Friday, 28 October 2011


Ravens Creed are a bulldozing thrash metal assault from England who recently unleashed a new EP called "Nestless And Wild" via Doomentia Records,  their heads down no nonsense approach to metal comes with the 100% Fenriz seal of approval as he was won over by their latest recording and then they were made a band of the week by the infamous and influential Dark Throne drummer earlier this year, they also recently played the Fenriz curated Live Evil Festival in London and before that event I was asked by Marek one of the organisers/promoters of Live Evil if I would be interested in doing an interview with Ravens Creed for the Live Evil zine and since I really like the debut Ravens Creed EP and album and also because Jay the drummer is an old friend of mine who actually comes from the same town in North East England as myself (Spennymoor) and Steve Watson the guitarist is also an old friend in the scene I gladly obliged and sent some questions to the Ravens Creed axeman about their latest addition to the band, wild eyed possessed man mountain of a frontman Al Osta (who replaced equally big ex frontman Ben Ward who quit the band some time ago to focus on fronting his main band Orange Goblin) aswell as asking some questions about their appearance at Live Evil and other things and this is what he had to say:-

 Hails Steve! Can you give me a quick background history about the band and who currently does what? 
Formed 2006,  known Frazer for years, met Jay through him, we had a jam and got Ben and Martyn involved, that lasted a while until Martyn left as he had enough his plate with OG, Frazer replaced him, this lasted through a few more EPs and our debut album, shortly after this we reached a mutual decision with Ben that it would be best for all if he  stood down as he was having same problems that halted Martyn , for over a year now Ravens Creed are - Al Osta-vocals/Jay Graham-drums/Frazer Craske-bass/Steve Watson-guitar

Some of you are very experienced musicians and have been active in the heavy music scene for many years and have been involved in some well known bands such as Sabbat, Cerebral Fix, Skyclad, Iron Monkey etc...what was your sole intention when you decided to form Ravens Creed? How easy was it to get the first line up together?
To form a band that wasn't stressful ie: no members with egos/hidden agendas, and to do it just for the love of doing it with like-minded gents(!) I asked Ben, sent him a cdr and he said yes, Ben played it to Martyn and he liked it too, so that was that for a while..........

I know you went through a major line up change not so long ago when you lost your original vocalist Ben (who a lot of people know as the frontman of Orange Goblin), that is some BIG vocal boots to fill so how did you end up coming across your new vocalist Al Osta and what made you decide to choose him to replace Ben? Did you have many people audition/ enquire about the vocal position?
Ben is a great frontman and a top chap, so it was a blow of course, but like losing a limb, one has to adapt and maybe adopt a new walking style that was as good (if not better?) than before. Al sent me an email saying "I don't sound like a ten year old girl" and I admired his spunk, he sent me a rough recording of him shouting in his garage to Negative Approach and we knew we had our man.

How have things been working out with Al? I know you recorded a new EP with him "Nestless and Wild" what has the response been like to the first recording without Ben at the mic and also towards Al and his vocals? I must say he seems to fit perfectly into the band and has a strong commanding vocal presence. I guess it must have been kinda daunting having to live up to and fill the presence of such a frontman as Ben Ward.

Everything is coming up roses with Al, his style is harsher to Bens, I think......he lives closer too, which was the major hurdle with Ben, as for ''filling shoes'' and whatnots, anyone who see's us live can judge for themselves.

What bands would you say shape and fuel the sound of Ravens Creed overall? 

Describe Ravens Creed in 5 words!

You guys were made a band of the week by Fenriz, what did you think about that? Are you a Dark Throne fan? It is an honour for any band to have that "Fenriz approved" blog with him being such an influential musical figure so I guess you were very happy!?
Chuffed of course, I have been under Darkthrones' filthy spell since inception, well maybe not so much the first lp, it's okay of course, but didn't stick a pitchfork in me like the others did.

You are also playing this years Live Evil festival, what are your thoughts about that? What can people expect from a Ravens Creed live show?
Honoured to be playing such a respected festival to be honest, cosy venue with some of the greatest bands in the world playing loud? 10/10 YOUTH!, you can expect thirty minutes of downtuned cossack thrash from us.

Any fellow Fenriz approved bands that you are really looking forward to seeing at Live Evil in particular?
Jaguar, never thought I would see them, proper old school Neat Records action, Aura Noir too, but I think they are on a different day? looking forward to seeing all the bands (which is a first for me!)

What are your plans for rest of 2011 and into 2012, do you have much new material what can people expect from the next recording, I take it you will be aiming for another full length?
Recording the second album at TENKO studios, it's called The Power and will be out early next year on Doomentia records.

