Friday, April 29, 2011


Formed in eraly 2010, this 4 piece finnish doom band includes 2 members of the stoner band RITE which already released 3 albums.After a first demo which was suffering of a very amateurish sound, they're back with their second recording, consisting of 2 songs "guilt" and "the trials of a pyramid builder". This time the sound is a bit better, but still average, it's a pitty cause their style is rather interesting. GRAVE SIESTA play some mid-tempo groovy doom metal, closed to bands like Cathedral, Pentagram, St Vitus or Reverend Bizarre; so expect good songs the old doomy way, but both also include some more powerful parts in the more modern heavy rocking way. There's a great work on vocals, old school half-spoken melodic style a bit in the vein of R.B.; the atmosphere is globally gloomy, mesmerizing, which finally make them quite different from most bands from their country. With all these good components, I doubt they'll have problems to find a deal with this time a professionnal recording....

Friday, April 22, 2011


Here are my photos and report of the cultish festival which took place last week in Tilburg (Holland), I'll put more photos on line when I got those of my friend (especially Count Raven, Blood Ceremony and Voivod).


                                                                THE GATES OF SLUMBER
                                                                   PLACE OF SKULLS

                                                             BLOOD FARMERS

                                                               HOODED MENACE







As everybody expected, the biggest event was the CANDLEMASS show. It was divided in 4 parts :

1st part with Robert Lowe (about 30 minutes)
2nd part with Johan Lanquist playing “epicus….” in its entirety (about 45 minutes), the best and more memorable moments !
Lanquist is very very charismatic, his voice still rules hard even if he can’t do anymore real highpitched vox
3rd part with Robert Lowe again (15 minutes)
and the final part with both singers covering “don’t fear the reaper” from BÖC and playing a song from “ancient dreams”
the audience has been very enthusiastic, including the singer of Dark Tranquillity who was just closed to me during the whole gig, happy like a child at Christmas !!!

Other highlights of the 3 days :

- BLOOD CEREMONY : the singer impressed me, nothing artificial, she’s at 200% in the trip, really credible. They played mostly songs from the new album (which needs time to really assimilate the many rich 70’s nuances) but also 1 song from “living with..” and the mighty “children of the future”… Very good show

- COUNT RAVEN : just like me, all people present were apparently very impatient to see them and there’s been no deception… they mixed their show with songs from “mammons war” and “high on infinity” (particularly a fantastic version from “children of the holocaust”), they also played the songs “destruction of the void”… Playing live so rarely, especially in front of a large crowd, the guys were a bit stressed at the beginning but little by little the show gained in intensity and ended in an “overwhelming” ambiance, everybody had the right impression to have lived a very special moment !

- PLACE OF SKULLS : Victor Griffin is much more well-adjusted than in Pentagram, normal that’s his own band, his baby; but this is very obvious. The show is topless with mostly songs from “as a dog returns” but also from the just re-issued ep “love through blood” and the godly cover from “don’t let be misunderstood”…

- THE GATES OF SLUMBER : I ended with them… and honestly I couldn’t expect something better to close the fest ! the new songs played were outstanding, especially “coven of cain” and “the wretch”…great presence of Karl Simon, not speaking too much but still more than many others, the guy is very impressive … total DOOM at its best ! the new album is an absolute masterpiece !!!

-WINTER : no real surprise as they played “eternal frost” in its entirety, the surprise was more when the organization announced their incredible return ! one could have thought it would be long and boring after 2 or 3 songs… not at all, the intensity and heaviness are so catchy that it seemed very short in fact ! hope there’ll be a 2nd album…

- BLOOD FARMERS : shit I missed the first part of the show but Blood Ceremony were so fuckin good that I couldn’t leave their show before the end… anyway to see about 30 minutes of B.F. was still an incredible dream that came true !!! they played an excellent new song and ended by the cultish “bullet in my head”

Great shows :

-HOODED MENACE : despite the fact that the singer is just average (at least on stage), I liked it very much, Lasse knows how to deliver massive and catchy riffs and it was perfect time for listening more brutal stuff (after just doom during the whole first day)

- GRAVE MIASMA : I had to leave H.M. (2 songs before the end) to go watch the English evil metallers of G.M. and I didn’t regret it at all ! such a fucking blast, those guys were incredibly evil and brutal ; I hope they’ll soon finally get soon the great deal they deserve for a while.

