Archive for Dark ambient

Lumous Gothic Festival XX – Final Episode

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Festival, Gig with tags , , , , , , , , , on 13th July 2020 by izaforestspirit

Finland’s biggest Gothic music event Lumous Gothic Festival celebrated its twentieth anniversary this year. The original plan was for this year to be the last Lumous with the final edition of the festival taking place in July 2020. The on-going worldwide coronavirus pandemic meant that the plans had to be drastically altered. There was a very realistic possibility that the event would have to be canceled like many others have been. Luckily, thanks to the low infection rates within Finland and successful preventative measures, small scale events were permitted with restricted access based on the capacity of the venue. Due to the international travel restrictions, only a handful of local bands were able to perform and the only venue available to host the event was a small pub in the city centre called Dog’s Home. In addition to the live performances, the event was also streamed live via the festival’s Facebook page.

Now before I go into more detail about this year’s event, I would like to tell you a bit about my own personal experience of Lumous Gothic Festival. 2020 marks the eighth year of my participation in the festival. My first Lumous was in 2012. Since then I have not missed a single Lumous Gothic Festival. It has become one of the highlights of my summer. I have met some really nice people there and I discovered several new bands including: Das Ich, Shiv-R, Auger, Raven Said, Sleetgrout and Sekret Teknik.

Shiv-R, archive photo from their show at Lumous Gothic Festival 2016
DAS ICH
Das Ich, archive photo taken from their performance at Lumous Gothic Festival 2019

Sadly this year I was unable to attend it due to the restricted access and the limited capacity of the venue but I still managed to stream the event online from their Facebook page.

This time line up comprised four Finnish bands: Chaos Research (neo-classical/darkwave/ambient), Old School Union (EBM with punk influences), Sekret Teknik (synth-wave) and Gothic rock legends Two Witches.

Friday 10th July 2020 (live stream)

I have actually seen Chaos Research live at the same venue two years ago so I pretty much knew what to expect from the live stream. They managed to create a chilled-out atmosphere thanks to the operatic vocals combined with the electric cello and drums. Not my kind of music but if you are into neo-folk or dark ambient then you will probably enjoy this.

Archive photo, taken from the performance at Lumous Gothic Festival 2018

https://chaosresearch.bandcamp.com/

Oldschool Union were highly entertaining to watch. I like some some old school EBM but I’m not the biggest fan of punk. The performance was fun and amusing to see. I particularly liked the song ‘Vartalovasara’.

Image may contain: one or more people

https://www.facebook.com/Oldschool-Union-

Saturday 11th July 2020 (live stream)

I have only just discovered Sekret Teknik a few days ago. I liked their performance and their take on the synthwave genre. My personal favorite part of the show was the song ‘Nightsky’.

Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting and sunglasses

https://sekretteknik.bandcamp.com/

Then it was time for the band that has been involved with the festival right from the start. Two Witches front-man Jyrki Witch is one of the organizers of the event. Two Witches were the first band at the very first Lumous Gothic Festival back in 2001 so it was only fitting for them to be the closing act the final chapter of Lumous. It was an acoustic show. They played some of my favorites including ‘The Dark Angels of Sin’ along with some newer tracks such as ‘Spirit Sacrifice’. Unfortunately I missed some of the live steam due to a connection problem.

Archive photo taken from their performance at Lumous Gothic Festival 2016

https://www.facebook.com/Two-Witches-Official-

Jyrki Witch also announced the winners of the Lumous 2020 Award – Club Gothic Night.

So that was it. After twenty years Lumous Gothic Festival has come to end. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the event for the past eight years. Hopefully there will be something new emerging from the Finnish Gothic scene to fill its place. Kiitos Lumous Gothic Festival! You will be missed.

Iza Raittila

Calea Dreaming – The Rainforest Canopy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 4th February 2019 by izaforestspirit

Calea Dreaming
The Rainforest Canopy
Released 9th December 2018
Atmospheric Post Black Metal / Ambient
Self-Released

Calea Dreaming - The Rainforest Canopy

‘The Rainforest Canopy’ is the debut album from the Australian post-black metal one-man project Calea Dreaming. All his music is instrumental and it is inspired by nature, specifically the landscapes surrounding the New South Wales region of Australia where the musician is based.

