Doom Interview

Some bands need no introduction. For over a quarter of a century, Doom have been a driving force in Crust Punk and have put out multiple LP’s, EP’s, demos, and split releases. You cannot play or know of crust punk without hearing Doom – they’re that essential and iconic. Which is why I feel chuffed to bits at having the chance to interview a band that’s had a huge impact on my life since the day I first heard them as a confused teenage lad. Read on to read my interview with founding member Bri!

 

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– Cheers from Pakistan! How’s everything going? Which member of the band am I speaking to?

Hi This is Bri Doom! Hello Pakistan!

 

 

– Congratulations on the release of your latest LP “Corrupt Fucking System.” It’s been a long while since the last full length release from Doom, so how has the new album been received thus far?

Really well. We’ve had an overwhelming positive response from people all over the world. People seem happy that we’re still producing a similar style of noise, that’s still relevant & angry as ever!

 

 

– The new record harkens back to the early days of Doom by being spontaneous and aggressive as ever – in some respects a bit more, but also with the vintage sounding production that sounds straight out of 1993. What was the recording experience like, considering the long gap since “World of Shit”?

It was very positive but also very hard work for me as I also recorded it! (engineered, produced, mixed & mastered!). It’s a great feeling that we have done it ourselves, but also many, many hours of hard work. I know what we should sound like & in fact what we do sound like & I’m pretty happy with the translation onto “tape”. I’m still not 100% happy with it, but then I’m never entirely happy with anything I record. Can be quite frustrating (especially for my wife!)

 

 

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– The band has survived for more than a quarter of a century now, and has kept true to its music and ideologies – despite line-up changes, label problems and even the death of a band member. Did you expect the band to last this long when you started it? What’s kept the motivation strong for keeping the band active despite all the troubles?

Definitely not in the beginning, but later on I always felt that Doom would be in my life for along time. Its my “sound”, its what I enjoy playing (on guitar) and the ideologies which the band represent mean a lot to me. Some of the line-up changes were awkward and Wayne’s death was extremely tough, but now we are back doing what we should be. It feels right.

 

 

– You chose to release the new record on your own label “Black Cloud Records.” What prompted you to start your own label, instead of going through the tried and tested method of releasing through established labels?

We’ve always wanted to do it. Its now that we’ve had the opportunity (& the money). We’ve always been let down by other labels (Except one occasion), so this time we wanted to keep in 100% control of it ourselves. Its quite hard work, especially the physical act of posting out vinyl & CD?s. Thank fuck Stick is on the case with that, but hey, I did all the recording hard work so I don’t feel bad. Singers & bassists eh?… The easy life!

 

 

– Do you plan on releasing records from other bands through your label, or will it purely be to serve Doom as a band?

Maybe in the future, it would be nice to help out bands who we like and share ideals. But for now just doing our own stuff is enough. We all work as well, so have limited time.

 

 

– With the rise of fascism and revival of far-right ideologies via groups such as the EDL, do you think that makes anti-fascist Crust Punk bands like yourself even more relevant today?

Always. Punk music with a message is a great way of sticking together and empowering people to stand up to bullies like fascists. Fascism is always there, there’s not really revival with people like the EDL, but they manipulate popular concerns over Islamic fundamentalism to gain support for other hidden fascistic agendas (kind of ironic). There are still groups such as British People Party & New British Union Party as well as Blood and Honour. These goons tend to flitter from one organisation to another, often falling out with each other in the process, but they are dangerous especially when they pretend to be something they are not. There was recent trouble with a band called Pressure28 whose vocalist is a convicted fascist. They supported the UK Subs, which was bad news. There’s also the NSBM idiots around in the UK, under various neo-folk guises who occasionally crawl from beneath a rock to spout their shit.

 

 

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– Lyrically Doom still continues to cover all the important topics. Anti-racism, anti-fascism, anti-war, anti-misogyny, etc. However, looking through the lyric sheet I can hardly find anything against Islamist Extremism/Suicide Bombing. On the contrary, themes like that are for some reason always in right-wing, white supremacist groups. As a Pakistani who has seen Islamic Extremism tear the land apart, it often worries me how all the anarchist or left-wing political Crust and Grind groups ‘avoid’ talking about these things, but the fascists do. Why do you think this is?

I am opposed to ALL religions. They are detrimental to the on-going evolution of humanity & are used (Primarily by men) to control other people. Providing false hope and twisted morality.

If you read some of our lyrics on previous releases you will see this theme reflected in them, such as “No Religion” or “Thanatophobia”.

On Corrupt Fucking System are there various references to our ideology on this subject for example “Prey for Our Souls”.

I have also written some lyrics for a new song (left over from the album) which will hopefully appear on a compilation?

“They Love Death More Than We Love Life”

Verse 1:

Brainwashed, blinded drones of faith,
“Bombs in Mom’s kitchen” recipe of hate.
Explosive-propelled feeble religion,
Nails & ball bearings ripping through skin.

Chorus:

They Love Death

Verse 2:

Sexual utopian dreams of death,
Conspire to eternalise unreasoned last breath.
Suicide vest hides sad insecurity
Sad waste of human evolutionary.

Chorus:

They Love Death

Verse 3:

Murder infidels chop off their heads,
Destroy non-believers, blow them to shreds.
Hardline true face, not “moderate” lies,
Exposes religion & destroys “free” lives.

Chorus:

They Love Death

I hope that addresses the “Anarchist/left-wing-crusty” bias.

 

 

– As a band that has had considerable influence in the world of extreme music, what’s your opinion on the International Crust Punk ‘scene’ today as compared to 25 years ago? Any modern bands that you listen to?

Much more global. Its good in some ways, but then in other ways it seems that it has become more of a fashion. People have the “crust” look down to a T, tight black jeans, studded denim etc etc… all a bit hipster to me (we call them “Crispy’s” haha. The other thing that annoys me is there seem to be a lot of younger “crusties” or punks who pertain to be “nihilists”, which I think is just an excuse not to think about the consequences of their actions. They look the part, but they go to McDonalds or the old “Ironic” excuse for being, basically an idiot! I just wonder what these people are interested in punk for? What are they rebelling against? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just buy a track suit and join the masses? I don’t know, maybe I’m just getting old & bitter.

As far as modern “crust” music, the ones I can think of that I like are Afterbirth (Might be no more), Black Code, Putrefaction, Bulletridden, Burning Flag, Infernöh, Napalm Raid.

 

 

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– You’ve played all over the world. Which city has had the best audience?

Blimey. Tough question. Too many great audiences all over the world! Er, dunno

 

 

– Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I hope when the situation in Pakistan improves, you guys can come play for all the local punk and metal kids. Any last words for the reader?

That would be amazing.

Take care & Stay Aware. Don’t let the bastards grind you down!

The only good fascist is a dead one!
http://www.doomcrustpunk.com
 

 

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Doom on Facebook

Doom on Bandcamp

Doom Official Website

 

 

– Hassan Dozakhi

Bauhaus – In The Flat Field (1980) [CLASSIC REVIEWS]

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One of the strongest debut albums ever released? Me votes! I want to start by telling how I first heard this band and bla bla bla but what does it matter how or when I came across these masterminds. What IS important though is that after reading to this 2 or 3 pages of junk (junk is attractive believe it or not) I might be successful in bending you to listen to this record.

Although Bauhaus is popularly believed to be a proto-goth band, I personally think they have a lot common with experimental music and art rock. Having said that, this album is their most gothic release to date and one which I adore the most.

“Dark Entries” as the opening track could not have been an accident. In many ways, it does set the tone for the rest of the album: Murphy’s weird, flat chants and yelps set against the unsettling backdrop of guitar feedback and squeals, heavy bass, and marching band drumbeats. Say what you want about Bauhaus and their frequent pretentiousness: they were fucking COOL.

After the pummeling beats of “Dark Entries,” the next song, “Double Dare” almost seems leaden, like some ridiculous version of an old Black Sabbath tune. It all sounds atonal and unhinged; something that would certainly drive parents crazy. Murphy ramps up the crazy vocal acrobatics and there’s scarcely a chorus in sight. (This style would later reach its apex in the almost-unlistenable “Swing the Heartache” from 1982′s The Sky’s Gone Out.)

Both David J’s bass and Kevin Haskins’ drumming are just fantastic on “In the Flat Field,” like some kind of controlled, bubbling cauldron. (Although I didn’t consciously realize it at first, Haskins’ style is awfully similar to the “Burundi Beat” drumming of Adam and the Ants, who I genuinely adore). Here we are also introduced to Murphy’s terrifically ludicrous, nonsensical lyrics: Yin and Yang lumber punch/Go taste a tart, then eat my lunch. What the eff, dude. Still, it sounds really good.

It puzzles me that “God In An Alcove” didn’t make it onto 1979 – 1983 as it’s definitely one of Bauhaus’s best songs, both lyrically and in terms of Daniel Ash’s guitar playing. (Okay, maybe the “Now I am silly” bit is a bit . . . silly.)

Damn it if “Dive” doesn’t full on rock, as much as a band like Bauhaus could rock, with cacophonous saxophone courtesy of Daniel Ash (and lyrics not unlike Duran Duran’s “Late Bar” from their own debut album). I’m also particularly enamored of “Spy in the Cab” with its squelchy, squirt-y keyboard flourishes and flair for espionage. Here Murphy actually sings instead of screaming. The ending vocalizations must have influenced a very young Brian Warner a.k.a. Marilyn Manson.

“Small Talk Stinks” is next, and the title says it all. You can also hear David J. on vocals. To me, this is an archetypal Bauhaus song, the kind that separates the casual fan from the hardcore one.

I must have listened to the radio broadcast of “St. Vitus Dance” dozens of times a year before I heard the record, desperately trying to discern what the hell Peter Murphy was singing. The Jew’s-harp-style keyboards fascinated me to no end, as did Murphy’s ability to shriek like a crazed banshee at the end. (The TeamRock radio RJ who played this called it “St. Vitrus Dance,” which still makes me laugh.)

Still, in terms of sheer self-indulgent lunacy, nothing can top “Stigmata Martyr.” David J’s low, insistent bass, which would later come to comprise most of the post-Bauhaus project Tones on Tail, is omnipresent. As a recovering Catholic and someone who simultaneously adored and was terrified of The Exorcist (I had to search this trivia though), it was impossible not to be totally enthralled by Daniel Ash’s outlandish guitar feedback and Murphy’s Latin chanting.

The album ends with the seven-minute-plus “Nerves,” featuring more of that rolling Haskins drumbeat offset by plinky, out of place piano. There is also something completely satisfying about Peter Murphy’s voice here.

Although I had more than one argument with people back in the day over whether or not Bauhaus sucked or was truly awesome, I like them, even though in retrospect, I admit that the arguments of pretentiousness are not without some merit.

 

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– Shams Uz Zuha

King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King (1969) [CLASSIC REVIEWS]

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God listened to “In the Court of the Crimson King” and saw that it was good. God divided Progressive Rock from the rest of the music.

I can’t find other words to describe the first hundred percent Progressive Rock album. There are times in life where certain events change one forever, be it a great love, the birth of a child, etc. While my turning point was not as epic as the birth of one’s child, I hold it just as important in this moment in time. That turning point, that great event was listening to “In the Court of the Crimson King” for the first time. Sadly King Crimson (in my humble opinion of course) never released any album that could even be near in quality or imagination to “In The Court of the Crimson King”, but in their defense it was not an easy task.

“21st Century Schizoid Man (Including Mirrors)” is an absolutely frantic song, seems chaotic but it’s perfect, the band expresses a sensation of frustration and anger that is transmitted to the listener, has abrupt changes, complex instrumentation and innovative sound, just what Progressive Rock means, brilliant.

“Talk to the Wind” is precisely the other side of the coin, starts with a soft flute by Ian McDonald and soon melts with Greg Lake’s beautiful voice, seems simple, only a soft ballad, but it’s more than that, mostly because of the way they combine the instruments, in a way that only some jazz virtuoso musicians did before.

“Epitaph” is a darker song with very obscure pessimistic lyrics, Lake’s voice adapts perfectly to Fripp’s guitar and the melancholic mellotron, a very atmospheric style that would be developed later by Gabriel’s Genesis. Some people believe it’s a sad ballad, but really is a very complex track that combines different rhythms and timing, also take note of the percussions which is brilliant.

“Moonchild” is the more jazz oriented track despite it keeps the Symphonic structure, starts calm and mellow with a very defined rhythm and an a unique guitar work, in the first listen you can get the impression that we are before another tune in the vein of “I Talk to the Wind”, but around the 3 minutes the fusion begins, nothing so complex and lack of logical structure had been done before, almost as if the band was in a jam session McDonald and Fripp are outstanding in this song.

“In the Court of the Crimson King, including The Return of the Fire Witch and the Dance of the Puppets” is an absolute masterpiece, lyrics are incredibly descriptive and combine perfectly with the music creating the medieval atmosphere, this song has everything, beauty, rhythm, complexity and lots of imagination, words are not capable of describing it, the perfect closer for a perfect album.

The great achievement of King Crimson is that in their debut release they managed to create an album that has 5 absolutely different songs that show 5 different aspects of prog rock: aggression, calm, darkness, fusion and the “closer” that blends all this aspects and more in a 9:22 minutes track.

Many bands released progressive or semi-progressive albums before, some of them are outstanding, but no other work can define the genre and set the status so high as” In the Court of the Crimson King”, the path is ready for other bands to follow, but what a job to reach the level of this masterpiece.

Whenever there is a discussion about Progressive Rock, people start mentioning bands like Pink Floyd, or even The Doors sometimes. I’ve seldom heard people talking about the great Crimson. A shame really.This whole album is an emotional roller coaster. It goes from frustrated, crazy, and angry to content and happy, from happy, to tormented and sad, and from that, to dreams and awe. This album has everything you need to make this a good album. You have all of the base human emotions, good music composition, talented musicians, and creative lyrics and structure. Forget Progressive Rock, if you like music in general… just, just listen to this.

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Grave Miasma – Odori Sepulcrorum (2013)

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UK Death Metallers, Grave Miasma have gained a very good reputation in the Death Metal underground over the years with their dense, atmospheric style of compositions, which is quite clearly influenced by New York Death Metal bands such as Incantation and Morpheus Descends. Yet, they manage to stand apart rather than being an obvious, uninspired clone. Formed in 2002 as Goat Molestor, they have kept their sound and style completely intact, but with the progression of time, their songwriting has definitely matured.

Their debut album, Odori Sepulcrorum, is the result of all the experience and skill they have gained over the years with their two EPs and constant touring with other bands of a high caliber. The composition style is signature Grave Miasma with non-muted tremolo riffs and heavy, doomy passages. This time, however, it is done with a much more logical progression and arranged into interesting song structures, contrary to a lot of their older compositions, which consisted of few riffs played over the entire song length and lacked some of the dynamics that this album has. Although their older formula worked wonders due to their immensely powerful atmosphere, the compositions here are far more gripping, making it a compelling listen throughout its playing time. All instruments are drenched in an ideal amount of reverb, bestowing a cryptic atmosphere upon them. Although other bands in the vein of Grave Miasma also focus in creating a dark and menacing atmosphere, they don’t quite do it the same way. Their focus is merely on obtaining the sound on an amplifier and putting it through the right effects in the studio. On the other hand, Grave Miasma realizes the importance of composition and execution to evoke a feeling of evil, keeping the effects a strictly secondary (yet important) part of the equation. I doubt that any random combination of notes, combined with the right effects creates the same feeling as carefully crafted songs.

Songwriting and music aside, the band also realizes the importance of aesthetics in Death Metal. The artwork and lyrics are in perfect resonance with each other and with the music. The lyrics deal with various occult practices and spiritual awakening. Reading the lyrics sheet while listening to the music adds to the overall atmosphere of the album – another indicator of how well-done this album is. Odori Sepulcrorum is my favourite Death Metal album of 2013, only second to Colored Sands (Gorguts). Now, to wait for the new Dead Congregation (whenever it comes out).

 

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Grave Miasma on Facebook

– Rohit Chaoji

Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures (1979) [CLASSIC REVIEWS]

We have guest writers doing classic reviews from time to time. This time around, Shams Us Zuha from Lahore decides to review Joy Division’s classic debut album.

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I’ve been a big follower of Steven Wilson, well known as the frontman of the prog rock outfit Porcupine Tree. And one of the most oft-repeated bands in his monthly playlists is Joy Division. That’s how I was first introduced to this album and hence Post-Punk. And so I’ve tried not to miss any aspect of this record.

The change from Joy Division to New Order following Ian’s suicide should be enough to convince anybody that he was the soul of the group. Sure, he had help! Hook, Hannett, those drum patterns that so disturbingly mirrored Ian’s own epileptic fits. He’d dance that way, like he was having a fit. Then he’d have an actual fit, but it’d be a good few minutes before anybody realized. Ian had an interest in all things German. Were Joy Division Nazis? Or was Ian just plugged into something? By all accounts, off-stage, out of the studio – he was quiet, thoughtful. But, you know. It was the times. Punk had happened but was on the verge of imploding. Britain suffered from poverty and everything seemed bleak – let’s look to Germany. Musical influences? Kraftwerk sounded like aliens. Iggy Pop was debauched yet utterly cool. Fans of the Velvet Underground were still some sort of secret society – the group had yet to pass into being ‘classic rock’, or anything like that. Joy Division combined a number of influences that added to the playing style of the rhythm section and the production skills of Martin Hannett created something unique. Of course, you also had the lyrics, the artwork. Everything combined together. You had the physicality of Ian Curtis on stage.

Have you ever made a suicide pact with someone? Young love, perhaps? This girl wore an ‘Unknown Pleasures’ t-shirt. Two people totally together, two people who both wanted to die because they couldn’t always be physically together. Poverty, bleakness. All this is cliché, but sometimes it actually happens, and Joy Division aren’t the cause of that! Their music becomes this wonderful discovery. You end up watching poor quality videos of Joy Division with all the curtains shut even though the sun is shining brightly outside. BECAUSE the sun is shining brightly outside. You cry for three days solid when the girl leaves. You can’t be together all of the time. You walk the streets at night with ‘Disorder’ running through your brain. “Feeling, feeling, feeling, feeling, feeling, feeeeeling.” Raised, a shout, a call, a cry for help. Please let me feel something other than this. And then of course, ‘Day Of The Lords’ which sounds like the whole world is ending. The thing about Joy Division, ‘Disorder’ for example is just great, a genuinely great Rock n Roll song. You don’t have to have ever made a suicide pact with anybody in order to think it’s a wonderfully great song.

 

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Joy Division were almost perfect right from the start. Almost perfect. They had recorded a number of songs, far more straightforward punk, and also recorded an album for RCA records that was horribly produced and sapped the power from the group. That was before ‘Unknown Pleasures’ though. Martin Hannett was the catalyst. He enabled the group to produce the sounds they desired. Echo, haunting soundscapes. ‘Candidate’ has everything, the quintessential sound of ‘Unknown Pleasures’. “there’s blood on your fingers…. I worked hard for this….. you treat me like this.” A few of the songs here start in almost complete silence. ‘Insight’ is one of those. But then you have something like ‘New Dawn Fades’. Ian was a wonderful writer. A wonderful writer. Many rock lyrics, written out on a piece of paper, look like shit. They may sound great when sung, but they aren’t exactly poetry. Ian could really write. These lyrics work as well as literature as they do song lyrics. Now, think about this. You try doing it! You have to be either a poet, or a song lyricist. You can’t ever be both – if you try, you’ll suck at least one of those disciplines, and yeah, I include both Patti Smith and Bob Dylan in that. I don’t include Ian Curtis. There’s a thought he’d have gone on to write novels, and given up music. I can believe it. Where was I? It’s getting late I guess. Ah, yeah. ‘New Dawn Fades’…… I struggle to describe this song. It’s so dark and heavy; it really makes the supposedly dark and ‘satanic’ Black Sabbath seem like a kids cartoon. You want music to reflect and create the feeling of a horror movie? Joy Division did that, and more. They reflected real life, far more horrific. They also included a bass player who sounded like nobody else and a guitarist who was at least as good, if not better, than any other ‘punk’ group around.

‘She’s Lost Control’ is groovy rhythms, strange rhythms, very melodic whilst still retaining the darkness you can either immerse yourself in, take solace from, or simply ignore and enjoy the fantastic music. ‘Shadowplay’ is pretty much perfect. Just wait for the instrumental section. The guitar is genuinely fantastic guitar, quite unlike a punk guitar, but more punk than anything else. The guitar in Joy Division rarely provided the melody. With ‘Unknown Pleasures’, with ‘Shadowplay’ – the bass and drums provide the melody. Specifically the bass. The guitar is allowed free to provide both ‘percussion’ – and in this case, wonderful solos. Full of melody, actually, come to think of it! Rock n Roll! ‘Wilderness’ is all echoed drums, all bass rhythms and melodies. ‘Interzone’ is easily the most straightforward song on the entire record. Just a two minute punk styled blast. It has a place, though. The final song sounds like someone falling apart. This is scary, frightening. ‘Unknown Pleasures’, like ‘Closer’ which followed, is an album that begs to be listened to attentively, from beginning to end. It’s one of the greatest debut albums ever made, and even made a small profit for Factory Records – the groups label. It wasn’t by any means a best-seller, but it influenced a lot of groups that followed. This is a classic album, as simple as that. The small fact that ‘Interzone’ within itself isn’t a masterpiece isn’t going to sway me, because it fits.

 

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– Shams Us Zuha