Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Black Metal of the Emerald Triangle: An Interview With Lycanthromancer and Skorpius of Miasmic!!

Interview conducted via email in July 2015.

Listen and support Miasmic's music: https://miasmic.bandcamp.com/
Keep updated about Miasmic: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Miasmic/185330898175023?fref=ts

WULF:  From what I can tell, this is your first interview.   You have been in the game for almost 10 years now!   Why so mysterious?  Tell us about yourselves!

LYCANTHROMANCER:  Rising as a malevolent force from the darkness & hoary mists of these ancient Redwoods, 'MIASMIC' was forged in the year 2006. Iishtok and Lycanthromancer (then Lycanthropizer) spearheaded the project with previous percussionist, Volkane (aka S.M. Azazel from Unholy Crucifix) as a polemic reflection against the modern world. Black metal was ( and is) the appropriate platform to cast our nefarious onslaught unto the decadent cultural malaise that surrounds us. We began to hone our skills & perfect our craft of audial decimation to contend with the monotonous grain of the collective. Decisions were made and new musicians sought. Skorpius joined our ranks in 2010 & Altar in 2014. We stand unified and disciplined, as disciples of the Miasmic writ.

WULF: According to metal-archives.com, one of your lyrical themes is "transcendence".   Would you say this is accurate?   If so, can you give us any insights as to what this means exactly?   Also, are there any specific spiritual/occult beliefs that are shared by all the members of the band?   In recent years, it seems like black metal (especially USBM) has begun to split away from the traditional Satanic tropes and motifs of black metal and has become more focused on psychology, philosophy (especially existentialism and nihilism), or simply just nature itself.   How does Miasmic fit into all of this, if at all?

LYCANTHROMANCER: Lyrically we have touched upon the aspect of what lies beyond the corporeal world, those realms not known to the living or that which is unbound to our earthly perceptions. To leave the temporal plane and gain insight & forbidden knowledge into other dimensions that lie just beyond mortal reach. Hymns such as "Gravemoss", "Ephemeral Lych Gate of the Miasmic Emerger", and "In a Tomb of Flesh, I am Buried Above Ground" were written about such explorations & disdain for our fettered existence. New opuses such as "Insular Pinnacles & Visceral Divination" have more to do with spiritual ascension. To be seated upon a higher throne beyond time & being, far from the incongruous contemporary world in which we unfortunately inhabit currently. As individuals we have our own varied personal beliefs, we speak for ourselves and not as a whole. We unify under the banner of Miasmic due to our mutual beliefs and interests; self-righteousness, scorn, wrath, extreme music, elitism to name a few is what binds us together as a group. For we are creatures of the same ilk. As far as the traditional sense of "satanic" black metal, this has become more or less a pantomime. A provocative attempt at joining the herd mentality of the "scene". Now I don't mean to write it off as such completely for there are those who remain true to a Luciferian or esoteric paragon of devotion, but too many go in halfhearted with such doctrines or are only concerned with the alluring image. Miasmic stands against humanity's current metaphysical stagnation. Let us be enlightened and attuned with mannaz & resuscitate heathen volition which our predecessors purged through fervent religious swindling. We sonically embody consecration through the path of darkness.

WULF:  Your live show involves animal skulls, candelabras, spikes, and, of course, soul-crushing black/death metal!   Unfortunately, I haven't personally had the pleasure of witnessing one of your shows in the flesh, but I have good friends who can attest to your powerful live conjuring. What are you hoping to accomplish with these live assaults/rituals?   What would you say to those who are curious about attending one of your shows?   What can they expect?

LYCANTHROMANCER: Ornaments & tools used within our formulae. We seek to rekindle the bestial flame in the hearts of our spectators; adulation is irrelevant, awakening is key.  Macabre substance & barbaric imagery only enforces the affirmation we evoke. Each show a ritual and each song a passage in the tome of our black work. Other extreme manifestations will come to fruition in the near future. For now one can expect cryptic somber ambiance amidst desolate cacophony.

WULF:  Humboldt County is absolutely fucking gorgeous (according to my friends and the internet, I haven't been there personally).   Is there any specific way you draw influence from nature, such as through exploration, ritual, mind-expanding chemicals (you are in Humboldt, after all :D ), etc.?   