I’m not all that well versed in post-black metal but based on my limited exposure to this sub-genre, anything with a “post” prefix, be it metal or rock tends to imply that it is a mixture of that style with some added ambient. This is definitely the case here. Aside from the guitar riffs and some of the drum work, this album has very little to do with black metal. As stated in the intro, there are no vocals on this album. The songs are melodic, atmospheric and very long, with the shortest track Rivers of Rosewood clocking in at over nine minutes. This is what I would describe as “chill-out” music, the kind that you might want to put on when you want to relax, enjoy a hot drink and a good book. I almost dozed off in my chair while writing this review!!

If any of you suffer from insomnia I would recommend that you give this album a go. It creates this tranquil mood, inviting the listener to close his or her eyes and picture themselves in one of the landscapes referred to in the songs. You can actually hear the sound of rain falling in the background on A Storm In The Mountains. There are also violins and other string instrumentals present on here, all contributing to the relaxing atmosphere.

Overall, ‘The Rainforest Canopy’ is a very atmospheric album which I would recommend to those who enjoy ambient and instrumental metal. It’s very relaxing and pleasant to listen to. It is not really my type of music though so I am unlikely to play it again unless I have trouble sleeping.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Psyclon Nine – Icon of The Adversary

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 17th September 2018 by izaforestspirit

Psyclon Nine
Icon of The Adversary
Released 24th August 2018
Industrial/ Industrial Metal with Black Metal elements
Released via Metropolis Records

I really wasn’t expecting to hear anything new from Psyclon Nine again. It’s been five years since their last opus ‘Order of The Shadow: Act 1’. The following year proved to be a very turbulent time to the band with various factors contributing towards what effectively became the end of Psyclon Nine. Or so I thought… It turned out that band needed some time to recover, regroup and refocus. After several line-up changes and a few successful live shows in 2015, it became pretty clear that Psyclon Nine were back. They are now a trio and frontman Nero Bellum is the only original member left.

So that’s the background out of the way, now on to music… If I were to sum this album up into just a few words it would be ‘creepy, gritty and disturbing’. As far as genre classifications go, there’s a fair bit of dark ambient on here. This is most notably on the opening track. The eerie-sounding, analog synth and voice samples are also prominent on Behold An Icon. Nero Bellum’s black metal -esque shrieks are as haunting as ever and the guitars have a coarse and unsettling feel to them.

The predominant style is industrial metal as evidenced by the likes of Crown of The Worm which reminded me a lot of their previous works. It has all the markings of a classic Psyclon Nine song; in other words thunderous guitars, atmospheric synth noise and harsh, creepy vocals. Beware The Wolves also caught my attention due to the change in vocal style, from shrieks to an eerie rasp which reminded me of Marilyn Manson’s trilogy. The only disappointing part of the album is the final track The Last. I’ve never been a massive fan of dark ambient so having to endure it for nearly fifteen minutes seems a little too much.

In summary, ‘Icon of Adversary’ is one of those bleak, creepy “feel bad” albums. ‘Creepy, gritty and disturbing’ seems to be very fitting for Psyclon Nine in 2018 given what they have been through. I would personally skip the final track unless you’re really into dark ambient but other than that this is a good industrial album and black metal fans might like it too.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Mortiis announces new ‘Era 1’ tour dates

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , on 12th September 2018 by izaforestspirit

Good news for Mortiis fans, particularly those who like the band’s older works. The band has announced a series of new tour dates continuing with the Mortiis Era 1 Tour. As the tour name suggests, these shows will include songs from the band’s dark ambient era which ended with The Stargate album.

