Friday, 30 May 2014

Album Review: PRAYER OF THE DYING - God’s Failed Creation

Title: God’s Failed Creation 
Nekrogoat Heresy
War Flagellation Productions

Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
May 2014 

Musician/songwriter Martin Ciappara has helmed this Malta based solo project since 2006, and this latest outing shows him coming into his own when it comes to being a unique voice within black metal. Since 2007 Ciappara has released four full lengths with a demo and EP besides making several split appearances with Thy Legion (from Malta), Sarratum (from Turkey), Firth Of Damnation (from Tennessee, USA) and others. For someone who has independently sustained his effort for this long, you can’t help but admire Ciappara’s persistence. Especially when he has operated within a genre (the black metal revival) established as cutting edge longer than two decades ago, and since spread to each corner of the globe on an underground/cult level. On this new release he continues the dissonant rawness and horrid vocals that bands in the deepest puts are known for, while experimenting with different sounds and atmospheres to create something closer to operatic. Even melodic chants and female vocals provide occasional backdrop. These elements complement one another well, opening doors for further experimentation and creativity in the near future. 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Album Reviews: SHALLOWPOINT - Infringement

SHALLOWPOINT - Infringement 
80 Decibel Records
Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
May 2014 

Shallowpoint should be equally familiar to the metal scene in Knoxville, Tennessee, listeners of Deviants Underground Radio and readers of Autoeroticasphyxium zine, from the exposure they have received since forming a few years back. The band’s debut full length consists of songs that have been part of their repertoire from the beginning alongside newer compositions. This recording demonstrates how they have weathered lineup changes and assorted drama to emerge a tighter unit, and done the same through experience at performing and a genuine enthusiasm for writing, recording and bringing their songs to Tennessee and beyond. The band’s formula of post-thrash flavored with Southern rock combined with the painfully honest lyrical delivery is evolving into a style all their own that is already standing out from the contemporary metal industry that partly inspired it. In addition to this nine track full length Shallowpoint have independently produced videos, their own merchandise and a steadfast following to speak for. If you’re just hearing of them refer to the address above to be schooled on anything you need to know about them. 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Album Review: SWIRL self-titled

SWIRL self-titled
Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
Date: May 2014

Swirl continues in the tradition of such bands as Fishbone, 24-7 Spyz and Rebels Without Applause in refining and developing the musical crossover established by Bad Brains in the 70s and 80s. What’s most worth noting is how said crossover is still as fresh and inventive as it has been the bands mentioned above began releasing albums. This full length is the follow-up to their debut recording Out Of Nowhere, and is completely self-produced so what you hear emerges from their own creative control. The seven tracks here display a mainstream edge production-wise while retaining their own approach with an uncompromising sense that is a welcome release from most of the mainstream fare we’ve experienced for the last decade. This attitude is reflected in the lyrics of every song, which are geared toward taking musical inventiveness back from the corporations and back into the hands of the musicians. This might seem like a major feat these days but the band is fully determined to accomplish this. In order to experience this firsthand you can sample these tracks and a handful of live videos on the band’s Facebook profile.

Zine Review: A WORMHOLE Issue #39

A WORMHOLE Issue #39
Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
May 2014 
If you read AEA you’ll have an idea that I’ve been in contact with editor Keith Wormouth and traded zines with him for several years. So I’ve seen many issues of his DIY publication. While there is no professional vibe as in other zines I’ve reviewed, the spirit of the do-it-yourself ethos represented by this zine is special unto itself. You’ll perceive this looking beyond the initial surface impressions when you obtain this mag. Even in the handwritten and cut/pasted sections you’ll receive an impression of Wormouth’s dedication to supporting underground/independent bands. Simply give it a fair shot before deciding whether or not to become a regular reader. Issue #39 features a couple interviews (Tinnitustimulus and Praying For Oblivion) together with a handful of reviews. 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Album Review: THE BEYOND - Decaying Death

THE BEYOND - Decaying Death 
Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
Date: May 2014

The Beyond is a band from Italy formed of ex-members of Deformed Agony in 2011. While I haven’t heard anything from the previous band comprised of the musicians now comprising The Beyond, this band sounds significantly influenced by Morbid Angel. This influence includes the raw quality of such Morbid releases as Covenant and Blessed Are The Sick; The Beyond likewise cite Carcass, Obituary and Gorguts as having inspired them. I imagine I even heard some Sepultura in there though I’m uncertain the band would cite them as among their influences. This four song EP which has been around since April 2013 shows enough energy to deliver its tracks convincingly and determination on the band’s part to be heard. For a debut release their aforementioned influences are prominent throughout these four songs (the title track, “Crime And Punishment,” “Tortured Till Redemption” and “Mass Lobotomy”); however the musicianship is tight and precise (especially in the drums), which is a decent balance with the raw production, and there is potential for the band to expand and grow their own terms on future recordings.

Album Review: IMPERIAL SAVAGERY - Imperial Savagery

Title: Imperial Savagery
Record Label: Independent
FB: Imperial Savagery

Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
Date: May 2014

Imperial Savagery is brutal death metal in a semi-vein of traditional Morbid Angel, with deeper vocals and briefer time frames. This last aspect of their musicianship makes for a tighter series of progressions jammed into a two to three minute space. This in turn provides a greater sense of having your consciousness assaulted as each progression launches a new offensive immediately on the heels of the last. Almost before you’re aware of what’s happening the next song wastes no time to unravel you all over again. The longest track on the band’s self-titled full length is just under four minutes; the shortest just under two. All this consolidated songwriting will have you checking this album out several times to fully experience the technical aggression, relentless blast and interesting tempo changes they’re capable of. And nothing here is overdone or excessively long so you won’t grow bored with each successive listening session. This album was released independently by the band and is available for streaming and purchase at Bandcamp (see the above address to find it directly). Contact them through their Facebook page for information.

