Category Archives: Posted by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

LIVE REVIEW: Mammothfest 2017, The Arch, Brighton UK – 6th-8th October


LIVE REVIEW by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Brighton’s annual dedicated metal festival Mammothfest makes a bigger impact each year and this year’s event was no exception, especially as they impressively managed to bag 3 UK exclusive headliners with Rotting Christ, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Amenra.

Since its return in 2014 Mammothfest has always mustered up a formidable line-up, comprised of heavyweight acts such as Textures, Venom Inc, Sylosis, Entombed, Martyr Defiled and more in the past, as well as always showcasing the best and upcoming talent, they even have a whole stage devoted to this, named the Rikstock stage, after Mammothfest director Steve Dickson lost his close friend and business partner, Rik Mosquero to brain cancer, he went on to name the stage in his honour and highlight the emerging artists, Rik himself was in local band Hole In The Sky who have frequently played the festival, including this year’s event. Along with the bigger calibre acts they bring in each year, the festival has successfully managed to upscale its venue as its new current home is The Arch located on the seafront and is a perfect central spot in Brighton, whereas previously the festival has hosted at different and smaller venues across a weekend, highlighting again the growth and expansion of this massive metal event.

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INTERVIEW: The Black Dahlia Murder (US)


by Carina Lawrence/ Dark Art Conspiracy

The Black Dahlia Murder are one of the most well-known death metal bands and they have cemented their place in the genre since their formation in 2001. Now in 2017, they are gearing up to release their eighth and most defining album yet, ‘Nightbringers’ which is unleashed October 6th via Metal Blade Records and is already doing well, as they have achieved the biggest pre-orders in Metal Blade history which is quite the accolade and shows how far the band have come. So I caught up with frontman Trevor Strnad to discuss their latest offering, their origins, touring and more before they hit the road to support ‘Nightbringers’.

So looking back to 2001, can you tell us a bit about your formation?

I would say it was pretty typical, a few nerds found each other through the local scene and the internet as well and we were kind of outcast in the scene I would say, so we definitely gravitated towards each other, and in the early days we had a hard time being taken seriously locally, but we did kick around for about three years here in Michigan just playing tonnes of local shows. We used to play this place Ypsilanti in Michigan called Mr Mugs, and there was really no kind of death metal scene that we could really find pulse off, so we kind of just existed in the hardcore scene, and there was a lot of metal creeping into hardcore at the time, like your Unearth’s and Red Chord’s, and a lot of different cross breeding. We definitely came up in the hardcore scene in Michigan, but the first three years were pretty grim I got to say. Basically we did a demo in 2001 then we got signed to a small label in 2002 called Love Lost Records, we put out an EP with them, then we used the EP to get reviews and get the info out there, eventually with the idea that we would appeal to all the record labels, make a package with them with some new songs and a bio sheet, where we basically talked in the third person about how awesome we are, one of those things…but it worked! Thirty rejection letters later we got signed to Metalblade.


How did you decide on the name The Black Dahlia Murder?

I was looking for something that was going to be shocking as it’s a death metal band, and that’s always been a big thing for me, one of that parts of the appeal is a visceral shock value, so I wanted something that was going to resonant with people and being a metal head since I was a kid, since around thirteen or fourteen there wasn’t much that was shocking me out there that I could find, nothing that would make my skin crawl, but I learnt about the crime black dahlia murder and all the weird shit surrounding it and it just seemed like the perfect band name, I couldn’t believe it hadn’t been taken at the time. The story is there’s a young girl, she comes to California in 1947 with stars in her eyes, she wants to be an actress and then she is brutally murdered, cut down and no one knows who did it still and her body was left in the street to be found on purpose…it was cut in half, drained of blood and she had like a smile carved onto her face, so very blatant message was trying to be sent by this person, and it signifies in a way the darkening of times in the states and the death of the American dream you could say.

  Continue reading INTERVIEW: The Black Dahlia Murder (US)

Festival Preview: Why Mammothfest UK Is Not To Be Missed


With Mammothfest less than 3 weeks away now, we take a look at just a few of many reasons why you should be checking out this annual Brighton UK based festival, which keeps growing every year. This year it takes place from the 6-8th October at The Arch, Brighton located along the seafront, making it a great venue to host this mental extreme metal weekend.

All UK exclusive headliners!