Image result for mortiis era 1 tour poster 2018

 

They have recently played two shows in Russia. Here’s the rest of the schedule:

14. 11 Lo Barnechea, Chile
15. 11 Buenos Aires, Argentina
16.11 La Paz, Bolivia
17.11 Quito, Ecuador
30.11 Erfurt, Germany
1.12 Mannheim, Germany
2.12 Stretch, The Netherlands
13.12 Brighton, United Kingdom
14.12 Belfast, Ireland
15.12 Dublin, Ireland
28.12 Tampere, Finland
29.12 Helsinki, Finland

For further details go to:

https://www.facebook.com/officialmortiis

https://downloadmusic.mortiis.com/

Iza’s Highlights of 2016 (part 1: Industrial/EBM/darkwave)

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30th December 2016 by izaforestspirit

2016 is almost over which means that it’s now time for my annual “Best of” or “Highlights” as I prefer to call them. This year’s edition will be in two parts – industrial and metal. I’m still working on my list of top ten metal albums so I’ve decided to list the industrial ones first. So here are my favorite industrial/EBM and electro releases of 2016:

1. Lord of the Lost – Empyrean
Genre: Industrial Rock/Dark Rock

Lord of the Lost is a new discovery for me. I’ve been ignoring them for years, thinking that they were some sort of glam rock band. Then this year I had the pleasure of seeing them live when they supported Combichrist and I was totally blown away by their performance. I ended up buying all their albums. They sound like a mixture of HIM and Deathstars. ‘Empyrean’ is their heaviest and most complex album to date. Stand-out tracks: ‘Drag Me to Hell’ and ‘In Silence’

2. Heimataerde – Aerdenbrand
Genre: Medieval Industrial/Aggrotech

The German brotherhood of dark electro Templar knights are back with a new album. Fans of their work will know what to expect from this one; atmospheric dark electro with a medieval tinge. It’s a delightful mix of creepy and catchy Aggrotech with both ballads and dancefloor hits. Favourite tracks: ‘Fühl die Zeit (featuring Joachim Witt)’ and the kids’ nursery rhyme -inspired ‘Hick Hack Hackelbeil’.

3. Combichrist – This is Where Death Begins
Genre: Industrial Rock/Aggrotech

This album was not the easiest one to get into. Fans of Combichrist’s older songs will be shocked to discover just how guitar-driven this band has become. The previous album ‘We Love You’ was just a taster of what’s to come. The industrial and harsh electro elements are still present, but guitars are making inroads and they are here to stay. Combichrist is now an industrial rock band. As soon as you accept that you might actually start to enjoy this album. I did. Favourite songs: ‘Exit Eternity’, ‘My Life My Rules and ‘Skullcrusher’.

4. Memmaker – Let There Be Lasers
Genre – Power Noise/Rhythmic Noise

Eight years is a long time to wait for an album and that’s how long it’s been since Memmaker released their debut ‘How to Enlist a Robot Uprising’. Luckily the follow-up ‘Let The Be Lasers’ was worth the wait. The Canadian power noise band have essentially picked up from where they left off. So if you like power noise and songs about space travel and robots is your thing, then this is the album for you. Best tracks: ‘Doom Ray’, ‘Manipulate’ and ‘Race to Space (feat. Detroit Diesel)’.

5. Nachtmahr – Kampfbereit
Genre: Techno Industrial/Aggrotech

Nachtmahr are a bit controversial band within the industrial scene. Their music has always had a militaristic theme which has led to allegations of fascism. They sure like to harbour a fetish for women in uniform but I never quite got the fascist or misogynistic connections. I personally I like their music and I try not to think too much about their imagery. This year was the first time that I chose not to buy a physical copy of their new album. I have enough coffee-table books and these days I mostly listen to their music at the gym. So I bought the digital version instead. It’s great treadmill/cross trainer music. Best tracks: ‘Kampbereit’, ‘Tempus Fugit’ and ‘Burning Bridges’.

6. Scandroid – Scandroid
Genre: Synthwave

Scandroid is a side-project of the American musician Klayton (Celldweller, Circle of Dust). It was originally a two-man project featuring Klayton and Nick Pittsinger (Varien) who took on the identities of “Red” and “Raven” in the futuristic cyberpunk world of Neo-Tokyo, where the Scandroid story takes place. “Raven” left the project in 2014 which means Scandroid is now a solo project with “Red” as the main character. The music is a mixture of ’80s -style synth-pop/synthwave with a sci-fi tinge. The album tells a story so it’s difficult to pick out any specific individual tracks, but personally I’m very fond of ‘Aphelion’, ‘Empty Streets’ and ‘Neo-Tokyo’.

