June 30, 2013

Daft Punk "Random Access Memories" (2013)

My nostalgia-infused love for DAFT PUNK has pushed me to listen to their newest effort a couple of weeks ago. Now, I don't know what the heck was going on with me at that moment but after two songs I just gave up on it. I didn't like it, but I really wished I would. Last week I gave it another chance, and I can say that I'm very happy I did because, apparently, sloppy seconds made it good. Very Good.

I've heard a lot of people say that this album is very different to their other work in the sense that it's disco-influenced, and I couldn't have been happier to hear that these two french masterminds are taking the old sounds and giving their twist on it, making most techno-house fans take their toys and go home, while giving Perturbator and Aphasia Records 80s reinnasance fans like myself a chance to hear some awesome stuff. 

This album has some bad songs I must say. "Game Of Love" and "Lose Yourself To Dance" are pretty boring and bland, making them the LP's weakpoints, but those weakpoints are completely shattered by the rest. Don't get me wrong, "Random Access Memories" has some AMAZING and MEMORABLE songs, and there's quite a lot of them here. My favourites include (except for the too mainstream "Get Lucky") "Giorgio by Moroder" which at first bored me to tears with its lenghtly spoken word intro, but then blasted me into 1979 with its synth waves; "Give Life Back To Music" is classic Daft Punk with an amazing and catchy groove, while "Doin' It Right" is an energy dose of 80s soundhouse pop.

All in all, except for some hit-and-miss tracks, this album just might be one of the greatest 2013 has to offer, and proclaim DAFT PUNK to still be the kings of electronic music. You go guys!

9/10 Very cool.

June 29, 2013

Mechanimal - Mechanimal (2012)

I've been meaning to do a separate post on Mechanimal's music ever since I saw them share a stage with Umberto in Larissa, one cold March evening. The other day, somebody shot off an email in our inbox letting us know that Mechanimal's self-titled album will be getting a worldwide re-release via Inner Ear Records. Perfect! All the more reason to talk a bit about them.

So what is Mechanimal? I can't really answer that, I'm afraid. All I can say is that it's a strange sonic animal, composed of sustained meditative drones, vintage synth work, unsettling distortion, drum machine clattering and drugged out poetry being spoken on top of everything. It's a weird mix, for sure, but it makes for some unique sounds. The 10 tracks guide you through a large variety of emotions and ambiances, ranging from pulsating dance songs all the way to psychedelic, depressive urban soundscapes that evoke the feeling of being lost in a busy metropolis at night, not knowing who you are or where you're going. The vocals laid out by Freddie F. are truly what set this record apart - his lyrics are dark, moody and mysterious and his paranoid voice lends an air of dream-like theatricality to the music. It's all rather disturbing and surreal, which is precisely why it is so interesting to listen to.

It's going to be pretty hard to catch these guys live unless you happen to live in Greece but nevertheless, if you have the chance to see them, don't hesitate to do so. Make sure to get drunk and hazy so you can properly enjoy these late-night tunes. If not, that's okay. Just follow the Bandcamp link below, close your shades, get a glass of wine and prepare to get weird and brooding. 


June 26, 2013

Arc Neon - Blood Sport 2092 (2013)

Arc Neon is an enigmatic '80s-style synthwave outfit who probably dial in the music from the distant future back into our day and age. If you follow us on Facebook at all, you're probably well aware of the tremendous love we have for artists like Umberto, Perturbator, Kavinsky and pretty much the entire Aphasia Records roster. We've all jumped head-first into the '80s synth revival current and never looked back, endlessly pleased with roaming around violent futuristic cities crawling with cyborgs, androids and laser-pistol wielding cyberbandits. We're pretty sure we would fit right in with them: we'd get some nanoimplants, some bitchin' sunglasses and blue jeans, steal a red sports car and wreak havoc in New Detroit.

Arc Neon also fits right in with this crowd: their newest EP is called Blood Sport 2092 and it paints the dystopian picture of a grim future where giant corporations rule the universe and the pass-time of choice is Blood Sport, a gladiatorial-like contest where slaves are dropped onto a deserted arena and forced to battle it out until a victor emerges. The album works like a movie soundtrack, weaving a compelling narrative within each of its seven tracks. We are taken through the dire mess of Blood Sport and the emergence of a hero who's destined to destroy Blood Sport Corporation once and for all. Each song is a shiny, futuristic, action-filled glimpse into this violent world where its kill-or-be-killed and the '80s are worshiped with due dilligence through superbly modelled synths and minimalistic percussion.

Although, if you're anything like us, you've probably already known this is a great album from the second you laid eyes on the cover art. Guns, robots, aliens and pink and cyan - if this isn't the indicator of some great tunes, I don't know what is.

