There is a disturbance in the force! Hailing from Richmond Virginia, Enforced are quickly gaining notoriety in the metal community as a force to be reckoned with.
The band showcases mastery of the thrash metal genre during live performances, exhibiting their militant power and sophistication. Vocalist Knox Colby’s commanding stage presence and dynamic vocals are what truly sets Enforced apart from the rest. Knox is a powerhouse, taking command of the stage with a vocal range spanning from guttural growls to piercing howls.
Axe men Will Wagstaff and Zach Monahan deliver razor-sharp riffs and blistering solos that perfectly compliment the thunderous rhythm section of bassist Ethan Gensurowsky and drummer Alex Bishop.
Enforced’s most recent call to arms, “War Remains,” is a declaration that is raw and unapologetic, blending groove and aggression seamlessly.
Metal Lair was thrilled to hear directly from Knox Colby about the bands recent endeavors.
ML: What inspired the band’s name Enforced? Does it reflect a particular philosophy or message that the band wants to convey through its music?
Knox: The name came from a desperate attempt to name a band that already had a demo but no name. It’s utilitarian and simple enough. Has the name grown in meaning since 2017? Maybe to our long-standing listeners, but it’s just a name to me.
ML: Richmond has a thriving music scene, with a long history of producing influential punk and metal bands. How has the city influenced the bands sound and style?
Knox: Richmond is a big influence when it comes to productivity. All of our friends and peers are constantly grinding out new material and it makes us want to work harder, be sharper, and to be a killer band.
ML: Some of the band’s music deals with themes of social injustice, inequality, and corruption. What inspired the band to address issues like these in its lyrics, and what message do you hope to convey to your listeners?
Knox: I’m writing about what’s in front of me. Injustice, inequality, corruption and the apathy to address any of it can be found anywhere. I guess my only message would be by tackling your inner issues, you’ll become a more positive force to the community and to the world at large; but it starts with yourself and being honest about your shortcomings. The only way forward is to own up to your shit, something no one seems interested in doing.
ML: The band’s last album, “Kill Grid,” was released in 2021 to critical acclaim. How does the band feel about the reception to the album, and what was the writing and recording process like?
Knox: We were super happy with the reception and the reactions people had to it! We put so much time, effort and pressure on ourselves to make our first album with Century to really stand out and turn heads. I think we accomplished that in spades, and we plan to keep pushing forward with the same tenacity, if not more so.
ML: The band has a new album coming out April 28th this year, “War Remains,” and you’ve released the song Ultra Violence. Can you explain what prompted this lyrical content?
Knox: Honestly, I can’t pinpoint any ONE specific theme. I remember scribbling it down in a fury and then sitting back really confused and in awe of it. I think I just had this “ah ha!” moment with all my notes scattered all over my porch trying to express and make sense of what’s locked in my head. Like Charlie from It’s Always Sunny:
ML: Many of your songs have a high level of technicality and complexity, with intricate guitar riffs and time signatures. How does the band approach songwriting and arranging, and what is the creative process like in the studio?
Knox: Zach Will and Alex write the songs and work on them for weeks and weeks until they’re tight and ready to rock, then I write lyrics after I’ve heard it a couple hundred times haha. What they do behind those doors is a secret even I’m not privy to!
ML: Enforced has been described as a “crossover death” band, incorporating elements of thrash, punk, and hardcore into its music. How does the band balance these different influences, and what sets Enforced apart from other bands in the genre?
Knox: I think we have a lot of energy and vitality that the crowd feeds off of at shows. We in turn feed off their energy and it turns into a frenzy. The youthful gusto of hardcore, the finger in your eye “fuck you” punk blends well with thrash and metal to make something completely unique and frenetic.
ML: Enforced has been active for several years now, but the band has only recently gained widespread recognition and acclaim. What do you attribute this success to, and how does it feel to have your music reach a larger audience?
Knox: HARD WORK and sticking to our guns. We’ve never done a tour we didn’t want to do, we’ve never made a single or wrote a song we didn’t want or like, and we’ve never kowtowed to anyone. We manage ourselves (Will Wagstaff is the best manager we could have), we’ve DIY booked some tours and small runs and shows. We play what we want when we want to. That drive and mentality reflects in our stage presence, our actions, and our appreciation from listeners new and old. Hard work pays off.
ML: Enforced has shared the stage with many notable metal and punk bands, including Sacred Reich, Iron Reagan, and Power Trip. What have been some of the most memorable moments from these shows, and what has the band learned from these experiences?
Knox: We’ve learned something new from every tour we’ve ever been on. We learned a lot from the Sacred Reich tour (we’d never been a part of anything that big before) and having wonderful guides like Tony Foresta and Phil Rind showing us the ropes on how bigger venue shows operate behind the scenes was great. Towards the end of the Decibel Tour, in Jersey City, the whole tour package just started stage diving and cannon-balling off stage throughout the entire Obituary set. Some of the most fun energy I’ve ever been a part of, and Obituary thought it was the coolest/funniest/best time as well! We rode that glow for days.
ML: Your live shows are known for their high-energy and intense atmosphere. How does the band prepare for a live performance, and what do you hope to achieve through your live shows?
Knox: We tune our guitars and go on stage. Very little/no preparation. We hope people lose their minds and jump off stage and mosh relentlessly. I love when crowds can match or exceed our energy. If I can do it, you can do it.
ML: Enforced has been described as “the future of thrash metal.” What are your thoughts on that description, what does the future hold for the band, and what can fans expect to see and hear from Enforced in the coming years?
Knox: That’s a bold statement, but a wonderful compliment. I’m glad people are seeing us in that kind of light. We have two tours ready to go for the summer, potentially a third. We’ll have a beer out when the album drops, we’re working on a record release show in Richmond (looking mid May). The gears don’t stop turning in the Enforced house.
ML; We asked a couple of fans to submit questions for the band.
Ter Deetch asks which venues are your favorite to play at?
Knox: Ralph’s Rock Diner – Worcester, MA, barely any laws there. Rock Room – Pittsburgh, barely any laws there Gooski’s – Pittsburgh, only played there once but it appeared there were no laws there St Vitus – NYC, probably has laws, but none that I’m aware of. Ohio – lawless Chicago – lawless Toronto – plenty of laws but the crowds are growing and growing
Eric Sorensen asked, on the title track of Kill Grid (Kill Grid & Curtain Fire are the best tracks on the album in my humble opinion) the last minute and 18 seconds has a droning sound. I am guessing this is aural presentation of the killing grid. It seems forced and detached: Was this part of the original track as written, or was this a production implant to extend the track?
Knox: The buzzing noise you’re hearing is the UVB-76 buzzer radio signal that’s been coming out of Russia since the 70s. There are conspiracies and theories that tie this signal to Russia’s nuclear Arsenal and execution of its payload (Dead Man’s Hand). Arthur Rizk masked and distorted it to punch it up a bit. You can find a live stream of it on YouTube. Check it out and listen to all the code talking in between the buzzers. I thought it fit the tone of the album, contextually, but people really seem to hate that fucking buzzing sound!
ML: We would like to thank you for the interview and your time, it’s been a pleasure. Any last words for your fans?
Knox: I’d like to thank everyone for their time, reading this interview, and listening to our music. There’s always more on the way. Keep moshing. Cheers
Enforced has launched a new video for “War Remains“; in support of their third full-length via Century Media Records which is out now.
Vocalist Knox Colby states: “The song ‘War Remains’ stresses the complimentary nature of war alongside peace, rather than two opposing sides of a spectrum. War is ever present and forever constant…
“Meanwhile, the album ‘War Remains’ details the decay and breakdown of modern society, along with insight about the cyclical nature of decay and subsequent growth. Biting through at just over 30 min, it’s a caustic warning; cautioning you of those who seek to undermine you.
“We hope you enjoy the album as much as we did writing and recording it. Hope you pick up a copy, we’ll see you at the gig, let’s rock.”
