Thursday 25 February 2021

Astarium - Dragon Of Wallachia

Labels: Skaventhrone/NitroAtmosfericum Records

Formats: CDR/3.5" Floppy Disk/CDR Business Card

Release Date: 12 Oct 2020


1. Dragon

2. Wallachia

I love bands that release music of various formats or different variations of formats. Russian symphonic/ambient black metal band Astarium is one such band and just when I thought the 3" vinyl version of From The Cleaved Old Coffins was an awesome little release, SiN from the band took it upon himself to send me some newer releases, including a copy of the CDR business card variant of Dragon Of Wallachia (limited to just 20 and I got number 3!). It was released last October via Russia's NitroAtmosfericum Records and was also released on standard CDR/3.5" Floppy Disk via New Zealand's Skaventhrone. It's classed as a single and contains two songs, each lasting less than two and a half minutes.

I must count up how many times Astarium has featured on this blog because it must approaching double figures by now! It’s humbling to know that someone trusts me as much as SiN does. Anyway, on with the task in hand. Astarium’s symphonic black metal will by now be familiar to you, if you’ve read any of my previous reviews and the midi/synth-filled music created by the band is very comforting. ‘Dragon’ is a perfect example of what SiN does best, with it’s melodic instrumentation and his unmistakable gargled/growled vocals.

Second song ‘Wallachia’ in an instrumental piece and it contains the ritualistic noise/instrumentation of Viktoria S. It’s very medieval in influence and folky in tone, with woodwind and gentle wind/rain effects being joined by both wolf howls, and human cries. Dragon Of Wallachia is a very short release but it shows two sides to Astarium. As I’ve grown older and as the blog’s grown with me, I’ve gained a newfound respect for artists and bands that do things differently to most, especially noise and solo projects. I’ll forever respect Astarium as I’ve not been blessed with musical talent (though I have dabbled in a few instruments in the past). A band following it’s own approach despite nestling in obscurity is what make metal and punk so real.

You can stream and purchase Dragon Of Wallachia digitally from Astarium below:-

Astarium -

CDR business card copies are available via NitroAtmosfericum Records below:-

The Floppy Disk/CDR releases from Skaventhrone are sold out.

NitroAtmosfericum Records -

Skaventhrone -

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Transilvania - Of Sleep And Death

Labels: Invictus Productions

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 01 Jan 2021


1. Opus Morbi

2. Hekateion

3. Of Sleep And Death

4. Lycanthropic Chant

5. Vault Of Evening

6. Heart Harvest

7. Mortpetten

8. Underneath Dying Stars

It's amazing what a few days back amongst the rat race can do to a person. I was all set to write about this, the second (and newest) full-length from Austrian black/thrash band Transilvania over the weekend, but I caught a case of writers block. Thankfully, I've had the time to lament that and here we are. In their current form, this quartet has been alive since 2014, but they actually date back to 2010 when they went by the name Epidermis, before being re-named Old Skull in 2014. Later that year the name Transilvania stuck and things have been that way ever since. Of Sleep And Death was released in January via Invictus Productions on multiple formats.

Black/thrash has always been a double-edged sword for me. It’s brought forth the pace and exhilaration that I get from thrash metal, but has always skimped on the atmospherics of black metal. Maybe I’m missing the point, as I know a lot of people refer to it as war metal (if I’m correct) and that gives it a whole new meaning. I’m intrigued to here what Transilvania do though, as their songs seem to be longer. Off that bat, album opener ‘Opus Morbi’ is filled with choral and orchestral effects and when all members properly get going, their music is definitely more akin to folkish black metal with tempos turned up to 11. The other thing that strikes me on initial listen is the volume of the recording, which seems a little low in comparison.

‘Hekateion’ is a blasting piece that seems to draw in much more urgency, while added melody creeps into the music. Black metal is still very much the driving force genre-wise, but thrash is always just around the corner permeating through. The album’s title-track ‘Of Sleep And Death’ continues along the same, more uptempo track with Transilvania’s thrash metal influence gaining more ground. The reverb in the vocals adds a layer of foreboding texture too. The levels still seem a bit out to me though overall, but that’s not a criticism at all, especially when they bring out the upbeat folk-metal melodies for a short time later on.

Transilvania clearly care about the momentum of their albums and ‘Lycanthropic Chant’ is definitely up to the task. This time, modern melodic riffs are employed to take their extreme sound in a more (subtle) catchy direction. It’s probably a travesty calling this a catchy album but every record has it’s moments and the further you get into Of Sleep And Death, the more you’ll grow to love it. The main thing I love about this record is the riffs. They’re so infectious on ‘Vault Of Evening’ that they really make it come alive as a song. There’s also a much more consistent sound level now too, which contributes so much to the recording as well. Especially when Transilvania goes all 80s psych/alternative in the mid-section. So good! ‘Heart Harvest’ is a maddening, off-kilter number that really makes use of it’s playing time, with Transilvania injecting so much musicality into it. 

Their raging barbarity once again takes flight on penultimate song ‘Mortpetten’, which is much more black/war metal orientated. As such, it still retains a real driving tempo but it’s atmosphere is also a lot more prominent. By definition, it’s a heavy song but much like the rest of the album, it’s catchy and attention grabbing throughout. The album closer ‘Underneath Dying Stars’ is the most beguiling track on Of Sleep And Death and as such is well worth sticking around for. While I may not be the most kvlt of reviewers, I know what I like and this site is dedicated to it. I’m not paid to write any reviews, I do this out of genuine love and enthusiasm, both of which have been well and truly stoked by Transilvania, and this record. Ramble over, go forth and spread the word!

You can stream and purchase Of Sleep And Death digitally from Transilvania below:-

Physical copies on all formats can be purchased from Invictus Productions via their bandcamp page - and via their site here -

Transilvania -

Invictus Productions -

Tuesday 23 February 2021

Xonto - robot a: Debut EP Premiere

I hinted yesterday on social media that I had a surprise lined up and here it is. I haven't done a release premiere for a while, so here's a sneak listen to the debut four song EP from Japanese band Xonto, a band that includes members from both Tetola93 and Agak! This EP is officially released today (sorry for the insta-post) but when Tomb Tree Tapes asked me if I wanted to share it with you, I couldn't say no. 

If you're at all familiar with either Tetola93 or Agak, then you'll hopefully know where Xonto are coming from. This is glorious heaviness for fans of the aforementioned bands, as well as those who dig Heaven In Her Arms and Envy. Japanese bands just seem to do it better and this is no exception. Without going full 'review' on you, robot a is made up of stunningly heavy post-hardcore with loads of atmosphere, dissonance and plenty of spoken/shouted Japanese vocals. At times thoughtful, at times grinding. You should totally give a listen for yourselves and then head over to Tomb Tree Tapes to bag a copy, while stocks last! 


1. walk

2. emergency

3. departure

4. ant

It's available for streaming via bandcamp below, where you can also purchase it digitally:-

This is pretty limited in terms of physical copies. There are 50 in total with 30 being on Metallic Swirl (blue) tapes, 15 on Flowered Swirl (Purple) and the other 5 copies being test dips. Check the pictures below for an idea of how epic they look:-

You can order copies via Zegema Beach Records through their USA and Canada/International stores below:-



I can't find any social media pages for Xonto. If you know of any, please send me a message and I'll update this post!

Tomb Tree Tapes -

Friday 19 February 2021

Mortiferum/Hyperdontia - Split 7"

Labels: Carbonized Records/Me Saco Un Ojo Records

Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 07 Dec 2020


1. Mortiferum - Abhorrent Genesis

2. Hyperdontia - Punctured Soul

This split 7" was one of most heavily talked about splits of the closing months of 2020, not least because it contained a song each from US death/doom band Mortiferum and Turkish/Danish death metal band Hyperdontia. It was released early December via both rising US label Carbonized Records and ever-growing UK label Me Saco Un Ojo Records. Both bands are helping to lead the charge of old-school death/doom metal from the last decade and into this one. 

Please excuse me for switching the bands around in the title. I always put the opening band at the start, irrespective of where the first letter of their name appears in the alphabet. Mortiferum’s take of death/doom here, ‘Abhorrent Genesis’, is a gloomy and dank take on the sub-genre with low growls, guitar/bass that sit very deep in the recording at times and percussion that takes the lead. It’s a hellish image that’s created here but one that’s not without it’s charm. Definitely leaning further towards the old-school.

