Archive for Hecate Enthroned

Wretched Soul replace headliners at Bridgaard Metal Fest

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 27th February 2014 by Nico Davidson

BRIDGAARDMETALFEST

Thrash metal tyrants Wretched Soul have replaced Finnish progressive maestros Constantine at the Bridgaard Metal Fest. Wretched Soul will be joined by the likes of pirate metallers Red Rum (as seen at Warhorns Festival 2013), Scottish death metallers Exile The Traitor and Gothic doom coven Edenfall, as well as Alice In Thunderland, Bharghest, Satanic Malfunctions, Apnoea and acoustic metal solo act Liam White.

Tickets for this all-day event are priced at the low price of a fiver and are available online from this location and will be taking place at Basement (Formerly Shades Nightclub) in Bridlington. The event is all-ages but valid ID will be required for the bar. This will also be Wretched Soul’s only northern show before they support black metal legends Hecate Enthroned in July as well as Bharghest’s final show before Valkyrian Festival in November.

Wretched Soul online:

http://wretchedsoul.net
http://facebook.com/wretchedsouluk

 

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Nico’s Highlights of 2013

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2013 by Nico Davidson

So, it’s that time of year when everyone picks out their highlights of the year. I figured that this year, I’ll jump on the bandwagon. So here are my highlights of 2013… Including a few non-metal releases!

Best Albums Of 2013:

1. Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies Of The Night

2. Azylya – Sweet Cerebral Destruction

3. Wretched Soul – Veronica

4. Seduce The Heaven – Field Of Dreams

5. Hecate Enthroned – Virulent Rapture

Best Live Acts of 2013:

1. Re-Armed

2. Azylya

3. Delain

4. The CockRockets

5. Bharghest

Best Yorkshire Bands of 2013:

1. Severed Heaven

2. Bharghest

3. Narcotic Death

4. XIII

5. Skull Branded Pirates

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Best Non-Metal Albums of 2013:

1. Janet Devlin – Hide & Seek

2. Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped In Red

3. Ben Parcell – Expectations

Old Corpse Road confirmed to support Hecate Enthroned at Bridlington show

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 13th December 2013 by Nico Davidson

British folklore-inspired black metallers Old Corpse Road have been confirmed to support Hecate Enthroned at their first show in East Yorkshire in over three years. The show will take place at Basement in Bridlington on 17th May 2014 with more support acts to be confirmed. Tickets are available for £6 from this location.

Old Corpse Road online:

http://oldcorpseroad.co.uk
http://facebook.com/oldcorpseroad

Hecate Enthroned – Virulent Rapture

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , on 12th December 2013 by Nico Davidson

Hecate Enthroned
Virulent Rapture
Released 25th November 2013
Symphonic Black Metal
Released via Crank Music

Anyone know follows the British black metal scene will have no doubt encountered the legendary, if somewhat unsung, heroes of the scene: Hecate Enthroned. Following the release of Redimus in 2004, the band have remained fairly quiet – or as quiet as you can possibly get when playing black metal. However, following their recent pact with Italian label Crank Music, Hecate Enthroned are set to rise again.

The eerie orchestration of Thrones Of Shadow acts as the beginning of the ritual that is Virulent Rapture. The haunting orchestration leads into the fierce wailing guitars and bestial vocals, as the keyboard passages create a Poe-like atmosphere that glides gently between the crushing use of guitars, bass and drums and the hate-flavoured vocals. Unchained sees the waves of Plutonian darkness continue to flood forth from the snarling guitars and hypnotic keyboard medleys whereas the bass and drums are more thunderous and barbaric, creating a perfect contrast.

The introduction of Abyssmal March creates an atmospheric mood, painted with varying Cimmerian shades but the unrelenting charge of the heavier instrumentation rushes in, leading a vicious use of screams and Hadean keyboard medleys. Plagued By Black Death features a melancholy piano passage which dances like a spirit at dance macabre with the vocals and guitars in a certain, almost seductive manner portraying beauty and a bestial nature in one vessel. Euphoria explodes in like a volcano, domineering one’s hearing with a visceral assault of guitars and drums and some heavy punches from the vocals. The guitars whip out melodic passages, which are accompanied by a mystifying layer of orchestration.

Virulent Rapture is a flood of guitars on a biblical scale of proportions, leaving nothing but a path of ruin and devastation – and probably some sore necks as well – in its wake. The hypnotic orchestration does little to sooth the destructive nature of the song, in fact, it enhances it in a dark and ethereal manner. The one calm during in the storm is produced by the haunting guest vocals of Sarah Jezebel Deva who adds an enchanting element to the song. Life comes across as more of a gothic doom anthem, lending an obsessive, memorable and augural sound through the shadowy voices of the guitars and illusory keyboards. The stern use of bestial vocals do contrast away from the music, employing a strong black metal element there.

The alarming riffs of To Wield The Hand Of Perdition leave no room for mercy as they tear their way through the song like wolves hunting their prey. The vocals are formidable at each turn, while the rhythm sections made up by a terrifying assault of drums and bass, alongside the keyboards, strengthen the track. Of Witchery And The Blood Moon, a title that rings true to the band’s name, is somber in its presentation, painting an image of an unrelenting arctic winds, leaving only a cold trail of wintry enchantments. Immateria is a break from the fierce snapping of riffs, lyrical war cries and barbaric percussion assaults, taking the listen sailing down a more gentle river of memorable medleys until Path Of Silence unleashes a storm of deathly riffs and vocals sharp enough to cut steel in two. The percussion and bass falls down heavier than a ton of bricks, finishing off the devastation left by the previous tracks. The keyboards and orchestration finalise the black metal incantations, keeping the band’s signature sound unscathed throughout the chaos.

Raise your horns and bend your knees. The kings of British black metal, Hecate Enthroned, have returned with a masterpiece that has not only become a complete evolution of their sound but proves that they are one of the best bands on the scene and they certainly show no signs of abdicating from their throne just yet.

Nico Davidson

5/5

Hecate Enthroned online:

http://hecateenthroned.com
http://facebook.com/hecateenthroned

 

Hecate Enthroned post new song online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 20th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

With the impending release of Hecate Enthroned’s latest masterpiece, Virulent Rapture, on the horizon, the legendary black metal coven have posted a track from the album to YouTube as a teaser, so fans can get an idea of what to expect from the new album. The song can be heard below.

The song, To Wield The Hand Of Perdition, is a completely new direction in the band’s career, focusing less on the symphonic melodies – though they do remain –  and more on a crushing assault that will render one’s ears bloody.

Hecate Enthroned online:

http://hecate-enthroned.co.uk
http://facebook.com/hecateenthroned

 

Virulent Rapture available for limited edition pre-order

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 28th October 2013 by Nico Davidson

Virulent Rpature, the new long awaited album from unsung black metal legends Hecate Enthroned, is now available for pre-order but is limited to 100 hand numbered copies that will include an A3 poster and the Hecate Enthroned flag. Pre-orders can be made at this locationVirulent Rapture will be released on 25th November via Crank Music Group.

