Album Review – Denfire / Riding the Winds of Death EP (2021)

After 30 years playing in several bands in Brazil and in the UK, this talented musician is ready to deliver his unique blend of heavy music with his debut solo EP.

After 30 years playing in several bands in Brazil and in the UK, it’s time for vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Denfire to go solo and deliver his unique blend of heavy music with his debut EP, entitled Riding the Winds of Death. Playing a solid and straight-to-the-point fusion of Thrash, Death and Heavy Metal throughout the EP’s 16 minutes of music, Denfire, who’s by the way the founder of a really interesting publishing company named Editora Denfire, specialized in the rock and metal scene worldwide, is literally on fire in his debut effort, making sure he transforms his talent and passion for heavy music into action, inviting us all to bang our heads and raise our horns to the sound of his incendiary creations.

Fires burning ignite the metal feast titled Break Out, where Denfire blasts a frantic fusion of Thrash and Speed Metal for our total delight, already showcasing all his dexterity armed with his guitar, delivering old school riffs just the way we like it. Then in Call to Arms he vociferates the song’s poetic lyrics (“Chains, locks and fences / Guard the public space / Blind compliance / Keeps power in place / Weapons of mass frustration / Plant the seed of domination”) while the music is a hammering Heavy Metal extravaganza. Lastly, we’re treated to another round of old school words by Denfire (“Clock is ticking / Thoughts race through my head / So nerve wrecking / Now I’m riding the winds of death”) in Enemy Mind, slashing his guitar in great fashion while also dictating the song’s pace with his fierce drumming, putting a bestial, thrashing ending to the album in the vein of Exodus and Testament.

In case you’re curious to know more about Denfire, his music and his devotion to heavy music, you can start following him on his official Facebook page, and of course you can show your utmost support and admiration for such skillful lone wolf by purchasing his debut EP from his own BandCamp page. In a nutshell, although Riding the Winds of Death might be relatively short in duration with only its aforementioned 16 minutes of music, it already presents a good chunk of what Denfire has to offer and what to expect from him in his future releases, concentrating an endless amount of heaviness and thrilling riffs that will undoubtedly please all fans of the genre.

Best moments of the album: Enemy Mind.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Break Out 5:33
2. Call to Arms 4:52
3. Enemy Mind 5:43

Band members
Denfire – vocals, all instruments

Album Review – Boarhammer / I: Cutting Wood for Magickal Purposes (2021)

May you enjoy the outcome of the cooperation of the men of the cave and the boar of the woods, speaking of wood mysticism, ancient folk magick, and the strangeness of liquids and herbs.

Consisting of seven songs in the span of 30 minutes of Ritualistic Black Metal primitivism, the infernal I: Cutting Wood for Magickal Purposes, the debut demo by a dynamic Black Metal two-headed entity hailing from the timeless darkness of the woods in Germany that goes by the name of Boarhammer, combines maniacal blasting and intriguing slower parts, all garnished with cavernous chants and hints of epic melodies. The lyrics speak of wood mysticism, ancient folk magick, and the strangeness of liquids and herbs. Recorded and produced by the band itself formed of The Vessel on vocals, drums and bass, and Wodwoz on the guitars and vocals, and featuring a cryptic artwork by Boarhammer together with an uncanny artist simply known as N, I: Cutting Wood for Magickal Purposes is an unhinged concoction of feverish bursts of primitive blasting and soaring epicness, offering fans of the underworld a unique blend of sounds inspired by the first-wave Black Metal hordes of old, but open for new approaches to the genre’s core ideas.

A sinister start evolves into a raw and heavier-than-hell explosion of Black Metal entitled Riding the Hedge, with The Vessel darkly declaiming the song’s wicked words while Wodwoz extracts pure evil from his guitar. Then continuing their path of darkness it’s time for Channelling Wormwood Spirits, another infernal Black Metal extravaganza led by the reverberating bass by The Vessel, who by the way also does an amazing job with his classic beats and fills; and putting the pedal to the metal our demented Teutonic duo fires the breathtaking Spirits on Black Wings, a lesson in underground extreme music showcasing pounding drums, metallic bass jabs and strident riffs, all spiced up by The Vessel’s grim vocals, setting the bar truly high not only for the rest of the album, but for all of their future releases so compelling it is.

Drinking from the same fountain of blood as the trailblazers of the genre Mayhem, the duo offers us Tatra Wolves, a bestial and sulfurous composition where Wodwoz slashes his strings nonstop for our total delight, whereas Ritual Tusks is another ritualistic chant where Wodwoz will pierce your damned mind with his sick riffs while The Vessel keeps adding rage to the music with his blast beats. There’s absolutely no time to breathe as they bring forward one more round of obscurity in The Trees are no Trees, adding even rawer and more primeval nuances to their core sound, and let me tell you that the final result is beyond devilish. As the icing on the cake we have their cover version for Black Funeral, from Mercyful Fate’s 1983 classic album Melissa (check out the original version HERE), and  Boarhammer more than succeeded with their Stygian rendition of such old school hymn, maintaining the essence of the original song with the band’s own Black Metal twist.

