Metal Chick of the Month – Jeanine Grob

Heavy metal is our way! Loud and fast is what we want!

Happy 2023, my dear metalheads! Are you ready for another year of underground awesomeness here at The Heabanging Moose? I’m sure you are, and in order to properly kick off such promising year for heavy music let’s continue our tradition of honoring a badass bass player as our metal lady of the month of January, just like what we did in all previous years, sounds good? And you better get ready as our ruthless bassist will crush your skull with her rumbling bass and rebellious attitude, helping to put her homeland Switzerland in the map of Heavy and Power Metal together with her also extremely talented bandmates. I’m talking about Jeanine Grob, the red-haired bassist for Switzerland-based all-female Heavy/Power Metal coven Burning Witches. Having said that, it’s time to bang our heads and raise our horns to the sound of the thunderous bass by Jeanine Grob, and let the witches burn in the name of heavy music.

Born on June 4, 1990 in Brugg, a Swiss municipality and a town in the canton of Aargau, the talented Jeanine, or simply Jay as her friends like to call her, considers herself some sort of “novice” in music, as she explained that after meeting Romana Kalkuhl (rhythm guitarist with Atlas & Axis who had been looking for a cast for an all-female metal band for a long time) at a party she actually went to her music school for guitar lessons just for fun, but after a while Romana asked if she could handle the bass guitar. Needless to say, she fell in love with that instrument, and of course Romana asked her if she wanted to be part of her all-female band, leading to the creation of Burning Witches. “Romana is something of the fun factor. She didn’t start the band to be famous or anything like that. She just wants to have fun and see how an all-female band works. For me that was great. I could stand on stage with my best friend and bang my head. Never thought it would develop this far with the band,” commented Jeanine in one of her interviews.

It was during the spring of 2015 when Swiss Heavy/Power Metal act Burning Witches was officially formed by Romana, with Jeanine becoming the band’s first official member, later being joined by vocalist Seraina Telli, drummer Lala Frischknecht and guitarist Alea Wyss. Although there have been a few changes to the band’s lineup since their inception, Romana, Jeanine and Lala have remained as its core, with vocalist Laura Guldemond and guitarist Larissa Ernst being the other two current members of the band. As you all know, Laura is from the Netherlands, which means her mother tongue is Dutch and not German like the rest of the band, but that’s not an issue at all for the band according to Jeanine. “Our band language is now English. Of course, situations can arise from time to time in which you have to ask exactly what that was meant to prevent misunderstandings. But before we quarrel about it, let’s talk about it. But it’s definitely not a problem – and then there’s Google.”

Together with the Burning Witches, Jeanine recorded their self-titled debut album in 2017, the 2018 album Hexenhammer, the 2020 album Dance with the Devil, and their 2021 opus The Witch of the North, as well as the EP’s Wings of Steel, in 2019, and Acoustic Sessions, in 2020, the live album Burning Alive, in 2018, and of course their self-titled debut demo in 2016. In addition, Jeanine has also been featured in several compilations alongside the Burning Witches, including Maximum Metal Vol. 243 (Metal Hammer, 2018), Lauschangriff Vol. 67 (Rock Hard, 2018) and Metal Hammer 1/2019 (Metal Hammer, 2019) with the song Executed; Maximum Metal Vol. 254 (Metal Hammer, 2020) and Lauschangriff Vol. 79 (Rock Hard, 2020) with the song Sea of Lies; and Maximum Metal Vol. 264 (Metal Hammer, 2021) and Lauschangriff Vol. 86 (Rock Hard, 2021) with the song Flight of the Valkyries. You can find those and plenty of other amazing songs and videos from the Burning Witches on YouTube, such as The Witch Of The North, Hexenhammer, We Stand As One, Black Widow, and Dance With The Devil, and countless live footage where you can enjoy Jeanine kicking ass armed with her bass, like the band’s performances live at Salzhaus Brugg in Swtizerland in 2018, at Hell Diest in Belgium in 2022, and at New Wave of Heavy Metal Festival in  Germany in 2018.

When asked about how the band managed the transition from Seraina to Laura on vocals, and if there was a lot of pressure to find the right replacement for a much-vaunted frontwoman like Seraina as quickly as possible, Jeanine said that because Romana writes the music to sound like Burning Witches no matter what, there were no issues nor pressure during that period of change, complementing by saying she thinks Laura sounds even more metal than Seraina (although she considers both great vocalists). “And what makes us very happy, of course, is that Laura is very well received by the fans, and that is ultimately what counts. In terms of character, Laura fits perfectly into the band, she’s just as crazy as we are,” said Jeanine, who doesn’t know exactly where the band could go, while also saying the band would never change their style just to be more successful, and that it was never their declared goal to become such popular metal band. “Hey, we were allowed to perform in Wacken – the dream of every musician who is at home in the metal scene. But we kept our feet on the ground and didn’t take off. And I’m not planning where I want to be in five years, for example to tour with Iron Maiden. We take it as it comes and enjoy every single step!”

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In terms of her idols and influences, Jeanine and the rest of the band are of course inspired by bands the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Manowar, Amon Amarth, and Switzerland’s biggest metal band of all time, Celtic Frost, always listening to a variety of music ranging from Jazz to Extreme Metal. Our dauntless bassist is also a huge fan of Exodus, but of course she said the biggest dream tour for her would be with Iron Maiden or Judas Priest, saying she would probably faint if she could go on tour with Iron Maiden. Furthermore, as their musical roots are definitely in the 80’s, Jeanine said there are many parents who attend their concerts and take their kids with them, which certainly has a positive impact on the future of heavy music. Speaking about touring and the life on the road, Jeanine mentioned that playing at Bang Your Head, one of the biggest festivals in Germany, was a fantastic experience to the band and a moment that will be remembered by them. And when asked about the band’s cover version for Manowar’s classic Battle Hymn, Jeanine said that “we’re all Manowar fans and Romana had the brilliant idea of ​​asking Ross The Boss to play on our cover version. And to our delight, he absolutely loved the idea. His bassist Michael Lepond (Symphony X) also found the suggestion exciting, and that’s how the whole thing got rolling.”

Jeanine also has an interesting view on the use of Spotify, YouTube and other streaming services today, and how they impact her music. “Everything is more fast-moving today, especially with all the media platforms that are now available. But I think the real fans who are interested in our music will listen to everything online as well. What was certainly better for us musicians in the past, when everything was still released on disk or CD, is that there were no platforms from which you could simply download music for free. A lot of people are not even aware that we musicians are not doing us any favors because we don’t get anything for our work. On the other hand, these new technologies also offer completely new possibilities. Nowadays it’s much easier to reach people and make them aware of us and our music. If you used to walk into a record store and see a CD from a band you’ve never heard of in your life, you probably hesitated rather than grabbing it spontaneously. Today you’re online, just listen to one or the other song, and if you like it, then you buy it. Everything has its pros and cons.”

