2018. október 31., szerda

Erik Sprooten

Interview with Erik Sprooten
(Ancient Rites, Inquisitor, Plusminus)
Hail Erik, we are very glad to talk with you again here at Archangel’s Lantern. I must say, “Stigmata Me, I’m in Misery” is just a brilliant masterpiece of old school Thrash metal. Are you satisfied with how the album turned out? (In my humble opinion Inquisitor sounds stronger than ever)
- Hail Georgius, thanks for your kind words. Oh yeah, we are very much satisfied with the new album. We stuck to our guns even after almost twenty years, which is remarkable in itself, but we also managed to make some progress as well musically. Alex Wesdijk wrote all the lyrics, and some of his  lyrics are a bit more personal compared to our older lyrics. The new album definitely has an old school vibe and it sounds 100% like Inquisitor and it's great to have this album recorded in the original line-up too. We recorded our second album at the Toneshed Studio in The Netherlands, which is run by Erwin Hermsen, who is a former guitarist of Mangled and he did a fantastic job! I  recorded my guitar solos at home and sent the audio files of those to Erwin. “Stigmata Me, I'm In Misery” sounds like what people were used from us, but we also managed to include musical ideas which we couldn't have done or wouldn't have come up with in the 90's. For instance, the beginning of “Holy Man's Gallows Pole”, is something which we probably wouldn't have done in 1995 and I also wouldn't and couldn't have played slide guitar back then, but slide guitar playing by me can be heard in “Hammering Rusty Nails” now. The end solo of "I am Sick, I must Die" was in it's early incarnation just a nice guitar solo in D-minor, but later I changed it to what it has become now. Alex Bakker (bass player) showed us in the rehearsal room what he played underneath that D-minor solo, which was a very great bass line so I changed the guitar solo to compliment his bass playing. I rewrote it by adding a few unison bends followed by some fretboard tapping. The very end of “Northern Goliath – Death A Black Rose” was a great idea of our singer Alex Wesdijk. Our drummer Wim is highly involved in structuring the songs, and is always thinking how to improve his drumming and drumfills. Each member in the band contributed to the music and everyone had made progress throughout the years and widened his musical space. We do what we like to do without restricting ourselves regardless of any trend, criticism, image or whatsoever and we will continue to do so. 
Hey Erik, it has been a while, tell me the latest news about Inquisitor. (Anita vH)
- We finally have a new album out for some months now, and we are promoting it the best way we can, but we also started working on new songs again for a possible new album. We still have some new music in us to unleash upon mankind and there are quite some new really interesting ideas. Some ideas may be leftovers but some of those are great and will be used. We certainly do want to make another album, there is absolutely no doubt about that. Although we hardly have any budget, there are plans to make a video clip. In this digital and visual age it's important to have a video clip.

Saw you had a few gigs with Pestilence, Dead End and Dead Head. How were these? Any abroad gigs planned? (Anita vH)
- Those gigs were arranged via Hammerheart Records, and they were absolutely great. One was on a Sunday in Maastricht, in the South of The Netherlands and the other one was on a Friday in Drachten, which is in the North of The Netherlands. I personally felt that the gig in Drachten was the best in my opinion. The sound on stage was good, and I think that we performed damn well. However Alex Bakker, our bass player, felt that he had the perfect monitor mix on stage in Maastricht. Anyway, it was great to do these gigs as support for Dead Head and Pestilence. For us it was a great opportunity to open for Pestilence and Dead Head. Behind the scenes we are trying to get gigs abroad, and it seems that we will do a gig in Belgium next year! And we are looking forward to play with Pestilence again in December. 
“Laguz” has been your last album after 9 years from “Rubicon”. Will there be a new album soon? (Paco, Spain)
- I don't expect a new album very soon unfortunately, but there may be a chance that some of our older albums will be re-released. Most of the older album have been out of print for a very long time and  need a proper re-release in my opinion. Some have never been released on vinyl but there are bootleg versions circulating. For a new album we definitely need some budget, and that is hard to get nowadays. Because of this, we most likely need to change the way how we will write & record a new album. We probably can't do that the way we used to do. But we'll see what happens...

How were the Ancient Rites shows in Roeselare and Rotterdam this year and in Athens in 2017? Share us please your memories from these concerts.
- Although the schedule was delayed, we did get a great response from the Greek audience, and it was about 18 years ago since we last played in Greece, so some fans were kinda hungry to see us again but there were also new fans. And of course it was nice to visit some ancient areas  in Athens the day before the gig. We don't always have time or get the chance to visit beautiful spots in the area where we play live.
In Rotterdam we played in a venue called “Baroeg” in The Netherlands where we have played a lot, and I mean A LOT. This particular gig on the 31st of May was great, even a bit beyond my own expectations. So I felt very satisfied after the gig in Rotterdam.
Roeselare was also very good! The audience was fucking great, and it's always a pleasure to play in our own territory. Roeselare has always been good to us, also in the past. The venue (De Verlichte Geest) reminded me a bit of the kind of venues we used to play in the 90's. 
Recently we did a live show on Malta, which was a nice experience. We also spent a little time with the whole band near a historical place on the island close to our hotel, which was extremely satisfying.
Are you going to do any European tours (you might include some dates for Valencia, Spain – I believe you never done any shows somewhere here)? (Paco, Spain)
- Due to obligations, mainly work-related, extensive tours are not possible for us anymore but we can do weekend shows. Promoters can contact me directly for that.

I’m a faithful follower of the underground scene since the early 90s. Currently, several bands inside it are the scene, but... How do you see now the underground scene in general? Any bands are there that you like specially? (Paco, Spain)
- The underground scene is still vibrant and in some ways it still works the same way as it did in the 90's but internet has changed a lot of it and metal has seen an increase of substyles too throughout the years. I still go to underground metal concerts but not as much as I used to do. It's not always possible for several reasons, but I like to go to more underground concerts than I do now. I certainly like to have a good time and maybe discover new bands at those concerts. Nowadays via Facebook I get a lot like requests from people who want me to like their band and sometimes, some of those underground bands are interesting which is great. I remember liking a thrash band from South America called Maze of Terror, Cruentator from Italy and more recently Ancestor, a thrash metal band from China. I still like bands from the old underground days like for instance Sathanas, and Hellwitch.
How it’s going with your cover band, Plusminus? Did you play any live shows lately? What is your current line-up?
- Plusminus is doing fine. The line-up hasn't changed since December 2006, so we have a pretty stable line-up (Arie Kampman – vocals, Erik Sprooten – guitar, Peter Jung – guitar, Alex Bakker – bass guitar, Chiel Lozeman - drums). Meanwhile, we are working on “new” cover tunes to add to our set list. We just keep going and it's always fun to play together. In February we did a special but bittersweet performance at the “Celebration of  Life” of a good friend of ours who passed away a few days before. He performed TNT from AC/DC a few times with us since he was diagnosed with a terrible disease. On a Saturday exactly between the Inquisitor shows with Pestilence, Plusminus played a nice show not that far away from our area. Next year we will play again close to Belgium.