Maskin - The Swarm/Ignition (2013)

Here's a nice surprise from Sweden aka the land of death metal, Witchcraft and Graveyard. Maskin is a gang of rowdy Swedes who play a thick'n'heavy mix of hard rock and stoner metal. The band's singer personally sent us his music, so we're pretty much best friends now. And I'm going to reap the rewards when these guys make it big. They're gearing up for a full-length release in winter and if they keep up the fuzzy guitars, desert solos and gruff vocals, it's going to be a kickass album. The type of album you play in your car while driving on a deserted highway with the wind in your hair and the sun reflecting off your sunglasses.

You can check Maskin out on Facebook and Soundcloud, but I'm embedding their songs here too, just in case you're too lazy to click one extra time.

June 23, 2013

Year Of No Light - Ausserwelt (2010)

And what would be the best way to celebrate the redesign of our webzine than to present you with THE MOST AWESOME combination of sludge/drone/doom/post-metal that has ever tickled my ears, in the form of this monster of an instrumental album.

With a total of four guitars and two drum sets, all drenched in layering upon layering of background keyboards, this beastly record is guaranteed to make you want to own the badassest pair of stereo speakers in the world. Just listen to this track here and tell me if that's not true.

I cannot even start to review this album, because its simply one of those that I have played probably over one hundred times and I still feel I haven't had enough of it, especially the first two tracks (which are in fact, just two halves of a single whole). What I can say, though, is 'Listen, enjoy, be amazed, then repeat!'


June 22, 2013

UNCLE ACID "Mind Control" (2013)

Brittish international men of mystery UNCLE ACID And The Deadbeats are a quartet of drone-doom-electric-fuzzy-wtf-rock, by which I mean they've kinda created their own sound over the past few years since the band's birth. With their first more obscure album "Volume 1" and the spectacular god-tier effort "Blood Lust", the band's ambiance and Hammer Horror feel has found a way into my record collection. 

Let's take this piece by piece: the first preview of the stuff on "Mind Control" was the single "Poison Apple", which is streamed on youtube by the band itself, and is pretty much the strongest track on this album, with a catchy riff and catchier lyrics, it's the cream here. When I heard the whole LP, I got confused: the first half is very good, Uncle Acid-worthy material. Heavy stuff, no questions asked, but then after the first 5-6 songs, stuff got reaaaallly boring. Boring for an Uncle Acid fan, which was expecting more of their caracteristic sound, but got a couple of overly-repetitive drone songs, whom might actually please drone enthusiasts (drone enthusiasts should get a job), but in the end fail to deliver the fuzzy goodness that these Deadbeats should deliver.

This album's definitive strong point, besides its lyrical concept starring a desert cult that steals motorcycles and performs rituals in the sand, is that it all basically plays like "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", but dragged 30 miles through the Australian outback, rolled through some swamp mud and then coated in fuzz like a donut made of doom, yet you can stiff clearly hear its roots in 60s progressive acid rock. Also, that cover art's fucked up man, like.. really fucked up, so that could have gotten some improvement, because the arts for "Vol. 1" and especially "Blood Lust" are some of the best I've seen.

Final Rating: 7/10.


It finally happened, folks! We're back with ANOTHER fresh look that's hopefully more functional and easy on the eyes. We have installed a whole new theme complete with a menu bar, we have a new "Popular Posts" category, an About/Contact page where you can learn what TZEEEAC is about and how to get in touch with us, a Staff page where you can get to know us and look at all our pretty faces and, best of all, an amazing new banner by TZEEEAC hall of famer Volo from Void Forger. THANKS BRO!

We're stoked for our new look and we hope you are too. See you around!

June 18, 2013

Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork (2013)

Queens of the Stone Age are the undisputed kings of stoner rock and whoever disagrees with this statement is no friend of mine. Now that I got this out of my system, lets talk a little bit about the album, shall we?

This thing works like everything BUT a clock. It's fucking crazy, really. So crazy that I can't help myself but end my. sentences. abruptly. Well, not crazy in a ''headbang-until-you-puke-cocaine'' fashion, but from a lyrical standpoint. Hedonism? Check. Drugs? Check. Slutty girls? Fucking check. Tho' I eventually get  bored of bands who sing about the same things over and over and over again ( I'm looking at you, Red Hot Chili Peppers), somehow I can't get enough of everything Josh Homme releases with all of his 157 bands. There's something about this guy and his music, I don't know. He knows how to make his already famous ''hilbilly-ginger-alpha-male-chain-smoking-badass'' act feel fresh and exciting. Maybe because it's nearly impossible to get bored as a cocaine aficionado, so there's always something to talk about. Even Albert Einstein would say it's ''mathematically impossible'', but hey, I'm not a biologist, so who the hell knows.

