Hyenas is a four piece band from Nuremberg, Germany. ”Deadweights”, which will be released on March 10 through Pelagic Records, is their debut, full length album. The band has so far only released a demo-EP back in January, 2014. Debut album ”Deadweights” was recorded live within 4 days by Jan Kerscher at Ghost City Recordings.
So let us waste no more time. Let’s press play. Eleven tracks are included in this release. This is actually a concept album. This album orbits around the topic of self development as a human being, whilst simultaneously criticizing abuses and misconduct caused by modern society that are increasingly rooted in the personalities of each individual. This could also be the title of an essay, written by a psychology student. Don’t you think? But let’s get back to the album. The band’s music is a blend of post hardcore, sludge and metal. First of all i want to comment on the album’s production simply because it sounds great. ”Deadweights” to me sounds super heavy and exciting. You’ll definitely find some really nice riffs as well as concrete basslines. I believe this is one of these rare cases where everything fell into place. I mean their singer also did a very good job at vocals. In my opinion he sings in a really passionate manner. These guys proved to be really lucky. Guided by the divine hand of inspiration they produced an album that can not go unnoticed. For me it’s really hard to pick a favourite song. Each song tells a story of its own. All songs though hold a certain sense of charm. Nothing could distract me. I simply got lost into this album and i didn’t want this great ride to end.
So gentlemen, yes, you definitely delivered. However you’ve raised the bar really high on yourselves. There’s no doubt in my mind that ”Deadweights”is a great album. It’s one of the best albums i’ve listened to in months. Therefore i would really like to recommend it.
Today i wanted to share with you a list of some of my most favourite one hit wonders. One of these bands actually became known for a cover. So here goes. What are your favourites? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section. Songs go in no significant order.
House of Pain – Jump Around
Urge Overkill – Girl you’ll be a woman soon
Spin Doctors – Two Princes
The Knack – My sharona
Focus – Hocus Pocus
The Connells – 74 75
Eagles – Hotel California
Lemonheads – Mrs Robinson
Europe – Final Countdown
Boston – More than a feeling
Hi there! Thank you for the interview. You’ ve completed the recording of your new album. How did the recording sessions go?
It was okay. Cool thing is that we ‘really quarantined’ ourselves. so we really shut ourselves off from the outside world. It was nice to have heavy snowfall, so it wasn’t really possible for us to drive out of the valley. The Belgian Ardennes is quite an inspiring area in our country. Look it up. We all played a bit of everything, and all went according to plan.Yet we are never happy, so it’s always dissapointing for us to have to stop recording. It is just never good enough. We don’t like recording at all. It’s like ending a relationship.
Once again you’ve worked with Billy Anderson. What’s it like working with him?
Very at ease, he always encourages us, not to be so perfectionist.
Last album was darker and more subtractive than the previous ones. Was this on purpose? What should we expect from the next album?
I have to conclude that I really have difficulties with interviews about new albums. Marketing strategics always would force me to say that this one is the best AMENRA album, and we really outdid ourselves again etc. But I simply don’t feel like it. It’s a continuation of our lifeline. It is how we translated the last four years of our existence, both individually and collectively, into music and image, sound and text. It’s our stories continued. We grew together as a collective, it’s the first one where Levy for instance had an active role in the writing process, in comparison to previous ones etc.
It’s different, this album is going to be different, thats all I can say. Up until now, we kept our guard up, into what Amenra ‘IS’ or ‘should’ be, now we chose a different path, in ways that the CORE sentiment/emotion of AMENRA was the thing to safeguard, and not nescesarilly the way to achieve it.
Mass VI will be your sixth album. In my opinion , all of your albums have a ritualistic tone. Would you like the listener to perceive your albums as a cathartic experience?
I will not imply others how to perceive our music. To each his own. I know we personally see and feel it that way. And we can only hope the music and lyrics carry that same weight to others. I only would like other people to really see the genuine honesty, and nescessity of our musics existence.
What aspects of everyday life urge you to express yourselves through music and art in general?
Whatever casts a shadow on our existence, whatever makes us lose hope, whatever makes us have the urge to attack, whatever brings us to our knees, breaks us and whatever brings us back to our feet again. We are who and what we are. Amenra does what it does, it won’t change in the course of writing another album.
How is music produced in Amenra?
We used to solely write to jamming and discussing way to much, why what and what not. For this one most of us came with ideas that were formed within the confinement of our homes. Due to an extreme lack of time, most of us have families, lil kids and we all have full time jobs and a zillion of other bands, we were forced to adjust our modus operandi a bit. Like I said Levy, joined us for the first time in the writing process, and he really outdid himself and made the whole process easier for everyone.
Two of your band members and Scott Kelly participate in a project called Absent in Body. How did this collaboration come to be?
I think originally the goal was there for Scott and Mathieu to do a normal split 12” together, so one side Scott Kelly and the other side SYNDROME ( Mathieus solo project).
But then after talking about it they decided to create something new together. During the writing process, I toured with Scott solo, and Mathieu kinda kept me in the loop. They both decided that it might been a cool idea to get me involved, and AIB got formed. I am really honored that I am a part of the newborn project. I am really looking forward in taking this to a new level, or chapter and write more.
There’s a perfect correlation between your song ‘’A Mon Âme’’ and the respective video clip. The director managed greatly to bring out one’s inner torment. How did you decide to make a video clip for this song?
Well we teamed up with Willy Vanderperre. He’s grown to be a good friend of ours and he is a brilliant photographer. And he was the one whom proposed the plan of attack, of having just us in the video. We wouldn’t have dared to do the approach. it is very confronting for us personnally. But I agree its nakedness and minimalistic approach made more than sense.