Album Review: V/A The Legion Of TchorT Compilation #13

V/A The Legion Of TchorT Compilation #13 
Produced by Nitroatmosfericum Records
The Legion Of TchorT Zine
Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
Date: May 2014

Here is the latest volume of the Legion Of TchorT compilation series, active as ever when it comes to giving underground metal bands exposure to new listeners. Tchort aka Carlos Leo, the editor of Peru’s Legion Of Tchort zine who compiles and distributes this series, has been circulating these compilations for several years. For as long as he’s been doing so I’ve kept up with this series and the zine behind it. I can attest Tchort always delivers the most extreme music that world-spanning underground scenes have to offer. You can imagine the extensive roster of bands he has assisted since his undertaking began. On Volume 13 we have bands originating from the U.S., Spain, Germany, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Turkey, Singapore, Iran, Sweden, South Korea, all unsigned and all uniquely promising. Another distinction is this volume is available on cassette as well as on compact disc, with the usual impressive packaging and a thorough track listing. You won’t find any mainstream-friendly pleasantries here, only the darkest and most creative music to push the envelope, courtesy of such bands as Anachronaeon, Succubus, Bode Preto, Nathorg, Nocturnal Damnation, Druid Lord,  Infernal Executor, Sirannon and many more. The list of bands featured by Leo’s zine is as extensive as that of his comp series. Links to information about the zine is available through his Facebook address offered above.

Album Review: WITH BURNING CONTEMPT - Red Visions


Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
Date: May 2014

With Burning Contempt play a blistering, abrasive and uncompromising style of death-thrash they liken to Venom, Hellhammer, Godflesh and early Entombed. Available as a physical CD and downloadable net files, their four-track EP Red Visions relentlessly takes you back to the late 90s when bands like Witchery were recognizing the roots of extreme metal when 80s thrash was making a comeback. Most of what I heard of this caliber was released on Necropolis and similar labels, and the feeling I remember getting is the same I get from this band today. These songs (Red Visions, Defaced, We Are Nothing and Untrue Weapons) contain the sonic impact of heated sandpaper slowly dragged across your skin, with production sufficiently clean and crisp to allow each of the instruments to make a lasting impression upon your consciousness. Loud, raw and primal, Red Visions is a fitting soundtrack to the underground cult celebration. I/m hoping this band reaches more people as they continue.

Album Review: MERDARAHTA - Breathe Electric

Title: Breathe Electric
Record Label: Independent
Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
Date: May 2014

Merdarahta is a two year old project founded by members of the Canadian grind band Fuck The Facts (whom I corresponded with and reviewed extensively when writing my regular column in Long Island’s local Good Times). Also comprising this project is Mike Raynnd of Black Oak Decline. I heard about this release Breathe Electric through Topon Das who I primarily kept in touch with while reviewing F.T.F. As it’s been around fifteen years since then I would guess Merdarahta is heading in an entirely different direction. The seven tracks comprising Breathe Electric are better described as ambient-electronic-drone, possibly with the faintest  elements likened to goth and black metal added. But as many of you know, such generalized descriptions only scratch the surface of a band’s full potential, especially when they set out to do something different from their previous efforts. This potential can be recognized here, despite that many of the songs here are brief; that is within the three-to-four minute range. The most ambitious of these tracks (Electric III) reaches all the way to eleven minutes in length, providing nightmarish sonic images of a future in which virtual reality has overtaken all aspects of human life and turned it into something else, something not quite so human. You can envision mental pictures of great generators of energy revered as deities in central sound effects the other instruments and assorted echoes seem written and composed around. As to how the narrative progresses, you need to envision this on your own with your own imagination. Information on downloading and purchasing this release can be found at the above link.

Album Review: LUCY POEMS ~ Tales That Witness Madness

Title: Tales That Witness Madness
Record Label: Independent
Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
Date: May 2014

A decade ago was when I first corresponded with Lucy Poems. Back then the Lancaster, Pennsylvania musician was involved with an atmospheric gothic rock project called Savior Sect. I remember Savior Sect appeared in AEA’s review section once or twice. A decade hence and Poems’ travels through the left field have continued without deviation. His current project is an experimental post punk/darkened new wave outfit with an atmosphere similar to his previous effort. The self-released seventeen track demo recording Tales That Witness Madness was compiled and made available in 2013. These songs contain an undeniable city noir theme running throughout, akin to a cross between Samhain and classic David Bowie, heard through dreamlike veils that are only beginning to be lifted. This quality is felt in the varying guitar and keyboard sounds, but especially in the vocals providing a visual narrative to each vision explored as convincing as the lyrics. Prolonged exposure will spellbind you more and more deeply as the demo progresses. 

