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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy April's Fool 2012!

Yeah, well, many sites have been doing it for years (and still are). So, we decided to join in the fun a little.

Yes, Chester Bennington obviously has no plans of ever going back to the old Linkin Park days. The sky will fall down, shatter, and the resultant spray of tiny shards will rip into Wolverine and tear him apart from the inside out before he will even consider doing it. And of course, we know Wolverine is practically indestructible.

Oh, the dot-com blog is coming along quite nicely. It should be up by the end of this month or next month (again, if things go smoothly). You guys must have noticed since a long time ago that our involvement with this Blogspot blog has been nothing but the opposite of extreme enthusiasm for quite some time now.

We're looking forward to starting with a clean slate and new policies with the upcoming dot-com blog.

See ya.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Linkin Park Frontman Goes Back To Roots

Old Linkin Park fans, rejoice.

Chester Bennington, the irreplaceable frontman of the Californian had-been nu-metal stars, has joined forces with keyboardist Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater on a new project. Dubbed “Flawed Element”, the project harkens back to the golden days of old Linkin Park circa early 2000’s, but with a new symphonic-cum-progressive twist.

When pressed by had-been fans whom went wild after hearing a preview of the upcoming album on Bandcamp, the tattoo enthusiast explained that the name was meant to be a repentance of some sort.

A statement from the frontman’s Facebook page reads:

Yes, the name “Flawed Element” is meant as an apology to the legion of disappointed Linkin Park fans out there. Sorry I estranged all you guys out there for the past half-decade. It took me five years to get my act together, and also realize just how much of an error it was on my part to have dabbled in electronic pop. After witnessing the rise of Skrillex, I decided enough was enough. It has got to be back to real instruments, the basics—guitars, drums, synths and my throaty screams. Jordan [Rudess] has been a real blast to work with, and he really brought my secret admiration for Dream Theater to a whole new level. Look out for a few guest stars as well, and once again guys, I am back.

Flawed Element will begin a headlining tour of America this fall alongside Evanescence, Flyleaf, and Kells. More details can be seen on this page.

Flawed Element – Without You

“Breaking The Silence” is now available for preview at Bandcamp.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Learning Editor: Part 1

It's been such a long time since I visited my own start-up's blog. I have to admit, I was pretty disillusioned with how little attention we are getting over here; which was why I have been contributing to various webzines over the past half year, picking up stuff from how the other webzines run themselves and getting some ideas here and there.

Zen and I actually have big plans for this blog. Unfortunately, due to government-imposed restrictions on personal freedom and our own personal commitments at the moment, ZLM will not be going dot-com anytime soon (Yes, we were actually planning to do so like... a few months ago). Do keep an eye out for issue #2 though-it will be released in its entirety online once its done and will be free to download!

In the mean time, you superbly free people who stumbled upon our unknown little site can browse our "Slaughtered Lambs" section near the bottom of the right-hand column for a list of websites I fancy (and of which there are some I contribute to). Oh yeah, if y'all are wondering what that seemingly random metal album cover is doing up there, well, I recently wrote a review of it for a certain Canadian rock/metal webzine and I needed an online place hosting this image in order for my editor to find it online (contributors aren't allowed to upload images), so here it is! Also, this band is virtually unknown, and googling them turns up nothing, so I guess ZLM should start turning up from now on whenever someone googles "Hellghast"!

Expect to see more writing over there from me over the next few months than over here, and no, I am not revealing my pen names for whichever one of those sites I contribute to. It is more fun to keep you guys guessing! ;-)

P.S.: Although the select few who personally know me on Facebook should be able to tell what are some of my common pseudonyms.

- Wraith

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Q&A with Indicator Dogs

The Dogs, as the band like to call themselves, are no newbies to the indie rock scene. Originally formed in 1997 in New Zealand by Dan Young and Val Hunting, the band has only recorded two full-length albums over a span of 14 years, an output much lesser than most other bands. But who is to say that they don't produce quality material? Way before the recording of their two full-length records, their unique sound from their early demos and strong live performances had attracted award winning producer Malcolm Welsford's attention; who immediately offered to produce their debut album, "Anschluss". Welsford teamed up with the Dogs again in recording their sophomore album, "In The Face Of Disagreement", at Infrasonic Sound Studios in Los Angeles, and also gave them the added bonus of a new member, Grammy nominated drummer AAron Rossi of Prong, Ministry and John 5 fame. We catch up with the Dogs via e-mail and find out how they are doing so far.

