Oubliette- The Passage

Oubliette cover art


Oubliette is releasing their second album “The Passage” July 13th.  The band’s sophomore effort is more mature and a collaboration with a full lineup rather than a solo effort of Mike Low.  Oubliette has a lineup finally and a triple guitar attack…..you should know what that means.  There is definitely a lot more melody this time around that is a beautiful touch to Oubliette’s blackened metal attack.

The band is an enjoyable change in pace in comparison to the other great bands on their record label The Artisan Era (which is fairly dominated by technical death metal so far).  The album concept is a sad and depressing theme of struggle, and at many points pleases a hardcore Opeth fan like myself.

I have to say “The Passage” is a much more experimental album compared to their debut album “Apparitions” which was a tad bit more straightforward.   I like the fact it’s a concept album and is done well.  You can really feel the character’s struggle in certain points of the songs the further the album progresses.  The band further explains the album, lyrics, theme and more right here.

“The Passage” definitely exceeded my expectations after a nice debut album from the crew.  It’s a heartfelt and emotional album that carries on right from the start to the last second.  This somber and melodic trip makes you wonder how great the third album will be……only time will tell.

The band is playing a show the day of the album release on July 13th at Little Harpeth Brewing in Nashville, Tennessee. If you live near there, don’t wait and purchase your tickets along with the album too!


Oubliette – The Passage 
1. A Pale Innocence
2. The Curse
3. Solitude
4. Elegy
5. Emptiness
6. The Raven’s Lullaby
7. Barren
8. The Passage

Emily Low – vocals
Mike Low (INFERI) – guitar
Todd Harris (BATTLE PATH) – guitar, backing vocals
Andrew Wampler (OPHIUCHUS) – guitar
James Turk (ENFOLD DARKNESS) – bass
Greg Vance (ENFOLD DARKNESS) – drums




Oubliette band photo (1)


Aethereus premiere new song “The Pale Beast”


Prog/Tech death newcomers Aethereus premiered a new song off their upcoming album Absentia titled “The Pale Beast”.  After listening to the track, I’m beyond convinced to say the least.  It’s not only a great tech and prog piece but very atmospheric and cool melodic parts that intertwine such a killer song…..I’m very impressed.  Absentia is out Friday August 10th.  The artwork is severely captivating, I hope the rest of the album is as crazy as everything else on The Artisan Era record label!


Vance Bratcher – Vocals  (The Devils of Loudon/Six Days of Darkness)
Kyle Chapman – Guitar/Vocals
Ben Gassman – Guitar
Scott Hermanns – Bass  (The Devils of Loudon/ex-Blood and Thunder)
Matthew Behner – Drums  (ex-Fully Consumed/ex-Year of Desolation)


Dischordia- Binge/Purge



Technical/Prog Dissonant Death Metal Experimentalists Dischordia (holy fuck that’s a mouthful of sub genres!) have released an absolute beast of a 2 song 24 minute EP that kicks serious ass.  It’s a technical and chaotic frenzy that perfectly sums up their short existence and most definitely their best work.

In my few months of knowing “dad metal” (as the guys have been joking around on social media for months now…..not only are they massively talented they’re just as goofy!) these guys have continuously risen the bar of their music with every release in their career.  “Thanatopsis” was their first full length album that is a pretty good album in the eyes of modern metal. This time however the band went apeshit in adding more odd rhythms, dissonance and extra instruments like keys, flute, ukelele and marimba.  I am a big fan of the experimental movement, as much as I love classic disgusting brutal death metal.  I think once a band or genre gets too stagnant, it gets extremely boring and all you do is keep pushing the wheel.

The guitar work of Keeno is so tamed, but so groovy and dissonant it isn’t over the top. I love shred crazy tech guitarists, but also love the styles of players that know what to do where and make a composition work instead of forcing a song.  The Oklahoma trio have carefully crafted a modern day masterpiece right before our eyes.  The rhythms are so addicting between Turner (bass) and Josh Fallin(drums) it’s a fucking epic.  What makes the band even cooler is they actually bring the flute to their shows which Josh Turner rocks the fuck out of! Authenticity is awesome and that’s what is one of many great things about Dischordia.

Dischordia brought a fucking sledgehammer and shattered the wheel, if you ask me.  Luc Lemay would smile ear to ear if he hasn’t heard of Dischordia already.  If you don’t know who Luc Lemay is, you probably love NSYNC.  Lemay is the founder and guitarist/vocalist of the legendary Canadian Dissonant Death Metal legends GORGUTS.  Using the aforementioned non traditional ideas of spicing up Death Metal was a fantastic idea and progression for Dischordia.