7. Terrolokaust – Dissensions
Genre: Industrial Rock/Aggrotech/Dark Electro

This year I finally got to see this Spanish harsh electro duo live at Resistanz Festival. That was a good show which served as my introduction to the band. They are similar to Combichrist in a sense as their style has changed from Aggrotech towards a more industrial rock sound. Their latest opus ‘Dissensions’ contains a mixture of both styles. There is something here for fans of either genre – whether it’s dance tracks like ‘Pursuit of Ruin’ or guitar driven industrial rock song such as ‘A Masochist’s Tale’.

8.Ost+Front
Genre: Neue-Deutsche-Härte

I have to be honest here in that I have mixed feelings about this album and Ost+Front in general. They give the impression of being essentially a Rammstein-clone, adapting not only the music and vocal style but also the themes and the imagery of their world-famous countrymen. Despite this I decided to include their new album on this list because of a few tracks that stood out – the sombre and profound ballad ‘Sternenkinder’ and ‘Bruderherz’. ‘Fiesta de sexo’ also deserves a mention due to guest appearance of Erk Aicrag (Hocico).

9. My Own Sorrow – The Entity
Genre: Dark Electro/Occult Ambient

‘The Entity’ is the latest album from the Swedish dark electro artist My Own Sorrow. His music is primarily instrumental, atmospheric dark electro with strong themes of horror and occultism. All the songs have an eerie feel to them. It’s like listening soundtrack to a horror movie. Best tracks ‘Succubus’ and ‘Rats In The Walls’.

10. Blutzukker – The Ultimate Collection
Genre: Dark Electro

Blutzukker is the dark electro project of the German artist Ben Blutzukker. He is currently involved in two projects; a heavy metal band under the name of Ben Blutzukker, who released an EP last year and the aforementioned dark electro act Blutzukker. What we have here isn’t really a new release but rather a collection of all Blutzukker’s works including some rarities and unreleased demos. So if you like dark electro, horror themes with a touch of humour then I would strongly recommend this. Best tracks ‘Fright Club’, ‘Queen of the Nite’, ‘The Vampire Strikes Back’.

Biggest new discovery: Lord of the Lost
Best live show: it’s a tie between Combichrist live in Tampere and Memmaker at Club Infektio, Helsinki
Most Anticipated albums of 2016:
Marilyn Manson – Say10
Blutengel – Leitbild
New albums by Suicide Commando and Grendel

Stay tuned for the metal edition, coming soon!

Árstíðir lífsins – Aldafǫðr ok munka dróttinn

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 22nd February 2015 by izaforestspirit

Árstíðir lífsins
Aldafǫðr ok munka dróttinn
Released 11th December 2014
Pagan Black Metal
Released via Ván Records

‘Aldafǫðr ok munka dróttinn’ is the third album from the Icelandic pagan black metal band Árstíðir lífsins whose name translates as “The Seasons of Life” in English.

The opening track ‘Kastar heljar brenna fjarri ofan Ǫnundarfirðinum‘ features a long, ambient style intro enhanced by narration, Icelandic chanting and the melancholic sounds of what appears to be either a violin or a cello. It’s not until well into the second minute of the song that the guitars finally enter the fold followed by the pounding drums and black metal screams. Despite this, the melodic ambient and folk-style elements remain an integral part of the Árstíðir lífsins’s unique sound.

This pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album. All the lyrics are in the band’s native Icelandic, and the songs are long and complex just like any good saga should be. The storytelling narrative reminds me of Wardruna; yet unlike their Norwegian brethren these guys combine this with black metal. Their music maintains a very delicate balance between the two styles; the beautiful and melodic Icelandic folk tunes and the harshness of black metal. The structure varies depending on the song, for example ‘Þeir heilags dóms hirðar‘ actually starts with the harsh black metal guitars before a pause for some narration accompanied by the sombre sounds of the cello.

Each track sounds like it’s a story. The black metal guitar riffs and screams mimic the sounds of a battle or the start of a voyage while Mársel’s deep, melodic vocals and the cello act as a reflection on the aftermath and the long journey home. One noteworthy track is ‘Tími er kominn at kveða fyrir þér‘ which features more narrative along with Icelandic chanting, and the beautiful yet sombre sound of the violin. This is also the only song that completely omits the black metal elements and puts an emphasis on to the folk style. Once again the use of their native tongue works to their advantage as it fits the music perfectly. The rest of the album marks a return to black metal, though the folk elements are still present along with the narration.