Purchase and stream War Remains in full here: https://enforced.lnk.to/WarRemains – where the album is available in the following versions: –Standard CD jewel-case –Black vinyl –Blue vinyl available from USA retail (500 copies) & CM Distro Wholesale EU and CMdistro.de (300 copies) –White vinyl available from EMP (150 copies) & Nuclear Blast (150 copies) –Red vinyl available from Enforced (limited to 300 copies) –Digital album
Album Artwork by: Joe Petagno
“We didn’t overthink anything,”says Enforced front-man Knox Colby, describing the ethic that went into the making of the Richmond, Virginia-based quintet’s third album, War Remains. “It’s all very straight forward, no bells and whistles production-wise. It’s almost ten minutes shorter than our last record and packs ten times more of a punch.”
Teaming with Richmond-based producer, Ricky Olson, with mixing help from Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Kreator), the band delivered on every iota of extreme aggression they’ve flexed since their inception in 2016. War Remains is the sound of Enforced pushing themselves to the next level: a serrated-edge classic. “It has the intensity of ‘At the Walls’ (2019) but is more mature than ‘Kill Grid’ (2021),” Colby explains. “It has that tenacity of us live. It spills through the record. If you’re a fan of really aggressive music, you’re gonna love it. It’s seething!”
Venom Inc., Acid Witch, Enforced tour dates w/ Exhumed June 22, 2023 – Trees – Dallas, TX June 23, 2023 – The Rock Box – San Antonio, TX June 24, 2023 – Scout Bar – Houston, TX June 25, 2023 – Jake’s Backroom – Lubbock, TX June 26, 2023 – Rock House – El Paso, TX June 27, 2023 – 191 Toole – Tucson, AZ June 28, 2023 – Nile – Phoenix, AZ June 29, 2023 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA June 30, 2023 – Whisky A-Go-Go – Los Angeles, CA July 1, 2023 – Full Circle Brewing – Fresno, CA July 2, 2023 – DNA Lounge – San Francisco, CA Venom Inc., Acid Witch, Enforced tour dates w/ Wormwitch July 5, 2023 – El Corazon – Seattle, WA July 7, 2023 – Metro Music Hall – Salt Lake City, UT July 8, 2023 – The Lincoln – Cheyenne, WY July 9, 2023 – Oriental Theater – Denver, CO
As you step through the rusty iron gates and enter the old graveyard, the sound of your footsteps echo off the worn tombstones. The moon casts an eerie glow over the burial ground, illuminating the gnarled tree branches that stretch out like bony fingers. As you make your way deeper into the overgrown boneyard the air grows thick with an oppressive sense of dread. The rustling of leaves and the faint howling of the wind combine to create a haunting melody that seems to permeate every corner of the cemetery. In the distance, you spot shadowy figures moving between the gravestones. They disappear leaving you with a sense of unease. You quicken your pace, hoping to escape. As you approach an ancient mausoleum, you hear a low growling sound emanating from within. Your heart races as you realize somethings lurking inside, waiting to pounce. Suddenly, several pairs of ghastly red eyes appear in the darkness. You freeze, unable to move as the creatures make their way out into the moonlight revealing sharp glinting teeth.
Casket Robbery is an American death metal band that was formed in 2007 in Madison, Wisconsin. They have garnered a reputation for their intense live performances and their unique blend of death metal and horror-inspired themes. One of the defining characteristics of Casket Robbery is the powerful and commanding vocals of Megan Orvold. Her aggressive screams and guttural growls perfectly complement the band’s heavy and brutal sound. The lyrics often explore themes of occult and the macabre, drawing inspiration from classic horror movies and literature. Cory Scheider and Troy Powell’s guitar work are also standout features of the band. The riffs are tight, technical, and often include a touch of melody that sets Casket Robbery apart from
other death metal bands. The rhythm section, comprised of Bryan Bykowski on bass and Erik Schultek on drums, provides a solid foundation for the band’s music, with Bykowski’s bass lines
adding an extra layer of depth and complexity to the songs. Casket Robbery has unleashed their new full length ‘Rituals of Death’ to critical acclaim.
Metal Lair had a chat with Megan Orvold, the front woman of the band, read on to see what she had to reveal.
ML: Can you give everyone a brief history of the band members and how everyone got their start in music for those who aren’t familiar with the band?
Megan: I joined the band a little under 6 years ago, really with the intent of filling in for a tour but then it all just really fit and I loved it. The rest is history 🙂
ML: Tell me about your experiences in the metal scene as a woman who not only does the death metal growl but does it extremely well.
Megan: Its no secret this genre is male dominated but I’ve been so very lucky to have really wonderful experiences being a part of the scene. Its so incredible to have people look up to and compliment my vocals, especially young women. Yeah, there have been some not so great
experiences over the years but the amazing ones overshadow them by far.
ML: How long did it take to learn the growling vocal technique and what made you decide that was the direction you wanted to go in?
Megan: I have been singing since I can remember but started to get fascinated with attempting harsh vocals in my 20’s. I joined a metalcore band and was not really happy with my progress in doing them so I started taking lessons. Those lessons gave me the tools to develop my harsh vocals to where they are today and I am SO THANKFUL.
ML: How are you feeling about all the success the band is experiencing?
Megan: We are just incredibly grateful. We work very, very hard behind the scenes and are really excited to see how far we can push this. We’re just focused on putting out good music, working hard, and maintaining our super important relationships with our fans.
ML: what are your thoughts on the extensive touring you are about to embark on?
Megan: We love it! We really look forward to meeting so many new people and fans. Its a blast.
ML: Tell me a bit about your album Rituals of Death. The album goes pretty hard. The songs and the lyrics are from the stuff of horror films which I really love. Are the lyrics solely born from the uncertainty of the pandemic or is there something more to them? Was the album meant to be light and fun or did it come from a darker place?
Megan: We’ve always had that tongue-in-cheek horror vibe to everything we’ve written as an homage to all of the cheesy horror movies that we love so much. This album really walked that line along with a darkness that came out that I don’t think any of us expected. Be it the pandemic, the state of the world, and things going on in our personal lives at the time it definitely came out dark We really seek out to walk that line between those aspects and I’m glad it came across so well with this album.
ML: How did all the band members meet and how did you guys decide to form a band?
Megan: Cory is the original member of the band. It started out as a side project for them and slowly morphed into what it is today. I joined a little under 6 years ago and fell in love with it. We’ve been fortunate enough to be introduced to members over the years that align with our goals for the band, really just through being in the industry- touring is hard, really fun and we love to do it but it really does take various tolls in peoples lives and is a hard thing to do. Lots of sacrifices have to be made so we’re thankful with the team that we have and that our goals
really mesh well.
ML: Do you all hang out when not doing band stuff?
Megan: We do! When we can. Living in separate areas and really working super hard in our
personal lives when we are home so that we’re able to tour takes up a lot of our time, but we find time to hang out together.
ML: Who does all the writing for the music?
Megan: It is usually a combination of all of us. Sometimes Cory will come up with some initial ideas and bring them to the band and we’ll work them out into full songs. Sometimes we all get together and write.
ML: What’s next for Casket Robbery? Do you guys already have an idea for your next album?
Megan: Definitely more writing, and getting to work on this next album. I have a TON of ideas and lyric notes so I can’t wait to sit down and get to work!
ML: Do you have any last words for your fans?
Megan: We love you more than words. You have all been there through EVERYTHING with us and you are what keeps us going in this insane (though fun) industry. Thank you for every share, every comment, every word of encouragement, showing up, all of it.
ML: It was a total pleasure talking with you. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule.
Don’t Forget The Eyes
The Hideous Old Ones Reanimate
Return To The Sky
Hailing from Warsaw, Masovia Poland, Hostia is a Death Metal/Grindcore trio thatwas established in 2017. Hostia are a band thats lyrical themes are anti-religious and anti-Christian. They sing about war and dull social constructs. Who are Hostia really? They are a band that goes by the names of dead popes. A band that veils their identity so people focus on their music. They are also a band that writes music thats somewhat controversial but extremely honest. They keep it real. The music is in the arena of extreme metal. They are inventive, creative and enjoy making music for the masses. Read further to learn more about Hostia in our interview.
