02 Interview with Volmorth of Hellebaard (June 2005)
03 Interview with Evil Dark of Macabre Omen (July 2005)
04 Interview with Orey from Pagan Reign (July 2005)
05 Interview with Dmitry Basik of Vicious Crusade (February 2005)
Blutvergießen is a very beautifully put together German Magazine specializing in Pagan and Folk Black Metal acts. The normal German versions of this magazine are thick with over 200 pages of fantastic quality material, not only from what the magazine itself is made of, but also with the articles and interviews that are present within. Blutvergießen seeks to give the world a look into the pagan and folk black metal underground, interviewing artists from all over the world whom fit within this specific field. The artwork present on the front is always beautiful as well. Every issue seems to come with a compilation disc as well. Since 1998, 8 German versions of this spectacular magazine have been printed. One other thing about Blutvergießen is that it is also a non-profit magazine, thus no commerce is asked for nor accepted. You won't find advertisements in these magazines, only promotion for upcoming black or pagan metal releases.
The greatest thing about Blutvergießen is that it isn't strictly focused on music. Reviews also focus on books and other magazines, as well as articles on history, culture, and philosophy. The reason that these first few smaller English versions started surfacing is because in 2005 some interviews were done in English out of necessity. After transcribing them over to Deutsch (German, red.), Cruor still had the original English documents left over and decided it would be a good idea to test out an English version. The first English Version of the magazine is limited to 500 copies and is only 22 pages long, but the few interviews found within are well worth it.
The magazine opens with a forward explaining the history of Blutvergießen and the reasons behind forming the first few short English versions. We quickly move on to the first interview which is with Hellebaard. Hellebaard are a Dutch Pagan Black Metal band whom have been around since 2000. Their music is largely based around Dutch folklore, as well as their ancestry, nature, and battles. The band takes its name from a medieval weapon that resembles a double axe on the end of a spear. Their last release was in 2006 on CCP Records entitled Valkyrenvlucht. The interview openly and honestly hits mostly on the subject of Hellebaard's Dutch roots and their Dutch history and ancestory. It also hits on subjects such as internet downloads, Bathory, and xenophobia for people entering the Dutch country. Also you will see straight off through this interview that Cruor isn't afraid to ask tough questions that touch nerves with the artists.
Macabre Omen have been one of my favorite Greek Pagan Black Metal acts ever since hearing their amazing split with Walhalla a few years back. Macabre Omen is a one man projects that plays an incredible style of Pagan Black Metal, however, even though it has been around for now over a decade, it has never received much attention from labels and promoters in other countries. While bands like Nocternity and Rotting Christ find themselves getting ever more attention, Macabre Omen seems happy to just continue resting in the shadows, releasing a new split once in a while (now5 total, with the latest being just last year with Order of the Ebon Hand). Macabre Omen did not even see its first full-length debut until 2005, a full decade after its birthing. Also, if you've ever seen a picture of the guy, he's the scariest person you'll ever see. He's built like a mountain. Looks like a classic druid, even though Evil Dark never really delves too deep into who he is at heart and mind. The interview is pretty straight forward on musical and nationalistic issues. While Cruor attempts to get a lot of political information out of Evil Dark, he effectively dodges questions easily and turns everything back to figuring out things for ones' self. We also learn a little about Evil Dark's other project, The One, and his personally owned label Demonion Productions, as well as his magazine Ancient Tragedy and his work with other artists such as Aere Aeternus. They also his on such issues as the history of Hellas, Orthodox Christianity and its effects on Hellenic society, WWII, Germany, and Britain. A fantastic interview with a fantastic band. My only wish is that Evil Dark would have opened up more with his personal views on social and political issues.
The next interview is with Russian melodic folk metal act Pagan Reign. They will be celebrating their 10 year anniversary of existence this year. They are also one of the few bands that sing about Slavonic pride, but do not support the national socialist ideology. They have released four full-lengths in their time as a band, all of which are in Russian. Pagan Reign started out using keyboards, but have since evolved into using real folk instrumentation on their studio efforts, and pay for studio time all on their own without help from labels. I have friends in a Russian band called Arcane Grail, and even to them who are somewhat well known there, the situation for musicians is not that great. This is another pretty straight forward interview hitting mostly on their particular style of melodic folk metal and the current situations musically, politically, and environmentally in ex-UDSSR nations.
The final interview in this first English Version is with Belarussian Folk Thrash metal band Vicious Crusade. Vicious Crusade is made up of 6 stable members, and 5 regular guest contributors. The band has been around since 1996 and have currently released 3 full-lengths, the last of which was 2002's effort Forbidden Tunes. While the band is extremely well known in the ex-soviet countries of Europe, they have been scarcely heard of outside of this area. The reason they are so popular there and no elsewhere? Their patriotism. Mainly this interview hits on the troubles that the band has had with promotion and labels in western Europe and the united states thus far, as well as touching ground with the fact that they are not about making money, but rather musical freedom. We also learn a bit about Belarus and what the country was like during the communist reign.
Hopefully this review has helped you determine that this magazine is more than about making money or about promoting shitty mainstream bands. Within 22 pages, Blutvergießen has helped to promote four of Europe's best and brightest bands in the pagan and folk vain of metal. The magazine has done this without seeking money, fame, or any kind of commerce whatsoever. Blutvergießen is here only to support the underground pagan and folk black metal genres. While the English Versions are still rather small in size, with your support, they will steadily grow in quality and pages. If you can read Deutsch, I strongly suggest that you go out and at least pick up one copy of the regular German version of the magazine. This is by far one of the best metal magazines that I have experienced. Truly support the underground!