2020. december 8., kedd

Julien (Thyr)

 Interview with Julien (Thyr) 

(Iron Flesh, Agressor live session)

Hail Julien, it’s nice to talk with you again! First of all let me to congratulate for your new album called “Summoning the Putrid”, I’ve enjoyed a lot all the tracks. Would you be so kind to share all the important information about the song-writing process, artwork of new Iron Flesh LP? Tell us in your own words “Summoning the Putrid” track by track please. 

- Thanks for your support and congrats, this album is the result of 2 years of hard work.
I have started writing it during the promotional part of «Forged faith bleeding» so it was a bit tricky to be on both sides.
Songs are slightly different, my writing style has evolved, perhaps more "in your face" and melodic/doom on this one.
We went into an other studio, so it’ s also really different on the production.
For the artwork it’ s the result of a great collaboration of Skadvaldur who did all the main artwork.
He did an amazing job, people are still sending me messages saying how great is the artwork!
Then Ars Goetia Design did the colour side of the artwork which was the final touch giving this beautiful result.

Servants of Oblivion: Perfect track to open an album with a slow intro, then turning a punk death blasting vibe with a catchy chorus.
Straight foward song with a solo of Sylver at the end of the song.

Relinquished Flesh: This song is a bit more groovy and rock n roll but yet keeping an intense blasting verse part.
Catchy chorus, really digging all the break parts with the final brutal blasting part.

Demonic Enn: Heaviest song on the album, wanted to try something different with the HM2, really satisfied with the result!

Purify Through Blasphemy: Typical heavy metal song with a thrashy/punk vibe.
One of my favorite, looking to play it live.

Cursed Beyond Death: A mix between Swedish melodic riffs influenced by Hypocrisy and more doomish vibes.

Death and the Reaper’s Scythe: Longest song on the album, doom and heavy at the same time, with a catchy chorus.
The outro is grandiose and melancolic at the same time.

Incursion of Evil: Melodic song with a thrashy/punk feel.
Straight foward, catchy chorus. 

Thy Power Infinite: Fastest song on the album.
More influenced by old Dark Tranquillity .
Epic chorus and solo by Alex from Agressor on the last part. 

Convicted Faith: Final song, like an ending chapter.
Probably sadest and most gloomy song I have written.
Dedicated to an old friend of mine.
Sounds like a funeral march, the end of mankind is near.  

Your previous material “Forged Faith Bleeding” was released through French Epictural Production in 2019 but “Summoning the Putrid” via another label, French Great Dane Records. How did happen your new alliance?

- I am still in great terms with Epictural Production and open to work with the team again if things happened this way. 
In 2019 we played a show in Lille with Skelethal and I was approached by Raph from GreatDane, we spoke about the new album, and he told me he wanted to produce it. 
GreatDane Records is a well established label, and I have worked with them in the past in other projects . 
They have a good promotion/distribution deal in Europe and even over.
It was a "premiere" for the band for be distributed over France, it won’t change things that much, but I am convinced that it’s the best way to export yourself over the boarders.
It takes years for a band to establish itself on the international plan, slowly but surely we are crowling out from our graves.
GreatDane was definitly the best possible signature we could expect for "Summoning the Putrid".

On “Thy Power Infinite” legendary Alex Colin-Tocquaine of Agressor played an amazing guitar solo.  Let’s talk about this awesome cooperation.

- Over the years I have done a lot of drum sessions as recording drummer but also as a live drummer.
Afew years back Alex contacted me to replace his live drummer, a dream came true as I played with a band I have always been fan of. Then he asked me a few more times to play with him live.
We started to be real friends since those days, he is a true legend, amazing person, composer and guitar player.
Since the first album we were speaking about him playing a exclusive solo on an Iron Flesh album.
This time for "Summoning the Putrid" due to pandemic our agendas were open, so he found time and composed an amazing solo for me.
I am so grateful for what he did. 

Iron Flesh released a live-album, namely “A Necro Dead One” in May, this year. What should we to know about it? 

- "Summoning the Putrid" was supposed to be released during this period, but due to the pandemic and lockdown it was our decision to release it later in the year ( not knowing that the pandemic will last this long ).
I didn’t want to let the fans without new material and we had this multi track recording of a live show we did in 2019.
We thought it could be a nice gift to mix/master and release it on the streaming platforms. 
"A Necro Dead One" is a turning point of the first era of the band.
We released 2 EPs and an album, and stepping foward with the new album, making the band, music, live performances evolve. 

Because of the pandemia live performances of the bands practically were cancelled or postponed but as you said, Covid 19 did not stop your band and Iron Flesh played a great show in the end of October in Nantes.  Are there any of your thoughts about that concert?

- We planned shows even during the pandemic but they were all cancelled at the last minute...
Very unpleasant for the troops but we tried our best.
We had the possibility to rehearse a few time before the show in Nantes.
It was a special one as we played the set two times in front of different people who sat on chairs like in a cinema or a theater.
Not really my cup of tea but if this pandemic last for a certain period of time and if the only solution to play shows is to play in front sitting people at least the scene will survive, pubs, shows, festivals and many activities will work, not at full potential but it could be better than the actual situation where streaming/social network are the only way to make bands "exist".

What is the current situation with other bands where are you playing? 