The ritualistic sounds crafted by Boarhammer in I: Cutting Wood for Magickal Purposes can be purchased from their own BandCamp page, inspiring you to join the band in the depths of the dark and sinister caves of their homeland Germany in the name of extreme music and, of course, our beloved black magick. May you enjoy the outcome of the cooperation of the men of the cave and the boar of the woods found in Boarhammer’s debut demo, and may such talented duo darken the skies even more with their undisputed metal music in all of their upcoming releases, keeping the scorching flames of Stygian and tribal Black Metal burning for all eternity.

Best moments of the album: Spirits on Black Wings and Tatra Wolves.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Riding the Hedge 4:22
2. Channelling Wormwood Spirits 3:24
3. Spirits on Black Wings 7:07
4. Tatra Wolves 4:07
5. Ritual Tusks 3:57
6. The Trees are no Trees 3:52
7. Black Funeral (Mercyful Fate cover) 2:52

Band members
The Vessel – vocals, drums, bass
Wodwoz – guitars, vocals

Album Review – 4 Kings / The 2021 EP (2021)

Get ready for 13 minutes of a fast and loud fusion of Thrash Metal, Punk Rock and Hardcore made in Germany.

Playing a fusion of Thrash Metal, Punk Rock and Hardcore as fast and loud as those styles demand since the band’s inception in 2015 in the city of Köln (or Cologne, if you prefer), Germany, the five-piece act known as 4 Kings is back in action in 2021 with a brand new EP, simply titled The 2021 EP. Currently comprised of Seth on vocals, Martin and Jannes on the guitars, Marino on bass, and Marcel on drums, 4 Kings (and yes, I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense for a band of five musicians to be named like that) will smash your cranial skull with the four heavy and visceral tracks from their new EP, inviting us all to slam into the pit and, consequently, to develop that severe neck pain we all love so much after some good headbanging, leaving you absolutely eager for more after the EP’s 13 intense minutes are over.

Martin and Jannes begin slashing their stringed axes in Tantrum, being quickly joined by the raspy roars by Seth and the classic Hardcore beats by Marcel, resulting in an old school and straight to the point tune that kicks things off in style. Then adding hints of Death Metal to their core Thrash Metal sound, the quintet delivers the fulminating Winter’s Back, with Marino’s bass jabs and Marcel’s beats generating a massive atmosphere perfect for the crisp riffs and solos by the band’s guitar duo; whereas Bay Area Thrash riffs ignite the circle pit celebration titled Braindead, where Seth sounds even more enraged and demented on vocals supported by the classy backing vocals by his bandmates. It’s undoubtedly the most dynamic and diverse of all four songs, pointing to an exciting direction for the band. And last but not least, sinister sounds permeate the air in Under my Skin, with Martin and Jannes cutting our skin deep with their razor-edged riffs, sounding less intense than the other songs but absolutely vile and brutal just the way we like it.

If you want to give The 2021 EP a try you can find it in full on Spotify, but in order to properly support the underground you should purchase a copy of it from Amazon, and don’t forget to also give the band a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel to stay updated with all of their future releases. As aforementioned, The 2021 EP will offer your metallic ears a very good dosage of Thrash Metal infused with Hardcore and Punk Rock nuances, proving 4 Kings (or maybe I should say those five thrashers from Germany) are back and ready to rock no matter what for years to come in the name of heavy music.

Best moments of the album: Winter’s Back and Braindead.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Tantrum 2:32
2. Winter’s Back 3:53
3. Braindead 3:20
4. Under my Skin 3:41

Band members
Seth – vocals
Martin – guitar
Jannes – guitar
Marino – bass
Marcel – drums

Album Review – Kadavereich / Radiance of Doom EP (2021)

Behold the debut EP by a Russian Death Metal horde unleashing hell on earth with its 19 minutes of brutality, hatred and obscurity.

Brought into being in the dirtiest and darkest alleys of Moscow, Russia by members of local underground bands the likes of Grond, Act Of God and Gwarloth, the ruthless Death Metal creature known as Kadavereich has just unleashed hell on earth with their debut EP, entitled Radiance of Doom. Recorded at Rofocale Studio during the summer of 2021 (with the exception of drums, which were recorded at Giereolith Studio in April 2021), mixed at Angelrape Studio, and featuring a sick artwork by the band’s own bassist Daemorph, Radiance of Doom will bring to your ears 19 minutes of brutality, hatred and obscurity masterfully crafted by Morkbeast on vocals, Panzer and Bonecrushing Apocalypse on the guitars, Daemorph on bass, and Kist on drums, providing fans of the most devilish form of Death Metal with a very good reason to slam into the pit and headbang like a true maniac .

Epic, imposing sounds open the gates of the underworld for Kadavereich to crush our souls in Invincible Sun Devourer, a bestial, crude Death and Black Metal onslaught spearheaded by the gruesome vociferations by Morkbeast accompanied by the utterly infernal beats by Kist; whereas Caldarium of Boiling Blood is just as obscure and grim as its predecessor, with Panzer and Bonecrushing Apocalypse showing no mercy for their stringed axes supported by the rumbling bass by Daemorph in another awesome display of primeval Death Metal. Then get ready to be pulverized by this Russian quintet in CCCIII, with the sound of their incendiary riffs and blast beats setting the atmosphere on fire, also presenting elements from D-Beat Crust and the always demonic gnarls and roars by Morkbeast. And closing such devilish EP we’re treated to the massive, pounding tune Dismal Radiance of Doom, with Panzer and Bonecrushing Apocalypse paying a tribute to all things evil through their wicked riffage while Daemorph and Kist generate a beyond Stygian ambience with their heavy artillery.