Overall this album has been an absolute pleasure to review. Árstíðir lífsins is not the first pagan black metal band that has caught my attention but they are definitely one of the most unique within the scene.

4.5/5

Iza Raittila

Krieg – Transient

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 30th August 2014 by izaforestspirit

Krieg
Transient
Released 6th October 2014
Black Metal
Released via Candlelight Record

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

‘Transient’ is the new album from the New Jersey -based, American black metal band Krieg. The band was formed back in 1995 and has changed their style a lot over the years. The latest album, the follow-up to ‘The Isolationist’, has been described as “churning cacophony of modern black metal, crust punk, and experimental noise.“

Just in case the album cover itself wasn’t bleak or eerie enough, the first song The Order of the Solitary Road definitely adds to the grim atmosphere thanks to the haunting, dark ambient -style intro. This is followed by a barrage of equally bleak and nihilistic black metal akin to the likes of Leviathan, Nachtmystium and to some extent Burzum. The pace tends to vary depending on the song ranging from the slow, ponderous and almost doom metal -style grooving guitar riffs; for example the latter half of To Speak with Ghosts to the mid-paced and ferocious, as evident in the guitars at the start of Return Fire and Time.

Vocalist N. Imperial’s screams sound as creepy as ever. When paired with the nihilistic guitars and the additional noise such as the dark ambient intro to Ruin Our Lives and the melancholic experimental noise of Home, each song leaves a bitter taste in the listener’s mouth. The band’s cover of Amebix’s Winter is yet another manifestation of this feeling. The chorus and the agonizing cries of “Winter!” alone are enough to send shivers down my spine. Yet the undisputed highlight of the album is Walk With Them Unnoticed which is also the most complex song on here. The intro is almost catchy at times due to the “rocking” guitar melodies that make even the bleakest screams sound more refined, softening the blow to the eardrums.

Overall ‘Transient’ is everything that one would expect to hear from Krieg. For those unfamiliar with the band, I’d recommend this if you’re a fan of Leviathan, Nachtmystium, Clandestine Blaze, Burzum or any other black metal band that has ever experimented with dark ambient.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Abysme – Strange Rites

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 11th September 2012 by izaforestspirit

Abysme
Strange Rites
Released: September 2012
Death Metal
Released via Hellthrasher Productions

‘Strange Rites’ is the debut album from the American death metal band Abysme.

After the dark ambient style intro it’s straight into death metal with ‘Scribbled In Dust’ offering stereotypical old Morbid Angel style growls, steady drumming and guitar riffs. The tempo is mid-to-low pace depending on the song, which is fairly standard for this genre. There’s a few attempts at thrash metal style guitar solos such as the one at the start of ‘Formless’ though these do little to make the any particular song stand out.

More often than not you get these slow, almost doom metal-esque intros followed by some average sounding slowish death metal. ‘Annihilated Memory’ is a good example of this problem; it just lacks energy and has a tendency to drag on for a bit longer than necessary. Same thing applies to ‘Gift To The Gods’ in which the guitars riffs only add to the monotony of the vocals. Then there’s the random stop-starts on ‘We Shall Sleep’ and ‘Fallen Colossus’ which wreck what may be been two energetic and semi-decent death metal tracks. The only song that has potential is ‘Remarkable Conqueror’, mostly due to the increase in pace and the guitar riffs during the first part of the track.

This is more like another demo recording rather than a studio album as some of the tracks sound as though the band was still learning how to play together.

2.5/5

Iza Raittila

Anamensi – Descending The Ruins of Aura

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 30th August 2012 by izaforestspirit

Anamnesi
Descending The Ruins of Aura
Released: September 2012
Atmospheric Black Metal/ Dark Ambient
Released via Naturmacht Productions

‘Descending The Ruins of Aura’ is the second album by the Italian black metal artist Anamnesi. It is the follow up to the band’s self-titled debut released in 2010.

So, after an atmospheric and tranquil keyboard ‘Intro (First Descent)’, we head towards darker territories with ‘Litany of Suffering and Reaction’ treating the listener to some sombre melodies along with rather raw sounding black metal vocals and guitar riffs. Yet there’s a certain eerie beauty linked to this rawness as it contrasts with the melodic elements such as the ambient keyboard part in the second half of the song.

