Posts tagged ‘metallica’

Exclusive interview with Johan Edlund of Tiamat

Initially known as Hellslaughter, the mastermind behind Sweden’s one of the most successful metal bands, Johan Edlund relied on death grunts for singing but later shifted to a more deep and baritone style. This period is famously defined as pre/post Wildhoney era by fans. Tiamat went through a significant shift in musical style during the mid 90s and even though many fans were disheartened by their much Goth influenced turn, they gained more fans than they lost, mostly because of their never ending habit of being unpredictable. Though every album post 1997 classic ‘A Deeper Kind Of Slumber’ has had a mixed and unpredictable approach like Gothic Rock/Metal, Dark Rock, Doom Metal, Psychedelic Metal and even showing some signs of their initial extreme metal days, a very Wildhoney like album ‘Amanathes’ (2008), they have hardly released any weak record. Tiamat is one of the few bands who have songs and albums that cater to every kind of metal and rock music followers.

Tiamat had made a habit to make their fans wait for the smallest of updates, so much so that post 2003 great album ‘Prey’ they have released just two albums; namely Amanethes (2008) and The Scarred People (2012), all three were hailed by both fans and critics alike. Even though they are not much into regular updates, Tiamat are extremely good in giving fans power jolts from time to time.

A recent post by Tiamat founder and frontman Johan Edlund on his Facebook read:


Just like Tiamat’s ‘Open to interpretation’ content, this teaser was enough for us to get excited and after a long chase we got in contact with Johan Edlund himself. He was as humble and down to earth as he was witty and unpredictable, just like his music.

Poetbabu – Hello Johan. How are you?
-Hi, I’m very fine. Counting money. Right now we’re speaking I’m trying to rid alcohol, having just proposed to my lady, might move to Canada and enjoy two bonus kids, both teenage girls. So, yeah, I’m fine.

Poetbabu – Are you still living in Greece?
-Yeah, technically I am. Means no more to me that any other country. But all of us.. Somewhere we need to be.

Poetbabu – How has your time in Greece changed you?
-Good question. My ex taught me good things for going further in life. How we don’t need to follow others. In a way of not being impolite.. Just.. Do your thing. Learned that from my Greek pals, definitely! They rock!

Poetbabu – You shared about not feeling great health wise, what had happened and are you better now?
-I’m fine, no worries. I am honestly the strongest person on the planet. I worry over people worrying over me. Real fine, wanna cut alcohol. Don’t care much myself, but there are kids here now, and I need to drive and work. Alcohol has to leave.

Poetbabu – What are your thoughts on concept albums? Share with us your favorite ones.
-Best concept album is Prey. No one got it. So, perfect concept album, right?

Poetbabu – Music is a powerful tool for achieving altered states of consciousness and Tiamat’s music does that to many. While crafting a song, do you have an intention to make the listener get into a certain “vibe” or feel a certain emotion?
-That would come as a nice bonus. I don’t know what I do. If it means something to people, that’s so lovely. We honestly don’t have a clue. Still, we’re a bit proud of something we’ve done. We could do more and that is what we aim for because we don’t give up either.

Poetbabu – Have you ever experimented with the occult or esoteric art? If yes, could you please share which systems of magic or the occult you have experienced with and how it has affected you and your music?
-Ok. Yeah, Thelema, Church Of Satan, Egyptian and other lore. OTO, Golden Dawn, Masonry and odd Fellows. Honestly, we wanted to find it out. We’ve been not bit closer to anybody else, sorry.

Poetbabu- A recent Tiamat concert was shut down in Georgia. What had happened?

– Weird thing. I am a christian. Living on orthodox ground. I also asked them to come to talk to me. I gave my hotel number. Anytime, 24/7… They wouldn’t. So be it, we took it elsewhere and had a show happen. It wasn’t the best situation. I’m proud of us, we stood up and played for our Georgian fans. Honestly, I know more about christianity than these fucking monks. And that’s a fucking fact!!!!!!

Poetbabu – Have such things affected you on personal or professional level?
-Yes, of course. Closer to Pope!

Poetbabu – While fans had made it clear on social media that they were worried for the band, how did your friends and family react to this incident?
-No one was worried. As always we dealt with the problem head on, as professionally as possible.

Poetbabu – Also, there was a video shared by you recently where you stopped a guy from harassing a lady on your show.
-I did the right thing. No more, no less. A woman was being harassed by a man, needed to be stopped. I expect others to do the same.