It’s a little bit hard question, but what do you think about an idea to play some massive shows together with following bands: Ancient Rites/Inquisitor/Sammath? 
- I'm certainly in for it. I'm pretty sure that I can handle playing guitar for Ancient Rites and Inquisitor on one evening. For Wim it may be tough but I'm sure he can handle it but after two shows on the same evening, he might be totally wrecked but certainly satisfied, but I guess he can answer that question much better.
(my Ancient Rites and Inquisitor-treasures with dedications- GF) 

What is/are your favorite cartoon(s) from your old band-mate of Ancient Rites, Gunther’s work?
- I can't name a particular cartoon from Gunther which might be my favorite but I always enjoy his cartoons every Friday on Facebook. It's great that he does this 'cause he certainly has talent for this. I also love to see another comic by him of Van Roy & Sid.
Dank je wel/thank you very very much, Erik, please send some thoughts from the medieval inquisitor chamber to the readers.
- Georgius and also Anita & Paco  Thanks a lot for this interview. Your support is highly appreciated!

(Questions compiled by Anita vH, Paco and Georgius)

Important links: 

2018. október 2., kedd

Tobias Fongelius (Voodus)

Interview with Tobias Fongelius (Voodus)

Hail my old friend/brother Tobbe, it has been a while since our last conversation, hope you are doing fine! Thanks so much for sending me the pre-listening stuff of the debut full-length Voodus-album, called “Into the Wild”, congratulations, excellent work! Tell to the readers please, when and where it will be released officially? Share all the important information about the circumstances of the recording process, lyrical-conception, guest-songwriters and cover-art.
- Hail! It´s great to hear from you again! Hope that everything works out fine with you.
Thank you very mutch! We are extremely proud of the album. It ended up being exactly as good as we wanted it to be! The album will be released by Shadow Records November 26. It will come in all formats! Double LP, CD,Tape and Digital!
The recording session was very intence. We had only 10 days to “make it happen”. And Ingo, our drummer, did get sick or something so we had to call for a stand in. Jocke Wallgren from Amon Amarth was just back from his world tour and he had a lot of time off, so he came down to the studio. He listened to the songs for about 5-6 hours. Then, like the fucking machine he is, he just went in to the recording room an fucking nailed the whole album! I think it took him about 2 days to record everything, and he had never heard the songs before! I am still stunned by his professionalism! The result of this drum-mess in the beginning of the recording did catch up on us in the end of the recording. Me and Erik had only 5 days to record all our guitars! And if you have in mind that every single guitar track must be recorded with 4 ( 2+2 ) guitars + a lead + solo! Man! Thats very tight with time! We worked like 12-13 hours everyday. We didnt have any time to do song or bass in Necromorbus because of this. So the bass is recorded in Armageddon Studio (Anders Backelin from Lord Belials studio). And the vocals in Studio Fabriken in Gothenburg.
Just like you mention we have two guestwriters on the album! A friend and magical inspiration of mine “Idlu Lili Regulus” did write the lyrics to “Communion amid the graves” and the fantastic Johannes Kvarnbrink (ex-Ofermod, Mortuus, Head of the Demon etc) did write the lyrics to our longest opus this far! The Terrain of Moloch, the last track of the album.

Let’s talk a little bit about Voodus: “Serpent Seducer Saviour” EP, which has been released through Swedish Shadow Records (distributed & marketed by Regain Records) in Summer, 2017. Enlighten us about the lyrics and songwriting processes. 
- I guess that the lyrics speaks for themselves.. But we can speak a bit about the songwriting process! It´s quite easy for me and Erik to write together nowdays. We know each other so so well after all this years! I have a riff, Erik has a riff and then it´s just to go with the flow! I use to do the fundamental melodies, bridges and paths in our songs. And Erik lay his magic upon all this riffs, and then we have Voodus! It´s not always like this thou. Erik has for example written every single riff in the song The Golden, except for one passage, on our new album!

How was your Scandinavian tour with legendary Mayhem last year? Hope, we can see some live Voodus-video very soon from these hellish performances.
- It was a fucking blast! I mean wake up on the hotell and knew that tonight we will standing on the stage with fucking MAYHEM!!!!!! And tomorrow! And the day after that! Haha! All my respect to Mayhem. They are the real deal, I promise you. They give 666% every fucking night! It´s very inspiring to see and to be a part of! We did get along really good with the whole band, so we hold our thumbs for more rituals together!

I have listened to your debut material “NightQueen” EP under Voodus name a lot of times (my personal favourite tracks are “Mors Ianua Vitae” and “The Burning Light of Daath”). How were the reactions from the black metal fans after this release?
- Mutch better if you compare the reactions from our Jormundgand-era! We felt in a early phase that we were on the right track with this recreation of the band! 

There’s a little change in the Voodus line-up. Desekrator debuted on bass at the Belsepub gig along with Grá the 1/6 in Gothenburg. How was this live-performance?
- Yeah! That was a great show!!! And Grá is a great band! As you said Desekrator did his first live performance with us that evening. He is a powerful individual who fits perfect in our band. We have done one more change in the line-up lately! We have a new drummer. Marcus Fors (ex-Vornth, Death Reich, XUL, Vulcanic etc etc) has now joined us instead of Ingo. He is a great drummer and contribute with a great deal of fierce fire and aggression to the bands energy!

Are you playing at your live-shows a few Jormundgand-tracks or just Voodus-songs?
- Just Voodus. Jormundgand is dead to us.

