April 28, 2014

Eyes Of Verona - Ex-Voto (2014)

Everyone has their guilty pleasures. You know, like eating pasta at 3 AM, or lurking in the subway, headset on and giving people the evil eye, or obsessing about white band t-shirts, or watching too many X factor auditions where everyone starts bursting into tears at the very end. You know you have them, in some form or another.

Eyes Of Verona, with their weirdly titled new release "Ex-Voto", a continuation of one of their previous EP's (which I haven't fully taken a grasp at as of yet), sets out to take the world by surprise with a mix of opera rock and catchy hooks that, if not for the explanation provided in the first paragraph, I wouldn't be caught dead listening to. 

Because yes, these four lads and lady have put out just the type of music that is slowly morphing into a guilty pleasure of mine. With a first audition session that lasted about five consecutive listens (!!), this little album here has some subtleties that don't become apparent from the first minutes in. Lacking in any and all possible heaviness (if you can picture Evanescence as a 'metal' counterpart, however stupid that description may be, you'll get a feel for what's going on here), lacking in any memorable guitar solos, drum beats or bass lines, Ex-Voto relies exclusively on the vocal delivery of its front lady. Which in turn doesn't tackle you immediately, but rather upping the ante little by little, going from alternative rock to some underlying melancholic themes provided by the rhythm guitar, all of which culminates about two thirds in when everything is dropped, aside from an acoustic guitar that lays way for one of the best vocal melodies I have heard in recent years. More so, the register completely changes and I'm only left to think "Where the hell did that just come from?". 'My Odyssey' is the track and believe me, it WILL take you by surprise.

Young and on their way...

What's even better is that the songs that follow also come to be of a higher caliber. 'The End of Babel' has got to have one of the most infectious choruses this side of Mars, with 'Hare and Hounds' being a purposely compressed arena anthem, while closers '86400' and the title track do right by adding just the right tinge of hopefulness to an otherwise bleak album, however apparently full of joy it would appear.

So yeah, my advice to you is to listen to this album from start to finish before making a quick judgement. It might appear silly or uninspired (especially the lyrics), but it has made this Tzeeeac member proud of being able to listen to it in advance (as it comes out today). Manly tears were shed!

Here's a track from their previous EP, take it with a grain of salt while you browse around for more of their stuff or wait for new online streams.

April 25, 2014


It's just meaningless by now to say that I've been waiting for this single to arrive in the mail like Torquemada awaiting the Inquisition. This material is like the Half Life 3 of music to me, except this one actually exists right now, at the moment you are reading this. I've been so anxious to write about ACID WITCH on Tzeeeac since forever, noting the fact that I've loved every second of degraded doom/death metal ever since Witchtanic Hellucination came out in 2008 (I was 10 years old at the time), it just completely blew my head apart and changed the way I view death metal and music in general forever. It set the bar so high that only 5% of the bands I listen to manage to even headbutt that bar.

This being said, after three years of silence, ACID WITCH return with two new songs, in conspiracy with death metal maniacs NUNSLAUGHTER. How are they you ask? Exactly as I imagined them: completely familiar yet so fucking surprising. A witchfinder general's wettest dream.


ACID WITCH open up the A side with "Evil", your classic doomdeath anthem, drenched in malicious keyboards and dicksnapping solos. Closer to the monumental first LP than the sophomore (which is good), it's a wild ride in rewind, slow yet deadly, mossy and infectious metal melody.

NUNSLAUGHTER go out of their league and puncture this vinyl with the slow number "Spooky Tails", and boy does it bring home the bacon. Heavy riffs, drums that sound like they've been pulled straight out of a boggling marsh and an attitude to match.


NUNSLAUGHTER make their mark on this split with "A Sordid Past", a death metal song soufle, just what you'd expect from the Clevelanders, except for the lyrics that, instead of focusing on evil, satan etc, sing a bluesy ballad of death. Pretty spooky.

At this moment I would like all the people who don't listen to REPULSION to close the browser.

ACID WITCH just take every fragment of disbelief I ever had in them and stomp on it with leather clad boots. They play a fast, deathmetal/punk song, "Fiends Of Old" with their classic keyboard and solo hooks, and it's about the best thing you'll ever hear. Ever. A fist in the face of every ACID WITCH fan, a fist that reads:

Stealing pieces of the dead
Cause that's how Helga lost her head
Eating acid melts my head
As I listen to "Season of the Dead"
Rotten clothes make my rash grow
Got a bad case of impetigo...


#POPPUNK: City Lights - Leaving Here (2013)

sweet boys

This is seriously my favorite #poppunk song ever. So cool and posi! Sucks that they decided to break up this year (on my birthday, no less! >_< ) in order to pursue actual careers, but it just shows that they're level headed people who know how to make the best of their opportunities. You will be missed!
I can't stay in one place
Can't let this time go to waste
I only have one life to live
I might as well make the best of it
While I can

April 24, 2014

THE CROSS BETWEEN YOUR LEGS: Hexis - Abalam (2014)

Oh man...