Hyperdontia’s side of this split also presents a gloomy outlook, but with a bigger slice of groove. They are more technical and ‘Punctured Soul’ contains many tempo-changes and more pronouced melody, whereas Mortiferum ploughs a much deeper furrow. There’s a sort of controlled-chaos element to the instrumentation here, especially when the drums and guitars up the pace. The vocals again are low growls but are much more dominant within the mix. 

This is a filthy split release that single-handedly reflects the harsh slog that was 2020. Both Mortiferum and Hyperdontia very much have their own sounds and they deliver death/doom that’s as dark and terrifying as you’d expect. 

You can stream the respective tracks below via both Mortiferum's and Hyperdontia's bandcamp pages:-

Mortiferum -

Hyperdontia -

Tape copies of the split can be purchased from Carbonized Records here -

Carbonized Records -

Me Saco Un Ojo Records -

Sunday 14 February 2021

Wanderlust - Promo 2021

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: Digital

Release Date: 13 Feb 2021


1. Burn Into Ashes

2. Time And Pressure

Things have been a little quiet this week on the writing front but I wanted to re-connect with my deep-dive into punk of all kinds. For this review I did nothing more scientific than heading over to Bandcamp, hitting the punk tag and checking out the newcomers section. Indonesian hardcore punk band Wanderlust was pretty much the first band I came to. They are a quartet that formed in 2016 in Tulungagung, East Java. So far, they've released a self-titled two song EP (2016) and a full-length called 'No Guts No Glory' (2018), which was released with the help of Hit And Burn Records and Samstrong Records. Their latest two-track promo was released just yesterday!

I love checking out punk from different countries/cultures and Wanderlust’s take on hardcore punk is a surprise. Their sound is really crisp with a mix of influences ranging from Agnostic Front/Youth Of Today to Foundation/Expire, with some Alice In Chains-style clean singing thrown in for good measure on ‘Burn Into Ashes’. The production is really strong and clear, and the instrumentation/vocals equally so.

Second song ‘Time And Pressure’ is more of the same with moshable tempos, gang vocals and heavy thrash/beatdown growls at times. Wanderlust’s creativity and skill has completely blown me away here and it just proves that taking a punt on something new more often than not pays off. 

Being only two tracks long, this promo does exactly what Wanderlust has set out to do, which is to give new and existing listeners something that they can get hooked on. It gives people a reason to check out their earlier material and a reason to get excited about hardcore again. Excellent! 

You can stream and purchase this promo digitally for $2 below:-

There's no sign of a physical version of this release yet, but after hearing it I'm sure somebody will jump on it!

Wanderlust - @wanderlusthardcore (Instagram)

Thursday 11 February 2021

Abiotic - Ikigai

Labels: The Artisan Era

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 12 Feb 2021


1. Natsukashii

2. Ikigai

3. Covered The Cold Earth

4. Smoldered

5. The Wrath

6. If I Do Die

7. Souvenir Of Skin

8. Her Opus Mangled

9. The Horadric Cube

10. Grief Eater, Tear Drinker

11. Gyokusai

I feel like I'm cutting it a but fine with this review, as Abiotic's new album Ikigai is due for official release on Friday. I've never really been one for deadlines though, so I guess I'm more on top of things right now than I thought!. This is the band's third full-length and the Floridian tech/prog death metallers have assembled a who's who from the death metal genre as guests on here. They include Chaney Crabb of Entheos on 'Smoldered', Brandon Ellis and Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder on 'If I Do Die' and 'Souvenir Of Skin' respectively, Jared Smith of Archspire on 'Her Opus Mangled', Scott Carstairs of Fallujah on 'The Horadric Cube' and Jonathan Carpenter, previously of The Contortionist) on 'Grief Eater, Tear Drinker'. Of course, the members of Abiotic are not new to genre either, having spent part for their careers in Vale Of Pnath, Scale The Summit and Pathogenic amongst other bands.