The festival has impressively managed to secure all three headliners as UK exclusives which is very exciting, especially when the headliners consist of controversial Greek extreme band Rotting Christ (Friday), Italian Avant-garde Fleshgod Apocalypse (Saturday) and Belgian metallers Amenra (Sunday). They can all only be witnessed at Mammothfest in 2017, so that is one hell of a reason to come along!

Rotting Christ:

Fleshgod Apocalypse:


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Interview: King Leviathan (UK)

INTERVIEW: King Leviathan (UK)


by Carina Lawrence/ Dark Art conspiracy

Blackened Thrash Metallers King Leviathan from Brighton, UK have been building the cult-like following since their formation in 2014 after the release of their critically acclaimed 2015 E.P ‘The Shrine’, spreading their “Black Mass” to Bloodstock Open Air, local festival Mammothfest as well as touring and sharing the stage with the likes of Darkest Hour, Abhorrent Decimation, Meta-Stasis and more. Their mass continues to spread as in August this year they unleashed their highly anticipated debut album, ‘Paean Heretica’ via new label Infernum Records who they just signed with. There is lots going on for this metal quartet right now, so we caught up with vocalist/guitarist Adam Sedgwick to discuss their new album, the label, their origins, what lies ahead for the future and more.

Can you tell us about your formation in 2014 and how you arrived at the name of King Leviathan?

Our formation was pretty simple to be honest! Rob and I (Adam) Had been in a couple of projects before King Leviathan started, and a lot of them we’re hard rock based or Metalcore influenced. As much as we enjoyed them, when those projects dissolved we decided we wanted to do something that was straight up Sylosis and Slayer worship! Then Sam asked to join the band as he wanted to start playing metal again and we found Danny at a gig after seeing him playing drums with some bands at College – we asked him to join and then the rest is history!

The name was pretty easy as well, I had a solo project when I was living in Northampton called Crown I, Leviathan and I hadn’t used it for about 2 years by the time I started writing the first EP. I changed the name up to King Leviathan to give it a change, and that’s how it came about!

How would you describe your sound?

It’s a whole amalgamation of sound, cause we’re all influenced by very different music! But the easiest way to describe it would be cold, dark and aggressive.

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REVIEW: Arch Enemy – Will To Power by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Swedish melodic death metallers Arch Enemy are back with their tenth album and follow up to the successful 2014 ‘War Eternal’ which saw new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz’s take to the helm, and was the first album in thirteen years to feature a new line-up after former long-time vocalist Angela Gossow stepped down. The transition went well and she was quickly accepted by fans. With this new album ‘Will To Power’, it is the first album to feature respected guitarist Jeff Loomis who joined in 2014 and notably is the first to incorporate more clean vocals throughout, again showing off Alissa’s wide talents and the evolution of Arch Enemy after their two-decade career.

Opening song ‘Set Flame To The Night’ is a scene setter, with voices and sirens accompanied by resonant fast and alarming guitars that build suspense and foreboding…

‘The Race’ furiously kicks off with Alissa White-Gluz’s fierce screamed vocals and urgent guitars. The guitar work, especially towards the end, carries over the creepy vibes seen in the opener. It features crashing riffs and rapid drums throughout, this is a solid and savage first full offering and sets the bar high.


Review: The Dead Soul Communion – MMXVII


REVIEW: The Dead Soul Communion – MMXVII by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

The Dead Soul Communion is a brand new project from Ex Devilment founder Daniel Finch. The band also features members of Steve Harris British Lion and ex Dearly Beheaded drummer Simon Dawson, along with members of Synaptik, Heathen Deity and more, so there is a lot of experience and influences running through the band. The album lyrically deals with many themes such as internal struggles, love, relationships, suicide, self-destruction, acts of violence, war and mental illness.

Opening song ‘My Beautiful Mistake’ gets things off to a powerful melodic start with fierce outbursts and chug heavy guitars. This is a hefty, varied and unpredictable track especially towards the end, leaving us eager to hear more…

‘The Communion’ is much darker with aggressive growls and stomping fast instruments. It still maintains its melodic currents aided through the use of the clean vocals. The synths add more depth and ambience and work well with the thrash riffs, giving it a dramatic and suspenseful sound.

Continuing on the theatrical atmosphere is the intro of ‘Last Grains Of Sand’ which goes on to hit hard in this non-stop thumping metal offering which is all consuming through the effects and vocal wails.

Continue reading Review: The Dead Soul Communion – MMXVII