Hexis must be one of the most vicious and unforgiving outfits I have listened to lately (and I've had no shortage of harsh sounding bands). Hailing from Denmark, these dudes play an uncompromising mix of black metal, hardcore and post-metal that will peel your face right off. The short 1-2 minute songs, each bearing a cryptic, one-word names, are all relentless maelstroms of dark tremolo riffing, bass lines that are distorted beyond recognition, hellish drumming and rabid screams raging about anger, loneliness and despair.

The production on Abalam is exceptionally good, which makes the pain of going through these tracks all the more palpable. I mean turn your headphones way up and listen to Immolabant - that kick drum feels like an actual kick to the head, while the merciless guitars drill away at every last bit of your sanity. By the time the vocals come in, there's hardly anything left of you to destroy. The terrifying atmosphere of Abalam is probably its greatest asset.

This is how the end of days must sound.


Daniel Witchfinder playing metal and wearing the TZEEEAC tshirt (real tears)


Just wanted to announce that the first batch of official TZEEEAC tshirts is now SOLD OUT! A huge thank you to everyone who purchased one and to the few lucky people who got one for free because they're extra-awesome! We love you. 

HOWEVER, we are thinking of printing more! The minimum order for the printing guys to even bother with is 20 pieces, so there have to be at least TWENTY of you who want one in order to make it happen. So if you want one or know somebody who does, all you have to do is get in touch with us via email (tzeeeac@yahoo.com), Facebook or just a comment below. Or, if you're fortunate enough to know us personally, just tell us IRL. We'll make a list and as soon as we hit 20, we're off!

Please spread the word and stay tuned for more TZEEEAC goodness!

April 23, 2014

Whitehorse - Raised Into Darknes (2014)

You already know Australia produces some of the most horrific (in the good sense of the word, obviously) metal bands to ever disgrace our world, so I won't go on about that. I'm gonna get straight to the point and tell you about Whitehorse, an unholy collective from Melbourne who play a sickening mixture of doom, sludge and noise. 

With more than 10 releases under their belts, Whitehorse are no rookies. Their music is crushing and meant to cause pain. The three songs on Raised Into Darkness crawl along at a funeral pace, propelled by slow, distorted riffs, deliberate use of noise and feedback and vocals that come in two flavors: growling and even more growling. Imagine the little girl from The Ring being stabbed in the throat and the Balrog from Lord of the Rings and you're coming close to what the vocals on this beast sound like. So, as you may gather, this is in no way easy listening. It's tedious, punishing, pitch black and it'll probably cause you to break out in boils. Which is why I suggest you go see them on the second half of their European tour. They're even playing with our buddies in Void Forger tomorrow. Hoo doggy!

April 22, 2014

POWDERED TREATS: Weedeater release new song about doughnuts!

Weedeater love to profess their love for weed in all of their songs through heavy sonic abuse and ass-ripping solos but today, they have decided to go a different route and make a song about something else they enjoy: doughnuts!

That's right! Hot Doughnuts Now is Weedeater's latest masterpiece, cooked up as part of a Scion A/V appearance alongside Pins of Light. This song is everything these hasheeshians stand for: you have Dixie's trademark ragged vocals (dude seriously sounds like a pissed off old man who's been smoking and drinking for 60 years) and CRUSHING bass lines that drive the song, some cool bluesy guitar grooves going on in the background, massive amounts of noise and feedback, primitive drumming and, to top it all off, lyrics about doughnuts, bear claws and cream cheese: 
As far as I know, this is Weedeater's first new material since 2011's Jason... The Dragon, although it is entirely possible I may be mistaken and they have some more odd songs I don't know about, so please let me know if that is the case. If you're not familiar with Weedeater, I highly recommend you check them out. Stoner metal at its finest! 

April 20, 2014

Human Fate - Part 1 Reissue (2014)

I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for records that mix together metal and passages of a more exotic nature, the lads from Human Fate doing just that with the reissue of their debut album. Screamed vocals, oriental chants, latino style guitar play, chugga-chugga riffing and the occasional blast beat are the main ingredients here and they're sure to keep you interested if you're a fan of the genre. With rather short, focused songs and a running time of about forty minutes, there's also the guarantee that all this hunker-punkery here won't bore you to death. 

For any of you who'd like to hear them out, here's the full stream of the album (my personal favorite is Seed of Creation) and if you're interested in any of their stuff (I know for sure Chester would pick the white band t-shirt), here's a link to their merch site.