Album Review: INVERTICRUX ~ Malcontent Manifestation Monitoring Program - Reviewed by: Dave Wolff

Title: Malcontent Manifestation Monitoring Program
Record Label: Exalted Woe
Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
Date: May 2014

This went underwent an intriguing process of metamorphosis since 2005. They began as the psychobilly/punk act John Hex’s Creepshow, continued as the black/doom band Vintage Flesh, and finally evolved into Inverticrux, which can be described as theatrical operatic psychedelic blackened stoner death thrash from the farthest cosmos. Multiple genre descriptions have surfaced many times by new bands; regardless it’s safe to say you haven’t quire heard the aforementioned influences arranged in the manner in which this band does. Checking out the six tracks of Malcontent Manifestation Monitoring Program for the first time is akin to watching what comes from recalling the most bizarre nightmare you can experience, capturing it on celluloid for all to witness. In simpler terms, think of Celtic Frost on acid and this will present a workable idea of what’s in store once this release gets underway. The myriad of influences the band collected over the years blend in a way that takes extreme metal in directions you might not have suspected possible in “Sin Be Thy Guide,” “On Six Limbs” and “Here Fades All Worldly Pleasures.” There are even samples of music composed in the early twentieth century and some other surprises (especially when it comes to the lead vocals) to add to the bizarre quality of this recording. These are the kind of songs you have to hear several times in order to appreciate their every nuance, and in relative privacy.

Zine Review: AQUELARRE ZINE Issue #14

Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
May 2014
Aquelarre zine has been around and this is its fourteenth issue. Contributing with editor and publisher Paul Caravasi and editor in chief/interviewer/artist Raphael Rivera are Raul Fuentes (cover artwork), Oliver (editing) and artists PJ Scoggins, Glynford Cabarse, Angie Decay, Joe Ravager, Matt Putrid and Diovim zine. These latter artists design frame art for each page of this issue which adds some mystique to the featured articles and reviews. Interviewed in these pages are Hatriot (featuring Steve “Zetro” Souza of Exodus and Legacy), Asphyx, Impetigo, Massacre, Contumacy, Northwail, Belzec, Head Hunter, Gravehill, Moloch, Crusher, MX and Abyss Records. Two pages of fanzine reviews and eleven pages of CD reviews, plus a special page with readers of Aquelarre with their copies, Loads of intriguing subject matter to read about and worth the effort of contacting the editor.

Album Review: DIVIDED WE STAND ~Deception

Title: Deception
Record Label: Independent
FB: Divided We Stand

Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
Date: May 2014

Divided We Stand are from the statewide metal community of Tennessee, which has been extensively covered in AEA (other bands include Crome Molly, Shallowpoint and Belfast 6 Pack to name a few). Tennessee bands are unique in that they combine metal and southern rock, each a little differently from the others. The first thing you’ll notice about Divided We Stand’s latest EP is their balance between guitar crunch and harmony with melodic vocals giving them an accessible but not too mainstream friendly edge. The songs the band recorded for Deception take enough unexpected turns to avoid predictability and sustain the freshness Tennessee bands have become noticed for over the last four or so years. “Breath Me In” is a fitting example of the band’s appeal for its relentless yet diverse quality. This is echoed throughout the rest of this recording, particularly “Saboteur” and “Stolen Soul.” The band is making a noteworthy effort to demonstrate how music is “a universal language” as they view it, and the range of influences they display here goes a long way toward accomplishing this. A band to watch for in the near future. 

Zine Review: TESTAMENT ZINE Issue #14

Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
May 2014 
This Peruvian zine is printed in newsprint with a professional full-color cover and is currently distributed in nine countries worldwide (Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Italy, Mexico and the States. The print and title pages of the articles are as solid as the package which seems to indicate Testament is heading toward being one of the premier fanzines from Peru. An editorial is not included but there are nonetheless quite a few bands to read about within these pages. Massacre, Bloodfiend, Enthrallment, Necrosis, Corpse Grinder, Deadly Carnage, Assassin, Galar, Blood Cult, Mudra, Nocturnal Torment, Kingdom Of Hate, and Vulcano (featured in a free poster you’ll receive). Each interview includes the artist’s top ten favorite albums. The reviews toward the end of this issue span about seven or eight pages and encompass zines, demos, CDs, DVDs and live shows among other subjects. Another added bonus is a compilation CD with many of the featured bands and several others. 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Album Review: Inverticrux - Malcontent Manifestation Monitoring Program - Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Band Name: Inverticrux
Malcontent Manifestation Monitoring Program
Date of Release: 2014
Record Label:  Exalted Woe
Genre: Horror Metal
Album Review Format: Digital
Website: Inverticrux
Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw
May 2014 

Track listings:   
1.Sin By Thy Guide 
2. On Six Limbs 
3. Malcontent Manisfestation 
4. Lorreta's Lost Leg
5. Here Faes All Wordly Pleasures
6. Attack Of The Scarecrow Clowns From Planet Spider

Imagine if you will...... The night deepens the moon rises, a cloud drifts over that pale circle in the sky, and on the hill just over the rise you see the mishapen forms..perhaps a hunchbacked grave robber slinging dirt from a spade while the love child of the Phantom of the Opera, a Banshee and King Diamond urges him on to greater and greater acts of defilement......... Yep.... you got it..... that's what Inverticrux sounds like.

Inverticrux mixes many genres of metal together, so really you could call it black death doom metal. The music itself  is ponderously heavy, moving as though the mummy was trying to slog through quicksand with his usual stuttering gait. Not afraid of off kilter arrangements and minor keys the band provides these in abundance. Vocally it can only be described as theatrics....immensely theatrics, the many different styles here are layered in multitracks and can only be described as above in my 1st paragraph.

Production values here I assume were intended to generate the feel of a live show, it has the feel of a great empty opera hall, with a lot of reverb and echo. So much of the definition of the individual instruments is lost, however it must be said that for this band it works, it simply increases the creepy feel. I was disappointed in one thing production wise, the samples the band uses tend to cut abruptly, leaving a gap between the sample and the song, a better blend here would heighten the mood.

Those listeners who like their music undeniably creepy, and who will give something a chance despite that first "what the hell is this", may find "Malcontent Manifestation Monitoring Program" an experience of unusual proportions. I say experience because although it is "music" it's not about the music, much as going to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show is not about the movie. I have to believe that this band must excel at live performance, the aural portion lends itself perfectly to a dark vaudevillian horror!

6 of 10 horns

Zine Review: REBORN FROM ASHES Issue #7

Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
May 2014
The editorial penned by Tony Juarez was the first worthwhile feature of the seventh issue of this Stateside-based fanzine. It discusses how the internet has become a significant method of correspondence in underground metal, primarily from a zine editor’s point of view. The net has its pros and cons in relation to underground scenes the world over, but there was something rather special about reading Juarez’s thoughts in this format. There are indepth, informative interviews conducted by Juarez to be perused here, in the old school spirit of the late 80s and early 90s. This issue’s interviews include Anatomia, Horrendous, Revel In Flesh, Razorback Records, Offal, Bloodsoaked and Xolotl. Plus zine and CD reviews and a report on extreme music from Mexico discussing a wide variety of bands. The text is well printed and clear while there are many graphics accompanying each article and page of reviews. The cover artwork incorporating Juarez’s logo (based on an idea by JC “Chackal” Garcia) is designed by Mark Riddick (Riddickart) and contributions are made to this issue by Jonathan Martinez, Demogorgon and Vanessa Nocera. Props to Juarez for keeping his vision of compiling and publishing print zines.

Album Review: Insania Stockholm ~ World Of Ice

Band Name: Insania Stockholm
Title: World Of Ice
Date of Release:  January 2013
Record Label: No Fashion Records
Genre: Power Metal
FB: Insania Stockholm

Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw
Date: May 2014

Track listings:   1. Insaniation 2. Fighting My Tears 3. Fire 4. With Courage And Pride 5. Forever Alone 6. Private Sex Machine 7. Paradisia 8. World Of Ice 9. Forever Is A Long Time 10. Furious Seas 11. Carried By Wings

Insania Stockholm is power metal from Sweden. The "Stockholm" is there to help you differentiate from the 7 other bands across the world named Insania. This is their 1999 EP release, they've had 5 releases since, and the band is preparing for a 2014 release.

Filled to the brim with keyboards, virtuosic guitar playing, and clean soaring vocals it would be absolutely impossible to classify Insania Stockholm as anything but power metal, featuring both guitar and keyboard solo breaks as well as choral backups. They claim amongst their influences such acts as Helloween, and Blind Guardian, and there are definitely hints of those within "World Of Ice" 11 tracks. 

Insania Stockholm trades on nearly every single power metal cliche there is, and somehow this album falls short. The passion and power that is power metals trademark seems just never to surface during the 54 minutes and 35 seconds of the album. The one cliche that the band seems not to touch very often is fantasy. Instead of dragons, powerful warriors, battle and booty there was enough cheese and sweetness to give Joey Tempest a toothache. Vocalist David Henrickson has a beautiful voice, but it remains relatively constant across the entire album. he takes no risks with his performance, there are no moments that send chills down your spine or stand out and make your ears perk up.

I cannot say that it is a bad album...but neither does it do the one thing that power metal is supposed to do without fail....INSPIRE. Power metal is supposed to make you feel powerful, victorious and dream of powerful foes vanquished. Instead it came off as a fairly mediocre entry into the genre. I would hope that the bands followup releases were more intense and passionate. "World Of Ice" left me cold.

5 of 10 horns

Album Review: Reign ~ Now And Forever

Band Name: Reign
Title: Now And Forever
Date of Release: 2014 re-release
Record Label:  Divebomb Records
Genre: Heavy Metal
Album Review Format:  CD
Reviewed by:  Geoff McGraw
Date: May 2014

Track listings: 1. Can't Take Anymore 2. S.O.S(Season Of Sorrow) 3. Nice Guy 4. Running Out Of Time 5. Can't Set You Free 6. Best Served Cold 7. Crime & Punishment 8. Fistfull Of Dollars 9. Now And Forever 10. The Last Walk 11. We Walk Alone

If you like Iron Maiden, Metal Church or Armored Saint, or perhaps you worship at the altar of Savatage, Riot or Omen....Then you're going to like this album.
Reign was a short lived band, fighting against the mid 90's deluge of nu metal and grunge which overwhelmed and destroyed so many groups, whose prowess outstripped their contemporaries. Originally self released with poor production values, Divebomb records has rescued this little gem and given it new life in their bootcamp series with fantastic remastering and new artwork.
Simply filled to the brim with dual guitar harmonies, shredding leads, sweet thumping bass, pounding drums and soaring powerful vocals Reign is more than a name it's a statement of intent. With a tip of the hat to the grim reaper himself, a nod to a dark future, and an eye out for a bit of revenge "Now And Forever" has content for every metal fan.
This album is absolutely worth the time to track down, and listen to. For those of us who has been in the metal scene long enough it's a trip down the emotional memory lane of the days when long hair and denim ruled (or should I say reigned). For those who weren't there during the glory days it's a chance to hear what it all was really about. This a band who in 1996 came about 10 years too late to get a fair shake, so it's gratifying to see this album get a 2nd chance.
8 of 10 horns

Poem: Written in the Wind! ©Rich Orth

Written in the Wind! 
©Rich Orth 

entwined in vines
sepulchre alive
conceals death
camouflages beauty
 Suffocates a soul
Discarded.... disregarded
No closure to console
Willows above
Weep for She below
Heart conceded 
Sands of time pounded
Decadence of decay
Word's from a Devil's play
Written in the wind
Swirl above unseen grave
Of She who committed no sin
Girl...the She no one saved

About: Musing Madness! (Poems/Poets)

Darkest places wherest muses awaken the madness of our soul...wherest muses escape the asylum-like corridors of our minds..      ~ Rich Orth

Within this page: 

Poetry by Poets
Interviews with Poets

Poets Contributes 

~ Rich Orth ~ 

Album Review: Tidal Arms - Tidal Arms

Title: Tidal Arms
Record Label: Independent
FB: Tidal Arms
Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
Date Reviewed: May 2014

Since their inception this Brooklyn-based experimental doom/stoner rock band has released two full lengths, The Sun Exploding and this one. For my introductory listening experience, their self-titled effort is an impressive slab of post-apocalyptic sludge with many somber moments and psychedelic guitar progressions adding to the overall bleakness. Even more admirable is that the band cared to release this on vinyl besides previewing it for purchase at Bandcamp. Tidal Arms consolidate their ideas into songs usually lasting from two to five minutes (the longest track here is over seven minutes) so there are many different themes of desolation and rebirth in each track, and these compositions don’t become too over-long and tedious as doom metal sometimes tends to become. The moods they bring into their music are pretty much in your face as opposed to utilizing subtlety but there is something about their formula that makes you want to listen to this more than once. Both their full lengths are available for preview at the Bandcamp address above.

Interview -My Ink: Axemaster Vocalist Geoff McGraw

Name:  Geoff McGraw

Profession: Musician

Band: Axemaster

Residence: Ohio

E-mail interview by: Lady Kat Chaos
Date: May 2014

OCZ: How old were you when you got your first tattoos?

Geoff McGraw: 20

OCZ: How many tattoos do you have?

Geoff McGraw: 3

OCZ: Which tattoo is your first and which one was your latest?

Geoff McGraw: Sword And Thistles Right upper Arm was the 1st, and the most recent is the band tattoo on my left foreman.

OCZ: How long did it take you to build up your collection?

Geoff McGraw: 21 Years, I wish I had more but things just seem to get in the way. lol

OCZ: A lot of fans tattoo lyrics or favorite band logos, have you ever done that or plan on ever doing it?

Geoff McGraw: No I prefer images, although I might sometime do some of my own lyrics.

OCZ: How often have fans of yours shared there tattoo shrines of your band with you and how do you react?

Geoff McGraw: I have never had a fan show me a tattoo inspired by any band I have been in, although I would be honored

OCZ: How often do you create your own design or have you ever gave a tattoo artist free range?

Geoff McGraw: I have had say in all my tattoos although I can't draw for crap so it's a mutual thing

OCZ: Do you have a piece or a few pieces that have the most meaning to you? Why that specific piece(s) is your favorite?

Geoff McGraw: Yes, the sword and thistles was designed with my scottish heritage in mind, and the tribal eagle on my back represents my totem spirit which I discovered during a spirit quest.

OCZ: Which one of your tattoos was the most painful and where is it?

Geoff McGraw: The one on my back. They say that every person has one side of their body that has more nerves than the other....I can vouch that this is true. Once the artist got to the left side of my back...wooo boy...adrenalin flashes every 30 seconds.

OCZ: Which one of your tattoos took the longest to complete?

Geoff McGraw: The Eagle, I believe it was 2 hours. I still need to have it filled in so technically it's not finished and that means 10

OCZ: Do you have a spot on your body that you would never tattoo?

Geoff McGraw: Yep!

OCZ: Did you pay for all the work you've had done? What was the the most expensive tattoo you've paid for?

Geoff McGraw: Yes, $150 for the Eagle

OCZ: Which tattoo style do you like best?

Geoff McGraw: Not sure, there are great things about all tattoo styles.

OCZ: Which tattoo artist do you admire?

Geoff McGraw:  I am most intrigued by Paul Booth

OCZ: Which tattoo artist would you like to get ink by that you've never went to before?

Geoff McGraw: Duh, Paul Booth

OCZ: Do you have a specific shop or artist that you frequent?

Geoff McGraw: No

OCZ: Some tattoo artist are booked for months, what was the longest you had to wait for your appointment?

Geoff McGraw: I have not had to wait

OCZ: How much of your collection was done in your hometown and who are some your favorite artists here?

Geoff McGraw: Only one from my home town. I have no specific artist.

OCZ: How many tattoos have you gotten out of your hometown or while on tour?

Geoff McGraw: Only one here in my home town, but none on there is never enough $ on tour.

OCZ: Do you regret getting any of your tattoos, now hate, want to replace, or have covered up, and why?

Geoff McGraw: The old band logo on my left forearm. Well not anymore.... the band breakup was not good and for a long time I wanted to change it. But I came to believe that it is representative of a time in my life that shouldn't be forgotten, and to cover it up would be to deny that part of my life.

