Review by Luisa Mercier
Greek combo Korrigan released in 2010 their first full-length, after a demo and a promo EP. The kind of music that they deliver us is a very melodic death metal with a lot of atmosphere. All of the nine songs are very well written, maybe there is not one that really stands out, but the quality is really high.
Main influences come from the past: their Greek companions Septic Flesh, but also Amorphis, Tiamat and gothic masters Tristania. Listen for example to “Suicidal Urges”, the heavy riffs are graced by keyboards and beautiful female vocals provided by Zoe. Another important element in Korrigan‘s music is the violin, which makes everything more elegant as you can see in “As Sanity Fades”, while in “Hopeless Times” there are some black-metal blast beats! “Endowed by the Ruins” is the longest track on the album and has a quite progressive feeling: from calm moments to faster and heavier ones. Continue reading »
Label : BlueFreya Media
Review by Luisa Mercier
Fateless Tears are back and have just released a new EP called “Halogen Dawn”. The style proposed is their usual progressive metal with atmospheric moments crowned by S. Lee Baysinger‘s vocals. The title track is an almost 8 minute piece which starts in a slow pace, almost resembling a ballad and then acquiring traditional progressive sound. The piano central break is very moving.
The following “Tapestry” has a beautiful piano intro and it goes on with a synth based background on which the female vocals are free to express themselves. “Chysalys” is a short acoustic song while the myth-inspired “Annwyn” is a quiet song with a soft chorus as background music that make everything more ambient and rarefied. Last song is “Halflife” is another ballad, a simple one, just piano and vocals. So, we can say that this EP focuses more on the slower, sweeter side of Fateless Tears, only the first song is more rock-centered. An interesting listening for all the fans of the band! Continue reading »
Review by Luisa Mercier
Phildel is one of those rare artists in whom musical talent is complemented by an imagery of equal beauty. I stumbled upon her by mere chance through Facebook, and loved her since the first listen to “Storm Song” and after watching the captivating, dreamy and classy video that matches the song.
The pastel colours, the evocative, highly symbolic images are expression of a beautiful mind.
The song, at the beginning, reminded me of Enya and goes on, soft and haunting, but catchy and elegant at the same time. Her vocals are thin, airy, perfect in this context. Also the lyrics are very poetic, so can you ask for more? Go, run on YouTube and love it. In this EP there are two more songs, each accompanied by a video. I have guessed that actually all three videos might be connected to each other in some way, also thanks to what seems to me the same location: the sea, the field with red poppies, the mask. All is very meaningful and striking, you can see that she really thought about it. Continue reading »
Interview by Marc “Peston” Sels
Obsidia is a five-piece metal band from Austria, with not one but two women in the group : Tajy on the keyboards and Lucrezia on vocals. They have just released a 5 track EP, “Back to Darkness”. So this was a good reason to ask Lucrezia some questions. How’s the weather in Austria (February)? Can you ski over there? And do you do that?
Here in Austria the mountains are white and the weather is quite cold. Usually we have temperatures some degrees Celsius, below zero. There is enough snow on the mountains that skiing would be possible, but I go skiing seldom due to lack of time. You know, I prefer our warm cellar where I can play music.I haven’t heard your cd “Back to Darkness” yet, so can you describe it for me? (Lyrics, musicstyle…)
As the title might say we tried to go some years back in time. We aimed to merge the great atmospheric Gothic metal played at the end of the 90′s with our own style and we think that the result is quite presentable. The lyrics are considerable mixed – from the Greek Mythology via vampires to “simple” stories about life.Is there a big Austrian Female fronted metal-scene? I only know you and Siegfried.
Oh, also very well known female fronted bands like Edenbridge and Darkwell are from Austria. Anyway, the scene in general isn’t that big as in other countries. Especially in our area the metal-scene is very Death- and Thrash-dominated.Austria has been in the worldnews lately with a few less items, Natascha Kampusch, and Hayder (extreme rightwing politician) getting killed in a car accident after leaving a gay bar. Does it has any influence on the music-scene? I can see punkbands jumping on this, but how do the metal bands react?
I have to grin ’cause for me it’s quite amusing what Austria is famous for. I don’t think that such happenings influence our scene. Punkbands often make their music as protest whereas Gothic Metal should be the kind of music which helps to get out of the daily routine – a way to relax – a way to forget all daily problems.Okay, now the lighter version. Can you live of being a musician, or do you (and the other bandmembers) have jobs, like most of us (hopefully)?
At least we are not able to live from our music. We spend our freetime for our music because this is our hobby. To earn our money all of us have a profession. Beside some of us study on university.
For as far as I know, this is your first CD. Have you got enough material to do a live performance?