Arctic Monkeys - Beneath the Boardwalk demos (2004)

Marco and I are both huge Arctic Monkeys fans, as you may know. It's actually one of the few bands we both enjoy equally, even though he probably still hasn't changed his mind about AM (I have, though - that album fucking rules!). Out of the two of us, it could be argued that I'm the bigger hipster, as I enjoy obscure post-black metal records and I seriously consider myself an avid drone listener. Marco is happy being an Italian thug with a preference for hip hop and indie rock, although he does listen to his fair share of weird shit, like synthwave albums about homicidal robots. And he really likes this one hardcore album for some reason, which is baffling. 

Given this background, I would be curious what he thinks about Arctic Monkeys' demo recordings, which they put out over the course of 2004 to promote their music, back when they were pimply teenagers instead of world-famous rockstars. Personally, even though I'm not one to constantly rave about how good demos are over actual albums, I love these demo songs. The simpler, rougher production of well-known tracks like Riot Van (which is drowned in reverb on this recording and has different lyrics - mostly about smoking weed), Fake Tales of San Francisco, Scummy (later re-recorded as When the Sun Goes Down), Still Take You Home or A Certain Romance lends a unique charm to these songs that I feel has been lost when proper production was bestowed upon them. 

Check out Matt Helders in the back looking scrawny as fuck. Do u even press weights m8??

The real highlights of this collection, though, are the songs which never made it to an official album. They showcase Arctic Monkeys as the sweet boys they were back then and their knack for writing catchy melodies and memorable hooks. Knock A Door Run, Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts (a song about how much it sucks when other people are smarter and better looking than you), Curtains Closed (with its tribute to The Rockafeller Skank by Fatboy Slim), Cigarette Smoker and Space Invaders (my favorite song off this collection, followed closely by Choo Choo) are loud, groovy and in your face songs that command utmost respect on the dance floor. Looking for something more mellow? Mardy Bum and No Buses are there to mend your broken heart. Drunk and feeling like hugging everyone around you? Switch over to the lighthearted Pussycat Dolls Love Machine cover, featuring Alex Turner's panty-wetting laughter, and watch your dreams come true! There's seriously not a bad song on this demo and in fact I'm willing to declare that Beneath the Boardwalk gathers together some of the best material Arctic Monkeys have to offer. It's always a pleasure to dust off these songs, as they also show just how far these guys have come. Great story!

Fellow Arctic Monkeys fans, wat u think?? Do u love rocking out to these old-timey songs? Would u smash teenage Alex Turner? Am I beautiful under these lights? Would u still take me home? Is AM their best work yet? Weigh in on the comments section below!

April 19, 2014

GROOVY VIBES, GRIM RHYMES: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata (2014)

I didn't care much about Freddie Gibbs until Piñata came out. It's no wonder why, really, because his previous releases, well produced and delivered as they are, are as bland and generic as gangsta hip-hop can get. The vaguely-experimental neo-gangsta revival trend (I made that up), Freddie included, got really old really fast for me. Then there was his mellow, monotone delivery just didn't do justice to the raw, loud beats he was rapping over. The man tried to experiment and mix things around, don't get me wrong, but if I were to engage myself into the O.G. lifestyle, I'd much rather prefer listening to the likes of Jay Rock or ASAP Rocky, who're known for putting out more straightforward stuff.

Since Madlib has a history of transforming every generic rapper into a fucking prodigy, it shouldn't surprise anybody that his collaborative project with Freddie gave birth to one of the best albums of the year. Freddie's days as a ''so-so rapper that could be so much more if he were more focused'' are over, because Grandpa Madlib came for a surprise visit during the holidays and is ready to slap some old skool discipline into these meddling rappers.

Piñata is not a major lyrical departure from his previous releases - the stone cold drug-dealing gangsta from Gary, Indiana is still here, the only difference being that now he's matured enough to confront his past and reflect on his life (this brilliant scene from The Wire captures the feeling of the album). He's willing to show you what he's done, what he's proud of and where he fucked up, all while boasting of a sense a pride, because he hasn't chosen the easy way in life (or, more precisely, life hasn't chosen an easy way for him). Freddie knows that he's been a bad boy, but he is also aware of the fact that feeling even the slightest sense of remorse will make him look weak. It's the story of a talented man crawling his way out of the streets that made him cold and ruthless, but at the same time hardened him enough to face the legit world that's filled with backstabbers and dishonest people. This thing has been done a thousand times now and modern hip-hop has pretty much moved away from this trope, but Freddie's story telling abilities and cold, yet humorous and deliciously sarcastic remarks about this particular life style make up for it. There are some songs that focus more on what he is now than what made him the way he is, like Lakers and Knicks, but the introspective parts is where he really shines -  Broken, where he talks about being broke and coming from a broken home, and Deeper, a song about this girl he was in love with that matured beyond him and decided she wanted to date a more ''square guy'', as he bitterly puts it.