In one of her interviews, Jeanine said she likes the fact that the Burning Witches are known as an all-girls group, complementing by pointing out to the importance of having more women in a male-dominated scene. “As a woman, it takes a lot of courage to stand up and fight to be taken seriously. When it all started for us back then, we had to fight against the prejudice that we didn’t set it all up ourselves. It was rumored that we first got a record deal and only then gave concerts, which of course is nonsense. And you really have to want success, because the music business isn’t always a bed of roses. What I can also imagine is that female bands quickly get in each other’s hair and then the whole thing falls apart quite quickly. Luckily, that’s not a risk for us, because we’re all very direct and open when dealing with each other and discuss differences of opinion straight away,” also saying that being called “witches” makes total sense for them, as in metal music no woman wants to be a “princess”. By the way, although Jeanine said the band doesn’t have any male groupies, there’s a fun video on YouTube from when the band played in St. Louis, a major city in Missouri along the Mississippi River in the United States, where one of the guys told Jeanine he loves her, and of course the band played along to make the experience even more fun.

As it happens to many, many bands and musicians out there, the girls from the Burning Witches have what can be called regular jobs, including of course Jeanine, but she said that luckily they all have great bosses who support them, saying that if they’re absent for several weeks then they take unpaid leave. “I work in sales, where it wasn’t always easy for the last three years – a lot was promised, but when it came down to it, they suddenly said I was here to work and you couldn’t make money with music anyway. But I was lucky enough to find a new job where I am now really supported. The whole thing is always based on reciprocity. I’m willing to give a lot, but I expect something in return. But this flexibility is not a matter of course, especially in sales, so I was really lucky.” Moreover, on the music side of business, Jeanine is very happy with all the support the band gets behind the scenes from VO Pulver (Poltergeist, Gurd), Marcel “Schmier” Schirmer (Destruction) and Damir Eskic (Destruction). “It’s definitely not the case that Schmier dictates anything to us, like getting involved in the songwriting or something like that, we really enjoy total freedom there. But of course we are also extremely happy about his input, after all he has been in the scene for over 30 years and brings a lot of experience with him. In the end we design the songs the way we want them to, but we also have an open ear for tips and ideas.”

There are several interviews with Jeanine and her bandmates online, such as this one in 2019 with Metal Underground when the Burning Witches performed in the UK for the first time supporting Brujeria and Cryptopsy, talking about the origin of their name, the role of women in modern metal and much more; this one to Bloodstream TV in 2022; this one right before their show at Hell Diest in Belgium in 2022; these five question by Rockers Den Magazine in 2022; or this simple but fun backstage footage from Dortmund, Germany when they were touring with Destruction in 2020. There’s no escape from Jeanine and her rumbling bass, as you can see, because you know, our red-haired diva is a witch of heavy music, and that’s all that she needs to hypnotize us all and drag us to their metal coven for all eternity.

Jeanine Grob’s Official Facebook page
Jeanine Grob’s Official Instagram
Burning Witches’ Official Facebook page
Burning Witches’ Official Instagram
Burning Witches’ Official YouTube channel
Burning Witches’ Official Twitter

Album Review – Chaoseum / The Third Eye (2022)

This Lausanne, Switzerland-based Nu Metal/Metalcore outfit welcomes us all back to their museum of chaos to the sound of their fourth full-length album.

The talented vocalist CK Smile, guitarists Loïc Duruz and Valery Veings, and drummer Greg Turini, collectively known as the unstoppable Lausanne, Switzerland-based Nu Metal/Metalcore outfit Chaoseum, are welcoming us all back to their “museum of chaos” with the release of their fourth full-length album, entitled The Third Eye, following up on their critically acclaimed 2020 album Second Life. Recorded by Chaoseum at Chaos Studio and Conatus Studios, mixed and mastered by Gwen Kerjan at Slab Sound Studio, and again displaying a grim artwork by Brazilian artist Gustavo Sazes, The Third Eye showcases a more mature and dynamic Chaoseum, who are never afraid of experimenting with new sounds while staying true to their roots throughout the entire album.

I, Sexy Zombie already provides us all with a classy fusion of Alternative Metal and Metalcore where CK’s vocals are at the same time enraged and wicked, while Loïc and Valery extract sheer groove from their stringed weapons; and drinking form the same fountain as renowned acts the likes of Korn and Marilyn Manson the band offers us Unreal, perfect for raising your horns at a sick Halloween party while also showcasing an amazing guitar job done by the band’s talented axe duo. Dance on My Grave is modern and electrifying form the very first second, with Loïc, Valery and Greg making the earth tremble, offering CK exactly what he needs to declaim the song’s dark lyrics (and all spiced up by the song’s incendiary backing screams), whereas the interlude The Third Eye brings to our avid ears somber and atmospheric passages before exploding into Fly Away, inviting us all to jump up and down and bang our heads nonstop to the furious beats by Greg, also displaying the band’s trademark melody and modernized sounds.

Rumbling bass lines and chaotic riffs and beats ignite the dense tune My Wonderland, where once again CK is on fire on vocals in another great sample of how the band’s musicality has evolved in an exciting way through the years. Then it’s time to hit the dance floor together with Chaoseum and succumb to pitch black darkness to the sound of Welcome Home, a fantastic modern-day Metalcore and Alternative Metal extravaganza led by CK’s anguished vocals, followed by the dark ballad Until The End, with Greg dictating the pace with his sluggish beats while also presenting another amazing guitar work done by Loïc and Valery. Their second to last blast of modern and groovy sounds, entitled Sanctum Cinerem, will hammer your head mercilessly from the very first second, with CK sounding possessed on vocals as usual; and What If is perhaps the most experimental of all songs while still bringing the band’s core Alternative Metal, offering our ears solid instrumental pieces by all band members and, therefore, turning it into a great option for their live performances.

If you want to savor The Third Eye in its entirety you can stream the album on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course the guys from Chaoseum would love to see their new album added to your personal collection by purchasing it from their own webstore, from their BandCamp page, from Le Lapin Blanc (as a CD or an LP), from Apple Music, or from Amazon. Furthermore, don’t forget to give them a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their unique creations. I don’t know what’s next for Chaoseum, but if they keep working so hard and so focused, delivering great music like what they did in The Third Eye, we can rest assured their “museum of chaos” will remain open and expanding in the most exciting way imaginable.

Best moments of the album: Unreal, Dance on My Grave and Welcome Home.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Independent

Track listing
1. I, Sexy Zombie 4:05
2. Unreal 5:09
3. Dance on My Grave 3:53
4. The Third Eye 1:33
5. Fly Away 4:24
6. My Wonderland 5:00
7. Welcome Home 6:33
8. Until The End 4:00
9. Sanctum Cinerem 5:38
10. What If 5:56

Band members
CK Smile – vocals
Loïc Duruz – guitars, bass
Valery Veings – guitars
Greg Turini – drums

Album Review – DSKNT / Vacuum γ-Noise Transition (2021)

One of the most unique projects of the Swiss metal scene returns in full force with a reality-destroying album that takes shape as a dark and multidimensional hallucination deep into reality’s most cryptic and terrifying truths.