Yes- as we’re already into song-writing for an upcoming full-lenght-album, we’re able to play live. We have played some headliner- and supportshows in Austria and Italy last year and will have our Germany-premiere in May this year.Do you sing under the shower? If yes, what? What is your all time favourite cd? And what do you play on a sunday morning?
Oh, I sing more often than I know myself; like last week when I recognized that I sing while doing housework. Sometimes I sing totally unconscious – I think this is for me a way to relax. The songs I sing are totally different : sometimes songs of my favourite bands, of course Obsidia songs and sometimes ideas for new songs allthough Sir Iwain (guitar and vocals) is our creative head. All time favourite cd – difficult to say… I love gothic/symphonic metal in general, so albums from Tristania, Epica, Within Temptation, After Forever, Therion, Nightwish….change in my CD-player.Best book, cd, comic, movie, concert of 2009? And what’s your favourite pet, drink, food?
I can’t say this is limited on 2009 but I can do it in general. Hopefully this is okay for you.
Best book : I love reading crime-stories like “Speak No Evil” (Rochelle Majer Krich) and I really love reading specialized books about nature, supernatural phenomenons and psychology.
Best CD : I’m really impressed by the “Live Gothic” of Therion.
Best comic : I’m not a big comic fan. Sometimes I watch The Simpsons on TV.
Best movie : Absolutely ungothic, but I love the film “Patch Adams” with Robin Williams.
Best concert : There are many concerts wich impressed me very much but I think the greatest gooseflash that I have got was the After Forever show at Wacken 2004.
Favourite pets : Cats. Because they have this mystical aura.
Favourite drink : Nonalcoholic drink : herbal tea. Alcoholic drink : white wine and gin.
Favourite food : International food from typical Austrian food to Indian cuisine. But I seldom eat fastfood like McDonalds because food has to contain a little bit of love.What are the plans for 2010? Touring? A new cd ?
As already mentioned, we are hardly working on material for a full-lenght album but we actually aren’t able to say anything about a release date. Of course we want to play live as much as possible but we don’t know whether we can manage to play a full tour.And here it is : Can you give us a short history of the band?
Obsidia was founded in the middle of the year 2006 by Sir Iwain and me. We started with writing some songs and then we searched for musicians, which is quite difficult in our area. First live concert was in May 2007, and now we released our first CD.Especially for the fans, any “Famous last words”?
Obsidia would like to inspire their audience and we hope that we can bring all of our fans “Back to Darkness”. In the meanwhile I have heard their first born, and I must say I liked it. Good heavy goth with musicians who know their instrument and a good, strong voice. I see a successful future for this young band, and I hope to be proven right.
Interview by Vard Aman
In my opinion, well played Doom Metal is one of the ultimate and most extreme forms of music, second to none when it comes to creating and unleashing powerful, dark and stirring soundscapes of emptiness, despair and (yet), total awe. Some people may disagree with me, depending on their personal tastes; but if you agree with me, you might want to do yourself a huge favour and check out an Australian band called Lycanthia. Lycanthia have recently released their second full-length album, entitled “Oligarchy”, and on it Lycanthia produces all the soundscapes to which my above description applies. Founded in 1996, they have provided one of the sturdiest pillars of Australian Doom Metal, and have since become a household name – OK, maybe a name in one of the less frequented corners of the Doom Metal household (where you might find a Funnel-Web Spider perhaps), but they’re rightfully and deservedly there none the less. Lycanthia is fronted by three vocalists, one male (Lee Tassaker, also the bassist) and two female (Vanessa Black, also on violin; and Megan Tassaker, also on keyboards). I chatted to Megan recently.
Hi! Welcome to Femme Metal Webzine.
Thanks for having me.
Let’s start off with a bit of history: Tell us a bit about Lycanthia‘s formation and early years.
In the early days, Lycanthia started out as just a recording band made up of a group of friends. The main inspiration at the time -without naming names- was that many of their favourite parts of certain songs would be orchestral sections, or parts with female vocals but when you would see the bands live, those elements wouldn’t exist. Lycanthia wanted to make a band that would be able to zone in on these elements AND reproduce them live. Once a demo was made, the next step was making it a live act.
What inspired the name?
The name was taken from the book Lycanthia, by Tanith Lee.
There have been quite a lot of line up changes over the years. How much of a hampering effect has this had on Lycanthia? (I’m assuming it has).
It has had an effect, as far as holding back recordings goes. Although we do try to take our time with recordings and make sure they are right, the last album “Oligarchy”, would have been recorded much earlier if it weren’t for those kind of hiccups. It’s a shame that people hold it against you or try to judge your band when that happens as well, for the most part we have remained friends with ex-members. There have been many reasons people have left, from wanting to go in different creative directions, to having family or work commitments that have restricted their time. Having said that though, we are all very happy with our current line-up, it has definitely helped us step up and refine our sound further into what we want it to be. So as much as these things can hold thing’s back, they can also push you further.