OCZ: Have tattoos affected your life? If so, in what way?

Geoff McGraw: Maybe in some basic way. I enjoy when people ask about mine. But it has never altered how I've lived.

OCZ: Have you ever been discrimination in the workplace and outside the workplace because you have tattoos?

Geoff McGraw: No, although mine are well placed and only one is visible

OCZ: Have you been approached or featured by any tattoo magazines?

Geoff McGraw: No, I don't have enough to have ever attracted someone to ask in that manner....but how cool would that be.

OCZ: What advice would you give to someone who was going to get their first tattoo?

Geoff McGraw: Don't rush it, visit several artists and get opinions of those who have already used those artists. Do make sure that what you get means something to you, and you will never tire of it.

OCZ: What do you look for when you enter a tattoo parlor? Have you ever walked out of one and for what reasons?

Geoff McGraw:  Cleanliness is number one, you are going to be cutting yourself therefore a dirty environment is sure to be a health hazzard. Also do the artists and employees act as ambassadors of the culture or do they ignore you, attitude affects everything...including the work they do for you. And yes if a shop ignores me or appears to have a poor attitude I'm out...same for cleanliness.

OCZ: Do you have any new tattoos planned or underway?

Geoff McGraw: I still have to finish the Eagle on my back and there are several that I would like to get.

OCZ: Do you have an activity of yours that you would like to mention or plug?

Geoff McGraw:  Axemaster! ,

Interview on MY INK: Kevin Castle - NY Promoter

Name:  Kevin Castle
Profession: bookerman/ jacuzzi salesman
Residence: Somewhere in Queens NY
E-mail Interview by: Lady Kat Choas
Date: May 2014

OCZ: How old were you when you got your first tattoos?

Kevin Castle: It was 1992. I was age 23.

OCZ: How many tattoos do you have?

Kevin Castle: Too many to count...really.

OCZ: Which tattoo is your first and which one was your latest?

Kevin Castle: 1st- a smoking skull face with a western undertaker like hat on. Latest was just touch ups on my forearm tats.

OCZ: How long did it take you to build up your collection?

Kevin Castle: 22 years

OCZ: A lot of fans tattoo lyrics or favorite band logos, have you ever done that or plan on ever doing it?

Kevin Castle: I have 2 of my fav bands that inspired tats of mine, Alice In Chains and the Black Crowes.

OCZ: How often do you create your own design or have you ever gave a tattoo artist free range?

Kevin Castle: I've never picked a tat directly off a wall or outta a book...always altered any pic and def gave free range to artists.

OCZ: Do you have a piece or a few pieces that have the most meaning to you? Why that specific piece(s) is your favorite?

Kevin Castle: I have a arc angels & gargoyles theme going on and have all diff kinds from scary looking to silly looking.

OCZ: Which one of your tattoos was the most painful and where is it?

Kevin Castle: That tats on the back of both my hands, once that needle hits the knuckle its painful as fuck. Inside the arm up near the arm pit is a bitch as well.

OCZ: Which one of your tattoos took the longest to complete?

Kevin Castle: The med-evil castle with perching gargoyle that runs from my wrist up to near my elbow...def a long detailed process.

OCZ: Do you have a spot on your body that you would never tattoo?

Kevin Castle: Anywhere on my legs, its just not something that appeals to me.

OCZ: Did you pay for all the work you've had done? What was the the most expensive tattoo you've paid for?

Kevin Castle: I've been blessed with good friends in the industry who give me sweet deals but I def don't take for granted or abuse the privilege.

OCZ: Which tattoo style do you like best?

Kevin Castle: The style where that tattoo doesn't look like shit.

OCZ: Which artist(s) did your tattoos?

Kevin Castle: My first bunch of tats in the early to mid 90's were done by the [now] well known artist Amiel Gupta but the past 15 years I'm all about Kev Q from Fat Cat, I only go to Kev at this stage.

OCZ: Which tattoo artist do you admire?

Kevin Castle: see above answer

OCZ: Which tattoo artist would you like to get ink by that you've never went to before?

Kevin Castle: None, I'm not a mark for diff tat artists I'm quite content with my reg guy.

OCZ: Do you have a specific shop or artist that you frequent?

Kevin Castle: see above answer. lol.

OCZ: Some tattoo artist are booked for months, what was the longest you had to wait for your appointment?

Kevin Castle: Never have that prob..thank god.

OCZ: Do you regret getting any of your tattoos, now hate, want to replace, or have covered up, and why?

Kevin Castle: I currently have a couple I'd like to alter cause after 20 plus years you change things about yourself and you might not see things as you once viewed them..that's normal for most people, that's why cover ups are all the rage

OCZ: Have tattoos affected your life? If so, in what way?

Kevin Castle: It doesn't really, when I 1st started getting ink on the regular in early 90's it wasn't fashionable then so it was still like a cool lil secret society thing and not even 20 percent of my friends had em but today almost every idiot you come across has tattoos in some form or fashion and its taken a lot of the shine off the apple so to speak.

OCZ: Have you ever been discrimination in the workplace and outside the workplace because you have tattoos?

Kevin Castle: Nah but I'm in the night club game for 2 decades so its not anything so unnatural or offensive to if I have to get a reg office 9 to 5 gig that might not be to good but lets hope that don't have to ever happen esp at my

OCZ: Have you been approached or featured by any tattoo magazines?