Ikigai is an concept album influenced by Japanese culture that clocks in at fifty minutes, so there’s a lot to enjoy here. The album begins with the gentle intro ‘Natsukashii’, with it’s pan-pipe/flute-style melodies. The title song ‘Ikigai’ follows it with a mixture of traditional instrumental snippets and progressive death metal brutality, underpinned by more melody. It’s certainly experimental and Abiotic takes you on a journey through many layers of their collective song-writing and performing abilities. Stop/start in places but also wildly crushing at the same time.

The breadths of musicality that flow through the album, even at this early stage is crazy. ‘Covered The Cold Earth’ is both super heavy and orchestral at the same time, while featuring more than a hint of harsh, cold industrial tones within the percussion at times. Overall, it’s definitely more than fair to say that this is virtuosic. ‘Smoldered’ is the first song to welcome a guest, in the form of Chaney Crabb of Entheos, who provides vocals. They add extra depth to Abiotic’s sound here, with a great mix of both rasping screams and low growls smashing together from different ends of the extreme spectrum. It’s also where that percussive majesty reigns supreme too. So impressive!

Aside from the intro, everything on Ikigai stretches to over four to five minutes in length and to be honest, it’s the perfect length for these songs. Enough so that you get a true flavour of their sound if you haven’t heard Abiotic before. ‘The Wrath’ takes deathcore and plants it’s best parts deep within a truly carnage inducing tech-death song, that features the fastest kick-drumming I’ve ever heard this side of a drum machine.  Abiotic’s own progressive madness is joined on ‘If I Do Die’ by Brandon Ellis of The Black Dahlia Murder. His unmistakable lead work provides an extra edge to the Voivod-esque music that makes up the crossing point of this album. 

As if one member of TBDM wasn’t enough, ‘Souvenir Of Skin’ sees an appearance from Trevor Strnad. Now, it would be easy for all of these guests to overpower the impact of Ikigai, yet it’s kept on a tight leash thanks to even tighter musicianship. That’s the main thing you’ll take away from this entire album and it’s nowhere near over yet!. I like nothing more than a proper bass-heavy track and ‘Her Opus Mangled’ is one such beast. This time though it’s not the heavy rumble that’s drawing me in but the utterly bewildering tone of Archspire’s Jared Smith, who adds some awesomely melodic bass work to what is also another frighteningly strong song. Technicality aplenty here and no room for wandering attention spans either.

Talking of stuff that’s frightening, the percussion once again really takes on a form of it’s own during ‘The Horadric Cube’. I still can’t fathom how all of these musicians can come together and create something so enthralling and cohesive, while seemingly all being the equal of the other. There’s also a solo from Fallujah’s Scott Carstairs, which is the icing on the cake. Penultimate song ‘Grief Eater, Tear Drinker’ presents itself in a different way, this time with more vocal melody as well as instrumental melody, thanks to an appearance from ex-The Contortionist vocalist Jonathan Carpenter, whose clean vocals are such a great fit for the overall feel of the song. As is now familiar on Ikigai, Abiotic doesn’t take it easy at all and continues to lay the progressiveness on hard, which is no bad thing at all. 

It feeds directly into closer ‘Gyokusai’ and in doing so goes from serene to menacing, as far as atmosphere is concerned. The pace is slowed down at first, though that is somewhat of an illusion and what follows is just a sharp and explosive and when this album began. Ikigai is best described as a journey. One that’s more like a rollercoaster than a gentle cruise. It’s the first time I’ve listened to Abiotic properly and modern technical death metal now has a new pantheon to reach here.

Three songs are available for streaming prior to tomorrow's release below:-

You can still pre-order Ikigai on all three formats via Abiotic's bandcamp page above.

You can also buy copies from The Artisan Era here -

Abiotic -

The Artisan Era -

Sunday 7 February 2021

Sadgirl in the Abyss: An Interview with Isserley (by Mikey Ortega)

My introduction to Australia’s Isserley was from a previous incarnation called Girlflesh. It was an electronic/experimental project that was dark, raw and uncomfortable. It was the music equivalent of extreme/transgressive cinema – similar to the likes of Baise Moi and Melancholie der Engel.  Later, Girlflesh started to go through a transformation and became Isserley – an even more aggressive sound than her previous work.


