Misc.

Printed Magazine: Moonlight Shadows – Your Darkest Reading Magazine #2

Moonlight Shadows – Your Darkest Reading Magazine #2

Interviews with: Septic Flesh, Weltschmertz, Funeral Procession, Sense Of Loss, Gothica, Daemonia Nymphe, Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, Arcana, Whispering Gallery, Nightfall, While Heaven Wept, Antimatter.

Articles: –
(Although this magazine is only about music, I would mention here “Alphabet Of A Pessimist” part as a kind of abstract for this original initiative – who knows maybe a beginning for something more interesting here?)

Reviews: 68 album/demo releases reviews, Seelenschmertz Festival review, 15 other magazines reviews, Special Review Corner.

Good grey layout, 50 A4 prof. printed pages, color cover.

Writer contact: John Zikos.

* Moonlight Shadows #2 April 2004
* Extreme Metal / Dark / Ambient content all in English.
* Significance: Plentiful, hi quality dark reading (with a very personal touch) indeed.

Completeness: 9/10
This magazine is a piece of art in a way as a musician\’s release is too. Some are gifted in a way and some in other. Without doubt some are not just writing about music but they truly live thru it, love it, and not afraid to expose their most intimate, inner feelings that have been experienced thru it.

I find this release a kind of a journey into deepest and darkest thoughts of the sole person behind it. By reading the magazine we are transparently transposed into a world of dark feelings and melancholia that contours a lost soul into the tenebrous firmaments of this capricious dimension called life.

Leaving apart the personal aura that surrounds this release, there can be found a lot of good interviews, balanced in length and content. They provide a lot of information derived from good questions and good answers (*). I can recommend almost all of them. A minus part, there are also some shorter interviews or not that remarkable. This mainly because the interviewed one and also because of the interviewer/editor that wanted to include the unsuccessful interview in the magazine (I am referring to Antimatter and Nightfall) – there is no point to add an interview just because the band is big. I am strongly discouraging such practice, there is no benefit for bands and readers and the space can be used better. Speaking about wasted space, here are little advertising space used and that\’s a good aspect.

The reviews part is interesting; the critics are descriptive giving a good hint about the products. There are separate reviews parts for releases that are most important for MS (top albums), review part for other CDs and demos, all about 68 reviews, another 15 reviews about other magazines – impressive. The last part of the reviews and of the magazine is dedicated to special reviews corner and finally other kind of most important albums (older and newer) of the editor: Ordo R. E., Arcana, Of The Wand And The Moon, Raison D’etre … indeed great bands of their genre.

There is no news part which is also a good point and a hint that shows the long time it takes for a magazine to see the light. Instead of this space there is a good proposal: \”Olds\” corner that is promoting small labels.

Another original part of the magazine is the “Alphabet Of A Pessimist” but shame that the words are not explained by some means, so this part of the magazine can turn into even a more interesting one.

I really hope John will find that “companion in life, someone to trust and believe in” I think time is healing wounds so do not loose hope…

Long live Moonlight Shadows!

(*) Answers from (and I am not doubtful in saying that) a part (the rest is us) of one of the most integral and with great personal visions upon world and life (read open minded and intelligent) people of this planet. You have to read the interviews and you will escape the tentacles of prejudice regarding bands and their works, I think this is the big achievement of an interview and magazines like this.

Copyright: CS / Ancient Beliefs 2005.

Misc.

Printed Magazine: Negura #4 – Central European Ideological Magazine

Negura #4 – Central European Ideological Magazine

Interviews with: Primordial, The Kovenant, Tormentor, Limbonic Art, Thunderbolt, Obtest, Aghora, Manes, Enid, Void of Silence, Trollech, Meridian, Ordo Draconis, Astray, Akerbeltz, Abyssic Hate, Spite Extreme Wing, Love Lies Bleeding….

Articles (very good): Solstices & Equinoxes, Native North American Mythology (pt.2), The Dacians (pt. 2), Aspects Of Traditional Thinking.

500 (almost, didn’t count) reviews, free compilation CD.
84 A4 Pages, color.

Online info: http://www.negura.com

* Negura Magazine #4 February 2004
* Underground Black Metal, in-depth content all in English.
* Significance: The most complete Black-Metal Romanian-made magazine.