Watch the video here:

Poetbabu – The band, Tiamat is known for its extreme religious contexts, blasphemy and controversial lyrical content. What does God and Religion mean to you?
-We promote love in many of our songs. From our hearts. I am a Christian, I stand by my cross. Simple as that. God for me is good…with a lot of humour. He lived with us for over 6 billion years. He knows.

Poetbabu – A lot has been spoken about musical evolution of Tiamat, but back in 1999 the band showed their first goth influences. How much has the band changed today musically and in terms of production and inspiration?
– I got into early post-punk/gothic at the end of the 80s/early 90s. Bands such as Joy Division, The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, Fields and others  were huge influences to our sound. We tried to mix that new inspirational force with what we might have invented that was called Swedish Black Metal. The mix of two good worlds.

Poetbabu – Can you tell us the story behind the song ‘Thirst Snake’? What does the name mean? What are the musical and lyrical inspirations for that song?
-Inspiration is from Paradise Lost by Milton. Thirst Snake was a name for the devil; devil always being thirsty.

Poetbabu – You have made your appreciation for Lana Del Rey when you covered her song ‘Born To Die’ on The Scarred People Album, but out of all the songs why did you choose that one in particular, especially since it has feminine essence to it? For example, the lyrics ‘You like your girls insane’.
-I love Lana and I don’t see any problem with feminism. I chose ‘Born to Die’ because I feel it is a brilliant song with brilliant lyrics. I like all my girls insane!

Poetbabu – You have taken a lot of time coming up with new albums in the recent past. In fact post Prey (2003) you have released only two albums. What’s the reason behind this and is it going to be the same in future too?
-No, see, we plan to release one album and one double concept album within the next short years. There’s been much in between and so be it.

Poetbabu – There was no music video for Amanethes album. What was the reason behind it?
– I was out fishing!

Poetbabu – Even, ‘Wildhoney’ is a landmark album on many levels. Even considering Tiamat’s diverse catalog, this album is unique. There are lyrics which are inspired by psychedelics ( also on Deeper kind of Slumber). How much of a role did psychedelics play in inspiring you and the band. Which has been your preferred psychedelic drug of choice and what has been the most profound psychedelic experience for you personally?
-I don’t suggest drugs, and my own experiences I keep to myself. But when I do, grass turn pink and I can’t watch that dinosaurs on TV.

Poetbabu – Will Tiamat be continuing with Napalm Records?

Poetbabu – If you had a chance to tour India with another European band, who would that be? Why?
-Moonspell, our brothers.

Poetbabu – Tell us who you admire and would like to work with, not including any members of Tiamat.

Poetbabu – What books are you reading right now (lately) ?
-Your Mom.
Poetbabu – What music are you listening to right now (lately) ?
-Your Mom.

Poetbabu – What books and music albums do you recommend?
-Ours are good. stay away from the Bob. Your Mom.

Poetbabu – How would you define Darkness and Light?
-They go well together.

Poetbabu – What are your future plans (Solo/bands) ?
-Write and record the two Tiamat albums as stated. Don’t give up on the idea of my solo Swedish album. Record a couple of country songs with my new good friends in Canada.

Poetbabu – There was a bug like symbol used for ‘A Deeper Kind Of Slumber’ album and also featured on The Scarred People box set as a necklace. What is it and what’s the inspiration behind it?
-It brings sweet to the queen! Symbol, aim to sell honey and metal.

Poetbabu – Tell us what comes to your mind when I say these words:
-Beautiful people.
Parallel Universes
-Still Love
With Every Tear A Dream
-Yep, love
European Union
-Not working good, still working ok.
Online Piracy
-Bring it on. I got a shotgun!
Game Of Thrones
-That’s dragons, I need food.
-Got Milk?
– Time bending.

Poetbabu – Any message to the Indian fans?
-“Here’s to the first of the day, fellas. To old D.H. Lawrence….Indians”.

Poetbabu – Thank you for your time and good luck for your future. Have a great health.
-To you also. Thank you.