Madlib's genius production provides Freddie with the perfect platform to spit his grim rhymes. The jazzy beats and funky rhythms give Freddie's introspective rhymes weight and turns what would have potentially been a generic gangsta album into an obligatory listen for every wrinkled stone-cold gangsta that is tired of hustiln' and gang bangin' his way into the grave. Piñata is probably the closest hip-hop has gotten to recreating a noire, almost cinematic aesthetic, and having Freddie, a man that has lived most of his life on the streets, as its protagonist makes it both powerful and absorbing.

I really hope this becomes a thing and more rappers will try to experiment with this style, because it would make for an awesome sub-genre of hip-hop. If it doesn't, well, we'll still have the best damn hip-hop album in recent memory.

April 18, 2014

UMBERTO - La Llorona (2014)

Oh man!

I've just stumbled upon this while casually browsing Facebook on the pooper: Matt Hill aka Umberto, one of my favorite synthwave musicians ever, has recently released a 7" on an obscure Franco-Japanese label. These two new tracks see Umberto going further down the path established in his latest LP, Confrontations. Hard-hitting distorted bass lines, elegant synths, unsettling drum beats and ominous vocal chants all work to conjure a dark, dystopian urban atmosphere. The songs evoke grim visions of a futuristic New Osaka where a totalitarian government is oppressing its citizens. The streets are overcrowded with miserable people; squalor and misery abound, but something's gotta give. Umberto paints a sorrowful landscape of urban decay and anguish and does so with flawless mastery of his means and instruments.

Once again, Umberto delivers the goods and retains his place as one of the most talented and criminally underrated electronic artists out there. If you're a fan of Perturbator and the bands from Aphasia Records, you must not miss out on this guy. 

NOTHING TO BE ATTAINED: Sadhak - Sadhak (2013)

Fancy a wee bit of DOOM? 

Sadhak is the solo project of Andreas Hagen from High Priest of Saturn and this self-titled demo showcases two tracks of powerful, monumental doom metal in the vein of Warning and 40 Watt Sun. Although there are only two tracks on this demo, they're enough to know that there is much promise in this band. Slow, heavy guitar riffs, massive tone, drums crawling at a mammoth's pace, chanting clean vocals and, best of all, great atmosphere. The first track, On the Arrival of Man, is my favorite, thanks in no small part to the well-written lyrics. It's brimming with hope and emotion and it conveys a sense of promise and adventure that really struck a chord with me. Real tears were on their way, until I remembered humans are overall a shit race and the worst thing to ever happen to this planet. 

Anyway, please listen to this. It's really good. Hopefully there's more on the way. 

April 17, 2014

Death of Lovers - Buried Under a World of Roses (2014)

Death of Lovers is the music you listen to when it's 5 AM and you're sitting by yourself in the dark, wishing the sun would rise sooner. I don't really know how to describe their sound - there's some goth-rock, some indie rock, a bit of punk sensitivity, grungy bass lines, moody synths and ethereal vocals whispering lyrics about love and loss. But most importantly, it's very atmospheric and a great soundtrack for introspective wanderings and contemplating the silence of the city. Cool cover art, too. 

April 14, 2014

BURN THE WITCHES: An interview with MANTAR

Have you listened to Mantar's debut album yet? If not, you'd better hurry up and do so and prepare to be blown away, as these guys have released one of the catchiest, heaviest, most groove-laden metal album of 2014. I recently got in touch with them via email and Hanno (guitar/vocals) was super cool and allowed me to bug him with questions about his gear, band t-shirts and their recent performance at Roadburn Festival 2014. Read the interview below then check out their official website, full of videos and other good stuff. Mantar = U ARE MOSHING!

1. Hello dudes and greetings from Romania hell! We know that you have been on a trip recently. Have you made it home alright? How are you feeling?

Hails to Romania! Yes, we are back home. All cool. Thanks for asking.

2. You have just played Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands on the 10th of April. Exciting stuff! How was it? It must have been amazing to play at such a huge festival. What was the crowd's response? Tell us all about it!

Yes, we did. We feel quite honered to have been invited to this important festival right in the first year of existence of the band. That´s very cool and means a lot to us. You meet shitloads of nice people and good bands all over the place. happy to have seen that. was the first time for us. The response was very good. The people bought a lot of merch and we heard very nice things regarding our band from fans as well as from the journalists. It was cool to see people from all over the world rocking out in the first rows and knowing all your songs. It was cool that some people even sang along. You know, we haven´t played much shows yet so this was very exciting for us.

3. What were the highlights of Roadburn for you? Any bands you were super stoked on seeing? Also, did you manage to snag any cool merch?

Honestly both of us ain´t very nerdy about merch. We sure wear band shirts, but that´s it basically. None of of us a is a collector. When I buy stuff I usually buy tapes though.

I really wanted to see some bands but didn't manage to do so as we have been busy with a lot of other stuff over the day. And as we have been on tour we only have been there for one day.