Any other British bands you would recommend to Fenriz to check out and maybes discover a new band of the week?!
I got no idea!  Al would tell you better

Thanks for taking the time out to answer this interview. last words are yours...whats your final words to those who will be attending live evil this year?
Cheers Kat, and our message to Live Evil punters is-HEADS DOWN SEE YOU AT THE END

Monday, 24 October 2011


MORGOTH are an old favourite of mine and a band I listened to A LOT over the years ever since I was a young teenage death metalhead, they are a band who had a profound influence on me all those years ago when I was just starting to get heavily involved in the death metal scene and the underground and getting into the more extreme side of music and then a little while later with forming my own death metal band. Morgoth have remained a constant favourite with me ever since I first heard them back at the end of 1990 on the John Peel show, I was blown away by the track he played by them which was from "The Eternal Fall" mini album if memory serves me right(can't remember exactly which song it was now though), I taped it and had it blasting through my walkman speakers at school for days afterwards, I remember showing one of my fellow metalhead schoolfriends that Morgoth song I taped from John Peels radio one show and excitedly pointing out it was one of the most brutal things I had ever heard, which at that time it most definetly was!!

About 21 years have passed since that night I first heard Morgoth and I still get the same feeling when listening to the first few Morgoth recordings tpday as I did back when I was 14/15/16 years old, musically they always came across like the younger European cousin of early Death, Autopsy and Obituary whilst still remaining to have their own unique style, there is something about Morgoth that is just inherently European, a certain mystique and dark aura shrouds the bands music and lyrics which take you into a fantastical netherworld of horrific, nightmareish entitys like the ones depicted on the covers of the "Resurrection Absurd"  and "The Eternal Fall" EPs. and the bands name itself was lifted from Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The bands debut full length album "Cursed" took the band up a level in every possible way and still remains one of the most darkest sounding death metal albums ever swathed in a gloomy, sinister and sullen atmosphere which oozes out of the speakers through every tortured vocal line and riff. 

When I first found out Morgoth were reforming and going to be playing a lot of early material again I got very excited, so far they have only done a few warm up club shows in Germany and some European festivals but the reformation seems to be gathering more steam with the announcement that they will play the Maryland Death Fest next year and some other notable festivals so I am hoping that they will finally make a return to the UK in 2012 so I can finally witness the band live in person as I was too young to see them when they toured the UK in 1991 with Massacre and Immolation in support of the classic "Cursed" album and since Morgoth have had such a huge influence on me I just had to make them a band of the week and I also sent some questions to vocalist Marc Grewe about the "Cursed" album, the initial split, the reformation and their future plans as an active band again and here is what he had to say:-

 so 20 years ago since "Cursed" was released, how time flies! That album was an integral part of my listening when growing up as a young teenage death metalhead who was still at school, what are your thoughts looking back on this album all those years later and what it did for the band? I think it was definetly the release that took Morgoth up to another level and is now widely regarded as a death metal classic by many!

Well, before we talked about the reunion, I haven´t  listened to "Cursed" for a couple of years, but immediatly thought that it is kind of timeless, when I heard it. It still carries this autumn-like atmosphere. Of course it was our best selling album, but I always thought, that was because of the "good old times"....but looking back now I realized that it has something special about was great to see that even younger kids come up to me after the show and wanna talk about that album and what it means to them...thats very honouring to hear and fantastic to know that "Cursed" hasn´t lost its "charme" for even younger fans.

 When you were writing "Cursed" did you have an idea you were penning a very special album that would have a huge influence on many people at the time of its release and also have a long running and significant influence 20 years later?!

Well we never thought about that while writing the album. Actually we created our own atmosphere by renting out an old hunters barn during the fall/winter of 1990/91 in the woods where as our hometown Meschede is surrounded by hills and trees, so that might had an impact on the songwriting. Listening to it nowadays, it certainly had.

 What were the general musical and lyrical inspirations behind that album?
 musically we wanted to create an album that had a absolute dark and nihilistic atmosphere. Combining doomy parts with ultra brutal but catchy riffs. Lyrically we always tried to deal with "real life matters" that were disguised in metaphoric layers and coats...more like a dark novel by Kafka or so...

 What are your personal fave songs from that album and why?
I personally like the last two songs very much..Opportunity is Gone and Darkness...both are very different from each other but carry the whole feeling of the record and how what it was meant...dark, heavy, mysterious..

 Is there anything looking back that you would have liked to have done differently or are you satisfied with how that album turned out even all these years later?
Well, actually there is not really much I would change..Randy Burns did a great job on that album...maybe I would feature the bass a little more, but thats it.

 You supported that album with an extensive European tour with Massacre and Immolation which included a bunch of UK dates (that I was sadly too young to attend!), do you have any anecdotes or fond memories you would like to share from that tour? What were the personal highlights for you?
Were you guys already fans of the other bands music?

Well of course we really enjoyed touring with Massacre and Immolation. I am still in good contact with Rick Rozz and Kam Lee...also met the Immolation guys last year when they supported Napalm Death.
The whole tour went absolutely great, so we had always a reason to party on the bus! A funny thing during the UK tour was the one night after the in Birmingham we all got invited by an indian guy to join a traditional Indian Family Party...that was kind of bizarre, having like 20 metal guys parying with a huge indian community in traditional cloths in an old "Tudor Style" villa...later they even played our albums on their PA haha..crazy.

 After that album you went in more of an experiemental direction shall we
 say with the two albums "Odium" and "Feel Sorry For The Fanatic" what
 are your thoughts on those albums and the experimentation you did on those looking back?

As a band we were always looking to discover new things and always kept curious and "open minded".Musical tastes among the members diversed and we tried to get everybodys influence into the records...We just didn´t want to do something like be safe and go for a "Cursed Pt.2" thing..
I still like "Odium" a lot! FSFTF is very very experimental and I totally understand that traditional DM maniacs did not like that album haha...but fuck it, it´s just the weird stuff that came out of us to that certain time :-)

Why did the band break up in the first place?
Well, we knew after the tour we did with Die Krupps, that we wouldn´t continue anymore. It just felt strange.The personal directions all of us were taking didn´t cross anymore. We never called it was more like an endless 14 year sleep haha

 I know inbetween the band going silent and this 20 years reformation you were involved in various musical projects such as Power of Expression and Insidious Disease...any other projects you have been involved with that you would like to tell us about?!

Insidious Disease is the project/band I am doing now. We released "Shadowcast" last year and we will definately do another album in the future...Power of Expression (album was called: X-Territorial) was a project I did with some friends I know from the German HC scene. Great fun too. The guy who is doing the live sound for Slipknot (Hi Shirt!) produced it. It was always great fun to play that stuff live on stage. Another project was the Swedish band Comecon - Fable Frolic came out in 1996. It was a great experience to work with Thomas Skogsberg at the legendary Sunlight for that...kind of weird/experimental Death Metal stuff aswell.

 So onto the reformation, whos idea was it to initially do this to celebrate 20 years since "Cursed"'s release? Please introduce the reformation line up.

I got asked quite often about Morgoth, while I did the interviews for Insidious Disease last year. So I asked around and after a while got two of the original and songwriting members of the band going for it. They were head over heals on that and we thought about getting Morgoth together at least for some shows. I knew that Carsten Otterbach and Rudiger Hennecke wouldn´t be able to do it, as they are too busy in the actual jobs. So we found drummer Marc Reign (ex-Destruction) who was introduced to me by Mille of Kreator during their tour last year. The guy who is playing bass is called Soti Kelekidis (Sinew/Arms To Amen). An absolutely amazing bass player and the funniest lad ever!

How have the shows been going so far? Any highlights? I guess Party San must have been special?!A And of course playing Wacken this year?! Your thoughts on these shows?! How has the overall response been from fans both old and new?!

Well, all the shows went fantastic! I even wouldn´t point out a certain show so far, as all of them were special in their own way.

You guys used to be seen wearing demo shirts by Unleashed and such bands, do you all still listen to much death metal all these years later? What is your opinion on the current death metal scene and also the more recent material by other older classic bands such as Unleashed, Obituary etc.. the scene seems stronger than ever right now with a lot of great new young death metal bands playing in the old school style.

Yeah, I listen to anything that is good...wheather it´s called Death Metal, Black Metal, Grindcore, Doom ...whatever. My musical taste has spread over the years. So I wouldn´t say I just listen to Extreme stuff. I still like to discover, explore be open minded and learn...thats the best thing to do if you´re a music lover I guess.
And, yes! I think it´s great to see how the scene developed after the years of depression at the end of the 90ies...Its beautyful to see that even the younger kids buy all the old classic Death Metal albums...Wicked!!

 Do you plan to just make it a short term reformation or do you think it might develop into a more longer lasting one? Would it be too hopeful to expect any new material even from the band or are just going to concentrate on the old classic material?

So far we have decided to continue. We will be playing Neurotic Death Fest, Maryland Deathfest and some other shows. We are having absolutely fun on stage and as long as we have that, we will continue. We even have talked about some new stuff, but we ´ll give it all the time it needs. It has to be quality, thats the most important point for all of us!

Any plans to bring the band to UK in 2012? Like Bloodstock festival for example? Have you had any offers to play London or anywhere? Are you just going to be mainly keeping it to festival appearances?

Well nothing fixed for the UK yet. But It would be great to come back. I heared many good things about Bloodstock, so that would be an amzing festival to be part of, I guess!

 I must say your vocals are still sounding great after all these years! Were you surprised at how well your voice has held up? What was it like to start growling over the old classics again?!

Wow, thanx a lot! It´s like riding a bike...once you´ve done it, it won´t go aways just feels great to perform the old shit again.

 You are playing Maryland Death Fest next year, what are your expectations for that? Did Morgoth ever get to tour/play the states first time around? What other shows for 2012 are confirmed right now?

We toured the states before, but we never played a festival in the US..,so thats a premier. I just heard good thing about MDF aswell. Good organization and a dedicated audience, that likes to get hammered into the concrete of a parking lot...sounds good to me :-)

 What is the plans for Morgoth in 2012?

Gonna play some more shows...and we´ll tell you about a new album later on I guess ;-)

 Anything you would like to add, the last words are yours Marc thanks for
 answering this short interview!

 Thanx to all of those who keept track with MORGOTH and gave us such an unexpected great welcome back! shout all over the world: See ya in the Pits Of Utumno!!


Sunday, 16 October 2011


I have often made my opinions very clear on the modern UK death metal scene and the lack of bands that uphold and stay true to the "old school" sound and attitude in my opinion, too much emphasis on technicality instead of just good old fashioned heads down scathing morbid death metal nastiness but there are some old school style gems to be unearthed within the UK death metal scene if you dig deep enough...Cruciamentum are one such band that I have came across in recent times who sound like everything a death metal band SHOULD sound like to these ears, evil, morbid, brutal, heavy, grotesque with a musical atmosphere that is the musical equivalent of a darkened stinking crypt that has had bodies rotting away in it for centuries...that is the kind of things I want death metal bands to evoke personally, but hey that is just my opinion...some people prefer sterile technicality , I prefer a filthy evil atmosphere and riffs and Cruciamentum have both in abundance but that is not surprising as this band also shares members with the equally awesome Grave Miasma, another UK death metal band who have been creating abit of a buzz and a name for themselves over the past year or so.

Cruciamentum have built up quite an impressive following over recent years via 2 self released demos "Rotten Flesh Crucifix"   "Convocation of Crawling Chaos" One of these demos was recently re-released on CD and 10" vinyl by Nuclear Winter Records. If I had to make comparisons musically then I would say that Cruciamentum are equal parts Incantation, early Morbid Angel, old Finnish-Swedish death metal with some strong nods to the crushing stomp of Bolt Thrower and Asphyx and would also sit perfectly alongside albums by the likes of  Funebrarum in your collection, they mix up slower doomed passages with bursts of blasting speed just perfectly and each song is swathed in an oppressive aura of darkness and impending doom, the vocals are mostly of the deep death growled variety and could be compared to the likes of Craig Pillard and Karl Willets. This bands sound is about sonic density...this bands music is like a whirlwind of choking black dust swirling around you, ripping your senses apart with it's power in the process...Nice and clean death metal this band are most definetly not...but that is just what my ears want to hear!

The band have also recently just played the 2nd annual edition of Kill Town Fest and toured mainland Europe with Israeli Death metallers Sonne Adam and will soon by hitting the USA for the 2nd time and playing Rites Of Darkness II festival.

I sent some questions to D.L. the vocalist/guitarist before they set off on tour and here is what he had to say in response to some question I fired at him about influences, their upcoming American shows amongst other things :-

1)      Hails please give me a quick background on the band and who does what.

The details of our origins are insignificant but to sum ourselves up quickly to the uninitiated, Cruciamentum is a four piece death metal band from England consisting of: D.L. – Vocals / Guitars, B.C. – Bass / Vocals, D.B-H. – Drums and R.C. – Guitars.

2)      You currently only have 2 demos tapes under your belt but have already seemingly and impressively amassed a cult following when can we expect an EP or full length from you guys? I understand an EP is on the horizon via Nuclear Winter? Are the demos still available?

The first demo is unavailable, it’s only song was re-worked and re-recorded for the second “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” demo. The original cassette version is entirely sold out, but it has just been re-released on CD and 10” vinyl via Nuclear Winter who will also be releasing the new MLP in the coming months. That will feature four new songs spanning around 25 minutes. September will also see the release of a split 7” with Vasaeleth on Hell’s Headbangers.