Completeness: 9.5/10
Quite impressive work done by Negru & Co. within this release of Negura Magazine (#4).
It is a continuation of the former release (#3) following the same approach. Great color cover, b/w high quality 80 pages. The difference this time is the quality and quantity which definitely makes worth to own this release.

An evolution sign can be found in the interviews section: straight questions and good introductory texts on each interview. Some interviews, but few, aren’t on my taste either, some weak answers from some musicians really makes me think that some answers were made in a hurry. I know, it is difficult to take and get proper answers, usually you had to be in touch with the interlocutor a few times before make good questions or all gets frustrating at some point (read the Aghora interview and you know what I mean).

The reviews section is much more better, using scales up to 10 and to even better fulfill the image of the material reviewed, there are used more than one review on the same material from different contributors. It is a great idea.
I really wanted some reviews on some works (well, articles in fact) of Varg Vikernes that were released at Cymophane. And here I find them, concise, comprehensive, revealing a spirit that certainly has not ceased to exist after Filosofem release. Magazines and books reviews are of reference. Helpful information here about other magazines around, objectively treated as always.
To notice that more contributors are presented now on this number, ok, to give others a free hand on writing in your very own creation is a big challenge. Over time, loosing control over this, may lead to a lower ideological quality of the magazine, not mandatory but we will see… (Do you wonder why one man bands released strong ideological material?)

The articles part is nothing new but a continuation of the former versions presented in #3.

Indeed the news section had to be shortened, by a year some news may become really deprecated or better said they turned out to be information but with a low relevance at the time being. So, it is a wise decision using the remaining space for reviews instead.

The CD (a pressed one! not CDr anymore) this time is also much better in content, it works hand in hand with the magazine. It’s really great to listen to one band and in the same time to read the interview. This synergistic approach tend to create an image of a mature magazine release and it is quite! A little complain about physical support, pity that the CD does not fit unto the envelope CD (manufacturers’ mistake.)

Congratulations, great work this time too!

Misc.

Printed Magazine: Kogaionon #9

Kogaionon Magazine #9
Interviews with: Manes, Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Misanthrope, Elend, Ulver, Nocturnus, Tvangeste, Orphaned Land, Tristania, Falkenbach, Raison d’etre.

Other Articles: – .

250 positive reviews, free promo CD.
84 A4 Pages, color cover.

Online info: http://www.kogaionon.com

* Kogaionon #9 2004
* Black Metal related and not only, in English.
* Significance: great proffesional Romanian-made magazine.

Completeness: 9/10

Well this is a mature magazine here. Since 1995 it has 9 releases which make it a one per year basis magazine which is a normal good rate. Concerning the work in it I must say it: long live Kogaionon! Good work done by Mr. Doru Atomei and its collaborators.

Going into the detailed description, the opening editorial finds the author delightful and satisfied upon it\’s work, a work to Kogaionon from 9 years now. In the same time as described here a trace of monotony sensed in proper time, lead to some restructure in the magazine\’s content which is reflected in absence of news and no more album clones reviews and only (almost 100%) positive reviews. Although the online zines takes the position of printed ones, some people including the author (me too) likes better the printed version.

Instead of news a very interesting interviews approach: presenting near future plans for different persons involved in the metal scene: bands and labels plans. It is a great initiative. The bans interviews are one of the most long ones I have ever read, various and interesting (well this depends on the interviewed one if in mood for interviews at that moment) but Doru and collaborators succeeded to ask well documented questions (even though sometimes they are quite rhetorical) that counted much in the good answers.

The reviews section is much more a comparison oriented between bands which in the end they seemed to me accurate comparisons, and by this way they gives a more objective description of the respective musical work. Using scales from 0.1 up to 1 I find it a little bit inconvenient, and if you follow this notation I think it doesn’t tell much. The magazine reviews are at point, sharply and good to follow.

Within the reviews section the magazine ends. The fact that the magazine isn’t one of a certain ideology (at least the title is one of that demands some explanation throughout some articles, maybe) there are no articles, so it is a pure interview/review oriented magazine.

The magazine comes with promotional CDs from various bands in the scene, presented or not in the pages of the magazine.

Congratulations, keep on good work!