Beautiful, no STUNNING, artwork by Sophia Miroedova for The Grand Astoria's new album La Belle Epoque (2014 - No Name).
Recently added to Spotify—the fifth album, released this month, by THE GRAND ASTORIA. Really enjoying the gritty, proggy stoner-psych vibe of this one.
"The music and lyrics were asking for more chaos and sonic violence.”
Horn of the Rhino is: Javier Gálvez (guitars/vocals), Sergio “Rambo” Robles (bass), and Julen Gil (drums)
Javier Gálvez, guitarist and singer of brutal sludge band Horn of the Rhino, is a man who has a vision for his music and, frankly, was a wee bit intimidating to interview. The driving force behind albums such as Grengus (2012) and Weight of Coronation (2010), Horn of the Rhino is the band that introduced me to some of the heaviest, meanest music on planet earth. Having gotten word that Horn of the Rhino was going to be releasing a fourth album called Summoning Deliverance (2014) at the end of the summer, I decided to track down Mr. Gálvez just to see if I could get an interview. What follows is our exchange.
Photo credits: Joan Cabotti
First off, your new record is excellent. Before we talk about it, there’s a big question on our minds: what are the chances of your US fans getting to see you here on tour or in a festival before the year is over?
Glad you like the new album, thanks for your words. To play in the US is something that we want to happen, but it´s very difficult for us since we have no tour support from anybody, and the guys from Maryland Death Fest haven´t called me yet!
"We never look for controversy, the cover art is what it is. I mean, we don´t put a naked, pregnant, skull-faced woman just to show her tits, you know?"
For the new album, you worked quite closely with Nick Keller who did some incredible artwork for the cover of Summoning Deliverance (2014) and, as I understand, a booklet as well. Horn of the Rhino’s covers have always been provocative. What’s the concept behind the artwork this time and how did it influence the songwriting (or vice versa)?
All the artwork, the main illustration and the booklet, is based on the lyrics. The record is conceptual and deals with the travel of a mere mortal transforming into a demigod to destroy all life on earth, to put it simply, because there´s much more going on. Nick got the idea and concept perfectly from the beginning, I draw a sketch for the cover and he did those killer scenarios and beasts that can be seen on the album.
The album cover this time is perhaps less controversial than your first two, but all albums seem to focus on shocking monstrosities. Can we consider the previous three record a trilogy and the new album the start of a brand new saga?
We never look for controversy, the cover art is what it is. I mean, we don´t put a naked, pregnant, skull-faced woman just to show her tits, you know? Or the Grengus just to put his cock on the cover, he came to an orgy and he didn’t come with his underwear on! He´s a demon, he´s evil, and he doesn’t like clothes at all! (laughs) Obviously, we want to put great illustration on our covers, but never look for controversy. There´s always a reason to be had, could be explicit or a metaphor. And no new saga, no trilogy.
You definitely have the heavy, weighty, and low-tuned sound perfect for sludge, but there’s also quite a bit of speed with it on the new record. What made you decide to incorporate more of that (dare I say) thrash-like element into the album?
We always have had the thrash, death, black elements, along the slow stuff—always, since the beginning—but this time they´re more present because the album demanded it, the music and lyrics were asking for more chaos and sonic violence. We came from Grengus, that was a violent record, too, and kind of feel comfortable with all that malevolence. If you ask me for speed, “Waste For Ghouls” is the fastest song we have ever did.
You got some get chops, too! Who influences you vocally?
Several different singers. I can appreciate the work of Martin Van Drunnen, but I love Glenn Hughes too. Kyle Thomas, Ian Gillan, Rob Halford, Brett Hoffmann, Billy Joel, Craig Pillard, Hall & Oates.
For those of us foreigners, what’s the metal scene like in Spain? What has changed most since the band began as Rhino 7-8 years ago?
I´m enjoying a few bands around here right now like Looking For An Answer, Wormed, Moksha, but you ask me for a scene and don´t know if there is something going on, actually.
Thank you for taking timed to visit with Doomed & Stoned today!
Thanks to you for the support. Keep it brutal!!
Some mainstream coverage for Horn of the Rhino in the Spanish press, where the band is unfortunately identified as a quartet that used to be a power trio. Guess you gotta take the good with the bad, eh?
We’ve got some great pics and interviews from Uninvited Fest 2014 to share with you throughout this week and next, so keep your eyes open for it. Doomed & Stoned contributor DesTroyer decided to take this vid of his favorite band playing one of his favorite songs. Here is Orchid from San Francisco with “Eastern Woman” at UNINVITED.
Starting my Sunday with some heavy, German DOOOOOM by Dresden band UR, their self-titled debut: UR (2014). Lots of atmosphere here, with plenty of underlying, low-tuned, droned-out fuzz (yes, I’m creating adjectives today out of “drone”….you’ll like my other: “droney”). Strongly recommended for fans of the funeral doom subgenre of doom metal!
"When a Man at War Becomes a Machine of Revenge." That was the original premise behind 1990’s Kill Crazy, a direct-to-video ‘Namsploitation film that was written and directed by its lead actor: David Heavener (who, surprisingly, is still getting work in Hollywood….or maybe just outside the city limits, one never knows these days). I first found out about this steaming pile of….yummy, cheese-layered pasta…after I happened across a review by our friends at Shitcase Cinema (well, they’re not our friends yet, but I’m sure they’d like us if they’d only give us a chance!). Watch this before deciding if you want to go any further:
Here’s the premise:
Five troubled Vietnam vets on weekend release from a mental hospital head out to the woods for a peaceful camping trip, only to find themselves hunted by an army of fascist killers playing a murderous war game.
It’s so bad it’s delicious!
Finally fucking here. From NY to MA to Indiana… Back to MA and finally to here in CT. Great job USPS!
Give it a spin and don’t forget to support the band!
I’m a big fan of vintage comics, especially old horror like Weird Tales. This one comes from June of 1953, if you can believe it, and was done up by Bernard Baily. Gosh, I’ll bet he had fun dreaming this one up (via monsterman)