METAL LAIR: Tell everyone that isn’t familiar with your music about the band, how did you all meet, what made you guys decide to form a band together.
St.Anacletus: Mission from Satan to play the most brutal music we can and dominate the world! With no doubt, Hostia is a new quality on the metal scene. A fresh look at playing the mix between grindcore and death metal, with brutality, precision, heavyness, and a reasonable dose of catchy grooves
METAL LAIR: Lets talk about your music. Who or what inspired you all to write it?
St.Anacletus: The sect of christian church is never ending inspiration! However the are a lot of fucked up things going on around us so playing music was and is the great safety button for me – to keep myself sane (laugh).
METAL LAIR: What was the deciding catalysts that made you guys want to work together and form a band?
St.Anacletus: Oh we’ve never decided we want to create music for living, in fact we all do other things for living that gives us great freedom to do only what feels right with Hostia.
METAL LAIR: How many different instruments does everyone play?
St.Evaristus drums and guns, St.Xyxtus bass and some guitar, St.Sixtus his throat and some drums, and myself guitar and some bass. And I guess all guitar kind of stuff.
METAL LAIR: What is your creative process? Who writes the lyrics? Where do you draw your inspiration from and who writes the music?
St.Anacletus: I used to collect ideas and record them as demos at home with programmed drums. Then I show them to the rest of the band and we pick the ones everybody is happy with and work on them together in rehearsals. Then St.Sixtus worked on vocal lines and lyrics. However some lyric ideas or titles can be earlier.
METAL LAIR: What is everyones favorite bands?
St.Anacletus: Oh that’s way too many to count here. Great bands like Megadeth, Paradise Lost or polish Acid Drinkers. For sure we are metal, hardcore, punk fans, but I guess all of us listen a lot of other music as well.
METAL LAIR: Who created the album art?
St.Anacletus: From day one – all Hostia designs are made by Łukasz “Pachu” Pach – Pachu Design!
METAL LAIR: Can you describe the metal scene in Poland?
St.Anacletus:There are so many great bands to count, so I hope no one will hang me if I mention only couple like Antigama, Hate, Terrordome, Mentor, Frontside, Trup, Masachist, Distruster, Grieving, cause I guess you already know Vader, Behemoth and Decapitated (laughs)
METAL LAIR: In my research of the band there’s something about the band hiding their identity and wearing masks on stage. Can you ask the band to explain why they use this approach?
St.Anacletus:The idea was to make people focus on our music. Our identities aren’t important in that case. When we recorded the first album and we had the cover art with two dead popes – it became obvious that showing us does not fit. So we took the names from other dead popes and it stayed that way. But – actually – we don’t play covered onstage. Sometimes only for entering the stage but that’s all. So we are not too orthodox about it but still – just go listen to the music, enjoy the cover arts, no need for our faces.
METAL LAIR: Whats in the future for the band?
St.Anacletus: We have some great festivals coming, and hopefully there will be more live shows in front of us!
METAL LAIR: Do you have any last words for your fans?
St.Anacletus: Take Hostia to your hearts and burn with us in hell!
HOSTIA just released their album “Nailed” via Deformeathing Production Records (which is also home to a handful of known Polish acts such as Christ Agony) and the band is making quite a lot of waves in their home country and beyond – with one of the vinyl versions of the new album selling out ahead of release day. Their recurring themes are religion, establishment and the boring status quo.
1. Ceremony 01:47 2. Stone In The Throat 01:26 3. Religion Of Love 01:21 4. Nailed 01:19 5. The Return Of The Living Dead 01:34 6. Little Priests 01:21 7. Dad’s Stew For Two 01:22 8. Afterlie 01:47 9. Fake It 01:22 10. The Vampire Of Barcelona 02:03 11. Polish Black Metal Makes Me Sleepy 01:37 12. Siberian Werewolf 01:46 13. Sister Bernadette 01:24 14. Zajebię Cię 01:46 15. Poison Leader
Music by St. Anacletus & Hostia Lyrics by St. Sixtus except “Poison Leader” by St. Anacletus
Up and coming Swiss based band Chaoseum was Founded in 2018 by Loïc Duruz and Valery Veings, both former guitarists of Symphonic Metal band Elferya. Theres Greg Turini on Drums and Singer CK Smiles joined the band later in February 2019, after their first album.
CHAOSEUMband hails from Switzerland. When creating music the band likes to explore different styles. They’re not really fixed on a singular genre. They like to reinvent themselves while simultaneously reviving the nu-metal sound of the nineties, a musical era the band grew up in. They are a fusion of nu- metal and metalcore. They released the song Smile Again during the pandemic and it exceeded 1M views on Youtube within 1 week. At this stage of the game they began to take thing a little more serious.
CHAOSEUM’S new album The Third Eye is definitely worth checking out. Theres talent here. The production is good and you can hear the intensive hard work and detail they put into every song. Dance On My Grave, Welcome Home, My Wonderland and SanctumCinerem have thick, monumental sound characterized by distorted guitars, extended guitar solos and emphatic beats that aptly produce a recurring chaotic theme. The verses on Welcome Home are incredible but then the chorus kind of throws you off. The bridge on Satctum Cinerem is extraordinary and reminds me of The Hating by Korn. Unreal has very dark lyrical content with hidden messages. My favorite track on the album is The Third Eye. Its a phenomenal album, I’m still digesting it. Their music is showing why there’s an upsurge in their ever growing fan base in the metalcore scene.
In the immortal words of the late great Hilly Kristal, “There’s something there, there’s definitely something there.” It will be very interesting to see what their sound evolves into in the future.
A brief history of the band
CK started playing music with his father at the age of 5, with whom he played his first concert. On his 8th birthday he started to study classical guitar at the conservatory of Lausanne.
CK: “Music is the best way to express all emotions. I started to play music with my dad when I was a little kid and I’ve never quit… and I never will.”
Loïc started playing guitar in 2002. He is totally self-taught. It’s while watching videos and live performances of bands like Deftones and Korn on MTV that inspired him to play guitar and start a band.
Valery is a big fan of Iron Maiden and it was while watching the live show “After Death” that he decided to buy his first guitar and start playing it.
Greg has always had a passion for drums. He started playing the drums at a very young age and decided to make it his profession and study at the conservatory. Today he teaches drums in his own school.
Metal Lair: How did you all meet and what was the catalyst in deciding to form a band?
Chaoseum: Valery and Loïc wanted to do a lot of gigs and for that we left our old band to create Chaoseum. Greg followed us directly and we contacted CK to join us.
Metal Lair: Who writes the lyrics and who writes the music?
Chaoseum: There is not a precisely defined rule. Loïc usually brings the musical part he shares with CK. In collaboration, they finalize the framework. Greg and I bring a little touch with our style of play. Regarding the lyrics, that’s CK and myself. The lyrics always come after the music because the latter inspires us for the theme of the lyrics. The edgelines are then created by CK. For the instrumental composition it is Loïc who composes the first drafts of the songs and then the arrangements are made with the band.
Metal Lair: Some bands write songs about politics, religion and other controversial material. Are there any subjects you consider off limits that you wont write about?
Chaoseum: We do not wish to give our political opinions. We prefer to talk about subjects that affect us personally and our life experiences.
Metal Lair: Your new album is phenomenal. Ive listened to it several times now. For me the stand out track is “The Third Eye.” What made you write this song and how did you come up with the intro?
Chaoseum: “Third Eye” was the intro to “Fly Away” but when we were arranging it we decided to make it a track. So we decided to create a heavy bass line and add some cello because CK plays it. We wanted to create something very atmospheric and CK had the good idea to do some oriental vocals to give this vibe
Metal Lair: The song Unreal is intense and has very dark lyrics. Are these lyrics personal? Who wrote this song and what exactly is this song about?
Chaoseum: “Unreal” talks about CK Smiles past and more precisely about his relationship with religion.