- CORROSION OF CONFORMITY : cool to see them after such a long time, they play mostly old song during a very energic set; good response for them…

- WEEDEATER : sick, insane, brutal, full of dirty hate… just like at the Hellfest, the singer has surprised many people by his arrogant and provocative attitude, I like a lot this kind of “skinned alive” guy , but this is mostly their incredible intensity which impressed me again.

- WARDRUNA : I didn’t know them but it’s been a very very good surprise… this is the band founded by an ex-Gorgoroth guy, they play some kind of ambient stuff, with folk/black metal/pagan elements; no harsh guitars or evil vocals, just flutes, natural sound (water, storm…), percussions and clear (sometimes whispered) vocals (from one to five different vocals sung simultaneously with a catchy harmony).

- IN SOLITUDE : ouah the guys seem and are certainly very very young ! but what a performance, full of hundreds heavy yet always melodic riffs… their talent is rather impressive, the new album should be a killer.

-VOIVOD : I could have included them in the highlights too, but it was the 12 ou 13th times I saw them, maybe I'm a bit "tired" with that, so that was just two great moments !!! (I saw the 1st show in its entirety and a half of the second)…the coming of Daniel Mongrain gave them a new energy I think; this was globally very thrashy performances. Cool to have old songs like “ripping headaches” or “voivod” and a new song too !

- EVOKEN : don’t know why but I’ve not listened much to this band during the few past years but I really enjoyed their set…slow, deep, extremely dark, depressive; I thought that would be more funeral, more monolithic but all in all it was very agreeable. I’ll have to check out their recent stuff to confirm that…

- PENTAGRAM : not much to say about them, still worth to see but not memorable…

Deception :

SHRINEBUILDER : all the conditions for a memorable gig, but there’s absolutely no unite, everyone plays for himself and as a result the sound was awful, incredibly too loud… the fault of Al Cisneros (acting like THE boss here) which killed Wino’s performance with his mamooth-bass, indeed both guitar and vocally wise, he was almost unlistenable and seemed particularly irritated by that….Scott Kelly was a bit more preserved from that and it was cool to see him playing heavy and aggressive stuff, something Neurosis forgot for a long time ! A big deception anyway…

I also saw a few moments from other bands like GODFLESH, SUNN O))) just by curiosity cause I definitely don’t like their style, also ACID KING (15 short minutes… excellent ! hopefully I saw their whole gig 10 days before in Rennes).

The organization of the fest is almost perfect; all bands I saw started in time and had generally a very correct sound; I also enjoyed the quality of the lights (in good quantities and often well adapted to dark atmospheres) and the visual animations on back screens. The price of alcohol and food are ok (25% cheaper than at the hellfest for drinks) and the fact that the audience is limited is extremely cool to live, wherever you go and whatever you want , you never have to wait !!!
Sure it depends of the future bills, but I’m seriously thinking about making the Roadburn a necessary yearly pilgrimage… hope to meet some of you there next year !

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Inutile ou presque de présenter l'un des nouveaux chefs de file de la scène européenne Sans verser dans la nostalgie exacerbée des années 88-92, mais plutôt en s'inspirant des grands de l'époque et de leur propres expériences , Lasse et ses amis d'HOODED MENACE ont en l'espace de deux superbes albums su redonner ses lettres de noblesse au death/doom, et ce n'est qu'un début car comme vous allez le voir, plein de bonnes choses s'annoncent...
Désolé, pas de traduction, ça se consomme 100% pure, enjoy ! 

* A bit more than 20 years after your first steps in music, do you feel that “never cross the dead” is the most achieved release you’ve ever been involved in ?
L : Yeah, I think so. Both artistically and commercially altho of course we are not talking about big numbers here but more like big artistic satisfaction. I´m really happy with how the album came out. The debut "Fulfill the Curse" was a really good album and I´m just glad that I feel like we topped it with "Never Cross the Dead". Also people seem to like the newer album even more than the debut so unquestionably that feels good too.  