Also, Dave Grohl on the drums. 

June 15, 2013

Demians - Mute (2010)

I just realised that three years have passed since the release of this alternative/progressive piece of excellent music and unfortunately, a third offering from Demians has yet to be confirmed, which leads me to the necessity of having to make you listen to this band.

Which is actually the solo project of french musician Nicolas Chapel, who first started recording songs under this name in 2007. If you’re one to have heard the names of Steven Wilson or his main band, Porcupine Tree, then you’re probably familiar with the music of Demians, but if you’re not, well, this is the time to rejoice!

While being quite a bit less pretentious than the debut, Mute is the kind of album that feels more like a collection of songs, rather than a whole comprised of several parts. For that, you’ll have to listen to Nicolas’s first opus, ‘Building An Empire’. 

And while the whole thing is great per se, I find that the softer melodies composed by this fine gentleman here are always the best that he can come up with, so I’ll have to recommend as a first listen the slow, brooding wails of probably one of the best chilled out songs there can ever be. You’re free to call me a partially emotional bastard, but this piece relaxes me very much, contrary to its quirky feeling of weepingness. So there it is,

and once again, rejoice in Demians!

June 14, 2013

Mac Lethal - Irish Goodbye (2011)

Whenever the going gets tough and I'm no longer able to waste my days listening to music, watching shitty teen comedies and eating chocolate, but instead have to wake up early, do a ton of school work and go to bed late at night... I forgot where I was going with this.

Oh, right! I was going to say that whenever things get hectic or I get upset for whatever reason, I can always count on Uncle Mac to lift my spirits. 11:11 is Mac Lethal being young, crazy and always in a party mood. North Korean BBQ is Mac Lethal being dealt a bad hand at life, fighting a whole bunch of demons and trying to stay alive. Irish Goodbye, however, is Mac Lethal having triumphed over most of that shit, being slightly older, much wiser and content with living life one day at a time, taking as many lazy Sundays as he wants.

As such, Irish Goodbye is an album overflowing with positive mental attitude and pretty much my ultimate feel-good music ever. Without doing a tedious song-by-song analysis, I'd just like to point out the breadth of issues/life facts/nonsense/day-to-day happenings that Mac tackles on this release. Whether he's talking about his career, his boring life, his old job, his clothes, his favorite dishes, beer, wine, whiskey (well, he is actually Irish, after all...), getting fucked up in the morning because what the hell, drinking at night to fall asleep, his dreams, his wishes, his fantasies, his grandparents, the Westboro Baptist Church, love, death, staying motivated, working hard, happiness and a million other things barely contained within his lyrics, Mac always does so with confidence, clarity, humor and, above all, total honesty. Which is what anyone who has been following him over time has learned to expect from him.

I'm not very competent at describing technical aspects when it comes to hip-hop, but Irish Goodbye is definitely Mac Lethal's most polished and rich album to date. Seven's beats are stellar, the production is crisp and lively - and he recorded this at home, mind you - and Mac's vocal delivery is top-notch, especially his flow and fantastic choruses, for which he has had a penchant ever since the release of his first album.

The rest, as they say, is history. Mac Lethal is now bigger than ever, but he's still doing goofy fast rap videos in his living room and spending way too much time on Facebook. He's doing great, which leads me to believe that his mysterious next album, due to release this year, is going to completely blow me over and I'll probably have to get a plane straight to Kansas, take him out for some buffalo wings and thank him for all of his hard work. I'm gonna catch this dream before I die, bitch!

June 9, 2013


The sole reason for doing this interview was asking how they maintain such glorious beards. We forgot to ask.

Planet of Zeus or ''the only band we've interviewed that one of us has seen live'', as we like to call it, is a sweet stoner-rock band hailing from Athens, Greece. Go check out their official Facebook page, Bandcamp profile and, of course, their website.

1. Greetings! Thanks for agreeing to take part in this friendly conversation, we’re very glad to have you. First of all, we want to know exactly where you are, what time it is, what are currently eating and/or drinking and what each of you is wearing. Nothing else than detailed descriptions is acceptable. Go!

We are also very glad to have this interview as it’s the first one for Romania!

We are in Athens, which is our home town and I just ate a juicy pork-steak, accompanied by the famous Greek salad and a glass of ice-cold Coke, wearing a KREATOR t-shirt and a pair of shorts that remind of famous basketball player back in the 80’s.  

2. This might sound awkward (because the previous question totally wasn’t, those are normal things you get asked in every interview), but the vocals of Babis remind us of Forrest French, frontman of a very young (and now very defunct) heavy metal band called Crooked X. They released their first and only LP in 2009 and they were about fourteen of age at that time. Having that in mind, we were curious know how old were you lot when you released your debut back in 2008? 

