Temple Of Void | interview

#templeofvoid #alexawn #interview

Temple Of Void is an uncompromising collaboration from the depths of Detroit. Temple Of Void harkens back to the somber sound of early British doom, while channeling the energy and devastation of old school American death metal. Mastermind and guitarist of the band Alex Awn has got the answers about their third latest album “The World That Was”.
Interview with Alex Awn

Alex welcome to SFTV. What is the latest news from the Temple Of Void camp? How did you spend your time during the pandemic and what do you see happening?

Hey there. Temple of Void is busy writing new music these days. We dropped “The World That Was” in March and ironically, the world we knew was no more. Shows came crashing to a halt. We’ve had to cancel any tours and fests we had, but we’ve capitalized on the downtime by working on new material. You won’t have to wait another three years for our follow up to this one. I can assure you that much. We’re energized by the response to “The World That Was” and chomping at the bit to write and record new songs and finally get back out on the road to support our album.  

Which was the response for “The World That Was”? Have things gone as expected?

The response has been fantastic. Each time we drop an album we’re astounded by the response from the underground. This time has been no different. People are digging it. It’s definitely gotten the best immediate response of the three thus far. The bar has been raised once more.

We know who we are and what we’re all about. We will never write the same record twice, that’s for sure. So don’t expect album four to be the same as album three.

Alex Awn

Let’s go to your origins and your main influences; when did you decide to start your own band and what were your main intentions, at least at first and when did you see the whole phase differently?

Detroit didn’t have any death-doom bands. It was a genre that Eric and I both loved and we believed we could bring something new to the table, at least from a Detroit perspective. So he brought Jason and Mike on board and brought on Brent. We started writing and the second song we composed was “Exanimate Gaze.” When we wrote that one I think we know “that was our sound.” That track set the template for what we would be known for and what would become our signature perspective and blend of death and doom. I don’t think the band has changed that perspective. We’ve broadened what we allow into our mix a little bit over the years. Our experimentations have always yielded positive results. But we’re very conscious not to lose sight of our core death metal and doom metal ingredients.

Tell us about the recording sessions; where did you record it and how did it go? Are you satisfied with it?

Mount Doom Studios in Detroit has been involved in every one of our recordings. We just keep improving on our sound. As the band improves, the studio improves, and we just bring one another along for the ride. We’re very happy with “The World That Was”. It’s not perfect, but what is? There are things that could be improved upon, but you gotta ship it at some point. It has to feel organic still. I’m particularly happy with our use of sound design and synth. The latter has always been a fixture on our albums, but we really nailed the mix and the contributions on this record. To me, that was the single biggest improvement from album to album.

Could you please develop a little bit on the main lyric-topics in your songs? Is there a concept behind “The World That Was”?

Mike is the sole lyricist so I can’t really talk too much about that. But the title is a loose allusion to the end times of the Warhammer mythos as it transitioned from the World that Was to the Age of Sigmar. However, the lyrics on the record are much broader than any one mythos. And the artwork brings together many other ideas and myths outside of Warhammer. We’re not Bolt Thrower and don’t pretend to be. But I can’t deny a Warhammer, high fantasy, and horror influence. Our earlier material was more lyrically focused on horror storytelling. But the new one tackle more introspective horror. There’s more metaphor and personal experience layered into our tales of terror and the supernatural.

On that record you’ve got some guests. How did you get them involved? And what was your choice based on?

Omar has provided synths on all three albums, but Meredith is new to us. I used to work with her and thought her cinematic approach to sound design would really enhance the atmosphere on the record. As I said earlier, I think Omar and Meredith’s contributions really set this record apart from any other death-doom bands. We treat the packaging and the music more like a film than a band. It’s a very three dimensional approach.

On “Leave The Light Behind” there’s a different approach than the rest of the album. Does this show a future direction musically for the band, do you like to experiment?

This was the one track I contributed synths to. I’m a fan of Hawkwind and krautrock in general, and I wanted some of that spacey synth for this track. I love the movement and depth it adds. I love modulation effects. We’ve been Katatonia fans since day one, and their influence has always been there. This track just brings that to the foreground a bit more, but it still retains the TOV identity. I wouldn’t consider it a future musical direction any more than “Graven Desires” from Lords of Death was. It’s just one of the sides of our personality shining through more brightly than at other times.

