Album Review – Faustus / Memoriam (2022)

One of the most interesting names of the current Swedish scene will crush your skull with their new album, blending their trademark Deathcore with tons of progressiveness and groove.

Hailing from Bollnäs, a Swedish locality and the seat of Bollnäs Municipality in Gävleborg County, Sweden, the up-and-coming Deathcore outfit known as Faustus plays what they like to call “a freight-train-full-of-sledgehammers-headed-straight-towards-your-whole-family” sound, adding elements from Death Metal, Progressive Metal and Djent, among others, to their vicious core sonority. Now in 2022 the band comprised of Ludvig Setterlind on vocals, Anton Pärlenskog and Mattias Lövhaga on the guitars, Nils Hedberg on bass and Oskar Pärlenskog on drums is ready to attack armed with their sophomore effort, entitled Memoriam, following up on their 2018 debut album Laments of an Obscure Mind. Produced, mixed and mastered by Robert Kukla at Obsidian Recording Studios, and displaying a classic artwork by Jani Stefanovic of Dreamdecipher Productions, “this album can be regarded as a tribute/homage to what has been. Both in regards to people from our past as well as things in life that have had a big impact on us. We felt that we needed an outlet for these feelings and took to our trade of choice to fulfil that need, and here we are. The music in itself is fuelled by these feelings and brings a sort of anger and sorrow. Not a gloomy one mind you, but more something that represents honour. With that said, we didn’t skimp out on the groove or heaviness of the music, no it’s quite the contrary. It’s our best and most complete album yet,” commented the band.

In the opening tune Deprived of Liberty we’re treated to a groovy riff attack by Anton and Mattias accompanied by the thunderous bass by Nils, kicking off the album on a high note and flowing into the also visceral Psychogenic, with Ludvig roaring and screaming in anger nonstop while Oskar dictates the pace with his pounding drums, sounding as heavy as it is intricate and melodic. Let’s keep banging our heads to the sound of Anhedonia, where Nils and Oskar sound like an earthquake together, therefore providing Ludvig with all he needs to scream manically, whereas Existence, Death? begins in the most Progressive Metal way possible, morphing into another solid tune where all instruments sound sharp, caustic and detailed. And following such pulverizing tune, The Creation of What’s Called Hell is an infernal Deathcore and Death Metal creation spiced up by its sinister lyrics (“In utter darkness / Death is my only friend / Corrupting everything / Tearing the soul apart / In the silence I scream / Rots with the corpses / No incoming sources / Creating what’s called hell”).

Ludvig continues to growl like a beast in Architect of Ruin, more modern than its predecessors with the guitars by Anton and Mattias piercing our ears mercilessly; and blending elements from the Melodic Death Metal by bands such as Arch Enemy and Soilwork in their sonority Faustus offer us all Sleep, once again hammering our heads with their venomous drums and bass. Then leaning towards contemporary Groove Metal we have Tempus, sounding darker and more demonic than the rest of the album and with Ludvig stealing the spotlight with his devilish roars; while Obscurity is slightly generic compared to the other songs albeit still presenting the band’s core sonority, with the guitars by Anton and Mattias sounding incendiary. Back to a more obscure sound, it’s time for the band to blast the multi-layered From the Beginning to the End where Nils is as usual fantastic on bass while Oskar keeps the energy level truly high with his beats, morphing into the atmospheric outro XI, putting a serene and pensive ending to Memoriam.

If you want to enjoy all the fury and melody blasted by Faustus in Memoriam you can stream the album in full on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course purchase it by clicking HERE or HERE. Also, don’t forget to give the guys a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their visceral music. The Swedish metallers from Faustus did a very good job with Memoriam, blending a vast array of styles into their trademark Deathcore without losing their essence and without sounding confusing; as a matter of fact, I would love to see more of their experimentations and progressiveness in their upcoming albums as those elements brought a very welcome touch to their music, placing them among the most interesting names of the modern metal scene without a shadow of a doubt.

Best moments of the album: Psychogenic, The Creation of What’s Called Hell and Tempus.

Worst moments of the album: Obscurity.

Released in 2022 Independent

Track listing
1. Deprived of Liberty 3:56
2. Psychogenic 5:01
3. Anhedonia 3:29
4. Existence, Death? 4:41
5. The Creation of What’s Called Hell 5:58
6. Architect of Ruin 4:15
7. Sleep 3:57
8. Tempus 4:06
9. Obscurity 3:19
10. From the Beginning to the End 5:43
11. XI 2:44

Band members
Ludvig Setterlind – vocals
Anton Pärlenskog – guitar
Mattias Lövhaga – guitar
Nils Hedberg – bass
Oskar Pärlenskog – drums

Album Review – Cabal / Magno Interitus (2022)

***Review by Luke Hayhurst, writer for Morbid Wings (Print) ZineVM Underground Fanzine and Doom-Metal.com***

This is my first experience of Danish band Cabal and I can only describe the sound they create as weaponized music. This their third album to date, entitled Magno Interitus and released through Nuclear Blast Records, is a sort of conglomeration of Blackened Deathcore, Djent, Dubstep, Doom and Hardcore.

What the band strive to achieve is a sort of gloomy, doom laden atmosphere, and this they achieve. Underneath that atmosphere however is something far more sinister. Whilst this kind of music isn’t my thing, I can certainly appreciate what has been pieced together here. So instead of banging on about what bands this reminds me of, (None, I have very little knowledge of this style) I’ll instead try to describe how this album makes me feel and what it brings to mind.

If I were a film maker engaged in creating a movie about two warring factions, one a desperate bedraggled remnant of humanity and the other a sleek, mechanical army of robots, (Yes, I am aware I’m essentially talking about the later Terminator films) then this would be my soundtrack. For this album sounds like mechanized Armageddon, and its unstoppable unwavering post-industrial style that fuses the disjointed nature of Djent with a more scattergun Dubstep element, as well as hostile crushing Deathcore, would be the perfect fit for my soundtrack.

In my opinion, a band like Cabal defies genre boundaries. If a band can take someone like me who has no real appreciation for Deathcore and make me think about what I’m experiencing, then they have to be a very talented and creative band indeed. So whilst a true Deathcore fan would give this a higher grade, a novice to the style like me to give it a seven I think says even more about why you should listen to Magno Interitus.

Best moments of the album: The album ends very strongly with Exsanguination and Plague Bringer.

Worst moments of the album: Nothing to massively complain about.

Released in 2022 by Nuclear Blast Records

Track listing
1. If I Hang, Let Me Swing 3:14
2. Insidious 2:09
3. Magno Interitus 3:27
4. Existence Ensnared 3:25
5. Insatiable 3:26
6. Blod af Mit 4:17
7. Exit Wound 2:43
8. Violent Ends 2:41
9. Like Vultures 3:05
10. Exsanguination 3:20
11. Plague Bringer 3:45

Band members
Andreas Bjulver Paarup – vocals
Christian Hammer Mattesen – guitars
Chris Kreutzfeldt – guitars
Malthe Strøyer Sørensen – bass
Nikolaj Kaae Kirk – drums

Guest musicians
Simon Olsen – vocals on “Insidious”
Joe Bad – vocals on “Magno Interitus”
John Cxnnor – industrial noises on “Blod af Mit”

Links
Cabal Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Linktree | Spotify | BandCamp | YouTube

Album Review – Lorna Shore / Pain Remains (2022)

One of the most explosive names of the current Deathcore scene invites us all to dance like flames in a sea of fire to the sound of their newborn masterpiece.