To be honest, I am not familiar with this band but I’ll do my research for sure. So, back in 2008 Babis and Yog were 24 years old and I was 26.

3. At one point you mentioned all four of you come from different musical backgrounds and you like different things when it comes to music, but you found stoner metal to be a mutual interest. What are these musical differences between you (basically, what bands or genres do you enjoy?) and how do you use them to your advantage while writing and performing as Planet of Zeus?

There is a common love, respect and admiration for the classic rock/heavy metal bands, Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, just to name a few.

One’s top 5 of worst bands ever probably contains bands another one worships. What I’m trying to say is that musical differences between us are so complicated that it’s a bit impossible to figure out how we end up playing the music that we do.

4. Your merchandise is pretty damn cool. Who does all the awesome artwork? Do you work closely with the artist(s) or do you encourage them to come up with their own concepts? Also, you seem to run pretty limited t-shirt designs. Is that true and if so, how do you decide these things?

We feel  lucky that work with very talented people. Betty, one of the best tattoo artists in Greece and Aris, the vocals of Sarabante (crustpunk band from Athens,Greece-check them out) are responsible for the latest artwork on our merch stuff.

Usually, we give ‘em some directions about the concept and then let them free to deliver their magic to us. As for the limited t-shirts, the reason behind this one is that a every single t-shirt design corresponds to a specific period of the band. For instance, you can’t have on your merch stand a t-shirt of a tour that took place two years ago. It seems a bit unfair to the people that bought that T-shirt on that particular period of time.

Looks like a scene from a slasher flick.

5. I like hard rock much like any other music lover in my neighborhood (although, that's somewhat debatable; we have here in Romania one of the most vomit inducing genres of music ever to exist, called manele; you should steer clear off that). Like I said, I like hard rock: it’s great for parties and it makes you look cool when you recommend it to your friends, yet considering both of your albums, there was one song that really struck a chord with me, and that was ‘Hazelnut’. Taking in the fact that writing atmospheric stuff must take a considerable effort, this one feels like an anthem for a second day after-party, where everyone struggles to get their shit together and cleanse their minds of all the remaining booze clouds. Have you ever considered releasing a record filled only with this kind of songs? Or better yet, maybe a double album, one part heavy/hard rock and the second one atmospheric? (Jonathan).

Hazelnut is a track entirely composed by our drummer, Syke. We thought that it would sound really nice in our second album, especially as the album’s last track, following actually the notion that you describe in your question.

I don’t know about a double album, but I’m pretty sure that there will be another moment like “Hazelnut” in the future.

6. Things are looking pretty bleak in Greece, much like in the rest of Europe. The economy is struggling, people are angry and frustrated and extremist parties have started popping up, taking advantage of the bad conditions. Are you, as a band, politically motivated in any way? Ever thought of starting a socially-conscious pissed off grindcore band and scream about all of these things?

There’s no need to form a grindcore band to scream about all these things, let alone that most of the times you can’t make out what a grindcore vocalist sings/screams about.  “Dawn of the dead” is one of our songs that describe they way that we perceive the whole situation. It’s about time for people to react.

7. Greek food is fucking amazing! The fresh, flavorful ingredients, the simple yet tasty dishes, the olive oil, the wine – they all make for some of the world’s best cuisine, and that’s a fact. What’s some of your favorite Greek food, which you think everyone on the planet should try?

We feel extremely lucky that Greece has such a cuisine. The list is endless, so I would try to mention of few apart from the classic mouzaka, pastitsio, greek salad, tzatziki. Fava, Gigantes, Dolmadakia, Saganaki, Gemista, Apaki, Spetsofai, Stifado, Kleftiko and galaktompoureko for dessert. Google them for further info.

We have no witty remarks for this one. Sorry.

8. Stoner culture has been essential to the development of the stoner/desert rock scene. Starting from ancient masters such as Kyuss, Sleep or Electric Wizards up until new bands like Elder and Tumbleweed Dealer, weed and psychedelic drugs have been a key ingredient in creating quality stoner rock. Are bongs an important weapon in your musical arsenal as well or do you just rely on booze like other heavy metal bands?

The key ingredient to the music that we play is the different music backgrounds between the members of the band and the way they blend with each other. However, it‘s common sense that rock and metal music are strongly linked to drug and alcohol abuse. 

9. It’s been 2 years since Macho Libre was unleashed onto the world. What’s next for Planet of Zeus? What do you, as a band, wish to do in the following years?

We are already in the process of recording our third album. There are two shows as special guests to Clutch’s shows in Athens and Thessaloniki and some open air festivals in Greek territory.

We would be more than grateful if we continue to do what we have been doing the last years. Composing new songs, making new records and touring as much as we can. Simple as that.