Enough bands after their second-third album change drastically their music direction. Why do you think is this happening?

I think this probably happens more with younger bands. When you’re younger you’re exploring more music (hopefully), and you might get bored with where you’re at, so it makes sense to experiment to avoid stagnation. But when you’re in your 40’s and you set out to do a band, you have a very different perspective. We set out to be the greatest deathdoom band on the planet and those aspirations haven’t changed. We know who we are and what we’re all about. We will never write the same record twice, that’s for sure. So don’t expect album four to be the same as album three. However, it should all still sound like Temple Of Void. And it should all still be deathdoom at its core.

Do people in States were going to see, in the pro-Covid19 era, the underground bands like you, not with “big names” only? What do you think will change after this will end?

I don’t know, man. The future is unwritten. We’ll figure it out and cross that bridge when we come to it. I’m sure we’ll be back to normal at some point in 2021. The show must go on.

Do you follow the metal scene? In your opinion, how much did it change? How is your local underground nowadays doing?

Unfortunately, I haven’t been to a local show in quite some time. COVID put a stop to all that. Detroit has a good amount of nationally recognized bands. From the most underground and cult to the biggest names in metal. It’s a great group of people here. The internet certainly changed metal, and obviously changed LIFE in a massive way. There are pro’s and con’s to the instantaneous and all-knowing access we have now. I can’t deny that I do look back fondly on the pre-internet days of getting into bands by reading zines and thanks-lists, etc. I prefer the slower pace of life that we had before the internet. I don’t like being “always on.” However, it’s afforded us and the metal scene incredible opportunities that we may not have had before. It’s all about walking the middle path.

Thanx for the interview and give an end.

Thank you for taking the time to compose these questions. I hope to see people in a live setting once more in 2021. Hopefully coming to a country near your readers soon.

Athargos

Stallion | interview

#stallion #heavymetal

Following their “Mounting The World” EP, which hit the underground scene in 2013 like a bombshell, two smashing LPs (“Rise And Ride” & “From The Dead”), countless club and festival shows and a lot of touring across Europe, the Southern German riff foundry Stallion is now returning with its third full-length “Slaves Of Time”. Uncompromisingly old school in every aspect, the band plows ahead through all traditional varieties of heavy metal. We had a little talking with guitarist Axxl Force about the current events and of course Stallion.
Interview with Alexander Stöcker (Axxl Force)

Axxl welcome to SFTV. What is the latest news from the Stallion camp? How did you take advantage of your free time through the pandemic? When do you think the time will be right to reload?

Thank you very much for having us! As we’re from three different countries we weren’t able to see each other for 4 months or so, so we weren’t able to rehears or to write new material in the traditional way. So we channeled our efforts into recording stuff for fun, so be prepared for some new cool goodies maybe later this year, but I’m not telling you any more at this point. As for when we expect to go on with live show: we honestly don’t know. Some people expect gigs to return in late autumn others say there could be another wave of the virus. We’re prepared for everything.

Photo Credit: Jasmin Roggenkamp

Which was the response from the fans and the press for “Slaves Of Time”? Has it fulfilled your ambitions? Are you satisfied with it?

We’ve received great response on the album and we’re also very pleased with how it turned out. I’m confident that this is the best album we could make at that moment in time. It’s just a shame we only got to play three release shows. But hopefully we’ll make up for that in the future.

Do you think you step over to new horizons with “Slaves Of Time” in comparison with your previous albums?

We always try to go one step further than we did before. I think that was also true for our second album “From The Dead”. But it sure is more evolution than revolution.

We’re just voicing what we’re feeling and we want people to also be concerned and act on it.

Axxl Force

Which do you think are the strengths in Stallion’s music?

We are a live band. We want to go out there and feel the energy of the stage and the fans screaming in our faces. That’s why we started this. That doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy recording or writing new stuff. In fact I’m recording other bands for a hobby as well but our music is made for the stage for sure.

Which values do you think are lost and gained in metal music the last years?

