Announcements and announcements

Reasons for not being active pt. #a lot.

So dear everyone, first of all I would like to apologize for being completely passive when it came to posting in the last months. The main thing is that at the beginning of April I moved from Budapest, Hungary to Leipzig, Germany and as you can imagine unfortunately the main point before my eyes was not moving forward with my blog and getting stuff in connection with my hobbies done but adjusting to a different country and doing all the administration required for it, trying to get used to my new job, new language and all the people I keep getting to know day by day. I kind of would be able to feel settled already but I just moved again into another apartment with some of my friends inside Leipzig so I don’t – also what makes the whole thing harder is that I’m doing a night job and even though I do enjoy it (just like everything else) so far, I definitely have to practice a lot of time management in case I even wanna have social life or get any stuff done, let that be administration or handling anything I care about, including reviews/interviews.

Being happy in Leipzig. Such a perfect city

I do have a feeling that this will change soon tho, as I feel like writing stuff again already especially becaaaause…:

The first issue of Metalegion Magazine I’ve been doing interviews for in 2014-15 is finally out and available for free download, featuring my interviews made with John & Donald Tardy from Obituary, Bobby Blitz from Overkill, Andreas “Gerre” Geremia from Tankard and Marc Grewe from ex-Morgoth along with a few reviews written under the name of Estelle. HERE you can find it – in case you like what you read & see, I would be happy about having the word spread. :)

I also got a few more names already with whom I will surely do an interview as we are planning the 2nd edition of the magazine: Sodom, Running Wild and Destruction, plus a lot of more band and festival ideas among which a lot will probably be sorted out. Couldn’t be more excited. :D

Soo hopefully I won’t disappear for months again and will be able to put some energy in writing, I love doing it and wouldn’t like seeing something I’ve done slipping away. :) Until then!

Advertisements

One word: epicness

[I apologize in advance for not all parts of this report being completely objective as it was such a personal treat for me that I’ll most likely never forget. Can be considered as some kind of an experience-report. :)]

Concert review: Overtures of War tour 2014 – Bolt Thrower/Morgoth/Incantation – 25th of September 2014, Wien

Review by Estelle on the 28th of September 2014

At the end of September 2014, Bolt Thrower has started the Overtures of War tour along with Morgoth and three different support bands: Soulburn from the 21th to 23rd, Incantation from the 24th to 28th, and Vallenfyre from the 29th of September to 5th of October. On the show on the 25th that I myself went to we had Incantation as a support.

Incantation

Incantation started punctually at 8 pm. Even though there were a few times less people seeing them than Morgoth’s show one hour later, even though the drum sound was somewhat weird and not all the people were getting their energy at the beginning, they perfectly managed to move and prepare everyone for 2-3 hours of pounding cruelty.
Incantation’s setlist was really fresh, consisting of songs from many different albums – they have played four tracks off their last record from 2014, Dirges of Elysium, two off Diabolical Conquest, one (‘Profanation’) off their classic first one Onward to Golgotha and there was a variety of albums being brought up in case of the others songs as well.

Incantation’s setlist

  1. Debauchery
  2. Shadows of the Ancient Empire
  3. Vanquish in Vengeance
  4. Oath of Armageddon
  5. Portal Consecration
  6. Profanation
  7. Impalement of Divinity
  8. The Ibex Moon
  9. Carrion Prophecy
  10. Impending Diabolical Conquest


Later as quite many people gathered at the Arena already, the louring intro of ‘Cursed’ started to play, followed by Morgoth powerfully getting on stage with the devastating ‘Body Count’. The crowd was starting to go crazy and the band, playing upon it, didn’t let us take a break until the very end of the last song.

Morgoth

They continued with three huge classics off Cursed (Exit to Temptation, Suffer Life, Sold Baptism), and then came the title track off their recent 7″ LP, ‘God is Evil’, dedicated to myself and the other Hungarians there. (After my interview with Marc [read it here] he asked who I went there with, and I told him we were like 30 Hungarian people there – so during the show before ‘God is Evil’ he randomly said “this song is for Estelle and the whole Hungarian long-way traveller group” – I was blown away!)
‘God is Evil’ is rather a mid-tempo track, so that it was a right decision to put it after such a blast of 4 mortal tracks off the first album. The song sounded great live and created the basic atmosphere for the next two songs from ‘Odium’ as well, ‘Under the Surface’ and the strong opener ‘Resistance’.

After the recall of ‘Odium’ we could hear the other massive track from the recent single, ‘Die as Deceiver’, then here came ‘Burnt Identity’, the opener of the second outstanding EP. After that, expectedly we got to one of the highlights again with ‘Isolated’ – my neck hurt since the third song yet I was headbanging to this tremendous classic like never before, along with all the other people in ecstatic state in the pit and first 10 rows. Then, still no room for settling down, we got the title track off Morgoth’s first demo from 1988, ‘Pits of Utumno’ straight to our face as the last song.

I have heard and read a few critics about Morgoth’s somewhat bad sound on some shows or festivals in the past, but here in the Arena the band sounded flawlessly. Marc’s voice is unexpectedly still nearly as strong as back in the day and its tone is more similar to the old tone than in case of a lot of other vocalists; and on top of all this, the band played this oldschool setlist with so much energy that I felt like a bulldozer went through my body as we reached the end of the almost one hour performance.

Morgoth’s setlist

  1. Cursed (Intro)/Body Count
  2. Exit to Temptation
  3. Suffer Life
  4. Sold Baptism
  5. God is Evil
  6. Under the Surface
  7. Resistance
  8. Die as Deceiver
  9. Burnt Identity
  10. Isolated
  11. Pits of Utumno


Epic. Just epic. And it wasn’t nearly over!

Bolt Thrower got on stage with the popular War/Remembrence combo from the beginning of …For Victory. Their combination of songs was a bit of everything: they played off every album except In Battle There Is No Law and Honour-Valour-Pride, mostly concentrated on Those Once Loyal, …For Victory and Mercenary, a little bit to my disappointment. After the two openers they continued with the intense Mercenary, and then we got to the top straight away concerning my taste with the two beautiful classics ‘World Eater’ and ‘Cenotaph’, that I personally would always expect to be the last song as for me it reaches up to something like ‘Isolated’ in case of Morgoth (– and I believe I’m not the only one who might agree that that mighty song could be Bolt Thrower’s strongest track).

BT1

Bolt Thrower

If the atmosphere was crazy on Morgoth, it became even more unbelievable during Bolt Thrower. Everyone was out of their minds; the pit was full; there were at least two people (once including me) stagediving during every song they played from about the third-fourth track on… people cheered and hugged Karl on stage; once some guy came to me, grabbed my shoulders and shook me shouting “waaaaaaah”. The band’s sound was excellent, they truly managed to retain the sound and feeling we can get while listening to the albums; and their energy was also overwhelming: they were absolutely cheerful and easy-going on stage, vocalist Karl Willetts definitely seemed to be enjoying the show and the enthusiastic audience as he was smiling from the beginning to the end of the gig. I had the feeling that they could have played the setlist once again as a whole and the crowd would have been able to stand and watch them ’til the first rays of the Sun appear in the morning.
merch1The gig reached its other highlight I could mention probably with ‘No Guts, No Glory’, but since the vibe in the place was almost touchable and the overall mood was really on its top for the whole time, maybe there is no need for emphasizing certain songs from the setlist – it was a mindblowing experience as a whole.

Bolt Thrower came back with an encore two times: once with ‘At First Light’ and ‘When Cannons Fade’ from Those Once Loyal, and secondly with ‘Silent Demise’ off …For Victory, giving a nice frame to the show by starting and ending it with songs from the same album.

Personally, I was expecting Bolt Thrower to favour the first three classic albums by playing a bit more (or in case of ‘In Battle …’, at least playing) songs from them, however, after this amount of devastating power and brutality I think there is still not a single person who would feel any kind of emptiness or regret after coming to see these three death metal lords.