Zetalambmary: Good day Dogs! It has been 14 years since the band was formed, so how does it feel to finally have a sophomore album out?

Aaron Rossi: I'm excited for ID!! The new album rocks!
Dan Young: Good, thanks.
Tomas Henry: Alright, thanks. How are you?
Val Hunting: Worth the wait for us and you guys.

Zetalambmary: The name of the new record sounds like it is about resisting an established order. Can y’all explain the meaning behind it?

Dan Young: When you buy the album, the artwork contains a short message we wrote which is a distinction of the meaning as we see it.
Tomas Henry: For me, this is one of many songs I’ve written words for with difficult political and social views. On the first record it was the advertising industry’s insistence on creating cripples, either physically or mentally in the population. On this one I had all kinds of different thoughts, one of which is the way we are all full of opinions but spend most of our time yelling at the TV or computer rather than turning it off and getting on with the life outside our door as well as changing the world by the actions you show people how to be with each other.
Val Hunting: We all come up against disagreement in our lives whether it be political, social, personal etc. We all have to prove who we are in the face of that. This record would not have happened if we let the “disagreement” win.

Zetalambmary: How did Malcolm Welsford learn about you guys? Do you all think he did a good job on the new record?

Aaron Rossi: Malcolm produced a great rock record for Indicator Dogs. He used to be a drummer, so we got along really well in the studio.
Dan Young: Malcolm saw us play live and offered to produce some early works, which led to him doing our first record. We became close friends and he brought us all to LA for the second one. I think he nailed the production; he has a gift to feel and understand music spatially... and has a great ear.
Tomas Henry: I think this is the best record Malcolm has ever produced for us, he’s our bro and is in the dog family now. He was the biggest supporter of me coming back to the band and never lost faith in what I was capable of doing once he heard the songs in pre-production with the wood chipper (AAron).
Val Hunting: Malcolm saw that early on people didn’t get us and they tried to change us so he got involved. He knew that we were unique and it was best to let us be ourselves and evolve as artists. The music industry used to support artist development back in the day (unfortunately not so much now), and Malcolm understood that we needed that. I think this record speaks for itself in terms of the quality, both in the maturity of the music and also the production. I love our first record, but this is a whole new level.

Indicator Dogs - Zoo Keeper (8th track off "Anschluss")

Zetalambmary: This album smells so much of indie rock that if you guys go any more indie, hardcore indie rock aficionados will have to drill through kilometres of earth just to dig you all up. Why doesn’t Aaron’s industrial background from his Ministry days turn up in the songs of “In The Face Of Disagreement”?

Aaron Rossi: Ministry's music and style is night and day compared to Indicator Dogs. They're a band whose albums consist of mostly electronic elements and heavy vocals, whereas Indicator is a pure rock band with melodic singing. I suppose Indicator could add more electronic elements and samples, but that would just be weird.
Dan Young: Hehe...I'm down with that. (know what I'm sayin'). Personally, if I was on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and I was sitting at 500k and the final million dollar question was: "The band Indicator Dogs can best be described as; a) Heavy Rock; b) Alternative Rock; c) Indie rock; d) Progressive Rock?"... I would pass & walk away with the 500k as I have no idea how we should be classified! As to Aaron and Ministry ... Aaron is an artist and plays for the songs.
Tomas Henry: Yeah, too close to the band to understand how to answer that too dude. I’ve heard it described as validly fitting into so many styles so, ahh! Sorry.
Val Hunting: I agree with Dan and I think our fans are smart enough to listen to a wide array of genres and be able to discover us. This isn’t industrial music so AAron was able to play differently. That style of playing has its place and AAron does it better than anyone, but he was able to bring more drumming variety to our record because it is a different style to Ministry.

Zetalambmary: On the first record, “Anschluss”, you guys had a much rawer sound as compared to the more radio-friendly sound of the second record, “In The Face Of Disagreement”. Do you all think that you have grown mellow?

