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Faidra – immensely great Swedish atmospheric black metal

In april 2020, a new mysterious atmospheric black metal band from Sweden, namely Faidra, came to the light with the release of their debut album “Six Voices Inside”. The album has received praise and warm welcome within the scene, hence our curious excitement that lead to this interview with the anonymous person behind this one man act…

1. The background

Hello, please begin by telling us a about Faidra and your secret self.

Faidra is a Swedish Atmospheric Black Metal solo project that formed during late summer of 2019. Mostly just a project to entertain myself. There never were any intentions of letting anybody else listen to the music. After sending a rough mix of a couple of songs to friends for feedback and ideas, I later figured I would try to put a few songs on Spotify, since they really liked the result. An easy way to put stuff on Spotify is through a record label, so i sent some tracks to 3-4 labels and got interest from two of them, Northern Silence being one.

Sounds like a surprisingly low ambition approach, especially considering the end result. Is there anything more you can tell us about yourself? I guess you have a background in the music scene?

Yes, I have played in metal bands earlier, but these never really got anywhere. I actually had much more success playing folk music – I was in a band for ten years playing Irish/Celtic folk and we did that for a living for a couple of years…

Ok, cool. So, what first got you into this genre, and what motivates and inspires you to create the music you do?

Depending on what you mean there are a couple of things. Just listening to the genre and appreciating it, I have done for years. I occasionally listened to a few black metal bands during the 90’s but around the 2000’s Cradle of Filth released an album called “Midian” which still remains a favourite of mine. No matter what one might think of Cradle of Filth, i know they are pariah, but they really are unmatched when it comes to their lyrical abilities. Their early work at least, is largely pretty good and that album led me to dive deeper into the atmospheric part of the genre. Eventually this would lead me to another favourite band of mine, though not atmospheric, namely Marduk. So i guess ”Midian” is pretty much responsible for getting me to explore extreme music much more than i had done earlier.

What got me into the genre in regards to writing i guess i got inspiration from several other acts. Mgla, Burzum and Drudkh to name a few. But mainly i listened a lot to an album called ”Forest Sky” by Hermóðr and that album got me the idea and the inspiration to try to record my own black metal.

2. The present

You mention some excellent sources of inspiration there, what do you think about black metal anno 2020 – anything worth praising?

I tend to listen to the old and ”regular” stuff, but also other genres a lot. As for newer acts i have to mention Batushka (the real one) and Mgla for doing something very good and interesting. Also, Curse Upon A Prayer’s latest release is something i enjoy.

Some solid 2020 highlights there, although the last band Curse Upon A Prayer is something I need to listen in to…

Your debut album, “Six Voices Inside”, is really getting status in the underground I believe. Please tell us about it.

The album was not intended at all as stated earlier. The idea was to just make a few tracks to entertain myself. I was mostly doing folk music and Northern/Viking tunes with lots of ambience and atmosphere at the time. I figured i would see how a distorted guitar would sound in the midst of horns, bones, lyres and ancient string instruments. It sounded really good. With some inspiration from Hermodr’s Forest Sky album in the back of my mind, this turned into dropping the viking-stuff and going for atmospheric black metal instead.

Alright, so how has the reception for the album been so far?

The reception has been amazing. I am not aware of any negative reviews what so ever, and i have recieved nothing but praise from fans and the sales have impressed my label too.

3. The future

I perfectly understand, so what will be next for you, any new material being written?

I’m recording ideas mostly, that hopefully will turn into songs later on. Once I have a couple of riffs and ideas, putting it together usually goes pretty fast. The plan is to get enough material for the second album as well as a couple of songs to release online only as i did with ”Ixion”.

Interesting, can we assume there is a good chance for a new Faidra release during 2021?

I really hope so, it all depends on how much free time i’ll have to work on it. I have a full time job and recently got an addition to the family aswell. So free time is pretty rare nowadays.

Sounds great, both with family life and new material. Thanks a lot for the interview, good luck with the new material and future endeavours… /J.