Unfortunately i was kinda sick the whole day but in the end we managed to put on a good show I guess.

4. Speaking of which, kudos to you for offering white Mantar tshirts. White band tshirts rule! Do you intend on introducing more stuff on your store? Do you design your own tshirts?

We sure will come up with more shirts within this year. We also think that white shirts rule as most cool band shirts are black. We have a new design called THE HUNTSMEN which is pretty bad ass. Friends of ours design all our stuff.

[Cool! Can't wait for the new design to show up on the store!]

5. You seem to be against the term "sludge" and we won't grill you about it anymore. However, what are some decidedly "sludge" bands that you appreciate?

Do you call INDIAN a sludge band? if that´s the case i really dig INDIAN.

[Not sure if  they're sludge or not but Indian are great! From All Purity is punishing!]

Hanno's "bare-bones" setup
6. Hanno, you said it yourself, you're a guitar dork. We also enjoy a good amount of guitar dorkery, so we were wondering what guitar do you play, what guitar you plan on purchasing once you become filthy rich via playing obscure violent music (LOL) and what does your pedal board look like these days?

My pedal board is fucking huge. A ridiculous joke. But I need that to play three amps simultaneously. Lots of stuff on it bust most of all is about splitting the signal and different distortion pedals. Some octavers too to provide the low end. Not much modulation though. Some delay. That´s it. I play a cheap LTD SG shaped Bariton guitar with Bill Lawrence (RIP!) pick ups which I basically put in every of my guitars. I love them. Cheap and great in tone and response. I hate active pickups. I don´t care about expensive equipment. I make the best out of the stuff I can afford. I recorded the whole record with a guitar which costs 215 euros brand new! If I ever get some money I will get something custom build I guess.

7. We're super into junk food here at TZEEEAC and seeing how you're a German-Turkish duo, we must ask: who would win in an ultimate fight between currywurst and kebab?

I am an vegetarian and eat none of this stuff. If i would i´d choose the currywurst. I am a down to earth guy. Haha. No fancy shit.

8. Your music is all about RAW POWER and Death by Burning is still on heavy rotation over here. Any plans on fucking everybody's faces off again with more material?

Sure thing. you bet! We are already writing new stuff and hope it´s gonna turn out great. But no pressure. The record just came out...

9. 3 essential metal albums to come out in 2014 so far?

Puhhh. What the fuck do I know?? It´s YOUR job to tell me that ;-)

[Haha fair enough! Check out Monolord, the new album by Thou, Cormorant, Have a Nice Life, Nothing and whatever Floor is coming up with]

10. Thanks so much for chatting with us and good luck with your upcoming shows! Hopefully we'll see you around these parts too. The last words are yours, so take it away. UGH!

Thanks for your interest in MANTAR. We really appreciate that. Spread the word!

Owl Oxidant

During my daily trek on the interwebs, I came across this sweet instrumental psychedelic stoner rock band from Serbia called Owl Oxidant. It's totally obscure and I haven't been able to pull any extra information other than what's available on Soundcloud, but I don't even care - the music is so damn fine that I have no problem sharing it with everyone. There are only 3 tracks available at the moment and they all mix groovy rhythms, psychedelic ambiances and scorching bluesy licks that make me wish I was frying under an oven sun, my feet dipped in the sea and a cold beer by my side. I'm definitely keeping an eye out on these guys. Hopefully they'll release more stuff and a label grabs them - they're excellent!

Thanks to Zann O))) for originally sharing this on Facebook. You made my morning, buddy!

April 13, 2014


You might remember Vastum as that bitchin' death metal band who put out the devastating Carnal Law demo back in 2011. 2013 saw them finally release their debut album called Patricidal Lust. Due to unforeseen problems, the album almost didn't see the light of day, which would have been a shame, as it is a damn good album which has received unanimous praise across the underground media for its merciless sound and freaky lyrics about weird family sex. Vastum band members Leila Abdul-Rauf (guitars/vocals, also of Hammers of Misfortune fame) and Shelby fuckin' Cobras (guitars, also of psychedelic death metal band Apocryphon and comedy internet show Illogical Contraption Radio) were gracious enough to answer a few questions about the band, the album, the artwork and other death metal-related business. Check out the awesome Patricidal Lust and then say hi to them on Facebook

1. Hello and thanks for the opportunity, we're very grateful to be able to interview you. How are things in San Francisco?

Leila: Quite expensive! Miraculously enough, Dan and I still live here, but most of the band lives in Oakland now, where we also practice.

Shelby: I left San Francisco about 2 years ago. Oakland is awesome, affordable, and all the good shows happen out here now.

2. You're currently riding the waves of Patricidal Lust's success which was, by general metalhead consensus (ours included) an excellent cut of old-school death metal. The road to releasing this album was filled with difficulties, setbacks and grief. Would you say that you're at last able to take a break and enjoy the putrid fruits of your labor? Are you relieved to finally have the album out?

