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By on July 18, 2013

Situated in the eastern Icelandic fishing town of Neskaupstaður, Eistnaflug (which translates to, err… flying testicles) is an incredibly diverse rock and metal festival, with three days of everything from punk to black metal and even reggae played until the early hours of the morning in an isolated fjord where the sun never sets. Needless to say, it’s a magical experience, and a chance to discover some of Iceland’s hidden musical talents. Now, where’s the Brennivin?

1 - BRENNIVIN 1 - glacier 1 1 - glacier1 - waterfall

After an 11-hour drive from Reykjavik, during which we stop off at waterfalls, spectacular glaciers and play Immortal for the final stretch through snow capped mountains (clichéd? us?!), we arrive at our home for the next four days – an apartment we share with the lovely Red Fang – and get down to business: as the music doesn’t start until the following day, we head to a party with the guys from Solstafir in… a building where AA meetings are held. As you do. Needless to say, with that pesky 24 hour daylight thing, figuring out what time you stumble into bed is tricky, but we’re pretty sure our colleagues back in London would have been on their way to work at the time…

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On Thursday, the music begins, and after a breakfast of Tuborg to dust off our hangovers we venture outside to check out the bands, that today include Icelandic favourites Dimma and Plastic Gods. The majority of bands hail from this fair isle, but there are a number of international bands on the bill, such as Red Fang. Most bands play in the Egilsbúð venue, and the festival is for all ages – it’s the first time we’ve seen a blonde toddler with flowers in her hair wandering around a doom show in a smokey warehouse and, we imagine, the last. Said warehouse, the Mayhemisphere, is a short walk from Egilsbúð, and what a venue it is: a small, dark and dishevelled warehouse filled with smoke.

3 - mayhemisphere sign 3- mayhemisphere

Inside, as well as bands playing, there is a corpse painting booth, and a table with markers, pens and paper so you can have a go at drawing some Satanic shit. What else!?

4 - corpse paint 4 - satanic shiz

With smoke steaming out of the door and BM blasting from inside, the warehouse looks like a portal straight into Hell. It was here that we caught a special afternoon Solstafir show on the Friday, that was nothing less than spectacular.

5 - solstafir

On Friday we are also treated to a meet and greet between the journalists and bands, where Terrorizer and a group of other European metal journalists sit X-Factor style along a long table in the main venue. It gives us the opportunity to meet some of the bands playing this weekend, to find out more about what they do, and of course, to get our mitts on some of their merch and music so we can spread the word of their awesome-ness.

Needless to say, the guy from Saktmóðigur who gave us this definitely won us over:

6 - merch

As the weekend continues, we party with Kontinnum, see Skálmöld do some Slayer covers, watch Angist fucking brutalise the place and see Vintage Caravan do a Rammstein (see the pic below). And so, so many more bands, too many to mention here, but that you can read all about in our full review of the festival in Terrorizer magazine.

7 - vintage c7 - angist

One thing we didn’t do, however, was pole dance.

9 - pole dancing 1

At last year’s Eistnaflug, a local girl got a bit over-zealous with this here pole. The poor lass had had one beverage too many and twisted her ankle. For the sake of ankles – and dignity – of everyone at Eistnaflug, the good people of the town decided to warn others of the risks. Not that it stopped anyone at 5am…

9 - pole dancing

Eistnaflug, you’ve been spectacular. A huge thank you from Terrorizer to our wonderful hosts at the festival, and to the brilliant organisers who made our trip there possible. We’ll be back!

Read the full review of Eistnaflug Festival in issue #239 of Terrorizer out August 8

Blazing Horizon – A Conversation With Alcest
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Blazing Horizon – A Conversation With Alcest

Since 2000, Alcest has quietly become one of the most influential bands both within the realm of heavy music and beyond.  Over the course of thirteen years, the musical project begun by vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Neige has evolved its sound into that transcendent sonic balance between the ethereal and the palpable.  I had the opportunity to ask Neige a few questions regarding his own journey and process as a musician.

What was it initially about music that drew you in and fostered the desire to create?

I always loved music, as far as I can remember. For me it is the form of expression that provides the most intense emotions. I can totally relate to it, in an almost instinctive way. As opposed to some other forms of art that need tons of explanations and indistinct ideas around it to be appreciated and justified. As opposed, music goes beyond words and languages, it portrays the emotions in a more subtile way with no barriers. It’s like a primal expression, so vivid and immediate, and the most transcendental form of art for me because of the intensity of emotions it can give to the listener. I was not conscious about all that when I started composing, but I guess I had a special interest in music for these reasons. I took some piano lessons with my grand mother when I was a kid, and then at the age of thirteen I started playing electric guitar and making my first songs. It’s funny because I never did band covers, I learned guitar while playing my own stuff from the start.

From the moment you first began creating music to where you are now, what’s that journey been like and how have you seen yourself evolve as an artist and musician?

Lots of things changed indeed.At the beginning, until the release of Alcest’s Souvenirs d’un autre monde, I was quite inexperienced, not knowing anything about composition “rules” or theory, doing everything just by instinct. I am not saying that I am now an expert in theory because I am bad at it still, but now I can think a lot more about what I am doing. In terms of structure, sounds, arrangements, intentions. In general I can have a better control on what I am doing while some years ago it was totally different. For example at the beginning I didn’t care about the sound at all, I had no effect pedals, just an amp with clean and distortion channel. And I composed everything just by playing with these two sounds.

Now I got a lot more into all this, looking for specific sounds, etc… Both ways of creating have interesting aspects, and I am not going to say I am a better composer now because I am aware about what I do when I take the guitar. To have equipment limitations can be really good sometimes because you have to focus on the essence of a song and explore the few sounds you have to the maximum. I love raw creativity and first albums always have something really fresh and unique. I guess that’s a balance to find, between the raw and naive (but so powerful) creativity and the more cerebral side of creativity that comes later with experience.

READ MORE at http://www.steelforbrains.com/post/55872920855/alcest

Heavy Weight Show 07/16/2013 08:30PM to 10:00PM Pacific
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Heavy Weight Show (Music) with Steve Hill – Heavy Weight Show 07/16/2013 08:30PM to 10:00PM

The Barry Gray Orchestra “Joe 90 (Main Theme)” from No Strings Attached

Akercocke “LEVIATHAN” from Choronzon

The End “The Moth And I” from Elementary

Shroud Eater “The Star and the Serpent” from Dead ends

Agalloch “Ghosts of the Midwinter Fires” from Marrow Of The Spirit

Tombs “Black Heaven” from Path of Totality

Tool “The Patient” from Lateralus

Subrosa “The Inheritance” from No Help For The Mighty Ones

Pantera “Cemetary Gates” from Cowboys from Hell

Crowbar “(Can’t) Turn Away from Dying” from Broken Glass

Neurosis “Bleeding the Pigs” from Honor Found In Decay

VHÖL “Arising” from Vhöl

Orange Goblin “Graviton” from Coup De Grace

Opeth “The Grand Conjuration” from Ghost Reveries