On this interview, I got to chat with Isserley about music - especially her new direction to Doom Metal.  Also chatted about her work doing soundtracks, horror films and plans for 2021. It was a blast to do this interview and hope you guys will enjoy it.


Mikey:  So how have things been since you started Isserley? It's a huge step from Girlflesh. Was Isserley something you've been brewing for a while?


Isserley: Things have been good! Though Isserley is more of a stage name than a project, I've gone under a few monikers while producing music. When I started releasing music as Isserley it was because I wanted to rebirth myself. I guess I thought I was doing a better job than what I was making in my more amateur projects, and I wanted to take a step into considering myself more professionally.


Mikey: I remembered a while back, you've mentioned on social media that you got some new gear and/or programs. By any chance did that help you to take that next step in being a more serious artist?


Isserley: Not really, but I've always been predominantly unprofessional in how I make music. It's such a raw thing for me, and honestly, I'm not a great producer in a technical sense. I like to make a mess and then arrange it into something tangible, I guess that's my thing. The gear can make it sound cooler or cleaner or whatever but my strength is chaos more than anything.


Mikey: Would you say "controlled chaos" or is it something more than that?


Isserley: Probably something less really, there's minimal method to whatever I'm doing. It comes from how I feel. I make my worst music when I go in trying to make it sound like something specific, and my best music comes from just doing whatever comes natural.


Mikey: Totally understand that. In pro wrestling, there's a saying: "less is more". When it came to making INSIDES, was Doom Metal's minimalism sound made you feel like you can do well in the genre?


Isserley: I had no idea if I'd do well, but I knew I wanted to try. I love metal, doom especially, so just having the opportunity to make that album was something I couldn't pass up. Insides was really exciting, I worked with my close friend Ripley Sterling on it, and we put so much time into it. I spent most of the album doubting myself, since I'd never worked in that genre, I always felt like I was just cosplaying or something, but we pulled it off and I'm really proud of the end result. Doing that gave me the confidence to work even more in that genre, and a lot of my best work is metal now.


Mikey: So how did Ripley get involved? Were there some bands that you used as references?


Isserley: I can't remember it too clearly now but I'm pretty sure it was just me being like "Hey, wanna do a doom metal album?" and he was like "Yeah, sure" and then we just kinda did it. Jucifer and Chelsea Wolfe came up a lot during production.


Mikey: TAPEWORMHOLE sounds like your early work with a heavier (even darker) approach,  What was the idea behind this album?


Isserley: The main idea was to embrace anger and aggression. I think if you spend enough time being disappointed, that disappointment becomes so familiar that it inevitably turns into frustration and anger. TAPEWORMHOLE was my way of exploring those feelings and giving myself permission to just to just be angry, be misanthropic, be all of those aggressive things and take it out on the music.


Mikey: This past December you put out SADXMASS, which was a nice gift for the fans.  It was a perfect album for us who spent Christmas alone because of lockdown. Was doing a Christmas/Holiday album something you've wanted to do? I see a song title like "Gingerbread Housefire" and it sounds like it's a title you've had for a while.


Isserley: I love Christmas so much! I used to hate it more than anything, and It'd send me into a several month long depression. We're meant to celebrate family, love, togetherness, all this stuff that a lot of people just don't have, and for most of my life Christmas was the most isolating and painful part of every year. I've learned to look at things differently, and I have a really different outlook on it now, but I thought it would be really fun to do a Christmas album that embraced all those darker parts of the holidays. I wanted to make Christmas music for people who still feel that alienation and isolation at that time, and I don't think I could do anything genuinely festive if I tried.


Gingerbread Housefire was the first title I had written down for the project too, so good guess!


Mikey: When doing soundtracks for movies, is it a different approach to when you're working on an album?


Isserley: Absolutely, my albums are always about me or an idea I've had, some kind of concept or allegory for what I've been going through during that time. When I do a score or soundtrack, It's usually for someone else's vision. It's something I have to compliment, and it isn't really about me at all. Usually I'll ask the creative director a lot of different questions to figure out where everything is at, and then I try to create something that I see fitting into their world. Since I work almost exclusively in horror, I still get to embrace all that noise and darkness, and it never feels like much of a stretch, but my mind is in an entirely different place.