Aaron Rossi: I think the band matured musically; the second album is proof.
Dan Young: Yes. I blame the fast cars and long lunches. This is definitely us in our best Sunday Threads. Seriously though, if you listen to both you will still hear the interesting time signatures & rhythms, but the second album is presented in a way to draw the listeners in. This album is more resolved, less conceptual.
Tomas Henry: The other thing to remember is there are two different vocalists on the initial release. You can listen to the original record with just my vocals on it and it’s a different experience. I know that sounds like I’m a wanker and it’s almost certainly true, but because most people don’t realise that the record seems somehow too heavy when Christian (who stood in for me while I was in hospital) yelled and scream-sang, and I yelled, screamed and sang along together too. So with our voices combined, it’s a lot of information to try and take in.
Val Hunting: I actually think that the music is heavier on this record, but the vocals are mellower.

Zetalambmary: The term “indie” can be a very difficult term to be used accurately. Certain “indie” rock bands like Death Cab For Cutie and Neon Trees have grown so famous that it is ironic how their fans still consider them “indie rock”. What are your views on this issue?

Aaron Rossi: I'm not familiar with these famous bands. I would think indie bands are bands on an independent record label. I've only heard the term "indie rock band", not "indie metal band", so it probably has to do with their style, not their status. To me, they're just rock bands.
Dan Young: I think it’s fun discovering a band and playing it for your friends. As to my views about success, I'm all for earning a decent living, and less about the fame.
Tomas Henry: Man, I just get up and do what I do and it’s the greatest thing in the world to make people have fun and feel their joy when you sing to them. I don’t think about some other fucker crying about his wealth and fucking houses; I just sing the songs and the company takes all my money.
Val Hunting: With the current state of the industry, aren’t we all “indie” these days? I agree that it’s a difficult term to use accurately. I remember when “indie” rock was [made up of] bands like REM, U2, STP, Nirvana and they all became famous as well from underground activity. I think “indie” is a term that really means, “the-record-label-will-eventually-catch-on-if-enough-people-think-its-cool” and do something about it which makes them more famous. I think this is what has happened to indie bands over the years, they build their fan base independently and then they get support from labels or investors. It has nothing to do with the style of music that is played or how famous they eventually become.

Indicator Dogs - Summer Storm (5th track off "In The Face Of Disagreement")

Zetalambmary: Do you guys strive to be as successful as them someday?

Aaron Rossi: For sure! We wanna be famous like those bands you're talking about.
Dan Young: Wednesday.
Tomas Henry: Refer to answer above.
Val Hunting: If you define success by money, then yes, Wednesday is good.

Zetalambmary: What are some of your all-time favourite records?

Aaron Rossi: Death - Symbolic. Rush - Exit Stage Left. Sublime - 40oz To Freedom. Slayer - Divine Intervention. Yanni - Live At The Acropolis. Maynard Ferguson - Live From San Francisco.
Dan Young: PJ Harvey - Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. Fugazi – Repeater. Fugazi - End Hits. Refused – The Shape Of Punk To Come: A Chimerical Bombination In 12 Bursts.
Tomas Henry: The Cure - Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. Beethoven’s 6th, 7th and 9th Symphonies. Sinatra’s Christmas record. Bad Brains – Rock For Light. Bad Brains – Quickness.
Val Hunting: (Seriously, how much time do you have!) Fugazi – Repeater. Fugazi – 13 Songs. Kate Bush – The Dreaming. PJ Harvey – Dry. Kate Bush – The Dreaming. Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love. Mastodon – Crack the Skye. Mastodon – Blood Mountain. Vision Of Disorder – From Bliss To Devastation. Vision Of Disorder – Imprint. Skinlab – Bound, Gagged & Blindfolded. Girl Talk – All Day. Kronos Quartet – Phillip Glass String Quartets. Echo & the Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here… and about 50,000 more I didn’t mention.....

Zetalambmary: What about your influences and the musician each one of you admire the most?

Aaron Rossi: Jimi Hendrix.
Dan Young: Abstract painting. Prince.
Tomas Henry: David Turner, gut reaction and contemplation are wonderful places to create from. Handel.
Val Hunting: Dan and Tom influence me as well as the art of creating unique harmonies; the less travelled musical path. Kate Bush.