If you want to add the apocalyptic and venomous Death Metal by Kadavereich to your personal collection of evil music, you can grab a copy of it directly from the band’s own BandCamp page, as well as from the Godz Ov War Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore as a CD, a black cassette or a red cassette, showing your utmost support to our beloved underground. Hopefully the unrelenting Russians from Kadavereich won’t take too long to crush our souls again with another release, maybe their first full-length opus, but until then we can rest assured the 19 minutes of infernal death found in Radiance of Doom will keep us absolutely entertained in the name of darkness.

Best moments of the album: Invincible Sun Devourer and CCIII.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Godz Ov War Productions

Track listing
1. Invincible Sun Devourer 4:26
2. Caldarium of Boiling Blood 4:39
3. CCCIII 4:44
4. Dismal Radiance of Doom 5:12

Band members
Morkbeast – vocals
Panzer – guitar
Bonecrushing Apocalypse – guitar
Daemorph – bass
Kist – drums

Album Review – Nocturnal Wanderer / Gift of the Night (2021)

This unknown entity will crush your soul with its newborn beast, offering endless midnight mysticism and reverence for all that goes by night.

Formed in the Spring of 2021 in the Pacific Northwest region as a one-man anonymous project, Portland, Oregon-based Black Metal entity Nocturnal Wanderer has just released its debut full-length opus, entitled Gift of the Night. Recorded and produced at Sacred Atavism, and featuring illustrations by Thaumaturge Artworks and lettering by NW, the album showcases a traditional Black Metal sound and minimalist compositions, yet allowing the occasional Heavy Metal style solo to seep in. Ferocious while at the same time strangely serene and triumphant, Gift of the Night is a singular beast offering us all endless midnight mysticism and reverence for all that goes by night, being therefore highly recommended for admirers of the music by Havukruunu, Malokarpatan, Panphage and Arckanum, among others.

The opening track Twilight Befell is an infernal, raw Black Metal feast with darkly poetic lyrics (“Eventide arrive / Sunlight’s glow fading / Darkness creatures stirring / Bats flitter across the black sky / Aria of dusk / Air chill and sharp / Breathe the night into lungs”) to properly kick off the album, whereas our anonymous lone wolf continues to hammer his drums and extract sulfur from his stringed axe in Darkness in Rapture, another demented old school Black Metal tune presenting all elements we love in the genre. Then adding the most Stygian elements from Doom Metal to his core sonority it’s time for the sinister Sentient Shadows, where once again this one-man horde presents a visceral job on the guitars and drums until the very last second; and drinking from the blasphemous fountain of classic bands the likes of Mayhem, Immortal and Dark Funeral he brings forward By Moonlight, showcasing another round of sick riffs, incendiary blast beats and venomous roars. His second to last breath of darkness comes in the form of Distant Stars in Distant Skies, sounding absolutely haunting and vile, all spiced up of course by his grim, otherworldly gnarls, and there’s time for one final blast of obscurity by Nocturnal Wanderer entitled The Amberdawn, which takes too long to take off and lacks those traditional Black Metal words and growls, but nothing that would cause any harm to the album.

If you consider yourself a true servant of darkness, you can enjoy Gift of the Night in its entirety on YouTube, and of course purchase a copy of such raw and intense album from the project’s own BandCamp page, from the Nameless Grave Records’ webstore or from the Balor’s Eye Productions’ BandCamp page, diving even deeper into the void that consumes our souls. Although the entity behind  Nocturnal Wanderer doesn’t want to disclose his identity (at least not for now), that won’t stop fans of the darkest side of music, including myself, to thank him for bringing into being Gift of the Night, a precious gem of the underground that will help in keeping the flames of Black Metal burning for centuries to come, leaving us even more curious to know the real name of a creature so loyal to the dark.

Best moments of the album: Darkness in Rapture and By Moonlight.

Worst moments of the album: The Amberdawn.

Released in 2021 Nameless Grave Records/Balor’s Eye Productions/Altare Productions

Track listing
1. Twilight Befell 4:45
2. Darkness in Rapture 3:57
3. Sentient Shadows 5:39
4. By Moonlight 5:27
5. Distant Stars in Distant Skies 5:25
6. The Amberdawn 6:10

Band members
Anonymous – vocals, all instruments

Album Review – Immaterium / The Primal Evil EP (2021)

This newborn project from Poland is ready to stun us all with its debut EP, offering us all a journey through the realms of Symphonic and Progressive Metal.

Inspired by the aggressive guitars of Tesseract and Gojira, the epic orchestrations of Wintersun and the powerful vocals of Wind Rose and Rhapsody of Fire, Polish self-taught songwriter and composer Ma’ar Gareth is ready to unleash upon humanity The Primal Evil, the debut EP by her Symphonic/Progressive Metal project Immaterium. Featuring guest vocalists Filip Robertsson from Sweden, Craig Cairns (Midnight Prophecy, Cosmic Void) from the UK and Lucas Rodrigues (FerReus, Hell Gun) from Brazil, as well as multi-instrumentalists Zebyl from Romania and Barthelemy from France, The Primal Evil is a stunnig debut effort by Ma’ar Gareth, who’s responsible not only for all keyboards, synths and orchestrations in the album, but also for all lyrics, which are by the way based on Sci-Fi and fantasy series, resulting in a journey through the realms of Symphonic and Progressive Metal that shall please all fans of those subgenres of heavy music.

Like the soundtrack to a fantasy movie, Ma’ar brings forth epic orchestrations and eerie piano notes accompanied by the operatic vocals by Lucas in The Phoenix Falls, while Barthelemy takes takes care of the more metallic part of the music with his classic riffs and beats. Then investing in a more Progressive Metal sonority it’s time for Vargöld, When All Is Dust, where Zebyl plays all guitars, bass and drums while Filip fires his Dream Theater-inspired vocal lines, all of course embraced by Ma’ar’s epic sounds; and continuing to explore mystical lands it’s time for the Symphonic Metal tune Hymn Of The Warmaster, this time with Craig on the vocal duties, while the music exhales groove and heaviness. Lastly, Ma’ar and her henchmen Filip and Zebyl offer our ears a fusion of Symphonic, Progressive and Groove Metal entitled The Curse Of Enlightenment, presenting strong elements from the music by Gojira, Fear Factory and Therion, sounding futuristic and somber at the same time.

You can stream The Primal Evil in its entirety on YouTube (and most probably also on Spotify) starting December 14, and also show your support to Ma’ar Gareth by following Immaterium on Facebook and on Instagram, by subscribing to the project’s YouTube channel, by streaming its music on Spotify, and above all that, by purchasing the EP from its own BandCamp page or from Apple Music. The Primal Evil showcases not only a very promising start to Immaterium, but also all the passion for heavy music and epic tales by the project’s mastermind Ma’ar Gareth, leaving us eager for more of her captivating music in a not-so-distant future, and who knows, perhaps that will come in the form of a full-length concept album for our total delight.

Best moments of the album: Vargöld, When All Is Dust and The Curse Of Enlightenment.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. The Phoenix Falls 4:13
2. Vargöld, When All Is Dust 6:32
3. Hymn Of The Warmaster 5:32
4. The Curse Of Enlightenment 4:55

Band members
Ma’ar Gareth – keyboards, synths, orchestrations

Guest musicians
Filip Robertsson – vocals on “Vargöld, When All Is Dust” and “The Curse Of Enlightenment”
Zebyl – guitars, bass and drums on “Vargöld, When All Is Dust”, “Hymn Of The Warmaster” and “The Curse Of Enlightenment”
Craig Cairns – vocals on “Hymn Of The Warmaster”
Barthelemy – guitars, bass and drums on “The Phoenix Falls”
Lucas Rodrigues – vocals on “The Phoenix Falls”

Album Review – Obscura Qalma / Apotheosis (2021)

Exploring human existence in an epistemological solipsistic view, the debut album by this Stygian Italian horde is a lecture in epic and dark Death Metal that exists in its own philosophically inspired realm.

Formed in 2018 in Venice, Italy from connections built in their local scene while performing within their prior projects, the unrelenting Blackened/Symphonic Death Metal horde known as Obscura Qalma have just released their debut full-length opus, entitled Apotheosis, the follow-up to their 2019 EP From the Sheol to the Apeiron. Mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni at Domination Studio and displaying a sinister artwork by Mexican artist Néstor Ávalos (Black Arts), Apotheosis (or “to deify” from Greek) explores human existence in an epistemological solipsistic view inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud, as well as by contemporary figures such as Massimo Recalcati and James Owen Weatherall, while musically speaking the inspiration comes from bands the likes of Dissection, Emperor and Death as well as by classical music and film composers such as Alexandre Desplat, showcasing all the talent and passion for dark music by vocalist and guitarist Sirius (Necrosy, Supremacy), guitarist Sartorius (As Memory Dies), bassist Theo (From the Shores), and drummer Res (Supremacy).

The cinematic and absolutely epic intro Demise Of The Sun sets the stage for Obscura Qalma to crush our souls in Impure Black Enlightenment, a lecture in Symphonic Black Metal with Res smashing his drums manically accompanied by the wicked riffage by Sirius and Sartorius, all spiced up by an imposing atmosphere and the demonic growls by Sirius. Then keeping the ambience as dark and sulfurous as possible the quartet blasts the venomous Gemini, with Theo and his rumbling bass adding a touch of aggressiveness to the overall result, not to mention how infernal the drums sound once again; and their onrush of obscurity goes on in The Forbidden Pantheon, another epic, massive Blackened Death Metal extravaganza led by the hellish vociferations by Sirius, sounding old school but at the same time offering the listener a fresh and modern twist. There’s no time to breathe as the quartet keeps decimating our souls in Transcending The Sefirot, with Res sounding like a three-headed beast behind his drums supported by the whimsical riffs and solos by Sirius and Sartorius.

It can’t get any more symphonic than in Paradise Lost, a dense, multi-layered creation by Obscura Qalma showcasing their trademark fusion of classic Death and Black Metal with movie-inspired scores and wicked sounds, and you better get ready to have your neck broken in half to the sound of Fleshbound, a pulverizing Blackened Death Metal tune where their riffs, bass lines and pounding beats will hammer your head mercilessly until the very last second. Never tired of bringing forward their passion and admiration for the dark side of music, it’s time for Sirius to roar in anger in The Telemachus Complex, a beautiful composition that will leave you completely disoriented, with Res taking the lead with his intricate and furious beats, whereas not a single moment of peace is offered to us all in Imperial Cult, with its background elements creating an interesting paradox with the savagery crafted by all band members. Lastly, we’re treated to Awaken A Shrine To Oblivion, starting in a more alternative and futuristic manner and evolving into their usual sound, albeit not as compelling as its predecessors.

You can enjoy all the obscurity and fury of Apotheosis by streaming the album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to show your utmost support to those talented Italian metallers you should purchase the album from their BandCamp page or Big Cartel, from the Rising Nemesis Records’ BandCamp page or Big Cartel, or simply click HERE for different places where you can buy or stream the album. In addition to all that, don’t forget to also follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news and tour dates, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their wicked music. “From the nihilistic foundations of European culture and epistemological solipsism to astrophysics and psychoanalysis, Apotheosis dwells on the limits of human knowledge and the impassable boundaries of its own existence,” commented the band about their newborn spawn, creating epic and dark Death Metal that exists in its own philosophically inspired realm and, therefore, paving a promising path ahead of the band in the coming years.

Best moments of the album: Impure Black Enlightenment, Paradise Lost and The Telemachus Complex.

Worst moments of the album: Awaken A Shrine To Oblivion.

Released in 2021 Rising Nemesis Records

Track listing
1. Demise Of The Sun 1:24
2. Impure Black Enlightenment 4:07
3. Gemini 5:17
4. The Forbidden Pantheon 5:01
5. Transcending The Sefirot 4:33
6. Paradise Lost 6:23
7. Fleshbound 4:01
8. The Telemachus Complex 5:28
9. Imperial Cult 4:28
10. Awaken A Shrine To Oblivion 5:57

Band members
Sirius – vocals, guitar
Sartorius – guitar
Theo – bass, backing vocals
Res – drums, additional percussion

Metal Chick of the Month – Johanna Sadonis

Lucifer, oh, Lucifer… Falling for me…

As another weird and dark year is coming to its inevitable end, and as winter is finally coming, let’s set The Headbanging Moose on fire and warm us up this month of December with our tribute to the last metal lady of 2021, the unstoppable Johanna Sadonis, also known as Johanna Claudia Platow, the frontwoman for Heavy/Doom Metal/Rock entity Lucifer. Born on January 21, 1979 in Berlin, Germany, but currently residing in Stockholm, Sweden due to being married to Lucifer’s own guitarist and drummer Nicke Andersson, Johanna is not only an accomplished and extremely talented vocalist, but also a DJ, a designer, an art director and a lyricist involved in various metal bands and projects during the 90’s and early 2000’s. Having said all that, are you ready to join Johanna in her quest for dark and doomed music?

A late bloomer in the Hard Rock scene, Johanna started out in the 90’s playing and singing Extreme Metal in the underground scene, gradually moving to a darker and more melodic 70’s-inspired Hard Rock and Heavy Metal style after founding Lucifer back in 2014. But let’s take a step back in time and talk a little about her early days and how she started in music before moving on to her current band. Johanna got into rock music when she was really young with her parents’ record collection, getting to know bands the likes of The Rolling stones, AC/DC, ZZ Top and Deep Purple, among others, as well as Punk Rock from her older brother. Then in 1992 when she was 13 she went to see Guns N’ Roses and Metallica, with her next gig being Danzig when she was 14, setting her first step into the dark side of music and moving on to heavier and darker styles such as Death, Black and Doom Metal.

According to Johanna herself that happened because she was at a summer camp when she was 12 and two of her friends were into metal, and when she was 16 those guys asked her to guest sing on the demo cassette of their Death Metal band (which by the way ended up happening a few more times as that was the thing in the 90’s), getting her more and more involved with the underground scene in Berlin. At that time Johanna said she was very serious about all that. She had black hair, black clothes, her whole room was black, and she got into magic, having worked at an esoteric book shop after school. However, her earliest memory of her fascination with singing and music was when she discovered the song Leader Of The Pack by the Shangri-Las on a Rock N’ Roll compilation cassette that her mom gave her when she was six. As she couldn’t speak English at that time, she said she started writing lyrics to songs down phonetically so she could sing along as a child. Later in her early teenage years she started to write poems and lyrics, and bought her first acoustic guitar, teaching herself to play and to sing.

It was only in 2014 in Berlin when Johanna formed Heavy/Doom Metal/Rock outfit Lucifer, and after a few lineup changes Johanna became the only original member of the band currently comprised of our stunning frontwoman together with guitarist and drummer Nicke Andersson, guitarists Martin Nordin and Linus Björklund, and bassist Harald Göthblad, having also relocated the band to Stockholm, Sweden, as already mentioned. When asked if she’s ever faced any legal problems with using the name Lucifer considering it’s a name other bands have already used throughout the years, she mentioned she wouldn’t have chosen the name if it would have belonged to a larger active band, but so far she hasn’t had any problems with it. In addition, when asked about how dark the name of the band is, Johanna reminded us all that bands like Black Sabbath and Pentagram are not Black or Death Metal, also mentioning The Rolling Stones’ classic Sympathy for The Devil as an example of how demonic figures can also be used successfully in a more Rock N’ Roll way.

Playing what can be called a 70’s-inspired fusion of Rock N’ Roll and Doom Metal, Luficer have already released four full-length albums, those being Lucifer I (2015), Lucifer II (2018), Lucifer III (2020), and Lucifer IV (2021), with Johanna obviously being the lead singer in all of those records, plus the keyboardist and sampler on Lucifer I. If you want to have a very good taste of how awesome the music by Lucifer is, you can stream all of their albums on Spotify, or watch all of their breathtaking videos on YouTube including Dreamer, California Son, Bring Me His Head, Leather Demon, Midnight Phantom, their cover versions for The Rattles’ Devil’s On The Loose and Angel Witch’s Loser, and enjoy several amazing concerts like their ass-kicking performances at the Crossroads Festival in Bonn, Germany in 2018 and at Rockpalast in 2018 and in 2019.

Before forming Lucifer, Johanna could be seen in several distinct bands and projects. She was the vocalist for German Symphonic Black Metal band Cryogenic, with whom she recorded their 1996 demo and the 1998 album Celephais; sang for German Black Metal horde Dies Ater on their 1999 album Reign of Tempests, from 1999; formed the Heavy/Doom Metal/Rock band The Oath with her friends Vincent Wager and Linnéa Olsson in 2012, her last band before Lucifer, having recorded their self-titled full-length album in 2014; was part of the Electronic Indie Pop band Informer along with Rayshele Teige, a former employee of Century Media in the United States, in 2010; and was part of Swedish Melodic Black Metal unity Vinterkrig from 1996 until 1997, having recorded with them the demo Härskare över stjärnorna och mina drömmar (which was just released earlier this year).

Not only that, you can also find our beloved vocalist as a guest musician in different bands and projects through the years, those being the female vocals for the songs Marie Louise and Black Wedding, from the 1996 album Leviathan by a German Death Metal band called Ferox; vocals on the songs Now Howls the Beast and Psychic Visions, from the 2017 album Inside the Skull by American Doom Metal act Beastmaker; and vocals on the song Queen Among Rats, from the 2009 album Privilegivm, and on the cover version for Alice In Chains’ hit Them Bones, from the 2010 EP Them Bones / This Inner Soil, both by German Black/Gothic Rock/Metal band Secrets of the Moon. Not only that, Johanna was also the designer, producer and art director in all of the Lucifer’s albums, proving how talented she is. When asked if all her past experiences with the bands that came before Lucifer had an impact on the way she handles the band, she said that she certainly learned that she’s not putting up with ego bullshit and phoniness anymore, and that with Lucifer it’s all about the passion of creating music and enjoying the ride.

Regarding her idols and influences in rock and metal music, Johanna always lists some of the best, most classic vocalists and performers you can think of, including Ozzy Osbourne, Robert Plant, Ann Wilson, Stevie Nicks and Patti Smith, also saying that she listens to a lot of 70’s classic Rock N’ Roll, Hard Rock and early Heavy Metal, and that fictional horror, real life horror and the horror in one’s head also have a huge influence in her lyrics. Furthermore, in one of her interviews she was asked to list ten albums which she feels don’t get the proper attention from the media and the fans, and her list was very diverse, including Hard Attack by Dust, Bloodrock U.S.A. by Bloodrock, the self-titled album by Starz, Electric Jewels by April Wine, Straight Up by Badfinger, the self-titled album by Bob Seger, the self-titled album by Journey, Special Forces by 38 Special, Year of The Cat by Al Stuart, and Lucifer III by “you know who”. Johanna also mentioned that Lucifer do not have a specific formula or concept behind their albums, that they simply think of what kind of songs would make people excited, what makes them feel good, and hope that the band doesn’t lose quality or doesn’t get stale with every release.

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In terms of her life on the road with Lucifer, Johanna mentioned that she has already performed hundreds of shows with the band and that each one of those are important in their own way, saying the band plays the same way in front of 20 people in some village or at Helffest in front of over 7,000 people. In addition, when it comes to organizing their setlist, she said that they usually like to start off the set with a mid tempo number to get into the groove and end the set in some sort of sonic eruption, never putting two songs of the same kind in a row (such as two ballads, for example), maintaining an interesting flow to keep the attention of the audience. She also shared an interesting story that happened on the road, when guitarist Martin Nordin ended up playing ping pong with Ace Frehley on the Kiss Kruise where Lucifer played three sets, and also mentioned she would love to play in places such as Australia, New Zealand and South America.

