Saturday 13 November 2010

Interview with Samu Salovaara of Swallowed

Swallowed are one of the best death metal bands out there right now. Alongside some of their Scandinavian counterparts—think Obliteration, Diskord etc.—they're kind of reinventing death metal, or rather, redefining it. I spoke to guitarist and scribe Samu Salovaara, earlier in the week.

AFITFOG: Your sound has evolved since your first demo in 2007, would you say this is due to the additional members or just an obvious path for you as musicians?
Salovaara: Both. It was clear what the primal emotion that we wanted to carry was, but of course the pathway is not always so clear. The songwriting is still basically done by me and Ville, and so are most of our rehearsals, as it has been since 2008s "Epitaph Of Nauseation" demo. There hasn't been any major influence from other members in that respect, but it builds a different atmosphere when we all play together.

Your style, in the beginning, was heavily influenced by Autopsy, would you say they are one of the main reasons you started the band? If not, what was your motivation?
It's not as blunt as WE PLAY AUTOPSY, but mainly the spirits were so in tune with made it inevitable.

You have moved onto a more stripped down sound, with more black metal influences, what are your influences outside metal/music? Drugs, movies, nature, etc.
Yes, we've stripped away everything useless. Drugs as gateways into the primal matter, yes. Paintings, nature, movies - every higher action tells us something about our own music.

Will you continue this sound into your forthcoming LP?
This sound will go on, however it's clear that development will be towards ever more subtle planes.

Where will you be recording this album?
Undecided, as yet. We've been thinking of an analog studio outside of Helsinki, but no decision's been made. Of course, the temptation of recording it by ourselves in peace and quiet away from a sound guy sounds very pleasing.

Who is your chief songwriter?

I build the pillars of the song with riffs, after that there might be the contribution of additional riffs from other members too, or just basic ideas. Structures are more Ville's forte, but they are worked in co-operation. Basically, it's me and Ville doing all the composing.

Do you have any rituals to uphold when songwriting?
The urge to conduct a black mass prior and post has not yet materialized.

You played this year's Kill-Town Deathfest in Denmark alongside Miasmal, Maim, Putrid and Obliteration, to name a few. How was it to be asked to play this prestigious event?
It was very cool for a festival. Very positive atmosphere. We had some problems with our soundcheck and the sound wasn't as good as we'd hoped, but it still sounded pretty necro.

What bands are you interested in at the moment? Anything new from Finland we should be keeping an eye on?
Just the same - Beherit.

Lastly, why the name Swallowed?
The alchemical stage between Solve et Coagula.

Swallowed (Finland) Epitaph Of Nauseation (2008)

1.Coffin Slumber
2.Epitaph of Nauseation
3.Horrifying Visions
4.In the Grip of Winter (Autopsy cover)


Tuesday 9 November 2010

A Fist in the Face of God presents... Out Of The Dark/Into The Light - A Compilation by Brad

After the success of Brad, of Nocturnal Cult‘s, first hardcore mix, he swiftly made me another one. Well, apparently the first one was kinda old, so he felt obliged to make me a new new one, if you follow. Anyways, I like to workout to hardcore–nothing too strenuous: some press-ups, a few sit-ups. I call it “the crucial workout”. I told Brad this and he said, “The first part of it won’t be much of a workout session. It is some of the darkest hardcore out there. Very Metallic! But then the workout session begins. Hehe.” Well, here it is, you decide.


1. Congress (Belgium) – “The Darkside” (1995)
2. Morning Again (USA) – “As Tradition Dies Slowly” (1998)
3. Integrity (USA) – “Searching for Divinity” (1995)
4. Damnation A.D. (USA) – “No More Dreams” (1995)
5. Unbroken (USA) -”Fall on Proverb” (1994)
6. Undertow (USA) – “Control” (1994)
7. Lash Out (Norway) – “Winteryear” (1995)
8. Outspoken (USA) – “A Light in the Dark” (1992)
9. Trial (USA) – “Quest” (1997)
10. Abhinanda (Sweden) – “My Source” (1995)
11. Insted (USA) – “Good Things” (1988)
12. Uniform Choice (USA) – “Screaming for Change” (1985)
13. No For An Answer (USA) – “Without A Reason” (1988)
14. Sick Of It All (USA) – “World Full of Hate” (1989)
15. Slapshot (USA) – “Firewalker” (1990)
16. Ten Yard Fight (USA) – “Holding On” (1996)
17. Side By Side (USA) – “Look Back” (1988)
18. Mouthpiece (USA) – “Nothing There” (1994)
19. Champion (USA) – “The Insider” (2004)
20. Sinking Ships (USA) – “Auburn” (2006)


Click here if you missed the first mix.

Friday 5 November 2010

Demo Attack!

Spectral Birth (Australia) Raze (1990)

2.Bodies Crushed By Tanks
3.Carnal Butchery
4.Yellow Tears
5.Frog of Fear

Okay, so it's been a while since I posted any demos, and yes, I know I posted Spectral Birth's first demo last time but hey, this one is even better! To me, this is PERFECT SOUNDING thrash in terms of guitar sound, aggressiveness etc. And good to see fellow Aussie's Vomitor continue these ideals. I know I keep banging on about it, but the new record, Devils Poison, is so fucking brutal.


Doomed (US) Haematomania (1992)

4.Twelve Prophecies

are another 90s Chris Reifert project, similar to Autopsy in ways, maybe a little 'groovier'. Arild of Obliteration put me onto this one when we drove to Kanalrock festvial for their performance there this year.


Aura Noir (Norway) Dreams Like Deserts (1995)

1.The Rape
2.Forlorn Blessings to the Dreamking
3.Dreams Like Deserts
4.Angel Ripper

This is about as black as thrash metal has ever been. Apollyon told me their logo came from rotating the letters of the latter-era Celtic Frost logo, and it can really be seen on the cover of this release. The version of "Mirage" on this release is the original and not the one with Fenriz on vocals. Apollyon destroy!


Deathroner (Canada) Deathroner (2007)

1.Evil I
4.March to War

Wow, this one is a scorcher. Canadian black/speed metal band whose myspace tagline reads, "An ironfist in the face of god!" You know what to do. Thanks to Kick et al for turning my ears to this on my trip to Kolbotn in the summer.


Antichrist (Sweden) Crushing Metal Tape (2008)

2.Coven of Evil
3.Metal Attack
4.Torment in Hell

Antichrist are one of the best thrash acts out there right now, alongside Deathhammer and Nekromantheon, making perfect 80s thrash. This is less black than the two previously mentioned, more out-and-out 80s thrash fucking metal, in the vein of early Slayer, if you must. Their new tape, Put To Death, is maybe the best thing I have heard all year and it's been quite a year. The title track is still blowing my mind just thinking about it. Anyway, this one is also excellent, I ripped it from my own copy of the cassette, #76 of the Zombie Ritual pressing. "This one's for you Satan!"