Fully conceived, recorded, produced and mastered by the band itself within the confines of their own studio, the brand new album by Swiss Black Metal monstrosity DSKNT, the horrific Vacuum γ​-​Noise Transition, can be seen as a devouring nightmare of omnipotent sonic annihilation conceived at the most liminal edges of sanity, pushing the boundaries of Experimental Metal further and further. Formed in 2013 in Sion, a city in the southwestern Swiss canton of Valais, DSKNT first emerged in 2017 out of total obscurity in their native homeland with an unexpected and insanely crushing self-recorded debut album titled PhSPHR Entropy, but it’s now in 2021 that vocalist Quasar and multi-instrumentalist Asknt are ready to pulverize our senses with Vacuum γ​-​Noise Transition, a reality-destroying album that takes shape as a dark and multidimensional hallucination deep into reality’s most cryptic and terrifying truths, embraced by a primeval yet darkly futuristic artwork by AntïGraphic.

Eerie and cryptic from the very first second, the disruptive and atmospheric noises from the intro Spin set the stage for DSKNT to crush our minds in Deconvolution J/ψ [Part I], with Asknt smashing his guitars and drums mercilessly in great Black Metal fashion while Quasar vociferates the song’s otherworldly words manically, sending an austere message to mankind (“Bend the Origins. Destructurate. / Behind the sporadic affliction of Negated, the utter halogenic radiance. / Crawling mechanics of void disturbance. / Degenerating. Ravenous partial reconfiguration of abscond deity.”). After such infernal and experimental start, it’s time for the duo to keep hammering our souls in Transition K0 [Part I], showcasing infernal blast beats and fills, countless breaks and variations and an endless sense of dementia, all spearheaded by the inhumane roars by Quasar in order to make things even more hellish and dissident.

There’s no time to breathe as DSKNT’s thunderous sounds keep permeating the air in the Death and Black Metal extravaganza Θ-Noise – Phase Shift, presenting elements from Avantgarde Black Metal in the piercing riffage blasted by Asknt; whereas an absolute feel of despair impregnates each and every instrument in the also noise-fueled aria Transition Ω- [Part II], where the duo continues to mix the past, present and future of extreme music, resulting in a wicked and fulminating sound that could be labeled as “Apocalyptic Black Metal”. Then get ready for a 9-minute dissonant Black Metal voyage together with DSKNT entitled Deconvolution Ξ*0 [Part II], sounding and feeling noisy and distorted from the very first second, with Quasar’s demonic gnarls walking hand in hand with the hurricane of riffs, bass jabs and beats brought forth by Asknt. Put differently, it couldn’t have sounded more tormenting nor more austere than what it already does, darkly morphing into the vile outro Spore, as dissonant as the album’s intro, putting the perfect “full circle” conclusion to such entertaining album of extreme music.

The music by DSKNT is all around us, and you can experience such distinct metal voyage by purchasing Vacuum γ​-​Noise Transition from a vast array of locations including the band’s own BandCamp page, the Sentient Ruin Laboratories’ BandCamp page or webstore, Apple Music, Season of Mist (CD and cassette), Midheaven Mailorder, Cargo Records, and ebullition.com, or simply stream it as many times as you want on Spotify. Needless to say, you should also start following DSKNT on Facebook and on Instagram to stay up-to-date with all things surrounding this insane project, including new music, new videos and tour dates. And after knowing more about DKSNT and their disturbing creations, you’ll then realize metal music can go much further than the boundaries and limits you’re accustomed to.

Best moments of the album: Θ-Noise – Phase Shift and Deconvolution Ξ*0 [Part II].

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Sentient Ruin Laboratories

Track listing
1. Spin 3:03
2. Deconvolution J/ψ [Part I] 7:38
3. Transition K0 [Part I] 6:39
4. Θ-Noise – Phase Shift 5:59
5. Transition Ω- [Part II] 7:20
6. Deconvolution Ξ*0 [Part II] 9:17
7. Spore 3:23

Band members
Quasar – vocals
Asknt – all instruments

Album Review – Black Diamonds / No-Tell Hotel (2021)

These talented Swiss hard rockers are finally back in action with their fourth full-length album, inviting us all for a massive load of rock and glamour once we step through the door of the band’s own hotel.

Following up on the success of their 2017 album Once Upon A Time, Rhine Valley, Switzerland-based hard rockers Black Diamonds are finally back in action with their fourth full-length album entitled No-Tell Hotel, inviting us all for a massive load of rock and glamour once we step through the door of the band’s own hotel. Currently formed of Michael Kehl on vocals and guitar, newcomer Chris Johnson on lead guitar (replacing the band’s former guitarist Andreas Rohner), Andi Fässler on bass and Manuel Peng on drums, Black Diamonds tell gripping stories of the guests at No-Tell Hotel, leaving no detail out in their new album and, more important than that, offering our ears pure, kick-ass Rock N’ Roll that brings back the fun and rebellious attitude of the Sunset Strip of 1986, being therefore recommended for fans of Mötley Crüe, Poison and the early years of Bon Jovi, among others.

Chris and Michael ignite the band’s rockin’ machine with their classic riffs in No-Tell Hotel, where the whole band sounds sharper and more melodic than in their 2017 album, all spiced up by wicked guitar solos and a catchy chorus, while in Evil Twin we’re treated to lyrics about the dangers of alcoholism (“I am a married man, the nice guy next door / A valued member of community / I lead a quiet life, yet I’m far from bored / Because my job can be sheer lunacy / And in the nighttime, when the mood is right / A few drinks are all it takes to turn the tide”) embraced by a true headbanging rhythm where Manuel is bestial behind his drums. Then acoustic guitar generate an introspective ambience for Michael to shine on vocals before the electricity level goes through the roof in Lonesome Road, an old school Rock N’ Roll tune infused with 80’s Hard Rock; and putting the pedal to the metal the band delivers a Hard Rock and Glam Metal hymn titled Forever Wild, spearheaded by the slashing guitars by Michael and Chris while Andi hammers his bass in great Duff McKagan-inspired fashion.

It’s time for a pure, unfiltered Hair Metal chant titled Saturday (and don’t forget to check their South Park-themed official video as it kicks ass), where although its lyrics are a bit odd they make total sense if you’re into 80’s rock and metal, with Manuel dictating the pace with his stylish beats. Then slowing things down the quartet delivers a passionate ballad named Anytime, a bit cheesy (but in a good way), with their soulful solos adding an extra touch of finesse to the overall result, not to mention its delicate piano notes; while pounding drums and endless stamina are the main ingredients in The Island, with Michael being absolutely on fire with his raspy vocals accompanied by the razor-edged and very melodic guitars by Chris, resulting in a song highly recommended for a day at the beach. And their Rock N’ Roll steamroller continues to crush us all in the melodic My Fate, where the rumbling bass by Andi and the headbanging drums by Manuel will put you to dance together with the band.