10. You probably get this question in every interview (if not, the interviewers are some uptight lame asses who don’t know what their priorities really are), but my conscience begs me to ask: are you planning on ever hitting Romania? We want the chance to spend all of our money buying Planet of Zeus concert tickets, followed by cheap beer and custom autographed merch (to which Chester already had his chance).  What say you?

We had an offer to visit your country for a few shows but the routing of the tour made that impossible for us. We hope that we can make it the next time.

11. This is it, we’re almost done! Thanks again for indulging us, you guys are great. As per usual, the last item on the interview is open to you. You can add something you feel might have been left out, address your fans or even ask us something. SEX ΚΑΙ ΒΙΑ, ΣΤΟΝ ΠΛΑΝΗΤΗ ΔΙΑ!

Thank you so much for your support. We really appreciate this! Hope we can make it to Romania someday and sweat together!

Greetings from Athens, Greece!

June 8, 2013

Black Sabbath "13" (2013)

Okay, many of you know that a couple of days ago some sleazebags leaked the new Black Sabbath album on Youtube. I doubt that you'll still find it, but I was quick to react and got to hear it in its supposed epicness. First off, my feeling for this record BEFORE I listened to it could not have been more mixed, Black Sabbath being my favourite band it the world, but Ozzy being a stuck-up bitch and the departing of Bill Ward have made me doubt the greatness of this "35 years in the making" record. I wasn't far off thinking of it that way, but let's get more deep into it, starting with the couple of gripes I have for this.

1. The Name - From the first moment I heard the name of the new BS album (huhuhuh BS) I hated it. Not only for the fact that it's been done to death (Blur, The Artze, The Doors, Six Feet Under, Suicidal Tendencies and many more also have albums named "13"), but Black Sabbath have ALWAYS had awesome album names. Yes, even "Technical Ecstasy".

2. The Drums - Bill Ward flipping this album off should've been the end of it. Ward has always been a key component of Black Sabbath, and his replacement with fucking Rage Against The Machine's drummer is a huge minus for the album, and it even shows on the songs themselves.

3. The Lyrics - Not every verse on "13" blows, but the ones written for the single off of it, namingly "God Is Dead", are, to be sincere, bland, dumb, and repetitive, and the single's cover featuring Friedrich Nietzsche eating purple pasta certainly doesn't help too much.

4. The Slow Parts - Black Sabbath are masters of slow doomy music, but the slower bits here really sound more like alternative rock instead of powerful echoed riffs, as we've been accustomed to since their first albums, who also happen to be the best metal albums ever.

For the better part of "13", I'm gonna say it loud and clear: Tony Iommi saves this album. His amazing guitarwork and heavy riffage that kicks off after the boring slow bits are golden. A man who had his fingers cut off in a factory accident and managed to still play guitar (and invent heavy metal, mind you) has still got it after almost five decades in the bussiness. He is the heaviest man on Earth. Geezer Butles is also good here, kudos to them both.

7.5/10 - could have been better.
Man, I hate being mad at music.

clipping. - midcity (2013)

Clipping are some dudes who make hip-hop and fuck bitches. Oh, sorry, wrong review. Let me rephrase: they’re a bunch of dudes who make noise and fuck bitches.

But noise is kind of a weak word to describe their music… Their beats are a… thing . Like, they’re bigger than life, humanity and the Universe itself. They’re something on which Cthulhu would spit His Eternal rhymes if he decided to form a hip-hop band. Static noises, high pitched screeches, hypnotizing loops and all the good stuff.  It’s like these guys recorded their album in the middle of a freaking industrial complex. Imagine that: sweaty, low income white trash who’ve just kicked their crack addiction building tanks, artillery pieces and shit while Diggs just sits in a corner and raps about how the club smells like ass and pussy. And I’m pretty sure they even put some high-frequency sounds here and there because my dog goes crazy every time I play this album. The Beatles used to do that too, so I’m okay with it, since they’re my favorite band and all.

What blows my mind even more is how Diggs finds rhythm even in the most abrasive and minimalistic beats. This dude spits like Charizard after drinking out of a volcano  - his rhymes are aggressive and cut like The Bride’s katana in Kill Bill (making out of context pop culture references?  that’d be my medical condition). The Intro is a blunt, straightforward fuck your face track, Loud is, well, you know, loud, Five is the fifth track of the album and get.it is my official earworm of the year song. 

But you know what really great about Midcity?  Despite its abrasive sound, it’s catchy and quite easy to listen to. It makes you feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed, sure, but so do tacos, and guess who's still eating the shit out of them.

Recent Shit #6: Marco black metal

2013 will definitely go down in my own history book as the year I got back into black metal. After getting srsly bored with TRVE black metal and all the stupid corpsepaint and lyrics about killing yourself for Satan or whatever, I thought black metal was forever lost on me. And so it was, until I started exploring the other side of black metal, the one where the black, thick murk of black metal is mixed and matched will all sorts of wonderful things, like drone, ambient, post-rock or even electronic trance beats.

There are many sub-sub-genres of this type of music (post-black metal, atmospheric black metal, cascadian black metal and the list goes on), but I feel they are best described by the term Marco black metal. Meaning black metal that Marco could potentially listen to without being scared, black metal that he could relate to, because it's being played by goofy guys in plaid shirts and skinny jeans (like Liturgy, see above)  instead of some Norwegian freak with blood gushing out of his mouth. Black metal for the young, modern listener. 

So, in this Recent Shit column (it's been a while since I did one of these), I'm going to briefly talk about some of my favorite Marco black metal albums that I've listened to lately. So plug in your earbuds and read on, hipsters! This is all for you. 

deafheaven - Sunbather (2013)

deafheaven play raw, melodic post-black metal that's not afraid to get all emotional on you. Their singer, George Clarke, looks like a dude from Mad Men and seeing a guy dressed in tight jeans and a collared shirt scream and spit on stage is some next level shit, as far as black metal is concerned. One of the main selling points of this band, apart from the hypnotic instrumentals and snarling vocals that are perfectly buried in the mix, is the lyrical content. Songs about estranged father figures or being a kid and fantasizing about a perfect dream house are not your usual black metal-fare, but then again, neither is this band. Sunbather is their highly-anticipated sophomore album and it pretty much delivers everything I'd hoped for. The whole album was streaming in full on Pitchfork Advance, but now it's gone. FUCK!

Dragged Into Sunlight - Hatred for Mankind (2009)

This is cheating, kinda, because Marco wouldn't be caught dead listening to Dragged Into Sunlight, but they have become one of my favorite bands ever. This album is one of those affairs where every element is perfect and fits amazingly well within the whole. The buzzing chainsaw guitars, the superbly varied drumming and the absolutely vile vocal delivery make Hatred for Mankind an instant black metal classic. Also, Boiled Angel is one of the best song names ever. 

Altar of Plagues - Teethed Glory and Injury (2013)

I hesitate to even call this experimental black metal because that usually makes me think of weird black metal played with dulcimers and didgeridoos, but this album is, indeed, rather twisted, which is what the cover art brilliantly suggests. All I can say is that it takes more than a few listens to properly process it, but I think the extra effort is worth it. There are many things to be discovered here. Take the first step.

Coffinworm - Great Bringer of Night (2012)

Coffinworm take a more standard approach, in that their black metal is seamlessly fused with doom and sludge elements. It's violent and pitch black and extremely well produced. And they have a song called Spitting Into Infinity's Asshole. Need I go on?

Alda - Tahoma (2012)

If Agalloch is the soundtrack to winter, then Alda is the soundtrack to spring in the mountains. It's a similar brand of hypnotic, highly atmospheric black metal with some folk touches, only it has a warmer feel to it and makes you feel all cozy. The 14 minute album closer Wandering Spirit is my favorite track, but the whole album is solid. And I love the cover art. I mean, look at the faces on those trouts. They're absolutely mortified that they have found a human skull in their river! 

Ash Borer - Ash Borer (2011)

Cool name, cool band. These guys are pretty popular and I don't really understand necessarily why, but their music is totally legit so who cares? Huge, sprawling soundscapes of misery and hope are laid out through atmospheric tremolo-picked notes and venomous vocals and I enjoy them immensely. Get enthralled.

Vestiges / Panopticon - Split  

Finally, there's this fantastic split between Vestiges and Panopticon. The first is a young band formed in 2010 playing atmospheric black metal about nature and stuff. And they're pretty damn good at what they do. Their side of the split is made up of two songs flowing seamlessly one after the other, morphing into one single journey through the woods. As for Panopticon, you might remember it as that one-man band who made that banjo black metal album about coal miners in 19th century Kentucky. On this split, however, Austin Lunn is going on a more traditional route and conjures up two beastly tracks of buzzing tremolo riffs and anguished screams, as well as a Suicide Nation cover. Everything available right here.

Alright, this is it so far. Please, let me know what you think of these bands. Is Marco black metal the best new trend in metal? I certainly think so! I'm always on the hunt for more bands that sound like this, so feel free to drop me any recs here or on Facebook. 

Until next time!

June 5, 2013

Rosetta - The Galilean Satellites (2005)

When I speak of a post-metal/sludge band that has multiple releases out there, it’s quite hard for me to recommend just one album. In Rosetta’s case, however, it’s safe to say that the debut, Galilean Satellites, is the one to grab first.