What is the situation with covering other, legendary bands? Do you plan to play live some covers or record them? I’m really curious, how it would sound a Dissection-cover for example by Voodus.
- We do never play covers, and we will probably never do. But yes, I can see what you mean! Dissection is absolutely a band that would have been great to pay our tribute to. But they have already done the songs 100% to the max, so the only thing you can do by trying to cover Dissection, is to disgrace yourself. I have never heard a good cover on Dissection this far at least.

Which bands/albums are you listening to currently? Could you maybe recommend some interesting bands from Sweden?
- Hmm… I do not listen to so mutch Swedish bands now days. I think that the German and the Greek scene is more interesting with bands like Ascension, The Ruins Of Beverast, Katharsis, Acrimonious, Thy Darkened Shade etc etc. 
But you asked for Swedish bands! So i have to say Valkyrja, they are coming out with a new album very soon and i have heard a little bit from this beast to be unleashed! And man! That album will kick some serious fucking ass! Then we have the absolute amazing Funeral Mist and the new “Hekatomb” album! Mortuus is another band that I found very inspiring. Mephorash is recording a new album as well. I think it will be a fucking killer! And of course Voodus!

After the official release of Voodus: “Into the Wild” will you plan to play in Europe? It would be awesome to meet and see you live.
- Yes! We have the hooks out for a lot of festivals and promoters around Europe. We just have to wait and see I guess!

What landscapes, museums and places do you recommend to visit in Sweden?
- Västkusten (the westcoast) or the far north if you want to visit the nature. The westcoast of Sweden is loaded with pure magic! You can almost feel the breath of the old when you standing on a windy shore at this wild landscape! With lots of runes and petroglyphs carved in the rocks around the area, it contribute to this whole “sacred” feeling. If you want to visit museums then you have a great deal to choose between! But I guess that Stockholm is the city to visit if you want to learn more about our national history and our nations more palmy days!

Tack så mycket/Thanks a lot, brother, it was great feeling to talk you again. Hail and Total Support from us to Voodus!  In the end send some thoughts from the “Communion Amid the Graves”…
- It is a monumental song, with a wide spectre. It´s one of the most intense tracks on the album. The lyrical theme is based on an ancient ritual of Hekate. And the song should be played with respect and devotion to HER in your mind!

Io Io Hekate!
Io Io Hekate!
Io Io Hekate!

Important links:

2018. augusztus 14., kedd

Cornelius (Castrum, Encomium)

Interview with Cornelius (Castrum, Encomium-zine, ex-Chamos, ex-Vulvulator)
done by Sorin Necrotrooper, 13.VIII.2018 
The last interview ever 
for Sadistik Witchfukk webzine (2012-2018)

Hello, Cornelius! As this is your first interview for Sadistik Witchfukk, introduce yourself to the readers of the zine!
- Hail to all the dedicated readers of Sadistik Witchfukk and thank you, Sorin, for your interest. Since 1994 I play guitar for the Transcarpathian Death Metal horde Castrum, since 1998 I am the editor of Encomium ‘zine, organized a hell of a bunch of gigs for the “underground” masses in Uzhgorod.

How did you got into metal? Can you describe your "rock/metal" journey until you formed Castrum? And if you can describe the metal scene at that time in your country?
- I was eleven when I got my first cassettes with bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Krokus, Magnum and stuff like that. I’ve been trading tapes and records with my school-mates at that time and shortly after I discovered the genres of Thrash & Death Metal, such bands as Destruction, Kreator, Sodom, Testament, Slayer, Exodus, Sadus, Death, Obituary, Deicide and Morbid Angel just to name a few. But the real impel to form my own band was caused by the Swedish Death Metal movement around 1991-1992. We’ve massively dived in with my friends into the first releases by Entombed, Dismember, Grave, Unleashed, etc. It was magical back then. The metal scene was pretty variegated at that time as being a deathrasher I hung out with fans of glam rock, heavy metal or other less extreme subgenres of rock & metal, but it was just amazing. If there was a gig with any kind of local rock/metal act, not mentioning the possibility to go and watch the show of some band from abroad, most probably everybody was there, huge crowd and family-like atmospheres. It was also a good reason to meet other metal fans (from other regions) and do some trades of tapes, posters, magazines, etc.

 In 1994 Castrum came into being. Can you summarize your biography so far?
- Yeah, sure. Castrum was founded in 1994. The early days marked three demo releases on the band’s account: “Burial of the Affection”, “Flames by Impiety” & “Pleasure in the Deeds of Horror”, all of them came out in 1996. In 1999 the band signed a deal with Ukrainian underground label Metal Force Records. The first result of this alliance was an MC release of the above mentioned demos unleashed under the banner of “The Leading Spirit of Medieval Tortures”, which was followed by the band’s debut album “Hatenourisher” in the fall of 2000. Shortly after this tape release the band signed a deal with Canadian Bloodbucket Productions. Thus three full-length CDs were successfully spread into the underground masses, namely “Hatenourisher” in 2001, “Mysterious Yet Unwearied” in 2002 and “Phenomenonsense” in 2006. After a few member changes the line-up of Castrum finally became stable in 2012. It consists of the relentless forces of Cornelius (vocals/guitar), Victor (bass) & Eugene (drums). To celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary a compilation CD titled as “MediEvaluation” was released in 2014 by the band’s long-time label Bloodbucket Productions! The band’s fourth full-length album is still in process. It is going to be the fiercest and most sophisticated one! So watch out!!!

You also did a demo under the name Chamos, with the same line-up as Castrum, back in 1997, called "Hellish Reveries". Do you see it as a separate release from Castrum? 
Will it ever be re-released?
- It was a separate release by all means. I was pretty productive back then and I’ve got some riffs that I didn’t imagine in the repertory of Castrum, so we started this side-project. We did that 2-song demo in 1997 and that’s it. Will it be ever released officially I can’t say it as of yet, but never say never, right? So time shall tell us… 

Back to Castrum. I know that you recorded a follow-up to "Phenomenonsense", but it never saw the light of the day. Can you enlighten us about it and if any progress in this direction has been done lately? Will it include the Possessed cover ("Death Metal"-ed)?
- Yes, all the instruments have been recorded quite a while for our 4th studio album, we’ve recorded 11 songs in total, I even did some raw pre-production mixes, but unfortunately I couldn’t proceed with the recordings of the vocals parts thence. Somehow I always felt not ready to do it, my bad, I know. The Possessed cover was something exceptional, we did it pretty fast, even if I am not happy with how my vocals turned out there, but I really wanted to make it happen. That song is available exclusively on the “Seven Burning Churches” a tribute to Possessed CD. 

