as physical media, and I’m not gonna fault anyone for what they like. People like what they like, so why not give them a version of the album they’d like most? I’ve been very lucky to have two different labels put out a CD (Throats Productions) and cassette (Tridroid Records) version of the album. I’d love to do a vinyl version eventually, if the interest is there.

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

Thank you for giving Void Ritual a shot! I’m still pretty shocked that people enjoy it, so I’m grateful for anyone who finds something to enjoy about the music. I’ll try my best to not fuck things up.

Read more about Void Ritual in:

Tridroid Records: