Wednesday, 29 February 2012


Here is a feature/interview on the American Black/Thrash/Rock 'n' Roll band MAAX that was originally posted on the Terrorizer magazine website in an edited format. Here is the full unedited feature. Great band , support them!

"I used to come across a lot of great new music via Myspace but in recent times have found myself getting to hear more and more great new bands via sites such as Reverbnation, Youtube and Facebook. This is one such band who have caught my attention via another medium since the Myspace boom imploded on itself and people aswell as bands have been seeking other ways in which to share and promote music to people in the wider world. Someone posted about these guys on their Facebook page so I hit the link provided and was met with what can be best described as black evil heavy metal rock' n roll, bands such as Bewitched(Swe), early Bathory, Motorhead, Venom, later Dark Throne were used to describe this bands sound and that description hit the nail on the head pretty much as they basically do sound like an explosive musical molotov cocktail of said bands.

They have been around for a few years now but I will focus on the awesomely named "Six Pack Witchcraft" EP and the upcoming debut album "Unholy Rock 'n' Roll"  which is due to be dropped like a musical bomb upon the metal scene in the not too distant future via Abyss Records who have also been responsible for unleashing some of the bands other releases. The first song I heard was the title track off the 5 track EP "Six Pack Witchcraft" (how can you possibly go wrong with a song called that?!) released in 2010 and within the first couple of riffs they had me hooked....line and sinker!. Fans of all of the bands I have mentioned in comparison will not be disappointed by what this band delivers musically. I wanted to find out more about what makes this band tick and delve deeper into the world of Maax so fired off some questions and here is the little interview with Kyle Kreider (Guitar). 

Hails! Please give a background history on the band and who does what in the band?

Kyle MaaxMaax formed in the winter of 07' from the debris of another long running metal institution formed in 99'. We consolidated down to a three piece Sky Kingrey/bass/vocals Kyle Kreider/guitars ,and James "Jeff" Brown/drums which became the "Dawnbringer" sessions. The early onset of Maax was a decidedly more Black Metal and "Dawnbringer" was just that with a very cult vibe,we just kind of "went with it" as we were writing the album it was an exciting time but this lineup was short lived as Sky Kingrey had to relocate his life making a regular band rehearsal impossible. Meanwhile "Dawnbringer" was garnering allot of interest internationally and we were on the prowl for new blood to keep the band alive as we are very much a live band. Scouring the local band scene for willing participants was nothing short of difficult until Brett Schlagel rang my cell phone one day and said "hey man,heard your looking for a bass player" followed up by "I got the bass and I got the skill!" (laughs) Most confident thing I've heard out of anyone's mouth who inquired about the position,how could I say no....We knew Brett to be a talented guitar player so we figured he probably knew his way around the bass as well,rocket science is not a factor in our metal anyway! We began writing for the "Six Pack Witchcraft" EP immediately,most of the riffs and structures we had laying around since the Dawnbringer sessions so we had plenty of fuel and passion to rejuvenate this beast. Mean while I was corresponding with a long time friend of the band Tim Green who had jammed in some previous musical endeavors of mine and at this time was still enlisted in the US military and stationed in Iraq for the second or third time.

 He expressed interest in joining a band as a vocalist when he returned home,the planets just kind of aligned and he started rehearsals shortly after his return home. We actually had enough material to make "Six Pack" a full length album but some of the other songs were missing a few ingredients here and there so we just recorded the five you have on the "Six Pack" EP  with this lineup Tim Green/vox,Brett Schlagel/bass,Kyle Kreider/guitar,and Jeff Brown/drums. It turned out to be an excellent choice for Maax,after releasing the EP on Abyss Records we made an executive decision to move Brett into a second guitar position in the band,the guy is a natural guitar player! This brought much to be desired to the writing process and gave new life to the songs left over from the "Six Pack" sessions,now we were able to incorporate lead guitar pieces and layer the rhythm sections for bigger sounding choruses and hooks but we still remain dirty and mean sounding,This gave Brett his opportunity to flourish as the guitar player he is but left a void once again on the bass front. After exhausting my resources in looking for "bass" guitarists I swtched my efforts and asked some guitar players I knew if they would be interested in playing bass for Maax and that turned out to be easier (laughs) and landed Maax the best bass guitarist to date in Jeremy Starkey current bass player and stckler for tightness! Jeremy is also resident guitarist in long standing Indiana death metal institution Necrophagous we knew each other and our bands have gigged together for years so he already knew what Maax was all about. We have written and recorded our follow up full length to the "Six Pack" EP with this current lineup as well.