Hand In Hand is another serene and atmospheric ballad by Black Diamonds where Michael takes the lead with his classic vocal lines while Chris provides him a solid support with his Bon Jovi-like acoustic guitars, whereas back to a more thrilling sound it’s time to get down to the Sunset Strip in Reaching For The Stars, with Andi and Manuel delivering sheer thunder with their a heavy kitchen while Michael sends a positive message through his vocals. And as we all know, it’s not a true Hard Rock album without some cowbell, offered by Black Diamonds in the exciting Turn To Dust, presenting hints of the music by icons such as AC/DC, Motley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses, consequently being perfect for singing along with the band; whereas a Western-ish intro evolves into a dancing tune entitled Outlaw, showcasing a galloping rhythm, endless fun and a very entertaining performance by all band members incorporating traditional country music elements to their core Hard Rock.

Black Diamond’s Rock N’ Roll party is just starting inside No-Tell Hotel, and if you want to join those talented Swiss rockers in their celebration of life, death, love and hate you can follow them on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about the band, subscribe to their YouTube channel and stream their catalogue on Spotify for more of their 80’s Hard Rock, and of course purchase No-Tell Hotel from their own webstore, or by clicking HERE to buy or stream your favorite version of the album. Having said all that, what are you waiting for to spend a few nights at No-Tell Hotel together with Black Diamonds? I’m sure you’ll have nothing but a good time relaxing at such respectful hotel to the sound of their inspiring music.

Best moments of the album: Evil Twin, Forever Wild and The Island.

Worst moments of the album: Hand In Hand.

Released in 2021 Metalapolis Records

Track listing
1. No-Tell Hotel 4:01
2. Evil Twin 5:12
3. Lonesome Road 3:50
4. Forever Wild 4:22
5. Saturday 3:20
6: Anytime 4:45
7. The Island 3:58
8. My Fate 3:31
9. Hand In Hand 5:17
10. Reaching For The Stars 3:57
11. Turn To Dust 3:50
12. Outlaw 3:55

Band members
Michael Kehl – vocals, guitar
Chris Johnson – lead guitar
Andi Fässler – bass
Manuel Peng – drums

Album Review – Chaoseum / Second Life (2020)

After taking their first step to hell, it’s time for those Swiss metallers to stun us all with their sophomore album, showcasing a thrilling fusion of Metalcore and Nu Metal with a theatrical twist.

Founded in 2018 by Loïc Duruz and Valery Veings, both former guitarists of Symphonic Metal band Elferya, the up-and-coming Lausanne, Switzerland-based Metalcore act Chaoseum is back in action in 2020 with their sophomore album entitled Second Life, presenting the band’s trademark amalgamation of styles including Metalcore, Power Crossover and Nu Metal, among others. Recorded at both Chaos Studio and Conatus Studios, mixed by Gwen Kerjan from Slab Sound Studio, and featuring a beautiful artwork by Brazilian artist Gustavo Sazes, Second Life brings forward a new (and more theatrical) era in the career of Chaoseum, with its 11 original compositions thoroughly crafted by Loïc and Valery together with fontman CK Smile and drummer Greg Turini appealing to all fans of the modern metal music played by bands such as Lacuna Coil, Korn, Trivium, Killswitch Engage and Slipknot, among others.

The creepy, cinematic intro XXV-IX-MMXX (or September 15, 2020, the official release date of the album) will send shivers down your spine before the quartet comes crushing with their vicious Metalcore in Hell Has No Way Out, with Greg sounding like a machine gun on drums while Loïc and Valery fire melodious riffs for our total delight and CK roars and sings with tons of anguish. The melodic and aggressive title-track Second Life starts in an atmospheric way before exploding into a visceral fusion of Metalcore and Melodic Death Metal, with the rumbling sounds of the bass by Loïc punching us hard in the head, followed by Into My Split, a fulminating Alternative Metal tune tailored for banging our heads nonstop or simply enjoying the gentle guitars and beats by the band, all spiced up by CK’s introspective performance. Then we have the excellent Smile Again, clearly inspired by Nu Metal masters Korn, with CK doing his best Jonathan Davis impersonation while Loïc and Valery keep delivering pure metallic lines through their riffs and bass punches; whereas it’s time to speed things up and offer the listener the sinister and alternative Scream, with Loïc, Valery and Greg bringing tons of progressiveness to their wicked sonority, and with its futuristic and modern vibe being all CK needs to shine on vocals.

Stick Under My Skin is another song with a cryptic, mesmerizing intro, evolving into a feast of Alternative, Groove and Progressive Metal where CK’s clean and harsh vocals are nicely supported by his bandmates’ backing vocals, while Burn My Eyes is a solid rock and metal creation by Chaoseum, albeit a bit generic if compared to the rest of the album, with both Loïc and Valery doing a great job with their flammable guitars. And you better get ready as there’s still a lot more of the music by Chaoseum, starting with Feel, a modern, industrialized party perfect for their live performances where the quartet enhances their rage, punch and insanity. Put differently, this is a heavier version of traditional Alternative Metal led by the classic beats by Greg, while things can’t get more alternative nor groovier than in Sex In Hell, a suggestive song name that matches perfectly with the heavy but sexy music played by the band, resulting in a dark ballad where CK steals the spotlight with his devilish vocals. Lastly, there’s more of their groovy bass punches and rhythmic beats intertwined with futuristic background elements and the raspy vocals by CK in Frozen, a song which fans of Korn, Lacuna Coil and other modern metal bands will surely love.

In a nutshell, it doesn’t matter if you’re a longtime fan of Alternative and Nu Metal or if you’re taking your first steps in this more modern side of heavy music, you should definitely add Second Life to your daily playlist (and you can do so by streaming the album in full on Spotify). Chaoseum put their hearts and souls into the making of their new opus, and you can sense that passion and hard work in each and every track of the album, proving those Swiss metallers are o the right path to stardom. Hence, don’t forget to show them your support by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, by subscribing to their YouTube channel and, above all that, by purchasing their new album from their own BandCamp page or webstore (where you can by the way find tons of ass-kicking merch as well), from Apple Music or from Amazon. Chaoseum’s “first step to hell” was already solid and vibrant, but it’s under this new era, or maybe I should call it their “second life”, that the band is ready to show the world what their music is all about.

Best moments of the album: Hell Has No Way Out, Scream and Stick Under My Skin.

Worst moments of the album: Burn My Eyes.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. XXV-IX-MMXX 0:58
2. Hell Has No Way Out 4:07
3. Second Life 4:18
4. Into My Split 4:18
5. Smile Again 4:27
6. Scream 3:38
7. Stick Under My Skin 4:51
8. Burn My Eyes 3:31
9. Feel 4:39
10. Sex In Hell 5:41
11. Frozen 4:41

Band members
CK Smile – vocals
Loïc Duruz – guitars, bass
Valery Veings – guitars
Greg Turini – drums

Album Review – Calarook / Surrender Or Die (2020)

On a quest for booze we go together with those unstoppable Swiss pirates and their debut full-length album.