Leila: It's great to finally have the album out; I'm very proud of it. But I'm glad the long break is over and that we're back to writing new material and playing shows again. 

3. Have you had the chance to play these songs on stage yet? If so, how did audiences react to hearing your perverse tales live?

Leila: Yes, we've had one show so far with the new members and it was off-the-hook insane. I think the long break has made our audience really hungry to see us live again.

Shelby: Our first show was great, people went off and the energy in the room (both the band and the audience) was palpably crazy. I can't wait to get Vastum out on the road and bring this music to a wider audience live.

4. Really bummed out your European tour plans fell through, guys! What countries were you most excited to visit and what national Euro dishes were you most eager to gorge on? Hope you can make it to the old continent next year!

Leila: Yes, we really need to make the EU tour happen. I personally was looking forward to some Belgian waffles and some Austrian mozartkugeln! I've been fortunate to have played in EU a few times, but I have yet to visit most of the UK, Norway, Switzerland and the Eastern bloc countries.

Shelby: I've never been to the EU, and am anxious to get over there. My family is Norwegian/Italian, and I'm excited to someday return to my respective homelands for lutefisk and legit Sicilian pizza.

5. You must be tired of this by now but holy shit, the cover artwork for Patricidal Lust by Paolo Girardi is awesomely gross, althouh the shock factor is dialed down a bit by that goofy looking bat. Why Paolo Girardi? 

Leila: Paolo was recommended to us by our label 20 Buck Spin. Our bassist Luca is Italian and was able to communicate directly with him about our vision for the cover, so it worked out well. I agree though, that bat is rather cuddly looking for such an otherwise devastating cover. As much as I love that painting, Dan drew an alternate cover for the vinyl which I think fits better aesthetically with the band.

6. I was stoked to hear that Shelby Cobras would join Vastum as guitarist. Did he ease in nicely among you (honk honk)? Why did you feel he would be a great addition to the band?

Leila: In my opinion, Shelby really saved the life of Vastum, and has become my true "axeman-in-crime". We were having a lot of difficulty finding the right guitarist, and when he came around, things started to really happen again. Shelby puts his heart and soul into everything he does, not to mention he is also a great songwriter and very productive with his time. He's also a lot more outgoing than I am and has done a great job taking over a lot of the booking and flyering. 

7. A question for Leila, if we may: girl, Hammers of Misfortune is fucking great! It's been 3 years since the wonderful 17th Street was released, which is too long. What's going on in the Hammers of Misfortune camp? Any chance of hearing some new material any time soon?

Leila: Thanks! I agree, three years is way too long between releases. Hammers will finally be in studio again in mid-June to record a few new songs for an upcoming release. Our drummer Will Carroll also plays drums for Death Angel and because they are on the road for most of the year, it's very rare that we get to practice as a full band which has made progress very slow. We hope to have a new album out by next year.

8. Shelby, you are going to play a show with both Vastum and Apocryphon in the same evening. Are you properly prepared with Doritos and beer in order to sustain this incredible effort? Also, what metal blogs/websites are you currently following? Cvlt Nation and Metal Bandcamp are two of my favorites, but The Living Doorway is still sorely missed ;((

Shelby: I think I'll be fine. I've played two sets with two different bands in one night before, as long as I gorge myself on Miller High Life and Taco Bell for a couple days leading up to the show, it should sustain my efforts sufficiently. I'm really excited to being doing double-duty on a bill with a band as epic as Ulcerate. They're one of the few death metal bands out there that I really feel is forging their own path and creating sounds completely outside the confines of the genre.

As for the second part, I've unfortunately given up most of my efforts on reading or writing about metal whatsoever. But it's for a good reason: I'm too busy creating it.

9. Lastly, what's in store for Vastum in the future? Can you tell us anything about any upcoming material or shows?

Leila: In May, we have a show with Ulcerate followed by some Pacific Northwest dates with Diocletian, Backyard Mortuary and Bone Sickness. We also have two new songs in the works and will record more new material hopefully later in the year. 

10. Guys, thanks so much for indulging us and we wish you nothing but the best! We leave the last words for the children up to you.

Shelby: Aequa lege necessitas sortitur insignes et imos. Aeternum vale.

April 8, 2014

Necrot - The Abyss (2014)

Here's a quick little fix of expertly crafted death metal, should a bad mood befoul your day. Necrot is a death metal trio featuring members from Vastum and Saviors and their latest EP called The Abyss serves up three tracks of bludgeoning old-school death metal that will be enjoyed by fans of Death, Cannibal Corpse, Autopsy, Entombed or Bolt Thrower. Bludgeoning riffs heavy enough to make your skull cave in, cavernous drumming, sickening guitar tone and primitive vocals - you cannot mess with Necrot!