BT2Bolt Thrower’s setlist

1. War/Remembrance
2. Mercenary

3. World Eater/Cenotaph
4. Anti-Tank (Dead Armour)
5. Warmaster
6. Forever Fallen
7. This Time It’s War
8. The IVth Crusade
9. No Guts, No Glory
10. …For Victory
11. The Killchain/Powder Burns
12. + encore: At First Light
13. When Cannons Fade
14. + encore 2: Silent Demise

 


Regarding the quality of the sound, tightness, professionalism, enthusiasm and reaction of the audience in case of all the 3 bands, I can certainly say that this show was something one cannot see and hear often, and that one can deservedly regret in case he or she missed. 

[And just a little bragging as I can’t stand not to share: dedicated Morgoth song by Marc + headbanging on stage in front of 700 people during Bolt Thrower 1 meter away from Karl – not a bad way to celebrate my 18th birthday, I guess!]

bt22

“We basically just do the stuff that we want to do”

Interview with Marc Grewe (Morgoth, Insidious Disease)

Interview by Estelle on the 25th of September 2014

Hi Marc, first of all thank you very much for doing this interview! Firstly I would like to ask, in which period do you think Morgoth was on the highlight of its career, creativity or composing capability?

It’s hard to say, of course in the very early stage when we were really young and all that new metal influenced us very much, when the first death metal bands showed up and also bands like Bathory that inspired us to form our own band back in 1987. We had a lot of creativity even the early days, then it took us to the ‘Cursed’ album, and after that creativity was getting into different directions too, because to us it got boring to “cover ourselves” so we tried something different. Industrial bands influenced us and that lead us to ‘Odium’, and after that to ‘Feel Sorry for the Fanatic’ which was even more drastic – a lot of people don’t like that album, but on a creativity base I would say it’s still a creative album. After that we kind of lost the belief in it and we had a pause for a long time; but now the creativity is back, we are writing and we have written new stuff and the new album is almost ready, we’re going to record it in November.

Which industrial bands do you think of when you say they influenced you?

Godflesh for example, also a band like Atari Teenage Riot, or some early Ministry stuff.

You talked about people not liking ‘Feel Sorry for the Fanatic’ – personally, do you care about fans’ opinions on the album? Do you or would you ever regret releasing it?

No no, we don’t regret anything. It’s just that at that certain point of time it was exactly what we were able to do and what we wanted to do. At that time fans were disappointed becuase it wasn’t something they expected from us, it was different – but we don’t regret anything. Of course we listen to the fans, but on the other hand we are not a band that would say “people expect something from us so we’ll do it”, we basically just do the stuff that we want to do.

Morgoth – Cursed / Odium era

Back in those days there wasn’t really a death metal scene in Germany, we can say you were one of the pioneers of the genre in your country. How did the crowd firstly react to this brutal style of music and appearance back in the day?

When we showed up, there was no internet and there was a lot of tape trading going on. The reaction was actually really good. It was a small scene, there wasn’t too many people who were into that certain extreme style of music, the shows we booked were all ‘do it yourself’ kind of shows. Most of the shows were great, even if they were way smaller than nowadays. Nowadays we play in venues like this (Arena, Wien) which can give place to 800-2000 people, and back in the day it was only maybe 150 or 200 people coming to the shows. But they were also very into that stuff, and then those fans developed the scene by getting the message that there is an extreme style of music. Especially Germany was really thrash influenced – Kreator, Sodom, Destruction; these kinds of bands – so it was something new to the thrash scene as well. Some people wanted to get even more into the extreme style and they liked what came out of Morgoth in the early days.

This is your first proper tour for 17 years. What are the things which are new for you after being ‘Isolated’ (haha) from this kind of lifestlye for a long time?

There is nothing new on the tour, it’s like the same as our last tour. Of course it’s great to be on the road with Bolt Thrower – I’ve been on the road with Bolt Thrower before with my other band called Power of Expression, it’s more of a hardcore band, we’ve been touring with Bolt Thrower back then. When I got the call from the guys if we wanted to join them on the tour, it was a great honour and of course I knew that this tour would be great for us. It’s a perfect timing for us as well because we just have new songs written, we have a 7″ out (‘God is Evil’), it’s like a collector’s item, and in February-March the album (‘Ungod’) will be out. We’re going to play two new songs tonight as well.

morg4And can we expect the same style on ‘Ungod’ as on the single ‘God is Evil’?