On a quest for booze we go! That’s what frontman Philipp Wyssen, guitarist Nico Wiget, bassist Flavio Pompeo, drummer Yves Locher and violinist Lukas Mischler, collectively known as the unrelenting Winterthur, Switzerland-based Pirate Metal crew Calarook, promise to deliver in their debut full-length album Surrender Or Die, mixing rabid Melodic Death Metal with Folk Metal parts and sometimes a pinch of wonderful nonsense, therefore inviting us all to celebrate, mosh and headbang like there’s no tomorrow. Calarook have been on a roll since the band’s inception in 2014 (under the name Calico), firing an endlessly captivating seafaring sound that leaves no one standing still or even sober, starting with their 2017 EP Calico, but it’s now with Surrender Or Die that the quintet is ready to take us all on a full-bodied adventure across the seven seas, offering our avid ears over 69 minutes of first-class metal music while at the same time being always ready for more booze, pillaging and partying in the name of heavy music.

The tolling bells in the epic intro 47°30’18”N 8°51’52”E warn us all their festivities are about to start in A Cursed Ship’s Tale, sounding furious and imposing thanks to the crushing beats by Yves and the guttural roars by Philipp, while Lukas brings his share of lunacy with his whimsical violin, flowing smoothly until its climatic finale. They offer more of their visceral fusion of Melodic Death Metal with classic Death Metal and pirate music in Quest For Booze, an ode to all alcoholic beverages where Nico is unstoppable with his riffage accompanied by the rumbling bass by Flavio and the once again magical violin by Lukas, whereas it’s time to break your necks headbanging to the sound of Into The Storm, with Yves pounding his drums like a cannon from a pirate ship while Philipp continues to blast his inebriate, unfriendly growls. In the title-track Surrender Or Die the “captain” vociferates the song’s sailing lyrics rabidly (“We change the course / To pursue the prey / The distance gets smaller / The target turns away / But we can catch up / Prepared to fight / The cannons are loaded / Everyone is quiet”) while his bandmates generate a strong ambience with their respective instruments, inspiring us all to fight side by side with the band; and Flavio and his metallic bass ignite the rhythmic, dancing tune curiously titled Invisible Pineapples, showcasing an amazing job done by Nico with his slashing riffs. Put differently, simply  grab your beer and your sword and get ready to rock together with those metal pirates.

And those buccaneers keep delivering heaviness, speed and harmony in the excellent Kraken’s Chest, the epitome of Pirate Metal overflowing electricity and fury, also presenting an interesting paradox between Lukas’ classy violin and Yves’ thunderous beats, before it’s time to slam into the circle pit to the fun Paul The Parrot. Let’s all be honest, no one can stand still to a metal song about a parrot, with Nico and Yves making sure the rhythm remains as vibrant as possible in a great display of modern-day Melodic Death Metal, while Jack Rackham is another song exhibiting a pleasant speed and pace, with the violin by Lukas adding tons of finesse to the overall result while his bandmates continue to invite us all to prance around the fire pit. Kicking Flamingos is what I call a weird name for a song, but they’re pirates which means all makes sense; however, musically speaking it’s not on par with the rest of the album, sounding a bit generic despite Flavio’s great performance on bass. Fortunately, Calarook get back on track with their trademark Pirate Metal in Davy Jones’ Locker, a lot more introspective than its predecessors while Nico dictates the pace with his classic riffs, accompanied by Philipp’s deep growling.

In Tentacle Explosion we have less than three minutes of hammering Melodic Death Metal infused with the stylish violin by Lukas, resulting in a great option for their live performances which will certainly inspire us all to raise our horns and grab a pint in the name of metal music; and their loyalty to drinking and piracy goes on in Loyal To None But Rum, where all Calarook are telling us is to simply get drunk and slam into the circle pit to the sound of their thrilling music. Then venturing through more traditional lands, they fire their most Heavy Metal of all songs, The Legend Of Liquor Island, bringing forward a galloping rhythm led by Yves and his old school beats while Philipp keeps roaring and growling like a true pirate, whereas in The Feast Of Emerald Meadows the band fills our ears with a more vicious and violent sonority while Nico’s riffs walk hand in hand with Lukas’ violin. Hence, it will certainly urge you to sing its chorus along with Calarook while crushing your skull into the mosh pit once again, and closing this 69-minute pirate quest the band fires the classic The Undying Sailor, where despite the great job done by Yves and Lukas with their beats and violin, the final result is a bit messy, not to mention the song goes on for way too long.

If you’re ready to set sail together with the drunk and talented Swiss pirates of Calarook and support them in their epic adventures, you can follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel for their fun and fresh official videos, stream more of their rebellious music on Spotify, and obviously purchase a copy of Surrender Or Die from the band’s own webstore (and soon enough from several other locations). In a world where people have the attention span of a goldfish, we must admit releasing a 69-minute album is a beyond bold move by Calarook, but yet again, as already mentioned they are not just musicians, but metal pirates, and as the great privateers they are they know exactly what they are doing by releasing such imposing and epic album. Or do you think only 20 or 30 minutes of music would be enough for all the action you can have together with Calarook on board of their ship in their quest for metal, rum, flamingos, parrots and pineapples?

Best moments of the album: Quest For Booze, Invisible Pineapples, Kraken’s Chest and The Feast Of Emerald Meadows.

Worst moments of the album: Kicking Flamingos and The Undying Sailor.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. 47°30’18”N 8°51’52”E 2:02
2. A Cursed Ship’s Tale 4:33
3. Quest For Booze 5:36
4. Into The Storm 7:05
5. Surrender Or Die 4:27
6. Invisible Pineapples 5:09
7. Kraken’s Chest 5:46
8. Paul The Parrot 3:36
9. Jack Rackham 3:22
10. Kicking Flamingos 3:33
11. Davy Jones’ Locker 3:47
12. Tentacle Explosion 2:34
13. Loyal To None But Rum 4:38
14. The Legend Of Liquor Island 3:03
15. The Feast Of Emerald Meadows 4:34
16. The Undying Sailor 5:37

Band members
Philipp Wyssen – vocals
Nico Wiget – guitar
Flavio Pompeo – bass
Yves Locher – drums
Lukas Mischler – violin

Metal Chick of the Month – Seraina Telli

Don’t leave me out in the cold…

She’s by far one of the best rock and metal singers of the current scene hands down. Owner of a beautiful, stunning and extremely potent voice, she’s also a songwriter, pianist, guitarist, vocal coach and designer, known for her awesome contributions to bands such as Dead Venus, Burning Witches and Surrilium, among other very interesting bands and projects, always ready to rock our hearts with her mesmerizing vocal lines. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our metal chick of the month of August, the ravishing Seraina Telli, the unstoppable musician from Aargau, one of the more northerly cantons of Switzerland, who can flawlessly translate all her passion for music and art into emotional and inspiring compositions that will certainly captivate your hearts from the very first second. Having said that, are you ready to rock together with Seraina here on The Headbanging Moose?