Dischordia 2018 band photo.jpg


Grab the EP digitally at their band camp website.  There are CD’s available as well including their previous release Thanatopsis.  I’ve played this through several times already and hasn’t gotten stale at all.  What Dischordia is doing is a serious deal.  It’s not another bland and boring pop metal album that Five Finger Death Punch released over and over again to appease to bro metal fans in Tapout t-shirts they purchased at Walmart on sale.  Dischordia is an extreme band with experimental influences that keep pushing the boundaries of staying true to your sound regardless of what anyone says.  It’s very influential to other younger and newer bands to keep doing what they want, and not do what people tell them to.  I am going to eventually start my best of 2018 article so I don’t forget any great releases and plan on adding a few new sections to broaden the yearly article…..and Dischordia is gonna be hitting that bitch hard.

The trio is currently on a tour with their tech death peers The Summoned (on select dates) the last half of the month of June.  The tour kicked off last night and will go through the end of the month.  If you live near any of the dates, I reckon you fucking go! The Summoned are no slackers either, it would be well worth your money and time.  If you want to get to know the band more, I interviewed their goofy asses last month.  To check out the EP, Decibel Magazine streamed it this week.

All hail dad metal!



The Reaping Poster-01.jpg

Mordant Rapture June 2018 Interview

Mordant Rapture - The Abnegation cover art

Mordant Rapture’s complex debut EP The Abnegation is set to be released July 13th on their new record label The Artisan Era.  The band further explained their upcoming release, the musician life, being freshly signed upon many other things. Enjoy!


TMR: What’s the meaning behind your band name? And any inspiration behind it?

Ben: In short  “Mordant Rapture” is kind of a play on saying kill yourself. For example if a person is being over worked or over stressed and they jokingly say “ just kill me now” it’d be a Mordant Rapture. The Rapture would be the instant 180 change to a nice calm stress free environment, the Mordant side is ,well, you’re dead. 

Kent: One idea that resonates with me about the band name is sort of an existentialist one, in which a rapturous event (whether in the biblical sense or psychologically/spiritually within individual experience) with is imbued with cynicism and sarcasm, never wholly allowing a pure redemption or escape, because the reality is this: the human condition is so problematic, so layered with contradiction and complexity, and is permanently anchored to the darkest shadows of our own bloody history, that the promise of salvation through a transcendence of the physical world has been emptied of its power. As a species, our capacity for love and potential for unspeakable horrors seem irreconcilable, and I feel that it is at this site of conflict that we are grounded to a grander narrative, one in which any attempt at “rapture” would be in vain and comically absurd given our circumstances. Choosing to live, then, is an act of significant bravery, as opposed to suicide, which seems to be the logical option, except that the release that death brings is anything but rapturous. 

Rod: Being the last member to join I sorta made my own sense of the name, for me it’s like having a hard critical sense of pious views, this longing for redemption through a rapture to absolve one’s moral conduct is maddening to me because it will never happen. You have to create paradise here for yourself so that when the rapture does happen either metaphorical or literal you’ll know that you’re life wasn’t squandered waiting on fabled tales. 

TMR: What are the lyrical themes for The Abnegation?

Rod: There are many themes throughout that we all discussed during the writing process and from that I wrote this short story that encompasses everything throughout the EP.  To put it as briefly as I can, within this religious community an expecting couple want to leave the confines of this strict sect for a better life for their new “dawn”. Track one is the man dealing with the nightmares that plague his conscience and having to put fears aside for the one he loves to make a better life for his family but still worries of what might happen once he and his wife leave. Track two is him taking action but is caught and fails and this feeling of being withered away sets in. Track three speaks for itself “A Plea Above Ashes”. Track four takes the point of view of the wife being put through this kangaroo court and trail by a reactive community for her dissent and being punished for their failed apostasy. Finally the last track is more or less the aftermath and just how important indoctrination is to the community’s survival but secular stigmas are destined to repeat, a cyclical reign of torment. 