Zetalambmary: Had the North American tour with Killing Joke still went on as originally planned, what would have been the first thing each one of you would say or do to Jaz Coleman when you all saw him?

Aaron Rossi: Hey Jaz!!
Dan Young: Offer him one of Mama Rossi's cookies.
Tomas Henry: Give him a hug and tell how bad we feel for his band then ask him about some quantum string theory I've been thinking about.
Val Hunting: Tell him he could have Mama Rossi’s cookies but NOT the pumpkin or lemon slice.

Zetalambmary: Have you all ever thought of asking Dan to design a unique recording studio just for Indicator Dogs?

Aaron Rossi: Ya, we'll call it the Indicator Dog Pound.
Dan Young: Haha! I’m pretty sure I slept through Acoustics theory at university... but I know Tom and Val would bounce ideas off me for their Mansions.
Tomas Henry: Yes, and we have already talked at great length about such a thing.
Val Hunting: Of course, he would ace it with German precision.

"In The Face Of Disagreement" was released on 24th May, 2011 through Rocket Science Ventures.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Silverstein Feature: From Broken and Easily Fixed to Rescue with Shane Told

Every now and then you get a band that may not be massively popular like mainstream acts, but still popular enough to garner a huge following of heart-broken teenagers and wistful young adults across the globe. When I first encountered such a band in the form of Silverstein 6 years ago, my fate as a Silverstein diehard was sealed. The band became the essential soundtrack to my teenagehood. Amidst the plethora of punk rock, metalcore and hard rock bands that I was devouring back then, Silverstein was the flawless gem among a pile of uncut gems, the audio diary of a troubled me from a parallel world, and ultimately an entity that I could truly connect with and feel for.

And why wouldn’t any normal teenager feel this way? Afterall, these were just a bunch of ordinary guys from Toronto, Canada. As the start of the second millenium rolled in eleven years ago, the band was conceived, even when most of them had only just gotten out of high school; just like any other band everyday kids who were into punk rock, hardcore and emo would form. Of course, the one big difference was that Silverstein eventually managed to land a record deal with Chicago-based independent powerhouse, Victory Records. Frontman and vocalist Shane Told was reportedly said to have been working at a shop selling printer cartridges prior to receiving a call from Tony Brummel (owner of Victory) himself.

As with all first time signees, Shane was obviously elated to know that Silverstein was actually going somewhere then and no longer just a casual thing he and the rest of the gang did for fun, and look how far they have gone today. With the release of 2003’s critically acclaimed “When Broken Is Easily Fixed”, Silverstein quickly climbed in popularity in comparison to the rest of the Victory roster, selling more than 200, 000 copies in North America alone and earning their hit song “Smashed Into Pieces” a slot on the Victory Records Sampler of that era. Things have sailed smoothly for them since then, with the subsequent release of their landmark and sophomore album “Discovering The Waterfront”, which did even better than their debut and paved the way to a highly successful career ever since. It is also not very often you come across a band that has been in existence for 11 years so far that has the same line-up from 10 years ago. Most bands tend to change at least one or two members within a span of 2 to 3 years, some even the entire line-up a few albums later, but to have all 5 members for a decade?

“We don’t know how other bands work, and we’ve all only been in one band, so for us, you know, we just try to respect each other and we know kinda when to leave each other alone and when to talk about problems that we have, but for the most part, we are all pretty easy-going about things and we just kind of do it. I mean, yeah, it’s been good and we’ve all kind of been on the same level, we’ve all got the same goals. I think with the band, we’ve all agreed musically and where we want to go with things, and that is the best thing,” Shane says.

Halfway through the above response, Josh came into the changing room to retrieve something and jokingly tried to elbow one of his pals in the face, as if trying to show that they were really not that tight as a band. Flashing a cheeky grin after he was done, he exited the changing room. If there’s another thing I love to see in my favourite bands, it would be a sense of humour!

One remembers fondly of the early days when Shane’s screams and growls were still raw and his singing had a weak tone range (c. “Summer’s Stellar Gaze”, “When The Shadows Beam” and “When Broken Is Easily Fixed). The guitars back then just screamed of punk rock and hardcore as well, so it was definitely a real ear-opener for fans when they heard the highly polished metalcore-style single, “Vices”, from the band’s fourth full-length record (and first concept album), 2009’s “A Shipwreck In The Sand”. Never before had Silverstein sounded so heavy and intense. On 2011’s fifth album, “Rescue”, Shane had described its sound to be a crossover of “Discovering The Waterfront” and “A Shipwreck In The Sand”, a melding of the heartfelt ballad approach of the former and the brutal take from the latter; both of which are works of great musical maturity. But what about the lyrics? How much more mature have they become?