A self-employed musician and vocal coach, Seraina has always wanted to make music and sing, and although she’s a team player who loves to play in bands she sees independent people as their role models, saying that she didn’t want to be a singer who just needs a band to play with her, but that she wanted to learn what it’s like to make music herself, playing different instruments and therefore being independent. Her looks and attire are also an important part of her musical persona, with all of her piercings, tattoos and her dyed hair providing a unique look that more than fits in the world of rock and metal music, but you’re wrong if you think Seraina is only a beautiful woman, as she has years of formal and professional study that provided her an invaluable background, allowing her to become the exceptional performer she is. Just to give you an idea of her undeniable talent,  she took classical singing lessons between 2007 and 2008, studied at the Jazz & Rock School in Freiburg, Germany from 2010 to 2011, achieved a Bachelor of Arts at hKDM and International Music College also in Freiburg, with focus on Jazz, Rock and Pop, between 2012 and 2013, and attended the Musik- Akademie Basel in 2015.

In regards to her career with Swiss Heavy/Power Metal band Burning Witches, Seraina was the band’s frontwoman between 2015 and 2019, having recorded with the band their debut self-titled album in 2017 and their sophomore effort Hexenhammer in 2018, as well as a four-track live album released in 2018 titled Burning Alive, recorded on September 30, 2017 at the Z7 Club in Pratteln, Switzerland. There are a few official videos on YouTube from when Seraina was the band’s vocalist, such as Hexenhammer, Black Widow and Executed, and also some unofficial live footage including a concert in Mannheim, Germany in 2018, and a pocket show at Salzhaus Brugg in 2018. I’m not going to extend this tribute to Seraina with the origins of the Burning Witches, but as already mentioned when their guitarist and founding member Romana Kalkuhl was our metal chick of the month in July 2019, during a party at a festival she met Seraina, starting a very healthy and productive partnership between them, with Seraina’s ideas and experience from her studies at the Music Academy and her bands being exactly what Romana wanted for Burning Witches. Furthermore, although Seraina always mention Heavy Metal as one of her passions, at the moment she is determined to go full throttle with her own band Dead Venus, saying Progressive Rock has always been her thing; however, we can expect to see Seraina venturing through heavier and faster lands in a not-so-distant future without a shadow of a doubt.

As we already started talking about Seraina’s brainchild, female-fronted Progressive Rock unity Dead Venus, where she’s not only the band’s vocalist but she also plays acoustic guitars, keyboards and piano, let’s discuss a little about the origins of the band, their goals and what their music represents to Seraina. Formed in early 2015 by Seraina herself around a year after being singing for a German Neo-Progressive Rock band named Surrilium, Dead Venus is a triumvirate currently comprised of Seraina on vocals, obviously, together with bassist André Gärtner and drummer Mike Malloth, delivering music that’s at the same time charming, passionate and incendiary, applying her multidimensional vocals to bring the desired message with each and every song, that being through her piercing vocals or just by whispering the lyrics. As a matter of fact, Seraina mentioned that it’s difficult to tell when Dead Venus actually started, as she began writing songs at some point and then began studying music and developed it further with music theory, learning the instruments and techniques better, which helped in the development of the songs, before she started looking for people to play them with. Seraina placed an advertisement recruiting musicians for Dead Venus, getting a reply from Mike, who also referred André for the band, whom by the way she already knew through her father (who had always spoken very well of him).

Apart from a couple of singles, the trio recently released at the end of 2019 their debut album, a 12-track Progressive Rock extravaganza titled Bird of Paradise (available for a full listen on Spotify), pointing to a bright future for Seraina and her bandmates. In addition, Seraina said that their goals with Dead Venus do not include appealing to a broader or more demanding audience, saying their music already has enough pop character in it despite not being disco dance music, of course. She complemented by saying that what Dead Venus and any other band needs is an audience that listens and that feels inspired by the music being played, as long as the music is authentic like what she does with Dead Venus, putting no boundaries to what the trio can do. You can listen to their music and purchase their debut album by visiting the MUSIC page on their official website, or by subscribing to their YouTube channel, where you’ll find some amazing compositions (and videos) for the songs The Sirens Call, Bird of Paradise and Redemptionless in both regular and acoustic versions.

You can also enjoy Seraina’s unique voice in other interesting bands and projects, showcasing all her versatility and skills it doesn’t matter if it’s a rock band playing covers or a full-bodied progressive and symphonic act. For instance, she did female vocals for Swiss Melodic Heavy/Power Metal band Rizon from 2010 until 2014, having recorded with them the album Masquerade in 2012, which you can listen in its entirety HERE; and she’s been the vocalist for German Progressive Rock/Metal band Surrilium since 2011, having recorded with them the album Sir William in 2015. Seraina is also the vocalist for a distinct cover bands called Hit Grinder, taking hits that everyone knows and performing them in a unique way with heavy guitars, rocking drums and hard driving bass, giving those songs a more aggressive edge. The band is formed by Seraina on vocals, Stefan Schroff on the guitars, and a rotation between Yannick Schmidt and Emmi Lichtenhahn on bass and Franceso Gasparini and Alain Ackermann on drums, and you can get in touch with them and listen to more of their music on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube, with their renditions of Sia’s Chandelier and Michael Jackson’s Bad showing you all of the band’s awesomeness.

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Perhaps one of the most delicious works by Seraina is her personal YouTube channel, where she puts her heart and soul into delivering beautiful versions of several rock, pop and metal classics, usually only accompanied by her own piano. Simply visit her YouTube channel and you’ll be able to enjoy our talented singer kicking ass with her versions for Red hot Chilli Pepper’s classic Under the Bridge as a studio project band from the hKDM Music High School in Freiburg, Edgar Alan Poe’s The Haunted Palace, Rush’s masterpiece Closer to the Heart together with a children’s choir, Nancy Wilson’s The Nearness of You, The Misfits’ Dig Up Her Bones live at a pub in Zurich, Jason Mraz’s I Won’t Give Up, Sting’s The Hounds of Winter, Lady Gaga’s Million Reasons, John Lennon’s Imagine, and a very special version for Christina Aguilera’s Keep on Singin’ My Song, as according to Seraina herself Christina Aguilera was one of her teenage heroes and one of the reasons she started singing when she was around 13 years old. And let’s keep talking about her idols and influences, with bands like Opeth, Pain of Salvation and the almighty Judas Priest being among her favorite bands of all time. Seraina even mentioned in one of her interviews that playing with one of those three bands would be a dream come true for her, complementing by saying it would be beyond fantastic to be able to talk, interact and especially sing with the one and only Metal God Rob Halford.

When questioned about the fact she was in an all-girls band during her time with Burning Witches, our striking banshee said in the beginning the idea of only playing with other women in a band was quite funny for all of them, and that they never expected it to be such a big topic, having to face sexist comments and other situations related to the male/female gender differences. Needless to say, that didn’t have any impact on the way Seraina performs on stage, saying the most difficult part is actually dealing with her own emotions and feelings to make sure her voice perfectly sends the desired message. In addition, she said she usually has it under control, using the appropriate techniques to have the best results while playing live. Seraina is also responsible for designing her own outfits, saying it’s actually more like a hobby for her despite the fact she wanted to become a fashion designer before singing, mainly because it’s very time consuming. And regarding metal festivals, she said during her time with Burning Witches they always wanted to play something big such as Wacken Open Air, Sweden Rock Festival and Hellfest, but we must all agree that now with Dead Venus her focus is a lot more on smaller, more intimate venues and crowds.