Metal Lair: What is the song I Sexy Zombie about exactly?
Chaoseum: In “I sexy zombie”, CK puts himself in the shoes of Hannibal Lecter.
Metal Lair: What is the music scene like in Switzerland? Do you guys play a lot of local shows there?
Chaoseum: In Switzerland, we have some good festivals and concerts. Like the Greenfield festival, etc. People like to go to festivals, but they don’t go to the concert halls as much to see the bands play. We have played a few gigs at home but we usually get more requests from other countries
Metal Lair: Do you all hang out together when not doing band stuff?
Chaoseum: Yes of course. We meet up and go to concerts and also for lunch, etc…
Metal Lair: What is everyones favorite movie?
Loïc: The Exorcism of Emily Rose
CK Smile: La Ruée vers l’or de Chaplin
Valery: Cheakspear in Love
Metal Lair: What is everyones favorite food to eat?
CK Smile: Indian Food
Greg: Tomahawk with French Fries and Vegetables
Valery: Grill Stone
Metal Lair: What is next for Chaoseum?
Chaoseum: The promotion of our new album and the preparation of a tour in 2023
Metal Lair: Do you have any final words for your fans?
I recently had the pleasure of talking with Nikolette Olsson, composer, singer, pianist and founder of the bandAfter Evolution, a gothic alternative, symphonic metal act from the Czech Republic. We discussed the bands new album, her writing technique and I discovered she has a book in the works.
Upon initially listening to After Evolution’s new album “War of The Worlds” I discovered Nikolette is a woman of many talents. Her voice is velvety smooth, melodious and lyrical. The album is very well done both musically and production wise. The blend of vocals and instrumentals form a symphony thats dulcet to the ears. Nikolette’s vocal stylings are reminiscent of Evanescences Amy Lee yet younger and hauntingly beautiful. The album War of The Worlds collection of songs are based around a central theme of otherworldly characters with a Sempiternal theme. This album is a piece de resistance!
The band began its formation after Nikolette met Michael in 2013, the rest of the band followed soon after and from there After Evolution was born.
After Evolution’s new album “War of The Worlds” is a concept album. It tells a story about the artist’s carrying bonds amongts themselves, melodies of the dark, light, life, death, hope and despair. Piece by piece the band has interconnected each single memory into one and they have been written as melody and poetry weaved with ancient stories of other worlds.
After Evolution’s new album “War of The Worlds” is a concept album. It tells a story about the artist’s carrying a bond between themselves, melodies of the dark, light, life, death, hope and despair. Piece by piece the band has interconnected each single memory into one and they have been written as melody and poetry weaved with ancient stories of other worlds.
Metal Lair: What bands/musicians did you listen to as a kid?
Nikolette: For most of us it was Nightwish but for me personally Nightwish, Evanescence and classical music.
Metal Lair: What accomplishments do you see the band achieving in the next 5 to 10 years?
Nikolette: Oh we would love to play in the Wacken open air and some other great festivals like that! To have our own rehearsal room like a garage or something. Also we would love to be on the same level of fame as the big metal bands. Thats how we would love to see us in 5 years to 10 years!
MetalLair: What’s the best piece of advice another musician gave to you?
Nikolette: “Never give up, believe in yourself” That’s the best one!
Metal Lair: When writing music do you write the lyrics first or the music first?
Nikolette: The music is first. I mean I have already written a story so I know the mood of the songs, but I write the music and the melodies first and then I match the lyrics to the music.
Metal Lair: Tell me about your new album?
Nikolette: Our new album has a whole story, each song is a part of the story and it is about a world far far away, about apocalypse, demons and magic…I also wanted to combine epic orchestras, metal, growls and female vocals. We have heavy guitars together and are making something a little bit different even if it is symphonic metal, but more epic.
Metal Lair: What kind of food does the band eat while on tour?
Nikolette: Everyone of us prefer different cuisine, but when we were on tour and got hungry we ordered a big pizza
Metal Lair: Who would you like to go on tour with?
Nikolette: Oh, one day we would love to tour with bands like Amaranthe, Epica, Nightwish…We do not have some exact wish but it would be great to play with big bands like that. My dream is to go on a tour with Evanescence because Amy inspired me to compose and sing. So that would be very cool.
Metal Lair: What hobbies do you like to do on your off time?
Nikolette: I love digital art, so I draw. I love video games. I grew up playing a lot of video because its something I used to do with my father. I also like watching movies and new series, I love reading conspiracy theories, and other books. I am also writing a book in my free time.
Metal Lair: You’re writing a book? Thats interesting! Can you tell me what its about?
Nikolette: Of course. It is connected to the story of the band. I created the story a long time ago to give my band some depth and meaning and I wrote it into the lyrics. But then I realized that I wanted to get into more detail and in the songs there is not enough space to get into such detail so I began writing the book. The book (as well as the lyrics) is about a girl who is supposed to connect to the Earth and the underground together because a long time ago there was an apocalypse, a war between two worlds , the demon world and the world of humankind. People wanted more and more power so thats the reason the war began. The story is about a journey of a girl who meets 3 demons on her way who help her to bring balance and restore life. The rest is in the songs, how her journey is going, what she’s learned etc. and the book is much more detailed about the life of her sister, parents, and the underground as well.
Metal Lair: That sounds really deep. I look forward to reading it! Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?
Nikolette: Thank you so much for your support and time you are giving to us! It means a lot to me and to the band. We appreciate it a lot! We are looking forward to seeing all of you soon! Love you all!
Metal Lair: Its been a real pleasure talking with you and getting to know more about you Nikolette. Your music is great and you are such a beautiful singer. I wish you the best of luck with your music career!
Nikolette: Thank you so much! I really appreciate it!
1. War of the Worlds 2. The Path 3. Cursed 4. Liber Fortitudinis / The Book of Destiny 5. Once Upon A Time 6. The Final Hope 7. In the Chains 8. Dark Side 9. Infinity Flames 10. Nothing Left But Pain 11. The Victory
As one attempts to chase ‘the dream’ and follow the yellow brick road most begin to notice the cracks and dingy discoloration of the metaphorical golden bricked highway of success in doing what you love the most. The obstacles and strife while on this journey prove to be disheartening by many. Its also a double edged sword. When bands succeed sometimes fickle fans turn on them and brand them as sellouts. When a band pours their blood, sweat and tears into their creations born from the heart and continue to stay the course no matter what, thats how they win. Even if they dont end up as a top tier act. They are doing what they love and in the end you really have nothing to prove to anyone other than yourself. The byproduct is that your art is immortalized forever.
Ive had the pleasure of talking with the great Sahil “The Demonstealer” Makhija for our second interview. Every time we converse about music he proves time and time again to be the most cordial, friendly, well versed person and he always has the best energy.
Sahil ‘The Demonstealer’ Makhija in my humble opinion is a criminally underrated, next level musician. Every project Demonstealer is involved in provides the impetus for success. He has a prolific archive of material to choose from. His blackened death metal bands Demonic Resurrection, Reptilian Death and all his solo projects have produced sophisticated music that stood the test of time in the forefront of metal thus paving the way for musicians in the Indian metal scene which has been a constant uphill battle.
Demonstealer is currently working on new material that will be released in 2023 which he reveals via social media. He’s also releasing another all instrumental project of ‘The Last Reptilian Warrior.” Details below.
Metal Lair: Its been a few years since our last interview in 2016. A lot has happened in that time frame. What have you guys been up to since then and how has life been treating you?
DS: It definitely feels like a lifetime ago. A LOT has happened since then. Demonic Resurrection released our 5th full length album DASHAVATAR in 2017. In 2019 we released our 1st live album from Bloodstock Open Air and in 2022 we released 4 new singles and then put them on a release with instrumental versions of the same songs. For the new release we had Misstiq from Earth Caller in Australia do keys and we had 2 drummers Kevin Paradis (Benighted) and David Diepold (Obscura) featured on the songs. So it’s been quite busy even with the pandemic.