* You’ve some great artwork (covers) and very high quality merchandising designs, is it the same guy that works on both ? do you give him general ideas or is he completely free with his imagination ?
L : As for 7"´s, shirts and whatsoever we have been working with several artists like Putrid, Ralaf Kruszyk, Daniel Desecrator etc. but what comes to full length album covers it´s Matt "Putrid" Carr we´ve always turned to. Adam Geyer colored Putrid´s inks for "Never Cross the Dead" and I´d like to have them collaborating in the similar way for the next album as well. Usually I don´t have to instruct the artists because they "get" what Hooded Menace is all about and their heads are often full of ideas. But sometimes I might throw my ideas at them and it works very well that way too. Visuals matter for sure. I grew up with the classic Dio and Iron Maiden albums so it´s no brainer that I pay a lot attention to the designs and what them to be killer. 

* Horror is an essential source of inspiration for you, how do you manage to get new ideas for lyrics, concept/image ? Do horror movies inspire you both for their soundtracks and stories ?
L : There will always be a ton of films to draw inspiration from. It´s almost impossible to think of anything else for the lyrical themes or visuals as horror goes so damn well with this type of music and because we simply dig horror. And yes, it´s not only stories that inspire us but soundtracks too. The whole package. It´s very natural. It´s like no horror, no Hooded Menace. Those subjects haven´t worn out to me much at all. You know, we didn´t write about horror films or gore and such in my old band Phlegethon. We enjoyed horror films just like most metal kids did back in the day but we wanted to write more original lyrics. We were very much into surrealism and let that influence our lyrics. So the stuff turned out really weird, mystic and just surreal. Very original. I guess you could say the stuff we wrote was some kind of horror too. Only very, very odd. Hooded Menace is different, more like back to basics which is fun. It´s just downright horror and it´s inspiring and pleasant to do this stuff with this band, with this music. We have a few horror obsessed friends writing lyrics for us. There´s only one Hooded Menace song with the lyrics written by a member of the band. I penned "Catacombs of the Graceless" for Hooded Menace/Ilsa split 12". I might write some for the next album but 90% or more of the lyrics will be written by Tanya and Kevin with whom we´ve been working since "Fulfill the Curse". How they manage to get new ideas for lyrics, that you should ask from them. I´m much more into writing music than writing lyrics so this situation fits me just perfectly. 

* You gave your first gigs last year and there’s more planed in 2011, that means you had great sensations and responses, do you think some kind of real tour could be possible in the future ?
L : Tours might happen in the future or not. Dunno. We´ll see about that then. So far we have been forced to turn down all the tour offers because we have superbusy people in the band. It´s not easy to arrange things the way that we all could spend weeks on the road. I don´t stress about that too much as I´m not into this for performing but for creating and recording new music. But basically a good tour could be nice to do at some point.  

* You’re soon playing at the world’s best doom and death metal festivals, I mean Roadburn and Maryland Deathfest, are you conscious that just a few bands can pretend to this ? (ok  Voivod do it too this year, Cathedral could have, then Autopsy first come to my mind, but not ten more …!) 
L : Hehe, I never thought it that way actually... but yeah, we are quite fortunate I guess. I hope it´s not only about luck tho, haha! To be honest getting to play these great festivals was never my goal. I just wanted to release a couple of good albums. What came along with it is pretty confusing and exciting. I´m flattered for all these invitations. I can´t complain really. If I was as hooked on performing as I am on writing music then I would complain because we have to turn down a lot of good opportunities to play live. 

* Candlemass has been a big influence on H.M. and so it did for Phlegethon (you tried to cover “tales of creation” with Phlegethon which didn’t really  work coz of vocals), how do you feel to see them soon for the special 25th anniversary “epicus…” show at Roadburn ? interested by Winter’s by the way ? too many great bands to see there or… ?
L : Yeah, there are a lot of great bands to see.... Voivod, Godflesh, Pentagram and so forth. The line up is nuts! Candlemass is what I´m looking forward the most at Roadburn. It will be awesome to see them performing my favorite Candlemas album "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" with my favorite Candlemass vocalist Johan Längqvist! It will be quite unreal! Also Winter is something I cannot wait to witness live. To see the bands live that you are influenced by is always very special.  