Shane pauses to ponder about the question for a brief moment before answering, “Yeah, it’s a good question, I’d say so. For instance, early on in our band’s career, I don’t think there were any sort of songs about politics or songs about, you know, the world and issues with that, and I think that as I have gotten older, those things have become more important to me. I think that’s one thing that’s sort of come out in our music a little bit, it’s making statements about certain sort of political issues in that, so I think definitely, in that sense, it has. Yeah.”

In case any of you reading this still doesn’t know, Silverstein are a bunch of guys who care a lot about animal welfare too. Music isn’t everything in their lives, and they are really zealous in their beliefs, being practising vegetarians/vegans since they were teenagers. They are strong supporters of the animal welfare website, Peta2.com, and according to their interview on that website, they have always found exploiting animals for food, fur and other products just not the right thing to do.

“Well, we are only both vegan [points at Billy Hamilton], and the rest of us are vegetarian, and I think if you asked each one of us, we’d give you a slightly different reason, further reasons [on why they turned vegetarian/vegan]. I’d say for me, I think you can live a healthy lifestyle, if not, a more healthy lifestyle than somebody who eats meat, without having to harm a [sentient] living thing. So that’s personally, for me, why I do it.“

By the way, Shane really fell down at the end of the music video.

Going back to Silverstein’s history, many music fans and critics have labeled Silverstein as one of the main pioneers of post-hardcore. So, had it really been the band’s intention to come up with such a crossover style right from the start?

“It was, absolutely. I think we came from a background where we had a lot of different influences, you know, and we had a lot of different styles of music that were popular in our hometown and it was very all over the place. It was everything from punk rock to hardcore to ska to emo and for us, I think we loved all those kinds of music equally and our whole intention was just to bring them together and fuse them together. I think that’s where we kind of got our sound and it’s great, you know, that worked out like that, so it’s a special thing.”

After hearing that, A Day To Remember just popped into my mind, and I promptly questioned Shane if they were really good friends since they seemed to be playing in a style quite similar to Silverstein’s.

“Yeah, and we know them really well. I guess I don’t know how much of an influence we were on them, but it’s interesting you know, and I think they are a little bit different ‘cos they are tuned down a little more lower and they kind of do a little more of the double-kick, breakdown thing, and we don’t do it as much, so I think we have different sort of takes but I think our influences are kind of the same.”

Having been on their debut label Victory Records for a good 7 years, one might at first think that Silverstein would feel a little regretful for leaving the label that groomed them to become what they are today. But surprise—it turns out that even these affable guys have gotten sick and tired of Tony Brummel’s overly-business approach to the art of recording music. Shane had mentioned in interviews on other websites that he was disillusioned with how Victory Records was run more like a corporation than an independent record label because “they are very driven on what’s gonna sell, how many copies of whatever they’re gonna sell, and a lot of times that held us [Silverstein] back from a lot of the things that we wanted to do.” (as extracted from AMP Magazine)

“No, absolutely no regrets. I mean, we did four albums with them and we had the best of times and there were the worst of times as they say, and you know, we just decided that we had some other options on where to go, like other labels and the business side, and Hopeless [Records] is a much better fit for us as a label,” Shane says with surety.

And about his own record label that was set up to help fellow Canadian bands, Verona Records? Well, Shane still does it on top of Silverstein. “I still do it, yeah,” Shane says. “And Counterparts was the last band on it and they are actually on Victory Records now. And I did some other great releases, and I continue to help out bands that are Canadian and stuff.”

Moving on to the million-dollar question, I asked Shane how he switches between his harsh vocals and clean singing so effortlessly, and how he ensures his voice is well taken care of. I must have been the millionth person to ask him that.

"A lot of people ask me that, and I don’t know, I just do it. I don’t have a lot of training, I haven’t taken all those lessons and stuff, I just kind of do the right thing. It’s something that I enjoy and I enjoy switching it up. It gives our band a lot of dynamics I think, between soft and heavy; and I like it."