With my solo material I dropped my 3rd full length in 2018 titled THE LAST REPTILIAN WARRIOR and then in 2020 I dropped an EP on which I played all instruments called AND THIS TOO SHALL PASS. I also released another EP in 2021 called THE HOLOCENE TERMINATION which featured members of bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse and Six Feet Under.
So I can’t really complain. Life has been treating me well.
Metal Lair: Well thats great to hear! Tell me all about your latest projects. Are you doing any live shows in support of it?
DS: The band line-up has been in a bit of limbo and I’ve been disillusioned with touring and how depressing it is for me to even try and book tours. So I’ve decided to stay away from live shows for a few years at least. I would have loved to do some shows but the energy it takes to put something together doesn’t feel worth the effort for me now. But I’m glad you dig the music and the artwork. The music is available on demonicresurrection.bandcamp.comand we have our merch available on https://demonic-resurrection.creator-spring.com/
Metal Lair: Ive always been a fan of all your music. How has your sound changed throughout the years?
DS: It’s been a constant evolution with the change in members and us growing as musicians. When we started out we had a very strong influence from bands like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth. Over time we started to get a bit more progressive and find our own sound. With DASHAVATAR we really did something a bit different with the incorporation of some Indian instruments and using mythology for inspiration in the lyrics. However the new songs are more of a return to our older sound and sort of a departure from the ‘Indian’ and mythology sounds. This is what comes more naturally. Also collaborating with such amazing drummers and musicians really helped take that sound up a notch.
Metal Lair: The band usually releases everything under their own label Demonstealer Records. Who does the studio mixing?
DS: For the longest time I was solely mixing and mastering everything myself. In 2010 I started passing on the mastering work. Our last album was mastered by Victor Bullok who works with bands like Obscura. For the new songs I let Daniel Kenneth Rego our old lead guitarist do the mixing and mastering as he’s got an amazing ear and knows the band’s sound. He did a fantastic job.
Metal Lair: Ive been listening to your latest endeavors. You guys really put a lot of hard work into your music, always technically sound. Ive noted that a good portion of your music is about mythology and Indian Lore. How do you come up with your source material?
DS: With DASHAVATAR the source material already existed so I just had to re-word the stories in the form of lyrics. For the new songs we had 4 of our fav artists do a design for our merch and each artwork is what I used as inspiration for lyrics for the new songs. So it was me talking to them (the artists) and getting an idea of how they interpreted the band and our music to create the artwork and that helped inspired the lyrics. Everything really comes out of my head after that.
Metal Lair: All the songs are outstanding on this album. One song that stands out to me is Necromancer. Its a total banger. How was it collaborating with David Diepold, Kevin Paradis and Misstiq?
DS: I’ve worked with both Kevin and David before with my solo material Demonstealer so it was a blast having them play on the new DR material too. I’d seen Misstiq on Instagram and fell in love with the way she orchestrates parts and her way of arranging it. So I just send her a DM to see if she’d be up for doing the keys on our new material since I could never do that level of orchestration myself. Thankfully she said yes. All of them are professionals and super easy and chill to work with.
Metal Lair: What inspires you about music and what is your creative process?
DS: I think just life inspires me and when an idea pops into my head I write it down. I sit with the guitar to write music and again I just jam and when I get ideas I like I record them. When the time comes that I know I want to put out a release I sit down with the ideas and take it from there.
Metal Lair: Where would you like to see the band 10 years from now?
DS: The dream would be to a full time touring music. Travelling the world and playing sold out shows while consistently releasing great albums. But the reality is we’ll probably still be struggling to get tours booked but we’ll keep the music coming.
Metal Lair: Do you have anything to say to your fans?
DS: I have nothing but gratitude for our fans who have supported us consistently over the years. Thank you!
Metal Lair: Its always a pleasure talking with you and catching up my friend. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule and for all the wonderful, magical music you create for the world.
Live music is an experience that cannot be streamed. Theres nothing like the “concert” experience. Vibing off the excitement from the crowd, the anticipation of whats to come and the climatic main event.
Music is the one stimulus that lights up the entire brain on a PET scan, including the cerebellum, part of the hindbrain that lies beneath the larger cerebral cortex resulting in the triggering of pleasure centers that release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy. This response is so quick, the brain can even anticipate the most pleasurable peaks in familiar music and prime itself with an early dopamine rush.
Music provides a total brain workout. Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. Music is one of the worlds greatest art forms for many reasons, not just health benefits. Music is the ultimate time machine as a song can immediately transport you. In celebration of concerts resuming in full force I decided to ask musicians and music journalists to share their most memorable concert experiences.
Rich Deckard, Writer: I’ve been going to concerts pretty much my whole life. Started with my Dad taking me to see Styx at the Lee Civic Center Fort Myers Florida, which was followed by getting dropped off with friends at that same venue to see Ozzy, and just took off like a rocket from there… Maiden, Rush, Kiss, Metallica…most of the metal acts from back in the day, followed by the edgier, arty stuff I graduated to later, like Black Flag, GBH, Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, Circle Jerks, etc etc. But through all these years, and through countless bands, there’s a short list of acts that I was genuinely lucky to see; because either they didn’t tour in the States much, they didn’t have long careers, they were too expensive, whatever the reason, in hindsight, this short list were events that I’ll never forget:
The Cramps– saw them more than once, one of my all time favs, and they always fucking delivered. There will never be another band quite like them. Bowie– Even though he was huge, he just didn’t seem to tour all that much, and when he did, tickets weren’t cheap. It was later in his career, the Glass Spider tour, but it was still fantastic. And it really blows people’s minds today when I tell them I saw him live. Die Antwoord– A surprise to many that know me, but I actually love this band. They’re so different, so original. I went with an ex who loved them, and by shows end, I left as a fan boy. Realistically, for many reasons that have nothing to do with me, I’ll probably never see them again. Wolfmother– God, what a monster debut lp…all killer, no filler. Great show, great performance, and got to hang with them before the show for a sound check- meet and greet. The original line up broke up prior to the second lp and they were never the same. Glad I saw them when I did. And this one comes in as an afterthought edit: Motorhead– I say this not because they were hard to see ( I saw them many times ) but because of one particular gig I saw: the last one. They played Orlando right before the Motorboat Cruise, which unfortunately was the end. So…seeing a frail but determined Lemmy on his last stage on land was something I’ll never forget.
Graveshadow: William Lloyd Walker – Guitars. The most memorable moment for me was going to Ozzfest when I was 15. Iron Maidenwas the big draw for me; they’ve always been my favorite band. But also getting to see Black Sabbath, Arch Enemy, Mastodon and Rob Zombie all on the same bill was like a dream come true. I was into all of those bands and getting to see them all perform on the same day was captivating. Seeing them get on stage in front of thousands of people and be able to reach all of them with their energy and passion was life-changing. When Iron Maiden came on I just remember being mesmerized by the stage set up, the performance and the roar from the crowd after every song. It really kind of sealed the deal for me; I knew I wanted to be a part of something like that. Being able to share my passion with others from around the world became my singular driving force. I went with two of my closest friends and it wasn’t long after that we formed the first band I was ever a part of. I haven’t looked back; ups and downs aside I wouldn’t trade my journey with music for anything. It’s been a challenging, rewarding experience all the way through and I’m always hungry to see what comes next. Watch Graveshadow’s video Soldier Of 34. Subscribe to Graveshadow on YouTubeGraveshadow on InstagramGraveshadow on FacebookGraveshadow on Twitter
Sinnery – Alon Karnieli – Vocalist and rhythm guitar player. It was the 22nd of May 2010 and Metallica finally made a comeback to Tel Aviv. I was 14 at the time and already a huge Metallica fan making my first steps into the metal world. I also played guitar for a few years up until then, but I wasn’t very good. I was watching the whole show from the bleachers since I was too short and my parents thought I would get trampled in the mosh pit. There I was at my first metal concert waiting eagerly for it to start so I can gaze upon it from the distance and then all of the sudden the “Ecstacy of Gold” started playing and right after “Creeping Death” began playing and these four dudes took the stage by storm keeping my jaw scraping the bleacher’s floor for the next two hours. Never before have I seen anything like it, I was starstruck by the lights and the band’s performance on stage and also the crowd chanting in unison throughout the whole set. Right there and then I knew that this is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life and so a couple of weeks after that show I started my first band where I met Idan Kringel who was my partner in crime since then, we founded Sinnery together. Subscribe to Sinnery on YouTube. Follow Sinnery on Instagram. Follow Sinnery on Facebook.