Kent: So one thing I can’t help but do is to take an approach to things that make use of my background in English literature, and I’m guilty of bombarding Ben and Rod with literary theory and analysis. The story that Rod created for the concept behind the EP immediately struck me as allegorical; the couple embodies all kinds of representations of conflict within a larger social order in which the dissenter is punished for going against the grain. Consciousness is still one of the most mysterious things about our reality, and yet we wonder why when we try to control the masses, variations and exceptions occur. How we handle these chaotic factors point to even bigger problems of trying to understand and predict human behaviors, and we stand to lose more and more of our humanity every time we make mistakes and allow things to go horribly wrong. 

TMR: How did your band form?

Ben: It actually all started with Byron Leon, currently in Enigma (amazing band). He asked me to join a project he had started with David Arnold (awesome drummer). David was involved in another project with Kent at the time called “Octoclops”. From there Me and David began writing material and Kent originally joined in on bass and we had Ryan Mcnatt (also now in Enigma) on second guitar. The material was much different back then, actually it sounded nothing like current Mordant Rapture. As time went on Byron and Ryan formed Enigma, David moved out of the country, Kent, Myself, and our previous vocalist Richard Slate decided to push forward and continue creating. The sound continued to grow and change as we wrote more and more. Rodrigo originally joined on bass and eventually replaced Richard on vocals after Richard had to step back from the project. Then the three us decided to write all new material to put together this ep. The song that kinda was the turning point for us direction-wise is “Natal trophies”, the closer of the ep. It’s the oldest song but that was the turning point for us to push forward with the symphonic tech death sound. In the pre production phase, our recording engineer Cody Funtes (Rapture Recordings) got us in touch with Josh Miller to record the drums for this EP. 

TMR: Enigma is absolutely fantastic you’re right! What do you guys like to do when not involved in music?

Ben: I like to masturbate myself into naps. I also like to eat till I fall asleep mid bite. Those two urges are always at war, it’s really ugly when they end in a tie. Seriously tho video games, spending time with my dog, waiting for Berserk to finally wrap up, painting/collecting Warhammer 40k models and picking things up and putting them down at the gym. Replaying all the souls borne games. 

Rod: Video games and movies mostly theses days but I really like creative writing and screenwriting.  I’ve outlined a three to four season tv show, wrote some fan fiction; I’m a total sucker for writing a backstory to that guy in the background in tv and movies, like what’s this guy’s deal haha

Kent: I read a lot and cook a lot, which leads me to eat like crazy and spend too much time reading on the toilet. I try to get in a movie and some video game time between shits. 

TMR: Who are your biggest influences that made you become a musician?

Ben: When I first was learning guitar all the big nu metal guys where my biggest influences. System of a down, Korn, mudvayne, slipknot ect. I started learning all my favorite songs from them by ear, I remember thinking I was pretty hot shit when I figured out “chop suey” by SOAD. Little did I know, I wasn’t very hot shit at all. Later down the line bands like Spawn of possession would come along and ruin any confidence I had as a player. So I started learning stuff from much more technical bands. Time went on, I grew as player then eventually a game called “Bloodborne” came out and really got me interested in big scores and symphonies. Around that time I also found out about “Fleshgod apocalypse”. I always liked when bands incorporated classical instruments but the first time I heard fleshgod I remember thinking “I’ve wanted to hear this my whole life” and really started to heavily incorporate symphonic elements into my writing. 

Rod: Ihsahn of Emperor and Jon of Dissection are two big ones for me I mean just listen to “Anthems” and “Lights Bane” that level of creativity is what everyone should strive for. 

Kent: I remember the first time I heard Nine Inch Nails and was blown away by what Trent Reznor was doing. NIN threw on amazing performances and Reznor’s lyrics were unlike anything I had come across before, so this really struck a chord with me, so to speak. Upon learning more about the main driving force of creativity behind this fascinating project, I tried writing sections that were much more layered. It wasn’t until I started listening to Emperor, however, that I felt the fire of creativity light under my ass. I had been in several bands but discovering Emperor’s “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk” compelled me to be in projects that exhibited a mixture of aggression, technical skill, and compositional complexity. 

TMR: What’s your favorite memory as a musician (past or present)?

Rod: Recording studio for sure. We had so much fun with Cody at Rapture Recordings 

Kent: One time, I played a set at a local dive bar in downtown San Jose around the Halloween of 2014. We dressed up as cheap hookers and changed our name to “Curbside Nasties” for the night. Maybe it was the extra support I felt from wearing a bra but that was one of our most solid live sets as we killed it on stage.