Virulent Rapture tracklisting:

Thrones Of Shadow
Unchained
Abyssal March
Plagued By Black Death
Euphoria
Virulent Rapture (feat. Sarah Jezebel Deva)
Life
To Wield The Hand Of Perdition
Of Witchery And The Blood Moon
Immateria
Paths Of Silence

Hecate Enthroned online:

http://facebook.com/HecateEnthroned

 

Warhorns Festival 2013: Six bands you must see this year!

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 17th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

It’s coming to that time of year when the second edition of the Warhorns Festival is just around the corner. Taking place in the historic Viking capital of the north, York, where the infamous Eric Bloodaxe once ruled ruled as King of Northumbria, the two day event features some of the UK’s and Europe’s best folk, Viking and black metal acts. So we composed a list of six bands you must absolutely see at this year’s Warhorns Festival.

6. Red Rum

Because pirates. That’s why. I mean, who doesn’t like pirates? Aside from victims of pirates but I’m sure they still think pirates are cool. They also have an EP coming coming out soon.

5. Maelstrom

Dark. Brooding. And addicted to haggis. Much like the vast majority of the stereotypical populace of Glasgow. The only difference is that Maelstrom actually play a decent blend of symphonic black metal. Oh and they wear suits. Trve Glaswegian Corporate Black Metal.

4. Infernal Creation

Probably the blackest black metal band to come out of Hull since… Uh… I’ll get back to you on that one. Having already supported the likes of Fleshgod ApocalypseHecate Enthroned and Nothgard, as well as playing Bloodstock last year, Infernal Creation are definitely a band to watch out for at this year’s Warhorns.

3. Old Corpse Road

If you like happy, cheery music about rainbows and kittens and fluffy clouds then I have news for you… Old Corpse Road aren’t going to be for you. However, if you enjoy the kind of music that is dark, atmospheric and heavier than a beached whale as well hauntingly good live, then OCR are a must see band at Warhorns. Oh and it’s their second appearance at the festival.

2. Mael Mordha

Gaelic Doom Metal. Not many bands can actually describe themselves as that and make it sound more epic than a drunken night out which led to sword fighting with a Viking, slaying a dragon and bedding the fair maiden but Mael Mordha do which stands as a testament to the strength of Ireland’s growing metal scene.

1. Black Messiah

One of the two headliners of the second night, Black Messiah are the number one band to see at this year’s Warhorns. With snarling guitar passages, grand symphonic elements, intelligently played drums and vocals that pack more punch that a ton of bricks falling right on top of you, Black Messiah are going to raise the bar for Warhorns.

Warhorns Festival will take place from 27th September to 28th September at The Duchess in York and tickets are available from this location.

Yorkshire black metallers Severed Heaven added to Valk-Fest 2013 line-up

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , on 2nd April 2013 by Nico Davidson

Yorkshire-based black metallers Severed Heaven are the latest additions to the line-up for this year’s Valkyrian Festival – And without a doubt, they’re also the heaviest band on the bill so far.

Formed in 2007, the five piece black metal band expertly combine the finest elements of black and death metal to create a powerful and passionate sound which is lacking in today’s male-dominated metal scene. Having shared the stage with the likes of Gorgoroth, Gallhammer, Hecate Enthroned and more in the past, Severed Heaven are more than capable of bringing terror supreme at each show they play. With the follow-up to Incessant Darkness currently in the works, Severed Heaven will no doubt leave a trail of blood, guts and destruction at this year’s Valkyrian Festival.

Valkyrian Festival 2013 is in aid of RapeCrisis and will take place at Shades Nightclub in Bridlington, East Yorkshire between 29th November – 1st December. Weekend tickets are available online at this location for the low price of £5 and anyone who orders tickets before 31st August will be entered into an exclusive raffle draw. Further details for this year’s Valk-Fest can be found here.

 

Interview with Glyn Beasley [Ravenage]

Posted in Featured, Interview with tags , , , , , , on 15th February 2013 by Nico Davidson

Glyn Beasley has been the leader and vocalist for the epic Viking metal warband Ravenage since its formation five years ago. Glyn is also the co-promoter for the Metieval Festival, an event which has seen bands like Hecate Enthroned, Blaze Bayley and Power Quest play. He’s also heavily involved with the Warhorns Festival – The UK’s premier folk metal festival. In an exclusive interview with Nico, Glyn reveals his thoughts on Hull’s metal scene, the UK’s folk metal scene and clears up his roles in both Metieval and Warhorns. Glyn also makes reference to his love for goat’s milk.

Nico: The internet is quite barren when it comes to details of Ravenage’s early day, so my first question is; how did Ravenage come into existence?

Glyn: Ravenage were formed in December 2007 from the remnants of Heathen ForayHeathen Foray were formed a couple of years earlier by Sam and myself, first as just a recording project, but then a live band. Rich, aka Lord Legion, joined us on bass almost immediately and then later Chris on drums.  We probably did about 10 gigs in total, mostly in Hull and Beverley, but we also played Derby, Wakefield, Scunthorpe, Birmingham and Withernsea.  We also released an album and an EP and had reasonable success for a Hull-based band. Towards the end of 2007,  we recruited Mark Wood as a second guitarist as Sam was struggling with commitment, at the same time Chris had also lost interest and there was a definite divide in the band.  I didn’t feel comfortable continuing HF without Sam, so I put it on hold. At the same time I still wanted to be in an active band in a similar style and enjoyed working with both Rich and Mark, so over the Christmas period we wrote and recorded The Ravenage demo so that we could find a suitable keyboardist and drummer.  A chance meeting in Spiders Nightclub secured the services of former Gwydion drummer Bruno, and then I think Elliot found us on Myspace via has solo project Nogothrim, and full rehearsals began in March 2008. Elliot tweaked the demos and re-recorded  the keyboards, and we made our debut in Swansea supporting Annwn that April.

Nico: The band has seen several differing line-up changes through the years, how have these line-up changes affected Ravenage‘s sound?

Glyn: I think our sound has just been a natural progression since the Hardrada’s Fall EP, prior to then our sound was more raw and leaned more towards black metal, rather than the folky melodic death metal sound we have today.  To be honest, though we’ve had a fair share of line up changes over the years, everyone has known what Ravenage is about and has adapted to our style.  For our next album, I’m very keen to hear what Chris, Boxhead and Art bring to the table alongside the more established writing styles of Elliot and Danny.

Nico: Things have been quiet over the last year or so within Camp Ravenage, is there any reasoning for this?

Glyn: I wouldn’t necessarily say we’ve been quiet, it’s more of a case that we’ve not been gigging as often as we have in the past for number of reasons.  We’re probably more selective of gigs now as without major label support, we’ve done as much as we can in the UK—we’ve played Bloodstock, Pagan Pride and Gathering The Clans, and most major UK cities, as well as some continental gigs and festivals. Like most bands we’ve had good turn outs and we’ve had poor ones.  So, these days, it’s just a case of ensuring we play the right gigs and not the same place too often as we try to make every gig special, this year will probably follow in the same vein.  Also, as well as Ravenage, I have a full time job, a beautiful girlfriend, a wolfdog as well as commitments to both Warhorns and Metieval, so I don’t want to burn myself out completely.  Elliot also has his commitments to Alestorm, Danny to Aloeswood as well as being in full-time education alongside Chris and Boxhead, and Art is a full time music  lecturer. This doesn’t mean that anyone is less committed to Ravenage – wait til you hear the quality of our new songs – it’s just a case of balancing things out and staying fresh both physically and mentally.