Dreams In Peril – Dalton Collins – Bass I grew up in a music-oriented family, my uncle played guitar, my sister played guitar, my cousins played guitar, my grandmother played the piano and the drums, my mother sang in bars with bands, my dad messed around playing guitar and well, I picked up the bass guitar, and now I play for a Death Metal/ Hardcore band named Dreams In Peril. I saw my first local show when I was about 11 years old and I hung out with 20 to 30-year-old musicians and thought, someday, I’m gonna do that too! And I did! I have had lots of failures along the way and I basically grew up within the Kansas City Metal/ Music scene and was coached along the way by the local musicians as I grew up! I am still learning and will probably never stop learning. But music has always been a major part of my life. The comradery of my scene and also going to the bigger concerts and seeing the process of becoming a bigger musician really gave me an indication that it is very much possible to reach my goals and dreams. It has always been my goal to get further within the music industry. I grew up with it.
Tour Dates – Dreams In Peril w/ Pig Weed: May 27 – The Graffiti Room – Bedford Park, IL May 28 – Maple Grove Tavern – Maple Heights, OH May 29 – Westside Bowl – Youngstown, OH May 30 – Sovereign – Brooklyn, NY May 31 – The Stoney Badger Tavern – Lynchburg, VA June 1 – The Recreation Center – Fredericksburgh, VA June 2 – Black Circle Brewing – Indianapolis, IN June 3 – Vivo – Overland Park – Kansas City, MO June 4 – Kendalls Bar – Oklahoma City, OK
Pablo Sanchez- Musician – Public Figure: My most memorable concert experience was when I went to see David Lee Roth live in West Palm Beach, Florida 2002. The show was amazing and I was blown away by so much talentship, the musicians that I saw play with David Lee Roth that night were James Lomenzo on bass (Megadeth), Ray Luzier on drums (Korn) and Brian Young on guitar (Paul Stanley). That show was the closest thing to a Van Halen show from the early days and was truly amazing. After 18 years of that show I had the privilege to interview Brian Young and I had the amazing oportunity to record two songs with him, Van Halen’s D.O.A and Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell for my YouTube channel. Follow Pablo on Facebook Art and Wine Channel Here, on Instagram Art and Wine Channel Here, and on The Art and Wine Channel on YouTube.
Sahil Makhija aka Demonstealer – Musician – Demonic Resurrection. My most memorable concert would be the Inferno Metal festival in Norway in 2010. Demonic Resurrection was a band I started when I was 17 years old. There was no real scene in India, hardly any international metal bands had ever played in the country. We had no concept of music festivals that were multiple days filled with the best bands ever and it was something we’d never experienced. In 2009 when we were confirmed for the festival we didn’t know what to expect but we were excited like a bunch of kids in a candy store. In fact we had no experience booking the band for festivals and thanks to a cultural exchange program between India and Norway we got to be the first Indian metal band to go and play in Norway at the festival.
We were booked to play the John Dee stage which was the smaller of the two stages at the festival. The gig was one of the best times we’ve ever had. Not only did we play to a packed venue we were welcomed by the Norwegian metal crowd. We saw some people up front headbanging who even knew the lyrics to our songs and when our set ended there were chants of ‘one more song’ which we did not expect. After our set we even saw a group of 4-5 metalheads all wearing our merch. We met so many people who loved our set. It really was one of the most memorable gigs we played. And the cherry on the cake was experiencing a real metal festival for the first time. Getting to actually run into some of our metal heros like Ihsahn, Arnt Obsidian and many more. Heck we even ran into Ghaal at the breakfast buffet at the hotel and Samoth as well. One of the best memories I’ll have of my life. Subscribe to Demonic Resurrection on YouTube. Follow Demonic Resurrection on Bandcamp. Follow Demonic Resurrection on Facebook. Follow Demonic Resurrection on Instagram.
Helsott– Eric Dow- Vocals When I was 18 years old I saw Pantera 4 nights in a row. On the second night in San Diego, right after the show the security just left the gate for the backstage area so I just walked straight back there and the first thing I saw was Phil Anselmo, Kerry King, Tom Araya, and Dimebag. I just walked up to their circle and passed a joint around with them and they gave me some beers. I hung out with them for 20 minutes or so. Dimebag was the nicest guy there. He and I walked off to the side and continued a conversation for another 10 minutes. He gave me a hug and a guitar pick and that was one of the best memories I have ever had at a concert. The next night was an epic story…but perhaps for another time. Follow Helsott on Facebook. Follow Helsott on Instagram. Follow Helsott on Twitter. Subscribe to Helsott on YouTube. Watch Helsot’s video “I’ll Make Ya Famous.” Pre order their new album “Will And The Witch “ Here
The Medea Project– Brett Minnie – Vocals/GuitarSaron Gas, Durban, KZN, South Africa 2001. Before the internationally known alternative rock band Seether there was Saron Gas. Three South African lads who played the vast (in distance) local circuit before they left for the USA and a well earned record deal. They were a powerhouse of post-grunge mayhem, and this was one of their final shows before the migration. A mutual friend of mine and the band was invited on stage to join them as a guest vocalist. Being the hooligans we were in our local night club and a lot of us knowing the band in a personal capacity, the poor chap was heckled and interfered with, but managed to pull off his guest appearance, with his trousers flying at half mast as someone in the audience decided to dive onto the stage and yank them down. This is one of the joys of pre-social media and camera phone shows, there is no proof on the internet of this ever occurring. One song later the crowd erupted into one of the most intense mosh pits I have ever had the pleasure of being in. Now bear in mind that this is subtropical Africa, in the height of summer, so temperatures are normally very warm in the evening with incredible humidity. Standard show attire is often flip-flops and board shorts, which we often dubbed as “the surf metal look”. Add in this tumultuous pit and all sorts of hilarity ensues. I recall that evening ending with myself having to stumble out of the pit and venue, just wearing the front portion of my shorts as someone had grabbed onto my pockets as I was careening by and torn the back portion clear off. Not something you’d forget easily, and this has had the lasting impact of me still charging into insane pits whenever the opportunity arises. I’ve always been drawn to music since I was very young. I was involved in performing arts at school and dabbled in various disciplines. Some part of me has this need to perform on stage, I can’t explain it any further than that. My parents listened to a lot of folk and early rock and roll, and so the guitar was accessible to my ears. I begged my parents for a guitar for years and finally got one in my teenage years, a beaten second hand classical guitar that I used to play through an old tube hi-fi with a stick-on transducer pickup. Then I discovered Iron Maiden and Man-O-War and the bass work hooked me, that’s what I wanted to do! So, not having much money, I made a few plans and managed to borrow an old beaten bass and set about figuring out how to play the instrument. Bass is a strange beast though, you can play the guitar unaccompanied, however with a bass it’s a fundamental part of music, so ultimately you need to play with other musicians, also music itself is a social thing, so all of these things added up into me throwing my lot in with live music and joining my first band.
