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BELTFED WEAPON'S FRANK HETZEL ENDORSED BY D'HAITRE CUSTOM GUITARS

Image: Beltfed Weapon, Mazur PR, Michael MazurSEATTLE - When it came time for guitarist Frank Hetzel to beginning writing and recording the second album from his band Beltfed Weapon, there was no question the D'haitre would be his guitar of choice.

Founded in 1990 by Andy Beech, the Washington-based company produces high-quality, custom guitars.

Image: Beltfed Weapon, Mazur PR, Michael Mazur

"What I love most about my D'haitre guitars is how they feel," Hetzel said. "The neck and the fret board feel like butter and the tone that comes from them is like heaven. Andy uses top-grade wood and everything is done by hand. There is nothing that can't be built for any style of player."

As an admirer and player of D'haitre since long before he received an official endorsement, Hetzel was excited to welcome the luthier into the fold of Beltfed Weapon for the band's latest release, Raining Plague, after years of inviting Beech to perform solos on his songs.

"I've known Frank since the mid-'90s," Beech said "My band was playing and he approached me after the show and asked me if I'd give him lessons. We did just that, and became friends. He also became one of my best customers. I think he owns 11 D'haitres!"

For Hetzel's latest D'haitre, he chose an ebony fretboard and aluminum inlays with mahogany. "The look and feel of these guitars is amazing," he said. "D'haitre guitars are without a doubt the true custom choice. Once you play one, you will be sold."

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MORTIIS' 'THE GREAT DECEIVER' ALBUM AND 'DEMONS ARE BACK' VIDEO AVAILABLE TODAY

Image: The Great Deceiver, Mortiis, Mazur PR, Michael MazurOSLO - The Great Deceiver, the long-awaited ninth album from Norway's Mortiis will officially see release today, March 4 via Omnipresence, and a video for the album's "Demons are Back" has been revealed in conjunction.

The Great Deceiver's long and tortured state of evolution took its toll equally on the band and its namesake, leading Mortiis to so much as state that the record killed the band. "As important as is it to myself and who I have become, I haven't been able to think about it in any way other than 'I need to just get this thing out of my life and behind me before I lose my mind,'" he said.

Saturated with themes of anger, greed, confusion, self-doubt and re-discovery, The Great Deceiver is undoubtedly Mortiis' most mature album to date. But that maturity came at a great cost mentally. "When we started talking about it and writing the record, we were a band, we had two managements, merch deals and tours were happening," Mortiis said. "During the course of the writing, recording, re-writing, and re-recording, we lost the connection with almost everyone. There were fallings out with band members to the point where we had to let them go. It was usually about delusion and defeat, the realization of being f**ked with and not getting the recognition deserved. It was never pretty, but in hindsight always understandable.

"I have been accused of being a lot of things: self-centered, manipulative, unstable, hot- headed, paranoid, the list goes on. Most everyone I have spent some time with have had beefs with me. They´re all right, too...it's the price of being driven and passionate - or just narrow minded and obsessive - about something is often the loss of friends and colleagues."

The Great Deceiver builds on Mortiis' past dabbling in metal and industrial, with aggressive guitar-driven crossover metal meeting industrial-type electronics. Although genre-defying, The Great Deceiver is Mortiis' most accessible release to date.

With its hauntingly memorable chorus, "Demons are Back" is a perfect example of this accessibility, while also providing an overall narrative for the album.

"Anger, resentment...I hate everyone," the band's namesake said. "These feelings are like waves. During the 'good times' they are far away in the distance, and occasionally they come washing ashore in huge waves of 'I hate everyone.' It's a thin line between being in sync with the world and wanting to annihilate everyone you see. 'Demons are Back' is a conflicted song, in the sense that I let both sides in, or out, and both voices are heard. It's therapeutic in a sense, and in another sense it is chaotic and confusing. But, again, I try to create some sort of positivity in the harangue of spitefulness. It's really down to the logical, sensible me, telling the disturbed, pessimistic me to chill out."

The video shows a grotesquely-masked voyeur watching dystopian scenes of utter despair, sadism and eventually, suicide through an array of TV screens, as his own life ends violently. "The mask was inspired partly by a very violent dream I once had," said Mortiis. "The violence was absolutely relentless."

The clip uses scenes from writer/director Charlie Deaux's Zoetrope, a film based upon Franz Kafka's In the Penal Colony. At the suggestion of Deaux, whom Mortiis previously work with on "The Grudge" video, the band spent a day in Oslo filming additional footage to splice in with images from the original film. With a minimal set and crew - guitarist Levi Gawron acting as directing and Mortiis himself handling special effects - the band captured original scenes that seamlessly compliment those from Zoetrope in frantic stop-motion created by Deaux himself.