You have a debut album "Unholy Rock 'n' Roll" coming out soon via Abyss Records, tell the readers about this album in your own words and what they can expect from it?
Kyle Maax- Unholy Rock & Roll is full on Maax,it is what the title implies! The songs are a bit bigger,more hooks,catchy choruses,big lead guitar pieces but the intensity and "Fuck You" attitude remain,the beastial attack is still ever present and I know this word is taboo around here but the record is fun in a piss drunk and slutty kinda way it's the sonic equivalent to a bunch of pissed off bikers having a good rape and pillage! It's fun to play and takes a lot of pressure off in the live setting. It's unapologetic heavy metal!

My first introduction to the band was tracks from your "Six Pack Witchcraft" EP, to me it sounds like equal parts Bewitched, Venom, old Bathory and Motorhead? Is this release still available? What has the overall response been like to it?
Kyle Maax- The response to "Six Pack" has been great for us,we still continue to cover alot of ground with this EP. The EP has had a mixed bag of reviews mostly dogging the production value of it but we kinda wanted the "demo" sounding prduction on it but in hindsight we wish that we could have taken a little more time on the production of "Six Pack" but damn! This EP drives it home and packs one hell of a punch! All the influence mentioned above can be heard on this EP that is fair to say. Six Pack Witchcraft is still available on Abyss Records and now on Sound Pollution (SWE)

Your debut album "Dawnbringer" (which I have yet to hear still) came out in 2009, is this album in the same style as the EP and new album material?
Kyle Maax- "Dawnbringer" is a much colder BM record with a very "aggro" cult vibe to it. We had began to write the thrashier black and roll driven stuff during this time and some of those songs carried over to the next sessions but we wrote "Dawnbringer" with a bit of a different mindset and a definate BM direction here,our new material has obviously evolved into what it is now due to our approach in song writing being a bit different and much more cohesive but our current sound was taking place and being formulated during the "Dawnbringer" sessions, our intentions remain the same.

What bands shape and fuel the sound of Maax? What literally possessed you to play such music?
Kyle Maax- Heavy Metal! It's hard to be band specific or even album specific,I think allot of our metal comes from obvious influences growing up with American heavy metal and thrash and British heavy metal being an obvious component especially now with the big guitar solos and the rock "Motorhead" vibe...punk,BM,DM it's all there in some form or another but bands like Crue,and priest taught us how to write and structure a song properly and bands like Celtic Frost and Venom taught us how to be evil and primitive with a 90's wave of Black Metal influence you get what Maax has become in a nutshell...Maax is unrestrained unapologetic heavy fuckin' metal! 

Do you play out live often? Much planned gig wise for rest of this year?

Kyle Maax- Yes we gig on a regular basis and the metal fest circuit has really taken notice of Maax we have quite a few big dates/festivals here in America planned Central Illinois Metalfest and The Gore Growlers Ball in San Antonio this year to name a few,things happen on a daily basis and the new record should bring more opportunities and hopefully some international opportunities! Our current location in the US fucking sucks as far as gigs are concerned though,it's very cut throat and thats a shame.

I know you have done a Celtic Frost cover, any other covers in your aural artillery? Do you play any live?
Kyle Maax- Hahaha yes we have covered or "Maaxed" everything from Grim Reaper to Billy Idol!

Why the name Maax
Kyle Maax It is pronounced (May-axe). The name Maax will be synonymous with the words Heavy and Metal! It's a mystery,it's an 80's thing (laughs).

Please tell us about your local underground scene, what bands can you recommend to the readers?
Kyle Maax- My pleasure! I recommend Legion and Necrophagous, two of my favorite local Death Metal bands since the early 90's on a broader scale we have The Gates Of Slumber,Demericous,Radiation Sickness for some good Indianapolis based bands.

What other bands are members of Maax involved with? Please tell us about them
Kyle Maax- Everyone is full on Maax except Jeremy Starkey is involved with Necrophagous (mentioned)

OK the last words are yours, thanks for the interview, where can people buy/hear your music?! 

Kyle Maax- Thanks very much for interviewing me and your interest in Maax! You can purchase our music as well as merch @ and we have our first two releases on Itunes however I do not encourage downloading please get the CD or records to listen too,it's a fucking shame no one buys hard copies of shit anymore and metal has always been proud of old school traditions so do yourselves and the bands a favor and buy their shit! Also get your asses out to some shows and support what we do! Maax 2011


NAME: Warhammer
THEY ARE: Raw Death/Doom/Thrash Metal
FROM: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
FOR FANS OF: Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Apokalyptic Raids
LATEST RELEASE: "No Beast So Fierce" (self released)
SONGS TO CHECK OUT: "Total Maniac", "Warriors Of The Cross", "The Doom Messiah"

Warhammer are a band that I first came across back in the late 1990's but it wasn't until some years later that I fully indulged myself in their unashamed Hellhammer worship, Back in 1994 when the band first started it wasn't exactly considered cool to namedrop or openly admit you were influenced by Hellhammer but these German metalheads didn't care about whatever trends were doing the rounds in the extreme music scene at the time and just wanted to pay homage to the short lived musical legacy of the Swiss maniacs that was created by Tom G Warrior and co back in the early 80's before going on to form Celtic Frost.

Warhammer's music follows the same raw crude musical direction of the old Hellhammer material and they have paid very close attention not just to recreating the same vibe musically but also visually, everything from the bands logo to the album artwork just screams HELLHAMMER!!!.
The band released 4 albums from the mid 1990's until the early 00's( one of which was released by Nuclear Blast Records )  then disbanded for a little while before reforming some years later  (without an original member Frank Krynojewski) and then unleashing "No Beast So Fierce" which was a self released affair that saw the band picking up where they left off.

Apparently the band disown their earlier material because it dosn't sound enough like Hellhammer! I love this bands stripped down, straight forward approach especially in these modern times of over triggered and polished productions and I love the fact that the band have stayed true to their original musical agenda for the best part of 20 years and have just continued to fanatically pay homage to Hellhammer. I sent some questions to the bands vocalist and a founding member Volker "Iron Lung" Frerich and here is what he had to say on the subjects of the band reforming, the latest album and of course no Warhammer interview would be complete without mentioning Hellhammer! 

Hails Volker! Please give readers a quick background history in the band and who currently does what in the band?

We started 1994 under the name TRIUMPH OF DEATH. Our current and only drummer Rolf especially learned drumming for this dream of ours! Nevertheless in the first years we were not constructive, just fucking around in the rehearsal room and playing cover songs. 1997 we decided, this had to change! We wrote some “serious” songs and entered the studio for the 1st time to record our only demo-tape “Towards the Chapter of Chaos”.  It was very well received within the metal scene, and one year later followed by our debut album “The Winter of our Discontent”. From that point on, we steadily released albums and played shows. In 2001 the band broke up because of strong personal differences. Some years later I was the driving source for the re-union, together with our old drummer Rolf. We were completed by Christoph on bass and Kiview on guitar.

You guys are known for being total Hellhammer worshipping did this idea first come about to play such strong Hellhammer influenced music and did you think it would last for more than a few albums?!! 

Necros II and I knew each other from the 80s, where we hung out together at a place called “Mephisto” in my home-town Gelsenkirchen. It was a metal pub, where all the guys from bands like SODOM, KREATOR, ASSASSIN, DEATHROW, VIOLENT FORCE, DARKNESS hung out, sometimes even MAYHEM came over! We shared a common passion for HELLHAMMER, and I guess, we were the ones, that adored them the most. When we met again in 1994 at a concert from TYPE O NEGATIVE, the idea of a band in similar vein began to form...

Your most recent album "No Beast So Fierce" was unleashed by yourselves a little while ago...please tell the readers a little about this album in your own words, also why did you decide to release it yourselves instead of going through a label? Did you have a bad label experience previously or....?

“No Beast so fierce...” was, with the exception of the song “Total Maniac” written completely by Christoph, which I think, is very impressive, considering the fact, that he is very young and joined WARHAMMER without expert knowledge of HELLHAMMER. We took our time arranging the songs (drums, vocal lines) and recording “No Beast so fierce...”, because the metal crowd was not expecting anything from us with a specific date or so. I am very pleased with the result, I think, it’s the best album we ever put out, followed by “The Doom Messiah”!
We decided to release it ourselves, so we could have total control, and all the pressed CDs for our own use.
The times with Grind Syndicate Media/Nuclear Blast were not bad times, but nevertheless we wanted to try it another way this time!

I know you guys disbanded for a little while in the early 2000's then reformed without an original member Frank around the mid 2000's, I have read some criticism from people about your decision to reform without him, what is your response to those people and why wasn't he involved in the reformed line up??

I can only say to those people: “Listen to “No Beast so fierce...” without prejudice and then judge!”. And also to our song “Maneater”, which is featured on a Split 10” with COFFINS (Vinyl-only-Release). We have not lost our way, and we never will!
The problems between me/Rolf on one side and Necros II on the other were the reason for the break-up, and it was/is serious. So to include him in the line-up was definitely not my intention!

Describe Warhammer in 5 words only!

Raw, heavy, simplistic Deathdoom Brigade!

Do you guys play out live much/ Have you done any touring for the last album or do you have any tours or gigs in other countries planned? What are the chances of seeing Warhammer in the UK? What can people expect from a Warhammer live performance? I guess lots of beer is drank at your gigs! What makes German crowds different from other countries in Europe do you think?

We did a tour in Finland together with HELLBOX, were in Italy five times so far, and in other neighbour countries like The Netherlands, Austria and so on. We are confirmed for next year’s BARROSELAS METALFEST in Portugal and METAL MAGIC FESTIVAL in Denmark. We would love to play in the UK, just need some contact for getting us over! A WARHAMMER live performance contains much headbanging and going crazy on stage. I also like, when people sing into my microphone, I am not one of those frontmen with the attitude “The mic is mine, get away from me!”, hahaha. I guess, that still results from my Hardcore days at the end of the 80s.
German metalheads could always count on a strong scene, that has been there since the 80s. We always had great bands like RUNNING WILD, DESTRUCTION, IRON ANGEL, EXUMER or TYRANT, that were the foundation for the metal fans. You need domestic bands for people to follow. I would not like it, if German metalheads would only go to concerts of foreign bands – because there are no domestic ones! But luckily that is not the case, and never was. I don’t think, that the Germans are that much different than in other countries, you have crazy, enthusiastic fans in Italy too, for example!

Apart from the obvious Hellhammer influence are there any other bands that play a big role in fuelling and shaping the sound of Warhammer??

No, not really. The band members listen to various sounds privately, but as far as the songwriting is concerned, it’s basically just HELLHAMMER, that we focus on.

What is your local scene like, any local bands you wanna recommend to the readers to check out?

We have some good local bands here like ATTIC or IRON KOBRA. Our guitar player is in IRON KOBRA, too. It’s basically Heavy Metal with some Speed Metal mixed into. ATTIC feature a slice of MERCYFUL FATE, as their vocalist sounds a bit like King Diamond.

What is your opinion on the current German metal and punk scene- any bands you wanna recommend?!

I don’t like that much new bands these days. CRUEL FORCE released 2 good albums, but now their singer left, and he has a very specific voice, so I don’t know, what they will sound like in the future. OCCULTA is a cool band, I think, they were over in England already, too. And BLOODY VENGEANCE for fans of the South American-style.

Out of all of your albums which are ones are your faves? And for what reasons?

Like I said earlier, my favourite one is “No Beast so fierce...”, followed by “The Doom Messiah”. I think, “The Doom Messiah” is a 100%-solid product, as I like all songs on it, and the prodcution, too. I can’t stand our debut-album “The Winter of our Discontent” because of the sound, and the prodcution of “Deathchrist” is not so hot either. On “Curse of the absolute Eclipse” I am not happy with all of the songs, I think, some of them are pretty mediocre. “No Beast so fierce...” is like a dream come true for me, ‘cause I think, it’s a perfect release for WARHAMMER. All songs are Killer, and the guitar sound is the most raw and brutal we ever had! We tried something new with the trilogy, acoustic guitar and spoken word at the end, but the foundation is for sure still HELLHAMMER to the max!!

I read a little piece in Terrorizer magazine where Tom G Warrior was reviewing your cds/talking about Warhammer , did you ever see that and if so what did you think about that?! Have you ever met him in person?! I guess he must be flattered by such blatant Hellhammer worshipping!!

Yes, I have read it. I don’t care too much about what he wrote, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. I don’t agree with most, he said. And no, I have never met him personally.

What are your plans for the near future? Do you have much new material written? What can we expect from it? More of the same Hellhammer worship in your own unique style?!

We will put out the following stuff in 2012: A split 7” with APOKALYPTIC RAIDS, where each band covers 2 HELLHAMMER-tracks. We have chosen “Maniac” and “The Third of the Storms (Evoked Damnation)” for this release. A new WARHAMMER-album or EP. A 4-track-split CD with SATHANAS and another band. A 10”-Split with ABIGAIL. These are the projects in our focus for 2012, I hope, they will all see the light of day. And yes, only HELLHAMMER-style, for sure!

The last words are yours, how can people get hold of your Cd's, merch etc..??? anything you would like to say? Danke Volker!!