Hailing from New Jersey, in the United States, the unrelenting Progressive/Symphonic Deathcore outfit Lorna Shore has been making a name for themselves since their inception back in 2009, but it’s now in 2022 with their newborn masterpiece Pain Remains that we can say without a shadow of a doubt they’ve reached a whole new level of awesomeness. Produced, mastered, mixed, and engineered by Josh Schroeder, Pain Remains is the fourth studio album in their career and the first to feature frontman Will Ramos, guitarist Andrew O’Connor and bassist Michael Yager, who together with guitarist Adam De Micco and drummer Austin Archey are simply setting new standards in the world of rock and metal music, sounding absolutely heavy, caustic and sinister while at the same time epic and beautiful throughout the album’s 60 minutes of top-of-the-line Deathcore infused with symphonic and old school death nuances. Put differently, you’re in for a treat with Pain Remains, an album that will certainly place Lorna Shore as one of the driving forces of modern-day metal music worldwide, and that will certainly feature among the best releases of the year.

A stunning opening tune, Welcome Back, O’ Sleeping Dreamer showcases poetic lyrics roared by Will (“Open your mind, let it consume / Your flesh dissolve within the infinite / The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of all / Their nightmares”) while the music is a gripping fusion of progressiveness, epicness and rage; and Austin decimates his drums in the pulverizing Into the Earth, supported by the flammable riffs by Adam and Andrew in a bestial display of Symphonic Deathcore. Sun//Eater is another tune with a serene, introspective start before all hell breaks loose to the demonic gnarls by Will, sounding and feeling dense, technical and infernal from start to finish, with its guitar solos being a thing of beauty, making an instant bridge with the imposing Cursed to Die (a song about the creation of life, bringing upon the idea that maybe the figure we see as ‘god’ is no different than what we already are) where the band hammers our heads with their wall of sounds spearheaded by the blast beats by Austin and the rumbling bass by Michael. And less intense but just as heavy and obscure, Soulless Existence offers us all a lesson in Progressive Metal where Will keeps screaming manically from the bottom of his blackened heart, all spiced up by the song’s epic background keys.

In Apotheosis the background choir sounds marvelous, adding an extra touch of obscurity to the band’s venomous Deathcore while also presenting a great job done on the guitars and drums, offering Will exactly what he needs to growl nonstop; whereas in Wrath we’re treated to more of their wicked words barked by Will (“Behold displacement, cremation / Rising from devastation / From embers of creation unto death / All shall return”) masterfully embraced by an unstoppable sonic attack by his bandmates, or in other words, it’s Symphonic Deathcore played to perfection. Then get ready for a truly unique experience to the superb “Pain Remains Trilogy”, which begins with Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames, where the sound of the falling rain enfolds our souls before exploding into visceral, caustic Deathcore. Moreover, Austin is simply fantastic behind his drums, leading his bandmates until the music flows into Pain Remains II: After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear, even more violent and crushing than the first part, with Will being on absolute fire throughout the entire song as well as the band’s guitar duo with their razor-edged riffs and solos. Then closing the trilogy (and the album) we have Pain Remains III: In a Sea of Fire, another masterpiece by Lorna Shore where the energy emanating from the music is immensurable, and don’t forget to check the official videos for the trilogy in the correct order to be properly hypnotized by their depth, their emotions and, of course, by their incredible music.

You can dive deep into the ocean of first-class Deathcore blasted by Lorna Shore in Pain Remains by listening to the album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and also by following such skillful band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and so on. In addition, above all that, you should definitely grab your favorite version of Pain Remains by clicking HERE, adding to your personal collection one of the deepest and most dynamic albums of the past few years. Having said all that, let’s simply dance like flames in a sea of fire to the sound of Pain Remains, resting assured that as long as Lorna Shore keep delivering first-class music like what’s found in their new album, Deathcore will forever remain strong.

Best moments of the album: Welcome Back, O’ Sleeping Dreamer, Wrath, and obviously the “Pain Remains Trilogy” comprised of Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames, Pain Remains II: After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear and Pain Remains III: In a Sea of Fire.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Century Media

Track listing
1. Welcome Back, O’ Sleeping Dreamer 7:21
2. Into the Earth 5:12
3. Sun//Eater 6:10
4. Cursed to Die 4:40
5. Soulless Existence 7:12
6. Apotheosis 4:54
7. Wrath 4:57
8. Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames 5:52
9. Pain Remains II: After All I’ve Done, I’ll Disappear 5:36
10. Pain Remains III: In a Sea of Fire 9:12

Band members
Will Ramos – vocals
Adam De Micco – guitar
Andrew O’Connor – guitar
Michael Yager – bass
Austin Archey – drums

Concert Review – Trivium (Rebel, Toronto, ON, 10/25/2022)

The awesome night where Trivium switched from being an Orlando band to a Toronto band. 

OPENING ACT: Khemmis, Whitechapel and Between The Buried And Me

My last concert of such intense month of October couldn’t have been any better, as the city of Toronto hosted a fantastic night of modern-day metal with the Deadmen And Dragons Tour at Rebel, with the bands KHEMMIS, WHITECHAPEL, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME and the al-freakin’-mighty TRIVIUM proving that heavy music is still alive and kicking as opposed to what several “experts” say about it. It was a very comfortable night temperature-wise and the venue is awesome for concerts like that, with the only problem being as always their parking lot, which made several fans wait for over one hour to be able to get out of it as soon as the concert was over. Well, it is what it is, so let’s focus on the music which is what really matters in the end.

The first band to hit the stage at around 6:55pm was Denver, Colorado-based Doom Metal act KHEMMIS, which also opened for Mastodon and Opeth a few months ago, still promoting their 2021 album Deceivers. Their setlist might have been short but it was very cohesive and electrifying, inspiring an already big crowd to slam into the pit to their doomed and heavy creations. It was my second time seeing Khemmis, this time from the very beginning, and not only I must say I was impressed with their energy throughout their entire set last night, but I also think everyone at the venue felt the same chemistry with the band. If that’s not an invitation for Khemmy to keep coming back to Toronto, I don’t know what would be.

Setlist
Avernal Gate
Three Gates
Sigil
Isolation
A Conversation with Death

Band members
Ben – vocals, guitars
Phil – vocals, guitars
David Small – bass
Zach – drums

After a quick bathroom/beer break, Knoxville, Tennessee’s own Deathcore outfit WHITECHAPEL began their sonic attack for the delight of several diehard fans of the band at Rebel, and it was indeed a ferocious performance by frontman Phil Bozeman and his horde. From the opening tune I Will Find You, from their 2021 album Kin, to the closing moments of Doom Woods, Whitechapel drove the fans insane into the pit, with the whole band sounding on absolute fire specially during newer songs the likes of Lost Boy and A Bloodsoaked Symphony. Excellent performance by a band that I’ve never been into that much, but that I will surely give a few more listens in more detail in the near future.