April 7, 2014

HANDS AROUND YOUR THROAT: Mantar - Death by Burning (2014)

There's something inherently fascinating and perplexing about two-piece metal bands, to me at least. Hearing two people wielding drums and guitar with reckless passion and producing the same - but usually even more - amount of noise and hate as a five-piece band will always amaze me. The synergy between two people, connected through music, amplifying and complimenting each other's sounds and together creating something way bigger than themselves - that's fucking special, ya know?

Mantar are a prime example of this and they possess a rare talent: the second you hear the first riff of the first song, you involuntarily start a) nodding in approval or b) moshing violently and throwing furniture out the window. Much like another two-piece metal outfit I enjoy, namely Portland-based The Body, Mantar are able to effortlessly create pure, obliterating metal that comes at you like a bunch of angry, pissed off lions shooting out from an open cage. 

Without a moment's pause, Death by Burning, their debut album, storms through 10 tracks of face-splattering, ass-ripping, balls-to-the-wall metal. The moment you hit play, you are assaulted by non-stop insane & catchy pitt riffment and devastating drumming, along with well executed venomous vocals. Oh and the bass... - wait, there is no bass! All of this sonic destruction comes by way of guitar and drums alone. Holy shit!

Standout tracks? Spit, The Huntsmen and The Stoning, but the whole album is solid from start to finish. Okay, well maybe not right until the finish - the closing track, March of the Crows, is where the guys slow it down and try their hand at some hard-hitting, punishing doom metal in the vein of UK heavy-weights Conan. Obviously, they pull it off without breaking a sweat, but it seems like they're ending the album on a bit of a low-note. After riding a crazy, winding rollercoaster of some of the best riffage I've heard this year, I don't really wanna get off and go visit the haunted mansion. Death by Burning should have ended the same way it starts: guns blazing.  

This small grievance aside, there is no denying that Mantar have dropped one of the best albums of 2014 and I can definitely see Death by Burning occupying a place in the year-end lists of metal publications. And this is a band that hasn't even existed for a full year yet. Oh man! Best of all, they hail from Germany and one dude is German and the other is Turkish, so you know I wanna interview these guys and talk to them about fucking currywurst and kebabs, because I'm a fat piece of shit who only cares about music and food. Hell yeah bitches!

Oh and the cover kinda looks like a woman with a birthday cake on hear head. I seriously can't handle the amount of awesome these guys are throwing at me. 

April 6, 2014

Goddess - The Works

One man bands can be very hard to look into, as the 'simple' acts of composing, recording and mixing everything together into a cohesive whole become not so simple anymore, lest we not even consider that the artist has to be a talented multi-instrumentalist to begin with. Thus, in most cases, some technical faults or passages that feel out of place or not so inspired are often overlooked, and not by any lack of reason. I mean, if anyone starts out on a journey like this one, honing one's skills and perfecting the craft will no doubt take some time.

Such is the case with fellow Romanian prog rocker Ervin Usein, who writes and records all of his music, not to mention crayoning his own album covers. Three EP's and a single later it is clear that Ervin has started to gently settle into a comfort zone, while the songs themselves are slowing down to a more manageable pace.

And this is good, because on the last EP, aptly named 'Third', the clean guitars have become a dead ringer to Opeth's Damnation album.

Yes, you heard that right, ladies and gents, and as you have just found out for yourselves if you listened to the song 'Almost', this is clearly no joke. So my advice to Ervin now? Lose the distortion, record a full length acoustic album and make Mikael Åkerfeldt proud. 

Hell, maybe he'll even accept to lay some vocals over the whole thing!

April 5, 2014

Dementia Senex - Heartworm (2013)

It's a bummer that I didn't discover these guys earlier, because I think this is the type of record that fits perfectly into my 'need to listen to obsessively' category.

Actually, scratch that. I KNOW this is what I've been waiting for, at least when it comes to doom metal. Because even if the band members describe their sound as 'a mix between death metal, post hardcore and sludge/doom', it is clear that the latter prevails. 

The whole EP exudes vibes of early age Anathema, My Dying Bride and to a certain extent, Swallow the Sun. Which is to say that if you're a fan of any of these bands, you'll recognize the trademarks of the genre immediately: angry and tortured growls, focused more on the emotional delivery rather than musical prowess, dueling guitars where the solo section consists not of actual solos, but of forming an extra layer that follows closely the vocals and adds immensely in terms of atmosphere, everything backed by a tight as hell rhythm section that never misses a beat. Sure, there are hints of other genres creeping in once in a while and the tempo can be quite high (especially on the second song, Kairos), but it's nothing that detracts from the overall experience or that feels misplaced in any way. 

With that said, my only complain about this release is that it leaves me wanting for a helluva lot more, so the guys better make do and put out a full lenght soon, else I'll be forced to close myself in a room and listen continuously to Unscented Walls.