– Manmeet Singh Bhatia (Poetbabu)

(Special thanks to Amon and Luane Vella)

Musique BC – E01 – The Sinful Ensemble



Guest: Harsh Vardhan (Owner/Director at Proximity Productions; Owner / Chief Editor at Metaljesus Magazine)
Produced by Manmeet Singh Bhatia
Intro music and Background music by Mohammad Bashar Jawysh

(Rights to below mentioned songs used in this episode belong to their respective owners)

Mourning Palace – Dimmu Borgir
The Day It All Came Down – Insomnium
Scream Bloody Gore – Death

You can contact me on:

Mega-Review: Metallica’s ‘St. Anger’

Well, let’s start with the fact that METALLICA is one of the most legendary heavy metal band of all times for various reasons, no doubt about it. Now we are all very much aware of all the arguments surrounding Metallica; like Megadeth vs Metallica, James vs Dave, old Metallica vs new Metallica or even who’s more heavier of the big four of American heavy metal. Although I feel Slayer and Megadeth take the trophy for being heavy I do not think that being heavy is the most important thing. If you went back to their early history, then one would expect a comparison between the Cliff Burton albums as they were the pinnacle. They made Metallica legendary. I’ve tried to make people understand that bands do not have to sound same every time in order to make good music. A very good example of this are bands Tiamat (Sweden) and Ulver (Norway); they’ve been different in all their albums and are maybe known for being unpredictable. I know both the bands i’ve mentioned are not of same genre as Metallica but take example of Megadeth, they breath and shit heaviness in every single album and so have become extremely predictable. Not good or bad, predictable. Metallica took a brave step with recent albums to sound different than previous ones. Not heaviness, they lost heaviness post Black album but still were able to hook; instead they lost something more than that, something that made Metallica ‘Metallica’. It is not even about being ‘metal enough’ as most wannabes wanna call it. It is totally okay to drop metal for the purpose of exploring music, like Tiamat and Opeth (Sweden) among many others did.  No purpose or loss of it, that is disheartening and brings me to St. Anger.


Revisiting Metallica​’s St. Anger album after years feels like meeting an old yet disreputable friend and being all excited at first and then remembering exactly why you never looked back at him all these years. The album doesn’t go anywhere, literally, there is no trip, no journey or story or feeling. They desperately want to give out feeling of doom and darkness through heaviness but fail miserably. Now that I did look back let me make it clear that I tried to be as objective and open minded as possible. There is a lot to praise Metallica for. Then again, there are way more bands which overall have much stronger discography to show for and releasing something as terrible as “St. Anger” happened to be quite rare also, at least by a well established band.

Lars and James, the two founding members, didn’t get along with each other at the time St. Anger was supposed to be recorded. Also their bassist Jason Newsted had enough and decided to leave Metallica. Bass was played by the producer Bob Rock. In that kind of environment things were bound to go wrong and they did – big time. Starting off from questionable album cover to the absurdly bad production, there is very little good on this album. Vocal effort by James is somewhat annoying and often too forced, but not the biggest issue of this album. But when it comes to instrumental part, while it mostly sounds like hard rock or even stoner rock, riffing is so dull, dry and uninspired. It feels like a random garage rehearsal, has no backbone. no soul and lacks of proper structure. It is, however, catchy at times with songs like ‘Some Kinda Monster’ and some songs have a little potential like ‘Shoot Me Again’ but otherwise spoilt by either lyrics or vocals or instruments.

I need to make something clear, lars Ulrich was once my favorite drummer, yes he was, but that was when he was the only drummer I knew. I remember watching a drumoff between Lars and James once and if I must be honest I loved James on drums and Lars just looked like he did not belong there. While even many of the hardcore Metallica fans would agree that Lars is nowhere near an excellent drummer, he has been decent on some of the early releases, most prominently on “And Justice for All…”. But here, drumming is the worst aspect of this release. Not only is playing as amateurish as it was on otherwise superb “Kill em’all”, but also drum sound is god awful and way too high in the mix. Snare sounds like hitting hollow barrels. Even cymbals sound incredibly annoying for most of the time. Yeah, Lars even uses double bass at times, but his generic style literally suffocates this album. There are no surprises, just one linear line of boredom.

While the drums are undisputable screw up here guitars are no good too. The vocals though are not badly mixed sound forced and at one point annoying and also, not to forget almost inaudible bass guitar played by Bob Rock, so who cares. The only good thing I can take out of this album is the song ‘The Unnamed Feeling’ (despite Metallicas total efforts to screw it up they managed to come up with one decent, if not totally awesome song) and Metallicas name; but shit wrapped in gold foil is still shit. Now i remember again how much it sucked for me to not look back at it all these years and hopefully wont in future, this is one good album to bury.

A little good feeling in songs ‘Some Kinda Monster’, ‘Shoot Me Again’ and my favorite ‘The Unnamed Feeling’, otherwise the album is just gutter. I give this album ‘Two mugs o’ beer’.