The night was all good times: head banging in wigs to the other bands as they tore it up on stage, beer, laughing at Ryan Mcnatt when a random lady stopped by to help ease his struggle of getting his blouse on right, arguing with a drunk chick about the best place to buy pink wigs, a wild after-party…that whole night still stands out in my mind because it reminds me of the camaraderie of playing music live and the shenanigans that come with the territory. We can’t take life too seriously all the time, and it is in those moments where I look down and think “what am I doing? I’m just making noise by whacking away at some metal strings stretched across a plank of wood and magnets!” that I then realize I’m extremely lucky to be able to devote my time, my very being, to something that is simultaneously absurd and necessary for our souls, like making music. 

Ben: The Curb side nasties is hard to top. I guess outside of drunken stories, my favorite memory is the year I got my Ibanez k7 for Christmas. I literally slept next to that guitar for a week after getting it. Still have it too, that one is getting buried with me. 

TMR: Any shows you guys are planning?

Rod: Hopefully soon we can get more session members for touring but for now we’re looking at doing a “ Live at Rapture” play through at the end of the month, so be on the look out for that! 

Ben: We are all road hungry and ready, and as soon as we can find the right people we are hitting the pavement. 

TMR: What was everyone’s path to becoming a musician? 

Rod: Covering songs and learning how song structures and harmonies worked. I vividly remember learning how to play songs by ear and that seemed so much more rewarding to me. Most tabs that I printed out back then were usually incomplete or wrong, but in hindsight I’m glad because that pushed me to develop a better ear for certain notes. 

Kent: The father of a kid that lived down the street from me (and who showed me Metallica when I was like, 12 or 13,) was a hobbyist musician that had guitars, synths, and a decent computer–things I didn’t have access to at the time–so I went over to his house almost everyday to learn guitar and try laying down some song ideas. By my 14th birthday, my parents were sick of me begging for a guitar so they bought me a Fender Stratocaster that I still own to this day. I immediately jumped into playing with bands and self-learning chords, scales, covers, everything and anything that I could come across. But it really wasn’t until my early twenties that I became a much more active musician after landing a job at Guitar Center and networking with so many more sick metal players than I ever thought I could meet in one place. Those were very formative years for me musically, expanding and diversifying my arsenal of licks and theory well beyond what I was used to. I also got more into technology around then, seeing how powerful programs Toontrack’s Superior Drummer and Kontact worked within your preferred DAW to give musician’s even more creative power by a substantial degree. 

Ben: This makes question makes me feel old haha. I actually got introduced to guitar completely by chance. In 6th grade I didn’t fill out my elective form and was put into a mariachi class, and that’s really the first time I picked up a guitar. As far as influences to metal I grew up during the big boom of new, excuse me, NÜ metal. I got into Korn in 4th grade, thats when issues came out and falling away from me was the gateway. I remember thinking “Here to stay” by Korn was the peak of heavy, and it won’t ever be topped. Then Slipknot came along with “Iowa.” I eventually got an electric guitar one year and started learning songs by ear and I just kept going deeper down the rabbit hole as I got older and eventually found my way to death and black metal. Spawn of possession ruined a lot of bands for me, in a good way of course.

TMR: Who did your EP artwork? It’s stunning!

Rod: Nathan Lee was commissioned to work on it, I agree it’s really cool lookin’! 

Mordant Rapture band photo

TMR: The Artisan Era is one of the best labels in the business right now and have some of the youngest and most potent bands……how does it feel to be with such a great and potent label? It’s amazing how much talent and potential there is for a label that has barely made a name for themselves in a handful of years! Do you guys feel the need to live up to some sort of expectation following your signing or you just gonna go out and kick ass and take names regardless?

Rod: Sorta feels like those underdog stories you hear about, we are beyond honored to be apart of the family that like you said has only been around of handful of years and now is now synonymous with quality. The only expectation is that we are happy with the next one–that’s what we did with our EP and look where that got us haha I hope people can just listen to what we make and decide for themselves “yeah I like this,” then self reflect and form an honest opinion. 

Ben: During the recording process of this EP me and the guys would listen to Inferi, Virulent Depravity and Equipoise on the way to the studio a lot and talk about how crazy it would be to get signed to the same label. And it actually happened! It’s very surreal in the best of ways. They are my favorite label and to get the privilege to be a part of their roster is more then I could ever ask for. All that I want to do now is make them proud. 