A lot has changed of course. But not necessarily for the better or worse. On the one hand with the advancements of technology more people are empowered to make great music without spending a lot of money which definitely is a democratization of the whole process and thus leads to more and better music being produced. On the other hand with social media things tend to be more superficial. Some bands (or labels) invest insane amounts of money into videos or image while the music itself is not very spectacular. So you have both there but I think in general you have a lot more and better music out there than ever before you just have to look closer.

When this entire situation will finish what will you prioritize to begin to perk up?

I think we’ll have to lock ourselves up in the rehearsal room for several weeks. Nah, just kidding. We just want to go back to the level we were before the lockdown struck, because we were in really good shape back then. We’re also writing new material as well and as soon as we’re able to finish the rest of our release tour we probably go back to wrap up the next album.

You’ve got clear political standing, something that is often missing in the metal scene nowadays, and deliver sociocritical lyrics. What lead you to write such lyrics something that we usually meet in thrash metal bands?

Hm it’s not a conscious decision I guess. We’re just writing about stuff that  concerns us and that we’re think about a lot. ATM it looks like the world is going down the drain and that is really painful to watch, at least it is for me. We’re just voicing what we’re feeling and we want people to also be concerned and act on it.

Photo Credit: Jasmin Roggenkamp

With guitarist Claudio Hürlimann and bassist Christian Stämpfe what did the band gain? Did they contribute in the album?

Stämpfe is with us for a long time and thus contributed to everything we did in the past few years. Clode joined us early last year when the majority of “Slaves Of Time” was already written but I he did write all of his solos and he absolutely killed it I might say.

You produce your albums by yourselves but now you hired Marco Brinkmann for the mix. Why don’t you trust none nowadays as there are so many accomplished sound engineers, producers etc?

Yeah maybe it’s a bit harsh to say that I’d trust no-one else to do it properly. Of course there are a lot of fantastic engineers out there. It’s just that we have very specific requirements and most of the professional engineers work – well – very professional on an industry standard level. That means: Overeditied drums, Samples replacement like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, we all do this as well we just want someone to do it who has the time and taste to leave some life in the tracks with the eye of an old school metal fan and not just do your standard 9-5 standard metal production.

How would you designate Stallion on stage? Would you try to give a live streaming show to your fans?

Pure energy :D. Nah, just kidding. We’re having fun on stage and we want the fans to have fun as well. Unfortunately that only works when the fans are actually there so it’s unlikely we’d be doing a streaming concert. There are other bands who already did that on a very professional level which we couldn’t deliver atm both technologically and musically.

Thanx for the interview and give an end.

Thanks again for for having us and I wish us all live concerts very soon. See you guys out there. Take care!

Athargos

Traveler | interview

#travelerheavymetal
#gatesofhellrecords

The buzz on Traveler reverberated throughout the international metal community in 2019. Their self-titled debut album quickly caught fire upon its release, with fans mesmerized by the band’s patented blend of old-school riffing, rafter-reaching vocals and dueling lead guitars. Almost a year after Traveler is back with its second strike entitled “Termination Force”. Guitarist and mastermind of the band Matt Ries talked to us about what concerns the album and the band.
Interview with Matt Ries

Matt welcome to SFTV. What are the latest news from the Traveler camp. How you spend your time through the pandemic and what you see to happen in the future?

Thanks for having me bud! Right now, we’re just brainstorming new song ideas. I have a pretty good start so far. About 3 or 4 songs I’m I’m really happy with. So we’re just going to keep writing and figure out merch ideas while we wait for this pandemic to be over. But aside from writing, I’ve been taking trips to the mountains and possibly drinking too much, haha. Your guess is as good as mine as to what the future holds. But it’s important we plan ahead regardless of what the situation is.

Which was the response for “Termination Shock”? Is there enough financial support and not only moral?

It’s been doing really well! So the pressure whether or not people would like it is definitely gone. I’m always going to hyper critical about what we release. So I’ve taken some notes and I have some better ideas for the next album.

In which sectors do you believe you have improved in “Termination Shock”?

I just think it’s a far more dynamic record. More things to choose from rather than repeated song structures. That’s the beauty about heavy metal. You can pretty much do whatever you want.