Metallica currently are :

James Hetfield : Vocals, Guitar

Lars Ulrich : Drums

Kirk Hammett : Guitar, background vocals

Robert TrujilloGear : Bass, Background Vocals


One Mug o’ Beer – Curses, Machood, Bhenchood!
Two Mugs o’ Beer – Lame, Gandu, Chutiya.
Three Mugs o’ Beer – Nothing Great, Nothing Great.
Four Mugs o’ Beer – Lovely, Sahi hai!
Five Mugs o’ Beer – Great, fuck, Mazaa aagaya!

Mega-Reveiw : Xandria, live in Hyderabad, India. With interview.

The 2015 edition of Pearl, the National Annual Cultural Festival of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, Hyderabad Campus kick started on March 12th. The annual fest which culminates on the 15th had numerous events throughout, including Art, Dance, Drama, Music and other cultural events. The four day long fest was headlined by well known international and national musicians like Vishal – Shekhar, Arushi Mudgal, Advaita, VH1 Supersonic and


Xandria @ Bits Pilani, Hyderabad, India. 14th March, 2015.

Xandria @ Bits Pilani, Hyderabad, India. 14th March, 2015.

German symphonic metal giants Xandria have made their Indian debut to a roaring crowd that in all their screams and appreciations wanted only more of the band and Xandria in all their generosity were more than happy to give them more. Mumbai based 5 piece alternative rock band The Pickled Octopii were a blessed bunch, they opened for Xandria. The Germans were welcomed to a loud cheer by the blistering young crowd and Xandria did not disappoint them. With the famous show opener ‘Nightfall’ Xandria warmed up the excited crowd for the thunder they were going to bestow over Hyderabad. Commendable voice control of their dutch frontwoman Dianne van Giersbergen and symphonic powers and amazing guitar work of Philip Restemeier, new bassist Steven Wussow and founder of the band Marco Heubaum, with energetic drumming by Gerit Lamm, were explicit.

P.C : Younus Yousuf

P.C : Younus Yousuf

The band played a very famous setlist, including Sacrificium, Nightfall, Ravenheart and their tribute to India with the song ‘India’. All the songs sounded the same live as they do on the album. Dianne Van Giersbergen with her sumptuous dress and jewellery (which she designed herself) and enchanting voice soared throughout the open ground, hitting every note within her soprano range. She commanded the stage from start to finish. Between hitting staggering high notes, dancing on stage, she held the audiences captivated throughout. Energy was very evident throughout the show and Xandria with their exquisite stage presence made it even more of a stunning experience.

IMG_3913 IMG_3930b



Luckily enough, Poetbabu got a chance to interview the band just before the show:

Poetbabu: Welcome to India, i believe this is your first time?

Dianne van Giersbergen :Yes. (Chuckles).

Philip Restemeier : I arrived a day later than the guys, in the morning 6 am and the only thing i saw hotel and the way to this campus.

Marco Heubaum : Because we were here a few hours earlier we have seen a little more of the road (Laughs).

Dianne van Giersbergen : But we had a terrific dinner last night.

Poetbabu: Awesome, you know Hyderabad is famous for its delicacies, so how did you find it?

Dianne van Giersbergen : We had kababs for starters which was really really good and we had different kinds of curry for the main course and for the dessert it was a whole new experience, right?

Marco Heubaum : Yes.

Dianne van Giersbergen : I don’t even know what it is but it was yellow, looked like a sponge.

Poetbabu: It is called Ras Malai. That’s a sweet over here.

Marco Heubaum : what else would one need to try?

Poetbabu : Biriyani, Hyderabad’s famous dish. It’s spicy rice.

Dianne van Giersbergen : Yeah (Smiles). We tried that last night.

Poetbabu : Marco, you’ve mentioned on your website that you have a special love for Indian food.

Marco Heubaum : Yes, that is why it was a very special evening for me yesterday. It was the first time for me having Indian food in india. It is a lot better than what i get at restaurants at home.

Poetbabu : So, being in India, how is different from travelling other countries.

Dianne van Giersbergen : (Immediately) The traffic is different of course. It’s always a hard question, its different on stage and off stage. The people over here are very friendly. For example your border patrol is very friendly and normally they are not.

Poetbabu : We are really glad you feel that way.

Philip Restemeier : I am really curious to find Indian flexible time. We experienced it today when we were sound checking and we had to stop because apparently the boss of the campus was walking around and he needed some quiet moments. We were asked to take a 5 minutes break and then we were told it might take 15 – 20 minutes. So we went back stage and then we were immediately told that we may continue the sound check. Maybe this is what Indian flexible time is, i am curious to find out.

Poetbabu : Your new album Sacrificium, how is it different from your previous works?

Dianne van Giersbergen : I am in it, makes a difference right? (Chuckles)

Poetbabu : Of course it does. I meant in sense of recording process and composition, how is it different from your previous releases?