As far as I remember, Castrum was about to play in Bucharest, Romania, in 2011, as an opening-act for the Impaled Nazarene concert. However, the ImpNaz tour was cancelled and Castrum didn't got to play. How were you chosen to be one of those opening bands and why you did not got to play or to postpone it? Have you received any other offers to play here?
- Right, that gig was announced exactly for 1st of February, 2010. We’ve been on tour with our Polish friends from Underdark and I clearly remember that we did our first show in Lviv and we were on our way to Debrecen (Hungary) when I received an sms from the promoter that Impaled Nazarene had to cancel their appearance, so the whole event was just cancelled immediately. Due to Coro of Axa Valaha Productions we’ve got the opportunity, but it didn’t happen in the end. I knew Coro for a long time, we’ve been in contact from time to time, so I suppose it just felt right to bring us once there, he is a hard worker and true supporter of the underground movement. We’ve got other invites as well, but somehow I always had to refuse them, sometimes because of bad timing and other times just because of my health issues.

According to Encyclopaedia Metallum, you also played guitar in Vulvulator and drums in ЙYЙ. Can you tell us about these collaborations?
- Yes, that’s right. I was a member of Vulvulator from 2006 to 2008. Played all the guitars & bass parts for the debut full-length “Obscenario” (2007) and for the “IV Way Split” (2008). Those were funny times, but had to quit, because the evolving musical path wasn’t mine any more. ЙYЙ was a band formed by local guys in 2016, they had 2 songs written, but they didn’t have a drummer at the time. I’ve been always fond of playing drums, so I offered them to try out myself in that position. In a short period of time we’ve completed around dozen songs and the same year the band had its only live show with me. Again, had to quit, due to the same old story, the music they wanted to play further wasn’t my cup of tea. Now they’re functioning as a studio project.

Apart of your metal activities, I know that you released an ambient album called "The Mindscape Seeker" under the name Kornel Kontros. Can you enlighten us about it? How was the feedback so far?
- You are very-well informed. I have a piano at home since ever, so I was always sitting and trying out myself creating different harmonies, moods, melodies and stuff like that. The time has come to record all those little pieces in 2015 when I finally borrowed a synthesizer for that purpose. The feedback I received was always positive and mostly from people close to me, and it is totally OK with me, as this release was meant personal. Its follow-up is in progress as well; it will be more medieval-like with the use of acoustic guitars in front. 

Do you plan to perform it live?
- Good question. I really have plans in my mind to make those pieces happen to played live too, but still searching for the right musicians.

 I can't help but realize that your instrumental material seems to be connected with the "Tears of Eternal Expiation" intro. Do you have any other tracks written in this style that will see the light of the day? Or, perhaps a follow-up to "The Mindscape Seeker"?
- Definitely good comparison. As you’ve already noticed I did quite a few instrumental tracks for the Castrum releases so far, but the ones which were selected for “The Mindscape Seeker” kind of didn’t fit with the new approach Castrum musically stands for, so I better published them under my name. The new tracks will be atmospheric- and ambient-like too, but with a touch of medievalism.

You also run the fanzine Encomium, which has become a webzine for some years. Can you tell us about it and if there will ever be any printed issues in the future? How was the reaction for the printed zine of the 4th issue?
- Encomium is one of the oldest English-written ‘zines out of the Ukraine. Totally dedicated to the extreme forms of underground music. The first 3 issues (1/98, 2/99 & 3/2001) were pro-printed on A4 format pages. After 2001 it turned to a webzine, but in August of 2017 the 4th printed issue has finally seen the light of the day. The reactions to it were just positive so far. You can expect the fifth printed issue to be released soon, so watch out! 

I know you organized some concerts in your hometown Uzhgorod/Ungvár such as Napalm Death (in 2009), the open-air festival UzhGoreRot, and also Total Cover Party, among others. Can you tell us how the Napalm Death concert actually happened? Will there be any upcoming editions of those festivals? Or any upcoming concerts in general?
- The Napalm Death show happened due to Obscure Promotion from the Czech Republic. They’ve contacted me regarding a possible show in Uzhgorod and I’ve agreed right away to make it happen for our small city! Until last year I was managing to organize all the mentioned events and series of the Death Metal Assault concerts, but as my health got worse I decided to stop all my activities until I fix it. So no festival or concert plans at all actually. 

One cannot overlook the situation in Eastern Ukraine. How did that affect the metal activity in your region?
- Our region is still quite poor, even if we are the closest of the cities to the European Union and the prices are much like in the EU, the wages over here just horrible, hard to make for living. Most of the citizens just surviving or go abroad to work and get better conditions for living there. It limits the possibilities for any normal behaved metal activities as well, just in terms of organizing a show, you mostly bump into minuses rather than pluses. So you can’t make it forever. The same goes for the local bands, they simply can’t survive and fade out quickly. 

  Castrum's current line-up. L-R: Cornelius(guitar/vocals), Eugene(drums), Viktor(bass). 2014

You also mixed/produced several albums of some local bands and Domhring's "Vicar of Satan" (Hungarian black metal band fronted by our mutual friend Georgius - ed). Can you tell us about this activity? Are you still doing it? If so, any releases we shall hear for ourselves?
- Oh, I did plenty of such work in the past. Mainly for local bands, as you noticed. Besides the Domhring material I also mixed demos & albums for Vulvulator, Rise of Cadia, The Symbioz, GAZ-66 Intrusion, etc. Now I stopped doing this, but still fond of the whole procedure. So sometime maybe I will return to this hobby again.

You also re-designed Archangel's Lantern logo (our mutual friend Georgius' webzine). Have you done any art that was used by other bands or that is simply available somewhere else?
- I was mostly doing poster designs in the past for my events and for others too. I always liked the graphical way of manipulation, learned a few tricks, but nothing special. I designed the old Castrum logo, by the way.

What are your hobbies?
- We already touched most of them above. My hobbies connected with music, but when not, I like to swim, play football or table tennis, walk the nature.