What other projects have you been/are you involved in?
I (Megan) am also in Avrigus, Lee is currently playing Bass for Cruciform and plays session bass for Avrigus. Mat is in Bleakwood and Blatherskite.
Tell us a bit more about Avrigus.
Avrigus is a recording band featuring myself and Simon Gruer. I would describe the music as atmospheric doom/gothic metal. The band was founded by Simon and the previous vocalist/keyboardist/composer Judy Chiara. I met Simon at a Lycanthia gig (before I was in the band), at the time I hadn’t heard any Avrigus. He mentioned that he was wanting to keep Avrigus going but Judy was not longer wanting to be a part of it and he was searching for a new vocalist. He had tried to get it going with a few other people but it hadn’t really worked out. So I checked out the music the next day and expressed my interest, he had heard demo tracks that I had sung on and was very enthusiastic. We met up and I dropped down some demo vocals for “Banquet of Souls”, Simon was very happy with how it sounded. I think he wasn’t 100% sure until he heard me play an original song though. I played “Beauty and Pain” on keyboard and sung it for him, he loved it immediately and we set out creating a bunch of songs that became the “Beauty and Pain” EP, available for digital download only at the moment on our website: www.avrigus.com. At the moment we are recording an album that was mainly written by Simon before I joined the band, most of the songs were written in the time between “The Secret Kingdom” - the last album with Judy, and the time that I joined the band. One original written by me will also appear on the album. At this time we don’t have a sure release date as we are still in the process of finishing writing vocal lines and perfecting the orchestrations.
How would you describe Lycanthia‘s sound to those who haven’t heard it?
A blend of old-school Death/Doom riffs, complimented by counter melodies on violin, harsh grim vocals and dual Female harmonies.
What is the significance of Doom Metal and the attraction to it, both as a musician and as a fan?
Doom is about creating an atmosphere and a mood, many other genres are just about technicality. For me music is art and a creation of expression, not that there isn’t merit to being technically proficient, just that I prefer song writing to move me and hopefully move others.
Tell us a bit about your previous releases, “Myriad” and “Within the Walls”.
“Myriad” was a first attempt at writing songs as a group for Lycanthia. A fairly collaborative effort, the majority of members were teenagers when this album was made and the sound was not as clearly defined as it is today. At the heart of it though, it was just made for fun. In between “Myriad” and “Within the Walls”, we put out a single called “Inferno” which we recorded specifically for a compilation CD. By the time we came to “Within the Walls”, Lycanthia had many other songs written – including some that ended up on “Oligarchy” (which obviously weren’t in their current state then) – the songs that were chosen were the ones the band felt were ready for putting out into the world, that had been worked on and reworked until they were to the bands liking.
How has your sound changed over the years leading up to “Oligarchy”?
Some of the songs were written – in a much basic form – before “Within the Walls” and we were still working on them. As a band, having new members join allowed Lycanthia to be more diverse and imaginative, a lot of parts of songs we weren’t so happy with were able to be brought to life in ways we had only imagined before.
Is there a possibility of re-working/re-recording and re-releasing some older Lycanthia material in the future? (Such as “Hope Lingers Yet” - it was a snippet of that song that introduced me to Lycanthia and left a lasting impression).
No, we have no plans to re-record “Myriad”.
What has the response been to the new album so far?
The response has been fantastic. A lot of people have told us that we have brought the band into a new place with this release, and obviously it helped get us attention from Hypnotic Dirge Records who signed with us. It has also helped us score several endorsements.
What inspires your lyrics and what are your general lyrical topics? I’m particularly curious about the stories behind “The Essential Components of Misery” and “Forgone”.
“The Essential Components of Misery” is lyrically about the way we see the world around us. Although we are lead to believe we have freedom, we do not. We are lead to believe that we have choices, but the choices are really just to conform or be left behind. So in a way, it’s a bleak reaction to the harsh reality of the world as we see it. “Forgone”, this song is like a part 2, part 1 being “Eternity”. So in the title of the two songs there is a hint to what the song is about… “Eternity… Forgone”. It is probably our only song that is lyrically a fictional story rather than a story that comes from personal experiences or feelings. It is about a deity that falls in love with a mortal, and has to be stripped of eternity to embrace their lover. Although it is fictional, I think it is something that everyone can relate to, forbidden love.
Would it be true to say that “Forgone” is written as a poem first and foremost and that the song’s lyrics are based on it? If so, does that apply as a general rule to most of the lyric writing process?
Sometimes that happens and other times if a lyric idea comes to mind, we will just write them down and set them aside until a song comes along that it suits. With all our songs, it’s not so much lyrics to a song, as it is a poem to accompany the music. Once the poem is written, we arrange it melodically to suit.
How regularly do you play live and what is the response like at your shows?