As a prominent woman in the world of rock and metal music, Johanna believes you have to have a little bit of a thick skin if you’re a woman due to the fact the scene has always been a male-dominated one, saying that things got a little better in recent years compared to when she was a teenager as now we can see a lot more bands with girls, but at the same time there are still weird expressions like “female-fronted”. Johana strongly believes gender shouldn’t be a genre, also commenting about how deep that’s within our culture as you get treated differently as a woman in obvious ways, but also in really subtle ways. Johanna also pointed to the fact that there are still too many sexist and nasty comments on social media whenever a woman is part of a rock or metal band, but that fortunately that’s changing. “I felt it necessary for the first time to post, ‘if you’re a homophobe, you’re a sexist, racist, you are not welcome here.’ If you feel like you have to burn your Lucifer album now, please do so. I don’t care. That post went around quite a lot. A lot of people were applauding it, but then there was also all kinds of people going, ‘you suck anyways.’ Because I’m against sexism, racism, and homophobia? I mean, what side are you on then. I’m really shocked at how much racism is out there. But luckily that’s getting talked about too. We’re still a little bit in the middle ages, unfortunately. It can’t go fast enough.”

When asked about the metal scene in her hometown Berlin versus her current home Stockholm, Johanna mentioned that there isn’t a huge difference between those places as the rock and metal community kind of networks around the world, as people in New York, Berlin, Stockholm, London or any other city in the world are connected and know each other through social media, making it a little bit more globalized and organized. She said though that although she used to go out and DJ quite often in Berlin, she doesn’t do that much anymore in Stockholm not because there aren’t enough clubs or because the scene is not big in Sweden, but mainly due to her busy touring schedule as she feels happier with the quietness of her home nowadays after so many weeks on the road. She still misses her DJ years, though, when she used to run a monthly old school Heavy Metal party at the Kill ‘Em All Club in Berlin, which by the way she started together with the same Vincent Wager from The Oath.

Having founded Riding Reaper Records in 2020 alongside her husband and bandmate Nicke Andersson, Johanna commented that some of her advantages of making music today are her wisdom and experience gathered through the years, but also saying that she can’t really compare it to the music industry in the 90’s when she started because she was only part of the underground music scene as a musician. Also, she considers streaming services like Spotify and any social media as necessary evils because they allow the band to stay closely connected to their fanbase and to feel the pulse of what’s up. That connection was actually very important for Lucifer during the pandemic, as Johanna and the boys also had to stay home in isolation for a long period of time without playing any concerts. She mentioned the sales were pretty good, though, probably due to the fact people had more time to listen to music at their homes.

Lastly, when asked about what she considers the most amazing thing in her life, she answered that musically it’s having met Nicke and marrying him because “he is the perfect partner in crime when it comes to music,” also saying that it’s a luxury that they can do what they love the most together, which is recording music and playing live. And if you want to know more about Johanna and her incendiary band Lucifer, there are countless video interviews online such as this one to Metal Insider’s Newsroom, where she talks about Lucifer’s overall sound and other nice-to-know topics; this one where Johanna and Nicke pick the best albums from 1975; this one to Doomed & Stoned in 2018; the ‘How Well Do You Know Your Bandmate’ for Metal Injection; and this one with Darren Paltrowitz (host of the Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz podcast) where she talks about the influence of Glenn Danzig, getting through the Coronavirus pandemic, future plans and more. As you can see, there’s no reason not to fall in love for Johanna and her Lucifer, succumbing to the dark side to the sound of her unique voice and charisma.

Johanna Sadonis’ Official Instagram
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“After my initial love affair with classic rock and heavy metal I got heavily into death, doom and black metal at the age of 16 and sang on a variety of demo cassette tapes of local death and black metal bands in Berlin. I had black hair, black clothes, my whole room was black and I got into magic. I worked at an esoteric book shop after school. I was very serious about this all. My mother thought it was just a phase but look at me, not much has changed!” – Johanna Sadonis

Album Review – Vulnificus / Innomination EP (2021)

Behold the debut effort by an unrelenting American duo attempting to push Death Metal back to its extreme limits.

Formed in the fall of 2021 in the United States by vocalist Eston Browne (Abolishing the Ignominious) and multi-instrumentalist Wilson Sherels (Urotherapy, Epidermolysis), the dynamic Brutal Death Metal duo known as Vulnificus is attempting to push Death Metal back to its extreme limits with their debut demo/EP, entitled Innomination, highly recommended for fans of bands the likes of Cenotaph, Defeated Sanity, Brodequin and Orchidectomy. Recorded, mixed and mastered at Demolition Studios by Wilson with additional recording and mixing of vocals by Eston at BWNTWN STN, and displaying a sick cover art by Pileworm Guttural Art and logo by Force Fed Graphics, Innomination will smash us like an insect with its 12 minutes of sheer brutality, leaving us all absolutely disoriented and eager for their first full-length opus in the near future.