* From what you mentioned last week on your facebook, you already have 5 new songs for the third album, could you tell a bit about them ? can we expect a recording for this autumn ? still on the same label ?
L : Yes, I have written a couple of new tracks. The stuff is gloomy, catchy and very heavy yet pretty melodic. It´s still 100% Hooded Menace. Maybe there´s more old Paradise Lost, Iron Maiden and even Metallica (of course the good ol´ classic, epic Metallica) incluences thrown in this time around. We´ll see how the songwriting turns out for the rest of the album material. So far so good! I´m very excited about this new music. Some of the song titles are: "Legend of the Lycanthrope", "In the Dead We Dwell" and "Curses Scribed in Gore". Hopefully the recording sessions will start sometime in the Fall of 2011 or so. I guess the album won´t be out before 2012. We don´t have a deal for the 3rd album yet. 

* You’re playing within a few other bands/projects but I think H.M. is largely the most important actually, are all these just for taking pleasure with good (old) friends or is there something really more serious to achieve with any ?
L : Hooded Menace is my priority and the rest (Claws, Ruinebell with Dopi from Machetazo etc. and Swarming with Rogga Johansson from Paganizer etc.) are something I do whenever I have time and feel like to. But I´d say they are all "serious", meaning I´m not doing them just to have more releases out for the sake of it. That´d be very stupid and short-sighted. It needs to be good stuff. That´s "serious" enough for me. Quantity over quality -mentality is for impatient, attention-hungry, talentless "artists" without a healthy dose of self-criticism. The world is not running out of wax any time soon, haha!

* There’s more and more bands appearing with an horror image/concept, don’t you think it can become a new trend ? who do you feel represent  the best horror image in metal (actual and/or past) ?
L : Maybe it´s become a little bit trendy already... it doesn´t bother me much tho as long as there are enough good bands around. Horror + metal has been there for decades and always will. Many bands are unable to deliver in their compositions all the horrors they sing about tho. Impetigo were good and also Mortician is well know for their horror concepts but musically Autopsy is so much better than those bands. So I´d go with Autopsy even tho they didn´t write about movies but were influenced by them and wrote their own sick stories that matched perfectly with their music. Also Electric Wizard comes to mind. 
* With Phlegethon, Demigod, Adramelech and a few others, Finland has revealed incredible bands in the late 80’s/early 90’s, how could you explain that almost none has confirmed ? were you all too young to assume more obligations than just recording demos or an album ?
L : Many Finnish death metal bands changed their style or simply called it quits very early on. I can´t speak for other bands but when I look back now we definitely were very young (16-17 when we recorded "Fresco Lungs" Mini-LP) but it was not like we couldn´t assure more obligations. We were just too restless kids, too eager to see what else we could do musically. Already in ´91 we started to feel more and more that death metal limited our expression and went for some crazy experimental fusion of different styles. That´s when our "career" was about to take off (bigger labels showing interest etc.) but we were stubborn and did our own thing that was too weird for metal labels. I don´t regret anything. I had to go through all the different experiments to find death metal again I guess. I learnt a lot about songwriting too. We always did what the heck we wanted to and that´s how it´s still with me today. 

* I’ve read that a DVD of Phlegethon is planed for later this year, could you give some details about that ? any chance to have some new studio material recorded sooner or later ?
L : Yeah, the DVD "The Ashes Brought" should be out this year on Doomentia Records. I don´t know the release date. The label only needs to wrap it up and find the right time to put it out. This very home made DVD is about the stuff from ´91 and ´92. Gigs, rehearsals, studio footage... It´s a pity that we don´t have footage from ´88-´90. That would have been awesome! You can check the trailer at this address: If you can get the old dudes with me to the studio then there would certainly be new material! Looks like that will never happen tho. Time will tell if I record any new Phlegethon stuff by myself or perhaps with some new guys. Of course it wouldn´t be the same as it was back in the day.