Thank you, Kat, for this interview! We mostly sell our stuff at gigs, but there’s always some on Ebay Germany, on our own auctions. Finally “No Beast so fierce...” got an official label-release, too! It came out some weeks ago with our approval in Brazil, through the label KILL AGAIN RECORDS. And the 2nd vinyl-edition just came out through German Label HIGH ROLLER RECORDS, as the 1st one was sold out very quickly. We are very busy at the moment, and things are looking good for us! If you know about anyone, that would get us over to England, feel free to contact us here:

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Here is an interview with War Injun from Maryland USA, I originally did this feature for the Terrorizer Magazine website in 2011. Maryland is most well known musically for being the home of bands such as Pentagram, The Obsessed and Clutch and for it's long running and world famous fertile Doom metal-Doomrock scene which spawned a multitude of now classic bands within that genre, at one point in time back in the mid 1990's it seemed like almost every band in the Maryland region that had an early Black Sabbath obsession were signed to the now infamous cult German Doom label Hellhound Records who had such Maryland Doom heavyweights such as Revelation, Wretched, Unorthodox, Iron Man, The Obsessed and Internal Void on their roster back in the early-mid 90's aswell as LA Doom godfathers Saint Vitus and Swedish Sabbath worshippers Count Raven.
WAR INJUN comtinue the fine tradition of Maryland Doom and actually feature ex Internal Void frontman JD Williams on vocals aswell as a current Earthride member in their ranks, the Earthride connection dosn't stop there however as current Earthride frontman and ex Wretched vocalist and Spirit Caravan bassist Dave Sherman was a one time member of this band which currently features the line up of J.D. Williams on vocals, Dave Morgan on bass, J.B. Matson on drums, Kenny Staubs on guitar and Kyle Van Steinberg on guitar.
War Injun's music is dirty gritty bluesy Doomrock and their debut CD "Tribal Eulogy" would fit in any Doom collection just perfectly alongside any of the aforementioned bands I have mentioned. There is a great mix of tempos going on in the bands music, from doomed out slow passages to heavy full on hardrockin' crushing mid paced-uptempo sections and J.D. 's vocals are on fine form throughout, his commanding and instantly recogniseable voice being the perfect lead for this bands whiskey soaked Biker Doom. Maryland Doomrock is alive and well in 2011 with bands such as War Injun
 and Earthride releasing great albums and continuing to fly the flag. I sent some questions to drummer J.B. to get more info on the band and here is what he had to say:-

Hails! Please give us a background history on the band and who does what.

J.D. Williams (ex Internal Void) – Vocals, Kenny Staubs (ex Outside Truth) – Guitars, Kyle VanSteinberg (Earthride) – Guitars, Dave Morgan (ex Leviathan AD/Beyond Fatal) – Bass, J.B. Matson (ex Outside Truth) – Drums.

You have just had your album “Tribal Eulogy” released. Please tell the readers about this album in your own words and what they can expect from it. Are you happy with how it turned out?

Ultimately, we are satisfied with the overall release and humbled by the response. Tribal Eulogy has been described as everything from “Brutal Biker Metal” to “Crushing Power Doom” There is an array of speeds and tempos throughout the album influenced by past and present groups. We, as a band, come together from a web of past bands. This coalition has created a sound we consider unique, no two songs sound the same.

Have you got any plans to support this release live>? Many shows booked? Do you play out live often?

As of now we only have (3) shows booked: SHoD XI (Stoner Hands of Doom) in Frederick, Md. On August 13th, a party on Sept. 17th with Admiral Browning, and The Day of the Doomed Fest in June  2012 in Wisconsin. We are first and foremost focused on writing new material.
Are your past releases (demo & split) still available?

There are no more copies of the demo left to my knowledge, and the 7” Split we released with Portugal’s Dawnrider was sold out some time ago. It is up to Blood and Iron Records ( if they choose to re-release this vinyl again. We also had the song ‘Dangerous Prayer’ on the compilation “Doom Capital” released by Crucial Blast Records in 2004. My personal opinion is that this comp. is a ‘must have’ for any true fan of doom.

What bands fuel and shape the sound of War Injun?

There’s probably 100 bands that strongly influence our sound. But in a nutshell, I would have to say: The Obsessed, Slayer, COC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Celtic Frost ……
Please tell us about your local scene. Maryland is known for its healthy Doom  scene, a couple of your members, both past and present, have been involved in such influential MD bands, as  Internal Void, Earthride, Wretched, and Spirit Caravan.

Maryland is definitely a main component to the doom genre. The whole Maryland/DC scene is rather slow at the current time, but there are still a few of us that are keeping the flame burning.

Are any members currently involved with any other bands/projects?

All of us have put our focus strictly on War Injun with the exception of Kyle, who is still active in Earthride.

Why the name War Injun?

