Saturday, November 12, 2022

Soulgrinder Zine Issue #10 is available now !!

Soulgrinder Zine Issue #10 is available now !!

$20 (Free Shipping in the states) + free cd

$22 (free shipping overseas) +free cd

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A4 format, full color front and backcover
Interviews with Paganfire, The Damnnation, Dissentience , Day of Doom, tons of reviews, articles, and more.....
Extreme art by Cody Knarr, Karl Dahmer, Jorge BW, Nate Hillyer, Kelley Simms, Randy Allen, Dusan Dan Ljiljanic, The Creep From Six feet Deep, Dark Grave Design.
facebook.com/soulgrinder.zine


THE DEVIL IN THE ENTRAILS

 

                                                    THE DEVIL IN THE ENTRAILS

By RICHARD DEAN

 Arguably, or perhaps not even arguably, the two names most synonymous with legendary Italian horror cinema are Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci. Both have formidable portfolios in the cinema macabre, and both of these film maestros have their own formidable followings of fans- willing to rationalize, argue and battle over which director has made a more indelible impression upon the annals of horror. Many will rationalize that Argento's highly stylized and often innovative offerings, peppered with mind-boggling brutality, set him apart from the late Fulci and many other horror contemporaries. Others will argue that, while his style was decidedly more heavy-handed- if not outright bludgeoning- Lucio's landmark horror films better defined the true nature of horror with their overt grotesqueness and graven themes. Though their approaches differed somewhat, Dario and Lucio did find some common ground in the subject matter of their films from time to time, and in perhaps some of their greatest works. The subject matter in question is witchcraft, and that is the prevailing subject in two of the maestros' most notable films- Argento's SUSPIRIA (1977) and Fulci's THE BEYOND (1981). Let's look a little deeper into the darkness, shall we?

The evil that is at the root of both Argento's and Fulci's films is a two-fold entity- both organic and a man-made construct. In SUSPIRIA, the heroine of the film is American dance student Suzy Bannion who, unwittingly, has taken her place within a viper's nest of witches at a German dance academy that is nothing more than a thinly veiled, murderous coven. The evil deeds taking place inside the academy are being orchestrated with surreal, almost hallucinatory, cunning and witchery by one of Argento's "Three Mothers"- Mater Suspiriorum, or "The Mother of Sighs." (Argento's other Two Mothers- Mater Lachrymarum and Mater Tenebrarum would later been seen in his subsequent films in his Three Mothers trilogy, INFERNO and MOTHER OF TEARS. The evils being perpetrated by the wicked Mater Suspiriorum have also become the lurid essence of the macabre dance academy itself. The spectacularly colorful and garish hangings and shreddings of young women by shards of stained glass and tangles of razor wire within the academy's equally colorful and garishly decorated walls defies what we would expect would be unrelenting beauty radiating from such a studio. Yet somehow the splashes of blood and Argento's dramatic and almost obscenely colorful lighting schemes somehow makes it all that much more beautiful. The dance academy itself, and the unholy serpents within, have become the beautiful and seductive embodiment of the evils of black witchcraft and, as witnesses to the mayhem, we find the chaos and bloodshed orchestrated by Argento is curiously and undeniably sweet and provocative. Perhaps not as sweet, but definitely as provocative, is the apocalyptic witchery on display in Lucio Fulci's THE BEYOND. This time it is a warlock artist named Schweick who is in league with Satan, holed up in a small Louisiana hotel to create his evil masterpieces and do the devil's bidding. Problem is, the townsfolk do not take kindly to alliances with dark forces and a lynch mob is formed, with murderous intent, to pay the reclusive warlock a visit. After dragging him to the hotel basement, chaining him up crucifixion-style, relentlessly lashing his flesh, then chemically burning him to death with lye or some other caustic compound, they bury his lifeless body within the walls of the old hotel. Problem is, Schweick was one of the guardians of the seven gates of hell, and his death has opened the floodgates to damnation (a similar theme explored in Fulci's previous film, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD/THE GATES OF HELL, when a priest's suicide also opens the gates to the abyss). Decades later, in 1981, the hotel is inherited by Liza Merrill (portrayed by the always reliable and lovely Fulci regular Catriona MacColl). No sooner does she take occupancy inside the creepy hotel and begin refurbishing it, the essence of Schweik's evil begins to manifest from beyond the grave, striking down virtually all who have the misfortune of making Liza's acquaintance. All of these nefarious events center around the hotel in THE BEYOND, much as the events in SUSPIRIA center around the malevolent dance academy and the demonic hub of evil lurking within. Which is not to say evil's grasp is confined to these structures. It isn't. Like icy cold fingers reaching out from wicked hands, evil knows no bounds. Its reach is both demanding and insistent. And in THE BEYOND, at the film's end the reaches of evil become truly mind-shattering and apocalyptic. Both of these films share some thematic similarities, and some similarities that are even more startling. Both Argento and Fulci explore a theme in their respective films (in graphic detail) of blind individuals peripherally tied to the evils in these films getting their throats torn out by their turned/possessed seeing-eye dogs. One has to wonder if Fulci was directly influenced by this scene from SUSPIRIA and wanted to pay homage? But in THE BEYOND, the theme of blindness is an important one and not so much a superficial, throwaway one like in SUSPIRIA where the scene simply plays more or less for shock value. No matter your taste in horror, whether it be for the stylized or brutalized, there is much to be admired and learned from the collective works of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci. If you are one of the uninitiated, let SUSPIRIA and THE BEYOND be your gateway drugs to the works of these two titans of Italian cinema. But don't let it be the end! There is much to explore!