Pretty much, yes. I mean, I hope the songs that we are going to record will be even more brutal, but let’s see.

In what aspect is it different to release or work on an album in our days than how it was when you were working on the last one, ‘Feel Sorry …’?

We recorded the ‘Feel Sorry …’ album in a huge studio and now we went back to a smaller one because the budget isn’t there anymore for bands to record, and also the recording equipment is way more affordable than back in the nineties. A mixing board for example, that was hundreds or thousands of Euros sometimes, and nowadays you can get a good mixing board for half of the price.
The studio we found now is a studio where we come from, where we grew up. We are from the countryside and before that we always recorded in a studio in the city, and this time we chose going back to the roots and going back to our own hometown and record there. I think it’s even sounding better than in the nineties. The sound is more massive, and we have two new members in the band which is also a reason why it does sound differently.

I read that you only had 2 days to record ‘God is Evil’ this year. How did you manage to work so quickly together?

We practiced a lot before and knew what we wanted to sound like. We actually recorded three songs but only two made it on the record. We had one day for recording and one day for mixing which is a very short period of time. I hope it’s going to be like that for the album as well.
We started to record the album last year, the first recordings were already done in the studio where we are now, we booked the studio to check it out if they were able to record our songs. We wrote the first tracks last year, in the summer of 2013. We actually went to that studio just to rehearse there, we recorded stuff but it never meant to be on an album, we just recorded those for us. Anyway, we’re glad we’re here, the studio is good and we have the basis for upcoming tracks. Then the guitar players wrote riffs and they attached it to riffs from before, so it all went kind of naturally.

What advice would you give to your younger self who just started to write the ‘Pits of Utumno’ demo or the first EP ‘Resurrection Absurd’?

(thinks) It’s hard to say, but well when we were really young and recorded that early stuff, we didn’t have a clue about anything about studios. The old one was a really shitty studio, nowadays you probably wouldn’t go into a studio like that anymore – but you know, as I already mentioned we are from the countryside, there was no internet, we didn’t have any connections, there was only us five in our world that were interested in metal, we didn’t know anybody else because there was no scene existing then, especially where we lived. So we just looked into the Rock Hard magazine and there was some advertisement for little studios sometimes, and we picked one which wasn’t too far away. It was a basement of a guy and he didn’t have a clue about how to record this brutal sound, he never heard that before and I’m sure he didn’t like it (laughs). But hey, he had to record it.
So, I guess nowadays I would just go to a better studio and spend a bit more money on good equipment.

morg5Is there any question that you would like me to ask from you?

… That’s a question that actually a lot of people ask, but there is also a long story to it: why we took so long to come back.

We are close friends too, we know each other since we were 9-10 years old, and when the band got to an end in 1998, it was a bad split for us. There was a shitty tour we did, something was always wrong, it was long and totally shit, so it was a bad ending for the band. And nobody said we were ending the band, it was never spoken out as a sentence, but everybody was just so sure that it was like “that’s it, no more”. But back then, after that, after 3-4-5-6 years, we all in the band had the feeling like we would probably like to do some gigs more, maybe another album… But we knew that two other members of the former band wouldn’t be into it – and we accepted that too. Harry the guitar player and myself, we are two of the founding members, and the other guy Sebastian came into the band in 1990, so we are the three of the old core of Morgoth. We said “us three wanna do it”, then it was a democratic decision, 3 against 2, and they said “okay, we don’t care, you can do it” and that was also clear – but we are still friends with them anyway.

This wasn’t really a question right now, but well if you want me to say a question that would somehow embarrass me, that would totally not be something I would answer. (laughs) 

Okay Marc, thank you very much for your time and for being awesome! Looking forward to the show and also the new album.

Thanks for the support Estelle, enjoy the show!