The name War Injun was created by Kenny and I. I originally suggested War ENGINE, which eventually evolved to War INJUN based on our Native American heritages. I am Cherokee and Arapaho, Kenny is Cherokee (Blackfoot), J.D. is Apache, Dave is Sioux, and Kyle has Mandan in his blood.

What do your lyrics mostly deal with?

Karma, addictions, betrayal, spirits, insanity, Native Americans, sorrow……

What are your plans for the rest of this year and beyond…? Any plans to hit Europe at some point?

As I said earlier, our attention is set on writing material for our next album. Naturally, we would love to perform in Europe. Our biggest fan base is across the pond!

What’s your opinion on the worldwide doom scene? There seems to be more of a buzz surrounding bands like Vitus and Pentagram these days than there was back in the 1990’s for example…..why do you think this is?! What do you think has caused the surge in popularity in Doom music in recent years when they couldn’t get arrested 15-20 years ago?!

Doom has been around for a long time. There are dozens of bands and hundreds of songs that have never been recognized. “Hidden talent”. I believe that the internet is to thank for the recent awareness of the “doom” genre. Myspace and Facebook, for example, have given our style of music the opportunity to be heard….finally.
TRIBAL EULOGY can be bought at multiple online sites, just Google War Injun – Tribal Eulogy.
Follow WAR INJUN at:
  Like WAR INJUN at:
Contact WAR INJUN at: 
Thanks for the opportunity to speak with you Kat!! -+-+- DOOM ON!! -+-+- 

Monday, 13 February 2012


NAME: Witchsorrow
THEY ARE: Heavy Denim Clad Doom Metal 
FROM: Hampshire, England
FOR FANS OF: Revelation, Saint Vitus, Reverend Bizarre
LATEST RELEASE: "Witchsorrow" (Rise Above Records)
SONGS TO CHECK OUT: The Trial Of Elizabeth Clarke, The Agony, Thou Art Cursed

Witchsorrow are not reinventing the musical wheel and are treading a well worn and very familiar sounding musical path but they are not interested in redefining any genre or trying to be overtly original all they care about is playing HEAVY DOOM METAL, nothing more, nothing less and I personally find their no frills heads down traditional approach very endearing and just damn well done and enjoyable, they tick all the right genre boxes and their style will appeal to any serious fan of the genre and bands such as Saint Vitus, Revelation, Reverend Bizarre, early Electric Wizard, early Cathedral, their brand of Doom sounds quintessentially old school and their debut album sounds like it could have came out in the early-mid 1990's, it definetly would not have been out of place on the Rise Above roster of that time along with the debut albums by Mourn and the aforementioned Electric Wizard and they also have a certain Englishness to them, especially when it comes to some of the lyrical subjects which deal with olde english witch trials etc..the vocals of Necroskull on the debut self titled album released on Rise Above in 2010 also remind me very much of Jus Oborn back in the Eternal days or on the first Electric Wizard album, in places he sounds like a deadringer for him to my ears.

 Their debut is one of the best homegrown Doom albums since the days this country was producing the aforementioned classics aswell as the debut Solstice album and is the epitome of what I would call TRUE Doom metal, the word Doom has been bastardised and wrongly thrown about to label bands who in my opinion are not Doom and shouldn't be labelled as such so much over the past decade with any band playing slow, dirgey and sludgey being called or calling themselves Doom, to me Witchsorrow epitomise and capture everything I personally love about the Doom genre and how I think a Doom metal band should sound, they are a Doom band in the purest and truest sense of the word, clean normal sung vocals meets heavy and doomed (but not constantly slow!) riffage. The band are not afraid to up the tempo every once in a while and in my opinion all the best Doom bands both past and present injected mid paced-uptempo sections in their music.

The band haven't rested on their laurels and have already been back into Foel Studios to record their second album for Rise Above which is due for a release by the summer, the title of which is still to be revealed. The bands current line up is:- Necroskull guitar/vocals, Emily Witch bass, David Wilbrahammer drums. I thought it was a good time to interrogate Necroskull and here is what he had to say :-

Your debut album was released last year via Rise Above, what are your thoughts looking back on that debut album now? Are you satisfied with how it turned out? What has the response been like to it overall? Are you happy with it? If you could change anything about the debut recording what would it be?

NECROSKULL: I’m still massively proud of it. Listening to it now, I do think we’ve come on loads, but I still think it captured what we were trying to achieve. With the exception of The Agony we weren’t thinking of writing for an album when we wrote the songs, we just wanted songs to play live. We don’t tend to write songs that we don’t record, so these were the earliest things we’d ever written.
I wouldn’t change anything about it, though, because it is what it is, anything to be done differently can be done differently the next time we record. Otherwise you end up revising history. I wouldn’t want to hear Seven Churches re-recorded or anything, because you’d lose the spirit, and I think the same of our debut. We captured the spirit, so job done.