The Medea Project – Pauline Silver – Drums/Percussion Live Jimmy Presley, Durban, South Africa My earliest memory of an original band and one that still comes up in my conversations now, is Live Jimmy Presley. Blasting the South African alternative nightclub stages in the early 90’s, they were an entity to behold. Hailing from Joburg, the Industrial band put on shows like no other. This was before the interwebs and it was always thrilling when an indemnity form was thrust before me on entry to the nightclub as it was a sure sign that LJP was playing that night. Gracing the stage, a huge frame with car parts hanging off it, an anvil, gas bottles and various other flammable paraphernalia. I can still remember the power and sound that emanated from the stage along with smoke and fire along with the smell of burning hair as people would headbang right in the midst of angle grinder sparks that sprayed off stage as they played. “The band quit due to growing concerns for audience safety, especially after our last gig. Going that far with the show and then cutting back wouldn’t work’ recalls Derek Davey (bass and drums).” Getting into music was not a conscious decision. Growing up, we always had music playing at home and as a teenager, it was the medium that would fuel and tool my rebellious nature. My dad was a musician but didn’t do much to help or inspire me but I always had an impulse to play an instrument which was a journey of love and hate. Playing live was merely a distant dream and when I did end up joining my first band much later in life than most, I was adamant that I didn’t want to play live at all. I was happy just being creative, hanging out and jamming with my bandmates. When we were asked to play a gig, I eventually relented and said I would do 1 show and no more. Well 1 show turned into many shows, 4 bands, 3 instruments and a journey with no regrets! Follow The Medea Projecton Facebook. Follow The Medea Project on YouTube. Follow The Medea Projecton Band camp.
Solitary – Roy Miller – Drums To single out one most memorable show I’ve attended is a hard thing to do as there’s so many. A few that need a mention are: Slayer at Rock City in 2000, God Forbid opening for The Hauntedat the Leeds Cockpit in 2005, The Haunted at the Manchester Academy 3 in 2003, Manowar at the Birmingham O2 in 2011, Slayer at the Astoria in 2003 doing Reign In Blood But the main one that sticks out is Slayer at Download in 2004. One of their best performances of the near 20 time I’ve seen them and the atmosphere was something I’ll never forget. Something had happened with their gear arriving from Holland so they played the 2nd stage in the tent instead of their main stage slot. Everyone who was there to see Slayer that day was in that tent. When the crew rolled out Taking Back Sunday’s gear all hell broke loose, the stage was bombarded with bottles and anything else anyone could get their hands on and there just seemed to be one massive ‘Slayer’ chant filling the tent. There was a tense atmosphere in the air and I can only imagine it was what attending a Slayer show in the late ‘80s must have been like. Rumour has it Taking Back Sunday refused to take the stage due to the hostility filling the air in anticipation of Slayer, so when their gear was rolled off and Lombardo’s kit was rolled on a massive cheer went up and the ‘Slayer’ chant started again. I remember Tom had lost his voice and the only time he spoke when not singing was to introduce ‘Dead Skin Mask’ as he did. It added to the intensity of the show and the band just put their foot to the floor, and raced through their set. I remember people climbing the masts of the tent, being drawn into one of the many pits around me and just banging my head like I was 14 again and just being covered in sweat and god knows what else by the time they had finished. I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember. There’s a pic of me as a baby with headphones on giving the thumbs up. But my real love for it started after hearing my dad play Appetite for Destruction as a 10 Yr old. Fast forward 3yrs and just before my 13th birthday I went to my 1st gig at the Milton Keynes Bowl to see Gun’s n’ Roses in 1993. It was around this time I started to learn to play guitar as i wanted to be Slash, but fate led me to the drums and the rest is history as they say. Follow Solitary at Imperative PRManagement UK. Follow Solitary on Facebook. Follow Solitary on Instagram. Follow Solitary on YouTube. Follow Solitary on Bandcamp. Follow Solitary on Spotify. Find Solitary on Metalville Records
Final Coil – Phil Stiles – Vocals/GuitarGrowing up in the south of England in the 90s, getting to gigs was difficult and I was well into my teens before I was able to see the music that was increasingly becoming central to my existence. My gateway into live music was listening to a mix of John Peel, John Cavanaugh’s Rock Show and the Evening Session, all of which broadcast gigs and all of which I slavishly taped, listening to the shows over and over, imagining what it would be like to be there. It was a mix of Reading and Glastonbury shows I listened to the most, and I had tapes featuring sets from bands that I still love today – Soul Asylum, Beck, Hole, Mudhoney, Belly, Sonic Youth… alternative bands that just blazed away on stage and which, in that pre-internet era, felt a million miles away from the little town in which I lived. The one show that made me want to pick up a guitar was Sebadoh. I’d discovered the band not long before, when they released Harmacy, and I’d just hit that age (fifteen or sixteen, I think), where I could twist my mum’s arm a little to let me go to a show. The band were playing Portsmouth at a venue called The Wedgewood Rooms. It’s a small place, and back then it had a red entrance hall and a black central room – sticky floored and already filling up when my friend and I arrived. It seems funny having spent so many years playing in venues exactly like it, but it was so exciting to walk into that room. It smelt of rock ‘n’ roll – that mix of over-zealously applied deodorant, stale beer, cigarettes and sweat –and I wandered the perimeter three or four times, my eyes eating up my face, as I finally got to see this magical place I’d been imagining for years. The posters on the wall, some tattered and stained with thrown drinks, told of awesome tours that I’d been too young to see and forthcoming attractions too numerous and exciting to fully absorb. The crowd, meanwhile, was that typical alternative mix of long-haired teens and leather-jacketed veterans – talking in small groups, or downing pints at the bar. It was strange. I’d never set foot in that room before, but before I’d heard a note, I knew I’d be back in this place that just felt like home.We edged our way to the front far too early, and then glued ourselves to the railing. Some of the bigger audience members may have been able to prise my fingers of the metal tube that separated us from the stage, but I was determined to make sure they’d have to fight for it. The first band on was QuickspaceSupersport, a short-lived art rock band from London. I’d heard them – on John Peel I think – and they were amazing. The sheer volume of their set was like nothing I had previously experienced, and it felt like the drums were tenderising my innards. I honestly can’t remember much else of their set. I jumped. I screamed. They were gods that walked the earth and the room was a heaving mess of moving bodies. It’s probably a rose-tinted memory, but I remember it as being not unlike the video for Sonic Youth’s Dirty Boots, and it all seemed so unutterably cool. Then Sebadoh came on. This being a time where money was tight, you bought a CD and listened to it to death, not knowing when you’d have the cash for the next one. As a result, I knew a good deal of the songs and spent the set giddily singing along. What I didn’t expect was that the band would regularly swap instruments, with Lou singing the majority of the calmer numbers, while bassist Jason gave vent to the punkier pieces. Then Bob Fay would head to the front (one of the others covering the drums), and I could only marvel at a band so comfortable in switching roles at the drop of a hat. It was a typically schizophrenic set, taking in indelible anthems like Beauty Of The Rideand then scarring the venue with all-out punk assaults like Crystal Gipsy. Way heavier than on record, it was my introduction to the idea that you could be nuanced on record and then utterly rip on stage – something that I always love when I watch a band. By the time it was over, I had been wedged against the barrier for some two hours, and I could have happily stayed there for another two. Instead, I joined the rest of the audience streaming out of the venue. Soaked in sweat, neck aching and ears ringing, I was euphoric at what I had witnessed, and heartbroken that it was over. It was a transcendental experience and writing this now I am all too aware of how inadequate mere words are to convey what I experienced at that show. As for what followed… well, I already had a guitar at home, but I’d been lazy, learning little beyond the basics. After that show I knew I had to try and do something, and I started really working at my chords. I saved up and bought a cheap guitar and amp (the guitar I still have, the amp is long gone) and I pushed that thing as hard as I could, trying to wring the same punk energy from six strings that seemed to defy my fingers as often as they obeyed my will. Eventually, it led to Final Coil and, if we sound very different to Sebadoh, I like to think some of that schizophrenic spirit can be found in our music. Some things dull with age and it’s easy to let cynicism set in, but I’ve never lost that sense of excitement that I get at the start of a gig. I guess different people get that rush for different reasons, but there’s just something about the sight of the amps piled high that comes with its own unique sense of anticipation. I’ve seen more gigs than I can count, and played a nit insignificant number, but I will never forget the intensity and wonder of that Sebadoh show and it has absolutely influenced everything I have done since. Follow Final Coil on Instagram. 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Forged in Black – Kevin Rochester – Drums. Being the oldest member of the band, I was a teenager in the 1970’s & living in Southend-On-Sea, Essex (U.K.), we had the famous Southend Kursaal. Apart from being a beacon for families, it housed The Kursaal Ballroom, which was on the circuit list for every band around (from home & abroad); we saw the best of the best there, virtually every week. On Jan 10th 1976 Black Sabbath arrived as part of their ‘Sabotage’ tour. I had become a firm Sabbath fan after hearing ‘Paranoid,’ then bought the eponymous classic ‘BlackSabbath,’ then every subsequent album after. I had just bought ‘Sabotage’ & was looking forward to seeing them for the first time. When they came on, I wasn’t prepared…..!! The sound was so bloody loud, but very clear & the crowd were following Ozzy from the word go, who was encouraging everyone to head bang, go crazy etc. Tony Iommi was as he is today, the calm man in black, knocking out the enormous riffs that invented metal. Geezer Butler was as animated as always with his solid inventive bass lines….then there was Bill Ward – he is the reason I am a drummer, from hearing the albums, as he was on the jazzier side like me. Live, he hit harder than anyone ever gave him credit for, he was an absolute powerhouse that night, and he led the band from the back. Wherever I looked, every person was head banging, nearly all the time; it was the most powerful gig I have ever seen to this day. I will add one more gig, being Led Zeppelin August 11, 1979 Knebworth. This is a gig worth mentioning, especially as the two appearances they did here were their final gigs in this country. They were not a band that affected me like Sabbath, but I really did like & respect them & the set was good, but more relaxed, you could lie down & watch a band at festivals back then. The fact you tell people you saw Zeppelin, is met with disbelief most of the time. Follow Forged in Black on Instagram. Follow Forged in Black on Facebook. Follow Forged in Black on Twitter. Subscribe to Forged in Black on YouTube. Find Forged in Black on Imperative PR Management UK. Find Forged in Black at Fighter Records. Follow Forged in Black on Bandcamp. Follow Forged in Black on Spotify.