Nico: Ravenage’s latest album, Fresh From Fields Of Victory, was released in 2011. Is there a new album in the works?

Glyn: Absolutely, and the plan is to release it this year.  We have about six songs written and have already performed Northbound Part II live.  It’s unlikely we’ll air any others prior to the album release, but you never know.  We’re also planning on releasing a video for one of the tracks, which should be a lot of fun.

Nico: A couple of Ravenage‘s members are involved with other projects – Danny with Aloeswood and Elliot with Alestorm – Has this made progress for Ravenage more challenging?

Glyn: Not now, though when Elliot first joined Alestorm we recruited Art as a session player to cover his absence.  Art loved playing live with us and we managed to fulfil last year’s gigging schedule by essentially having two keyboard players.  Art is a fantastic keyboardist as well as a great bloke and we all liked having him around, and after learning our set it did seem like a waste to just be a session player. Elliot is also an amazing all-round musician and vocalist and can play any instrument with ease, and as he now has his keyboard fix in Alestorm, playing bass with Ravenage enables him to have a lot more stage freedom and live presence. Also, during his absences, its easier for us to bring in a session bass player than a keyboard player. Regarding Danny and Aloeswood, it’s not really a problem as Danny is currently only playing select gigs.  However, I have no doubt that Aloeswood will eventually become a huge part of the UK black metal scene.  Danny is an amazing songwriter and is already beginning to receive the recognition he deserves.  Also, while Boxhead is involved with other bands and projects, he still has enough energy to be in at least half a dozen more bands so that is not a problem either.

Nico: You’re involved with both Metieval and Warhorns and this has obviously confused people, regarding your roles within both. Could you explain what your roles are in each and how they differ from one another?

Glyn: Metieval was formed in 2006 by Stig and myself to bring a professional festival to the Hull and East Yorkshire region.  Metieval organized the East Riding Rock Festival in 2007, 2008, and 2009.  Due to struggling to find a suitable venue and  over-estimating the local metal scene, we decided to call it a day in 2011 with the Metieval Requiem to finish things off.  However, after a bit of a break and a rethink we decided to resurrect the festival in late 2012 with the Metieval Winterfest, and have plans for future events. Regarding Metieval, Stig and I are the founders and have equal say in all related matters . We do have a good support team around us especially Stig’s wife Lyn, Elliot Vernon and Hull Rockers Jake and Silver Back.
Warhorns Festival is the creation Marc Ollis – I work as his right-hand man alongside Shamsi Modarai and Elliot Vernon.  However, all major decisions are made by Marc and I only book and contact bands on his behalf because of my previous experience co-running Metieval events. The difference between Metieval and Warhorns is that Metieval is regionally-based in Hull and East Yorkshire, and will book any suitable band that plays any genre of metal or rock. Warhorns, on the other hand, is purely a Viking/folk/black metal festival with a more national and international scope.

Nico: As you’re involved with Hull’s music scene, to an extent, as both a musician and a promoter, what are your thoughts on Hull’s music scene? How does it differ from the other scenes around the UK?

Glyn: I can’t really speak for other cities’ metal scenes as I’m not involved in any and I’m also a lot less involved in the Hull music scene then I used to be.  Before the resurrection of Metieval Winterfest, I think I’d been to maybe two gigs in two years.  I did recently self-promote and organise a gig for Old Corpse Road as part of the Northern leg of their UK tour, but that was a one-off, and a favour for a friend.
There are a couple of excellent local bands out there.  Obviously Sworn Amongst have been very successful, although I don’t know how they’ll get on without Frank at the helm.  Also, Infernal Creation are my personal favourites and are getting some well deserved recognition and good gigs of late.  I also like Alice In Thunderland from Bridlington, and Innersylum have the region’s strongest vocalist in the form of Derk. I also thought Pastel Jack had some good ideas, and was surprised by their demise as I thought they were on the brink of getting to the next level.  At  Metieval Winterfest, I was impressed by some of the more hardcore bands, in particular Downfall and Battalions.
The problem I think with the Hull Metal Scene was actually pointed out to me by my friend Pip (otherwise known as Raeven Irata).  She noted that the majority of metal fans in Hull are already in bands, and local bands don’t really support one  another’s’ gigs.  I’m no exception to this as I rarely go out and support other bands due to not having enough time  I think this is why over the years the scene has divided and fragmented. Also, the loss of venues coupled with the fact that a lot of people appear to prefer to watch a bunch of imposters (tribute bands) than a band playing original music, has taken its toll, hence where we are now.  I’d also say that without Darren Bunting and Music HQ, Hull’s metal scene would be dead.
There is still room I think for decent gigs in Hull and the surrounding area.  Metieval, Valkyrian, Sunkfest, and Springboard all tend to be successful.  Stig and I have also noted that there’s a new festival called Nukefest that appears to be a complete carbon copy of Metieval Winterfest.

Nico: Obviously being apart of the Warhorns family means you’ve got more involvement with the pagan and folk metal scenes. What are your thoughts on the current folk and pagan metal scenes?

Glyn: Since I’ve not travelled to a Euro Festival since 2011, I can only really comment on the UK Scene.  There are some great UK bands out there at the minute.  Old Corpse Road‘s album is amazing and they just get better and better each time I see them.  Sheffield’s Northern Oak, also deliver the goods, and I’m always a fan of Shallow Intentions from Weymouth and Manchester’s Andraste.  An up and coming band to watch out for are Morlich from Scotland.  I also understand that the recent Korpiklaani tour was a huge success and hopefully Heidevolk, Cryptic Age and Celtachor will storm the Jorvik Viking Festival next week.  I know that Warhorns has had over 50 UK bands apply and some of them are rather bloody marvellous, it will be a difficult choice selecting the right line up for this years festival, which is a good thing.

Nico: What’s the meaning behind the band’s name, Ravenage? Is there an image or concept behind it?

Glyn: Most of our lyrics and themes are set in the Dark Ages or at least pre -1066.  This was the age of wolves, eagles and ravens – the beasts of battle.  The name just came to me one day when I was enjoying a pint of goat’s milk and thinking of song titles, and I came up with Foretelling the Ravenage which was an early HF song.

Nico: If you could replace the soundtrack to any movie with your own music, which one would it be and why?

Glyn: I love classic epic movies from the 50s and 60s like El Cid and The Vikings.  Miklos Rozsa is my favourite composer of all time, I also love Basil Poledouris hence the secret Robocop track hehe.  Nobody could replace the soundtracks written by those composers. Maybe the movie for us do a soundtrack for hasn’t been filmed yet. Maybe that should go on the ‘To do’ board! Make a movie, that is.

Nico: Are there any bands from the folk metal scene that you’d recommend to our readers?

Glyn: Yep, I’ll recommend a couple of lesser known, but top quality bands. Please check out:
Æther Realm from USA (who are not from Finland).
Black Messiah from Germany (who are playing at Warhorns).
Elzevir from Moscow (I’m not sure if they’re currently active).