4. Links

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New metal vinyls in stock

Hello everyone, please check out all our new black metal, death metal, doom metal vinyls in stock. Both old and new releases… /J.

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Katatonia – Dead Air 2LP incoming

KATATONIA PERFORM AN EXTENSIVE AND MAJESTIC SET OF FAN FAVOURITES, CAPTURED DURING THEIR 2020 LOCKDOWN SESSION.

With a somewhat unforeseen global event transpiring this year which resulted in touring being made all but impossible for artists internationally, Katatonia conducted a more intimate ‘lockdown’ show which was streamed live from Studio Grondahl, Stockholm on May 9th. “Dead Air” offers fans a full 88-minute set containing 20 tracks from the band’s extensive and illustrious repertoire to date, with inclusions spanning two decades of dark progressive greatness, and essentially also debuting three of the “City Burials” album tracks in a live setting. 

The tracklisting itself contains a very literal selection of fan favourites overall, having being voted for exclusively by the band’s worldwide fanbase, flawlessly flirting between earlier singles such as metallic anthems ‘My Twin’ & ‘July’, to the stirring emotional grandeur of new song, “Lacquer”. 

The recording, mixing & engineering work was orchestrated by David Castillo, notable for his extensive body of work with Katatonia to date, and the performance itself was professionally filmed by Blackbox Video. 

Behind The Blood live from Dead Air

This version is truly improved from the studio version. Top notch!

Lacquer live from Dead Air

“Lacquer” from “Dead Air” is so bright, so tender, but yet so strong. Album version had an overall electronic feel, that is completely addressed in this excellent version.

Tracklisting

  1. Lethean (06:00)
  2. Teargas (03:17)
  3. Serein (04:47)
  4. Deliberation (03:57)
  5. The Winter Of Our Passing (03:08)
  6. Ghost Of The Sun (04:07)
  7. The Racing Heart (04:26)
  8. Soil`s Song (04:07)
  9. Old Heart Falls (04:25)
  10. Forsaker (04:10)
  11. Tonight`s Music (04:22)
  12. In The White (04:57)
  13. Leaders (04:17)
  14. Lacquer (04:51)
  15. Omerta (03:09)
  16. My Twin (03:38)
  17. Unfurl (04:52)
  18. July (04:48)
  19. Evidence (05:29)
  20. Behind The Blood (05:06)
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Hellenic black metal legends Varathron return with a brilliant live album – “Glorification under The Latin Moon”

“Glorification under The Latin Moon” was recorded in its entirety on August 4th, 2019 in São Paulo (Brazil) during the final show of Varathron‘s 30 Years Of Darkness Tour, the historic setlist boasts some of the bands finest compositions, from 1988 and beyond, most notably including the entirety of classic “His Majesty At The Swamp” from 1993, to most recent songs, taken from the acclaimed “Patriarchs Of Evil” album, which made it to an awful lot of year-end lists in 2018. We took the opportunity to catch up with Hellenic black metal legend Varathron‘s vocalist Stefan Necroabyssious…

Hello Stefan, please tell us about your new great live album “Glorification under The Latin Moon”.

Thank you for your great support to my band. Our first official live album and the whole situation is amazing. That album was recorded in Sao Paulo of Brazil, my second homeland as I said there, because we received so much love, passion and respect for our band. The sound was very good and the passion of the crowd awesome. We played the entire “His Majesty at the Swamp” album and some new tracks. Infernal night – I’ll never forget it!

Sounds amazing! It is great with represses and the live album! We’re wondering, is there possibly some new material round the corner?

Yes, we’re working on new material now! The new album will follow the path of “Patriarchs of Evil”, but even more abysmal and evil. I think it will be very good stuff!

Any other news about Varathron?

I hope the best for the near future and our musical community, and that we can start playing live shows and spread the words of evil… Soon I wish!