Setlist
I Will Find You
Anticure
Lost Boy
Orphan
This Is Exile
A Bloodsoaked Symphony
Doom Woods

Band members
Phil Bozeman – vocals
Ben Savage – lead guitars
Alex Wade – guitars
Zach Householder – guitars
Gabe Crisp – bass
Ernie Iniguez – drums

The most “meh” moment for me of the entire night was the performance by Raleigh, North Carolina-based Progressive Metal band BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, which despite being very technical and precise in what they do, their setlist sounded a bit confusing and tiresome. The songs Revolution in Limbo and Never Seen/Future Shock, from their latest album Colors II, were played to perfection, but at least for me they lack that spark or special element that would make them truly entertaining live. There were a lot of BTBAM fans at the venue enjoying the show, though, maybe due to a different type of connection they have with the band, but as I said several people at the venue didn’t enjoy the band as much as they had fun with Whitechapel.

Setlist
Sun of Nothing
Revolution in Limbo
Extremophile Elite
Never Seen/Future Shock
The Future Is Behind Us

Band members
Tommy Giles Rogers – lead vocals, keyboards
Paul Waggoner – lead guitar, backing vocals, additional lead vocals
Dustie Waring – rhythm guitar, additional lead guitar
Dan Briggs – bass, keyboards
Blake Richardson – drums, backing vocals, additional lead vocals

TRIVIUM

Finally, at around 9:50pm, the lights went out and the DJ played Iron Maiden’s hit Run to the Hills through the speakers, inspiring everyone at Rebel to sing its iconic lyrics as a cool warmup for Orlando, Florida’s own Heavy Metal institution TRIVIUM. It was a nice moment for me personally as I had just seen Iron Maiden live in Newark last Friday, so that “bridge” from one band to another sounded really awesome to my ears. Then after the intro IX, Matt Heafy, Corey Beaulieu, Paolo Gregoletto and Alex Bent began kicking some serious ass with the excellent What the Dead Men Say, winning the hearts of everyone at the venue instantly.

In case you might be asking yourself why the tour is called Deadmen And Dragons Tour, that’s because when What The Dead Men Say was released back in 2020 we were in the middle of the pandemic, so there wasn’t a proper tour to promote that album before they released in 2021 the brilliant In the Court of the Dragon. That being said, their setlist was a fusion of both albums with a few old school hits the likes of Like Light to the Flies and To the Rats, resulting in a much better and obviously longer setlist than the one they played in Toronto opening for Lamb of God and Megadeth back in May.

Matt was really, really excited with the amount of people that went to see them last night and of course with the warm reception they had, reminding us all about their early days when no one knew what Trivium were in Canada. He kept saying in between songs he’s amazed with what the band and their Torontonian fans have built together, saying the crowd was so rowdy and vibrant to the point Trivium could switch from being an Orlando band to a Toronto band. I have no idea how loud their fans were in Calgary and other Canadian cities, nor how loud they’ll be tonight in Montreal, but yesterday was indeed a very special night for the band based on all mosh pits, screams and horns raised while they played pulverizing songs such as Amongst the Shadows & the Stones, In the Court of the Dragon and A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation, which by the way wasn’t played in most (or any) of their dates this tour.

By the way, Matt asked the band to stop playing In the Court of the Dragon right in the middle of it due to two stupid idiots that were about to start a fight in the circle pit. He asked them to split and stop with the fighting just like what he tells his four year-old twins, which was a funny moment that I’m sure no one at the venue will ever forget, in special those two idiots. Another thing that I find impressive is that their fans love their newest songs just as much as their old ones, with The Heart From Your Hate being one of the most special moments of the night alongside Shogun and In Waves. So now as promised, Matt, as Trivium “became” a Toronto band we want to see you guys playing ten or more concerts only in Ontario on the next tour, alright? We will be waiting for you with open arms, no doubt about that.

Setlist
Run to the Hills
IX
What the Dead Men Say
Into the Mouth of Hell We March
The Sin and the Sentence
Like Light to the Flies
Amongst the Shadows & the Stones
Chaos Reigns
The Shadow of the Abattoir
X
In the Court of the Dragon
To the Rats
The Heart From Your Hate
Shogun
A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation
Capsizing The Sea
In Waves

Band members
Matt Heafy – lead vocals, guitar
Corey Beaulieu – guitar, backing vocals
Paolo Gregoletto – bass guitar, backing vocals
Alex Bent – drums, percussion

Album Review – Chimera / Gloria Mortis (2022)

Playing what can be described as a mix of Heavy and Black Metal, this up-and-coming Polish group returns with their sophomore album, as dark and heavy as it is melodic and epic.

Established at the end of 2013 in Warsaw, Poland, Chimera play what can be described as a mix of Heavy and Black Metal, which is exactly what they have to offer us all in their sophomore opus Gloria Mortis, the follow-up to their 2016 debut effort Transmutation. Recorded at Hainrich House Studio, Gloria Mortis is just as dark and heavy as it is melodic and epic, being highly recommended for admirers of the newest wave of extreme music, in special all the new names hailing form the vibrant underground scene in Poland, therefore showcasing all the talent by the band currently formed of Krzysztof Gałecki on vocals and guitars, founder Rafał “Charon” Mazur on lead guitars, Wiktor Waliłko on bass, and Andrzej Ruszkowski on drums.

An eerie intro simply titled I, where Krzysztof distills his Polish words to give it a darker edge, sets the tone for the pulverizing and grim Dunkelheit (“darkness” from German), presenting Black Metal riffs by Krzysztof and Charon while Andrzej hammers his drums powerfully, being at the same time ferocious and melodic, and kicking things off on a very high note. Then investing in a similar sound of its predecessor, Necrosis of Soul is another infuriated creation by Chimera where the band adds elements from Groove Metal and Deathcore to their core essence, not to mention Krzysztof sounds inhumane with his deep roars; whereas Madness sounds and feels even heavier and more demented, with Charon being on fire with his riffage and solos accompanied by the rumbling bass by Wiktor in an electrifying fusion of Black, Heavy and Death Metal. And the thunderous bass and beats by Wiktor and Andrzej, respectively, generate a menacing ambience in Nieistniejąc (“non-existent” from Polish), with the sharp riffs by the band’s guitar duo slashing our ears mercilessly.

The album’s “second act” begins with the horror-movie inspired interlude II, also displaying cryptic vocalizations and morphing into the intricate and groovy Immortal Self, reminding me of the music by several bands from the current American modern metal scene. Moreover, the song’s devilish growls and razor-edged riffs will pierce your mind like a bullet, whereas headbanging guitars and a Stygian atmosphere will embrace your soul in The Bable Tower, where Krzysztof continues to vociferate like a creature from the underworld in a vicious onrush of Black and Death Metal. Then in Asmodeus we’re all invited to slam into the circle pit thanks to its endless brutality, groove and electricity, with Andrzej sounding insane behind his drums supported by the metallic bass by Wiktor, resulting in one of the best songs of the album hands down. And the band keeps delivering their trademark hybrid of violence and intricacy in Dziki Sęp (“wild vulture” from Polish), bringing forward an awesome job done by Krzysztof and Charon with their Black Metal-infused riffs. There’s still time for one last breath of pure insanity entitled Among Wolves, getting heavier and heavier as time passes by, all spearheaded by the venomous vocalizations by Krzysztof before a narration-style outro named III puts a Stygian ending to the album.

If you’re an admirer of a modern fusion of Black, Death and Heavy Metal with a dense background, you should definitely give the new album by Chimera a try by streaming it in full on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course purchase it from the band’s own Facebook page to show your utmost support to the underground. In addition, go check what the band is up to on Facebook and on Instagram, including their tour dates, and subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their music and videos. Gloria Mortis is undoubtedly a step forward in the career of such promising band from the Polish metal scene, and I’m pretty sure that we’ll hear more from those guys sooner than we can imagine as their third opus isn’t far from seeing the light of day.

Best moments of the album: Dunkelheit, Madness and Asmodeus.

Worst moments of the album: Immortal Self.

Released in 2022 Independent

Track listing
1. I 1:48
2. Dunkelheit 5:36
3. Necrosis of Soul 4:33
4. Madness 4:02
5. Nieistniejąc 5:15
6. II 1:22
7. Immortal Self 4:01
8. The Bable Tower 4:05
9. Asmodeus 4:30
10. Dziki Sęp 3:28
11. Among Wolves 3:59
12. III 1:07

Band members
Krzysztof Gałecki – vocals, guitars
Rafał “Charon” Mazur – lead guitars
Wiktor Waliłko – bass
Andrzej Ruszkowski – drums

Metal Chick of the Month – Haley Roughton

We are food for a predator… immobilized, we die this night!

Houston, we have Heavy Metal. And it’s not just Heavy Metal, but a bold and electrifying fusion of extreme music with symphonic elements and movie scores, and if you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about I’m sure our metal lady of the month of September will help you with that. Not only an extremely talented vocalist capable of flowing from the most demonic growls to clean, groovy vocals, she also works as a spacesuit instructor and flight controller at NASA, which gives you an idea of her wide range of skills and level of intellect and energy. I’m talking about the multi-talented vocalist Haley Roughton, the frontwoman for Houston, Texas-based Symphonic/Melodic Death Metal horde The Xebellian Triangle. I bet you’re curious to know more about Haley, her work with The Xebellian Triangle and with NASA, her other music projects and so on, so get ready for a wild ride with such up-and-coming name of the current metal scene.

Before we head into her current adventure with The Xebellian Triangle, let’s take a step back and know more about her studies and career, just to give you a taste of how smart and focused Haley is and how she also applies those strengths into her music. As aforementioned, Haley has been very busy with projects and assignments at her workplace at NASA, having recently been certified as a flight controller and having already been an intern at the Avionic Systems Division (Command and Data Handling), working with MSP430 microcontroller, C language, QNAP API, HTTP protocol, general computer networks and programming microcontrollers in C in the development of software/drivers for a network-attached storage (NAS) device interfacing to the MPS430 microcontroller for the Modular Integrated Stackable Layers (MISL) project. Not only that, she was also an intern a few years ago for a company called Magaw Medical, in Texas, laying the foundations for a wireless, HD video laryngoscope, and also a student researcher at Texas Christian University, where by the way she graduated in Engineering with Electrical Emphasis. Moreover, she’s awesome in LTSpice/PSpice, MS Excel, C, MATLAB and Inventor/AutoCAD, among other technical skills needed in her career.

Do you think Haley is a nerd or geek after reading about her career? Well, yes, but of course she’s proud of that, and when you listen to her vocals with her bandmates from The Xebellian Triangle you’ll then realize she’s not just a nerd, but a badass nerd. Currently formed of Haley on vocals, who joined the band in the spring of 2021, alongside Ivy Jayne Lance (Suicide Pandemic, The Crypt Alive, The Isdal Cadaver, Remnants of Izanagi) on the guitars, Hakeem De Hoyos on bass, and Aron Hetsko (Aethereus, The Crypt Alive, Dorzia) on drums, The Xebellian Triangle were formed back in 2019 by Ivy and Aron, who had their initial band together in high school and after several years  met up to talk about how it would be great to finish their old songs, put them out and play them live, leading to the birth of The Xebellian Triangle, with their sound being inspired by renowned acts the likes of Amon Amarth, The Black Dahlia Murder, Epica, Dimmu Borgir and Fleshgod Apocalypse, among several others. After releasing a few singles starting in December 2021, The Xebellian Triangle (also referred to as TXT) released in the beginning of July their debut full-length opus, entitled At the Banks of the Rubicon (which is by the way available in full on Spotify), offering us all nine songs of first-class Melodic and Symphonic Death Metal with Haley kicking some serious ass on vocals, as you can witness in the songs Dracarys, with Haley being also responsible for its lyrics and arrangements (and which also has a very nice vocal playthrough by our metal diva on YouTube), and Confirmed.

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Sometimes labeled by the band itself as “The Black Dahlia Murder meets Hans Zimmer”, the music by The Xebellian Triangle is highly influenced by fantasy books, movies and series the likes of The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and The Witcher, among several others, as well as games such as World of Warcraft, which Haley plays (or at least used to play) on her free time, and sci-fi and horror films including John Carpenter’s The Thing, one of Haley’s favorite horror movies of all time. As already mentioned, Haley was involved in the development of some of the album lyrics and arranging patterns during the recording process by offering different perspectives, and if you click HERE you’ll have access not only to the band’s top-of-the-line creations, but also to their tour dates, merch, social media links and so on, seeing how focused and hardworking the entire band is and how they added all of those influences into their music. As you can see in Haley’s influences as well as in the rest of The Xebellian Triangle’s, they are all kind of nerds with their own varying preferences, including the aforementioned books, movies, shows, games and other things like anime, but Hailey also brings to the band elements from R&B thanks to her vocal training, adding more clean singing spots where they fit in the music by The Xebellian Triangle. Moreover, the band also tries to speak on things that are important to them such as feminism, the fight for racial equality, gay rights, trans rights, and supporting methods that build a greener, cleaner, safer, fairer world.

Always developing a portfolio of covers to show off her vocal ranges both clean and harsh on her YouTube channel, including Take This Lonely Heart, by Nothing But Thieves, Out of Time, by Skyharbor, and Holy Roller, by Spiritbox, Haley has also been part of a Death Metal band named Dorzia since 2021, having already recorded with them the singles  Blood Portrait, Looking In and Deity’s Grasp, with all three songs demonstrating Haley’s flexibility in her extreme vocals from gutturals to piercing high screams. Calling themselves “sonic brutality from Houston, Texas”, this six-piece act fronted by Haley has a lot of potential to grow in the coming years, and I can’t wait to see if their first ever EP or full-length album will become a reality in a not-so-distant future. In addition, just like what was mentioned about The Xebellian Triangle, you can find all details, important links and other shenanigans about Dorzia by clicking HERE. Furthermore, in addition to her recent work with The Xebellian Triangle and Dorzia, Haley was also featured as a guest vocalist in the song Oubliette, released in November 2021 as a single by an Austin, Texas-based Deathcore outfit named Snake Father, and let me tell you that Haley simply stole the show with her infernal she-wolf growls.

Regarding their live performance, The Xebellian Triangle always bring a lot of energy to the stage, with Haley loving to run and jump around, therefore engaging with the crowd whenever possible, not to mention Haley and Ivy both have stage clothes they wear to keep a recurring image. The band mentioned in one of their interviews that they plan to expand further in this and always want to bring new and exciting things to the live show, and we all know that usually translates into some extra awesomeness to the performance of any band. There are no current dates scheduled for The Xebellian Triangle for the rest of 2022 due to personal reasons, though, such as Haley doing some travelling on her own, but I’m sure it won’t take long for The Xebellian Triangle to take your city by storm. Hence, I wouldn’t miss the chance to see them live if I were you simply because you’ll be able to see one of the most exciting new names of the current American metal scene, fronted by a multi-talented woman who’s eager to scream and roar in your face and show you that no matter what happens, the stage is hers.

Haley Roughton’s Official Instagram
The Xebellian Triangle’s Official Facebook page
The Xebellian Triangle’s Official Instagram
The Xebellian Triangle’s Official YouTube channel
The Xebellian Triangle’s Official Twitter

Album Review – As Paradise Falls / Madness / Medicine EP (2022)

Let’s bang our heads to the new EP by a Deathcore duo aiming at redefining what the Australian metal scene is capable of.

“They laugh at me because I am different… I laugh at them because they are all the same…”

Aiming at redefining what the Australian metal scene is capable of, Brisbane-based Deathcore duo As Paradise Falls (also known as APF) has been on a dark rollercoaster of pure emotion in the pursuit to find where they truly fit in the world both as people and as a band. After the releases of their 2014 debut EP Save Yourself and their 2017 debut full-length album Digital Ritual, As Paradise Falls dropped off the radar and halted the progress of the band with no explanation, but it looks like they’re back on track with their 2020 single Bleed for the Crown, and more important than that, with their brand new EP titled Madness / Medicine. Produced by Shane Edwards at Studio 28 in Thailand, Madness / Medicine is a new breed of Deathcore that has raised the archetype of heavy music, proving how talented vocalist Ravi Sherwell and guitarist Danny Kenneally are while also providing music lovers with a very good reason to bang their heads nonstop to the sound of the EP’s five incendiary tracks.

BATS is simply sinister and caustic from the very first second, where Ravi’s enraged, demonic vocals will pierce your mind mercilessly while Danny hammers his guitar in great fashion, resulting in a fantastic opener for the EP. If you’re a diehard fan of Deathcore you’ll fall in love for this tune without a shadow of a doubt, whereas Captain Hero is even more demented than its predecessor, with the heaviness exhaling from the song’s bass and drums being outstanding while the duo adds elements from classic Death and Groove Metal to their core sound to make things even more violent. Then we have KFBR392, slightly more alternative as if Slipknot ventured through the realms of Deathcore, where once again Ravi barks and roars like a demented beast while Danny will haunt your damned soul with his riffage; and get ready for another round of insanity and heaviness by As Paradise Falls entitled Mechanical Hannibals, a lecture in Deathcore showcasing all elements we love in the genre such as wicked vociferations, rumbling bass lines and pulverizing riffs. Finally, closing the EP we’re treated to two minutes of dementia in the form of TR4K 1, with Danny cutting our skin deep with his sick riffs, therefore inspiring us all to succumb to the dark side of Deathcore.

As already mentioned, As Paradise Falls want to show the world the Deathcore scene in Australia is stronger than ever, with their new EP representing that evolution and, consequently, where we should expect to see the duo in the coming years. Hence, you can keep track of all things As Paradise Falls by following the band on Facebook and on Instagram and by listening to more of their wicked creations on Spotify, and don’t forget to obviously purchase a copy of Madness / Medicine sooner than you can say “Deathcore” by clicking HERE. Hopefully, Ravi and Danny will continue to deliver awesomeness in their upcoming releases without having to put the band on hold again, expanding their reach to new, unexplored lands and showing the world what Australian Deathcore is all about, just like what they have to offer us all in their entertaining new release.

Best moments of the album: BATS and Mechanical Hannibals.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Eclipse Records

Track listing
1. BATS 3:08
2. Captain Hero 3:38
3. KFBR392 2:52
4. Mechanical Hannibals 3:05
5. TR4K 1 2:11

Band members
Ravi Sherwell – vocals
Danny Kenneally – guitar

Metal Chick of the Month – Adrienne Cowan

So sin ‘til you win, let your demons out! Lady Lightbringer!

It’s time for a true metal opera this February on The Headbanging Moose, courtesy of our multi-talented metal lady of the month. A metal vocalist, poet, vocal coach and musician best known for being the frontwoman and composer for American Symphonic Metal band Seven Spires, among several other amazing metal bands and projects, Adrienne Elizabeth Catli Cowan, who goes by her stage name of Adrienne Cowan, will mesmerize you with her unique vocals, both extreme and classic Heavy Metal clean vocals. In other words, she can sing pretty much any type of metal and non-metal music, from the Symphonic Metal of Seven Spires to Death Metal, Deathcore and Dark Jazz, and I’m sure you’ll have an absolute blast with Adrienne after knowing more about the life and career of such skillful artist.

Born on January 28, 1995 in Houston, the most populous city in Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States, Adrienne is formally trained in classical and most contemporary styles as a graduate of both Berklee College of Music (with a degree in Music Composition) in Boston, Massachusetts and the Academy of Contemporary Music in the UK, although she was also self-taught in both extreme clean vocals for many years before finally finding a perfect vocal coach in Swedish singer David Äkesson. Her connection with music started a lot earlier than that, though, as since she was a child she was already taking part in choirs and taking piano lessons, performing in musicals and then entering music school, and from there starting to compose her music and to expand her knowledge and skills, especially as a singer. For instance, Adrienne had her first performance as a vocalist at the age of three at an event at the church her family attended, beginning her piano lessons after that at the age of six and being mainly into choir and darker popular musicals such as Phantom of the Opera throughout elementary and middle school. Not only that, her parents pulled her out of high school so that she could attend a music school full-time, so through that show of support she already had a good feeling about her potential skills.

When she was still living in England, in 2012, Adrienne was making demos by herself for a dark and theatrical project she had yet to debut, and after moving back to the United States in 2013 she met Jack Kosto in a bookstore in her first week at Berklee and told him about her project and songs. From there Seven Spires were born, with all band members having extensive musical knowledge and studies, therefore drawing on their backgrounds to express themselves musically without limits of genre or technique. Seven Spires released their first album in 2014, the EP The Cabaret of Dreams, with all of its songs representing half of their 2017 full-length opus Solveig, where not only Adrienne was responsible for all vocals, keyboards, lyrics and songwriting, but also for the production and vocal engineering, showcasing all her talent and professionalism. After Solveig, the band released the full-length albums Emerald Seas, in 2020, and Gods of Debauchery, in 2021, and if you want to enjoy all of the band’s epic creations you can find Seven Spires on Spotify and on YouTube, where you can also have a visual orgasm with their official videos for the songs Lightbringer, Succumb, The Unforgotten Name, The Cabaret Of Dreams, Drowner Of Worlds, Bury You, The Paradox, This God Is Dead, Silvery Moon, The Cursed Muse, and Dare To Live, as well as some live footage, making of’s, behind the scenes and other awesome videos by Adrienne and her crew.

Apart from her career with Seven Spires, you can also find Adrienne and her powerful vocals in distinct bands and projects such as International Power Metal band Light & Shade, with whom she recorded the vocals for the 2016 album The Essence of Everything; International Power Metal/Hard Rock band Sascha Paeth’s Masters of Ceremony, with whom she recorded the vocals (and piano for one track) in the 2019 album Signs of Wings; and American Symphonic Deathcore band Winds of Plague, with whom she recorded the keyboards and backing vocals in the 2017 album Blood of My Enemy. In addition, Adrienne was also part of American Melodic Heavy Metal band FirstBourne from 2016 to 2018, having recorded the vocals and keyboards in their 2016 album Riot and in the 2017 acoustic single Home, and of Frontiers All Stars in 2020 and Riot Underground between 2012 and 2013.

You can also find her singing and playing live with German Symphonic Power Metal band Avantasia since 2018, with American Heavy Metal band Mike Kerr from 2015 until 2018, and with American Power/Thrash Metal band Sonic Pulse. Not only that, Adrienne was also a guest musician in an array of bands and projects, those being vocals for the song I Declare War from the 2020 album The Journey, by German Melodic Death Metal band Deliver the Galaxy; vocals for several songs from the 2021 album The Metal Opera by Magnus Karlsson, by Swedish Symphonic/Melodic/Power Metal band Heart Healer; vocals for the song My Guide My Hunger from the 2018 album As Above So Below, by Italian Melodic Death Metal band Hell’s Guardian; vocals for the song The End of Innocence from the 2017 album Reflections, by American Neoclassical Heavy Metal artist Jimi Mitchell; vocals for the song Mammoth from the 2017 album Pianometal, by American Symphonic/Progressive Metal artist Kyle Morrison; vocals for the song The Truth of the Lion from the 2015 album The Truth of the Lion, by Mike Kerr; harsh and clean vocals for the songs Conjunction of Souls and The Restitution from the 2020 album Pile of Priests, by American Progressive Death Metal band Pile of Priests; vocals for the song Let It Go from the 2018 album Re-Animated, by Italian Power Metal band Trick or Treat; and vocals and lyrics for the 2018 album Lights in the Murk, by Italian Symphonic Black Metal band Yass-Waddah. Do you want more? Because our she-wolf was also responsible for the songwriting for the song Hold Tight from the 2016 EP Dirty Lyxx, by American Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band Dirty Lyxx, and she also sung vocals in Black Science’s Freedom (Or Die Trying), featured in the outro of one Camp Camp episode, and sang both a duet with Casey Lee Williams in the RWBY Volume 6 credits song Nevermore, and in the song War of Volume 7. Adrienne has also been a part of the Freelance Orchestra in their RTX 2016 (where to her surprise she ended up in the RWBY music panel) and 2018 concerts, plus Anime Boston 2018, and you can always have a great time watching her own videos on her official YouTube channel.

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Adrienne got into the world of metal music around the age of 11 when her uncle showed her Metallica and Scorpions, but it wasn’t until she found out about musicians the likes of Alexi Laiho, Janne Wierman and Yngwie Malmsteen that she really started to feel at home listening to Heavy Metal. She mentioned it appealed in some way to her classical background, and watching live Children of Bodom videos was quite inspiring. However, she’s not only into metal, but showcases a wide variety of influences in her life. “I’m not a one-dimensional person – I’m a human – so I’m allowed to like other stuff”, she said in one of her interviews. “I’m not a huge K-pop fan or anything, but I really like good pop writing. From a technical standpoint, as a songwriter, I’m like: damn, good for you guys. And there’s a certain sassy energy – it just speaks to me in a way that a lot of metal doesn’t.” Another influence on our beloved diva as a writer are painters of the Romantic period, with German painter Caspar David Friedrich and Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky being two of her main inspirations. “I’m also a big fan of (the English composer) Edward Elgar – he does this piece called ‘Sospiri Op. 70,’ which is the most beautiful thing, it sounds like the pain of falling in love. It was something I listened to a lot when we were writing this record. And of course, Chopin,” she said, also finding inspiration under night skies and in the darker depths of the human condition to write her lyrics. Adrienne also nurtures an amazing openness with her fans on social media, which she credits to her experience as a My Chemical Romance fan back when she was younger. “This one interview with them came out, and I remember one of the guys in the band saying basically, ‘We say these things in our music, we are a bunch of fucked up guys, and it helps our fans know… you’re not alone.’ That really made me feel less alone when I was a sad teenager, and then when I grew up into a sad adult, I thought, damn, I could be that for somebody else.”

Regarding her singing style, technique and how she maintains her vocal cords in great shape, Adrienne mentioned in one of her interviews that she likes to meditate before shows and uses her instincts to decide what she’ll sing or scream either high or low. “The low death metal style is more present and more grounded and more angry and earthier in a way. The higher black metal screams are more spiritually pitched or spiritually empty — when there’s black metal themes and nihilistic lyrics, of course I’m probably going to scream with that high tone”, said Adrienne. In addition, when she was enrolled at The Academy of Contemporary Music at the age of 16 she joined an after-school club where all metalhead students gathered to jam on a new song every week, opening her eyes to the rest of the metal world and challenging her to vocally try different styles of each subgenre of metal. She also mentioned that she has studied many techniques of singing including theatrical belting, Speech Level Singing, bel canto and even some throat singing, with the hardest part being unlearning things previous teachers had told her in order to properly approach whatever new technique she was learning, and with the very high Power Metal “scream” being one of the styles that took her the longest to develop. In order to maintain her vocal health, she mentioned that she basically has to just mind her sleep and hydration levels, trying to stay out of the direct blast of heaters or air conditioners, and trying not to get sick or allergic. However, at the end of the day, even dehydrated or sick the show must go on, which forced her to develop alternate techniques to sing through sickness.

A huge fan of Lord of the Rings, all forms of art, Gothic style, cheesy Sci-Fi, vampire shows, coffee and fantasy games, Adrienne enjoys mountain hikes, spending time by any shore, and playing JRPG’s (Japanese Role-Playing Games) and games with friends between her musical ventures. “After a long tour, I like to sit at home and sleep in my own bed, play video games, maybe think about going out… If I get to go on a little holiday or something, I love road trips and anywhere remote with alpine forests and quiet waters. Wyoming is great for this, as are many spots on the West Coast. Anything to get me away from people and out of my regular world,” commented Adrienne, who despite being very fond of animals cannot take care of a dog or cat due to her lack of space and time to do so. And when asked which hobbit from Lord of the Rings she would choose to be part of her band for the rest of their days, she provided a curious and fun answer to that. “Either Sam or Pippin, I think. Because I think I’m a Frodo, and I need a support system like Sam. But also I need a Pippin to just make me laugh all the time no matter what, and just help lighten the mood, and tell me to eat my carrots and mushrooms.”

Last but not least, our raven-haired vocalist also had a few interesting words to say about the whole pandemic and how it has been impacting her life on the road with Seven Spires. “All of this resulted in connecting more with our fans online. So although it’s super frustrating to not know exactly when we’re going to be able to play live again, we have found a way to do the online equivalent of hugging people at the merch table and listening to their stories,” said Adrienne, who also mentioned she keeps working hard to entertain and stay in touch with her fanbase, also teaching online, private vocal lessons and running a weekly workshop on everything from orchestration to arranging to songwriting techniques, all of which you can find on Linktree and on Patreon. “Mostly I teach tools for people to be able to express what they have in mind, and I teach from a really emotional standpoint.” And if you want to know more about Adrienne, her likes and dislikes, her inspirations and so on, there are countless interview online with her such as this one to Rock Titan or this one called RichardMetalFan Interviews! Ep. 33: Adrienne Cowan of Seven Spires/Winds of Plague/Avantasia, where she talks about her journey with music from where she started until now. Having said all that, what are you waiting for to let Adrienne reach deep inside your heart and take you on a breathtaking musical voyage to the sound of her stunning vocals?

Adrienne Cowan’s Official Facebook page
Adrienne Cowan’s Official Instagram
Adrienne Cowan’s Official YouTube channel
Adrienne Cowan’s Official Twitter
Seven Spires’ Official Facebook page
Seven Spires’ Official Instagram
Seven Spires’ Official YouTube channel
Seven Spires’ Official Twitter

“I know that if I’m just stagnant and sitting on my ass, I’m not going to be happy. So if I want to be happy, I have to do something about it.” – Adrienne Cowan

Album Review – Cutterred Flesh / Sharing is Caring (2021)

Brace yourselves for the new album by this ruthless Czech Death Metal horde, offering that warm, comforting, bludgeoning heaviness that will put you to sleep, perhaps permanently.

Forged  in 2001 in the burning fires of Karlovy Vary, a town in the west Bohemia region of the Czech Republic (or Czechia, if you prefer), a Brutal Death Metal beast that goes by the name of Cutterred Flesh is ready to spread violence, gore and insanity all over the world thanks to their newborn spawn, entitled Sharing Is Caring, the follow-up to their 2018 album Code: Violence. Recorded at Kohlekeller Studio under the supervision of Kristian Kohle Kohlmannslehner, and displaying a demonic artwork by Pär Olofsson (Aborted, Immolation), the album is loaded with all the Death Metal riffs you need, all the diversity to not only set the songs apart but to also keep things interesting, and that warm, comforting, bludgeoning heaviness that will put you to sleep, perhaps permanently, showcasing all the talent and aggressiveness of Jiri Krs on vocals, Vitali Novak and David Krombholz on the guitars, Zdenek Hnizdil on bass and Frantisek Drazdansky on drums, being therefore highly recommended for fans of Suffocation, Devourment, Aborted, Cattle Decapitation and Benighted, among several others.

Frantisek begins his sonic attack behind his drums in Vibrio Vulnificus, an obscure and primeval Death Metal aria by Cutterred Flesh where Jiri takes the lead with his inhumane growling, going straight to your jugular while showcasing a lot of intricacy at the same time; and Black Aurora brings forward another round of sheer violence and darkness by the quintet, with both Vitali and David breathing fire through their guitars, not to mention the stone crushing sound blasted by Frantisek for our total delight. Then in Where Only Old Flesh Stinks a more melancholic vibe is carefully added to their core devastation, setting the stage for Jiri to bark like a creature of the underworld while Zdenek delivers some vicious and complex lines from his bass, followed by Good Boy – Romantic Relationship with Necrotic Tissue, featuring guest vocals by American singer and guitarist Von Young of Lividity, a vicious Death Metal onrush that sounds as infernal and demolishing as it can be.

Cutterred Flesh Sharing Is Caring CD Box Set

The Mystery of the Black Hen offers our putrid ears three minutes of pure, unfiltered Death Metal where the band’s guitar duo not only cuts our skin deep with their sharp riffage, but they also fire beautiful solos, whereas in Amused by the Tenacity of a Dying Whore the band adds elements from Deathslam and even Deathcore to their massive sonority, resulting in one of the most disturbing and heaviest of all songs, and with Frantisek sounding like he’s possessed on drums. Fans of Suffocation and Aborted will have a blast with Knife Is Not the Enemy, a brutal and infernal European death feast where Jiri showcases his deepest guttural roars from start to finish, and there’s no time to breathe thanks to the imposing My Favourite Bodybag, another stunning depiction of the band’s brutality and talent with Zdenek and Frantisek generating a thunderous wall of Death Metal with their demonic kitchen. And how about a body slammin’ extravaganza as a bonus track? That’s what you’ll get in Progressive Body Adjustment, with Jiri’s screams being supported by the inhumane beats by Frantisek until the very last second.

If you’re a fan of the brutality of classic Death Metal with a melodic and intricate twist, I’m sure you’ll have a blast with Sharing is Caring, available for purchase from the band’s own BandCamp page, from the Transcending Obscurity Records’ webstore as an ass-kicking wooden LP box set with engraving containing a gatefold LP with metallic effect and UV lamination, an autographed card, an A3 size poster, a shaped logo patch, a bottle opener badge and a metallic sticker (and you can get it HERE or HERE), from Apple Music or from Amazon. Also, don’t forget to give the guys from Cutterred Flesh a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, sharing your love for Brutal Death Metal with the band and other metalheads from all over the world because, as the name of the album already says, sharing is caring.

Best moments of the album: Black Aurora, Where Only Old Flesh Stinks and Amused by the Tenacity of a Dying Whore.

Worst moments of the album: The Mystery of the Black Hen.

Released in 2021 Transcending Obscurity Records

Track listing
1. Vibrio Vulnificus 4:04
2. Black Aurora 4:26
3. Where Only Old Flesh Stinks 4:32
4. Good Boy – Romantic Relationship with Necrotic Tissue 3:16
5. The Mystery of the Black Hen 3:25
6. Amused by the Tenacity of a Dying Whore 3:10
7. Knife Is Not the Enemy 4:15
8. My Favourite Bodybag 4:12

Bonus track
9. Progressive Body Adjustment 3:37

Band members
Jiri Krs – vocals
Vitali Novak – guitar
David Krombholz – guitar
Zdenek Hnizdil – bass
Frantisek Drazdansky – drums

Guest musician
Von Young – vocals on “Good Boy – Romantic Relationship with Necrotic Tissue”

Metal Chick of the Month – Ira Sidenko

ira01

How to open your heart in the chaos of life? Learn to give and to share, to hustle and strive…

If you consider yourself a diehard fan of both old school and modern-day Death Metal, I’m certain you’ll have a very good time with our metal chick of the month of September. Not only she’s the owner of a potent and visceral voice, but her charisma, together with her onstage (and onscreen) performance, turn her into a must-listen and see for any admirer of first-class extreme music. I’m talking about the unstoppable Russian growler Ira Sidenko, also known as Irina Sidenko (or even Ирина Сиденко in Russian), the frontwoman for Tomsk, Russia-based Death Metal brigade Dehydrated, and a metalhead who is always expressing her passion for Heavy Metal through her music and art.