LYCANTHROMANCER: The call of the wild is embedded within our persona. To wander behind the redwood curtain and behold the grandeur of aeons is truly inspiring. We venerate & translate our homage through an audial medium, an ode to the ancients. The wellspring of influence flows from our return to the resemblance of the primeval & exploring the oldest remnants of the land. Whilst we have partaken the psychedelic offerings of the soil, they have served as enhancers to our personal means.

WULF:   I'm always interested in a band's non-musical influences much more than any musical ones.   Themes, atmosphere, and lyrics should be just as important the music!   Is there any literature/film/non-musical stuff that your listeners can check out that will enhance their understanding/experience of your music?   Also, is there a chance you will ever release the official lyrics for your music?

LYCANTHROMANCER:  Agreed, the literary weaving of mysticism is paramount to the art in which we exsanguinate from our psyche. We have drawn inspiration from the works of Evola, Nietzsche, Crowley, Jung, & Pagan ideology to bate. A nihilistic/ atavist perspective is desired. Whatever stirs the waters of our intellect. Upon the topic of lyrics we would definitely like to incorporate them within our releases yet as of late we have rushed our ephemera. Those who seek to gaze upon our text must simply contact us.

SKORPIUS: I think I've always been drawn towards art, literature, and film that explores abstract, supernatural, and dark or grotesque themes. Some favorites include H.P. Lovecraft, Nietzsche, Stephen King, Clive Barker, David Lynch, Terry Gilliam, Salvador Dali, and H.R. Giger. 

WULF:  I'd like to go back a bit into your past.   Miasmic has been around since 2006, but you finally got a permanent bass player (Altar) just last year.   How did you find this dude, and is he involved with any other bands?   Is the metal scene small there, or were you just waiting to find "the right person"?  Also, you mentioned a few years ago on your Facebook page that you had found a bass player for one of your live shows.   Did this ever work out?  I can only ever find pictures of you guys performing as a three-piece.

LYCANTHROMANCER: The metal scene here is rather minuscule with any worthwhile musicians being transitory (we are located in a college town). Few have been auditioned with none being exemplary throughout the years. Miasmic remained a strong force to be reckoned with as a three piece. However, we felt limited with what we could instigate live as a trio. Until we met Altar. Altar approached us sometime last year & inquired about us needing a bass player. He auditioned, quickly picked up our material, and exhibited the dedication we sought in an initiate without any other musical endeavors. He is a permanent member of our sect & collaborates in the creation process. Hail Altar! While Miasmic remains our primary focus, other projects are active. Iishtok beats skins and bronze for death/grind hounds Sadistic Hallucinations & Skorpius provides artillery for death/thrash horde Infernal Damnation

WULF:   You released the mayhemic "Spectral Wrath" full-length in 2013. You also recently re-released your first album, "Amongst the Ancient Ones", which was remastered and also features brand new artwork.   It seems like maybe you felt that the original mastering wasn't the best, but why the change in artwork?   Who did the art for the re-release?    What are your plans for 2015 and the near future?  Any new music, tours, shows, music videos, etc.?

SKORPIUS: We've basically been teaching ourselves how to record music with each release. The first time around, we didn't really know about things like master bus compression, limiters, etc. so we just released the album with every song pushed into the red to make it loud enough. Once I started learning more about all the steps involved in music post-production, I went back to the original recordings and started messing around with them, just trying to practice and learn more about the whole process. It wasn't really until I showed the rest of the band my re-mastered version that we decided to reprint the album. At first we were going to use the original cover image, but one day I was browsing on MoonRing Design's website, and something jumped out at me, so we decided to also revamp the artwork. The back cover is actually the same on both versions of the album. 

LYCANTHROMANCER: The latter half of the year will see the unveiling of our third full length offering as well as a west coast tour thereafter. Miasmic will not cease. Our art will only intensify & evolve.

Friday, June 26, 2015


When it comes to metal or extreme music, living in South Korea can be extremely frustrating.   It's obvious that there are enough bands and fans here to make a halfway decent "scene", so why is it that the turnout at most of these shows is always a little disappointing?

1.   There is very little in the way of any real organization.   There are random Facebook groups that have some upcoming show announcements.  There are various websites that occasionally do some promotion.   And, of course, there's word of mouth.   I guess it's also worth pointing out that there's a language barrier as well, since we are in Korea, after all.

2.   Metal (or any non-pop / soft rock for that matter really) just isn't that popular here.   However, in a nation of roughly 50 million people that is also literally HALF the size of Minnesota and with excellent, relatively cheap transportation, it blows my mind that there is a struggle to get even like 50-100 people to show up at a gig.

3.   Promotion itself is abysmal.   Of course, it's possible that this could be a language issue and that most foreigners are then just left out in the cold since most of us don't speak Korean (and thus, don't check Korean websites and that kind of thing), but I doubt it.   I'd say that at any given show, roughly half of the people there are usually foreigners.   If the show was really well promoted for the Korean fans, then I'd expect the ratio of the attendees to be a lot more unbalanced.

Even North Korea is excited about Asia Metalhead finally going live!
When I was living in Sydney I had no problem whatsoever learning about shows, and this had nothing to do with the fact that I'm an English speaker.    The scene itself was just extremely well-organized, in large part due to the Gig Guide at Australian Metal Guide.   Even a non-English speaker would be able to figure out what was going on based on the clear design and layout of that site.

Well, finally metal fans living in Korea and East Asia have something that offers some hope!   My buddy Dan Orozco started a website, "Asia Metalhead", which aims to make it easier for everyone to keep up with what the fuck is going on in terms of gigs and shit here in the Far East!    Metal fans in Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia should all check it out!

Also, if you have any news of upcoming shows, no matter how big or small, I'm sure Dan would appreciate it, plus anyone else who just wants to keep up with what's going on.  


The video above features the killer Korean death metal band, Seed, but also some rare footage of Wulf (denim vest with Bathory backpatch) and Judge Dredd (bro in the flannel to my left) drunk as fuck and looking like noobs, but having a goddamn blast!!  You, too, can partake in the blasphemic ritual chaos!!  Go to Asia Metalhead, find out about the next show, and if you're extremely lucky you may even see one (or BOTH!!!!) of us there!!!

You can stalk him at: https://www.facebook.com/metalsamurai?fref=ts
You can hit him up on Kakao Talk at: danorozco666
You can spam his email at: daniel-orozco@live.com
You can try to get him to do a live striptease via Skype at: dan.orozco

Monday, June 15, 2015

My Favorite Metal Albums For Different Situations and Settings

I'll own up to it...I have a problem with complete silence.  Whether I'm hanging out in my apartment, driving in my car, or working out at the gym, I always have to listen to music. The only time I DON'T feel compelled to listen to music is when I'm in the company of others.

I don't exactly know why I can't handle silence. On the obvious side of things, I'm just a humongous fan of music. However, I also experience a lot of "noise" in my head (as in, a rapid-paced cycling through various barely-connected thoughts) when I'm not focusing on one subject or idea, so I think music helps me concentrate and filter out this "noise".
Through constantly listening to music, I've found that there are perfect combinations of bands and/or subgenres of Metal with different situations and settings.
Thus, in this post, I am going to divulge my favorite albums/sub-genres for different situations and settings. The situations and settings will start out with more general, daily activities and then will get more specific.


Bro, do you even RIFF?!?!  There is no FUCKING way that I am going to the gym without a fair amount of Metal on my iPod.  I'll always remember listening to "Reign in Blood" by Slayer while I was on the treadmill and feeling like I was a viking running into battle. I am not joking when I say that I felt a surge of adrenaline pumping through me at that moment. Runner's high? Could have been. Metal high? DEFINITELY.

It's actually really hard to narrow it down, but I would probably say "City", by Strapping Young Lad is the my favorite Metal workout album.  Nearly the entire album is fast-paced, intense, and over-the-top in every sense. I try to time it so I'm doing cardio for all of the faster songs at the beginning of the album, and then lifting for the slower tracks towards the end.  Or, if my workout is longer than 39 minutes and 22 seconds (it usually is, bro), I just put that shit on repeat...bro.