A concept piece released on two separate discs (one metal, one ambient) meant to be played together is quite ambitious for a young band (at that time), yet they pulled it off masterfully. What’s strange though is that Rosetta’s music, if analyzed in bits in pieces, has absolutely nothing innovative to it. We have the mandatory harsh vocals that don’t stray much from the original tone, the long songs made apparently just for the sake of being long, a distinctive lack of ‘addictive’ bits (or hooks, as many of you call them), pretty much all the standard ingredients that you can find on a record of this type. 

The true value of the compositions, however, appears only if one chooses to listen properly and, dare I say, in the right order. As a must, the first listen would be the ‘metal’ side of the album, followed closely by the ambient counterpart, which is basically just another hour of synthetic noise. After you’re done with these two listens it’s time to play them in synch, and if you had the patience to get through the first two hours of playtime, you’ll definitely stay for the third. At the end, what you’ll be granted with will be something in the likes of this song here:

Strangely enough, I find The Galilean Satellites to be unnervingly relaxing. Space metal, as this album has been branded, is probably the best definition to it; and it’s true, because every time I give it a spin, images from all the sci-fi movies that I’ve watched and books that I have read over the years come popping into my mind. 

Surely it must mean they’re doing something right.

June 3, 2013


After getting lost in the emptiness of our e-mail spam folder for nearly a week, we’ve finally extracted and posted the interview with James Kent a.k.a. Perturbator. Expect a lot of talking about 80's trashy movies, retro sci-fi references, possessed synthesizers and some cyber-jargon here and there. If you want to get in touch with James, go and check out his Facebook page, Bandcamp, the other Bandcamp page and Soundcloud profile.

1. Welcome James Kent to TZEEEAC ONLINE HQ! Are you ready to initiate interview procedure v1.0? If so, please type in your login credentials and offer us an equally futuristic cybergreeting!




Hi dudes! Sorry, I was just reconfiguring myself for this interview here. It should be working anytime now...

2. Chester recently took it upon himself to redesign Tzeeeac in a modern noir fashion, a happening probably derived from his subconscious love for Perturbator, so he could better integrate any 
future reviews of yours. He may deny it, but I know it’s true; a unicorn told me so one night when I was shoe-gazing. With that in mind, what comments does this interesting little fact generate from 
your behalf?

That's funny because last time I was jerking around that ancient web interface called "Twitter", and saw that someone made a nail-art supposedly inspired by my music. 

I thought it was awesome really, I mean being a source of inspiration for all sorts of stuff is like the best thing that can happen to any musician out there.

3. One of our favorite releases of yours is the Nocturne City EP. The gentle introduction, combined with the immediate sense of urgency this album exudes (like in the track Night Business) has placed it high on our favorite list, despite its short nature. I think this restricted format (as runtime goes) suits the music best. What are your thoughts regarding this idea?

Well, whenever I make an EP I tend to do it around a concept. Nocturne City was my first attempt at doing "futuristic" sounds. I watched Blade Runner for like twenty times so the soundtrack got caught up in my mind forever and I thought "I should make my own type of "blade runner-esque" soundtrack, but more aggressive". Then I came up with Nocturne City which was at first a concept EP but I incorporated what I learned from this experience in the overall "Perturbator" sound.

But yeah, the way I see it, my full length albums are like a saga, and the EPs are kinda like short movies or spin-offs.

4. As sci-fi fans, we were naturally attracted to your music. We sincerely feel Dark City could have used some of your songs on its soundtrack. So, if you were to be an egotistical maniac, which movies would you re-release having Perturbator as the main musical driving force?

Good question ahah ! I just can't pick up the obvious ones ’cause those are the ones that inspired me and I would be ashamed to say that I could've done a better job than Vangelis or Jerry Goldsmith. I'd say some "crappy" movies that just needed a cool soundtrack to be known, like Galaxy Of Terror (1981) or Nightbeast (1982). Check them out by the way, they're enjoyably bad.

5. Besides metal outfits, I rarely listen to music that has female vocals stapled on it, yet tracks like Naked Tongues are so damn sexy that they make me want to listen to a whole album filled with such songs. Is there any chance of a release like this in the future? (Jonathan)

Mind reading bastard ahah ! I was planning to do a full vocal album since a long time but it's a huge project and talented vocalists like Isabella Goloversic or Le Cassette are quite hard to find these days unfortunately. I guess it will eventually happen in the not-so-distant future.

6. Hotline: Miami was pretty much the best game of 2012. The retro, neon-soaked graphics, the great 80s atmosphere, the huge amounts of pixelated gore and severed limbs, the challenging yet rewarding gameplay and the superb soundtrack all contributed to its success. Obviously, Perturbator is featured on said soundtrack. How did the collaboration with Dennaton come about? Were you excited about taking part in this project? And have you played the game?