Kent: It took awhile for it to sink in that we got signed onto such an amazing label with just an EP! But I keep reminding myself that we’ve been grinding for years and it shows in this release. The most exciting thing for me now is that now that we have established our sound by lots of trial-and-error and tempering through fire, we are not only much more efficient song writers now but also at the top of our game on our respective instruments. With The Artisan Era’s support, we’re able to bring you true next-level shit, because “The Abnegation” EP is just us getting started! 

TMR: What is everyone’s favorite set of lyrics from the EP?

 Kent: the chorus of “Quell the Voiceless”: 

“All the crimes divine that were left behind, 

left a scar through time. 

Narrowed by the blind swelling further, 

bound by what was mine, 

found left drowned in bitter wine” 

Rod: “Unsightly” as a whole but only because they are the longest set of lyrics, this always changes until the next song comes on but if I had to pick any particular part it might be: 

“Is the prospect of truth enough to keep awake 

Or has that yearn for deceit now sealed your fate 

Convenient narrative ellipsis or a somnambulant state?”

taken from “Quell The Voiceless”. 

TMR: Death Metal or Black Metal?

Rod: Blackened Death Metal 

Kent: Deathened Black Metal

Ben: if a band member didn’t kill another band member I wont listen to it. Jk if its good, its good. 

TMR: Congratulations on a great debut EP! Link anything you guys do outside of the band here. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!

Rod: thanks! We appreciate your interest in speaking with us. 







Oubliette June 2018 Interview

Oubliette band photo (1)


Blackened Death Metallers Oubliette are releasing their second full length in a few weeks. I digitally sat down with the band members concerning their upcoming album “The Passage” out in a few weeks next month, their inspirations, love for music, and a bunch of random related and unrelated questions discovering the band and their personality.  I was a fan of their debut album, but gonna have to say the title track they released recently makes it look like a joke.  It sounds like the band’s writing has dramatically evolved and the rest of the extreme metal world should look the fuck out (that goes for the Artisan Era label in general!).

I really got into this band more with the recent release, and glad this album is getting put out.  Apparitions was a raw and heavy debut album, The Passage seems like it is going to be a totally different monster. After seeing their answers to my questions, I really like Oubliette even more. Hope everyone reading enjoys the conversation!

Emily Low – vocals
Mike Low – guitar
Todd Harris – guitar
Andrew Wampler – guitar
James Turk – bass
Greg Vance – drums

TMR: What made you guys get into extreme metal and what do you like most about it?

Mike: I guess the first rock bands I started listening to were bands like Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, then some friends introduced me to Metallica, Slayer, Sepultura, and Pantera, which were kind of my top 4 for a while. I wanted to see what else was out there so I randomly bought some CDs when I had my first job. I got Cannibal Corpse “Bloodthirst,”  Decapitated “Winds of Creation,” and some other stuff. That was my first dive into the truly extreme metal and it just went on from there. It’s an indescribable attraction… the larger-than-life sound, the feeling that you are watching a movie with just your ears, the endless possibilities of what can be created. 

Greg: From a young age, I dealt with some childhood trauma and struggled to find outlets. I was bullied in school, and was essentially looking for some type of outlet. I had gotten into some of the darker 60’s and 70’s music my dad listened to, The Doors, Led Zeppelin etc, and from there, discovered Metallica and some of the 90’s mainstream metal before discovering Cannibal Corpse in a Jim Carrey movie. From there, I decided to mow lawns and save up for piecing together a drum kit to take aggression out. After playing for a few years, I wanted to push myself more and more into the extreme side, enter the love of death and black metal.

Todd: I got into extreme metal many years back when I discovered bands like Cannibal Corpse, Carcass and Deicide. Shortly after that, I got turned onto Emperor and Enslaved and started to develop an affinity for black metal. I started playing death metal and doom metal in my mid 20’s and that developed into playing more black metal inspired music. 

Emily: I randomly bought a couple of CDs because I liked the album covers, which happened to be Dissection and Death. The first moment I listened to those, I wanted more! Dissection still happens to be one of our biggest influences today. 

TMR: How was the triple guitar attack influenced?

Mike: I’ve always loved melodeath where there is a rhythm part, a melody, and a harmony. This has been a big part of the writing for Apparitions, back when I had only planned on it being a studio project. Whenever we decided to put together a live lineup after that album came out, I realized that the songs would be expressed better if we had three guitars so that we could cover all of the harmonized parts happening in the music. I feel like I might be starting to stray away from that a tiny bit and writing more riffs where everyone is playing something completely different to make up something massive, instead of something based all around the same idea. 