It really depends on when and where I'm going and for what purpose, but there is nothing that compares to listening to select albums/tracks by Isis and Cult of Luna while driving on the highway at night. And yes, "Somewhere Along The Highway" by Cult of Luna is usually my go-to in this situation. The relative silence and desolate sameness of the highway at night is really isolating in a sense, and for this reason, the often minimalistic and spacy sounds of bands like Isis and Cult of Luna is a perfect way to both somehow embrace and transcend that isolation at the same time.



Now, admittedly, I once had sex to the song "The Last with Pagan Blood" by Amon Amarth...on repeat. And I'll never forget the story of our friend (who shall remain nameless) having anal sex with his hardcore Catholic girlfriend (they have long since broken up) while listening to Dying Fetus.

But, really? Is there any Metal that is "sexy"? None, in my humble opinion.

A long time ago, Wulf and I had a discussion based on this premise: "Is there any music less sexy than Metal?" The conclusion was that Noise Music (a la Whitehouse or Merzbow) was the only music less sexy than Metal. 

If you want to put on some brutal, guttural Death Metal or some kvlt Black Metal while doing the dirty, be my guest. But I will personally be putting on some chill baby-making electronic music, thank you very much.  My Bloody Valentine is also great for the sideways hokey-pokey.

Pre-gaming and Partying

Back in the good 'ol days (circa 2004-2008), we would throw Metal parties where everyone would dress in their most grim Metal getup, drink the cheapest of beers, and listen to Metal all through the night - corpse paint REQUIRED.  Seeing as how the majority of our friends are/were not Metalheads, this was a rather rare occurrence.

During these parties, there were SO many good Classic Metal and Thrash Metal albums that my friends and I threw on for some good 'ol fashioned Metal Party Madness™, that it's hard to pick one.  With that being the case, I'm going to come out of left field a little bit and say 'God Luck and Good Speed' by Weedeater was often a go-to party album for us in the latter part of the good 'ol days era.  This is partly because Weedeater would often tour through our hometown.  Not to be outdone by "Dixie" Dave, my friends and I would often get batshit-crazy drunk at their shows. My favorite memory of getting fucked up with Weedeater involved me jumping on stage and pouring PBR down Wulf's throat. The one time that I failed to attend a Weedeater show, my friends that went said that "Dixie" Dave set a bucket on stage for him to puke into. Good times.


Damn, this is hard.  If I were more of a fan of Pagan/Folk Metal, I would most certainly go with something in that sub-genre.  It kind of depends on what mood I'm in, but I would probably say my go-to is Wolves in the Throne Room.  Stereotypical, I know, but listening to WITTR is practically a fucking pagan ritual in of itself.  Combine that with being alone in the woods, and you're basically transcending consciousness or whatever.


It's no secret that I'm not a fan of cleaning. I am certainly not the dirtiest person, but cleaning is usually on the bottom of my list of things to do. When I clean, I want to get it done as quickly as possible. For this reason, I've found that Math/Noisecore is fucking amazing for cleaning. It kind of makes sense too: Math/Noisecore is the aural equivalent of taking meth, and I'll be damned if methheads aren't amazing cleaners. It's all in the details!


To be honest, I don't often listen to Metal when I cook. However, I can't get the idea of listening to Power Metal while cooking out of my head and I don't really know why. Is cooking really that epic? Maybe. Maybe because I just associate both fine cuisine and Power Metal with Europe. Who knows? Anyway, I'll raise my spatula to that.

When You've Had Just the Shittiest Day and Nothing Seems to Have Gone Right

For me, it's usually not one large thing that goes wrong (thankfully), but a series of really small things (thankfully...?). Unfortunately, I'm the type of person where it takes me a while to isolate these small things in my mind, and sort of laugh them off and remove them as barriers to having at least an average day.

On days like this, there is no better release than listening to KC Hardcore Overlords, Coalesce. For me, their later material has the perfect balance of groove and punch, noisy and chaotic, to really get out all of that negative energy built up from all of those small things going wrong.

I remember one time in junior high absolutely cranking "cowards.com" by Coalesce and stomping around my room while raging on a pillow. I can't quite recall what I was so angry about, but listening to Coalesce seemed to help out quite a bit.

When You're Momentarily Very Angry About Something

I know what you're thinking, but I really don't have much of anger problem. But just like everyone else, I will sometimes get very frustrated or angry about something relatively small (e.g. I just spilled coffee everywhere, my jacket zipper will NOT.FUCKING.ZIP.UP.) for a just a moment before I realize how ridiculous it is that I'm getting angry about something so small and I laugh at myself. But a number of small things like this can create a bad day for me, as previously mentioned. As illogical and possibly counter-productive as it might sound, listening to a band that is ludicrously angry is usually a great way to quell my momentary anger.

You probably knew what was coming with this one: Grindcore

I can think of only two or three times in the last few years where I was explosively angry about something for more than a moment. That's usually just solved the way my Dad always did: wait until you're relatively isolated (or as isolated as you can be) and just yell a lot until you're not angry anymore. Or listen to Grindcore. Whatever works.

That Sort of Existential Shame that Comes With a Massive Hangover

God, these mornings, afternoons, and (God forbid) early evenings are the absolute worst, and they are 80% of the reason why I don't drink nearly as much or as often as I used to.

Let's set the scene: you were out until 5:00 a.m. drinking, and then you wake up at noon. You've slept off your drunkenness, so there's no way that your brain can now hold off the coming onslaught of questions like, "What am I doing with my life?" "Why do I keep doing this to myself and expect a different outcome? Isn't that the definition of insanity?" "Is anything important?" "Is anything meaningful"?

It really just depends on how much further down the rabbit hole you want to go. I personally will start feeling anxious if I start listening to really depressing, somber metal like DSBM or most Doom Metal.

For these days, if I'm listening to any Metal at all, it has to be something unapologetically happy and/or triumphant. Something like the Kings of Metal, MANOWAR.

Manowar will lead you through the existential cesspool of your hangover to the glorious light.


As you may very well be able to ascertain, there is an endless amount of situations and settings that call for different Metal bands and/or sub-genres. 

What are some of your favorite combinations?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Terra Australis Merch + Nature Is Metal

Whoa!!  They had offered to send me some stuff, but I had no idea that they would actually follow through!!  Thank you so much to Terra Australis for hooking up Malicious Intent with these CDs and patches!!  Can't wait to check them out (and of course give them to some friends who think they can handle the unholy grimness contained within the music :D

In the meantime, working on some interviews now so be sure to check in later this May!

Oh, and this is pretty cool as well:

Listen and support Terra Australis' music: https://terraaustralis.bandcamp.com/releases
Keep updated about Terra Australis: https://www.facebook.com/TerraAustralisBlackMetal
Terra Australis' Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/SatansSoldiersElite
Terra Australis' Official Site: http://terraaustralisband.com/

Read the Malicious Intent exclusive interview with Terra Australis: http://maliciousintent666.blogspot.kr/2015/03/interview-with-invisus-of-terra.html

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Interview with Invisus of Terra Australis!!

Interview conducted via e-mail in March 2015.

Listen and support Terra Australis' music: https://terraaustralis.bandcamp.com/releases
Keep updated about Terra Australis: https://www.facebook.com/TerraAustralisBlackMetal
Terra Australis' Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/SatansSoldiersElite
Terra Australis' Official Site: http://terraaustralisband.com/

WULF:  There isn't too much information I can find about you guys...you are quite mysterious!   Give us a brief history of your band up to this point. 

INVISUS: The band began in mid 2008, release a few independent demos over the next 2-3 years. It originally had a more DBSM-type edge to it, but with the joining of new members and just time itself its become far more 80's death, thrash, black metal inspired. But still retains that atmosphere that it was originally founded on.

WULF:  Another obvious question we have to get out of the way...   You just successfully completed what appears to be your first tour of Japan.   How was it?   How did the Japanese metalheads react to your brand of evil-as-fuck black metal? 

INVISUS: It was our second tour we had done in Japan, the first was with Rotting Christ in 2014, the second tour was more successful than the first from having done the first already and people being more aware of our sound and songs etc. Which is I think the way you would want it, with every tour being better and paving the way for the next one.

WULF:  According to an early interview with Invisus, Terra Australis was intended to just be a solo endeavor... even going so far as to imply that it will always stay that way.   Why did he decide to expand the project into a full band?   Is the band still primarily driven by Invisus, or is it more of a collaborative, group effort at this point?

INVISUS: When I started the band I didn't have much outlook for where it would go and where I wanted it to go, I had been playing in other bands through out the previous years and was tired of the politics that bands can suffer from, so I wanted to do it on my own and have complete control. That ideal I was holding began to shift with meeting and talking with Thorgrim Hammerheart, it seemed obvious to me he was a much better vocalist and would only benefit from being apart of Terra Australis, and that then snowballed into wanting to do gigs and therefore more members. But as for musical and lyrical say so, its still in my hands. I'll still write 80% odd of every release and designing cover art etc.

WULF:   It's clear that Satan / Satanism plays an important role in your music.  Is your concept of Satan literal, metaphorical, or perhaps even a bit of both? Is there a specific form of Satanism or dark philosophy / belief system that unites the band?   Also, are there any writings or works of literature that can help the listener better understand / appreciate your music?   What are you hoping to accomplish with Terra Australis?   This is the sort of question that I really wish we could elaborate on together in detail, as I find this subject fascinating, but unfortunately it's difficult to do via email / internet interviews.

INVISUS: That is a big question with a long answer, to sum it up would be to say, Satan too Terra Australis is the carnal lust for power and destruction that is in every person. The instinct of ambition and domination I guess is another way to say it.  When it comes to literature, philosophy etc we take
certain methods of thought from a lot of places so its hard to name a single book or work that reveals everything, because rule number one in life is no one is always right.  As for what we plan to accomplish is certainly close to that ideal, more power, stronger, heavier. The band itself to become bigger and bigger without a single fucking note compromised for $$.

WULF:  Aside from Marduk, you guys are one of the best live black metal bands I've seen in a long time!   While you obviously have your own sound and style, I really felt a strong old-school Scandinavian black metal vibe (especially from a visual perspective), but with perhaps a bit more melody.  Do you agree with this? For those who haven't had the pleasure, what can people expect from a live Terra Australis show? 

INVISUS: We want to show people that the old school is alive and well, it has not gone anywhere nor will it. Our music is intense so we much be intense with our live performance visually and sonically. Of course we share a love for old Darkthrone, Burzum, Marduk, but also a lot for the real classics like Sodom, Kreator, Sadus, Possessed, Nihilist, Hell Hammer, Celtic Frost, Venom, Bathory, Sabbath, Dio, Priest, Motorhead, and more.

WULF:  It looks like both Warlock Necrofiend (guitars) and Desecrator (bass) recently quit the band, and have been replaced by Morgue and Abysmios, respectively.   What brought about this change in lineup?   Have you considered making Morgue and Abysmios permanent members, or is Terra 
Australis going to remain a 3-piece for the foreseeable future?

INVISUS: Terra for the moment will remain Thorgrim Raven and myself for the moment, With Warlock that was his choice to pursue another band he had started (Deathripper) with Desecrator there was just a mark that he wasn't able to reach.

WULF:  On this Japanese tour you were also joined by fellow Australians Earth Rot and The Arbiter.   Was it through this connection of being a part of the Australian underground metal scene that led you to join this tour, or was it something else?   Do you feel as if you play a role in the local Melbourne black metal scene, or do you prefer to isolate yourself from this sort of thing?   Having lived in Sydney, I'm much more familiar with the New South Wales black metal scene than the one in Victoria... for the most part, is there a friendly / serious rivalry or competition between the two (or even with Perth for that matter!), or do the two not really associate? 

INVISUS: We were offered to play on the tour from a contact in Sydney, and since like I said already touring with the same company the year before. We don't really associate with many other bands and more just do our own thing in our own time. Where there is people there is bullshit, and we decided its best to be avoided. As for Melbourne vs. Sydney, I think that really depends on who you are asking, as for me no not really.

WULF:  Stupid question... but why did The Raven cut his hair?   Long hair may be a huge pain in the ass, but it's also way more evil! 

INVISUS:  Yeah it's shit, but it was a thing he had to do for a new line of work he was taking up. He's not going to be removed over something like that, his dedication to Terra is without question.

WULF:  What are your goals for the future?  Any upcoming tours, releases, or music videos you'd like to tell us about?   Also, any chance of you guys making a stop in South Korea? 

INVISUS: We are working on the final recordings for a new Cd to have out by late this year, try and sort out it being released on a proper label rather then Independent like almost all the others, Its has this real old school Death metal over tone to it.

Here is a promo release of some of the songs for your readers:

If we got a solid offer to play in South Korea then we would be there!

WULF:  The interrogation is over!  Any final proclamations / blasphemies / curses for our readers?

INVISUS: Born to lose, live to win!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Interview with Hedge Wizard!!

Interview conducted via e-mail in March 2015.

Listen and support Hedge Wizards' music: https://hedgewizard.bandcamp.com/
Keep updated about Hedge Wizard: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hedge-Wizard/725977330805106

WULF: OK, there's seriously like no information about you that I can find on the internet, except that you're from Toledo, Ohio, and you produce your own minimalist dungeon synth music recordings on cassette tapes. Tell us about yourself, Mr. Wizard!

HEDGE WIZARD: Yes, I am from Toledo.    I live in a place that sort of feels like a boarding house for factory and retail workers.  A lot people in one spot, you know.  Working long hours while playing games and drinking on our nights off.

I occupy my time with a lot of other good stuff though like books, comics and magazines.  However, I do spend most of my time playing and listening to music, while at the same time trying to avoid both death and taxes.

WULF: Speaking of cassette tapes, I like the art that you've chosen for the cover. Did you make this art yourself? If not, then who did? 

HEDGE WIZARD: Yes, I created the cover.   I just wanted to make something by hand and have some fun with it.  It seemed to work out in the end and the response I have got back has been encouraging.

WULF: Your music seems to fall into the "old-school" dungeon synth style, similar to (era I) Mortiis and point-and-click adventure games from the 1990s. Do you agree with this?

HEDGE WIZARD: I'm not sure where this album would be placed.  I would have to leave that for others to decide.   But when it comes to Dungeon Synth inspiration, I was listening to a lot of Gvasdnahr and Darkstroll at the time.  Along with a lot of the 90's DS recordings.  So I'm sure some of that influenced my musical direction.

WULF:  Is this a particular style you are aiming for on purpose, or is it just a matter of working with a lower budget? 

HEDGE WIZARD: There was no clear direction for this album. It was just a hodgepodge of spells I conjured with the equipment that I had.

WULF:  Do you plan on making future Hedge Wizard music within this style, or could you see your music evolving into something similar in sound to the newer, neo-dungeon synth style (such as Erang or Lord Lovidicus)?

HEDGE WIZARD: I am not entirely sure what the horizon brings.

WULF: Is "More True Than Time Thought" a concept album, or is there an underlying, unifying theme? Honestly, the vibe I get is that each song has kind of its own mood and storyline, but that's just my interpretation. 

HEDGE WIZARD: This album is about smoke emerging from strange mixtures.  The aroma of mildew in a dank hall.  Maybe this music sets the pace to the beads of sweat that roll down your face at the climax of a reoccurring nightmare.  These are a few of my favorite things.

WULF: Also, is there a particular way in which you would encourage the listeners to experience your music? Personally, I think most dungeon synth works best as ambient music for table-top RPG sessions in the evening, but I'm not sure if everyone else feels that way.

HEDGE WIZARD:  Like any music, I believe it is in the eye of the beholder.  I could see a lot of pen and paper players really digging Dungeon Synth for their sessions.  Or set the mood for a fantasy author to write their stories.  It could be the soundtrack to an entity's nightly musings.  Personally I love to walk around or drink ale while telling stories. I suppose everyone has their own unique interpretation.

WULF: Are tabletop role-playing and/or computer games an influence in your music? I know that many dungeon synth artists have gaming backgrounds...

From when I opened up my first Magic booster and smelled that fresh print to the grueling raids during the MMO boom, I would say I have some gaming blood.  And yes, quite a few RPG and tabletop sessions.

WULF: Is there any literature that you'd like to recommend that has either played a big role in your music production, or would perhaps enhance the listener's experience or understanding of your music?

Reading is probably my biggest past time besides music and it has a large influence on my musical script.  I enjoy the Sword and Sorcery short stories the most.  One of my favorite authors being Fritz Leiber.  I've recently been reading the Swords of Steel anthology by DMR Books. That's been killer.

WULF: Along the same lines, is there any particular philosophy or world you are attempting to convey through your music, or at least something along these lines that you adhere to and would like to share with us?

HEDGE WIZARD: The blending of the real world and the fantastic.  I walk this line constantly.

WULF: I've asked you a bit about your plans for the future of your music, but would you like to add to this? What can Hedge Wizard fans expect from you in the coming months or next couple of years?

HEDGE WIZARD: I'm not sure when the next album will be ready, but I am working on it.  Only time will tell.

WULF: That's all the questions I have for you, my friend!! Any final spells or incantations before we end this Malicious interrogation?

HEDGE WIZARD:  Hey! Thanks for the interview Wulf.

Forever In The Dungeon!

You can read more of Wulf's thoughts on Hedge Wizard here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dungeon Synth Explorations - Part 4 - Hedge Wizard

Click below to check out previous installments of this series!
Part 1 - here
Part 2 - here
Part 3 - here

Hedge Wizard is a very mysterious, obscure dungeon synth artist hailing from the equally mysterious, obscure city of Toledo, Ohio (seriously though, I know nothing about Toledo).   What I find most interesting about his style is that it reminds me not so much of (Era I) Mortiis or Wongraven, but point-and-click adventure games from the 1990s instead.

Have you ever played Inherit the Earth?   I remember playing this game for hours when I was about 9 or 10 years old, and really loving the game in terms of storyline and atmosphere even though I found it to be pretty difficult.   Actually, it was because of a glitch that caused me to never actually finish the game, so I've always been meaning to go back and see what happens to Riff after he escapes the dungeon of Dog Castle!  Anyway, the point of this story is that for some reason the music from this game really stuck with me, even though when I listen to it now it doesn't seem that special or memorable.   I guess I just really loved the ambiance that the low budget keyboards generated...it really matched the "low-fantasy" style of the game, much different than the high fantasy atmosphere that I was used to from playing hours of Warcraft 2 or Baldur's Gate.  It was because of these games from the '90s like Inherit the Earth or Hero's Quest/Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero that made me appreciate this specific video game soundtrack style, and for whatever reason Hedge Wizard's music reminds me of that.

More True Than Time Thought (2014)

I feel like this would make the perfect soundtrack to browsing through the original AD&D rulebooks... this music doesn't exactly make me think of someone tiptoeing through a dungeon, but instead maybe a wizard or enchanter reading up on mysterious creatures of the wilderness in a large, dusty tome.   You can emulate this by dusting off your old original AD&D monster manuals, loading a pipe of your favorite shit to smoke / alcoholic beverage, and spending an afternoon or evening checking out the cool shit inside!
Each of the songs kind of have their own mood, but they all fit into a similar, laid-back kind of style that really leaves a lot of room for your imagination to explore.  For example- "The Conjurer's Clutter" makes me think of an absent-minded wizard bumbling around his weird tower trying to remember where he put the final ingredient for some strange concoction he's been working on for months... I don't know if you guys are into Lamentations of the Flame Princess or not, but it kind of reminds me of the "Tower of the Stargazer" adventure.   Or another favorite, "Huffing Petrichor", brings to mind a scene of a sorcerer inhaling mysterious fumes reminiscent of the smell of petrichor and recalling some sort of riddle or code that he encountered decades ago that still remains unsolved to this day.   Honestly though, my favorite song on the record is the first track, "Ancient Vibrations".   While it's certainly evocative and atmospheric, it's one of the few songs on the album that doesn't immediately bring a scene to my mind...it's just the one that reminds me the most of the old games I was talking about earlier.

So if you want to listen to some more laid-back, lo-fi, simplistic dungeon synth that still does an excellent job of stimulating the imagination and evoking an old-school, retro-gaming atmosphere, then definitely check this album out!!

You can listen to the entire album here.

Keep updated about Hedge Wizard: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hedge-Wizard/725977330805106