Kevin Castle: I was asked to be in a magazine called *Hideous* but I don't think it was cause of tattoo'

OCZ: What advice would you give to someone who was going to get their first tattoo?

Kevin Castle: Don't unless your 100 percent sure you wont look back in a few years and say..what the f was I thinking?

OCZ: Do you have any new tattoos planned or underway?

Kevin Castle: I change my mind daily on that so the answer is yes and

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Album Review: Headbore - Strength In Numbers

Band Name: Headbore
Title: Strength In Numbers
Date of Release: November 2013
Record Label: Self Release/Bandcamp
Album Review Format: Digital Download
Genre: Death Metal
Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Track listings: 1. What We Are 2. Enemy 3. Temptress 4. Sacrifice 5. Strength In Numbers 6. Everything is nothing 7. Trenches 8. Pigs 9. Lets Fight 10. Walk Away

Grab your leather and denim, strap on your wallet chain and prepare to windmill the ever living hell out of your neck!

Headbore hails from the land down under, and drops this slab of genuinely great metal on the world with help from the masterful touch of Jens Borgen, who has worked on albums from such artists as Katatonia, Devin Townsed, and Opeth.

Expect no easing into the album with an intro to whet the appetite, Headbore launches into the swing of things immediately, and takes no prisoners. I'm not comfortable with dropping the boys from Adelaide into a strict definition of death metal. Not content to pound out traditional chord based death metal OR modern technical death metal they owe as much to thrash and groove, creating an amazing combination of riffs, licks and interesting rhythms that is certain to please. Moreover Headbore is not afraid to mix some melody in where it's needed, which is a breath of fresh air in a genre often more concerned with brutality over composition. Fear not however, there is no lack of pummeling goodness.

The band obviously has passion for the music they play. The dual guitar attack of Luke Fisher and Chris Ward shreds, but they also include a ton of "feel" to the guitar parts. Dan Sloan on Bass and Adam Day on Drums are not just merely a solid rhythm section, they add to and take the music to the next level. The vocals of Adam Fisher are impressive to say the least, his control is simply amazing and he howls, screams and growls(with a few clean parts) his way through the songs and still manages to do that most of rare things......remain intelligible (at least for those used to this type of vocals).

My favorite tracks here bookend the album. "What We Are" opens the album and "Walk Away" closes it. However there is not a weak track on the album, and the excellent production only makes the album even better. An incredibly tight performance, this is definitely an album which will remain in my rotation for some time to come.

9 out of 10 horns

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Band Interview: Lucifer Jones Live Facebook Interview with: Aerik Von vocalist

Lucifer Jones
Live Facebook Interview with: 
Aerik Von vocalist
Facebook: Lucifer Jones

Conducted by: 
Lady Kat Chaos and Dave Wolff of Autoeroticasphyxium Zine

January 26, 2014

OCZ: Hails and  Welcome Aerik! Thanks for doing this live interview on Facebook with us and fans. How has your New Year been so far?

Aerik Von: 2014 started with a bang...we had a great show at Webster Hall to start things off...

OCZ: That's the best way to start the New Year off. What's it like playing live at Webster Hall?

Aerik Von: It's one of the best stages ever...we also bring a lot of intentional and unintentional a great venue like that gives us the proper forum to express what we are doing.

Patrick O'Donnell (guest): Who would win in a wrestling match? Lemmy, or god?

Aerik Von: No trick questions. Lemmy is God.

OCZ:  I agree Webster Hall is a great venue to play. Do you have to sell tickets?

Aerik Von: Nah. We didn't have to do anything like that. Some people probably do but we were simply booked to play and played.

OCZ: What other venues would you like to play this year in NY?

Aerik Von: Blackthorn has contacted us and we will happily play there...but mostly we would like to move up to bigger venues and tour more after we finish recording.

OCZ: That's another great venue and smaller venues are a ton of fun to perform as well. What are your thoughts about the New York scene?

Aerik Von:  I am typically an outsider to any scene but I see a frustrating focus on high school styled popularity contests vs. a focus on music. There are many good bands...but we try to not get stuck in any one place.

Dave (Autoeroticasphyxium Zine): Is the scene in NY better or worse off than two decades ago, from your point of view?

Aerik Von: Two decades ago is a whole different game...the internet wasn't in charge and the big labels were still relevant. In some ways we have more global reach but the internet has allowed too many voices to out-scream each other at once...not better...but VERY different.

Dave (Aea Zine): Do you prefer vinyl, cassette or CD and why?

Aerik Von: Vinyl is my big preference due to sound and presentation...cassettes sounded great and are how I learned everything I loved...hated CDs and the CD era. Skip, skip, skip. No wonder MP3's were such an easy transition.

OCZ: I agree, wasn't a huge fan of CD's either. Will you be releasing your next release on Vinyl?

Aerik Von: Yes...vinyl with digital download. I'm not such a bastard as to expect people to buy my music twice...

OCZ: Have you thought about doing a picture disc?

Aerik Von: Actually, no...but if the offer came I would certainly do it.

OCZ: How has the artistic freedom been throughout the history of your band? Have you had any limitations or did you get to do practically anything you wanted?

Aerik Von: I've done everything I wanted. We've had silent acoustic and shows where I barely made it out without passing out from blood loss. Musically, we do what we want, visually as well. We don't consider other people in our creative process and we never will.

Dave (Aea Zine): Do you think bands that set their own rules are more likely to maintain longevity than bands that care more about "pleasing the people"?