/Stefan Necroabyssious

We’re certainly looking forward to the follow-up to the successful “Patriarchs of Evil”. Meanwhile, we will enjoy “Glorification under The Latin Moon” – please check out the legendary “Son of The Moon” below.

Tracklist

A1Cultum Deus Aeternum (Ιntro)
A2Ouroboros Dweller
A3Cassiopeia’s Ode
A4Tenebrous
B1Saturnian Sect
B2His Majesty At The Swamp
B3Son Of The Moon
B4Unholy Funeral
C1Nightly Kingdoms
C2Lustful Father
C3Flowers Of My Youth
C4The River Of My Souls
D1The Tressrising Of Nyarlathotep
D2Genesis Of Apocryphal Desire
D3Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (Outro)
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French black metal label Les Acteurs De l’Ombre Productions added to our catalogue

We welcome the French underground label Les Acteurs De l’Ombre (LADLO) to our rooster. They release some of the finest black metal. We took the chance to catch up with label founder Gérald.

Read that LADLO started as a magazine and concert organizer. Could you elaborate on that and the philosophy and purpose?

“It all started back in 2001, when I decided to create the association LADLO, with two of my friends. At the beginning, it was a webzine for which 50 writers have worked. I had to leave the presidency of the association in 2008 due to a professional transfer, and that is when I requested the creation of the label for the association.

I had this idea in my mind since a few years, but I was lost in the downward spiral of the webzine and the organization of gigs, so I had no time to think about this…

It has been very exciting indeed. Because I always worked for the association as a volunteer, I had no risk of losing money, which allowed me to fully enjoy this new project. Pensées Nocturnes was the solo project of one member of our association that organized gigs : this way, we stayed ‘in family’ so to say – no pressure, only happiness and a burning desire to discover a new universe and meet new persons…

Before, I used to organize gigs all around Paris, among which three annual festivals: Black Metal, Pagan, and Doom Metal for 10 years. The team quickly got bigger; we organized more than 100 shows and more than 500 bands played for us.

Today the label has more than 20 volunteers, and we have no other desire than to have fun and do things the best we can. Making people discover our favorite bands is a main motivation for us.”

French black metal seems relatively big and we also get many orders from France. What do you think about the development of black metal in France?

“I think French scene always generated some interest abroad. It never was a reference, but since black metal was born, it has always offered qualitative bands starting with Mütiilation in 91, Nehëmah in 92 and others. Our bands never really exported themselves, but we got a critical success with a few avant-garde bands such as Blut Aus Nord, and Deathspell Omega, that stood out. While the traditional black metal scene has known its share of great bands, others wanted to try new things, with new inspirations, freeing themselves from their influences and rebelling against conventions. I’d say it’s kind of our trademark: we do what we like, here in France. I think our bands have improved, even if I feel like we were always slow on the uptake. Today, some think we have qualities and follow our flourishing scene very closely. But let’s not be mistaken, French scene remains anecdotal in black metal universe. World is full of so many great bands…”

Thanks a lot Gérald for your words and good luck with everything going forward!

Make sure to visit the homepage of LADLO, and below you’ll find the recently added titles from this fine label…

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Review: Darkenhöld – Arcanes & Sortilèges LP

Darkenhöld – Arcanes & Sortilèges album cover

When ladies and gentlemen speak about France, many think of exclusive wines and the famous French cuisine. Personally, I have come to associate France with something vastly different, namely black metal. The French black metal scene is extremely musically diverse. Darkenhöld certainly contributes to this, by providing their own unique flavour – I would not say it is the type of castle cellar aged, so called ‘sophisticated’ output. No, “Arcanes & Sortilèges” rather offers a taste more energetic, exciting and captivating.

Musically, this is much more positive than the typical black metal album. The music is heavily spiced with power/speed metal herbs. This, combined with all the castles, wizards, wyverns etc moves your mind so you fuckin’ loose it and suddenly, you are a dedicated believer in the fact that you are listening to a completely mad Blind Guardian on anabolic steroids or something. On top of that, you get acoustic guitar parts, drum fills and of course melodic ‘black metal’. Yeah, it’s both crazy and lovely.