* Thanx a lot Lasse, add a few words if you wish about merchandising, etc…
L : Thanks for the interview! Check out our Facebook page for the latest updates about merch., gigs and all:


Quelques mots sur ce festival  se tenant sur l'île de Malte, qui pourrait à l'avenir attirer quelques doomsters désirant, pourquoi pas, par là même occasion, se payer quelques jours de vacances à la Toussaint ! Je ne connais que Forsaken dans les groupes locaux, mais je trouve que pour une 3ème édition et étant donné certaines contraintes que l'on peut supposer, l'affiche est tout de même déjà bien sympathique. C'est sur 2 jours les 04 et 05 Novembre 2011, au même endroit que l'année passée, à Rabat :


le site n'est pas encore à jour pour l'édition 2011, mais voici quand même le lien :

Monday, April 11, 2011


Après avoir révélé une palanquée de groupes au début des années 90, le death metal finlandais a semble-t-il traversé une période plus stérile, mais une relève de qualité semble enfin prête à se révéler,  Stench of Decay ou KRYPTS en font partie et ça va déboiter quelques nuques ! Le ep contient 2 titres "descending of torment darkness" et "putrified into nothingness", un style  piochant dans la lourdeur d'un Autopsy, la puissance d'un Bolt Thrower, avec malgré tout une touche finnoise pouvant les rapprocher d'un Demigod, Abhorrence ou les contemporains Hooded Menace (interview prochaine  à paraitre ici même du sieur Lasse) ayant perdu toutes consonances doom. Le 1er album suivra en fin d'année toujours sur Detest rds/Me Saco Un Ojo rds, auprès desquels le mlp "open the crypt" (leur demo en fait) est d'ailleurs toujours disponible. Le groupe jouera très prochainement à Bruxelles et en Hollande avec leurs collègues de Stench Of Decay, d'autres pays suivront rapidement sans aucun doute...

Friday, April 8, 2011


Groupe hollandais encore peu connu, j'ai découvert AKELEI en sachant qu'il était à l'affiche du dernier Dutch Doom Day. Leur 1er album "De Zvarte van het Doorstaane" est une sympathique découverte; comme vous l'aurez compris le chant est en néerlandais, sans que cela ne pose aucun problème, constituant même, bien que toujours clean, une originalité favorisant un côté particulièrement sombre. Je rapprocherai leur style de M.D.B. ou Katatonia pour ces atmosphères éthérées et mélancholiques. Les morceaux sont longs (5 titres pour 54 mn) mais l'ensemble reste toujours très agréablement mélodique, sans démonstration ou plages inutiles, on reste globalement bien pris par l'ambiance. A noter le joli duo sur le dernier titre avec l'apparition de la chanteuse du groupe norvégien Shumring, du néerlandais et du  norvégien sur du doom/metal atmosphérique c'est pas vilain à l'oreille ! L'album est en téléchargement libre ici :


Quatuor de Seattle formé courant 2008, ce groupe s'inspire de styles old school du tout début des 90's. (une fois de plus ! désolé..) Encore du death à la early Entombed ou Incantation, alors ? non, il s'agirait plutôt ici de doom death, mais là où c'est intéressant c'est qu'on a des sources d'inspiration qui vont de Disembowelment à My Dying Bride, en passant par Evoken, Paradise Lost ou Thergothon... (inutile de préciser que concernant les anglais de Peaceville, il s'agit de leur période des tous débuts !). Les 3 titres de leur 1ère demo "the drear" sont d'une douzaine de minutes en moyenne, un peu trop longs à mon goût, mais l'ensemble est plutôt homogène; bien sûr le plus souvent lent, voir très lent, mais sans jamais verser complètement dans le funeral doom, grâce à quelques mélodies (le côté anglais) et plans mid-tempo bien secoués (le côté  Disembowelment)  secouant un peu le bananier ! Le groupe a déjà pas mal joué et vient d'annoncer une longue tournée US de vingt cinq dates environ, avec alternativement des groupes comme Pallbearer, Hour of 13, Hooded Menace, Acephalix... L'album devrait suivre en deuxième partie d'année sur Parasitic Rds.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Quelques lignes sur ce nouveau groupe, fondé autour de Kam Lee (chanteur du légendaire Massacre et d'une liste de groupes plus longue qu'un bras de King Kong), accompagné entre autres du batteur de son dernier groupe The Grotesquery et d'un certain Lasse Pyyko (Hooded Menace, Ruine Bell... ) invité de marque en lead guitarist et décidément ultra-productif ces derniers temps (sans qu'on trouve jusqu'ici à s'en plaindre, bien au contraire !).
Un seul titre actuellement diffusé, que le voici le voilà  le title track de l'album sorti fin mars" the plague rituals" (Metal Inquisition rds)  :