Nico: Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?

Glyn: Thanks for the supporting Ravenage these past five years, here’s to the next five and beyond! And remember to drink goats milk – as well as tasting good it will keep you healthy and full of inspiration!

Viking metallers Ravenage and more confirmed for Valk-Fest 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 14th February 2013 by Nico Davidson

This year’s Valkyrian Festival (29th of November – 1st of December) is now bolstered by the announcement of five more absolutely sterling bands. You can catch these guys, along with Nya, Narcotic Death, Aonia, Old Corpse Road and a plethora of others for only a fiver over the course of the weekend.

For the Friday, Scottish power trio Storm of Embers are making their way south. Hot on the tail of their rapturous EP launch, these guys are eager to make their way into everyone’s music library with their unique blend of progressive, melodic and post-metal. You can get their EP I from this location.

Also on the Friday, Dead Man’s Conspiracy are bringing what they call “Real Metal” to Valk-Fest 2013. Formed in 2009, the 5-piece have gone about carving a niche for their “energetic, chaotic and unpredictable live shows”. Their music is available to listen to at their Facebook page.

Saturday brings yet another Scottish band down from their heights – heroes of the underground Maelstrom. Having supported bands like Tyr, Wodensthrone, Winterfylleth, Alestorm and A Forest of Stars over the almost 9 years of their existence, the well-dressed gents will crush this year’s festival with their intense, brutal combination of symphonic black and doom metal. Not ones to miss: with their colossal live show, they certainly ought to be massive. Pick up on their stuff at this location.

Headlining the Friday are none other than Yorkshire’s very own heathen warband Ravenage, who have shared the stage with big names like Tyr, Skyforger and Hecate Enthroned. Formed in the cold winter of 2007, Ravenage have grown into one of the most formidable forces of the UK’s underground scene.

And finally, on the Sunday, hailing from the birthplace of heavy metal, Dakesis will be bringing their cheese-layered power metal sounds to Valkyrian Festival. After being unable to play last year’s Valk-Fest due to illness, the five piece prog. power outfit are more than pleased to have been announced for this year’s event.

Valkyrian Festival will take place at Shades Nightclub 29th November through to 1st December – all profits from the festival go to RapeCrisis. Tickets are £5 for weekend and available from this location. Further details and news can be found at the official Valkyrian Festival Facebook and Twitter.

 

Band of the Month: Ravenage [09/2012]

Posted in Band Of The Month with tags , , , , , , , on 8th September 2012 by Nico Davidson

Following an epic battle of votes, none other than Hull-based Viking warband Ravenage came out as the victor.

Formed back in the cold winter nights of 2007, the band have gone on to forge together a unique, powerful and epic sound, along with three releases under their sword belts. Ravenage have also shared the stage with the likes of Skyclad and Hecate Enthroned, as well as Viking metal heavyweights Tyr. Later this month, Ravenage will also be partaking in the first ever Warhorns festival, where they will be playing with the likes of Skyforger, Nothgard and Wolfchant, as well as Cryptic Age, Old Corpse Road and Norderobring.

So, if you like your metal loud, heavy, melodic, vicious and more epic than Lord of the Rings, Ravenage are well worth checking out.

http://facebook.com/officialravenage

Power Quest confirmed to headline revived Metieval festival

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 27th August 2012 by Nico Davidson

April last year, Hull saw the last Metieval festival, which boasted acts such as Skyclad and Hecate Enthroned, along with more local acts such as XIII, The Occupier and Pastel Jack. Though a new revived Metieval was meant to happen October of last year, it never came about.

Recently, the festival’s organisers Glyn Beasely and Stig Styles set out to bring Metieval back to life on the metal scene of Hull. Just today, Power Quest have been announced to headline the newly revived Metieval festival. The event will take place on Sunday 16th December at the Piper Club in Hull.

Further details, including ticket prices, full line-up and age limits, to be announced.

Other band son the bill include Infernal CreationAlice In Thunderland and Battalions.

Cryptic Age – Sounds Of Infinity

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 11th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Cryptic Age
Sounds Of Infinity
Released 26th May 2012
Power-Folk Metal
Self-Released

Cryptic Age are a relatively young band on the metal scene but they’ve already penned a mighty beginning to what could be a very long legacy which includes sharing the stage with folk metal legends Skyclad and black metal heroes Hecate Enthroned, as well as the release of their debut EP last year and it doesn’t end there, Cryptic Age will be sharing the stage with Latvian folk metal heavyweights Skyforger in September at the first ever Warhorns Festival, as well as playing Metalcamp a month before and this year has seen the release of their first full-length release: Sounds Of Infinity, an album that I’ve been waiting to hear since they announced they were recording it. I think it’s safe to say I may have got a little excited when I received it.

Sheayn ny Feaynid is the first track of the album and what a way to begin the album. The dark orchestration and monologue create a very mythic yet tragic sound which really does set the mood. Maelstrom follows next with a powerful symphonic sound blended in more hard rock styled riffs. The vocals are impeccable, adding an undoubtful spirit to the track. The chorus is very poignant, staying with you long after listening to the song. The tribal-like drumming of Fortuneteller signals in a change of sound for the album, with a use of exotic sounding riffs that tease the ears in a similar manner to a fine wine teasing the taste buds. The vocals are very harrowing, which suits the mystical and exotic soundings of the keyboards and the callous guitar and bass sections. The guitar solo embeds a modern sound into the track, which fortunately doesn’t dampen the track.

Horsemen of the Vale signals another change of sound for the album, ushering grand, majestic and epic riffs. The vocal sections are very arioso and dulcet. The keyboards really shine out in parts of the song, keeping the symphonic element strong. The end of the song has a genius touch with the sound of a glass smashing followed “Bloody Lancashire bastard. I’ll have ya!” – Though I doubt anyone other than Yorkshire folk will appreciate that section. The beginning of The Aftermath sounds like a scene from 300 before the Ensiferum-like riffs ravage through the speakers like a horde of angry Celts. The vocals, much like the guitars and drum sections, are strong yet aggressive. The monologue towards the halfway point of the track is mystifying and enchanting and the section that follows after is a beautiful yet savage mixture of symphonic and heavy elements. The calmer section, composed of flutes leads back into the Ensiferum-like riffs, rather masterfully. Sea Invocation is possibly the most bewitching song on the album, containing a medieval essence. It’s an unexpected track and yet it fits ever so perfectly on the album. It’s certainly a track any fans of Celtic music.

Perpetually Blind (Sounds of Infinity: Part I) begins with an enchanting vocal melody that gradually leads into a mighty symphonic piece. The guitar riffs are interesting, sounding like a twisted power metal riff. The symphonic parts of the track add a very august sound to the track, making it feel more tragic than one of Shakespeare’s plays. The next track Eternity Beckons (Sounds Of Infinity: Part II) carries on the aphotic sound, with the vocals sounding extra gloomy whilst the guitars and drums thrum on like a finely tuned machine. The monologue adds a mystique to the track, fitting in well with the aphotic sound of the quadrilogy. Seeking The Cure (Sounds of Infinity: Part III) begins with a keyboard section that eerily sounds like something from a Final Fantasy game mixed in with a dash of post-Tarja Nightwish. The orchestration and guitars make or an interesting blend throughout the track, as do the drums in certain sections. One of the most interesting sections of the song is the bluesy solo. Sounds Of Infinity (Sounds Of Infinity: Part IV) ushers in the end of the album, beginning with a whisper followed by a callous and heavy barrage of guitars, drums and keys. The Gaelic sound parts of the song certainly conjure up one’s inner Celt (or in my case, one’s Scottish and Irish heritage), adding a unique, hypnotic sound to the album. The vocals are mesmerizing and dynamic, enforcing the unique sound of the song, while the guitars and bass are more on the aggressive, inserting some fierce excitement to the track.

I’m not quite sure how to summarise my thoughts on the album into one last paragraph as I’ve never heard an album quite like this. Each track seems to take on a life of its own and tells a different story through the music. Cryptic Age have surpassed so many bands of their genre with this release and have proven themselves, once again, a folkin’ force to be reckoned with. Cryptic Age are definitely one of the finest folk metal bands on the scene and Sounds Of Infinity might just become an influential album on the scene.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Interview: Tom Keeley [Feb 2012]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 12th February 2012 by Nico Davidson

Cryptic Age are a York-based folk-power metal band consisting of your members. In the last year, they’ve played several gigs around the UK and have gone onto support acts such as Hecate Enthroned and Skyclad, as well headline our own Valkyrian Festival. With the future looking bright for this young band, Nico catches up with Cryptic Age’s bassist Tom Keeley.

Nico: When did you start learning bass and why?

Tom: Started playing bass when I was about 16. Some mates were big into AC/DC and wanted to start a tribute band and they said I looked a bit like Cliff Williams. So I bought a bass and started learning.

N: How did you become a part of Cryptic Age?

T: I was looking for a band as I had been floating in between bands, nothing special, some dodgy metal bands that were going nowhere. So I saw an ad that looked promising and took it up. I was the first to reply luckily, glad I was.

N: What’s the progress of the upcoming album, Sounds of Infinity?

T: The songs are almost all written, I think we might try for another two, maybe a cover, nothing is set in stone. But the bulk of the song writing is finished and we’re all really happy with the sound and looking forward to recording the new material, it’s going to sound massive! We have about half of the album recorded, songs we’ve had for almost a year. So progress is damn good.

N: Will you be touring when the album is out? If so, will you be touring Scotland as well as England?

T: A tour would be incredible but it all costs money, and with only two of us working it’s difficult to fund for just ourselves. But we certainly have gigs booked in the future, trying to get on some big dates. And we are always looking to play further away from home to spread the word, so Scotland would be great, I’ve heard there’s some fantastic venues in Glasgow.

N: Speaking of touring, which band would you most like tour with?

T: Personally I would love for us to tour with Rhapsody, that would be a dream. But in terms of bands we’ve played with already, I would love to play more with Infernal Creation, they are an awesome live band and the more chances I get to see them the better. Would be going to see them support Fleshgod [Apocalypse] but I already bought tickets for Steve Hughes!

N: Later this month, you’ll be supporting Tyr with your other band, Ravenage. How are you feeling about that?

T: It’s of course a great honour to support such a great band and it’s sure to be fun. Also a special gig for me, but maybe I’ll keep that to myself.

N: It’s still early on in 2012, aside for recording and releasing the new Cryptic Age album, what are your plans for the rest of the year?

T: We don’t really have a plan set out for the year. We had one goal last year that we came close to achieving but got pipped at the last hurdle. Maybe this year we can achieve it. Apart from that I guess the overall goal for the band is to get a label behind us to promote the music and play to larger audiences.

Ravenage – Fresh From Fields Of Victory [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 20th December 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Ravenage
Album: Fresh From Fields Of Victory
Release year: 2011
Genre: Viking Metal/Folk Metal/Melodic Death Metal/Yorkshire Metal

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If were to see Ravenage at a show, you’d think that they’d just walked into the venue from ye olde dark ages but it would be a mistake to think that they’re just another run-of-the-mill costumed band with mediocre talent. Since forming in ‘07 out of the ashes of Heathen Foray, Ravenage have gone to to accomplish great feats such as supporting Skyclad and Hecate Enthroned, as well as touring Portugal, Ireland and the UK along with playing the unsigned stage at Bloodstock as well. It’s been three years since the release of their EP “Hardrada’s Fall” but this year has seen the latest chapter in the Ravenage saga written, recorded and released. I am of course talking about the band’s debut full-length release “Fresh From Fields Of Victory”.

The album starts with the majestic orchestrated track “Invictus Arminius”. While at the first I was confused to as why a band labelled as “viking metal” would write a song with an apparent Latin name, it soon became clear that it’s a reference to Arminius, the Roman-raised Germanic general who led the Germanic tribes into victory at the Battle of Teutoborg Forest. Enough of the history though, one thing that truly sticks out about this track is the amount of emotion it stirs. At first instils a strong feeling of grandeur and heroicness before creating a solemn sense of loss. But that grand sense of heroicness makes a truly great return before the track finishes.

”Triumph In The Trees” takes the album down a more metal dominated route. The vocal work provided by “Windrider” and Glyn is definitely one of the finer points of the song. The keyboards are another strong point throughout the track, though I do feel that they don’t do the first vocal section any justice. Beginning with the sound of horses and conversation, comes the epic track “Northbound”, based on Bernard Cornwell’s books. Musically, there’s a slight hint of a Windrider sound though the sound is mostly Ravenage-dominated. The guitar work offered up by Dagstyrr and Einar progresses extremely well throughout the entire song, mixing it up well with the rest of the music and the vocals. The lyrics show a very strong influence of Cornwell’s “Alfred The Great” series, particularly from the third book “Lords of the North”.

The title track, “Fresh From Fields Of Victory” runs through a similar vein to “Triumph In The Trees”. The keyboard sections add in that orchestrated sound that has become an important piece in Ravenage’s music and the guitars keep that aggressive fire flowing through the music. The acoustic section with the flutes adds a more cam yet folky feel to the music. “Shieldwalls Collide” adds a certain eerie grandeur to the album with its organ introduction, an odd reminder of Manowar’s “Army Of The Dead” though I’m not sure if that was the intention. The bass work from Ragnar sticks out the most, keeping the guitars sounding more powerful while the vocals are most fierce. I think this is the best track of the album.

“Winterternia” is a song I became acquainted with earlier this month when Ravenage performed it at their show at Hollywood & Vine and in all honesty, I enjoy it from beginning to end. The guitar work and the keyboard melodies meld well together like tin and copper being smelted together in the process of creating bronze. One thing that did take me by surprise was the genius use of female vocals – Obviously, I hadn’t heard any female vocals when I heard this song live so it was certainly a nice surprise. “Let Vengeance Quell My Agony” brings back that slight hint of a Windrider sound – Noticeable in the keyboard riffs. The vocals lead the music like a metallic Caesar leading his army against the Gauls. Okay, maybe that’s not quite the correct metaphor to use but I hope you get the picture. The guitar solo is one of the stronger points of the song without a doubt and the cleaner vocals add a certain folky feel that echoes the Windrider sound again.

Nearing the end comes a blast from the past. “The Corpse Hall” was featured on the first Ravenage release “The Ravenage”. The introduction is haunting in a weird sort of way, mixing a certain almost-Gothic sound with a barbaric Viking Meta sound which I find to be a massive improvement from the older version. One other thing I did notice in this newer version is the improvement of the sound quality, so for those who like a clean sound quality, the newer version will be much easier on those delicate ears.

What folk metal band would be complete without a good ol’ drinking song? Certainly not Ravenage with their sing-along drinking anthem “More Beer!”. It starts out with a typical sounding pub conversation between Glyn and Windrider. The two words “More beer” signal in the folky jig of guitars. I found the vocal and piano combination to be disappointing as the vocals seemed to be weak sounding. The chorus is far too catchy and I can imagine it being sung in my head for weeks to come now, especially in the pub. The keyboard sections sound slightly Turisas-meet-Korpiklaani while the guitars have that get up and go crazy feel to them.

Without a doubt, Ravenage’s sound has evolved since Hardrada’s Fall. The composition values are much stronger in my opinion and the songs certainly are Vikingtastic but the one issue I have with the album is the Windrider sound in some of the songs. “Fresh From Fields Of Victory” is truly fine piece of musical craftsmanship and is a must have for fans of Tyr, Turisas and Ensiferum.

4.7/5

Nico Davidson

Don’t forget that Ravenage are supporting Faronese Viking Metallers TYR in February 2012. To order your tickets, proceed to: http://asgardonline.co.uk/asgard_events.html

Interview: Neiph [2011]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 4th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Infernal Creation have been a part of Hull’s metal scene for a few years, supporting acts such as NWOBHM legends Blitzkreig, the mighty Hecate Enthroned and several other acts. They also took part in the Warhorns Over Aengland tour in October, playing with bands such as Ravenage, Celtachor, Nothgard and Windrider. Nico sits down with the “Voice of Misanthropy”, Neiph, who is the frontman for Hull’s very own Infernal Creation.

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Nico: What did the idea for Infernal Creation come about?

Lewis: The ideas and beliefs behind Infernal Creation started to take form long before the band as it is today came into existence. Sin and I started to discuss the formation of a band that could aid in the exploration of the darker, negative and chaotic aspects of being. When we found a drummer skilled enough and with the same vision as ourselves we began work in earnest to create the band that exists now. With Bastard on board it wasn’t long before we could create such an intense and nihilistic beast and, despite various problematic times throughout the years, we have never faltered from our path.

N: Does Infernal Creation differ from other black metal bands? If so, how?

L: The essence of Black Metal is felt differently by all artists, it manifests itself in various different ways so in that sense I would say all Black Metal bands differ. After all there can be no set structure or pattern placed over chaos.

N: Infernal Creation recently toured with Ravenage, Celtachor, Windrider and Nothgard as part of the Warhorns Over Aengland tour, how was that experience for you?

L: The shows we’re quite difficult for me as I was suffering from a throat infection at the time however, the tour itself was a tremendous experience for us we gathered quite a few new fans and contacts from the event. The energies flowing from each band on the bill were unbelievable. It was an event we were truly proud to be involved with.

N: The new album “The Serpent Seed Doctrine” is now available, how would you describe it to someone and what would you say are the album’s highlights?

L: “The Serpent Seed Doctrine” is our first full length CD and as such it is almost a beacon for us to illuminate our future paths.  I feel that the music within is an intense and aggressive piece of black metal art and although it has just been released it is already being well received in the underground community. Songs such as ‘War Is Worship’ and ‘Cataclysm’ are already becoming live favourites.

From a personal point of view it has been interesting to work with different sounds and elements in tracks like ‘The Faceless Prophet’ and ‘Cruciatus Vobiscum’.

The album has taken a year to complete and feels to us as though a piece of our lives and experiences have been removed from us like flesh from bone and transformed into a sonic representation of our trials and tribulations up to this moment for all to hear. We are extremely happy with the fruits of this labour.

N: What has been the best show you’ve played so far? And why?

L: It depends, we have performed at some amazing venues and showcased our art alongside many different bands. I’d say a stand out gig for me would be 2 years ago when Rune Erikson came to a Hull show, we spent some time with him after the event and his advice really hit home and helped us to shape the next paths of the Infernal.

N: Does the band have any plans for 2012?

L: Yeah, we have a lot planned for 2012, we will be starting the year by performing at the Sermon of Underground Brutality festival featuring artists such as Abgott, Hecate Enthroned and Primitive Graven Image. We have a few big events in the works but for this moment in time we’re keeping them within our circle until further details come to light.

N: Infernal Creation will be playing the first ever Valkyrian Festival later this month, how do you feel about this?

L: It will be a great experience. You guys have been very helpful and supportive of the underground music scene for a while now so it will be great to perform under the VM banner.

N: Where do you find the inspiration for the music and lyrics from?

L: I personally find inspiration in many different places, throughout life there is always scope to ask further questions, to explore the hidden paths and truly begin to understand the movements of your soul. It is these actions that create the energies I take inspiration from.

The same applies musically, Sin has a lot of similar influences to me and allows his creativity to almost possess him throughout the writing process.

N: What’s the metal scene like in your area?

L: The Yorkshire scene is quite healthy at the moment, I always think it’s easy enough to simply see the activities of the more mainstream bands in anyone’s area and despair at its current state. But in reality there are a hell of a lot of bands who are carving their own path and if I have to put up with 10 mainstream fools to witness one band who fully follow their hearts then at least I know the true stream of negative art is alive and well in this area.

In terms of the UK underground, we have received a lot of support from the British legions of black metal ever since our inception, which we can be nothing but thankful for.

N: What advice would you give to someone looking to form a band?

L: To follow their own path no matter where it may lead them, to always question, always evolve, to never back down and to expect a lot of hard work.

N: Are there any bands you’d recommend to our readers?

L: Unfortunately there are far too many to mention in full but I would urge people to seek out bands such as Nothgard, Celtachor, Ravenage, Cryptic Age and Baalberith as these bands are devoted to their art forms and give their lives to their music, go see them live and you will understand exactly what I mean. Other than that I would say people should seriously hunt down and listen to Chaos Invocation and Ascension from Germany who are creating some amazing music right now.

For more information on the band, check out their official Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/infernalcreationofficial
Infernal Creation’s new CD is also available for purchase at live shows or through the band’s official website: http://infernalcreation.com

Interview: Jenny Green [2011]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 3rd November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Since March, Cryptic Age have been on the rise in the British metal underground supporting acts such as Hecate Enthroned and Skyclad, as well as Ravenage and Morpheus Rising. The release of their Homeland EP also helped gain them exposure, being reviewed on several different sites. Cryptic Age will also be releasing a new album early next year. Valkyrian Music editor and promoter, Nico Davidson, has a chat with Cryptic Age’s frontwoman “The Manx Maiden” Jenny Green about the new album, the band and their previous gigs.

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Nico: Aside from the concept of the new album, do you feel that it will differ in any way – lyrically or musically speaking – from the Homeland EP?