“I drink a lot of water and I try to get a lot of sleep. Other than that, there’s no special remedies. It’s like some people say they don’t eat dairy or whatever, that messes them up. It doesn’t affect me, I mean as long as I’m drinking enough water and sleeping enough, I’m pretty good. Oh, if I get sick, that sucks too.”

As with many foreign bands whom are on their virgin visit to the little sunny island of Singapore, Silverstein were pretty excited about seeing some of the famous tourist spots. Bassist Billy Hamilton was so taken with the Merlion that halfway through the gig, he proclaimed that his next tattoo was going to be that of a Merlion, and that “that shit is cool, man.” Silverstein was also supposed to drop by a local radio station by the name of Power 98 for an interview in the morning of their first day in Singapore, but only Paul and Billy managed to turn up in the end as the other three were beat from the long flight the night before and resting up at their hotel room. This was especially understandable for Shane since he had to recuperate his voice from a soldout night at Taipei, Taiwan the day before. Since Shane wasn’t there while the deejays asked them what had they thought of Singapore before they arrived, I decided to pose the same question to him.

“Right, what I think of it? You know, it’s funny ‘cos I have a very good friend that I grew up with who was from Singapore, so he’d go over every summer and he’d always talk about how nice it was, so I always kind of pictured it how it is I guess. But then it’s funny what you hear about in the news, like the kid who spray painted the car and got caned—I’m sure you guys remember that ‘cos it was big news—and you know, you hear about the drug-smuggling and how they put people to death and stuff. So you hear that stuff, and I think you come here and you are a little bit scared that it’s gonna be really like everywhere you go there’s going to be police and stuff, but it’s really not. It’s like a lot more laidback than I thought, so I was thinking it was going to be a little more like uptight, but it’s actually pretty chill.” [ZLM]

- Wraith

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Seth Putnam (of Anal Cunt) Passes Away at 43

ANAL CUNT's publicist, Kim Kelly of Catharsis PR, has confirmed via Twitter that the band's frontman, Seth Putnam, died earlier today (Saturday, June 11) of a suspected heart attack. He was 43 years old.

Commented Kelly: "Yes, it's true. Seth Putnam, one of the most infamous musicians that extreme metal has ever seen, the grindcore GG Allin, has passed away due to a heart attack.

"I handled all the promotion for ANAL CUNT's last album, 'Fuckin' A', and Seth was always happy to oblige any request I sent his way. The band had been working on a new album before his passing, so chances are his musical career's epitaph has yet to be inscribed.

"I want to remind everyone that no matter how outrageous and controversial his musical career has been, Seth was still a human being with friends and family that loved him. I'm hoping that the Internet will remember that. This is a very sad and trying time for those that knew him, and the last thing they need to see is an outpouring of message board hate. The man lived and died by his own rules; if anything, respect him for that."

1st screenshot hinting at Seth's demise

2nd screenshot confirming Seth's demise

Putnam was known for his brutal screaming and lyrics that either shock, offend, or invoke morbid humor. Throughout his career, Putnam was involved in many side projects, including providing backing vocals on PANTERA's "The Great Southern Trendkill" album.

Putnam was born on May 15, 1968, in or around Boston, Massachusetts to father Edward R. Putnam and mother Barbara Ann Donohue. Both he and his parents are divorced.

In the mid-1980s, Putnam played bass in the thrash metal band EXECUTIONER.

On October 12, 2004, Putnam was hospitalized after ingesting two months' worth of Ambien sleeping pills. It was reported that he spent the previous day contemplating suicide, although exact circumstances surrounding the drug overdose are vague.

Putnam's reaction to the irony of his having been in a coma after previously writing the song "You're In A Coma" was published in the Boston Phoenix. "Actually, it turned out it was just as gay as the song I wrote nine years ago — being in a coma was just as fuckin' stupid as I wrote it was," he was quoted as saying.

The One & Only Seth: He may have had such a twisted sense of humour and foul mouth, but he's dead now; at least show him some respect for bringing comic relief to the extreme metal community (a thankless and difficult job that not many would want to undertake given that it makes them hate magnets).