Wait, that's not actually bad now, is it?!?

April 2, 2014


Hope Drone are a Marco black metal outfit from Brisbane, Australia. We have featured their self-titled album here and we're definitely excited for more music from them. They're a rather mysterious bunch, so we're very happy to have Karl (guitar) answering some questions about their music, their future plans, that time when they opened for Deafheaven and dingos. Gorgeous! You can listen to their debut album on their Bandcamp
1. Hello, mates! How you doin’? How’s the weather down in Australia?

We’re doing well, the weather is actually decent now that we’re going into autumn.

2. Coming from a country in Eastern Europe, we imagine you guys met while riding the great Australian outback, got pissed off at the scorching sun, carved drums and guitars out of brittle wood and decided to form a band. Is this really how it was or did you actually met in highschool or something? Also, Hope Drone is an interesting, yet ermetic band name. What does it signify for you? Why did you choose it?

We all already knew each other from playing with each other’s bands and the formation of the band kind of just happened naturally over time. The name was chosen because we needed a name, and trawling our music collections the name of an unrecorded Godspeed song came up and seemed to fit pretty well. I think it ended up suiting the music and isn’t too stereotypical.

3. Speaking of which, when we first came across your music, we were half-expecting it to actually be drone. Granted, there’s a definite drone element, but what are some of the bands and/or sounds that have influenced and shaped your sound?

This answer would be different depending on whom you ask but some bands we all enjoy are Russian Circles, Rosetta, Year of No Light and Wolves in the Throne Room. For me personally I take a lot of influence from Neurosis as well as bands like Swans and even Locrian more recently; as well as orchestras, reverb and delay pedals and idiosyncrasies I’ve picked up playing guitar over the years.

4. You’re from Australia so we’ve GOT to ask this: what are the five ESSENTIAL Australian metal bands we should all be jocking? And you can’t say Destroyer 666, Portal or Sadistik Exekution.

Bands you should be check out that aren’t necessarily metal but are all intense and interesting: Idylls are doing great work, Heirs as well. Our friends in Encircling Sea. At Dark. Our guitarists other band, The Fevered. 

5. At first we were going to ask you what you think of Sunbather, but then we noticed you actually opened for Deafheaven in your hometown Brisbane back in January. Holy smokes, that’s great! Was that your most GORGEOUS concert experience to date? We bet it was! And did you get to hang out with George Clarke and Kerry McCoy? They seem to be really chill dudes off-stage.

The show itself was really good. The dudes in the band, like most people in bands are the most normal people you could meet and were friendly enough. Sunbather wasn’t really a huge record for me personally when it came out but I’ve got nothing against people who enjoyed it.

6. Here at TZEEEAC, we usually refer to post-black metal as Marco black metal. Marco is the co-founder of TZEEEAC and he usually wouldn’t be caught dead listening to horrific black metal, but Chester seems to think that by combining black metal with shoegaze, drone, ambient, etc. you get a mellower, melodic flavor of black metal that Marco could potentially listen to without being a fan of the genre. What’s your take on this? Do you feel that Marco black metal has the potential to bridge the gap between the black metal crowd and music fans who aren’t particularly excited about seeing some huge Norwegian monster shriek about Satan?

Black metal is a really difficult genre to define but I feel at the end of the day the gap doesn’t need to be bridged at all and people should simply listen to the music that resonates with them. Having said that, I’m sure someone who transitioned from shoegazey/droney stuff into more ambient/atmospheric black metal may develop a taste or appreciation for more traditional stuff and vice versa.

7. Consider the following scenario: it’s late at night, you just finished performing the best show in a while and you are now hungry as wolves (or dingos). What fast food places are you hitting and what do you order to satisfy your Transilvanian Australian Hunger?

I’m terrible at eating before a show and after I’ll usually end up just eating left overs at home. If I had to pick a fast food I’d say burritos.

8. What does the future hold for Hope Drone? Any new EPs or splits in the works? New merch? More tours?

We have another record which is nearly finished being recorded, I’d like to do an EP or something as well if time and resources allow us. Probably going to tour at some point but the extent, time and location of said tour is currently unknown.

9. Black band t-shirts or white band t-shirts? Pick a side.

Neurosis t-shirt.

10. Guys, thanks so much for talking with us and sorry for all the bad jokes. We get overly excited when communicating with people from other continents. Please leave us with a traditional Australian saying and feel free to add whatever else you like. Cheers!

Thanks for the interview and interest in our music. Sharing a traditional Australian saying is a bootable offense unfortunately.

April 1, 2014

APRIL FOOLS: Iron Reagan - Spoiled Identity EP (2014)

It may be April Fools, but this ain't no joke: Iron Reagan have just released a new EP. 13 songs in just 3 minutes. The longest song is one minute long. There's a The Wolf of Wall Street reference in there. And it's free to download. Cool!