When asked about her singing style, her limits as a vocalist and her writing and composing process, Seraina said she always puts her heart and soul into singing, it doesn’t matter if it’s a heavy-as-hell metal song or a serene rock ballad, complementing by saying that it’s all a matter of practice to know and understand your limits and what’s causing that barrier, such as breathing techniques and discipline. For example, she said she doesn’t do much Opera singing as she’s not professionally trained in it, but maybe with some time and by applying the right techniques she can reach a good performance singing it. Her process for writing and composing her songs is also very detailed and honest, with Seraina usually writing something on the piano and then complementing it with the guitar, not working with sequences and, therefore, sounding a lot more organic. She also said the order in which she writes the lyrics and the music is never the same, always depending on the song being composed and the situation she’s in, with most of the ideas for the music by Dead Venus coming from her past experiences, especially due to her anger, energy and creativity as a teenager, saying it wasn’t easy in the beginning for her as she doesn’t come from a family of musicians like several other artists.

If you also enjoy watching Seraina perform and not only listen to her powerful voice, you’ll notice she always carries a special chain or necklace, a symbol of luck that’s linked to her family. She said she had a very strong bond with her sister when they were kids, which by the way lasts until today, with the necklace being a gift she got for her 12th birthday from her stepfather that symbolizes two parts that are connected together and forever. As a matter of fact, the Dead Venus logo is a variation of that symbol, a Celtic cross knot with an “S” at the end. Talking about stunning looks in rock and metal, Seraina was asked what she would say if one day a band like Arch Enemy invited her to sing for them, and albeit she said she simply loves the charisma, the voice and the looks by the she-wolf Alissia White-Gluz, she said she couldn’t see herself fronting such distinct band.

Lastly, as an artist that has been making  music for a long time despite her young age, Seraina said she will always pursue a career in music no matter what, saying she got to know a lot of good people with both Dead Venus and Burning Witches that provide her all the support she needs to keep moving forward. She sees a lot of potential with Dead Venus, the type of music she has always wanted to do, but you can also hire her to feature on your next album doing backing vocals or singing one or more songs, for example, as she has already done a few studio and advertising jobs in her career. She can even sing in German (or Swiss German) if you prefer, and you can actually check Seraina speaking (not singing, though) in her mother tongue in a short interview where she talks about what it means for her to be from Aargau, how much she loves her hometown, and her life in the city. I guess after knowing about her personal life, her career and her passion for heavy music, there’s nothing better than banging our heads to Seraina’s piercing vocals or simply sitting down, relaxing and enjoying her more delicate creations, resting assured we’ll hear a lot more from such talented artist in the coming years.

Seraina Telli’s Official Facebook page
Seraina Telli’s Official Instagram
Seraina Telli’s Official YouTube channel
Dead Venus’ Official Facebook page
Dead Venus’ Official Instagram
Dead Venus’ Official YouTube channel

Album Review – Burning Witches / Dance with the Devil (2020)

The witches are back to mesmerize us all and put us to dance with them forever and ever to the sound of their incendiary Heavy Metal.

Swiss Heavy/Power Metal outfit Burning Witches is by far one of the hottest exports from the Alpine Republic since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2017, receiving a very positive feedback from fans and critics from all over the world. Formed in 2015 in Brugg, a Swiss municipality and a town in the canton of Aargau, the band currently comprised of Dutch newcomer Laura Guldemond on vocals (replacing the band’s original singer Seraina Telli in 2019), Romana Kalkuhl and Sonia Nusselder on the guitars, Jeanine Grob on bass and Lala Frischknecht on drums is ready to show the world everything they got once again with their third full-length installment Dance with the Devil, the follow-up to their highly acclaimed sophomore album Hexenhammer, released in 2018, and a lesson in Heavy Metal by five talented ladies who have always loved and breathed heavy music that will certainly inspire you to raise your horns and bang your head like there’s no tomorrow.

An eerie, mesmerizing intro titled The Incantation captivates our senses for the infernal Lucid Nightmare, with Romana and Sonia blasting sheer adrenaline through their sick riffage. Put differently, it’s classic Heavy Metal from the 80’s with Laura kicking some serious ass with her witch-like, soaring vocals, setting the bar really high for the rest of the album. Then it’s time to dance with our beloved Swiss witches in the title-track Dance with the Devil, a Hard Rock extravaganza led by Lala’s spot-on beats and Laura’s stunning vocals while the band’s stringed trio fills every single space in the air with adrenaline and electricity; followed by Wings of Steel, originally released in their 2019 EP Wings of Steel, a pure Heavy Metal tune showcasing the band’s dexterity and passion for what they do, all spiced up by Romana’s and Sonia’s classy guitar solos.

And Laura keeps blasting her high-pitched, piercing vocal lines in Six Feet Underground, another solid tune where Jeanine and Lala make the earth tremble with their low-tuned, metallic weapons, whereas in Black Magic we’re treated to an introspective, melancholic intro where Laura beautifully declaims the song’s words, evolving into a stunning ballad presenting passionate guitar solos and an ethereal atmosphere, showing a more delicate side of the band. Less visceral than the previous songs but still heavy-as-hell, Sea of Lies is a good composition bringing to our ears a great performance by Lala on drums, providing her bandmates a solid base for them to effectively slash their strings, while a Judas Priest-inspired riff kick off the metallic anthem The Sisters of Fate, perfect for banging your head nonstop with the girls or for hitting the road with your loved ones. This is the epitome of the band’s killer Heavy Metal with a Rock N’ Roll twist, with their guitar riffs and solos penetrating deep inside our minds.

Necronomicon is one of the darkest and most devilish of all songs, with Laura impersonating a true witch with her raspy, demonic vocals while Jeanine doesn’t stop hammering her bass strings, also presenting more of the band’s razor-edged riffs and solos, and bringing forward Helloween-inspired riffs blended with the classic Hard Rock by bands like Europe and Survivor we have The Final Fight, another lesson in charisma and vocal potency by Laura, therefore highly recommended for singing along with the band. Then taking their heaviness to a new level the quintet blasts the battle anthem Threefold Return, presenting an old school shredding infused with rumbling bass punches and rhythmic drums which will please all fans of classic Heavy and Power Metal without a shadow of a doubt, and lastly we have their cover version for Manowar’s classic Battle Hymn, featuring guest guitarist Ross the Boss (Manowar, Ross the Boss) and guest bassist Mike LePond (Symphony X, Ross the Boss). This is a sensational rendition by the witches with a welcome feminine touch, and still as strong and insurgent as the original version (which you can take a listen at HERE).