What does your logo (the 3 crow claws) symbolize?
Conmemorating death. live a life as good as possible. being a ‘good’ human being. making your limited time here on earth
as senseful as possible. live with the knowledge that death can take everything away in a split second. Make your life worthwhile, not only for you but also for the people around you. It’s a certain stance of life.
What’s the main philosophy behind the Church of Ra?
Something that I try not to pin down in words because I will do it no honor, and limit it to a couple of frases.
it’s very sad that everyone is trying to push us into that corner, of having to write it down. I think it’s about whatever every religion in the world intended to be about in it’s original state. it’s about realising there is a meta consciousness out there, it’s about the undeniable connection between every human being on earth. It’s mainly about trying to share the beauty of life with eachother, even if it might only be for some seconds, a brief moment. It’s about love, it’s about warmth, it’s about losing that warmth, that love. and trying to find it back, together. It’s about the fight we are in together, it’s about protecting what is dear to us..It’s about making another human smile, it’s about being a hand on eachothers shoulder. It’s about being stronger together, it’s about helping eachother on our feet again, it’s about being able to shed that tear, to be able to go on again. forever onwards. it’s about creating something to believe in, something that ca make us stronger.. It’s about so much more than words. I still learn every day what it’s about.
How do you feel about your upcoming gig in Greece? Do you have a message for your greek fans?
We are looking forward to it. It’s been too long. Nothing but (very) good memories.
*Photos taken by Stefaan Temmerman
It’s tuesday so let’s review a new album, significantly a split album. Her Highness and Worthless are two instrumental, sludge/ doom metal bands from Budapest, Hungary. Their four track, split album was released back in december 9, 2016. Each band contributes with two songs. The first two songs belong to Her Highness. Never heard of this band before. However i have to say they most definitely know their craft. Prepare yourself for some massive basslines. No, i’m going to rephrase that. Prepare yourself because mountains of massive basslines lie ahead of you. I’m definitely down with their sludge. ”The Budd Dwyer Method” is an awesome, monolithic track that will leave no sludge fan unsatisfied. The third and fourth track belong to Worthless. I liked their songs even though i have to admit i didn’t exactly fell in love with their music. To be honest though ”No Home” is a nice song. It’s a blend of sludge and post metal and it definitely works. As for me i personally enjoyed this split album and my wish is to recommend it. Specially recommended for fans of Sleep, Electric Wizard, Ramlord, Sea of Bones, e.t.c.
It’s sunday and my coffee is finally ready. It’s time for a new review. Today we bring to you a gem recently unearthed from the underground. Body Void is a three piece band from the United States. ”Ruins”, namely their debut album, was released back in june 16, 2016. It will be released on vinyl January 31, 2017 through Crown & Throne Ltd and Dry Cough Records.
What initially caught my attention here is the album’s front cover artwork. It’s seriously dark, a bit trippy and symmetric as well. I loved it. I had no other choice but to press play. I’ m so glad i did. This album includes four songs. Let the tough and long journey to Catharsis begin. The band’s music is a blend composed of three main ingredients, namely sludge, drone/doom metal and hardcore punk. Driven by the divine hand of inspiration these guys did it. There are four parts in this ritual. The first one is called ”Swan”. Everything makes sense now. The void is calling for me. It is impossible for me to resist to this compelling force. ”Erased” i feel. The void devours everything. Every tiny bit of matter. It’s a ”Monolith” of oblivion and bliss. ”Ruins” is the fourth and last part of this ritual. Embrace the void.
There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a great album. It’s heavy as hell. You’ll find here stonecold riffs and magnificent atmospheres. It’s one of the best albums i’ve listened to in months. Thus i’d like to recommend it. I mean we don’t have a grading scale here, but this album would easily get a 9 out of 10. Here’s a link for you where you can also listen to ”Ruins”.
Hateure is a four piece band from Manilla, Philippines. The band came into existence back in 2007. ”Erase This” ep, which was released on the 3rd of January is their newest release. One track is included in this album. I didn’t know what to expect but driven mainly by curiosity i decided to press play. Well, i’ll tell you what, their sludge/ doom metal is more than welcome. Their music is seriously heavy and dark. As for me i’m definitely down with their stuff. ”If you’ re searching for meaning, erase this now.I’m meaningless. Repeat.” is an epic title of an epic song. So, yes, gentlemen we’d like to hear more from you. The band’s third, full length album will be also released this year.
Friend of Gods is a three piece band from Athens, Greece. ”You Gotta Look Good In This Fuckin Business” ep is their new album. It was released on the 16th of December. It was recorded by Alex Ketenjian and Kostas Ragiadakos at Unreal Studios. Six tracks are included in this release. I’m not a newcomer to this band. I actually still remember the first time i saw them live here in Athens. I have to admit it was a bit odd because i didn’t know what to expect. However it turned to be rather easy for them to make a fan out of me. And that’s because their music sounds rather fresh and trully inspired. It’s of course a band that you need to see them play live. But let us get back to the album. As it has already been mentioned we find six tracks in this album. These six tracks form an album of what i’d like to call vibrant music or music with no holds barred if you will. To me it’s pretty damn’ clear that these guys are not afraid to experiment. ”You Gotta Look Good In This Fuckin Business” is a twenty minute frenzy that can’t and must not go unnoticed. You need to experience this exquisite blend of hardcore punk and math rock. We’ re talking about a blend that has a strong jazzy flavour. My favourite track is ”Chase.Move. Kill”. This is a great track and that’s hands down. Well, to me Friend of Gods look really good. But that’s just me. They’ re producing good music and they have raised the bar on themselves. So this is our suggestion for today. Here’s a link where you can also listen to their new album.