TMR: How does the band feel The Passage is different from your debut album Apparitions?

Mike:  I think it has matured musically and is more focused.

Andrew: It feels different playing songs between the two albums.  I enjoy both, but playing Apparitions is about trying to play like Mike, which can be tough on a couple songs because he has a very wide finger span.  The Passage was written with this group of musicians in mind and each of the guitar parts plays to our strengths.  We really click in rehearsals.  These songs were meant to be played live.

Todd: I’m extremely pleased with the progression from Apparitions to The Passage. I feel like there’s been growth since the last album musically and I know that everyone wants to continue to expand on our sound. I definitely feel like we work well together as writers and are quite willing to try things that we have yet to explore. I look forward to continuing that progression. 

Emily: I feel like it’s different in the sense that Apparitions was just me and Mike putting it together musically and lyrically,  but with The Passage we had more people involved. I feel like it still has the sound we were going for originally but now we have some outside input. Also, Apparitions was more based on personal experiences whereas The Passage was a story we created. 

Oubliette cover art


TMR: Did you guys do anything differently recording wise or writing wise for The Passage?

Mike: I wrote nearly all of the music for Apparitions myself. For The Passage, I had some input from the other guys. Most of it was based off of ideas that I already had, but we did get to sit down in the same room and bounce ideas off of each other, so that was great. I didn’t really contribute a whole lot lyrically this time, but did help to shape the story a bit. Recording-wise, it was still more or less the same, DIY. 

Greg: As the new drummer for this record, I felt relieved to be able to bring in a fresh perspective into the percussive aspects of the band, that shows a different side to my playing with Enfold Darkness. This record felt very close to all of us, because we would all bounce ideas off of each other, sometimes over a couple of IPA’s and a fire in Mike and Emily’s back yard. I love the first release and am excited to be a part of a group with dedicated, talented musicians, who are also my best friends.

TMR: I didn’t even know your vocalist was female until recently! I’m a big abnormality fan, and also dig your chance to die and sisters of suffocation. I don’t think gender should be a big deal at all with the rise of the “female fronted” label. It’s crap to me, at least. To a metalhead, it’s cool to see females do what they want musically that isn’t a pop band or a folk artist for a change! More females in death metal! What do you think of the “label”? 

Mike: We prefer not to cling to that label as to not skew one’s opinion of the music. 

Emily: From the very beginning, I never wanted to be promoted as a female fronted band because there should be no difference. I would rather people enjoy the music for what it is and what gender created it. 

TMR: What do you guys think of the experimentation in death metal lately? I really dig the dissonance, synth, keys, strings, flute and other wild ideas some bands have had like Coma Cluster Void, Voidthrone, Burial In The Sky and Dischordia.

Mike: It’s not my forte, but I do like some of the off-the-wall bands like Dodecahedron, Oranssi Pazuzu, and Igorrr to name a few. 

Todd: In all for genre pushing. I think it keeps things fresh. If a genre doesn’t grow, it eventually stagnates. I always like to hear something new and I have a penchant for the avant-garde, so I’m all for it. 

TMR: What shows does Oubliette have planned for the upcoming future?

Mike: We’ve got an album release show in Nashville in mid-July, then we’re leaving to play at Metaldays in Slovenia the following week. We are working on some shows within our region later in the year.

TMR: How did you guys get into music and learn your craft?

Mike: My parents bought me an acoustic guitar at a flea market when I was 9. I took lessons for a short while, but have mostly been self taught. I downloaded a lot of guitar tabs back in the day and also did a lot of learning by ear. 

Andrew:  I played drums in middle school but 1st picked up a guitar at 13.  I was in garage bands in high school and studied music in college.  I also started teaching guitar at 18 and still do to this day.

Greg: As someone who never could afford to take steady lessons, my approach was always to play with feeling, and to take whatever was on my mind and put it behind the drums. It’s a blessing and a curse, because I have missed out on a lot of fundamentals, but I’ve also been able to take a unique approach and do what feels natural to me. I don’t think music is something you can force and yield something truly unique.

Todd: I picked up Guitar at 14 and cut my teeth on Black Sabbath and Nirvana records starting out. I’ve played all sorts of music over the years, but I feel most at home playing extreme metal. I feel it allows you to be a touch more creative and take more chances. 