When we aren’t recording, we play live probably once every couple of months. The response is always great. We heavily advertise our shows to build up hype and we always enjoy playing live because that’s when we get to experience crowd reaction to the music.
Have you done any international tours?
As of yet, we have not. We do plan to in the future though; it’s something we all really wanting to do.
How healthy is the Doom Metal scene in Australia currently?
There has been increased enthusiasm for the genre lately. We have Mournful Congregation from South Australia, they play Funeral Doom. Okera from Melbourne, and Futility from Canberra are just some of the amazing doom bands that are also playing in Australia at the moment.
I’ve noticed a few ex-Lycanthia members around in Doom Metal bands, like Rise of Avernus (Andrew Craig), Rituals of the Oak (Sabine Hamad-Linfoot), and Murkrat and The Slow Death (Mandy Andresen). Can you tell us anything about them?
Firstly we’d like to mention that we are great friends with all these people. We are big supporters of all of these bands and love their music. In the case of Mandy, she begun Murkrat after leaving Lycanthia, it was a direction of music she had been heading towards for a while and we love it, but it isn’t the sound for Lycanthia. The same can be said for Sabine, she found her tastes leaning towards a different direction, and you have to follow what you want to do musically, otherwise there’s no fun to it. Andrew Craig is one of those guys who is always filling his time up with heaps of projects, we loved our time with Andy but in the end, he didn’t have the time to put towards us along with all of his other commitments.
What do you all do when not playing music?
Steve is a car fanatic, always going to old car shows etc, he is also a heavily into ninjitsu. Mat is an armature photographer. Lee likes to do a lot of painting, he actually painted the cover of “Oligarchy”, though it had editing and arrangement done to it, music and literature are big interests of his too. I go in and out of phases but always creating things, whether its poetry/lyrics, drawings or clothing, I also love to read. Vanessa takes part in many arts projects, creating and designing spaces.
Australia has always been one of my favourite countries. I like the people (well, more than I like most people at least) and the idea of clean first world cities in a country with so much open space and nature – the best of both worlds. But that’s just my opinion. What is it like living in Australia for you? What do you like and what don’t like about it? And is +40C really just “a tad on the warm side today, mate”? And have you ever seen one of those famous Sydney Funnel-web Spiders?
I am very much an Autumn person. In Australia, summer is a humid hell of heat, sweat and flies. In winter, I freeze, although I do enjoy the scenery of winter, the cold feels like pain to me and my sinuses suffer. The same sinus suffering happens to me in Spring-time, Autumn is perfect in-between weather to me. I do love that we have nature and cities in Australia, one of the thing’s I dislike is probably that in general, the music industry in Australia is not very big at all. To be honest with you, I probably have seen a Funnel-web but if I have I didn’t recognise it. I don’t even think I know what they look like, which is probably really bad hahaha. Living in the city, I don’t really see that many spiders and have to travel to see the wilderness.
Back on topic again, one final question: What is next for Lycanthia?
Next, I’m not sure I’m able to announce the very next thing that will happen, but it’s coming in November. We should be able to announce soon. I’ll keep you posted.
Thanks for chatting with us, good luck, we’ll be watching and listening closely!
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
- Mystery Blue – “Conquer the World” (2013)
- Orianthi – “Heaven in This Hell” (2013)
- Pamela Moore – “Resurrect Me” (2013)
- Dante Fox – “Lost Man’s Ground” (2012)
- A Persuasive Reason – “A Persuasive Reason” EP (2013)
- The Reasoning – “And Another Thing…” EP (2012)
- HUNTRESS & GOLD @ 013, Tilburg, THE NETHERLANDS 08/06/2013
- Anneke Van Giersbergen
- Noora Louhimo – Battle Beast
- Leah – “Of Earth & Angels” (2013)
- Kells – “Anachromie” (2012)
- Tristania – “Darkest White” (2013)
- Infinitus Mortus – “The Conspiracy of Love” (2012)
- Illuminata – “A World So Cold” (2011)
- Hitherside – “Hitherside” EP (2012)
- Hanging Doll – “The Sacred & Profane” (2012)
- Edenbridge – “The Bonding” (2013)
- Delain – “Interlude” (2013)
- Emily Lazar – September Mourning
- Ashley Costello – New Years Day
- Androniki Skoula – Chaostar
- Arkona – “Decade of Glory” LIVE (2013)
- Оксидерика – “Step to Darkness” (2013)
- Chaostar – “Anomima” (2013)
- Helalyn Flowers – “White Me In Black Me Out” (2013)
- My Ruin – “The Sacred Mood” (2013)
- Belladonna – “Shooting Dice With God” (2013)
- Visions of Atlantis – “Ethera” (2013)
- Upon Wings – “Afterlife” EP (2013)
- Maxine Petrucci – “Back to the Garden” (2013)