It all happened naturally. Cactus directly asked to me about Hotline Miami. He wanted to know about Lueur verte, one of my best friends and the guy who makes my artworks, and if they could use one of my tracks for the game. I answered that I would be glad to do it. He then shared the game to me, which was a demo at the time, and I made two more tracks exclusively for them because I thought it was awesome. That’s as simple as you can get. But I think none of us had any idea of how big the game would be for the public so this was quite the good surprise. 

And yes, I have played the game and finished it, and for the little fun fact, they also included me in-game as the dude who's DJ-ing in the nightclub chapter ahah.

7. This question comes from TZEEEAC readers Radu and Daniel: what are some of your favorite movies and cartoons from the 80s? Is this where you draw your inspiration from?

Hi Radu and Daniel ! Well for the movies I guess it's pretty obvious: I love sci-fi and trashy retro flicks, this is where I get most of my inspiration from. Blade Runner, Fright Night, all the slasher classics, animes like Akira or Wicked City. It's just the stuff I grew up with.

Even some more obscure flicks like The Toxic Avengers series or Brain Damage which I love to watch now and then and I don't mind if the effects looks shitty by today standards: the more crappy they are, the more fun I have watching them. The quality of the movie doesn't even matter, it's the aesthetics of the movies from the 80s that I love the most. Those neon colours, the backgrounds... It's an ambience that can't be reproduced nowadays. So it's always a great inspirational experience to watch or re-watch those kind of movies. And that’s what my music is all about: experiencing once again something that was forgotten a long time ago.

And, even if I was always more of a "movie" kid than a "cartoon" kid: Oh man, Inhumanoids dude ! Best 80s cartoon ever, so underrated too. it's just all the good stuff grouped in a badass retro show.

8. Mandatory equipment and gear question: what kind of software and hardware do you use to create your electronic soundscapes? Is it expensive? Can we touch it? How about play around with it?

That's kind of a secret. But it's not very expensive, and you can you can touch it of course if you're not afraid of being possessed by the Devil ahah. But really most of it is just software. I still do have a couple of synths at home but most of the time there's a lot of VSTs involved in each Perturbator track.

9. One last question, if you will pardon our ignorance: does Perturbator ever perform live?

Not yet ! But he will soon. I'll work on live sets as soon as I get some time away from producing.

10. Thank you for talking with us, James Kent! It's been a real pleasure. This session will terminate in 10 seconds. You may use this time to say whatever you want. Careful! The replicants are watching…

You're welcome dudes, pleasure is mine. And don't worry, replicants are quite friendly if you nicely get along with them. Now, time to die.

June 1, 2013

SHOW REVIEW: Riverside

A Riverside concert is something not to be missed if one is offered the chance. I discovered them a while back ago and saw them live for the first time in 2011, when they visited Romania during their ‘ten year birthday celebration as a band’. They were touring with Tides From Nebula, another group that had its moment of glory on our beloved blog, and they hit it right out the field with an excellent representation of their musical prowess, showing a packed house that they were a force to be reckoned with.

This year, however, Riverside appeared alone on stage. With no supporting bands and having in front of them a somewhat ‘restricted’ crowd (although it was the same location), the whole thing felt a little more….intimate. I mean, one could hide away into a little corner of one’s mind and pretend the guys were summoned to present a personal audition. Yeah, Riverside in my living room, such was the feeling…

After a brief intro in the form of New Generation Slave, opening track of their latest effort, we were treated with a second song, The Depth of Self-Delusion - also taken from this last album - and if the track wasn’t already good enough, they added some wild bass & keyboard solos and they turned it into what could have easily been the closing song of the show. But no, as the awesomeness was just beginning…

After a brief spoken passage in Romanian (it’s cool, Mariusz , you made yourself understood :) )the band treaded away to a full two hour set, recreating diverse experiences from many an album. We were given Feel Like Falling, Escalator Shrine, Driven to Destruction, Egoist Hedonist, Left Out (for the second time, I was blown away),

go to the four minute mark for the start of the song

Panic Room, Conceiving You, Living in the Past, We Got Used To Us and ended with the crazy-town that is Celebrity Touch, the single from their latest effort.

Overall, the sound was clear as a bird’s chirping in a sunny morning (oh, dat BASS!), the lads were enjoying themselves on stage, Mariusz had great communication with the crowd (I don’t know why, but he sounded a bit like Mikael Åkerfeldt - without the kinky jokes, though) and everyone had an excellent time.

Meanwhile, here’s the full recorded show for you 

and you'll excuse me as I go and write a letter to the guys, begging them not to wait more than a year before they grant us with their presence again. After all, our homelands are quite close, aren’t they?