Wilson begins his demented sonic attack in Scraped and Scattered, providing Eston with all he needs to torment our souls with his gruesome vociferations. In other words, it’s the epitome of underground brutality, and I’m sure Wilson’s blast beats will inspire you to slam into the pit like a maniac in the name of Death Metal. The duo shows no mercy for our necks in Induced Rampage, as Wilson continues to hammer his guitar, bass and drums nonstop while Eston roars and growls like a creature from the abyss, resulting in an insane Death Metal extravaganza spiced up by the song’s closing eerie noises crafted by Eston. And their last Deathslam feast comes in the form of the title-track Innomination, another bestial creation by those infernal metallers showcasing their trademark growls and demolishing beats, not to mention how caustic the riffs by Wilson feel, ending the band’s welcome card on a high and putrid note.

After the 12 minutes of savagery blasted by Vulnificus are over, you’ll certainly go back to the start and listen to their undisputed Brutal Death Metal again and again, proving how sick, vile and honest their music is. Hence, let’s show our support to this up-and-coming American bludgeoning duo by following them on Facebook and on Instagram for all things Vulnificus, and by grabbing a copy of their demo from their own BandCamp page or by streaming it as many times as you want on Spotify. As already mentioned, Eston and Wilson are already working on their debut full-length album for sometime in 2022, and until then we can keep practicing our slamming skills to the sound of Innomination because when their full-bodied beast comes to life, it will be hell on earth in the name of Brutal Death Metal.

Best moments of the album: Induced Rampage.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Scraped and Scattered 4:37
2.Induced Rampage 4:19
3. Innomination 2:54

Band members
Eston Browne – vocals
Wilson Sherels – all instruments

Album Review – Ewiniar / Burning the Night (2021)

From a mutual love of dark, moody and melancholic music emerges the debut album by a Melodic Gothic Rock and Metal husband-and-wife unity from Croatia.

From a mutual love of dark, moody and melancholic music emerges the sound of Split, Croatia-based Melodic Gothic Rock/Metal unity Ewiniar,  who has just released their debut effort Burning the Night. Combining female vocals over juddering drums and blistering guitar work to deliver a sonic experience that is all their own, the husband-and-wife duo formed of vocalist Katarina Tramontana and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Marin Tramontana explores the broad range of their influences by producing music that lights their inner fire in Burning the Night, all enhanced by the top-of-the-line mixing and mastering by Theodor Borovski at Slaughtered Studio and the stylish artwork by James Hutton Illustration, therefore being highly recommended for admirers of the music by renowned bands the likes of Nightwish, Within Temptation and Epica, among many others.

As soon as you hit play a doomed atmosphere will embrace your soul in Against the Stream, with Marin delivering classic beats and riffs, and consequently providing Katarina with all she needs to shine on vocals. Not only that, all elements from 80’s Gothic Rock added to their music make things even more mesmerizing. Then blending the whimsical sounds of bands like Tristania, Nightwish and Paradise Lost, the band offers us all Under the Stars, a beautiful creation by the duo showcasing Katarina’s crisp vocal lines amidst the rumbling bass lines and rhythmic beats by Marin, followed by Years of Heaven, another enfolding creation by Ewiniar where Marian has an awesome performance as a one-man music machine, with his riffs and solos walking hand in hand with his ethereal keys. And a serene start to the acoustic guitars by Marin and Katarina’s gorgeous vocals evolves into Mother, presenting a solid sound but lacking the same punch and feeling from the rest of the album.

Adding hints of folk to their doomed Gothic Rock it’s time for the almost medieval ballad Midnight Sun, flowing smoothly until the very end (and all spiced up by a soulful guitar solo by Marin), whereas drinking form the same fountain as Epica, Nightwish and After Forever the duo brings forward Suspiria, with Katarina stealing the spotlight with her stunning vocals. Back to an 80’s goth sonority the couple delivers the melodic Until the End of Time, feeling like the soundtrack to a fantasy movie thanks to the cryptic ambience crafted by Marin; and the second to last blast of their fusion of Gothic Rock and Metal comes in the form of Seekers of the Sense, another stylish, gentle but at the same time dark composition. Lastly, the title-track Burning the Night is even more epic and imposing than its predecessors, with Katarina embellishing the airwaves with her voice while Marin brings thunder to the music with his riffs, beats and keys until the very last second.

Burning the Night might be available in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but in order to show your true support to such talented couple you should definitely purchase a copy of the album from their own BandCamp page. Also, don’t forget to follow Katarina and Marin on Facebook and on Instagram for news, more of their music and other nice-to-know details about them, immersing yourself in the Gothic and melodic world of Ewiniar. Katarina and Marin deserve our full appreciation and respect for putting together such beautiful and embracing album all by themselves, and let’s hope that their aforementioned mutual love for dark music never dies and that they keep bringing forth an array of albums as good as their debut opus in the coming years.

Best moments of the album: Under the Stars, Suspiria and Burning the Night.

Worst moments of the album: Mother.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Against the Stream 4:43
2. Under the Stars 4:30
3. Years of Heaven 5:23
4. Mother 5:31
5. Midnight Sun 6:29
6. Suspiria 5:11
7. Until the End of Time 5:02
8. Seekers of the Sense 4:57
9. Burning the Night 5:09

Band members
Katarina Tramontana – vocals
Marin Tramontana – vocals, all instruments