Emily: I grew up in a musical family. Both of my parents played instruments. I learned to read music at a young age, played clarinet and sang in choir throughout middle and high school. Growing up, my family and I would listen to classical and Celtic music all the time, which is why we incorporate some clean vocals in our songs. 

TMR: What is it like to be Oubliette for a day? 

Mike: I cook for a caterer/meal prep service during the day, and by night I’m doing whatever band or label things I need to do for that day. It could be mixing, practicing, planning out releases, or a plethora of other things.

TMR: Who would you love to play with on any given day that you haven’t been on a bill with yet?

Mike: Moonsorrow

Andrew: Emperor

Greg: Opeth

Todd: Emperor

Emily: Insomnium, not that they are my favorite band but I think a lot of their fans would like our music. They have had a lot of influence on the direction we’ve taken with Oubliette.

TMR: What is your dream venue to play at?

Mike: In a cave

Andrew:  Tough question.  I’d like to bring the show to a nice theater sometime.  Outer space would be cool too.

Greg: An old theater, with a theatrical show.

TMR: What does everything like to do outside of the band? Hobbies or activities?

Mike: I co-own the label we are on, The Artisan Era. I record and mix bands too, some on the label and some are local. 

Greg: I am a chef, a stock market trader, and also enjoy doing a lot of activities outdoors. I am also extremely nerdy when it comes to taking on new activities and having them consume me from time to time.

Emily: I love being outdoors, hiking, and spending time with our dogs and cat. I also work two jobs and run a promotion company in Nashville.

TMR: Favorite foods and drinks?

Mike: Beer, hummus, and Mexican food in general

Andrew:  Dr. Pepper, sandwiches, spicy stuff, festival food. 

Todd: Pizza, beer, Mexican food

Greg: Asian food, southern comfort food.

Emily: Mexican, Asian, beer

TMR: What album is everyone looking forward to this year? And any favorites that are released?

Mike: I’ve been jamming the hell out of Uada and Gruesome. 

Andrew: So far been listening to the new Judas Priest record Firepower alot.

Todd: The Secret’s new ep 

Greg: Skull Fist

TMR: What’s the meaning behind the artwork and lyrics of the passage? Any sort of concept?

Mike: The Passage is indeed a concept album. It’s a story we created based in Victorian times. A family of three moves into a house built upon a land that had long been cursed. Soon after, the baby falls ill and passes away. While the parents are both extremely distraught, the mother really becomes hysterical and falls into a deep depression. She begins feeling like her child is calling for her to join in death, so she takes her own life. In the last song, “The Passage,” she realizes it was an illusion and that they will never be reunited. 

TMR: Link anything here you guys do outside of the band whether it’s musical or not. 















Jollymon- Voidwalker



Now, there has been a decent number of bands and artists that have reached out to me since the website’s inception in February.  This has to be one of the coolest bands I digitally laid my hands on since then in the sense its not another kiler tech death band.  The northwest Trio stoner metal band draws heavy influence from music since JFK was alive and in office.  I premiered the title track from this album not too long ago, and my crazy ass quote from that article still stands true…. It’s kinda like Mastodon, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Clutch got drunk and had a child. But, it was not a mistake! This is a gritty, melodic band with relentless riffs and killer rhythms that make you want more. John’s guitar playing is very eclectic….all kinds of mood changes and great guitar leads that should make you wear your seat belt while driving.”

The band has had a grunge rock past, but on Voidwalker injected a lot of cojones.  It’s a lot more heavier than their past work, and includes a lot of experimentation ad psychedelic elements.  For an independent release, it’s pretty damn impressive. And, it’s better than the pop metal and rock (Nickelcrap, Five finger cunt punch, Nothing That Remains) that constantly has been shoved down our throats to no end.

What I love about the Jollymon folks is their lack of repetition.  There’s a lot of classic rock and prog rock influences respecting the past of music…..and a lot of newer elements and rhythms of the aforementioned bands (Mastodon, Clutch and even a bit of High On Fire and the legendary Primus) have made popular.  Voidwalker takes you through the fucking sludge and throws more mud at you when you come back up gasping for air.  It’s a serious headbanger and fresh of breath air in the metal and rock worlds.  They have that slight unusual sound certain people like Les Claypool have accomplished over music’s extremely long existence.  Voidwalker is slated to be released June 8th.

If you need further convincing, here’s the album stream to check out.

Grab the album right here.  This band was quite an awesome surprise for me, and hope they are for the rest of the world.




Instagram- @jollymonband