What albums do you deem as influential (those who changed your vision towards metal and music in general)?
- Oh, there’s really plenty of them. But if focus to a few, then I would definitely mention albums with Destruction, Death, Dissection, Hypocrisy, Sodom, Kreator, Morbid Angel, Dismember, Vader, Grave, Kataklysm, that list is just endless, ha-ha… Too many good and influential albums to mention, you know.

And about your local cuisine: what foods and drinks can you recommend us?
- Well, the Transcarpathian cuisine is strongly influenced by the Hungarian, which I adore very much. I really like “gulyásleves”, which is a Hungarian soup, made of beef, vegetables, ground paprika and other spices. Also “lecsó”, it is also a Hungarian thick vegetable stew. But my top favorite is “Bécsi szelet” that is “Wiener schnitzel” as in Austrian, is a type of schnitzel made of a thin, breaded, pan-fried veal cutlet. As for the drinks, even if I do not drink alcohol at all, I would definitely recommend some sorts of local wine and our local specialty, which is cognac. 

Our interview is drawing to an end. Please tell us your future plans, and some words for the readers!
- Well, thank you so much Sorin for this in-depth interview and opportunity to be included at the webzine of Sadistik Witchfukk. Really great combination of questions, liked to answer them from the start till the end. Plan number one is to get fixed my health asap. Then to finally record my vocal parts for the 4th album of Castrum. Afterwards, I will be definitely interested to have some journeys in the form of tours. I hope the readers enjoyed our conversation and found out something to check out or simply listen to. Keep supporting your local scene, listen to the music you love, buy records, visit shows and have fun! 

                                          Castrum live in Uzhgorod/Ungvár, anno 2016

Important links: 

Castrum's official website: http://www.castrum.com.ua/ 

Bandcamp: https://castrum.bandcamp.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/castrum 

Myspace: https://myspace.com/castrum 

ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/castrum 

VKontakte: https://vk.com/castrum 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/castrumofficial 

Encomium-website: http://castrum.com.ua/encomium/ 

Encomium (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/encomium.zine

DMA (Death Metal Assault): https://www.facebook.com/deathmetalassault/

UzhGoreRot Festival: https://www.facebook.com/uzhgorerot/ 

Original source of this interview:  


Eric Daniels

English version of the Soulburn interview, 
done back in  09.II.2017. 
Interview with Eric Daniels committed by Alister of Atmosfear. 
Originally published in Atmosfear magazine in Russian language, 2017.

Hail to all members of great Soulburn! So Eric, congratulations on completing work on a new album! What is your general impression of this record?
- Thank you very much! Not only mine but all of us we like the new album very much, we worked about one year to complete this one, the result is very satisfied for us. To us it’s the perfect continue album after “The Suffocating Darkness” album.

"Earthless Pagan Spirit" is quite intriguing title. What meaning you put into this title?
- Earthless: Beyond this world
Pagan: Beyond god
Spirit: At one with the cosmic foreverness
This meaning connected to our music gives the right atmosphere we wanted to spread around.

The release of your previous album "The Suffocating Darkness" was scheduled for November 17, the new album release is expected on November 18 - it's just a coincidence or some kind of cyclicality in the bands history? ))
- Sharp notice you have. Yes it was planned this way and also Century Media Records had the release in mind to do this. It’s the right season of the year to release an album, just before winter time! Atmosphere and surroundings.

What should we expect on "Earthless Pagan Spirit", and what is its basic concept?
- Our goal was to make this album more dark and evil, the style we like. Also making the songs bit longer for the right feel. This album has more doom covered, and the structure of the songs is like the whole concept. Every song is connected towards each other so the whole album breaths that kind of dark atmosphere we had in mind. We also believe that with this album we give a true face towards what Soulburn stands for. Dark, black, doom, death.

In general, the album title and its cover evoke associations more with Black metal than Death metal. To tell the truth, on the previous album apart an old school Death metal can be heard the elements of Black metal in terms of sound, some riffs and vocal. Can we say that on the new album you decide to pay more attention to this part of your music?
- Yes as I mentioned in the question before, we wanted to show the real face of Soulburn. Back in 1996 when I had the idea to form Soulburn, what you hear on this album was the whole idea for this band. Dark, Black, Doom, Death. All those ingredients you will find in this one, so we are very happy with the final result. This new album breaths more black indeed, but that’s what we felt to do, and make the songs this way.

Why this time you decide not to seek the help of Dan Swanö for mixing? Did you want to make brand Netherlandish sound without Swedish flavor?
- It still has Swedish flavor. We decided to work with Devo (Marduk) at his Endarker studio in Norrköping Sweden. Bob and I went there for a weekend when Devo was mixing our album. When we arrived at his studio he already had the mix done, it sounded awesome, so, we are very happy with the result. We like his work very much as he did with the Marduk albums. For us he is the perfect engineer for our music. He also mastered the album.

Are you satisfied with the work with Century Media Records? Personally, I think that for a band like Soulburn it’s a great label, given its catalog (my favorite label, by the way). I believe that this label has kept its concept and connection with the roots, that’s why even in today’s label catalog we continue to feel the spirit of those legendary albums that have been released previously, since the 90's. Is not it?
- Century Media Records we are very satisfied with. Bob and I we know them for a along time since 1990 at the beginning of Asphyx. We have a very good relationship and they do a great job for us. It’s really important to have a good back up from the record company. Yes they have an old school opinion about bands from that era, bands which all began with.

A personal question about your bass/singer Twan van Geel. He has played and still plays in many bands besides Soulburn: Legion Of The Damned (special respect!), Bunkur, Flesh Made Sin, Verbum Verus. And he plays on the bass guitar, drums, guitar and vocal in all of these bands. How he manages to combine all this? Is he a regular member in all these bands, or just a session member in some of them?
- It’s all about the good organization and appointments. He can manage and does that very well. We had an agreement from the start since he has commitments with LOTD. We have a professional approach so we manage this. In Soulburn and LOTD he is a steady member, full time member.

Now let’s turn to mega cult band Asphyx. To begin, I ask you an uncomfortable question. Now you play together with Bob Bagchus in Soulburn.  That is, it is not just 2/3 of Asphyx, but just you two have invented the classic Asphyx sound! I think this situation is a little strange when you exist along with Asphyx with the only original member in line-up... Or maybe Asphyx now is a “branch” of Soulburn, its subsidiary? And you have plans to create in the future “Death metal concern” of current and former members of your bands? ))
- Well, things went how they went. Asphyx and Soulburn are separate full bands, no “branch” or other strange names for it. We play different kind of music, each of them follow their own path. We are friends along, and we bump towards each other on festivals ect. No plans, we are both busy with our own bands. 