 




 

Obsolete ways of Communication

                                                "Obsolete ways of Communication"

Written by Tony Juarez

How many friends or followers you have? How many social media outlets do you use?  How long does it take to get a reply from someone in any part of the world?  Do you ever wonder how most metal heads used to communicate and get music back in the late 80's-early-mid 90's?

Once upon a time, before the internet and social media.  There were different ways to connect and meet other crazy metal-heads like yourself.  Actually, the only ways to meet other metal -heads was through writing letters and meeting people at shows. Nowadays, is so easy and fast to communicate with people from any country in the world.  You can send an email or message through any social media outlet and get it delivered in seconds or instantly. The current-most popular ways communicate with people are (in my opinion) less personal, meaningless, but at the same time necessary.  I'm not going to be a hypocrite and say that I don't use these methods, because I do.  But, the way we used to network back in the old days was more personal, and fun. Back in the day, most fanzines and magazines used to have a mail-letter section, where people would send letters, looking for other people that was into the same music genres, bands, ideas or specific interests. Every single letter that got published, had a name, address and what they were into, so you had an idea if that was an interesting person to write to. So, a lot of people wrote letters to a lot of people, some would reply, some wouldn't, and that was the beginning of a metal-friendship, that could have been temporarily or long term friendship.

Talking about my personal experience, when I was like 16 or 17 years old.  I sent  letter to a well known Mexican Metal magazine called, Rock Pop (yeah, I know, what a name, right?).  I've always been very humble and I usually don't have any expectations.  So, I never thought they would publish my letter, but they did. As simple as it sounds, that made my day.  The day I went to the local magazine stand to purchase the magazine, and I opened it and saw my letter, I felt like a kid and I was screaming of happiness. I started screaming loud at the magazine stand, saying "my letter got published!", and people were looking at me like I was crazy. I started getting letters everyday, for several weeks (just letters from Mexican Metal heads, since I didn't know English back then).  I gladly replied every letter and most of them wrote back, except a couple people that didn't reply. So, as I kept replying back a few times, some people stopped writing back.  In the end, I was writing to like 30 metal-heads on a regular basis. I used to spend hours writing letters, sometimes I used to stay up past midnight writing letters.  I know, it sounds like a lot of work and perhaps sounds too boring for the new generations, but I never felt that way, I had so much fun doing that. It was definitely a blast and I would do that again. Every person you wrote to was different, some of them just liked to talk about metal, and more brief talk.  Some other people liked to talk about life, metal, and more personal stuff.  So, some letters were longer and more in-depth than others. Also, lets not forget that besides the letters, people used to send lots of flyers as well.  There were lots of flyers circulating worldwide.  Bands, zines, distros used to send flyers through snail mail, and they were getting all over the world.  This was a very effective way to advertise your bands, zines or distros at a low cost.  You just had to send a bunch of flyers to some people and they would spread them for you, all over the world. Those were the days when you were happy seeing the mailman coming to your mailbox. Getting the letters out of the mailbox, finding a comfortable place to sit down, opening the letters, checking the flyers first, then reading the letters.  All this was like a ritual, something that the new generations wouldn't understand. Pen and paper is something people hardly use nowadays, but back in the day, those items were our weapons or tools to network with other people. I remember, sometimes people used to draw logos or some art on the letters ( I used to do the same thing too).  Also, people used to write on the back of a letter size flyer; that was cool too.  After writing to someone for a while, you had curiosity to see what the person looked like, so we traded pictures as well. I also remember, some people used to write at the end of the letter, "P.S: return my stamps", or "send back my stamps".  It took me a while to figure that out why the were saying that, but that's another story. Trading demos (mostly tapes) was something everyone was doing back then.  That was a way to discover new bands and upsize your music collection. People used to send your their lists, and what they were looking for as well.  Waiting a long time to receive a package was painful, but very rewarding.  You were anxious, but when you finally received it, was great satisfaction. I remember clearly when I was trying to do my own zine back in the early 90's.  I sent letters with interviews to a lot of bands without any expectations.  Again, I was not expecting any response from anybody, but several bands did reply and sent their interviews back answered.  The coolest package that I received was from a band called ATTOXXXICO (HC/Punk).  I was a huge fan of this band, and when I received the interview answered by the drummer and their manager on tape was awesome!  I was running through the house, screaming of excitement.  In fact, I still have the cassette, and still sounds the same way as it did almost 3 decades ago. As weird as it sounds, corresponding with other metal-heads through hand written letters, you were able to build some solid friendships. Some of my closest pen-pals, metal friends invited me to visit them and hang out. Even though we never met in person before, they offered me to stay at their house.  They told me, "As long as you have a round trip bus ticket, don't worry about food, a place to stay or even beer". I visited a few of them, and they welcomed me to their house, met their families, and they treated me like they knew me for years, even though we just met in person at that time. I felt like, metal-heads had a very solid camaraderie. I lived great experiences meeting very cool people back then, and I will always remember those memories. I've met very cool- humble people and visited new places, had fun hanging out with them, and drinking beer as well. That's one of the coolest things in life, when you hang out with people that like the same music and have the same ideas, and when you are young, nothing can beat that. Sadly, for whatever reason, we lost contact throughout the years, but I was able to find a few of them through social media.  Times change and everything changes. Unfortunately, some of my old friends don't think like they used to anymore.  I get it, we are older, mature, and have responsibilities and perhaps stress.  My life had changed, and maybe they think I've changed. I almost forgot, back in 1998, I sent a letter to the greatest magazine in the world, Metal Maniacs.  This time, since I knew English, I did get letters from all over the world.  I corresponded with several Metal heads for 2-3 years, but the excitement from people writing letters, was not the same as it did back in the old days. The started slowly wanting to communicate by email.  It was definitely, not the same. Some of you might wonder, how we managed to write some many letters back then, and the answer is simple.  We didn't have any cell phones, no social media, so that's all we had, that was the only way.  It's sad to see how people spend all day looking at their cell phones, off and on all day long. I wonder if they can spend a day without it, one full day. 
The ways to communicate always change and evolve, I wonder if in 10-20 years would be different or perhaps more advanced.  Perhaps, people would be writing letters again.  I doubt it!

INTERVIEW WITH THE DAMNNATION


The newest Brazilian metal band, The Damnnation, presents a versatile sound, which mixes several strands of extreme metal. Three insane girls making metal without labels, conscious and consistent with themes of depression, injustice and politics. With influences from Testament, Megadeth, Metallica and Kreator. The Damnnation is a power trio that started in 2019 by Renata Petrelli.

Hi Renata. Congratulations on the album. Are you feeling settled in the group after being the singer?  It must be hard coming into a new group as a singer?

Every aspect of the band is vital but as the singer you are front and centre. In fact I'm still working on it. I still think myself as a guitarist who (tries to)sing. About feeling myself as the front person, I don't give a damn, once for me is ok to interact with people. On the previous band I used to do it sometimes when needed.

How does the songwriting process differ from other projects you’ve been involved with? Nothing, lol. Like the other ones I arrange the songs, then I show it for the rest of the band who put their tastes, opinions and make bass and drums better lol.

How important is it to you to have a variety on the album? It gives you the chance to show more sides to your voice too?

Of course! For me is extremly important to make and album in a organic way... like, when you are inspired you put your ass on the chair and start to write. Not to write 10 songs in a row just because you have a schedule to delivery it.

Sitting and listening to an album on the stereo is a brilliant experience. You can really take in the whole package and the artwork. The artwork is special. How do you go about deciding on the artwork and who to work with?

We just told to Alcides Burns (the illustrator behind this amazing work), that we wanted an art that sinthetises all the lyrics... specially about alienation and politics.

I know you have your metal influences, but are there any singers or artists that you look to outside of heavy metal for inspiration?

Yeah, in fact, a lot: Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, Queen, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blackberry Smoke.

How would you compare the previous EP with this new album?

I'm pretty less shy on singing! The EP I recorded it turning my back to the producer lol. This one, after a 3 days no stopping class with Mayara Puertas I could know better my voice range, which helped me a lot on recording this album.

Were there any songs that were actually more challenging for you to record?

Grief of Death and The Greed. Grief of Death because I need to sing during a change riffing. And the Greed because It is our fast song.

What are some things that you’ve learned from this pandemic?

Not good things. Lol. But it can be inspiring somehow...

Are you  planning to release an album every year? Like how artists used to do it back in the day?

No... Probably 1 every 2 years.

So how did you first get into metal? What was your first experience?

All the guilty goes to my mother. She is a rock n' roll lover, so I was introduced to Queen, Creedance, Black Sabbath, Bon Jovi since an early age. Around 6, 8 I already loved Nirvana, and Metallica was my first gig ever, and it changed my life.

Are there any  gigs planned besides Brazil? Maybe touring United States ?

We are working on that, but probably something next year!

Where would you personally want to be with The Damnnation in 5 years?

In terms of musical goals, development, etc., in a general sense. Playing around the globe, hopefully doing just it in my life.

Is there anything you would like to tell to your fans or the readers of Soulgrinder Zine?

I would like to thank you for the interview, and all the people who have been supporting us! This album is a very passionated one, composed and recorded with all of our love, rage and honesty! Hope you all enjoy!

Thank you so much for answering this interview, I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward so much to see The Damnanation live soon. Cheers!!

THank youuuu

thedamnnation.com.br

Interview by Paul Caravasi

 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Efyd - Like Shadows (2021)


I managed to get to listen to this band recently. Immediately I was swept away by how different this sounded. The main thing that really hit me is the musicianship and "Like Shadows" somehow managed to grow on me. Anyhow, after listening to this album a couple of times, i was able to properly indulge myself into this music, and what can I say, this album isn't bad at all. The vocals in this album are simple and in your face, because it features some light death growls. The good thing about the growls (which some people seem to not like) is the fact that they are not overly guttural and loud, which prevents it from completely obliterating the illusion of adventure that is felt while listening to this album, which is a slight change from most forms of metal. The guitarwork on this album is high quality, the bass playing on this album really stands out from other bands, the bass higher into the musical mix, which again adds to this sense of atmosphere created by all the other parts. The playing is extremely well done, showcasing the ability to play such complex lines of music, and in some sections even outdoing the guitars with his playing. And now the drums. What can I say, the style of drum playing really lays down a great blueprint for the rest of the music, as it fits in perfectly and really drives the musical atmosphere forward, as well as avoiding to overdo the playing and destroying the music. The drumming is mind-blowing. In conclusion, this album to me is good, after a couple of listens you will begin to find it a lot easier to listen and eventually be able to indulge yourself in the wonderful diversity of sound that is explored throughout this album.

metalscraprecords.bandcamp.com

Review by Paul Caravasi

Night Attack - The Initiation (2022)


When i saw the FrontCover of this album, i tought it was a gothic band or something. Oh boy!! Night Attack take their hatred and violence to such an astounding level. Fast, brutal, and above all, skilled musicianship abounds in this 2022 monster. There's no shortage of menacing riffs and shredding solos, the drumming suffocates, and the guitar and bass obliterate. All of this is possible due to a truly crushing production job. The vocals in particular destroy everything in their path. Verigo can be no other than the Devil incarnate. He's demonic here, so purely blasphemous. His growling is made all the more frightening by the fact that one can still decipher the lyrics - which are, by the way, evil at its best. Each and every song is worth a listen (hell, they deserve WAY more than that), and no track is weaker than any other. The most memorable may be "Merciless Death". The guitar solos are somewhat atypical for shredders; they are actually highly memorable. Some are fairly long, which in this case is a huge plus. They're extremely intricate and equally deadly and effective. This album's solos are some of the best thrash has to offer, which is saying a lot in a genre known for its solos. The bass playing, instead of quietly following the guitar as bass players are prone to do in metal, it is fairly loud and independently, sometimes rivaling the guitar itself. The drumming is also very sound. Always precise, always powerful, redefines just how fast and how well one can play the drums. The instrumentation along with Verigo's Satanic vocal delivery adds up to a completely devastating listening experience. "The Initiation" is nearly perfect brutal thrash/speed metal, attains a form of perfection based not on technical playing and production, but rather as the definition of extremely violent yet memorable Metal !!

facebook.com/NIGHTATTACKBAND

metalscraprecords.bandcamp.com

Review by Paul Caravasi

Chaos Engine Research - Faces (2022)


This is technical, robotic riffs, and inhuman barks and growls, with subtle, yet powerfully difficult, drumming. What i can say is, It hits you in such a way that you find yourself saying, "Wow, what did I just experience?". Whether you like the album or not is a completely different story. Most of the songs might sound too similar but if you follow the beat of that hard hitting guitar sound, you'll be able to tell the difference from each song. Also those tweeky sounding solos that come up help distinguish the songs from each other by creating a different atmospehere. When other bands try too hard to sound heavy they sound generic but Chaos Engine Research manages to only sound like themselves, creating their own.They have their own unique heavyness in their brand of extreme mathematicaly timed music. My grade for "Faces" is 85%, it's an interesting album but I still kind of feel like I'm listening to the same song over and over after listening to the album a few times already. Not bad, good stuff though. Check them out if you really dig Meshuggah or Ion Dissonance as well !!

facebook.com/ChaosEngineResearch

metalscraprecords.bandcamp.com

Review by Paul Caravasi