3)      How did that deal come about?

I had been in touch with A.V. for a while so I sent him a tape, and he instantly signed us. His work and support are second to none, and we hope to continue our collaboration with him into the future.

4)      You do not seem to play too often in the UK and have already hit the states for last year’s Rites of Darkness, how did that slot come about and did you play any other shows over in the states whilst you were over there? What was that experience like?

I find it much more preferable for us to wait to be offered a place on an excellent line-up and make the gig a special event. Playing too often to local crowds can only be detrimental to the band in the end.
Rites of Darkness was a great experience, though we didn’t have enough time to arrange more dates. There is no exciting story behind our playing the festival, we simply received an email offering us a slot on the line-up, and we gladly accepted it. We plan to do a few extra dates with Anhedonist and Aldebaran when we return this year.

5)      You are also due to play Kill town Death Fest in Copenhagen, what are your expectations for that? A Euro tour is planned around that time too, please tell us about that, where you will be playing?

I’ve been informed on good authority that KTDF is an exceptionally organised festival and I’m personally looking forwards to seeing Funebrarum, Sonne Adam, Embrace of Thorns and Burial Invocation.
We are also doing a tour with Sonne Adam after the festival, not all the dates are confirmed yet, but we should be playing some gigs through Holland, Belgium, France England and Germany. This should be an interesting experience as it will be our first time playing more than two gigs in succession.

6)      Members of the band are based in different parts of the country and also have some other bands that are active, how do you manage to juggle schedules, prioritise things aswell as keeping the band going effectively when some members are based so far apart from each other? Has it ever caused a problem or have you got things worked out pretty well?

I handle the majority of the writing, so I record demos of new material, send them to the other members, who come up with their own ideas, riffs etc. We then rehearse together and finish the writing process as a full band. As you say, we are spread across three cities and around 200 miles, so writing is a slow process, but I believe that the difficulties caused are insignificant compared to the positive aspects of having all the right musicians in the band.

7)      Why the name Cruciamentum?

Cruciamentum translates from latin to “torture”. The translation and the choice of an antiquated language, at least to me evokes the aura of obscure horror which lies at the heart of our music.

8)      Your sound is very much rooted in the old school of death metal, what bands and influences fuel and shape the sound of Cruciamentum?

The diversity of Cruciamentum’s sound is due to our influences extending beyond simply copying bands that we are fans of. Many of the different moods are inspired by trying to musically arouse the aura of certain dreams, artworks, books or places that inspire me. That said, bands such as Disembowelment, Incantation, Demigod, Absu, Immolation, Morbid Angel and Sadistic Intent have certainly left their marks upon our subconscious over the years.

9)      Lyrically what themes do you touch upon?

So far death and damnation have been ever present spectres over Cruciamentum’s work. Should these endings be physical or spiritual, destruction has always obsessed me. I prefer to write in an open ended way, to retain a personal element for myself, and so that the listener can draw their own conclusions.

10)  Whats your opinion on the current British death metal-extreme music scene? Any bands you feel an affiliation or bond with? What UK bands would you recommend to the readers out there to check out?

I’ve no particular interest in the British scene, I feel no need to praise bands that I feel to be uninspiring simply because we are from the same country or drink together sometimes. If that damages any fragile egos then you can fuck off. There are a few excellent bands however Indesinence, The One, Wodensthrone, Isenscur and Adorior all frequent my stereo. I’ve not heard any interesting new bands for a while though…

11)  What is your opinion on the current worldwide death metal scene, old school death metal seems to have became more popular again in recent years, why do you think that has happened after such a style seemed to disappear back underground for a while.

My cynicism would blame the cyclic trends of metal, but I think also the fact that brutal/slam death (or whatever you want to call it) which preceded the “old school” boom hit its evolutionary dead end. People had to eventually get bored of it and move to something with a little more creativity in it. There certainly is more support for the older sound than there used to be, but as always, there are great bands and there are terrible, uninspired bands. Time will separate the wheat from the chaff.

12)  What are your plans for rest of 2011 and into 2012?

Well, as I’ve previously mentioned the MLP and split 7” will be out in the coming months, there are the tours with Sonne Adam and Anhedonist, and then I suppose we’ll start concentrating on writing for a full length. I wouldn’t expect that to happen too soon though.

13)  The last words are yours, plug available merch and anything else you would like to add. thanks.

We’ve got shirts, 10”s, CDs in stock at the moment, so anyone interested can feel free to drop an email to