By the way, how often you contact with Asphyx now? How do you like their new album "Incoming Death"?
- I sometimes grab a beer at Martin’s place, we both live in the same town Oldenzaal here in The Netherlands. We like to listen to the old heavy metal 80s era, and drink some nice beers and talk about everything. Yes I listen to tracks from “Incoming Death”. Well played, my respects, and I like what they are doing.

Do you have plans for join performance Asphyx/Soulburn?
- No plans, but in music-land, everything is possible.

Tell us about your split album “Imperial Anthems No. 17” with Desaster. Whose initiative was to release it and what is your opinion of this band?
- We had the idea to do a split 7”. Cyclone Empire did a great job, and CMR also liked the idea. Desaster is cool, stick to their roots and I like the pure old school attitude. That’s why we liked it to join on the 7”. “Monuments of God” we also did another version of this song on our new album as bonus-track, so it’s not their exact copy you listen too. We like the idea to have something special into the 7”.

Tell me, when did you decide to become a professional musician? Was there any album or a band that have influenced your decision to become a musician?
- Yes back in the 80s when Venom’s Welcome to Hell was released, I knew that I wanted to play the guitar aggressive like Mantas did. This band and his playing was my biggest inspiration. I play guitar from my 14th year so almost 36 years I play guitar now, and I still like it very much to do.

Do you have a wish to come and play gig in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine?
- Yes of course we want to play in those countries. If the conditions are good, we come over and play. It would be awesome to do.

Maybe you want to add something to the above, or some greetings to your fans?
- Thank you very much for this interview and towards our fans reading your magazine we say, when we come over and play, we give you the Soulburn you expect and want. YOU Rule!!!

Official Soulburn facebook page: 

2018. augusztus 5., vasárnap

Runemagick, Nicklas Terror Rudolfsson

English version of the Runemagick interview, done back in  31.I.2014. Interview with Nicklas Terror Rudolfsson, committed by Alister of Atmosfear. Originally published in Terroraiser magazine in Russian language, 2014.

Hello Nicklas! Runemagick's last studio album was released in 2007, and since then there's no information about your band. The official website states that Runemagick is currently in dormant mode. What is happening with Runemagick, and when can we expect the band's return with a new album? 
- The band is dormant because of many reasons. One of them was that we were extremely active with composing and recording during 2000-2006 and probably lost some inspiration after this. Then came many other things that obviously also affected. But right now it does not happen so much. There are some riffs and some early demos of songs but no more than that. Nor are there any concrete plans for rehearsals, recordings or live performances either. But we have not said that the final nail is put in the coffin yet.
We'll see what happens in the future. Maybe we should put a “low goal” first as a 7 "vinyl to make something happen.

Since 2005, Runemagick is not available for the concerts, just releasing studio albums. Why? Despite this fact, how often you get offers from promoters play a show? For example, at one time Grave, Asphyx and Obituary returned to the stage due to the constant interest of fans, as well as the offers to play concerts…
- We've never been particularly active in terms of live shows and as I recall it became some kind of decision that we record albums like projects, and then we will see what happens in the future. It became more of a project against the "end". It happens once a year we get requests to play live again. It would have been cool to do but right now it's hard to get it all together.

And still, why did you decided to turn the fulltime band into purely studio project?
- As I said earlier, it was just such a decision. It felt right then at that time.

Generally, if we follow the history of Runemagick, we can see that such a long breaks are common thing for you. Releasing the 1992 demo "Fullmoon Sodomy" about Runemagick nothing was heard until 1998, when was released debut album "The Supreme Force of  Eternity". What was the main reason for such a long break? Especially has given the follow intense discography.
- Runemagick was paused around 1993/94-1997, if I remember correctly. And the reason for this was the change in the lineup, moving, I jumped into the other bands in the meantime and so on.
There are demo recordings from 1993 and 1997, I am quite sure, anyway.

Did you felt more comfortable to work in a band, when Emma became your wife?
- We had already known each other for many years so there was nothing special about it in terms of playing together.

Which Runemagick album is your favorite and why?
- "Darkness, Death, Doom". I like the material and we had a really good time back then. Rehearsed and recorded with a good flow in the studio. According to me it felt like we were on top at that particular recording, and it was a good mix of heavy and mid-tempo. On later albums perhaps it was a little too much "jam" and heavy doom soundscapes hahaha.

Do not you think that after the music was written and recorded, it begins to live its own life? From this moment the music no longer belongs only to its creator. In this case, there is a completely new non-material dimension – parts of it are emotions, feelings, memories and associations. A musician from this viewpoint becomes a conductor of some kind of magic.
- It probably is. Any listener can experience different things and feelings out of control from the artist.

On the first albums Runemagick played a more traditional version of Swedish death metal. Of course, there was own atmosphere, but... But from album to album your music more slowed down, became more atmospheric and gloomy. Finally you come to a viscous sound at the intersection of death metal and doom. Describe the creative evolution of Runemagick.
- Somehow it became heavier and heavier. Why is hard to say. Maybe because you do not want to repeat too much. Some parts of the later music have its origins in jam and improvisation which then formed until more structural sections.

Unlike most death metal bands (already in the first albums) you chose a concept based on the mythology and the occult. Moreover, this concept can be traced both in lyrics and in sound – they are inextricably linked with each other. As for me, this theme is perfect for this kind of music. Nevertheless in Death metal it is not quite frequent phenomenon. Tell me why you decided to reveal in your works exactly this mood?
- Difficult to give a good answer but in short it was mostly meant to music and the lyrics together would fit together purely atmospheric. Then it's up to the listener to "see" their own world of it all.

Once you said the following: “I believe in supernatural dimensions and magick in the music of Runemagick”. So for you such a concept is exceptionally creative fiction, or is it somehow connected with your outlook and personal experiences, feelings?
- It's been awhile since I was inside the world of rune magic. But one can say that it is the combination of reality and unreality in the compositions. How you want to interpret this is as I said earlier up to the listener. Now that I think about it, maybe Runemagick was pretty "deep" after all. Now, the music lives on like dark shapes with different characters and play different forms of magic depending on what the listener paint. Fishy? haha

What is Death personally for you?
- Only death is real.