Please tell the readers a little bit about this debut album in your own words and what they can expect from it if they are not familiar with the music of Witchsorrow?

NECROSKULL: Heavy doom metal, in the tradition of Sabbath, Vitus, Trouble, Electric Wizard, Cathedral etc, with an emphasis on heavy metal darkness. Some of the songs are fast, most of them are slow, but they’ve all got a total downer edge. And they’re all metal.

How did you initially hook up with Rise Above? Was it a case of you sending them a demo or did they approach you?

NECROSKULL: I’m still not quite sure what happened there. I’ve known Lee and Will from Rise Above for years. They were at our first gig, and somewhere along the line we ended up working together. I think they liked that we have a total dedication to doom. Really it just boils down to them liking what they heard and wanting to release us, which is a very amazing thing.

You recently entered Foel Studios to record album number 2 which will be once again released by Rise Above, please tell us a bit about the new album, what can we expect from it? What are some of the new song titles and what will this album be called?

NECROSKULL: Titles will remain secret for the time being, but the album is total doom. It’s a lot darker and heavier than the first album, a lot more shadow. Some of it reminds me of Forest OfEquilibrium a bit, that’s a really slow, dirgy song, but then there’s also a song on there that celebrates great classic heavy metal bands the three of us love like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept. As I say, heavy doom metal.

Why did you choose to record there? How was the recording process for this new album? Much stress or did everything get laid down quite smoothly? Did you feel some pressure for album #2?

NECROSKULL: We loved the results from last time, and I personally just love being there. It’s miles away from anything, there’s no people, no interruptions, just your music and vast countryside. It’s a really amazing place. Emily and I aren’t really into towns and cities, so somewhere as remote as Foel is a brilliant find. The rest of the world really does vanish when you’re there, it’s wonderful.
We didn’t feel much pressure really, although we booked the studio before we’d written a lot of it, so we were aware of the clock ticking and having to get it finished before we went to record. But if we didn’t do that we’d probably still be writing it now.
Something that was different this time was that we had time to try things out while we were recording, which we didn’t get the chance for before. There’s an instrumental thing on there we pretty much made up on the spot, we just got a riff and recorded some ideas with it. That was cool.

Have you pretty much just stuck to the same formula with the new album/material? 

NECROSKULL: There’s no real formula to it, we just come up with whatever we can jamming together. We’ve tried writing songs alone and bringing them complete to the rest of the band, and it just doesn’t work – we all have to play riffs together and try and come to the next bit of a song naturally by doing that.
I do think that we aimed for the same results as we always have, though – to create metal that’s really heavy and dark.  

When will the new album be released?
NECROSKULL: Sometime within the next six full moons.

Do you plan to play live much/tour in support of this album?

NECROSKULL: We do. We haven’t got much set in stone yet, but we’ve been talking about some very cool things. And we’re playing with Wounded Kings, Serpent Venom and Cultfinder in February, which will be awesome. We’re also playing in Bournemouth an Birmingham in March, details on the web.

What bands shape and fuel the sound of Witchsorrow?

NECROSKULL: Obviously the classic doom stuff like Sabbath, Wizard, Vitus, Cathedral, Reverend Bizarre, Count Raven etc, but we’re also really inspired by bands like Bathory, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Accept. We’ve always had a side of us that’s total foot-on-the-monitor, headbanging metal madness. I’m also a massive fan of really dark death metal bands like Grave Miasma and Mortuary Drape, they inspire us as well.

Please tell us a bit about the bands name?

NECROSKULL: I have no idea where it came from, it just came into my head one night when I was just sat listening to music. I think witches are so classic in doom because if you were accused of being one, you were absolutely fucked, to me they’re these icons of complete hopelessness. They are the damned.

Lyrically you seem very influenced by the darker sinister side of anicent British history, witch trials etc..what lyrical topics do the new songs deal with?  what fascinates you about these subjects/topics? England is a perfect place for a doom metal band to originate from with its wealth of old history, creepy old graveyards, churches, hauntings and other such places/things.

NECROSKULL: The new songs have mentions of witches, magic and soforth, but that’s just the language we use to write. The meanings behind them are always something more than that, though. There’s a lot of anger, frustration, bitterness, disappointment, fear, biting your thumb at the rest of the world. At the moment the whole world feel like it’s about to collapse. I know the metal thing to do is to write about surviving and prospering and whatnot, but I just can’t do it. It’s hopeless, everything’s fucked, and I honestly think things are going to get really, really bad over the next couple of years. We’re basically waiting for the end of the world now.