Born in the city of Tomsk, in Tomsk Oblast, a federal subject of Russia (an oblast) that lies in the southeastern West Siberian Plain, Ira studied at Tomsk State University, or TSU, known in her mother tongue as Томский Государственный Университет, or ТГУ, but it’s not clear exactly what course or courses she took at TSU. It was in 2008 when she founded Dehydrated (being named Dehydrated Entrails from 2008 until 2009, when they changed their name to the current one) together with guitarist Evgen Tsibulin, bassist Evgeny Zimin and drummer Alexey Ablayev, with only Ira and Evgen being still in the band from its original formation. Playing a fusion of classic Death Metal with other styles such as Deathcore, Grindcore, Groove Metal and even Progressive Metal, among others, the band didn’t know exactly what they wanted to play at first, but they knew it was going to be hard and aggressive, experimenting with several genres and subgenres of heavy music as aforementioned. By the way, when asked about the origin of the band’s name, Ira explained that’s how you feel after a concert, feeling dehydrated both physically and mentally after all the exchange of energy between the band and the crowd.

Having already played in several international festivals including Metal Head’s Mission (Ukraine), Metal Crowd (Belarus), Petrogrind (St. Petersburg), Metal Maidens (Kaluga), and Cieszanów Rock Festiwal (Poland), as well as tours around Russia and Eastern Europe, the band has unleashed upon humanity an array of high-quality albums and EP’s, those being the 2009 demo Suffering from Mummification, the full-lengths Duality of Existence (2011), Zone Beneath the Skin (2012) and Awake in Era (2012), the EP’s Mind Extract (2011), Piranha or Whale? (2019) and Piranha or Whale (Part II) (2020), and a 2011 split with the bands PureFilth, Grace Disgraced and Redrvm. Furthermore, in one of her interviews, Ira mentioned that her favorite Dehydrated album to date is Awake in Era, as she considers it more professional and more atmospheric than the other releases, with each of its songs representing a different story, but I’m sure that opinion will change with each of their releases just like what happens with any musician. And when asked about what Dehidrated means to her, she said that as music is her life, the band represents life to her, always showing a lot of love for her own work.

Dehydrated are a DIY band, doing everything themselves and relying a lot on the internet for sales and promotional activities just like countless underground bands worldwide. Ira mentioned that services like BandCamp, Spotify, Patreon and YouTube have been helping the band a lot with their promotion, but that at the same time they still have a hard time trying to organize tours all by themselves.  Hence, if you want to give the music by Dehydrated a try, you can stream all of their creations on BandCamp, on Spotify and on YouTube, where you can have an absolute blast with songs the likes of Hell Doesn’t Exist, Parallels, Sickness, Outlaws, Thirst of Dose, Werewolf, Alive Underground, Piranha or Whale, and their excellent covers for Motörhead’s Ace of Spades and Lake of Tears’ U.N.S.A.N.E.

Apart from her career with Dehydrated, you can also find Ira kicking some ass with a female-fronted metal band from Saint Petersburg, Russia named Fallcie for a while, and she can also be seen as a guest vocalist in the song А Время Шло, from the 2020 EP А Время Шло (or “time went on”) by Kaluga, Russia-based Melodic Death Metal band Last Trial. In addition, Ira is also an amazing online vocal coach as you can see on her own YouTube channel, not only providing some great tips to growlers worldwide, but also uploading to her channel cover versions for countless songs the likes of Slaughter to Prevail’s Hell, Rammstein’s Sonne, Linkin Park’s From the Inside, Decapitated’s Homo Sum, Death’s Without Judgement, Vader’s Hexenkessel, and Whitchapel’s I Dementia.

All those top-notch cover versions are not in vain, as all of those bands are also part of Ira’s idols and influences list. As a matter of fact, when asked about how she would define the sound by Dehydrated, she mentioned it’s a fusion of different styles from bands such as Death, Gojira, Animal as Leaders, and so on. Regarding her personal preferences, our beloved growler mentioned the first bands she fell in love with were Rammstein and Slipknot, later moving on to Black and Death Metal and getting absolutely addicted to that. Furthermore, the first time she heard a Death Metal band was when she got to know the music by Aborted, also getting hooked to the music by Whitechapel, Deicide and Vital Remains. However, Ira said she doesn’t have any limits when listening to music, being also a fan of Jazz, Blues, Grindcore and many other distinct styles, but of course always praising metal behemoths the likes of Motörhead, Manowar and Metallica.

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Ira also provided her view on how to become a metal vocalist in one of her interviews, saying that there’s no secret to that but several years of practice and studies (and tons of mistakes) and a never-ending desire to grow, always searching for the right sound and for professional development. Although she mentioned she hadn’t had an older brother to show her metal music, Ira mentioned she had a friend with whom she used to listen to Rammstein together, which inspired her to form a band and, later, as her taste for music became heavier and heavier, she naturally decided to learn how to do guttural by herself. Having the flexibility to sing in English, Russian and German, Ira believes her vocal performance and her confidence have improved a lot since the band’s 2009 debut demo Suffering from Mummification, again pointing out to the importance of constant learning to become a better vocalist.

When asked about the metal scene in Russia (and in Eastern Europe in general), she thinks the bands in Russia need to show more of their own culture and ideas when creating music instead of trying to mimic famous European or American bands, but of course she acknowledges there are tons of fantastic bands in her homeland such as Katalepsy and Arkona. Moreover, in regards to her hometown Tomsk, she said that there was a time when Siberia, where Tomsk is located, once had a very strong metal scene, but that has changed over time and today the scene is not as powerful and the attendance to metal concerts has dropped significantly. She complemented by saying that not only in Tomsk, but in the entire Russia (and maybe we can also add the rest of the world to the mix), you can only get in contact with metal music through the internet, as the radio and TV do not offer any space to bands like Dehydrated, and there aren’t any major festivals either to promote the bands. She still thinks that there are great bands coming from her hometown, though, such as Apokefale and Dark Revenge, which needless to say need our total support to avoid getting extinct.

Last but not least, our Russian growler believes that becoming a Death Metal vocalist isn’t easy at all, it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, but of course it can be a little bit tougher to girls depending on the situation due to the sexism that still happens in the metal community all over the world. She said that once in a while she’s the target of that sexism, but she doesn’t really care about it and keeps working hard to make Dehydrated a better band and to make herself a better vocalist. When asked about how she responds to those attacks, she said she simply doesn’t answer back to the haters, ignoring them on social media and focusing on what really matters, which is the opinion and support of her fans, her friends and her family. And to be fair, she’s more than right in doing so, avoiding bringing that negativity to her work as a musician, therefore keeping her haters screaming in anger (but not as greatly as her) for not engaging in a virtual battle with her. That’s how you recognize a true musician, and let’s hope Ira keeps growling in our faces for many years to come with her ass-kicking band.

Ira Sidenko’s Official VKontakte
Dehydrated’s Official Facebook page
Dehydrated’s Official VKontakte
Dehydrated’s Official Instagram
Dehydrated’s Official YouTube channel

“We are very pleased to be able to create and do what we like, we do not know for how long but the only certainty is that there is only one here and now. We look to the future positively.” – Ira Sidenko