Years ago you was a drummer in Sacramentum. A great band, I must admit! But underrated, unfortunately. What was the main reason for the collapse of Sacramentum in the late 90s? I think you would be able to say much more...
- First I was asked to temporarily help with drums in Sacramentum. But after a while, I was asked to become a member and also began contributing music writing. If I remember correctly, I played drums for the last time with the band in 1999. Main reason was that I moved far from Gothenburg and was busy with other bands. Then I did a gig with Sacramentum in 2000 but then I played bass. The rest of the band continued a year after that. Then I do not know why the band stopped.

None of the band members had a desire to resurrect Sacramentum?
- Not that I know.

Through your participation in Runemagick and Sacramentum, as well as other projects in the early 90s you could touch the roots of death / black metal underground. Describe this very special time. What mood reigned in the underground in the early 90’s? Personally, I think it was one of the most unusual and creative periods in the history of metal.
- In the beginning there was tape trading, letters and flyers here and there. Trading demos and so on. Pretty big difference from now. Feels like it was magical, exciting and better at the time. Hard to say why. Not the same feeling now. 

In a short period of time Peter Palmdahl of Dissection played in Runemagick. As far as I know, this fact angered Jon Nödtveidt. Can you tell more about this conflict?
- He was only on a few rehearsals as I remember it, therefore a short period in the band. Not aware that there would have been conflict about it.

In Runemagick you are the main composer, guitarist and vocalist, in Sacramentum you was a drummer. Where and how you acquired such extensive musical skills?
- When I was a kid I was hooked quickly for groups like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and the like. Started with trying to imitate drums, getting the riff on an old guitar. I'm simply self-taught. Then I discovered harder and harder bands and began trying to play that kind of music. The first band I was in "Blöod" in the 80's was extremely off beat, out of tune and we could barely play but we had hard titles like "Boiled to Death" and so on… Then it just continued. You get better by playing alot. Sure, maybe I have some kind of talent, but I am certainly not as any true professional musicians. A mediocrity who like to make riffs maybe hahaha

How your child relates to your music? Is he proud of his father? 
- I have three children. A teenager who probably thinks, my music is crap. A younger daughter, who likes Bolt Thrower and children's music. Then I have a little guy who does not know what music is, or he likes "music boxes".

Describe your musical preferences today. How much they changed over the years?
- I rarely discover any new music. Do not know why but somehow I'm still stuck in enjoying the music I listened to for 20-30 year-ago. Many albums from that era are still high class. And that it still sounds brutal. Obviously there’s new albums which I also listens to, but the old is as I said still good!

In the interview for Global Domination website from February 15, 2008 you said that your drummer Daniel Moilanen is working with porn and all his other bands. Is that true about porn? Or was it just a joke?
- It's true. Though not as an actor (what I know). It was some kind of porn distribution of movies, huge toys and such.

Well, I am very pleased with this interview, but it's time to finish. With what words you could express the inner essence of Runemagick, and let these words complete this interview.
- Do not really know what to say ... But I actually hope that there's something new with Runemagick but it may not or will not stressed up. Darkness Death Doom!
Mvh / Best regards 
Niclas Rudolfsson

2018. május 31., csütörtök

Wim van der Valk

Interview with Wim van der Valk 
(Inquisitor, Sammath)
(Questions compiled by Cornelius of Encomium 'zine and 
Georgius of Archangel's Lantern)
Hail to thee, Wim! Your new album “Stigmata Me, I'm In Misery” will be out this month through Hammerheart Records, but we already had the chance to listen to it at your label’s Bandcamp profile. It became simply awesome. What are the responses to it from the fans and the media so far as well as to the 7” EP, “I am Sick, I must Die”, which was out 15th of September, 2017?
- Hail to thee also G. and C., thanks for questioning me. " “Stigmata Me, I'm In Misery” is out a few month now and the response is overwhelming so far. Hammerheart Records is doing an awesome job promoting the album and we get reactions from just about everywhere. Since last December the promo pack is downloadable through the label's promo- channels and lots and lots of magazines and other reviewers did so. Most of them wrote absolutely AWESOME reviews, and of course some didn't haha. In general we get good grades and we hear that it's a very welcome successor to "Walpurgis - Sabbath of Lust". We also hear that we haven't changed style and still sound like it's somewhere in the nineties, which we like very much (and something we knew ourselves of course haha)  Same goes for the 7", overwhelming responses and even a few people that were surprised we came back after such a long time. But here we are... 

Tell us please, how the recording process for your comeback album took place? How long did it take to record it? Whose idea was to cover the classics of Merciless and Sabbat?
- Recordings took place in April, May and June of 2017 at the Toneshed Recording Studio of Erwin Hermsen; former guitar player for Inhume among others. He has a studio near his home, it has a very warm atmosphere and we felt really comfortable over there. For most of us it was a long time ago since we recorded in a studio, so most of the digital stuff was new, but it all worked out fine. Of course we took way too lang to record all songs, also because we recorded some extra stuff; like some covers for the 7" and other promotional purposes. The Merciless and Sabbat songs were in our live set in the nineties, so therefor we recorded them as well. The studio-boss came up with the idea to record the Dark Angel track cause it would fit our other stuff; so we taped that one also. This was a big challenge 'cause I never played that one and had to learn it while my kit was in the studio, so only played it on my air drum kit.  On the recording day I played it only twice before we recorded it but it also worked out quite well I think.

As it is already known, the lyrics built upon Alex’s personal life experiences. So the question rise, does the lyrics of “Stigmata Me, I'm In Misery” conceptual in any way? The cover artwork displays Alex allegorically crucified on the cross. Was it planned from the start to have such a realistic illustration on the cover or you were thinking of having a traditional painted cover?
- Actually, it is just a part of the lyrics that deal with his personal issues, not all of them so it's not a concept album. We would not have been Inquisitor if we haven't written lots of anti-christian songs of course. Alex had lots of health issues and other physical problems due to his lifestyle as well as being worn out by his work. At the moment he is doing OK. In spite of having a lot of backfire from old times, he is getting over this and is doing better day by day now. He wrote some awesome lyrics about his issues and we thought we better made that the main source of this album. So, because of this he had to be on the cover of course, painted or otherwise. This cover idea was planned from beginning and indeed we tried tot made a realistic illustration first but that didn't work out. The awesome picture of Elsabijn did and we all are very happy with the result.