Those who fight NWOTHM channel posing being you, after all wanna harm the bands than the channel. Do we go 30 years back and still some people still use outdated tactics against others?

Yeah, that’s a pretty dumb situation. YouTube needs more verification in these things. For such a massive company to have such a serious flaw in their system seems like a joke. But it seemed more directed at Anderson than Traveler. I’m not too clear on the details behind it but someone wanted to ruin something for others. Take a hike, eh?

Which values are lost and gained in metal music the last time?

If I understand correctly, I think technology has been a huge help but also a way for your modern metal musician to be lazy. It’s so easy to hit the space bar and keep trying takes until you get it right. Where as back in the day you really had to go in to the studio prepared. You really notice a difference listening to those early 80’s records. Where today, I notice a lot of super clean clear cookie cutter production. The new standard is not having any mistakes or slip ups. It’s gotta be perfect. Which I don’t really like. I like a record with a little more personality.

You’re gonna tour with Riot City the next year (if all are good). What taste and experiences did you derive of that little kind of tour you had?

We had a blast up until the end there, haha. Every show had amazing turn outs and everyone was on their A-game. We got a little nervous once the virus started making headlines. We really weren’t sure if we were going to make it home. But it got to a point where you just had to accept the situation as it was. There’s nothing we could do. Just had to make our way to the Paris airport and hope our flight didn’t get cancelled. Pretty crazy time.

The new standard is not having any mistakes or slip ups. It’s gotta be perfect. Which I don’t really like. I like a record with a little more personality.

MATT RIES

Your girlfriend is Greek. Have you ever visit Greece with her or first time will be next year?

Never been! I can’t wait to visit. I wish we had more time to explore and see the sights. But it’s looking like we’ll be in and out within a day. So one of these days when I’m not on tour I’d love to take her there and have some good times.

Bassist Dave Arnold contributed a song from his previous band, Striker, and JP Fortin of Deaf Dealer gifted Traveler a composition of his own. How did you make these choices?

I guess I should point out that Dave’s song was a never actually a Striker song. But he did write it while he was still with Striker. But I wanted everyone’s input on “Termination Shock”. And who wouldn’t accept a long lost Deaf Dealer song? Haha. It was an amazing honor for us. Deaf Dealer is one of my all-time favorite bands. So to work with Fortin on that level was a really cool experience.

You’ve enriched your merch with various beauties. Do you have in mind to produce any, of the metalheads fave sport, beer?

I’d love to make a Traveler beer! I’m not sure where to start with that though. Maybe one day. But we do have some skateboards coming out soon. I’m a huge fan of skating, so I wanted to do something cool with that. It may not relate to the masses but man, if they don’t sell then I’ll skate them myself, haha.

Thanx for the interview and give an end.

Cheers man! Thanks for everything. And a huge thanks to our fans for sticking with us. We’re doing everything we can to move forward. Keep your eyes on our Facebook page for news. And stay safe until this pandemic is over. Hope to see you at our shows sooner than later. Rockkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!

Athargos

Misanthropy Apotheosis | interview

#MisanthropyApotheosis
#deathmetal

We had the pleasure of interviewing a band representing, at least for me, the Hellenic death metal named Misanthropy Apotheosis which has been around for three years since 2017 with a full length album “Black Death Euphoria” and a recent EP “Against your Filthy Kind”. We’re talking about pure death metal sound and brutal vocals that are definitely captivating.

Interview with Panagiotis Kydoimos

Good evening. Give us some information about how the band was started.

Misanthropy Apotheosis was created in August 2017 by Kydoimos (Humanity Zero, ex-Intentional Manslaughter, ex-Chamber Of Horrors) on vocals and Dimon’s Night (Humanity Zero, Inhibitions, Horrorography, ex-Dementia, ex-Buried Emotion, ex -Heathedom etc.) on guitars, bass and drums in order to highlight the animal side of human nature. Almost immediately we started working on the material that would be our debut album. About a year later, on August 15, 2018, this material was released under the title “Black Death Euphoria” and was well received. There was a period of silence on our part and now we are back with our new EP “Against Your Filthy Kind”.