Aerik Von:  It's completely how you gain longevity. If you worry about constantly pleasing people and you're not Jon Bon Govi you are going to be constantly miserable in finding a way to seek trends. Even in the underground you find bands becoming slaves to what they think will keep them popular in their little circle and eventually they burn out. You either love what you are doing or you don't and if you think what you are doing is pretty damn good and get excited about it most likely other people will be too. Too many bands hit hard and then have no idea what to do next as they really don't have a long term concept for part other than a few free drinks every other Friday and some attention online. I don't function that way. I do this for my own reasons.

OCZ: You mentioned earlier that you were in the process of writing for a new release. How much is written thus far?

Aerik Von: We have over 200 songs written but actually going into a room and putting them down is a totally different scenario. Shane Keogh, David Andrew Guevara and I tend to work very slowly at putting the actual final pieces together. We've always had issues recording due to how insular I am about the whole thing so 200 songs written and you'll hear them 2-3 at a time on 7" singles most likely as that is the speed we work.

OCZ: As far as putting the final pieces together, what song has taken you the longest to write?

Aerik Von: I have called "Withered Root" which is still being pieced together properly! Usually they come into my head as complete designed but "Wither" has been going on for some time now and has yet to reach the band. It was written an acoustic in a house with no running water and barely any electricity. A lot of inspiration on that but perfectionism keeps it hidden away in the basement for now.

OCZ: At times different atmospheres can be inspiring to create a song. Where do you mainly write your material?

Aerik Von: Very much so...I live in a city with a million ghosts and secrets... I also have spent time in some pretty strange locales...the atmosphere of all of them comes off in the songs.

OCZ: What is the biggest secret you have learned and wrote about it?

Aerik Von: A lot...there is nothing like a city filled with junkies, maggots and general human failure to inspire a record.

Dave (Aea Zine): How does your environment have an influence on your lyrics?What bolstered your feelings toward the environment you see around you? And what strange locales influenced the atmospheres you include in your material?

Aerik Von: A lot of forest central areas in the mountains of the north had a huge effect on me... The seedy hotel rooms on the road had a huge effect on me. The more emptiness and hardship you see the more problems you have to face...the have to write about. I'm not one to live my fantasies in my lyrics.

OCZ: Speaking of hotels, you wrote a song called "Roach Motel" in which we have many of those throughout NY. I would rather sleep in a car then book one of them places. It's not easy being on the road. What do you like and dislike?

Aerik Von: Be patient folks! I am here! I like playing to new people and not being "stuck" in one place...I hate the being stuck in a car with other people and the shitty food. Roach Motel is actually about the Chelsea Hotel.

OCZ: Chelsea Hotel, where the walls still talk. One of the oldest hotels around NY. What was your personal experience like staying there?

Aerik Von: I pretty much lived there for's kind of like Kubricks take on the Shining but it's all real.

Dave (Aea Zine): Dive or not, the Chelsea Hotel is an important piece of NYC history that is still around now that CBGB & OMFUG, Bleecker Bob's and more recently Gray's Papaya (8th street) are gone. What is your view toward this?

Aerik Von: It's disappointing but I saw it all coming. The time of old NYC is being replaced with a new, horrible monster of change. It's not possible to resist so why get upset?

OCZ: Patti Smith and Sid Vicious both lived there as well. Many great places, venues and record stores in NY are closing down, greed, rent to high, laws that have to be met to run a venue, the new generation of buying records, and so forth. What NY clubs do you miss playing at that have banished?

Aerik Von: L'amour was fucking great. I played my first NYC show there and it was fantastic.

OCZ: Good ol' L'amour's in Brooklyn. Did you ever play L'amour East in Queens? 

Aerik Von: Never played L'amour East...

Dave (Aea Zine): On the other hand, we still have ABC No Rio and free shows in Tompkins Square Park, along with other new clubs and new vinyl outlets opening in NY and other states in the U.S.. Do you consider slim hope better than none?

Aerik Von: I have hope for the US...not as much for NYC...I have played in the park recently!

OCZ: Was there ever an instance onstage you knew you were going to be sick or were feeling extremely fatigued? What did you do about it? Did you leave the stage or keep playing? What was the most obscure or chaotic experience you had at one of your shows?

Aerik Von: I once went onstage was pneumonia...that was rough. I just gutted it through. The MOST chaotic??? Hmmmm...I would say that the Bowery Poetry Club show where we offered a legal summons for property damage was pretty nuts. Blood and bodies everywhere.

OCZ: A lot comes down to the bands when fans get a little chaotic at shows and they try to make bands be fully responsible. How do you think things could be handle differently?

Aerik Von: They can't really. I escaped that one because I was attacked before the show by an idiot.

OCZ: Do you feel you always have to watch your surrounding all the time now with all the mayhem that has been happening to other band members as well?

Aerik Von: Not really...things have calmed down a bit...we are taking a "music first" approach to things that has tamed a lot of the drama.

Gene Olivarri: Who influenced your guitar playing?

Aerik Von: Tony Lommi, Euronymous, Billy Gibbons, Leslie West, Glenn Tipton...some of the early ones.

OCZ: I know that you have to head out in a bit and you're willing to return to respond to any questions anyone has to ask about your band Lucifer Jones. I thank you for doing our first live interview...

Aerik Von: We will continue this later! Feel free to ask me anything you want on this thread later!