If you consider yourself a true metalhead and you think you have what it takes to face the stunning metal witches from Switzerland, go check what they’re up to on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course go grab your copy of the breathtaking Dance with the Devil (also available for a full listen on Spotify) from the Nuclear Blast webstore in different formats by clicking HERE or HERE. Hence, after putting your hands on such entertaining album of heavy music, you’ll quickly realize the unrelenting Burning Witches have taken over your mind for good, inspiring you to dance with them forever and ever to the sound of their undisputed Heavy Metal.

Best moments of the album: Lucid Nightmare, Dance with the Devil, The Sisters of Fate and The Final Fight.

Worst moments of the album: Sea of Lies.

Released in 2020 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. The Incantation 0:57
2. Lucid Nightmare 4:50
3. Dance with the Devil 4:26
4. Wings of Steel 4:29
5. Six Feet Underground 4:31
6. Black Magic 5:06
7. Sea of Lies 4:56
8. The Sisters of Fate 3:31
9. Necronomicon 4:12
10. The Final Fight 4:35
11. Threefold Return 3:56
12. Battle Hymn (Manowar cover) 6:55

Band members
Laura Guldemond – vocals
Romana Kalkuhl – guitars
Sonia Nusselder – guitars
Jeanine Grob – bass
Lala Frischknecht – drums

Guest musicians
Ross the Boss – guitars on “Battle Hymn”
Mike LePond – bass on “Battle Hymn”

Album Review – Chotzä / Tüüfuswärk (2020)

Succumb to the anti-social fusion of Black Metal and Black N’ Roll blasted by this infernal horde from Switzerland.

Formed as a side-project in 2011 in the city of Bern, on the German-speaking side of Switzerland, with the aim to create anti-social Black Metal and Black N’ Roll, the unstoppable and blasphemous unity known as Chotzä (which means “to vomit” in Swiss-German) is ready to take the world of heavy music by storm once again with their third full-length opus, entitled Tüüfuswärk, the follow-up to their previous installments Plump u Primitiv, released in 2014, and Bärner Bläck Metal Terror, released in 2017. Apart from their frantic and aggressive sonority, perhaps one of the main ingredients in the music by Chotzä is the fact that all of their songs are sung in “Bärndütsch”, which is one of many existing Swiss-German dialects, allowing the wicked music crafted by lead singer Szivilzs, guitarists Gruäbähung and Raven Dust, bassist Näbugring, pianist Leopold and drummer Cpt. Cunt to sound even more organic, visceral and austere than what they would ever sound in English, and as a fan of extreme music I must say their dialect blends extremely well with their vicious Black Metal.

Featuring guest vocalist Herr Morbid (also known as Ferdinando Marchisio) of Italian Black Metal band Forgotten Tomb, the opening track Dräck am Schtäckä (Vatikan Version) presents a wicked intro that quickly explodes into berserk, blasphemous extreme music led by the devilish roars by Szivilzs while Raven Dust and Gruäbähung cut our skin deep with their infernal riffage, followed by Schtächzähni, as fast and demonic as its predecessor, with Cpt. Cunt dictating the rhythm with his Punk Rock/Hardcore-infused beats while the guitars bring a welcome Thrash Metal twist to the overall result, not to mention how Näbugring keeps the atmosphere dense with his wicked bass lines. And blending old school Black Metal with the Rock N’ Roll blasted by bands like Motörhead, Misfits and Danzig we have Horrorotika, where the sound of guitars will pierce your mind mercilessly and the backing vocals provide an amazing support to Szivilzs in this ode to blasphemy, sex and horror.

In Sex, Suff & Satan, what starts in a sinister, introspective way morphs into a mid-tempo Symphonic Black Metal aria led by Leopold and his Stygian piano notes, also presenting slashing guitar solos and bringing some welcome elements from Gothic Rock and Doom Metal, whereas our beloved Swiss horde speeds things up and enhance their already insane level of rage in Fiesä, Fulä Fettsack, where Szivilizs barks the song’s cryptic lyrics manically while Cpt. Cunt keeps smashing his drums like a beast, resulting in another sensational fusion of the band’s core Black Metal with the most vicious form of Rock N’ Roll. And leaning towards a more classic version of Black Metal, especially due to Cpt. Cunt’s blast bats and fills, Süüchägott showcases the band’s dynamic guitar duo firing lancinating, hellish riffs for our total delight while Szivilzs continues with his demonic vociferations.

Abfau brings forward an onrush of darkened sounds, infernal screams and endless wrath, or in other words, it’s ruthless Black Metal infused with Doom Metal nuances, with Gruäbähung and Raven Dust once again crafting pulverizing riffs and solos; and Leopold comes ripping with his phantasmagorical keys in Ds Tanzgebei, a fun (and somewhat dancing) Black Metal extravaganza where all band members sound bestial and electrifying form start to finish, keeping the album at a high level of dementia. Then get ready for battle to the sound of Fotzä, smashing our heads with an avalanche of blackened sounds and sulfurous growls, while Cpt. Cunt gives a lesson in Black Metal drumming. And last but not least, we’re treated to the rebellious and dense title-track Tüüfuswärk with its eight minutes of extreme and vile sounds, where the band’s stringed trio keeps hammering their axes with tons of precision and violence, all spearheaded by Szivilzs and his trademark gnarls.

The gates to the underworld are open in Switzerland thanks to the incendiary music blasted by Chotzä in their newborn spawn Tüüfuswärk, and if you want to show your support to such demented Black Metal horde you can follow them on Facebook to know more about their music, their concerts and other nice-to-know details about the band, and purchase your copy of the album from Northern Fog Records (CD), Sturmglanz (vinyl) or Worship Tapes (cassette). It’s truly impressive how those Swiss metallers are capable of blending the most hellish elements form a myriad of styles like Black Metal, Rock N’ Roll and Hardcore without sounding confusing or disorganized; quite the contrary, the music by Chotzä is absolutely furious, cohesive and thrilling, just like what we can see in Tüüfuswärk, showing us all this six-piece horde of darkness will still haunt our soul for years to come with their dark-as-the-night creations.

Best moments of the album: Dräck am Schtäckä (Vatikan Version), Horrorotika and Fiesä, Fulä Fettsack.

Worst moments of the album: Sex, Suff & Satan.

Released in 2020 Northern Fog Records/Sturmglanz/Worship Tapes

Track listing
1. Dräck am Schtäckä (Vatikan Version) 3:44
2. Schtächzähni 5:59
3. Horrorotika 4:28
4. Sex, Suff & Satan 6:15
5. Fiesä, Fulä Fettsack 4:47
6. Süüchägott 2:48
7. Abfau 7:11
8. Ds Tanzgebei 5:07
9. Fotzä 5:56
10. Tüüfuswärk 8:06

Band members
Szivilizs – vocals
Raven Dust – guitars
Gruäbähung – guitars
Näbugring – bass
Leopold – piano
Cpt. Cunt – drums

Guest musician
Herr Morbid – vocals on “Dräck am Schtäckä (Vatikan Version)”