Marco Heubaum : There is not big difference to this album because Neverworld’s End was a new start for us but can not be really compared to the older stuff, you know. We did new stuff with the band so old stuff doesn’t really count for us anymore. You can’t compare new to older stuff. i think ‘Sacrificium’ is pretty a continuation of  ‘Neverworld’s End’ album. The production process was a little bit different because we did recordings in different studios, mix was done by someone else and stuff like that was not really an improvement. We were not really happy with the mix of the album.

Poetbabu : Honestly, i found it one step ahead of the last album, this is my personal View. So, is there a particular flow to the album, say this song should come first and here and there?

Marco Heubaum : Not really, but yeah musically i have a rough picture in my mind of what the next album should be like. Originally when i start song writing it builds up and then gets more specific but it was not much case of the current album and there was not much of a plan.

Poetbabu : So you just let it flow how it comes out?

Marco Heubaum : Yeah.

Poetbabu : Alright. You have released an album called ‘India’. So was it a long due for you to come to India?

Marco Heubaum : Yeah (Laughs) it’s interesting i guess, back then we never thought we’ll play title song from that album here in India. I was really smiling when we did the sound check of that song today. I don’t know how many of you noticed me smiling because it was really to play that song and i have never been to India before. Ten years after the release it is not that bad, right?

Poetbabu : Definitely not, you should surely come back, for food at least. Marco, you also mentioned in your website that Tiamat’s Wildhoney album is your favourite. So how has the album inspired you as a musician?

Marco Heubaum : The album came out in the year i started to play electric guitar and also when i started to play music with other people and not only alone and i started to make music with a friend of mine who played drums and we both were Tiamat fans and this album came out. It was only for 2-3 months we played together and we were really trying to find the right tunes and to get the band together later maybe, but we didn’t know what sound we wanted to be and this album came out and i totally fell in love with it and was like ‘Oh this is the direction i want to go’. It’s really great also because i was a beginner on the electric guitar and that album is pretty simple technical wise, like with the instruments and it has such an atmospheric emotional impact and it impressed me a lot how you can achieve it with say a little bit more or less experienced instrument. So it was really something i could do and try to play it on my own instrument.

Poetbabu : It’s a masterpiece. I love it myself.

Marco Heubaum : Yes, yes it is.

Poetbabu : Dianne, you have had an quiet interesting last 15 months with the band.

Dianne van Giersbergen : Oh yeah.

Poetbabu : You are also a part of other band Exlibris, a dutch band, you are also a vocal coach. So how are you managing all this?

Dianne van Giersbergen : And i also make my own jewellery with bas guitar strings. In fact, i recently got a fair deal for a new set of strings from Phillip to make a new bracelet or jewellery.

Philip Restemeier : From the previous recording sessions that’s where the strings were used, so more special.

Dianne van Giersbergen : But how am i coping with all. I am very busy. It’s just matter of good scheduling, planning ahead and actually there has been busy how last few months because we had to exchange a few members and now we have a new guitar player and we are getting back in business.

Poetbabu : What does next chapter for Xandria look like?

Dianne van Giersbergen : well, you might have seen our facebook page, we are releasing a new EP this summer. It has no title yet. We have three new songs, one or two covers and two remakes of Xandria classics. If you really love them you should really check them out.

Poetbabu : Intriguing.

Poetbabu : Thank you so much for having us and have fun in India. Do come back.

Philip Restemeier : Thank you. If you say that after the show we will believe you (Laughs).

Younus Yousuf : It doesn’t matter we would always want you guys to be back.


Dianne van Giersbergen – Vocals

Gerit Lamm – Drums

Steven Wussow – Bass

Philip Restemeier – Guitar

Marco Heubaum – Guitar & Keys


Xandria live Video, at Hyderabad, India.

(Video credits : Younus Yousuf and Rohit Williams.)

I give the concert ‘Four and a half mugs of beer‘.

Hang in there, more pictures to come.


(Special Thanks to Sameera Jonnalagadda, Younus Yousuf and Rohit Williams.)

One Mug o’ Beer – Curses, Machood, Bhenchood!
Two Mugs o’ Beer – Lame, Gandu, Chutiya.
Three Mugs o’ Beer – Nothing Great, Nothing Great.
Four Mugs o’ Beer – Lovely, Sahi hai!
Five Mugs o’ Beer – Great, fuck, Mazaa aagaya!

Wherever i may roam ! (A trip to the Zoo.)

A Film by
Manmeet Singh Bhatia

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