Anal Cunt - 88 Song EP (Side A)

Anal Cunt - Song #8

Anal Cunt - I Couldn't Afford to Buy You a Present (So I Wrote You This Song)

Anal Cunt - Limp Bizkit Think They're Black, But They're Just Gay

Seth Putnam may have probably been extreme metal's most notorious and hated man while he was still alive, but we can't deny that his unique brand of offensive and random humour brought much light-heartedness to an underground community that often drowns in an overly-dark and overly-serious atmosphere. He probably had an overdose of drugs which led to his suspected heart attack (as was what happened to dear Paul Gray of Slipknot last year) that robbed him of his life — and the extreme metal community of Anal Cunt's 10th and 11th full-length studio albums which were still being worked on when the man himself met his unfortunate and untimely demise.

R.I.P. Seth Putnam, the extreme metal community will probably never see another insanely wacky individual such as yourself ever again.


Credits: News taken from various sources seeing as how the Internet is so bloody big, Seth's picture at the top is taken from his own Facebook profile, and the screenshots from his publicist's Twitter postings are grabbed from Blabbermouth.net

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Q&A with Satan's Host

Some bands make great music... but just never got to make it big. Satan's Host is one of them, and these peers of Iron Maiden are going back to explore their blackened power metal roots from their early years with the release of their fifth and latest studio effort, "By The Hands Of The Devil". Underground they may still be, but Satan's Host still haven't forgotten how to make darn good NWoBHM-ish music on this latest album!

Zetalambmary: Firstly, allow me to express my congratulations to the band for 34 years of existence thus far! When the band was first formed back in 1977, bands with overtly satanic names like this were still not very common. What prompted you guys to come up with such a name?

Patrick Evil: Originally, I wanted a name that would stand against Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin and all the other great bands of that time.
Evil Little Hobbit: Patrick Evil came up with the name when he was a teenager. He felt he had to come up with an evil name that was better than Black Sabbath.

Zetalambmary: You all are almost as old as the titanic Iron Maiden. In fact, both Iron Maiden and Satan’s Host seem to share some similar traits musically, such as the high-pitched wails done by the vocalists and the NWoBHM-ish guitar riffs. Yet you all have a lyrical theme that is dark and unconventional for a band that has a heavy/power metal playing style. So between Iron Maiden and Venom, which band would you guys consider to be a bigger influence on the band?

Patrick Evil: I would say that for me, both of these bands had a great fire that I had interest in.
Margar: Venom is a great band and I enjoy their work, especially “Black Metal”, but Iron Maiden has definitely been a bigger influence.
Evil Little Hobbit: For me it’s Iron Maiden. I’ve been an avid fan since I was a kid; both Clive Burr and Nicko McBrain have been huge influences on me. But as far as what Satan’s Host is all about, I’d have to say that both Iron Maiden and Venom have been an influence.

Zetalambmary: America is also home to the famed Kamelot led by suave frontman Roy Khan. Have you all ever considered moving Satan’s Host towards the direction of modern power metal by incorporating keyboards into your music and lyrical themes that deal with humane problems like questioning the purpose of existence and human solitude?

Patrick Evil: No, I would say I have always been a fan of the more extreme forms of music that are aggressive and guitar-cum-vocal driven. I do like keyboards if they are written in a certain way for the mood of the song.
Evil Little Hobbit: We have had keyboards in past albums, Patrick used to use them before, and the thought of bringing them back is always a possibility. I think the themes we have in “By the Hands of the Devil” does have a lot of questioning, but not on the purpose of our existence, but more about where we came from, what’s happening around us, and more about uniting against the lies and enslavement of the human race by governments and religious ideologies.

Zetalambmary: Do you guys think that there is such a thing as a “black metal star”?

Patrick Evil: It all goes into the conception of thought and mortality; it would be in the way you would look at the star. To me, all great people are different kinds of stars in their own way.
Margar: Sure, there are plenty of black metal stars.

The channelers of Satan - Clockwise from top-left: Leviathan Thisiren (Vocals), Patrick Evil (Guitars), Margar (Bass Guitar) and Evil Little Hobbit (Drums)

Zetalambmary: When Jon Nödtveidt of Dissection was still alive, he often criticised that most of the black metal groups that are active in the global metal scene aren’t truly satanic in the very essence of the word itself, but are “mentally passive, easily-guided apathetic flocks of cattle”. Do you all agree with him?