So you both have significant experience in the field through your previous participations in other bands. Your work though so far does highlight the elements you wanted to pass on. I heard the recently released EP “Against your Filthy Kind”. Personally, I really liked it and I would like you to tell us about the time it took to complete and who is responsible for the composition.

“Against Your Filthy Kind” was composed during the period May-July 2019. The recordings and mastering took place in August of the same year. I edit the lyrics of the compositions and Dimon’s Night the music. From there on, there are discussions about the orchestrations and the structure of the songs in general, until we come to their final form.

Is the production yours? Where was the recording and mastering done?

Yes, the production is ours. The recordings and mastering were done at Dimons Studios in Athens and were edited by Dimon’s Night who did an excellent job. I think that the whole sound effect justifies us, since this is the sound that we think fits the compositions of EP… heavy, dark, unadorned.

I will agree with you, the listener immediately receives the harsh and impressive sound. Does the band’s name as well as the title of EP refer to a hatred, a pessimism perhaps for the human race? Tell us about your inspiration regarding the lyrics.

So Apotheosis of Misanthropy… The name of the band has a double meaning: on one hand it expresses our aversion to the human species that we treat with sarcasm. Human nonsense has always repelled us. On the other hand, it reveals the state and quality of human nature… Hypocrisy, hatred, vanity, stupidity, death, spiritual and moral withering… The list is huge. We are animals and we work on instincts. This is shown by human actions, no matter how hard we try to deny it. If there was no fear of punishment by law, we would have killed each other. Aristotle once taught that man, when he strays from the law and uses the greatest weapon given to him by nature, that is, logic, to harm and not to benefit, becomes the worst of all animals. Take a look around… What do you see? So our lyrics are a mirror of humanity without decorative filters. Pure ugliness and morbidity, which is why “Against Your Filthy Kind”.

Take a look around… What do you see? So our lyrics are a mirror of humanity without decorative filters. Pure ugliness and morbidity, which is why “Against Your Filthy Kind”

Panagiotis Kydoimos

Unfortunately, the decline of the human race continues, as you have rightly pointed out. The ancient philosophers gave us many weapons that if we used them we would reach higher spiritual levels. What are your influences regarding your sound? I see a clear death metal sound with a hint of black.

Our influences come from the whole range of death metal, mainly from the period 1987-1995. However, we are not interested in reproducing the sound of that time, because it would be inappropriate as we want to create something of our own, nor to join a school, European, American or Swedish. Our style and sound are an amalgam of sound stimuli that we have received over the years as listeners who have experienced and continue to experience the philosophy of death metal.

A classic question now as we have had a hard time in recent months due to the pandemic. How much did this affect you creatively and if there was any lyrical influence?

On a lyrical or creative level in general, it did not touch us at all.

Since the EP is a forerunner, what are your plans for the full length album? Is it in the works, do you have ready-made material?

We are currently working on new material that, from what things show, will be heavier and sicklier. Nothing is done in advance, in the sense that there is no deadline. It’s all about inspiration and stimuli. We will talk through our work when we have something to say and we will say it in our own way.

How difficult or easy is it for a person to manage all the instruments of the band?

It depends on how much you love and really experience what you are doing. Is it just fun for you or is it a way of externalizing emotions?

Obviously for such a musical range there is a plethora of rich emotions that seek a way out. Have you done any appearances with other bands? Does it exist as an idea in your minds for the future and what are your thoughts on the future of concerts and live shows in general on the world music scene?

We have never appeared live and this is not in our immediate plans. But you never know what the future holds. As for the future of concerts in our country and in the world in general, I believe that gradually things will return to normal. The issue of pandemics and quarantine will be deflated at some point; perhaps until something else appears.

I believe we are all waiting for the regularity of concerts and festivals, we have really missed them. Let’s hope nothing else will get in the way of the world’s biggest means of expression, music. Besides, I’m sure your audience would like to see you live at some point in the near future.  In conclusion I would like to thank you for your time and very comprehensive answers. I wish you good luck with your EP “Against your Filthy Kind”, as well as every success in your next steps.

We thank you in return for the time you offered and so we were able to talk about our work.

https://misanthropyapotheosis.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Misanthropy-Apotheosis-Hellenic-Death-Metal-175943159651919/?ref=page_internal

Christina Lelentzi