Mikey: So, when a filmmaker asks you to do a score, do they give you creative freedom - most of the time? Or do they try to give you an idea of what they want? 


Isserley: It really depends on the project. Sometimes they know exactly what they want, other times they need someone to help them figure out what the vision is before trying to achieve it.


Mikey: Does it make things easier when they know what they want the score to sound like, compared to helping to find the right sound? Or does someone like you, also enjoys that challenge?


Isserley: I usually prefer having more control. I think I conceptualize things well and create something that fits and tells a story alongside the film or game. Much like all my other music, I work better with less restraints or external guidelines.


Mikey: After those questions, I would like to ask if there’s been any horror/extreme films that’s caught your radar? Anything you’re anticipating?


Isserley: I haven't seen any recent extreme cinema that was super impressive to me, but I have been rewatching some of the classics like the Guinea Pig series. Stephen Biro just released a new cut of A Serbian Film which I'm curious to check out too. I watch like at least one movie every day, and It's almost always horror, but I've been on a bit of a losing streak. I did discover Doom Asylum for the first time late last year and I'm absolutely in love with it!


Mikey: The Unearthed Films release of A Serbian Film looks really good. I ended up getting the blu-ray.  There’s no added “violent” scenes in the new uncut version.  Just some flashbacks when Milos was trying to figure shit out. But it’s worth getting for the special features and commentary, which weren’t in the first release.


Did you get a chance to check out any of the American Guinea Pigs and have any thoughts on it?  Or their Too Extreme For Mainstream library?


I don’t think I’ve come across Doom Asylum. Any chance you can tell me about that flick?


From what I heard, some extreme cinema that has been creating a buzz is Truama (from Chile), The Painted Bird and 29 Needles.  Have those films caught your attention?


Isserley: It's so cool that you're into that stuff! I barely know anybody who is..


I've seen all the AGP movies! I think Bloodshock was my fave, it was kind of like a weird combo of Tetsuo and some of the older Guinea Pig movies.


Doom Asylum is an 80's slasher that embraces all the goofy 80's slasher stuff, It's super funny and cheesy, but It's really brutal and gory as well, which is super fun. There's a blonde girl in it that basically plays harsh noise music in a band, which was rad.


I've heard of 29 Needles, and I'm really excited to see Trauma! I'll have to check out The Painted Bird though, I haven't heard of that one


Mikey: I’ll definitely have to look up Doom Asylum (and hopefully anyone that’s reading this when the interview gets published). Not sure if you’re familiar with a Russian war film called Come And See, but from what I read, The Painted Bird shares that bleakness. I haven’t seen Trauma, but it is on my watchlist on Tubi. Heard a lot about the beginning, the rape scene and the baby in the end.


I’ve heard stories about how tough it is for extreme cinema to make it’s way to Australia. There was a incident where someone got arrested for ordering August Underground, that Fred Vogel flew over there to support the guy in court. Then there was that film festival, where the organizer got arrested for showing Bruce LaBruce’s LA Zombie. And I’m not sure if A Serbian Film is banned or they just cut out a lot of scenes. So I have to ask, does Australian censorship laws make it hard to hunt down extreme cinema? Does this make things even harder to make extreme cinema in Australia? I would think you can find many people into extreme cinema online or is it you don’t come across interviewers who are into extreme cinema? Are there extreme cinema Facebook groups or message boards that you are in? How do you stay in touch on upcoming horror films and extreme cinema?


Isserley: A lot of the time now, extreme cinema is super indie, so you can usually find region free DVDs or Blus from their official stores, if not Ebay or something similar to that. Unless It's super rare, It's only as hard to get as the movie itself is. I generally don't know many people who enjoy extreme cinema, but I do follow some on Letterboxd, and I'm Facebook friends with a lot of people involved with all that stuff. I really badly wanna do the soundtrack for extreme cinema so that's something I'm super interested in right now, so if anyone has a lead on that..


You'll pretty much never natively find extreme cinema unless it was something with major cultural impact, like Salo or something like that. You're definitely not gonna find August Underground or Nekromantik on the shelves here


Mikey: Would you know if a Australian filmmaker were to do a movie like A Serbian Film or The Guinea Pig series in Australia, will there be any legal trouble?