If anything, it’s actually the dark ambient parts on here that make this band stand out. Take ‘Nocturnal Path’ for instance, it’s the little touches like the melodic keyboard tunes and the frosty atmospheric elements which make this instrumental memorable. Then there’s ‘Toward Rebirth’ which reminds me of Burzum at times, though this is less raw and there is a significant difference in the vocal style. One of the album’s main highlights is the tranquil-sounding, ambient ‘Annega La Conscienza’ which features guest vocals from Simulacro’s Xul whose part whispering part screaming style seems to be a perfect fit for this track.

Speaking of Burzum, this album ends with ‘Ciò Che Una volta Era’ – a tribute to the infamous Norwegian black metal project. This is quite possibly the rawest dark ambient track on here and even the vocals sound remarkably different to the other songs.

3.5/5 – There’s beauty in rawness and it goes by the name of Anamensi.

Iza Raittila

Solstheim – II

Posted in Review with tags , , on 1st August 2012 by izaforestspirit

Solstheim
II
July 2012
Black Metal
Self-Released

‘II’ is the debut EP from the Scottish black metal band Solstheim. It is the follow-up to their self-titled demo. Now Scotland is not a country that you would normally associate with black metal but given their proximity to Norway its within reason to suggest a possible Nordic influence in Solstheim’s chosen style…

So, after the dark ambient style ‘Intro’, it’s straight into some black metal with ‘The Alchemist’ offering a mix of fast guitar riffs and melodic/atmospheric undertones. Comparisons to fellow British black metal band Hoarstone and Satyricon spring to mind. ‘Of Sundered Stone and Earth’ sees a slight change in the speed, verging on doom metal/ambient climates at times. Luckily the guitar riffs and eerie vocals ensure that this song fits the overall tone of the EP whilst the drums at the end add to the creepy atmosphere.

Come to think of it, the term ‘atmospheric black metal’ seems like a fitting way to describe the whole album. Each track contains at least some elements of it ranging from the aforementioned ambience of ‘Of Sundered Stone and Earth’ to the faster, more ferocious-sounding ‘Aeon’.

4/5 – A very good debut from a promising black metal band.

Iza Raittila

Agael/ Lebensnacht (split) – Apathologie

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 18th July 2012 by izaforestspirit

Agael/Lebensnacht (split)
Apathologie
Released: July2012
Black Metal/ Dark Ambient
Released via Naturmacht Productions

‘Apathologie’ is a split album featuring the German black metal/dark ambient project Agael and the dark ambient/black metal artist Lebensnacht. According to an official press release this split album focuses on “the final target to find true life” with each band offering their unique interpretation of the subject.

First up is Lebensnacht with a sombre piano track called ‘Elaboren’. Very atmospheric and soothing as far as dark ambient goes. With ‘Im Käfig’ come the raw black metal style guitar riffs and somewhat disturbing sounding vocals. Burzum and Beyond The Ninth Wave are probably the only bands which I could compare this to. Similar things can be said about ‘Lebensnacht’ but luckily there’s ‘Dem Ende Nah’ which provides some singing birds mixed with the right kind of dark ambient to soothe my ears.

Agael is more atmospheric in nature as ‘Offenbarung’ reveals itself to be a soundtrack to an uplifting experience of tranquility through meditation. ‘Vom Nichtsein’ and ‘Die letzte Geburt’ are leaning more towards black metal with shrieking vocals mixed in with melodic guitar riffs. Though the dark ambient elements are still lurking in the background thanks to the sombre keyboard noises. The instrumental ‘Remorphose’ combines the melodic guitars with the tranquil ambiance making for a very pleasant sounding track.

3.5/5 – Overall

3/5 – tracks by Lebensnacht
4/5 – tracks by Agael

Iza Raittila

Interview: Mist [Dead Summer Society]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 27th May 2012 by izaforestspirit

Dead Summer Society is the latest addition to the Italian doom metal scene. Iza caught up with the mastermind behind the project, the multi-instrumentalist Mist to discuss his influences and aspirations.


Iza: Hi there! Aside from being the main member of Dead Summer Society you are also the guitarist of How Like a Winter. What influenced your decision to start this project?