Jenny: Definitely. The lyrics cover a more expansive range of material – we still keep the Manx folky aspect but we’ve also got other songs that look away from this. Musically, it’ll be a more progressive album overall with more symphonic elements, but still keeping the folk metal as the main feature. We’ll also be getting a few guests to play and sing for us – this album’s gonna be epic!

N: Do you feel that Cryptic Age’s music differs from most folk and female fronted metal bands? If so, why and how?

J: Well in folk metal you normally have a growler or at least someone who sings cleanly but isn’t classically-trained. I also think that the fact I play keyboards while still being the front-woman is a unique edge to our band.

N: Since March, Cryptic Age have shared the stage with a long list of bands and played a number of shows, which one, for you, has been the best one you’ve played so far?

J: For me I’d say it was our second gig at Stereo, which we headlined. It was great to see so many people there and it was one of the gigs we’ve played our best at! The first round of Metal 2 the Masses was pretty good as well – we played our first two songs really badly but then everything changed and we got a really great reaction from the crowd.

N: Are there any shows that you’re looking forward to playing?

J: Well yes – there’s Valk Fest [Valkyrian Festival] of course, and we’ve also got the S.O.P.H.I.E fest in Manchester we’re playing at beforehand. We haven’t really got any more shows planned  for now, however we’re hoping to get a couple lined up with some new bands we’ve never played with before. There is another show we’ve got lined up for February which is VERY exciting, but it’s all hush-hush I’m afraid so I can’t say anymore.

N: Cryptic Age’s lyrics – as you stated in an interview with another site – are mostly influenced by legends from the Isle of Man, so where is it that the influence from the music comes from?

J: Well On the Bare Cold Ground is the best example. It tells the story of the Moddey-Doo (Black Dog) which haunts Peel Castle in the west of the island. Guards normally travelled in groups to lock the gatehouse for fear of being killed by the ghostly dog, and a drunken guard becomes so overconfident he decides to lock the gatehouse on his own. Of course, to the horror of the others, he never returns. The Manx lyrics in Homeland are a poem about a storm in Port St. Mary harbour where a family of fishermen are trapped on their boat. In the four-parter Sounds of Infinity the lyrics are based on a legend even I didn’t know about which consists of travellers being able to hear the sounds of other-worldly men at the top of a mountain. Also another one of our songs in-progress for the new album has been taken from Manx history and we’ve turned it into our own story. There’s many Manx legends so we have a lot to work with.

N: Cryptic Age are booked to play our [Valkyrian Music's] charity event – Valkyrian Festival – on 27th, this will be the second show that Cryptic Age will have headlined, how are you feeling about it?

J: Very excited! For me it’s always more fun headlining gigs because you get a bigger audience and more people will have come to see us, in theory. It’s also great we’re headlining a festival – even though it’s not the biggest in the world it’s still something we can tell everybody, and I know there’s lots of our fans coming so it’ll be great!

N: Does the band have any plans – aside from the release of Sounds of Infinity – for 2012?

J: Well we never get out an official checklist and say, “We need to get this done by such and such a time.” and then tick it off. We’re currently in the process of sending out press packs to record labels, and basically promoting ourselves with bigger festivals such as Bloodstock and Metalcamp, the latter of which we might be playing at if we get enough votes!

N: How is the progress with the new album going? Are there any more details you can tell us about it?

J: Well I’ve revealed a lot more stuff already I guess, but the writing is going alright. We’re currently in the process of writing Sounds of Infinity Part III which’ll be a good old instrumental, and we’ve got a few riffs we’re playing around with for some new songs. Part I is coming together quite nicely behind the scenes. It’s going to be folky and mostly acoustic, based on a Manx sea shanty.

N: Cryptic Age are known to perform a metal cover of the “Game Of Thrones” intro medley at live shows and the band have also released a recorded version of it on Youtube, are there any more plans for covers like that?

J: Not really, certainly for now. The cover for GoT was a pretty spontaneous thing – we just liked playing it because it’s such a good tune and then we thought, “Why not cover it?”.

N: Are there any bands from your area that you’d recommend our readers to check out?

J: If you haven’t checked them out already, take a look at Lost Effect. They play melodic death metal and they’ve recently got a new singer. Infernal Creation are a great band too – they play insane Black Metal and put on a great show!

Cryptic Age will be headlining Valkyrian Festival on 27th November at The Ringside in Hull. For more news and information about the band, check out either their official website: http://crypticage.co.uk or their official Facebook: http://facebook.com/crypticage
For live videos for Cryptic Age, go to the official Valkyrian Music Youtube channel: http://youtube.com/user/ValkyrianMusicUK

Old Corpse Road – The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless [2010]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 4th August 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Old Corpse Road
Album: The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless
Release year: 2010
Genre: Black Metal/Folk Metal


Old Corpse Road are a blackened folk metal band hailing from Darlington located in the north-east of England. Throughout the years they’ve been together, they’ve shared the stage with the likes of Windrider, Skyclad and Hecate Enthroned as well as creating musical history by being one of the first British black metal bands to do produce a spilt with another black metal band [The Meads of Asphodel]. Their most recent release, “The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless”, is the first part of the previously mentioned spilt.

The eerie and dramatic piano medley of “Hob Headless Rises” comes first which is slowly replaced by the shredding guitars. The vocals are strong and raw, with a hint of a Cradle of Filth sound in them. The keyboard sections are beautifully played and add a very tense atmosphere to the music. The drums are masterfully and intelligently played but retain a certain ruthless aggression at the same time. The guitars are impressive, being both shredding and heavy. The acoustic sections brings a very folk-like element to the track which works well with the rest of the track. The clean vocals also help bring about a folk-like element.

“The Devil’s Footprints”, named after an incident in 1855, begins with sound of fast-faced guitars fading in before the introduction of the drums. The spoken vocals add a very archaic and epic feel to the song whilst the screams and grunts bring the aggressive element to the track. The keyboards, blending well with the guitars, bring a certain mystique to the track whilst the drums slowly become more rage-fuelled in their playing. The keyboard sections are both enchantingly and beautifully played, add a dash of calm of the furious metal storm within the song. The softer played guitar and drum sections also bring a touch of calm to the song as well.

The final track is “The Witch Of Wookey Hole”, named after the infamous witch. The song begins with a dark, haunting synth intro which is gradually accompanied by the sound of acoustic guitars and drums. The track turns brutal with the introduction of the feral guitar riffs and the beast-like vocals. The drums are almost machine-like in their playing, very precise yet savage at the same time. The synth sections bring an immense eerie sound to the track as well, helping the music fit in with the lyrical theme of the song. The vocal-keyboard-drum section is simply brilliant, adding a fresh sound to the sound. The narration, which quotes the words spoken by the priest who confronted the Witch of Wookey Hole, adds a very epic and sagaic sound and feel to the song. the choir-like vocals that follow place emphasis on the epic feel.

“The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless” may only be three tracks but it lasts long enough to make it feel more like an EP. The way that Old Corpse Road mix narration with screams and grunts is amazing and the music is masterfully composed. “The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless” greatly demonstrates the talent and ability of Old Corpse Road. the production values are astounding as well. It’s certainly a release that fans of folk and black metal should get their hands on.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Interview: Alex Brandsen [2011]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 14th July 2011 by Nico Davidson

Nico sits down with the “Dutch Drumming Machine” Alex Brandsen, talking about Cryptic Age’s tour and other things.