Isserley: As far as I know, censorship only becomes a thing if the ratings board gets involved, so if you release stuff completely indie, I doubt they'd have trouble.


Mikey: Yeah, after hearing about that August Underground story, it did make me curious.


So, how was 2020 for you? Other than your music, did you have any big plans, but got ruined because of the pandemic?


Isserley: I'm a total recluse with very little ambition, so the pandemic barely impacted me at all. I do everything from my house, and I'm pretty happy just doing what I do. 2020 was fine for me, maybe even slightly better than a normal year since everyone else was online all the time. Weirdly, it made my year less lonely.


Mikey: For someone that doesn't do live shows and just keeps to themselves, what has been your thoughts on the people in the music industry getting called out by women, for abuse and sexual harassment?


Isserley: I don't really have a specific opinion on that. If someone wrongs someone, they should absolutely say or do something about it.


Mikey: I guess I kinda wanted to know if you feel like not playing live shows and being involved in your scene was probably for the best? I’m not sure how often you get shit from creeps online, but would those events have discouraged you in getting involved with music, when starting out?  Do you see the #SpeakingOut movement getting women even more involved in their music scene?  Hope these questions don’t seem too personal.


Isserley: I'd like to be more involved in any scene really, but I'm not really close to anything and even if I was, I don't think I'm really ready for that stuff. It's never really been a choice but whenever I've been asked to play live I've shied away. I think just existing publicly on the internet is enough to draw in negativity from other people, so dealing with that is another day to day tool you pick up, like spelling or how to make a mean sandwich. It's never made me reconsider music at all.


I'm not really sure what anybody's motivation for getting into music is, but my own was an emotional outlet. There was a lot of anger and pain in my earliest music, so I suppose It's possible that people will use whatever anger they have from those kinds of situations to fuel some form of art.


Mikey: So what do you have planned for 2021?


Isserley: I'm working on a new album at the moment, as well as a few side projects and remix compilations. I don't really plan ahead, so I have no idea what will come out of 2021, but hopefully people dig whatever I end up doing.


Mikey: Awesome. I was gonna ask if you ever interest of doing a side project. Any details you can give and when will we be able to hear it? On the new Isserley album - did you just started working on it or do you have some of it completed? Do you have a title for it? And how are things with your remix work?


Isserley: It's all still Isserley stuff, but I have some scoring and smaller EPs I'm working on, as well as physical merch. I'm not sure when the new album will be done, I'm chipping away at it whenever the mood strikes, but I'm not very good at forcing myself into it, I don't work well that way. A few songs are finished already though, and I think I have a working title but I don't wanna announce it yet since I change my mind a lot. As for remixing, I don't have anything planned right now, but always open to it if the song resonates with me.


Mikey: And finally - is there a subject/concept and genres you would like to explore? Also, is there anything you’d like to add about your creative journey?


Isserley:  I'm definitely wanting to get more into rap! I love doing it but I'm not really that great at it, even the production for it is kinda tricky for me, but I'm really determined to do a pop and rap thing at some point! I don't think I have anything to add, but I really enjoyed this interview!


Isserley’s latest album, SADXMASS, is available now on Bandcamp for “Name Your Price”. 

Be sure to follow Isserley and stay up to date on releases and future projects. You can find her on the links below:-


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Careless - I Wish You Away

Labels: Couchpunx/Flood Floorshows/La Agonia De Vivir/Tell Wilhelm Records/Through Love Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 14 Feb 2015


1. Small Hours

2. Mirror

3. Roda Fingrar

4. Pale As China

5. Kintsukuroi

6. Jag Kan Inte Dromma Som Dig

7. Jag Hatar Magnus Ladulåsgatan

8. Sad Statements

9. Sodra Station

10. Falsely Yours

Another Sunday and another ZBR roster review, which excites me more than you know. It's also the final release that formed a Swedish trio, alongside Via Fondo and I Love Your Lifestyle back in late 2014/early 2015. I Wish You Away was the first LP to come from Careless and was pressed on 300 copies, with 200 on black and 100 on mixed grey vinyl. It turned out to be the band's only full-length.