Mist: – Hi, and thanks for the review of “Visions from a thousand lives”. Well, How like a winter is a project “on hold” at this moment, but as a musician I need to create music, you know, is a sort of “soul outburst”. Moreover I wanted to create something more “personal”, something without “compromises”, a project in which I could put all my musical influences and experience, with a sort of “experimental” approach. I consider DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY as a place to search something new but in a spontaneous way, a place to completely express myself, to try new things and even experiment new sounds.

I: You often list yourself as the sole member of Dead Summer Society yet the album features a female vocalist on some of the tracks. Who is she and what’s her role in the band?

M: DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY is a one-man band considering that I write all the music and lyrics, but I like to have collaborations able to enrich the music with personality (and I can say now that I’ll have more collaborations in the future). They have the freedom to try what they want and experiment on their own. Regarding female vocals…well, there are two female vocalists on “Visions..”: Federica Fazio is the singer, Claudia M. Luisa Murella is a dark poetess who has written and performed the recitative parts on the album. They enhanced the dark/gothic approach to the music, and I’m very happy about their contribute.

I: According to the press kit you have also collaborated with Trismegisto (Cult of Vampyrism, Teeth and Thorns). Is the partnership likely to continue in the future?

M: – Of course! Our collaboration will definitely go on! Trismegisto (Stefano) is both a great singer and musician, I came in contact with him during recording sessions of his project Cult of Vampyrism’s debut album. He’s able to transform all my ideas in something every time more beautiful!

I: Some of your songs, particularly “The King’s Alone”, remind me of works by other gothic doom metal artists such as My Dying Bride. Have any of these bands had some influences on Dead Summer Society?

M: – Well, doom/gothic music surely influences my music…My Dying Bride is among my favourite bands, and “The King’s Alone” is a sort of “homage” to their genius. Other bands I love and that inspire me are Katatonia, Anathema, Paradise Lost, Opeth, Samael, Tiamat, as well as Depeche Mode and Sopor Aeternus. On the other side I feel I’m on the right way to reach a Dead Summer Society’s own style, intended as a personal and spontaneous approach to make music.

I: I’ve also detected elements of dark ambient in your music. Are there any particular dark ambient artists that inspire you?

M: – Dark ambient and also electronic are so fascinating, and I like to enrich music with these elements. I think music sounds more interesting, more captivating, more experimental. Besides metal I’m starting listening to more dark ambient and electronic music.

I: Do you see Dead Summer Society as mostly a studio project or would you like to do live performances?

M: – To be honest I think that DSS will remain a studio project, I like it as it is, I like the idea to write music and enrich it with many collaborations. Besides DSS, I’m going (slowly) on with another doom/death band which could eventually do live performances: Temple of Prometeo. Just need more time to do everything eheheeh!

I: In the event of Dead Summer Society going on tour in the future, which bands would you like to tour with and why?

M: – Well…first of all, Katatonia! Is the band at the moment I like the most, and together with Opeth I think they gave freshness to their genres. Katatonia’s music is simply great, pure emotional art. Of course I’d like to tour with My Dying Bride, a dream…but I’d also like Samael, they’re so energetic and special…

I: Which musician (living or dead) do you respect the most and why?

M: -Mmm…not so easy…a musician I really like and respect is Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth), think is really passionate and professional, a musical genius…I’ve seen Opeth many times on stage and he’s a great front man, a fantastic musician, the best growl/clean vocals in my opinion…

I: What’s been your best memory of Dead Summer Society since its formation?

M: – Well…I was really glad about the feedback “the heart of autumnsphere” demo got from people, I received a lot of kind words and even some proposals from labels (which didn’t take to anything concrete, but we will see for the future!)…I was particularly happy for a nice review about “the heart…” on a French webzine…but a nice moment has also been when I had the “Visions from a thousand lives” cd (self produced) in my hands…satisfaction!
Well, to end…thanks for your support, and thanks a lot for the time you dedicated to DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY, both for review and interview…and of course greetings to all the readers.

Here you’ll find some links to find info and updates about DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dead-Summer-Society/140007062732886
http://www.myspace.com/deadsummersociety
deadsummersociety@libero.it
Thanks again!
Emiliano (Mist)/ DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY