Monday, September 30, 2013

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under :

Rick Scythe is no stranger to metalheads around the world and after his previous band the now legendary and sadly missed Usurper decided to call it a day after 15 years of existence they left on a high note but created a void in the metal world. To fans relief however Rick Scythe decided to carry on holding the torch up high and continue spreading the metal gospel with his band the amply named Scythe who do the job of filling the void left by Usurper and then some. With the release of their second album "Subterranean Steel" Rick took the time to answer some questions for us. 

TPOTR - Congratulations on the new Scythe album it does a damn fine job of following the debut album which was a solid return and a welcome album to fans who thought they may have heard the last from you after the break up of Usurper. How do you feel about the album now it’s been released?

RS: Thank you! I am glad "Subterranean Steel" is finally out. Together with our debut album, "Beware The Scythe", I think we are filling the void left by Usurper.

TPOTR – How has the reaction to the album been so far?

RS: So far it's been very good. People seem to really like it. I honestly feel this might be the best album I ever wrote/recorded. I think it is an album that you crank to 11, and start headbanging and fist-banging to from the first note until the ending explosion.

TPOTR – The album seems to capture the pure raw spirit of heavy metal at it’s primal best, how important is heavy metal and what does it mean to you?

RS: It is everything to me and this band in general. Our base sound could generally be described as speed metal/thrash metal/death metal, but we also incorporate a lot of anthemic qualities of classic heavy metal and the dirtiness of 70's hard rock.  We also have some elements of early doom, 80's black metal and NWOBHM. So where most "death metal" bands are simply guttural and extreme, Scythe has more in common with classic heavy metal as far as song structures, big chorus' and sing-a-long parts... only executed in a way that has more in common with death metal or thrash metal.

TPOTR - Do you feel the spirit of metal is still as strong as it was in the good old days of the 80's when all the classic sub-genres of metal first reared their metalheads?

RS: I can't speak for everyone. I don't really follow the scene too much these days. I will speak for myself only and say YES. I can only control what I do with this band, so I try to pay homage to the true spirit of heavy metal in all its' forms. I never want Scythe to be limited to what we do. Yes we will always execute our sound and style in true underground fashion, inspired by 80's underground metal. It will never sound mainstream or weak.

I have noticed that within underground metal a lot of times bands don't really pay homage to traditional metal. I am not sure why, but to me many traditional metal and hard rock elements seem to work well within the confines of underground metal. To me it sounds great to have complete rockin' parts played with full distortion and extreme vocals. To me it makes the songs even more headbangable.

TPOTR  - How do you think the Internet has changed the metal scene for example can downloading of music be considered the same as tape trading which spread the music by word of mouth back in the 80's or has it just taken the magic away from it all?

RS: It is totally taking the magic away. I hate using the analogy of downloading being similar to tape trading. Tape trading took some serious effort and ended up costing time and money, so people had value in it. Anytime you invest time and money in something, there is automatically value in it; it is the way we are wired as human beings. So these tapes meant a lot. You listened to them until they wore out. So word of mouth actually meant something because it was coming from someone who logged a lot of hours listening to this band.

The cool thing about the Internet is the ability to reach a much broader audience and the ability to communicate directly with some die-hard fans much easier than writing a letter. The Internet used as a tool is great. Unfortunately most kids today just want to collect MP3's. It is always "shuffle", then "next" for them. Albums mean nothing to them. Artwork is secondary, Side A and Side B mean nothing... that is what the digital age has done. Everything has become free and disposable, so albums have no value.

For example, downloading metal (as opposed to having the actual CD or LP), is like drinking beer out of a plastic cup rather than a ceramic stein... yes, true at the end of the day, it is just a way of getting beer into your hole, but a ceramic stein is much more aesthetically pleasing than a disposable cup.

Don't get me wrong, I understand this is how the times are so there is no use fighting it. I think it is essential to reach fans digitally, but also essential to put our quality albums with quality artwork - create a great package for the die-hards.

TPOTR - It seems every genre of metal these days is making a come back where your previous band Usurper was doing this back in the 90's when the music was shone by the mainstream, What are your thoughts on the more modern metal bands out there?

RS: Back in the 90's it was much harder for Usurper. Many kids in the scene were either into Pantera style or Florida death metal style or grunge style. Usurper was looked upon as dinosaurs playing outdated music. Now a days kids are really into 80's underground metal, or at least they have the patches and shirts to prove it... I don't ever see Scythe as going mainstream. We will just continue doing what we are doing.

TPOTR – Is there any new bands you listen to?

RS: There are some bands we are friends with like Stone Magnum and Hedlok that I like a lot. I hear quality bands when I am hanging out with friends, but to be honest, I really only listen to older bands because I don't want to get subconsciously influenced by anything modern.

TPOTR -  The image of metal and dark lyrical topics are one of the things which have always attracted me to the genre and your previous album had great thought provoking lyrics all based on real life incidents or matters revolving around the occult like "The Iron Witch" which was based on the 1920's silent film called, "Haxan" to "Tyrannical Stranglehold" which was about the rise of the New World Order and that's not to mention the "Tunguska Death Ray" or "Opus Dei of the Dead" all great topics for metal and at the same time interesting subject matter. What did you use this time for inspiration?

RS: Thank you! Yes this time around, more obscure topics that's for sure. "Leather Aggressor" inspired by the sack of Rome and barbarian conquest.  "Monarch" inspired by various mind control programs. "Subterranean Steel" inspired by a life dedicated to underground metal and living in the  end times. "October Dies" inspired by pagan Halloween rituals. "The Grunting Dead" inspired by ghosts of the civil war. "The Bray Beast" inspired by an American werewolf tale. "Beyond the Northwoods" inspired by Operation Northwoods and other state sponsored, false flag terror attacks/New World Order. "Nights of Terror" inspired by the rise of the police state and occult powers of the global elite. "Thunder Hammer" inspired by Telsa's Earthquake Machine and HAARP weather warefare.

TPOTR - As the main song writer in the band do you ever feel the pressure to live up to your past?

RS: I wouldn't say pressure, more like an obligation to stay true to my past yet not be limited by it. I feel an obligation to the fans who have supported my career with Usurper to carry on the tradition of what they expect from me, but I also feel an obligation to forge our own path and to expand the sound of Scythe - to be genuine to the influences of all 3 guys in this band. Scythe might have roots planted in the past, but we are branching out and forging our own sound. I think this is something the die-hards enjoy as well as people who never heard Usurper before who just discovered Scythe. We are playing music from the heart, and sincerely not following current trends.

TPOTR - Do you ever think Usurper will reform?

RS: Perhaps some day. I am open to it if it were done at the right time, for the right reasons. If there was a demand for it and it felt right I would consider it. But for the foreseeable future, Scythe is my only priority.

TPOTR - What five metal albums would you take to a dessert Island with you?

1. Celtic Frost "Morbid Tales/Emperor's Return"
2. Venom "Welcome to Hell"
3. Mercyful Fate "Don't Break the Oath"
4. Black Sabbath "Master of Reality"
5. Ted Nugent "Intensities in 10 Cities"

Friday, September 27, 2013

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under :

Germany's consistently dependable power metal troopers Thunder and Lightning are back with their fourth consecutive balls out traditional heavy metal sounding album and they are screaming for vengeance on this one. Taking all their previous albums and turning everything up a notch. Proceedings begin with "Booster Shot" bursting down the gates with an adrenaline infused thrash riff before delivering the first of many epic choruses to come. Right from the offset the band goes about laying down a flawless metallic performance from beginning to end you get highlight after highlight. There is really no faulting this album it really is that good if classic metal bands like Maiden and Priest are your thing along with great power metal bands like Helloween and Hammerfall mixed up with a healthy dose of thrash to get the blood pumping then this your dream come true. The title track itself in five minutes of laying waste to your speakers showcases all that is great about this band from the high energy performances, skilled musicianship and those great harmonic leads and melodic choruses. The ballad ''Two suns in the sky'' is convincing in it's conviction and sombre tone showcasing the versatility of the band. ''The last right'' starts of slow but quickly develops into a hell of a thrasher with a great solo and yet another amazing chorus. "Shadow light" closes proceedings in epic form with guest female vocals from Berlin based singer Cora Lee. It's not often an album comes along that can epitamise all that is good about heavy metal and pull it off with all killer and no filler but yet Thunder and Lightning bring it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under :

Check out Finnish Tech-Death band Apocrypth with two rough and ready demos of material they are working on at the moment for their upcoming debut album.

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under :

Dream Death's classic piece of doom/thrash ''Journey into Mystery" is one of those albums I go back to again and again every time I want to hear some epic, dark and more importantly dynamic doom metal. This album was a precursor to the doom/death genre which emerged at the turn of the nineties with bands like Winter, My Dying Bride and Paradise lost and it sounds like no other. Taking the lead from Hellhammer/Celtic Frost this band took the doom of bands like Saint Vitus and Trouble and merged it seamlessly with thrash metal. At one extreme slow and seriously heavy riffs merged with more uptempo thrash, pure genius.

The band formed in 1985 and started to gig and write songs which would appear on this their only full length album that is until this year when the band released a new album putting a broad smile on many a fans face myself included who thought we had long since heard the last from Dream Death. Their first album in over 25 years "Somnium Excessum" was a worthy successor and already for the riff is set to be one of the albums of the year. After the bands first initial run the band changed their name to Penance minus guitarist Terry Weston. Penance went on to release six albums of pure slow and heavy doom metal and were first signed to  Rise Above Records owned by none other than Lee Dorrian of Cathedral fame as he was greatly inspired by Dream Deaths's Journey into Mystery album when he decided to leave Napalm Death and form Cathedral who went about following the path of doom. Now back to the album at hand. The mastery of slow heavy riffage cloaked in a doomy occultish atmosphere with more up tempo riffs creating a great dynamic and interesting vibe. This is a unique album that will never be recreated, a moment in time and  a piece of metal history, a corner stone of doom when doom, death and thrash collided.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under :

Putrefy the Living who are set to feature on the riffs upcoming Halloween Ep are proof yet again of the word-class metal to be found in Australia  which is a shame because the metal scene often over looks our brothers and sisters down below. It only goes to show if you dig a little in the underground it will not be long before you come across some sickly insane and brutal metal. Here's what they had to say.

TPOTR - Let’s start with the beginnings of the band. Am I right in saying that the band started as a one man project?

Layne - Well, to begin with, Putrefy the Living wasn't even intended to become a band. It all started when I wrote the four demo tracks. A few months later I started to really get into the extreme styles of Metal, which I then showed the tracks to Riley, the vocalist. He liked the songs and thought that something could come out of them. He then wrote lyrics for those four songs which then went on to become our 2012 demo.

TPOTR - What was the initial intention of the band, was it ever meant to become a fully realised project?

Layne - We just wanted to make music that was brutal, pure and simple. It wasn't intended to go anywhere; we just made the music for ourselves really.

Riley – As Layne said, the intentions were always simply us just playing the brutality game. We wanted to make shit that makes your adrenaline flow, shit that just makes you want to head bang and mosh.

TPOTR - How did the rest of you get together, did you know each other from different bands?

Layne - Well, we all know each other from school. For the first year it was just Riley and I doing a few shows here and there and recording the occasional demo. A few months ago we decided that we needed a bassist; it was a really long time until we found the man for the job, Tristan. We're really happy with the decision and we are looking forward to what is installed for the band.
Tristan- Yeah it was a few months ago they said hey how would you like a part in Putrefy the Living, I had seen them a few times and had the EP, I loved watching them play and I knew that joining them would be a great experience.

TPOTR - The debut ep is a fine slab of sick hellish death which spews forth metallic grinding fury. How did the music come about?

Layne - Most of the time the music is brought about by me sitting around on guitar or bass and writing some riffs. I then put it all into Guitar Pro, add some drums and then send it to Riley. He then listens to the song and if he likes it, he'll start to write some lyrics. We then jam the songs until we can get it tight enough to record or play live. The EP was pretty much just an on the spot thing, we wrote the songs, jammed them and then recorded them.

Riley – Personally? Just simple, biased hatred.

TPOTR -  What is the story behind Mozzimoto the Mosquito King?

Layne - The whole concept for Mozzimoto stared three years ago, it was pretty much just something for fun, and it doesn't really have a serious message. It's just about a gigantic swarm of mosquitoes taking over the Earth who are lead by their king, Mozzimoto. Think of it as the zombie apocalypse, but with mosquitoes

Riley – The song lyrically is based off of a fictional diary from the man who was hunted by Mozzimoto. The song itself is a warning to us.

TPOTR - What inspires the music other than metal, do you get inspiration from horror movies?

Riley – My inspiration comes from not horror fiction depicted in film nor any music whatsoever. The fuel that makes the PTL machine run is what you see all around you. Corrupt religion, Governments and insipid people running our one home into the f**king ground without realisation of consequence. Through frustration I witness everything get destroyed everyday. This grotesque reality that we must face as a species is my inspiration. I wish I didn’t have to write about this stuff, but sometimes the scariest things, are the truth.

TPOTR - I've talked with Australian bands before and one topic which always comes up is how hard it is for an Australian band to make it at an international level, it's definitly not got to do with the lack of bands or talent. What are your thoughts on this?

Layne - Australia just doesn't appeal to record labels for some reason. My old band Maniacal released an album and we sent it off to a few labels and they all said that the music is great, but it just won't sell because we're from Australia. It really is hard, but a lot of us pride ourselves on our music and we all hope to get somewhere eventually. Unfortunately that just won't happen for most bands.

Riley – The Australian scene deserves more recognition. Not us in particular, but I’ve heard some incredible stuff from Australia. I just don’t want the Earth to forget about us down here!

TPOTR – What is the metal scene like in Australia?

Layne - We definitely have a lot of great bands, a lot of potential. Here in the rural parts of South Australia we don't have many bands, so when a band does play, things normally go off of the hook. The fans are great, loyal people and love to have fun in the pit. (None of that karate stuff though)

Riley – Tasty. Simply tasty.

TPOTR – Is there any other Australian bands we should know about?

Layne - Beyond Mortal Dreams
Darklord (R.I.P.)
Dead Fetus Factory
Grove Street
Ne Obliviscaris
Putrescent Seepage
Se Bon Ki Ra
Seminal Embalmment
Waking Giants
And Whoretopsy

TPOTR - What are your current and future plans for the band?

Layne - In a few weeks we're going to head off to a recording studio to record a three-track promo, which we will then send off to record labels. It will also be released to the public for purchase between late 2013 to early 2014. We're also looking at getting some merch around that time too, but for that we rely on our promo to sell. Around mid 2014 we're looking at getting into the studio again to record our debut full-length which will hopefully be released sometime in 2014.

Check out their debut Ep below which the band are offering as a name your price purchase.
And show your support and like their facebook page.
Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under :

Into the kingdom of graves is the sound of endless war such is it's relentlessly brutal and savage attack on the senses. It is the auditory equivalent of being caught in the crossfire of Armageddon itself. The whole album is punishing in it's unmerciful attack. There are moments when the music lets up as midway through "Disowned and Defiled" where the band slow it down to an almost death doom vibe of bands like Incantation or Autopsy but not before long the bass guitar signals the return of the oncoming onslaught. The bass on this album really does crush and adds a lot of dynamics to the music and playing not to mention the simply incredible and jaw dropping drum performance. The album goes by in such a furious blur the first few times you listen to it but perseverance reveals a much greater thought out beast than it may first appear to be."Destroyer" is one of the highlights showcasing everything which the band stands for and shows a great sense of dynamics and song writing skills balancing chaos and making sense of the storm and that lead which comes from out of nowhere are the small touches which really make this album as good as it is. "Drowning in the ocean of fire" is a great death metal track put through a furious black metal blender. "Within outer scares" offers a moment of clarity within it's short acoustics and melodic harmonies before the final battle commences with the remaining two songs I can not stress enough how great this album is for those willing enough to give it the time it deserves to sink in. You won't get this with a casual listen you need to put some time in. The album artwork really is awe inspiring and one of the most organic pieces of album artwork I have seen in some time.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under :
The final band on board for the upcoming Ep alongside Danish old school heavy/thrash band Velociter, Australia's brutal death metal machine Putrefy the Living  and Northern Ireland's classic heavy/thrash metal band Bakken are the UK's classic heavy metal band Forged in Black.

Check out the bands facebook page to hear some of there classic metallic riffage!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under :

Out from the ashes of the much loved Usurper who are still greatly missed among metalheads who have a taste for classic metal, the kind that was being played by bands from all corners of the globe back in the golden 80's. A time when albums were bought on vinyl and denim jackets emblazoned with our sacred metal bands were worn with pride, when leather and bullet belts were our coats of armour comes the mighty metal beast Scythe who are fronted by the one and only Rick Scythe, the legendary frontman of the aforementioned Usurper.
Picking up more or less where Usurper left off and following on from the bands already classic debut album "Beware the Scythe" which only came out last year comes the bands sophomore release "Subterranean Steel" which ups the power and riffs that were on display on the debut showcasing a band who have found their feet and now are even more pounding and relentless than before.
Blackened dirty thrash with razor sharp riffs and a thick crunching guitar sound is what you get from the offset with the band going straight for the throat and delivering a wall of metal which invokes mass horn raising and the obligatory head-banging from the onslaught of the first bloody riff right to until the last note unleashes you from it's grip without mercy.
The album is greatly influenced by early Celtic Frost and the riffs are simplistic but effective and to point delivering passionate metal without over complicating things. Everything about the 80's metal underground brought back to life even the stench of a pit of thrashing metal maniacs fills my room as I listen. An album for long time fans of metal and newcomers  who are looking for the heart and soul of the genre. This is it pure and simple in all it's metallic glory.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under : ,
The third band on board for the upcoming Ep alongside Danish old school heavy/thrash band Velociter and Australia's brutal death metal machine Putrefy the Living  are Northern Ireland's classic heavy/thrash metal band Bakken who are no strangers to readers of the blog and I have to say having Bakken on board is a personnal metal dream come true. Only one more band still  to be confirmed so there still is a chance if you want to feature on the Ep. Send your details to:
Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ |
The second band on board for the upcoming Ep alongside Danish old school heavy/thrash band Velociter is Australia's brutal death metal machine Putrefy the Living .Only two more bands still  to be confirmed so there still is a chance if you want to feature on the Ep. Send your details to:

Check out Putrefy the Living's brutal death metal attack below!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under : ,
The first band on board for the upcoming Ep to is Danish old school heavy/thrash band Velociter. Only three more bands to be confirmed so there still is a chance if you want to feature on the Ep. Send your details to:

Check out Velociter's Ep below for a taste of this bands heavy thrash assault!

Show your support and check out their offical facebook page.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under :

With two tracks featured on The Power of the Riff Comp earlier this year, oozing with meatllic class and an old school sense of quality riffs mixed with a great ear and knack for songwriting that sticks firmly in your banging metalhead. The band are starting to make rumbles in the metal underground with their debut demo which is fast selling out. So check 'em out for some quality metal!

The Ep is available from the bands offical page!

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under :

Formed in 2012 and hailing from Scotland Beckon quickly made a name for themselves on the local scene pounding venues to mere dust, leaving ears bleeding and have now started  getting recognition further afield outside of their homeland and could be the next band to put Scotland on the metal map. Selected best new band by in 2012 and honing their craft to metallic perfection with this demo which presents three well oiled and refined metal tracks which pack a punch that is not for the faint hearted.
Savage and brutal like a possessed dog with rabies. Modern without being processed and crap for want of a better word. This is a band delivering primed thrashing death metal with forward thinking, relentlessly unforgiving and heavy riffs but with their feet firmly positioned in the solid foundation of metals foundations. The vocals are delivered with snarling intent and all the venom of a lethal bite but the singer can also sing when he wants to but not in metalcore whining way which makes you want to smash your speakers to a pulp for making you endure such sugar coated blasphemy but more in the way you would call Phillip Anselmo a great vocalist and singer. Even during the final track"Dirty Ape" I am reminded of Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden in fact the whole song reminds me of Maiden but in a very modern sense. For a demo this is a perfect and primed metal fix ready to detonate in your face delivering pure metal, this would even put the official releases of some bands to shame. What more can I say the riff likes it.

You can downoad it for free from here:

And be sure to check out their facebook page, give 'em a like and show you support!