For many, Sweden is the epicentre of Europe’s screamo/post-hard community and it’s hard to argue with that sentiment, when so many bands have emerged from the country in recent years. Careless are (or were) one of those bands and I Wish You Away was their only full-length. Opening with the gentle tones of ‘Small Hours that builds slowly with layers of subtle dissonance, throughout it’s near six-minute length. It’s instrumental for the majority of it’s playing time, but being a screamo song it bursts into life towards the end with cinematic, heavy post-hardcore that gets faster as it goes. It seems strange to say this but it you’re looking for a song that sums up Careless and you’ve never listened to them before, then ’Small Hours’ is for you.

Things become slightly more chaotic from here on in with ‘Mirror’ and it’s uptempo emo that has roots in earlier screamo/emo. The mix of jangly guitar work, harsh screams and cleaner spoken word/shouting makes it harder to pin down yet music-wise it’s jam packed with twists and turns, while never losing it’s melody. Careless is one of those bands that aren’t afraid of mixing Swedish lyric songs, alongside their English songs and the first one of those is ‘Roda Fingrar’. I always love it when bands sing in their native language because it tends to give their music more feeling. Sorry if that comes across as a bit ignorant, I’m English and while I dabble in French a little, I can’t speak any other languages enough to call myself educated.

They have a real knack of making every song sound really expansive on I Wish You Away and dare I say it, there’s a touch of Japanese screamo influence in it as well. That’s what I get from the song-writing and phrasing on ‘Pale As China’ anyway. It’s so great to listen to! I got a terrible night’s sleep and as a result I feel pretty tired today, but the energy of ‘Kintsukuroi’ is helping me to power through this morning. It’s energy comes from the tempos and percussion, which take on many forms throughout the course of the song, before Careless slows it down towards the end via the addition of more cinematic atmosphere and riffs. It signals the progression to the record’s second half in a really nice way.

Being a screamo album, you’re never too far away from long song titles and ‘Jag Kan Inte Dromma Som Dig’ is one of those song titles, though maybe not be design but more due to translation. That’s kind of an irrelevant point though, not really sure why I wrote it but whatever. It’s still an awesome song filled with harsher screamo and even some black metal-like shrieks in places. ‘Jag Hatar Magnus Ladulasgatan’ follows on in much the same vein. It’s another one that’s a bit more mid-paced and fuller in delivery. I think that’s one characteristic that marks this album out. It’s quite long compared to a lot of more recent screamo/post-hardcore albums and there’s no real gravitation to emoviolence either. That’s not a bad thing by any means though, as it just means the album is more consistent as a whole and isn’t as brain-melting. 

The production, mixing and mastering is another element that I haven’t touched upon yet. It’s very true to the sound that Careless wanted to create. It’s clean when it needs to be but also has the right level of rawness as well. For example, during most songs you can audibly hear the bass rumbling within the mix, making it much more three dimensional. ’Sad Statements’ exhibits that well, alongside the emotion it references, which is synonymous with emo/screamo. That just makes it more heartfelt. There’s no loss in momentum either, which can sometimes be a problem on longer albums or for listeners with short attention spans. For example, the album’s penultimate song ‘Sodra Station’ stretches to six minutes and while that may turn some people off, you should do your best not to let it, as you’ll miss out on so much. 

Ending with ‘Falsely Yours’, Careless injects one last dose of emotion and reality into I Wish You Away with a slightly stripped back approach and some piercing feedback, which seems to manifest itself in the form of anger as it rings out. It’s quite disorientating and it leads to a noisy closing section that’s amongst the heaviest this album has seen. This is certainly one album that you’ll need to listen to in a full sitting. Careless made it so that I Wish You Away contains impact even long after the band themselves have gone quiet. It’s subtle impact but it buries itself deep and in it’s own way, cleanses you. We must never let music like this die.

You can stream I Wish You Away in full and purchase it as a name-your-price download directly from Careless below:-

Careless -

You can still buy physical copies below:-

Through Love Records -

Couchpunx -

Flood Floorshows -

La Agonia De Vivir -

Tell Wilhelm Records -

Though Love Records -

Zegema Beach Records -