One can notice the fragments of Prokofiev’s famous “Dance of the Knights” used in your intro, but what should we know about the second introduction for the song, titled “Northern Goliath - Death A Black Rose”? Who did it?
- Well, i am guilty of making the in- and outros. We were looking for a little intro that suites the first song and Alex B. came up with this tune. I lowered the speed a bit and added some lovely whipping to it to make it suit even better. It worked out very well I think. It has no deeper meaning or whatsoever. The intro for "Northern Goliath..." is taken from the same song and here I added some Evil Dead pieces to it.

Do you remember when your first acquaintance with the musical instrument called drums was? Do you play or own any other instruments? Which drummers influenced you at the beginning and what drummers are the most favourite of yours lately?
- I have been playing the almighty air drums since a very young age and traded my air drum kit in for a real one only at the age of 19 when I immediately started playing in my first band together with Erik. Next to these air drums I also played air guitar, air bass and air mics, and still do but never cared to get into the real deals. My biggest and earliest influence on both air drums and drums are; Alex Van Halen, Clive Burr, Robb Reiner and Dave Lombardo but got into the fast stuff of Pete Sandoval and Docent very soon. I also like Tommy Aldridge, Joe Cangelosi, Gene Hoglan, Richard Christy, Derek Roddy, Aquiles Priester, Bobby Jarzombek  to name just a few.

You’ve had quite a lot of shows during the past year. How do you see what has changed in the nowadays underground fans’ worldview compared to the ones you’ve seen for example in the first half of the 90s? For instance, how the fans’ reaction (talking with the members, buying some merch, keeping in touch afterwards, etc.) look like after an Inquisitor gig today? Do you satisfied the way it looks now?
- Starting with how different things looks nowadays; we look old haha. Most of our hair is gone and we look a bit like old men behaving badly, with our glasses and beer-bellies. But when our music starts you think it is 1990 all over again!!! We aged well I think but play still the same kind of fast aggressive stuff we're used too over 25 years ago. The underground scene has changed but not too dramatically. The biggest change is the digital way of discovering and even making music. Another change is that lots of fans are of age these days, like we are. It looks like the hay-days of metal are still the 80s and 90s and most of the fans grow with it. But the overall reaction from fans to Inquisitor, our music and ourselves is merely the same, and visa versa. After our shows we always drink a beer with our fans and/or chat about the gig at our merchstand. As it always was and how it should be, and that is how i like it.

For the 7” you’ve selected a great painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder. It is known that the Low Countries are rich by famous painters. Would you recommend us a few museums and galleries of art from your land? Do the fine arts of the Netherlands attract you and if so, which are those?
- We have some great musems here, like the "Rijksmuseum"  in Amsterdam, with Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages to the present day. Also the "Van Gogh" museum and the "Mauritshuis" are worth spending some time. I am not an art fanatic, but sure can appreciate some nice dark paintings from the ones like Brueghel, Jeroen Bosch, Salvator Rosa for example. I don't like modern art but do like some Escher stuff.

What is the actual situation with the forthcoming Sammath full-length and its future live performances?
- We just completed the first awesome series of gigs in the Netherlands, which all worked out great. Even recorded some few nice videos of those shows and one of them will be released on tape by Zwaertgevegt in the next few weeks. We played festivals with Dutch Black Metal bands like Lugubre, Standvast, Ibex Angel Order and Grafjammer as well as foreign bands like Dark Funeral, Isvind, Ancient and Akercocke. At the moment we are working on new songs for the forthcoming album; these are the first Sammath songs that I am playing the drums on and you can guess the result if you know me.... But triple or quadruple this and you get an idea of what we are working on. It will take some time but I'm sure nobody mind 4 years since "Godless Arrogance". It will be a shocker !!!

When you are along with your family and/or friends/band-mates, which are those places you are visiting with pleasure to get some foods and drinks? Any local specialities you would recommend to us hereby?
- Next to my family life, my busy job and my two bands with weekly rehearsals and gigs there is very little time left. I'm happy even to spend some time on my couch, or sometimes a local gig. In my hometown are no mentionable places, so if i go out it's to of to cities like Amersfoort, Utrecht, Arnhem or even Amsterdam and Eindhoven. For gigging in the Netherlands you best go to The Baroeg (Rotterdam), Dynamo (Eindhoven), Little Devil & 013 (both in Tilburg), Willemeen (Arnhem) or Hedon (Zwolle) among many others.

If you look back to the releases of 2017, which ones will you pick up as your beloved materials?
- To be honest, I'm more focused on old stuff and very busy with my own bands, therefor I don't have much time left to follow the scene very closely. However, here are just a few releases that I like from last year:
Immolation - Atonement, 
Dead Head - Swine Plague, 
Kadaverdisciplin - Death Supremacy, 
Exhumed - Death Revenge, 
Hellripper - Coagulating Darkness, 
God Dethroned - The world Ablaze,
Azarath - In Extremis, 
Beheaded - Beast Incarnate, 
Sinister - Syncretism, 
and of course Neocaesar - 11:11

just to mention a few ;)

Thank you very much Wim for taking the time to answer our questions! Please complete it by sending your final thoughts to the readers of Archangel’s Lantern.
- Well, thank you for questioning me about my bands, my music and me. I am getting very close to 50 but try to continue the extreme music for some more years. Expect new Sammath music within a year from now and also new Inquisitor stuff is in writing. Till then I hope to spend more time on stages here in the Netherlands and abroad. Keep focused on our FB pages and websites so you won't miss a thing. Cheers G.  and C. for all promotion and nice contact. Never change!

Website:     http://www.inquisitorxtremethrash.nl
E-mail:       InquisitorXtremeThrash@gmail.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/InquisitorXtremeThrash 
Twitter:      https://twitter.com/inquisitormetal  
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/inquisitor_xtreme_thrash/ 


SAMMATH online: 
Website:    http://sammath.nl 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sammath666  

Hammerheart Records: http://www.hammerheart.com 
Zwaertgevegt: https://www.zwaertgevegt.nl