Consecration – Jorge Figueiredo – DrumsThroughout the years I have watched a few bands. Not as many as I would have wanted to. From local bands I was very good friends with, to full- on festivals I have attended there is one band (okay…maybe two) that will always be in my mind and in my heart. DIMMU BORGIR back in 2003 in Lisbon. They were on their top form, musically for me it was a masterpiece and still is and the stage presence was immense. That was one of the first gigs I attended. Lately I haven’t attended any top shelf gigs apart of the ones I play, life is just too busy with other things, you know! And then there is that other band that I was absolutely gobsmacked by – and that was DEFTONES. I mean they were ‘wow’! Like I said previously, from local bands back where I came from who I was very good friends with, to family members being involved in music – it was always part of my life. At the age of 8 I picked up an acoustic guitar and thought, ‘this is not for me’…so I chose drums! Follow Consecration on Instagram. Follow Consecration on Facebook. Follow Consecration on Twitter. Subscribe to Consecration on YouTube. Find Consecration at Imperative PR Management UK. Follow Consecration on Bandcamp. Follow Consecration on Spotify. Find Consecration at Redefining Darkness Records.
Experimental death metal act Voraath from North and South Carolina, newly incepted in September 2001 is a brutal horror/science fantasy- inspired extreme metal band featuring Brad Parris (Nile) on vocals and guitar, Joshua Nassaru Ward (Xael, Rapheumets Well) on drums, vocals and keys, along with Paul McBride (Implosive Disgorgence, Sweet Blood) on bass, and guitarists Daniel Presnell and Tylor Kohl.
I consider myself a music connoisseur. I spend much of my life submerged in music culture 24/7 so when I came across Voraath through Asher Media Relations, a wonderful public relations company we work with and listened to their new music video The Barrens I just had to go down this rabbit hole to find out more. They are relatively new on the scene as Voraath but they aren’t new to music. Their sound is technically advanced and really slaps you in the face with sheer power and originality. If you’re looking for escapism look no further. They take you on a journey into otherworldly realms through an illuminating narrative with lyrics and notes, much like reading a good book you get pulled into your minds eye where imagery takes over. Their music is powerful. I haven’t been this excited about music in a while and I feel this band has what it takes to succeed but dont just take my word for it, check them out for yourself.
Im really looking forward to hearing their debut album once it comes out. Make sure to check out their extremely cool band shirts! I asked the band a few questions and they had very interesting answers, read on to find out more!
Though most of the concept of our debut album follows a group of “survivors” who are tasked with hunting down an inter-dimensional deity who has ravaged the earth, for this song (Siren Head) we wanted to do something “less” otherworldly and a bit more of a horror. My seven-year-old son loves watching scary stories about this creature called “Siren Head.” Come to find out that so many kids his age are infatuated by the monster, so we wanted to write our interpretation of Siren Head based on the artist Trevor Henderson. This also allowed for us some family metal/horror time!” ~voraath
Metal Lair: How does this band differ from your main gigs?
Voraath: This band has a lot of experimental elements, from the depth of the lore to our visual aesthetics. The music follows these hunters on a dystopian earth, 110 years after a mysterious catastrophe took out 80% of the population. With this man we’re wanting to bring this environment to life in our live show. We developed our own armor and apparel, really focusing on the live element. There’s a lot of emotion here. Even though we’re playing extreme metal, we want to take listeners on a journey that has anger, sadness, guilt, and some pretty epic battles.
Metal lair: What outlets allow you to explore musically what you don’t normally attempt?
Voraath: The whole project is an experiment. This is new territory for us to try and merge visuals and music together. Not just visuals but we’re wanting to eventually be able to add even more complicated theatrics until we’re able to portray our story much like a theatrical play. It’s a little bit hard in metal as a lot of shows you only have a 20 to 25 minute set with a 10 minute changeover. That’s the hurdle we’re still trying to figure out.
Metal Lair: What non-musical interests do you all share?
Voraath: Our non-music interest hmmm, We like kayaking and outdoor adventures. We like discovering abandoned ruins so we go as a group for that. Personal interests involve martial arts and survival training, lots of outdoor adventures, video games, and lots of fried chicken!
Metal Lair: What kind of foods do you guys eat while on the road?
Voraath: Our tour food consist of tuna packs, vienna sausage, gas station salads, and if we can sneak out at least once it’s usually Mexican or Chinese buffet. Sometimes we even bring a sliver of liver mush with us, something from the hometown ha!
Metal Lair: Your band name is very unique and interesting how did you come up with it and what does it mean?
Voraath: Our music represents the lore that we developed. There are actually quite a few layers and the multiverse in which we created actually extends to other projects. We have cosmic architects who propagate life throughout the cosmos, meanwhile, certain planets are overrun with turmoil, and for this project, we start here on Earth. In our hidden pantheon of cosmic travelers is the higher life form known as Voraath. Voraath is the icon of vengeance for us. So in that sense, Voraath is our deity of reprisal and vengeance.
Metal Lair: How did you guys decide you wanted to get together and form a band?
Voraath: The project started off with Brad Parris and (I) Joshua Nassaru Ward. Our long-time friends Tylor Kohl and Paul McBride were associated with us through their works with another experimental project that did not get off the ground. These were seasoned musicians and we work great with each other. We sat down to discuss a lot of possible lore where we would like to take the band. Pretty much we all agreed on sci-fi, planet exploding, complex lore, with a dash of our own Appalachian culture and extreme metal!
Metal lair: What future projects are in the works?
Voraath: We’re working on a video series. This is something we have not seen yet. We want to do a music video series that is both music videos and videos to portray the lore in between the music videos. To keep people involved and immersed in our lore. And of course we are currently planning our full-length LP. Theres a new video and song coming soon! This is a very aggressive, sad, and dark song about betrayal while coping with the effects of trauma. This song explores the unpredictable nature of grief. Even good people will commit violent acts when pushed to far. We will also be joining rings of Saturn on their US tour starting June 17th, 2022.