Nico: Good evening, Alex. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. You’re a drummer in two bands, Ravenage and Cryptic Age, how do you find it drumming for two bands? Is it something that’s naturally easy for you or have you, at times, struggled with it?

Alex: I really enjoy being in two bands, because even though Ravenage and Cryptic Age are relatively similar, I can express different styles and a different overall feeling in the two bands, with Ravenage being more straight, aggressive and fun drumming and Cryptic Age being more subtle, symphonic and ‘intelligent’ if you will. I generally don’t have any problems with drumming in two bands, although I did accidentally started drumming a Cryptic Age riff at a Ravenage rehearsal once…

N: That must have being embarrassing. Speaking of Ravenage, you’re due to tour with them [and Cryptic Age] later this year on the “Warhorns over Aengland” tour. Are you excited about it or are you feeling nervous?

A: Very excited! Really looking forward to touring with Nothgard, and doing some gigs outside of Yorkshire. Not nervous about it really, the nerves usually only kick in 10 minutes before a gig!

N: That’s usually the worse time for the nerves to kick. You recently played Metieval Requiem with both Cryptic Age and Ravenage while sharing the stage with Hecate Enthroned and Skyclad. How was it for you personally to share the stage with two big name bands in the underground metal scene like them?

A: It’s of course a great honour to play with big bands like them, especially Skyclad, as they practically invented folk metal.

N: Speaking of folk metal, Cryptic Age are unique within the folk metal scene due to having a female vocalist. Since the scene is more male-orientated, do you feel that this might be help Cryptic Age become more known?

A: Well there are a couple of folk metal bands that have female vocalists (e.g. Arkona), but the thing that makes Cryptic Age special in my opinion is that Jenny’s got a very wide vocal range, and sings entirely clean. We don’t use any harsh vocals, and that is quite unique I think. I definitely think this is something that works in our advantage, and may well get us some more fans along the road.

N: Cryptic Age recently released the “Homeland” EP. Is there any sort of concept or theme running through the entire EP?

A: Well there isn’t an overall theme or concept to the album, but most of our songs are based on either fantasy and/or mythology, especially Manx mythology and folklore.

N: Is there any reason for the influence from Manx mythology and folklore or is it just something that occurred naturally?

A: It definitely came naturally, although the main reason for the Manx influence is that Jenny is from the Isle of Man. We didn’t really have any influences or themes to go on before writing the songs on the EP. The first part of Homeland (sung in Manx Gaelic) was originally going to be a 1-min intro to the EP, and by then the lyrics of Homeland hadn’t been written yet. Then we put it at the beginning of the track and when we did that the rest of the lyrics about Jenny missing her homeland fell into place. We’ve sort of kept the mythology thing going ever since. Also, instead of writing songs about Norse mythology like most folk metal bands, Celtic mythology comes more naturally to us because it’s closer to our origins, and gives the songs a unique twist I think.

N: Well, Celtic and Manx influences certainly are refreshing for some who are bored of the whole Viking based form of folk metal. Just a few more questions now. Before joining Cryptic Age and Ravenage, did you play in any other bands?

A: I was in a mathcore band for a couple of years when I was still living in the Netherlands, but had to quit that band because I moved to York for my degree back in 2009. I didn’t play in a band for a year, but when I finished my masters in the summer of 2010 I wanted to play live again, and started looking for a band. I found Cryptic Age on gumtree, and soon joined Ravenage as well via Tom, who just joined as their new bassist.

N: You certainly don’t look like a mathcore drummer. Regarding Cryptic Age, are there any events you’re looking forward to partaking in with the band? Aside from the EP release show.

A: We’ve got the Metal 2 The Masses final coming up on the 24th, quite excited about being able to play in front of the Bloodstock judges, and really hoping to win it of course. And then there’s a gig with Old Corpse Road in September, which I’m really looking forward to, as OCR are one of the best local black metal acts out there in my opinion.

N: Sounds like it’s going to be a great year for you and the rest of Cryptic Age then. Final question, are there any bands from both the UK and Dutch underground metal scenes that you’d recommend that our readers check out? Or at least keep an eye out for? Also, thanks again for taking the time to talk with us today, Alex.

A: Except for Old Corpse Road mentioned before, I’d recommend giving Onheil a listen, a blackened metal band from the Netherlands. For a band in the local underground scene, I’d recommend Lost Effect, a melodic metal band from York, who will be supporting us on our EP release gig this Friday.

Cryptic Age will be performing at Stereo in York tomorrow night [15th July] with support from Windrider and Lost Effect. £5 OTD. Doors open at 7.30pm

Cryptic Age – Homeland EP [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 13th June 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Cryptic Age
Album: Homeland EP
Release year: 2011
Genre: Folk Metal/Power Metal

Since their formation, Cryptic Age have been a rising star in the British underground metal scene, having shared the stage with the likes of Ravenage, Hecate Enthroned, Windrider and Skyclad. “Homeland” is the first chapter in their epic saga.

The title track, “Homeland”, is the first track of the EP. It begins with the sound of thunder and rain. Vocals are soon heard over the rain. The Manx Gaelic lyrics are a great touch to the track, giving it a very Celtic feel. With the introduction of the symphonic sections, combined with the drums, bass and guitar the track turns aggressive yet beautiful. The vocals are monumentally powerful, more so than most soprano styled vocals. The symphonic elements bring a very intense, epic sound whilst the guitar, bass and drums bring good ol’ fashioned heaviness. The keyboard solo and the guitar solo that follows can only be described as “sagaic”.

”On The Cold Bare Ground” is the second track of the EP, beginning with a dark and mysterious sounding riff. The riff eventually transforms into a something heavier for a short while before going back to the softer, darker riff. The track does turn heavier again though with an increase in tempo. The vocals ring strongly throughout the track. The drum work is acute and precise. Like the previous track, the solos are mind-blowing.

The third track, “Bring Down The Sky” begins very folky, with an acoustic intro and a long symphonic note. The vocals work very well with this intro, conjuring up images of a small Celtic village. The drums add a new dynamic to the track as well. Whilst the first half of this track is slow paced, the second half increases the tempo. The guitar solo is astounding, brutal and masterfully played. The wittily named “No Folkin’ Way” is the second to last track of this so far majestic EP. Like the previous track, it has an acoustic and symphonic intro, though it is short lived before the electric guitar dominates. The symphonic sections are grand sounding, blending well with the guitar riffs, bass and drums. The only downside to this track is the lack of vocals.

The last track is “Paragons Of War”. Straight from the beginning, there is a somewhat heroic-sagaic sound resonating from the combination of drums, bass, guitars and keyboards. The vocals complete the track, adding a very majestic touch to it. The guitar and bass sections are brilliantly played and the drums are definitely are a highlight of the track. And the solos are nothing short of grand and noble.

Cryptic Age, despite been young, are clearly a talented quartet of musicians. No doubt that “Homeland” is but the first chapter in a long and legendary saga for these Yorkshire lads and lass. Female fronted metal has never sounded so good.

5/5

Nico Davidson

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