Back to the French wine and ‘grub’ – I would love to pop a bottle of Beaujolais with frog legs and snails, and if these delicacies come together with “Arcanes & Sortilèges”, or some other Darkenhöld vinyl, I for sure am truly happy…

Darkenhöld – Arcanes & Sortilèges on Spotify

It is possible to listen to the album on Spotify:

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Three albums by Swedish death/doom veterans In Mourning added

Swedish death and doom veterans In Mourning is a hidden gem for some. We got hold of some limited edition first pressing vinyls, which we wanted to offer to our more death/doom oriented customers.

Spotify playlist

Please, do check out our related Spotify playlist, doom and depressive metal Spotify playlist, to get in the right mood:

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Venom – The Singles 5 x 7″ (special order)

Five classic 7″ singles by black metal pioneers Venom, pressed on limited edition coloured vinyls and rolled into one slick package, now available as special order.

Tracklist

SIDE A
1.In League With Satan

SIDE B
2.Live Like An Angel (Die Like A Devil)

SIDE C
3.Bloodlust

SIDE D
4.In Nomine Satanas

SIDE E
5.Die Hard

SIDE F
6.Acid Queen

SIDE G
7.Warhead

SIDE H
8.Lady Lust

SIDE I
9.Manitou

SIDE J
10. Women

Colours

  • In League With Satan:  40g Solid White Vinyl W/ Classic Black Splatter
  • Bloodlust:  40g Ultra Clear Vinyl W/ Solid Red Splatter
  • Die Hard:  40g Transparent Yellow Vinyl W/ Solid Purple Splatter
  • Warhead:  40g Classic Black Vinyl W/ Solid White Splatter
  • Manitou:  40g Mustard Vinyl W/ Bronze Splatter
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New releases from Nebular Carcoma Records

We have added some new releases from fine Spanish label Nebular Carcoma Records below:

  1. Blood Stronghold – Spectres of Bloodshed LP
  2. Borda’s rope / El-Ahrairah – Split 10″
  3. Negativa – 01 LP
Nebular Carcoma Records

Blood Stronghold – Spectres of Bloodshed LP

This is a really fine piece of underground black metal. I love the sound and the song writing is great. Check it out for yourselves (note that the drum sound is (more) odd in the youtube video than on proper vinyl):

Borda’s rope / El-Ahrairah – Split 10″

Raw lo-fi primitive black metal from USA, sometimes on the border to industrial / noise. Extremely limited and now deleted. Check it out here:

Negativa – 01 LP

Negativa are a prolific and mysterious force hailing from Spain. The entity’s two central figures, multi-instrumentalist DB and vocalist D.R., respectively maintain the well-regarded Délirant (of the Mystískaos cabal) and Atrabilis. Together, as Negativa, do the duo create delirious, tortured, but credibly avant-garde black metal, worming deep within atonality and tension to find bittersweet resolution and maimed ‘n’ malformed melody.

Of the band’s prolific clutch of releases, arguably, Negativa’s 01 is the perfect distillation of their aesthetic, a shocking bolt-from-the-blue originally released in 2014 on super-limited cassette. The soundfield is sharp, almost crystal-clear, but somehow alien and unsettling. Their push & pulse takes on a folding-inward variety of shapes, vortex-like, building ever-denser and -taller walls around the listener. Suffocating yet emitting a paradoxical expanse of space, the four-song spell hypnotizes from there; each body/mind-fold sluices energy and happiness from the spirit, Negativa‘s obsidian metallics growing stronger with each passing, parasitic minute. By the end of 01, that listener is literally rendered a zero, a hollow shell of cursed corporeal garbage.

Seek the beginning of the end with this noble new vinyl edition of Negativa’s 01 and rue its rotten (re)discovery.

Single sided 12″LP limited to 120 copies.