- I have recorded a session on drums for Ferriterium new album that will be released by the end of the year. 
Except this session, 2020 was pretty calm for me regarding sessions.
Iron Flesh is growing and keep me busy so it’ s a not a bad thing if I focus myself only on one band.

You had a trip to Stockholm to see live Scandinavian Deathfest in 2019. What are your experiences? 

- This is a dream that came true.
Finally seeing the great Dismember.
I have been waiting for 25 years or so. Also had the opportunity to exchange a few words with Matti who is the nicest man on earth. 
Lik also was there as a last minute change in the line up.
It’ s a band I really dig lately.
4 planes in 2 days, almost no sleep but happy, and with the pandemic happening now it was probably the last occasion to see them before a long time. 

Are there any new French hordes you could recommend to the readers? 

- Skelethal and Cadaveric fumes are the bands i keep an eye on actually.
They are not really new comers but some of the best.
Necrowretch, Fall of Seraphs, Mercyless, The Last Tomb... 

What are your favourite albums of this year so far? 

Lik - Misanthropic Breed 
Skelethal - Unveiling the Threshold 
The Spirit - Cosmic Terror
Benighted - Obscene Repressed 
Sodom - Genesis XIX

Are you having favourite French writers/books and actors/movies? 

- I am really enjoying old movies with De funès or Depardieu even if French culture is not my favorite. 
Regarding books I am more into Lovecraft than Albert Camus or Michel de Montaigne. 

Merci beaucoup/Thanks a lot my friend, wish you all the best, I hope meet you personally in the near future! Send your message to complete this conversation. 

- Thanks again for this great interview, and I hope we will meet somewhere on earth before final extinction ahahah. 
Stay Necro! 

Important links: 

Iron Flesh YouTube:

2020. november 24., kedd

LoneHunter (Juliano and Marcos)

 Interview with Juliano and Marcos


Hail my Brazilian brothers, first of all I would congratulate to you both for the new LoneHunter-song, called War (The Fields of the Great LoneHunter), I listen to a lot of times, excellent one. How many tracks you were written yet for LoneHunter-debut and when do you plan to release it?

Juliano: Wow brother, thanks for the kind words. You were certainly one of the first to hear it and in fact you didn't hear the full track, just a rough mix. There are some details in the final edition of the track that in our opinion make it much more epic. “War” was the first track we started working on after “Beyond the Portals of Death” was released and it’s probably my favorite LoneHunter song. Basically, it tells a story and I believe that the atmospheres created by the instrumental fit perfectly with what is said in the lyrics. All the harmonic chaos created by the instruments, the changes in soundscapes, the incessant and unpredictable movement and all the textures of tones in it’s almost twenty minutes of duration make it very rich to my personal taste. It will probably be the title track for our next release. Personally, I would love to release it as a split with the Swedish band Eigenstate Zero that I love and that I met thanks to an interview at Archangel’s Lantern. Chris is crazy enough to also make long songs like us LOL. Imagine a split with a song from each band and about forty minutes long, it would be colossal. Unfortunately, Chris has other plans in mind. We already have several other tracks and ideas at various stages of progress planned for an upcoming release. Unfortunately, the current pandemic has changed the routine and plans of many people. Our idea was to start doing shows now in 2020 and to release our first album in early 2021, we already had the first date confirmed but our planning went to dust. To keep things warm we talked about the possibility of releasing another EP in the beginning of 2021 and thereby closing a cycle.

Marcos: We are working in two new tracks now. Unlike the music just released (War), they are more direct songs.

I’m so honored for your awesome gifts you sent me (LoneHunter EP and Brazilian Tribute to Bathory) and I’m so proud of it, that you put on your thank list my humble name. Would you be so kind to tell us in your own words “Beyond the Portals of Death” track by track?

Juliano: Well, if I would review our work I’d say:

 Preludium - What The Moon Brings: It’s an instrumental introduction that starts with a piano and choir in a vibe that is both classic, simplistic and disturbing and evolves with the addition of guitars, bass drums and keyboards for something more bombastic. The title is from a short story by H.P.Lovecraft and if you know the work you should listen to the track imagining the sunrise and what it brings with it.

 Under Raven’s Shadows: A track that like a punch in the face already shows most of the elements found in the band's sound. Two vocals, old school Death Metal guitars, keyboards present as an element as important as guitars and sound variation. There is a riff on that song that is purely Nocturnus and that We love. The lyrics are about death from the perspective of the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe and how a man or woman can surrender to irrationality before the greatness of the lone hunter with a thousand eyes.

 Interludium – Face Your Fears: This is a track created by Marcos and has a Dark Ambient vibe, something a little cinematic I would say. I think it works very well as a divider between the preceding track and the succeeding song. This track has the same vibe from some old Scott Burns productions.

 Eternal Time: That was the first track that we started working on LoneHunter. It was kind of a lab to test the limits that we would explore in the band and started as a re-reading of a track created by Marcos when he was still playing in another band called Immortal Majesty in the 90s. It starts out more raw and cold and evolves to finish in a guitar riff half Deicide, half Luciferion covered by a keyboard trip that tries to create something in the vein of a Nocturnus track called Artic Crypt. The lyrics are about how the brevity of the time of a life can be insignificant when placed in front of the vastness of eternity that the concept of Death brings with it.

 Postludium - Beyond The Portal’s of Death: An instrumental “outro” that shows  a slower and morbid theme, as if it were the soundtrack that prepares the revelation of the mystery that lurks behind the veil in the fields of the great lone hunter.

LoneHunter made two brilliant covers from Bathory (“Call from the Grave”) and Bolt Thrower (” The Forth Crusade”). Share your thoughts about it. Do you plan to make new covers in the near future?

Juliano: Thank you for the words. The Bathory track that is part of the Brazilian tribute made us very satisfied, unfortunately some mistake that was not ours and that we in the band cannot explain, made the track was put in the album come out much faster than the one we recorded and it was very frustrating for us. If someone has a first contact with LoneHunter through this cover, they may have the wrong impression about us. It was our intention that the Bolt Thrower cover would be part of the EP "Beyond The Portals of Death", Karl Willets himself supported us in that decision, but the record company that owns the music rights did not allow us to do that. In addition to these two covers that you mentioned, we did a version for "For all Those who Died" also by Bathory that would be part of a Mexican tribute and that will probably never see the light of day, and a version for "Cryonics" by Slayer that is on tribute released by Antichrist Magazine. We love working on versions of songs created by others and giving our own face to it. Now it's time to focus on our own compositions, but we've already talked about the possibility of playing with something from Death, Merciless, Pestilence, Black Sabbath, Obituary, Insane Death .... some we discard, others, well wait and who knows ...

Brother Marcos you unleashed an awesome solo-project namely Dark Kingdom and I must say the song “Echoes of the Night” you sent me to listen to it, a great job. Tell to the readers all the important information of Dark Kingdom please.

Marcos: Thanks for the kind words, brother.

I created the Dark Kingdom logo at the early 90’s and the idea was kept for several years. I am always creating arrangement and this year this kind of song starts appears in my mind. I like very much of working in different ideas.

LoneHunter goes to one direction. Dark Kingdom, Masturbator and Pesticide goes to another.

I will release a new song this year.

Marcos, what is the current situation with other hordes, you are playing or played back in the day as Masturbator and Pesticide?

Marcos: My main horde is LoneHunter. I play in Masturbator and Pesticide too. Masturbator is an old school Brazilian death metal band formed at 1987. It was the first band I saw playing live at 1990, in rehearsing. Old friends! I join forces with Masturbator at march’2019 and we played live in two local festivals last year. We are finishing the recordings of the first full length album. It will be released in Extreme Sound Records.

Pesticide was a splatter grind death metal I started at 1990. It was a project only with  bass with distortion and drums. André play drums and me, bass. We recorded 2 rehearsal demo tapes. At 1994 we changed the name to Cauterization and recorded a rehearsal demo tape and stopped the activities. I started to play at Immortal Majesty and Cauterization never played after this. I played in Immortal Majesty for one year and left the band because of personal reasons.

Last year André and I started to play again and compose new songs. We want to release 8 songs next year.

Because there is another band called Cauterization we choose Pesticide for the return of our activities.

I played in the Funeral Serenade band too. It was a project with former members of Sex Trash band. I compose the song called Extintion and participated of the creation of 2 another songs. It was for some months and I left the project this year.

Brother Juliano you mentioned in our first conversation that you were invited to do the keyboards to Mr. Ed Mowery’s great band Tiwanaku. What should we know about that cooperation?

Juliano: Well… Yes Ed called me to the keyboards and I have to say that this was a bit of an unexpected honor. Ed was part of Nocturnus and honestly, being invited by a former member of one of your favorite bands to be part of a project is kind of surreal. The first album will have special guests that were part of bands that I have always admired like Death, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, etc., that means that the whole thing is even crazier lol. BUT .... the fact is that I have a job that takes me more time than I have and I have a bad habit of making more commitments than I can and that would not give me enough time to do the job that the quality of the band  would demand.  In addition, the issue of distance is another factor that hinders the necessary logistics.  Ed got an old friend to do the keyboards and he will continue with Tiwanaku. Ed had some personal problems that delayed plans a lot, but he is a great guy and managed to get things sorted out and get the train on track again. Soon news will be revealed and the material is getting great.

Juliano in our private conversation you told me you started a Dark Ambient project. Let’s talk about it.

Juliano: Yes, I have a lot of composed stuff that wouldn't fit in LoneHunter’s music and that I'll use in another approach, something more Dark Dungeon / Ritual Ambient music. This material will have a more "religious" connotation, let's say and it will be something very personal. Let's say that certain things that I believe and that deserves to be glorified will be in a sonic format. This project will be named as my old zine "Crypt of Eternity" and my intention is at first to finish five compositions.

What are your favorite albums from 2019 and 2020 yet? (from Brazil and Worldwide)

Juliano: Brother I get a lot of new stuff every day to review in Lucifer Rising Magazine and a lot of things always catch my attention. There is a lot of old school Death Metal band that has caught my attention. I will name a few but I am sure I will forget a lot. From Brazil my favorite band at the moment is OPEN THE COFFIN, which is composed by a former member of the Brazilian band INSANE DEATH, I recommend to all of your readers that try to know these two names.

Bands and albums that caught my eyes and ears recently were:

Necrot - Mortal

Bismarck - Oneiromancer

Come Back From The Death - The Rise of the Blind Ones

Cursed Blood - Taker of Life

Eremit - Desert of Ghouls

Innards - Back from the Grave

Sensory Amusia - Bereavement

Sepulchral Curse - Only Ashes remain

Troops of Doom - The rise of Heresy (Keep this name, they will be giants one day)

Trident - North

Undead - Existential Horror

Wobbler - Dwellers of the Deep (a Dark Progressive band that I love) etc, etc, etc.

Which are your favorite books/writers/poets and movies/actors? (Brazilians and others)

Juliano: Anything and everything from Master H P Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Isaac Asimov, Douglas Adams, Michael Moorcock, I have tons of old science fiction anthologies from all over the world in my library. A friend named Mimi Zanetti just founded her publisher "Carcosa Editora" and through her I met an author named Anthony M. Rud very unknown and I'm in love with the guy's style. 

I'm totally in love with sci-fi movies and series, things like the Star Trek franchise, Sliders, Fringe, Twilight Zone, Amazing Stories. Currently two of my favorites are Lovecraft Country and The Boys.

Do you have any special hobbies besides creating music?

Juliano: I work a lot and in fact I am a bit addicted to it and my spare time is very limited. I love to write and I have several short stories written. Besides music, my other passion is books. I actually spend a lot more of money on books than on albums. Science fiction, art, history and mainly philosophy are my main topics.

I also have two daughters and I love spending time with them. My oldest daughter has a very different mentality and I love to discuss philosophy and things like that with her.

Obrigado/Thank you very very much, brothers! Send some thoughts to complete this interview.. Hail LoneHunter and Total Support! 

Marcos: We want to thank you for your time, brother! For this interview and all support your give to us.

Underground rules!

Juliano: Thank you brother for all the support. Your work to the underground is priceless.

Important links :






2020. november 9., hétfő

Mickael Broberg

Interview with Mickael Broberg 
(Unanimated, Born For Burning, 
Massive Destruction, Contempt Of The Light,
The Demon's Way, Daemonium Regni)

Hail brother Micke it has been a while and I’m so honoured to talk with you again on my small blog. Let’s start our conversation with Unanimated show, Scandinavia Deathfest, last week. Tell the readers your experiences please. 
I’ve noticed that Set Teitan played with you in a few tracks as a guest. He would be invited to your live performances later then as well?

- Yeah, we had a blast at Scandinavian Deathfest in Stockholm, our hometown. Great crowd! And we had Set come up at the stage and play the last three songs, I think, with us. He did some gigs with us back in 2010 as well. We thought it would be cool to have three guitars at those last songs, so he did a guest appearance this time and we had a great time. We have nothing planned for the future with him for now, but who knows. I did have a terrible cold and was a little sick, and my voice was not at the best it usually is, but I pulled through.

I’m a big fan of Unanimated and Dismember also since early 90s. I saw some Dismember videos from Scandinavia Deathfest, the guys played a great old school set. What is your opinion about their 2 shows? 

- Well, it was like traveling back to the 90’s to see those guys again. And they delivered more than anyone had expected I think, they put up a great show, and was the best at that festival for sure! And I hope they will keep on delivering Death!

How it happened Unanimated re-union a few years ago? I watched a video about your first live show after Unanimated re-united, it has been awesome for me to see you together again, Share some thoughts about it.

- We actually reunited 2007/2008, and then we recorded "In The Light Of Darkness". After that we just weren’t able to be as active as we wanted to. And still we are not as active as we want to; it’s just life that comes between, several of things that makes it hard for us to be out and touring for example. But we are working in the quiet, and writing material for the new album.

You released an awesome EP called “Annihilation” last year. How were the responses from fans and metal media? Do you have some plans to record a new Unanimated full length?

Yes, the plan has always been to release a full length after that MLP-release. Also with re-releases with our three first albums. But things have been time consuming with legal rights and so on. But we are getting closer to our goals, and I believe that this year we will record our full length and hopefully re-release our first three. I thought the response after the "Annihilation" was great; it was just a pre-taste of what’s to come. It was not meant to take this long though, but we are working on it. You’ll see..

With your awesome horde Born For Burning you will release debut album “The Ritual” on the 25th of October through Swedish Critical Mass Recordings this year. I’ve listened to a lot of times those two tracks what your label put to YouTube namely “The Ritual” and “Master”, both of them awesome tracks. What should we know about Born For Burning line-up and recording process? Who is the main song-writer in Born For Burning? 

- Yeah, the response for ”The Ritual” has been awesome all the way, much more than I ever have expected. But I am happy with it, and I am currently working on some new songs. 
Well, the line-up is nor other than me actually. There has been some misunderstanding about the line-up. I had some live-session members back in 2014, for a gig with Primordial at Club Deströyer in Sweden. But that was it! 
It has never been a ”band” in that sense. 
It was and still is a one-man’s band, and I am the only member and songwriter. At least for now. 
Maybe I will do shows later in the future, nothing is written in stone. But if I do, there will be other live-session members for sure. And if that will be the case, there will be more than just one gig. 

(an awesome gift from Micke Broberg, dedicated vinyl -GF)

I like a lot your another amazing band The 13th Passenger/The Demon’s Way and what I’ve written to you in our private conversations, your voice is very similar to old Ozzy Osbourne. Tell us more about your new tracks, “Black Miracle” and “The Way of Lucifer”.  It would be official changing the name from The 13th Passenger to The Demon’s Way? 

- Well, it’s another solo-project where the music is not very metal, but still there are the occult and dark features involved, as in everything I do. I guess it is more Black Sabbath influenced music, and the challenge is of course with the vocals, where I really push myself to another level as a singer. The new songs are very different from the old ”The 13th Passenger” songs, so that is why I have changed the name of the project to ”The Demon’s Way”. I felt the changes, both as musically and as personally, had developed to something deeper than before. And felt natural to move on with a name more suitable to the music.

You are a multitalented musician and I’m a big follower of your brilliant Death/Black metal project, Daemonium Regni. Enlighten us about all the important details of that Infernal horde. 
What I’ve listened to from you yet, all of them are just total awesomeness. It will be a full length in the near future? 

- I would love to release a full length with Daemonium Regni, but labels today are hard to get to release albums as a solo-artist, on my behalf anyway. Someone said to me that my ”fan-base” isn’t big enough, so I don’t know. But I love to write music even if I never release it, and will keep doing it anyway, regardless. And everyone who has heard my songs enjoys them. But my new songs are much more deeper than before, I have better equipment these days, and a lot of possibilities have opened up my writing. The new songs have more purpose, and are more well-written, there is a thought behind it all, and that thought is not a nice warm thought. But it still sounds like Daemonium Regni. At this point, there are 6 new songs ready for vocals. And then we’ll see, I think I will start to release a 6-track demo official, maybe cassette.

What is situation with Celestial Pain nowadays? 

- Yeah, since there was no more Celestial Pain, and I felt I had more Thrash in My bones, i decided to start a project called "Massive Destruction". The name is taken from C.P.'s second demo "Hatred", from the title Massive Destruction. 
Wich basically is a continuense Of Celestial Pain, The songs are very influenced by The German Thrash-scene from The late 80's and 90's. Its The same "combat Metal" sound as C.P. Someone wrote that in the 90's when we released our demos, in a review. 

We'll see, many labels has showed me some interest to release a full lenght with Massive Destruction, we'll see what happens.

Enlighten the readers about your guest activity with Necrophobic, Thyrfing.  

- Yeah, I did some guest-vocals with Necrophobic back in..A lot of years ago!  
Can’t even remember what song it was, but it was on their first album with Atte ”The Nocturnal Silence”. ( Iam googling) Yes, the song was of course ”Father Of Creation”. 
This is embarrassing, I know I did some guest-vocals with Thyrfing, but the memories are all just a blur. But I know I did. Have no idea which song or even what album. I have done some guest-vocals through the years, the latest was at The Pete Flesh Deathtrip ”Mortui Vivos Docent” album. 

How did you remember Unanimated/Dissection common live show in 90s?

- Not much at all, the 90’s are all just a big memory loss basically! Haha
Much alcohol, drugs and violence. But we had a blast back in the day! 
But I do remember when we played together at a small place called Kafé 44 in the early 90’s. I remember Jon as a nice guy and an awesome guitar-player, don’t really remember the gig though, and not even my own gig with Unanimated, too much free booze!

What are your current favourite bands from Swedish and Worldwide scene? 

- My all-time favourite bands are all from the 80’s and 90’s. But, new and new (new for me that is, or for anyone that still are somehow still in the 90’s), one band that surprised me, was the Swedish Voodus and I like Mephorash very much as well. Not so very NEW bands, but great ones.

Tell the readers more about your newest Melodic Death Black project, called Contempt Of The Light, please.

- Yes, COTL is as you said. A melodic Black Death Metal project, with perhaps some resemblances to the scene from the 90's. I don't know what to call it, someone iam sure has a name for it. I am just writing the music. 
I don't have a special goal or a purpose for this, its just something that comes from within. 
I have a "teaser" on YouTube with short clips from 4 songs, I am currently writing more songs, for a full length. It was supposed to be a demo, But the writing just kept going, and the interest was great from some swedish and German labels..

logo made by Tim Nordstedt

Tack själv brother it was awesome to talk with you again, wish you all the best with all of your brilliant bands. Send your message to the readers of Archangel’s Lantern in the end.

- Hail The Hordes! 

Important links: 


2020. október 19., hétfő

Ian Greg (Torch)

 Interview with Ian Greg (Torch)

(picture by Mats Vassfjord)

Hello Ian, hope you are doing fine and very welcome to small blog. Let’s start with your latest news: Torch played release party on the 9th and 10th of October in Sweden (I couldn’t join live stream unfortunately on Friday evening because of my weak internet connection...)  How did you satisfied with the shows? 

- Thank you! We’re very happy with the shows! Because of Covid-19 the maximum audience you can have in Sweden right now is 50 people. We thought it would feel strange, but the audience was wild so it felt like hundreds of people. It was great to play some of the new tracks live. We all had a great time.

I just listened to three tracks from your new album so far, namely “Collateral Damage”, “Cradle to the Grave” and “To the Devil His Due”. I must say all of them are excellent Heavy Metal hymns. Would you be so kind to share with the readers all the important information about “Reignited”? (song and lyric-writing process and recording). Do you have any plans to make a new video-clip by the way?

- Thanks! As you probably now we’ve been working on this album for quite a while. The process we use is that someone comes up with the “skeleton” to the song (riffs, chorus etc.). In the case of 'Reignited' I came up with most of the songs and Steve contributed two great songs. You then bring your idea to the band, and if they like it they start adding their bits. That’s what makes the Torch sound. Then Dan Dark adds a vocal melody, and I write the lyrics. There’s typically not a specific theme to our lyrics, they vary from our love of Heavy Metal ('Feed The Flame') to more serious subjects like what we’re doing to our planet ('To The Devil His Due'). We then recorded “old school”-style (amps and microphones, no plugs and loops). Once the recording was done we sent it over to Jacob Hansen who added his magic. We are planning to record a couple of videos. Stay tuned!

Brilliant cover artwork of “Reignited” was created by Thomas Holm (who made awesome works for Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Denner/Shermann, Nifelheim  just mentioning a few), which absolutely fits to the music of Torch. How did you meet him?

- We were determined that we wanted a real painting for the cover, it’s much more interesting than something digitally created. We started looking at covers we liked and all agreed that “Don’t Break The Oath” by Mercyful Fate was a great cover. We contacted Thomas Holm and he was happy to work with us. We’re very happy with how the album cover turned out! 

I’ve ‘met’ with notable Torch-music first time around in the end of 80s/early 90s, a good friend of mine gave me on a copy-tape of your debut album, what is still one of my favourite Heavy Metal releases from Sweden. How do you describe Swedish Heavy Metal-scene of 80s? 

- It was interesting times. In the beginning of the 80s, no record label wanted a Heavy Metal Band. Then when NWOBHM came along they got interested. They got really interested when Europe started having success, and all of a sudden everyone wanted Heavy Metal bands. Europe really opened a lot of doors. They made a lot of people realize that a hard rock from Sweden could make it, and not only British or American bands.

Which musicians/bands inspired you in the beginning?

- We were all big fans of bands like Judas Priest, Accept, early Iron Maiden, Saxon and Ozzy. But we also liked bands that were more Hard Rock than Metal – Riot was one of our favorite bands. Personally, I’ve always been a big Aerosmith fan as well.   

What show/tour was your most successful back in the day?

- Some of the highlights were to open up for Motörhead and to play the legendary Paradiso in Amsterdam.

When Torch was inactive, did you play in any bands?

- When Torch fell apart, I was totally fed up with the music business. I actually didn’t touch the bass for ten years. But I always felt something was missing. When I started thinking about reuniting Torch, I joined a couple of cover bands just to get the rust out of my system.

I know, it is a bit hard question but name us your 10 favourite albums/bands.

Jeez! That’s tough! Without any ranking I would say that my favorite albums are:

Judas Priest – Unleashed In The East

Accept – Breaker

Rush – All The Worlds A Stage

UFO – Strangers In The Night

Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance

Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard Of Ozz

Riot – Fire Down Under

Aerosmith – Rocks

Accept – Restless And Live

Thin Lizzy – Live And Dangerous

It feels like I’ve forgotten a lot of great albums…..

What is your opinion about Central/Eastern European Heavy Metal scene?

I don’t know too much about bands from Central/Eastern, but there seems to be a lot of Heavy Metal fans over there. We’d be more than happy to come and play if we’d get invited. 

Do you have any special hobbies? What are your favourite writers/books?

I guess my hobbies are pretty basic. Music is a large part of my life, so when I don’t play I love going to concerts and listening to music. I also enjoy travelling and good food and drinks. I read a lot, so it’s hard to pick a favorite writer. I tend to like books with psychos for some strange reason so I really like books like American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and The Silence Of The Lambs by Thomas Harris. 

If I’m not mistaken you are from Eskilstuna. Would you be so kind to recommend me some interesting places and local foods/drinks to taste?

He, He! Yes, I’m from Eskilstuna, but I’ve been living in Stockholm since 1987. Eskilstuna is an industrial town (we call it the Birmingham of Sweden), so don’t expect too many fancy restaurants. That said, there’s a lot of good junk food places and many places where you can find a decent priced beer. A friend of ours runs a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal club called Vainot in Eskilstuna. It’s a small but cool place. That’s where we usually end up when we’re out partying in Eskilstuna.

Tack så mycket/Thank you very much Ian, I’m so honoured, wish you and Torch all the best! Send please your message in the end of the interview.

- Your welcome! It’s been a pleasure. I’ll send your regards to the rest of the band!

Feed The Flame! /Ian Greg 

(picture by Mats Vassfjord)

Important links:

2020. október 13., kedd

Johnson Wang (ex-RISE)

 Interview with Johnson Wang 


Hail brother Johnson, I’m so thankful to ask you here, in my own hell. I hope you are doing fine and let’s start from the beginnings: how and when did you get introduced to underground music? What was your very first metal stuff? (vinyl, cassette) Which band did you see live for the very first time?

- Hails, brother! My first introduction to metal music, or what I perceived the term “metal” stuff was when I was about 10 years old when a classmate of mine showed me MÖTLEY CRE’s Dr. Feelgood, and I thought the first riffs for the title track were so heavy! (haha) 

Like most natural progression for metal fans, I found my way to METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER, SEPULTURA, and was drawn to the memorable riffs, the speed, the drumming, and the artwork of their albums. Like a curious nerd, I loved reading the thanks lists and looked at the shirts the bands were wearing and proceeded to check out those bands.  Another classmate of mine brought CANNIBAL CORPSE’s Butchered at Birth CD to school one day and I was blown away by the cover obviously, but when I listened to it, I was shocked that music could sound like that.  Not too long after, I found some used CDs at a local shop and remember picking up NAPALM DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, CARCASS, and ENTOMBED albums simply because the artwork and the names were so repulsive and cool.  Back then there was no YouTube to preview anything, and I blindly purchased them with my allowance money, but luckily all those albums are classics!

I was a little bit late going to live shows as I was a teenager, didn’t have transportation, and didn’t know others in my area who listened to metal, but the first live show I attended was METALLICA in 1994 – and they did not disappoint. 

When did you start to play the keyboards? Who inspired you back in the day? Do you play the other musical instrument beside the keyboards?

I think most Asian parents, especially Chinese parents have their children play piano, violin, or both.  I assume that the parents want their kids to learn piano to expand their brain and mindset, and not so much as to have their kids actually enjoy the music they’re playing.  Naturally, I was taught classical music and the more I learned, the more I began to enjoy it.  I would say that Mozart and Chopin are my favorites to play and listen to, but I also enjoy Beethoven and Liszt. Those classical geniuses would be the biggest influences in my playing. I do like to “play” the guitar and drums, but I can’t say I am very good at either! (haha)

How did you join RISE? Before RISE did you play in any other horde(s)?

A few years before joining RISE, I formed a grind band in High School with my friend called HYALOPHAGIA.  I use the term “band” very loosely as it was just the two of us, and we were terrible.  I played the guitars, bass, and we both recorded some vocals.  I manually played “drums” using the drum sounds on an old keyboard I had, and we recorded a four song demo (the entire demo playing time was around 4 minutes) on a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder.  The final result was definitely laughable and primitive, but we had a lot of fun and it was a cool outlet for us as teenagers.

Around the time RISE just recorded Slaves of Illusion, original drummer, Rob Alaniz showed me some of the songs and mentioned that the band was looking for a darker sound and possibly incorporating some keyboards into the band.  Since the band didn’t have any keyboards in any of the songs, I came up with some parts in which I felt would possibly fit with the songs.  I believe some of the tracks I played when auditioning for the band were “Weakness Spread by Fear” “The Bitter End” and the title track.  I remember playing a lot of wrong notes, but tried to capture the feel of the songs with some keyboard elements added to them.  They had me come on board and the first show I played with the band I only played about 3 songs from the entire set, as I wasn’t familiar with many of the other songs yet!

What are your favourite RISE-tracks and why?

For the RISE albums that I did not play on, I have a few that I enjoy a lot. From the demo, I like the title track, “Life Into Ever Black” as it has a total old-school death metal feel and a really catchy main riff and hook.  I love István’s vocals as well! Shadow of Ruins had a lot of amazing lead trade-offs from Albert Gonzalez and Rik Hansen, and I really like “The Vicious Icon” and the title track – both tracks showing the diversity of the band as “Vicious” is a faster no-nonsense track, and the title track with that catchy main riff, mid-paced start, and of course amazing lead work.  As far as Slaves of Illusion is concerned, I thought this album was a great transition into the “newer” sound the band was looking for, fusing the old-school death metal sound with some great musicianship.  My favorites from Slaves are the title track (total amazing BOLT THROWER feel), “Weakness Spread by Fear” and “The Bitter End”.

Divine Aeternum has a special place in my heart not because it was my first performance with a professional band, but because of the entire experience of recording in Hungary. Meeting all the amazing people during that time, and the overall “sound” of the album was unique and can’t be replicated.  To this day, “Resurrection” “Deceiver” and “Hadak Ura” are my absolute favorite RISE tracks of all time.  “Resurrection” just starts with that buildup and the melodies in that track are so catchy.  What can be said about “Deceiver” as listening to it still gives me goosebumps.  What a simple, yet effective beginning that Rik wrote for the beginning keyboard part, and the stop-start section was so fun to play live.  Of course “Hadak Ura” had those epic moments, especially the breakdown towards the end with Rik’s solo, the keyboard solo, and then the monumental solo from István.  I never get tired of Jaime’s parts throughout the album as well, especially on “Release”.

I would say that “Anthem of Darkness” “Martyrdom - Forever Dead” and “Opus Requiem” are my favorites from Pentagramnation.  I think “Anthem” is a great opening track, and of course James Murphy’s (ex-DEATH, ex-OBITUARY, etc.) solo on it was icing on the cake.  I enjoyed “Forever Dead” quite a bit live because it was one of the faster punchy, to-the-point songs on that album. I loved to headbang to that one! Last, but not least, “Opus Requiem” is one of my favorites because this song has it all, blast beats, sweet riffs, Angela Gossow’s (ex-ARCH ENEMY) vocal trade-offs, another instance of James Murphy’s guitar wizardry, and Istvan’s memorable solo that leads into the final solo at the end by the great Dave Suzuki (CHURCHBURN, ex-VITAL REMAINS) - just so epic and moving!

Which was, in your opinion the most successful show/tour with RISE?

I have to say that during the time I was in RISE, the two most successful shows that come to mind are the festival shows we were a part of: 1) November to Dismember (2000) and 2) Milwaukee Metalfest XV (2001). 

For November to Dismember, the band had such a great response as we blasted through our songs in the 20 minutes or so that we had.  A lot of the crowd was probably more familiar with the band as the venue was not too far from the general Los Angeles area.  Milwaukee on the other hand, was far from our home base, and was another amazing experience as I know we made new fans that day – I remember we received a lot of positive feedback from people all over the U.S. who were able to catch our set there.

My absolute personal favorite shows I enjoyed playing were: 1) DISSECTION (2005) in Tijuana, Mexico and 2) headlining show in István’s hometown of Győr in Hungary.  

The DISSECTION show was full of crazed metalheads in Mexico, but I know a lot of people from Los Angeles, San Diego, and even further came down to see the show.  I just remember the show being in a tiny club, with lots of cheap beer flowing everywhere. DISSECTION played a flawless set ranging from the first two albums, and the Maha Kali EP just came out and of course I picked that up at the show. 

That headlining show in Győr was absolutely insane. A lot of István’s friends were there and were extremely excited to watch us.  Hordes were headbanging maniacally, even to the Divine songs – which we were still recording the album during that same time, so no one knew the songs but they got a taste of it!

It was truly an amazing experience, and to top it all off, Attila Csihar (MAYHEM) came on stage to sing “Weakness Spread by Fear” – it was haunting and hilarious at the same time as he was just singing whatever he wanted and we just went with it.  I also really enjoyed watching TESTIMONY open for us, and love all their stuff – Inhale the Sadness still gets lots of play from me!

You composed and performed “Gates of Bloodshed” intro in excellent Sinister album called “The Carnage Ending” (2012). What should we know about that hellish alliance? Did you compose other intros to another band as well?

As some may or may not know, Bart from SINISTER wore a RISE shirt on the CD sleeve of their Hate album.  This was actually the first time I heard of RISE, when I bought the SINISTER album and saw that picture.

Aad from SINISTER wrote to the band asking for some RISE stuff as it was hard to find in Netherlands, and we kept in touch.  Before the band went in to record The Carnage Ending, he asked me if I wanted to compose and perform an intro for the album and of course I agreed, as I have been a huge SINISTER fan, my favorite being Cross the Styx I’d also like to thank Rik Hansen for assisting me with recording the intro.

I have not composed any other intros for other bands, but a few have inquired about my interest.  If there are bands interested in an intro, let me know.

Perhaps you know that Archangel’s Lantern is dedicated, among others to the memory of Jon Andreas Nödtveidt (R.I.C.) Would you be so kind to share your memories about Him? What are your favourite ones from His heritage?

As I mentioned earlier, the show we opened for DISSECTION in Mexico was absolutely phenomenal.  The performance of DISSECTION was top-notch, with immense energy.  It’s none of my business, nor did I care about Jon’s personal life or his beliefs, but I was able to chat with him for a few minutes and he was extremely gracious about everything.  DISSECTION is definitely one of my favorite bands, and I still remember when I received Storm of the Light’s Bane from the Nuclear Blast mail order catalog and I was so excited to put it in my CD player right away.  

Do you play the keyboards nowadays? What are your eternal preferred keyboardists?

I have not played much these days as most of my time is spent running around after my kids, but I do expose them to music all the time.  My favorite classical composers I mentioned already, but a pianist I really enjoy (especially the older stuff) is the great Tori Amos!

What are your current favourite bands and albums nowadays?

- I don’t want to sound outdated or boring, but I pretty much listen to the same bands and albums that I have been listening to since the 90’s.  I do like some of the newer bands, but to me, they’re just rehashing old riffs from the classic death metal bands, so I’ll just stick to the original.  I would say these albums get eternal listens and are my “go-to” albums whenever I want to hear some great music (in no particular order):

·        DISSECTION – Storm of the Light’s Bane/The Somberlain

·        AT THE GATES – Slaughter of the Soul

·        CARCASS – Necroticism/Heartwork

·        DEATH – Human

·        SUFFOCATION – Pierced From Within

·        MORBID ANGEL - Covenant

·        IMMOLATION –Here In After

Do you have any special hobbies? Which books/movies you’ve read/watched last time?

- I lead a pretty simple life these days, listening to music, buying more music, playing video games, spending time with the kids.  The books I read are all music related, and lately I’ve been reading Dave Mustaine’s Rust in Peace book; it’s my favorite MEGADETH album, so naturally I want to know all the crazy stories surrounding the band during that era. As far as movies, the answer is same as music; my favorites are still the classics that I enjoyed years ago such as Goodfellas, Se7en, Casino, Full Metal Jacket, etc.

I have been watching quite a bit of live shows from bands, as this has been especially true during these strange times of COVID-19.  A few of my favorite live DVDs that I re-watch often are DISSECTION Rebirth of Dissection, EMPEROR - Live Inferno, DEATHLive in L.A., OPETHLamentations, and a few more.

Thank you very much brother, wish you all the best! Send your message to the readers please…

Just want to send eternal thanks to everyone who enjoyed RISE’s music and performances; hopefully István will record some stuff sooner than later, as I know he has tons of amazing music written!  Hails to the Hungarian horde, as I hope to be back there again one day!  Many thanks to you Georgius, for this interview!