What is your opinion on the current worldwide doom metal scene? What other current bands do you feel an affinity with? Which other Doom bands could you recommend to the readers out there who are searching for more Doom to listen to?

I think the doom underground’s really good at the moment. I’m excited to hear new stuff by Vitus and Solstice, and the new-ish stuff by bands like Procession, Atlantean Kodex, 40 Watt Sun, Devil has all been killer. Hopefully the Sabbath reunion will do something good for the scene getting a bit of attention as well. It’s sad that some of the older bands like Cathedral and Candlemass are bowing out, but there are plenty of killer bands to keep the flames burning.


Describe Witchsorrow in 5 words only?

Morbidly fixated doom heavy metal

NECROSKULL: The scene in Farnborough is basically Emily and me, and one of our neighbours (who we met by chance when we supported Angel Witch and only discovered that night that we lived literally two doors away), who’s been in the doom scene for years, saw Mourn and all that back in the day. Other than that, Farnborough has nothing. No venue, no metal pub… I can’t even remember the last time I saw any kids in Bring Me The Horizon shirts in town. Mainly for gigs it’s London, I go to as many doom/black metal gigs in London as I can.
As for our own gigs, it depends where and when we’re playing and what’s appropriate. We played in a church earlier this year, and it was lit almost entirely by candlelight, which was amazing, but that wouldn’t be right to do everywhere. When we’ve played in daylight at festivals, or in venues that aren’t exactly vibe-y, we’ve managed to carry ourselves via the sheer force of our metal attack. We just try to create something dark via the medium of loud heavy metal, and add elements around that as appropriate to the surroundings.

What bands have you shared the stage with so far? If you could share the stage with ANY five bands who would they be? Who would be the ultimate band for you to go out on the road with?

NECROSKULL: We’ve played with loads of killer bands – most recently we did a couple of dates with EyeHateGod, which was pretty killer. We’ve also played with Orange Goblin, Electric Wizard, Angel Witch, Warning, Winterfylleth, The Gates Of Slumber, Blood Ceremony, Pagan Altar, The Lamp Of Thoth, Iron Void, loads. We played with Turisas once, which was weird, loads of kids in fur and warpaint ready to party, and they get half an hour of us and our misery. We did a festival in summer with The James Cleaver Quintet, I liked that. I always enjoy being on bills with bands who are different than us.

Five bands to play with…
Electric Wizard
Iron Maiden

I think best band to go on the road with would be Maiden. That;d be perfect because they’re such an organised touring machine we could just turn up when we were told to, do our thing, then watch Maiden. You’d probably get babysat very well on tour with them.

You played Sonisphere earlier this year, what was that experience like? How was the crowd reaction?

NECROSKULL: We were on at the same time as Metallica at Sonisphere. In my head, it turned into a real us vs them thing. It was killer, though, we had loads of candles and torches onstage, we could see the moon while we were playing, it was really perfect in that respect.
What I really loved was that people gave Metallica the fuck off and came to watch us instead. It didn’t bother me that we probably lost a lot of people to them, but I felt really proud that people chose us over them. A small victory for real metal. I got a bit carried away and called Metallica cunts from the stage, but I imagine a younger Lars Ulrich would have approved of that.
I was surprised to see Metallica have the balls to come back for Download, considering how hard we handed them their arses. Download : Book us so we can blow The Four Horsemen offstage again.

Any plans for you to play Roadburn? I think that is a festival perfectly suited to Witchsorrow!.

NECROSKULL; We’d LOVE to play at Roadburn. It’s just a question of being invited to come and be part of it.

Any plans to hit the road in say USA at some point in 2012? Which fellow Rise Above bands would you most like to go out on tour with?

I’d love to tour AmericaEurope, anywhere. Just a matter of finding the time, the money, the promoters… RA bands I’d love to tour with are Electric Wizard, Gates Of Slumber and Blood Ceremony. They’re all really, really cool, so touring with any of them would be time well spent.

Why the nickname Necroskull? Any particular reason you chose this name or did you think it just sounded like a good doom stage name?

NECROSKULL: A friend came up with it years ago now. Say my real name really quickly when you’ve had a drink…

Whats the plans for 2012? 
We’ve got some gigs in the pipeline (see Facebook for deets), and we’ve got a few other bits we’re working on, bills we want to get on. And there’s the new album coming out, of course! Start saving your shekels for that!