Patrick Evil: I would agree with him. I think that many people just follow like sheep and don’t strive to create their own sounds and beliefs.
Evil Little Hobbit: Yes. But that is just a human trait in any formal organization. The thing with Satanism is to live as an individual.

Zetalambmary: What kind of beliefs does each one of you hold and what kind of messages do you all want to bring across in the music of Satan’s Host?

Patrick Evil: I think as individuals we all have our own belief systems, mine being spiritual and Satanic. There are so many ways to open the mind; I think it is hard just to limit yourself to certain beliefs. I think there are so many avenues of mystery to be explored and applied in what we wish to attain.
Margar: I don't hold any religious beliefs whatsoever. Because of this, I like to leave the messages to the other guys. I care more about making good music than sending a message.
Evil Little Hobbit: The truth is in the unopened mind, seek enlightenment.

Zetalambmary: What are the 5 favourite albums ever for each one of you and which metal musician do you all admire the most?

Patrick Evil: I am not sure I could limit it to 5 albums. I would say “Blizzard of Ozz” by Ozzy Osbourne, “Heaven and Hell” by Black Sabbath, “Led Zeppelin 4” by Led Zeppelin, “Black Metal” by Venom, “Killers” by Iron Maiden, “Master of Disguise” by Savage Grace and many others.
Margar: Right now, it would probably be “Blackwater Park” by Opeth, “Sailing the Seas of Cheese” by Primus, “Horrorshow” by Iced Earth, “Viva Emptiness” by Katatonia and “Fate of Norns” by Amon Amarth. But that list changes about once a week depending on what mood I am in. I would have to say that I admire Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth because he is such an unbelievably talented musician and I like how he composes his music.
Evil Little Hobbit: “Powerslave” by Iron Maiden, “Melissa” by Mercyful Fate, “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, “Sons of Northern Darkness” by Immortal and “Moving Pictures” by Rush. I admire King Diamond the most.

Zetalambmary: Since Harry’s rejoining of Satan’s Host last year, how do the other members feel about his contributions to the band so far?

Patrick Evil: With Harry, the sky is the limit. We can do anything we have ever dreamed of and more. There is so much room to grow and evolve as a band. We have such great chemistry together.
Margar: It has definitely been a welcome change. I am both proud and honoured to have the opportunity to work with such an incredible vocalist.
Evil Little Hobbit: Harry is stellar. He is a great vocalist, a great musician, a great friend and he has done all he can do to contribute.

Zetalambmary: The latest record, “By The Hands Of The Devil”, takes a nostalgic step back in time to Satan’s Host’s original power metal musical style and departs from the death metal musical style of the late ‘90s to 2009. How has fan reception of this new, or rather, old Satan’s Host been so far and how do you guys feel about it?

Patrick Evil: I think so far it has been an amazing reaction to this album. We wanted to go against the norm and invent something that has been lost for a very long time.
Margar: So far the fan reception has been great. It's satisfying to have something that we have worked so hard on be met with such good reviews.

Zetalambmary: Are you guys going to embark on any tours soon?

Patrick Evil: We do really want to go on tour because we live to play live. At the same time, we are loving song-writing and recording because we have so much fire inside of ourselves to create. We will tour and get the music out there to the fans, it is all just a matter of timing and to make sure we do it right!

Zetalambmary: Will you all ever consider coming to Asia to perform?

Patrick Evil: Of course, we know how passionate the fans are over there. All anyone has to do is make us offers and set up shows and Satan’s Host will play anywhere!
Margar: If the opportunity arises, the answer would be “Yes”.
Evil Little Hobbit: We want to hit every corner of the Earth at some point.

Zetalambmary: Before we end off, does any one of you think that Beethoven would probably make a pretty good heavy metal musician if he was still alive today?

Patrick Evil: I think he would make the ultimate metal musician, you can hear it in all of his works. Give him the technology we have and music would explode from him!
Margar: Without a doubt. Since metal has roots embedded so deep into classical music, he would probably be undeniably great.

"By The Hands Of The Devil" was released on 3rd May, 2011 through Moribund Records.