"Demons are Back" is available here:

Mortiis previously offered a glimpse at the new material trough two videos and free downloads for the tracks "Doppleganger" and "The Shining Lamp of God," as well as on a warm-up tour in the US with Mushroomhead late last year. The band will return to the UK for another small warm-up just after The Great Deceiver's release, with full tour plans to follow.

MORTIIS 'demons are back' UK TOUR

May 23rd NEWCASTLE Cluny

May 24th GLASGOW Audio

May 25th MANCHESTER Ruby

May 26th BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute

May 27th BRIGHTON Haunt

May 28th LONDON Garage

May 29th BRISTOL Fleece

 

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MORTIIS ISSUES STATEMENT ON RETURN OF 'THE MASK'

Image: Mortiis, The Mask, Mazur PR, Michael Mazur

OSLO - Mortiis has issued a statement regarding his infamous mask, which made its return in a short video clip released earlier this week.

"For years I've been stubbornly telling everyone who wanted me to revive the mask to get f**ked, more or less.

The idea of the mask just rotted away for me, and for a long time it was just this vile thing that I couldn´t relate to. It was someone else, and everyone wanted me to go back to being someone else, so how do you think I'd react to that?

I needed to go full circle. I suppose I had this sort of nihilistic view of the mask for a long time. It just lost all meaning to me. So I eventually worked my way through the disillusionment, hate, indifference and finally back into the reincarnated goodwill towards it.

The return of the mask - at least for it to be part of the equation again - had to happen sooner or later. I guess I just needed to put a lot of stuff in its right place in my mind before I was ready to consider putting it back on. Let's face it, though, I'm a sucker for visual sh*t, so obviously the mask was bound to come back at some point. I just wasn't ready to admit it to myself until now, and certainly not to some entitled ass hat yelling that he wants it back."

View the video clip here:

SEATTLE METALLERS BELTFED WEAPON RETURN WITH NEW EP

Image: Beltfed Weapon, Raining Plague, Mazur PR, Michael MazurSEATTLE - Seattle-based metal band Beltfed Weapon has returned with a new EP, Raining Plague.

The six-song release - the band's first since 2009's Peackeeper - takes a slightly more experimental approach, incorporating clean vocals, courtesy of singer Dean Sternberg (Where Evil Follows, Ashes Of Ares, Into Eternity), into Beltfed Weapon's full throttle death/thrash. Led by founding member and guitarist Frank Hetzel, the album's stellar lineup is rounded out by bassist Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, Death, Sadus), drummer Fredrik Widigs (Marduk) and lead guitarist Andy Beech.

"After the release of Peacekeeper, I decided to regroup and take a new approach," Hetzel said. "Once I had the songs structured out for Raining Plague, I reached out to friends in the industry and ended up with a well-oiled machine for the recording lineup. The recording process took some time due to everyone's schedules, but I am more than pleased with how the whole thing turned out. It turned out better than I envisioned."

Image: Beltfed Weapon, Mazur PR, Michael Mazur, Raining PlagueNew vocalist Sternberg, who resides across the country in upstate New York, came by a recommendation from fellow musician and artist Van Williams. "I came in at the very end," he said. "Frank had the songs, but he was still in the process of demoing and getting a recording lineup solidified. He sent me things as they progressed and over time I got to hear the whole thing come together. I got to Seattle a day before the recording sessions and still Frank had absolutely no idea what I was going to do. We did some vocal demos that night and even though Frank had been beyond patient and laid back, I could see that he was extremely relieved. It blows me away that he waited and had faith in me. Hell, I wouldn't have just had someone come in and record on my stuff without knowing what they were going to do first!"

Bassist DiGiorgio also wrote and recorded his parts by unconventional yet increasingly more common means, with DiGiorgio tackling his piece of the puzzle from a studio in his native California. "I could tell he trusted me to contribute what I thought was best, and I was into giving the song what it needed," DiGiorgio said. "I think the songs are awesome. The mix turned out killer. Everybody's performance is well highlighted which is becoming rare in these days of metal. Moreover, the effort and dedication Frank put into all the composing, organizing and overseeing everything is evidenced in the aggressive passionate punchy sound of it all. When somebody is really into what they do, it's contagious to put a lot of yourself into it.

Produced by Frank Hetzel and Aaron Smith (Jeff Loomis, Seven Horn Seven Eyes), Raining Plague expands Beltfed Weapon's core sound with increased speed, precision and additional melody while retaining and accentuating the aggression fans have come to expect.

Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore) once again makes a guest appearance on the record, along with Matt Wicklund (Ghost Ship Ocatvius, God Forbid, Warrel Dane, Himsa).

Hetzel's guitarist counterpart Andy Beech is a longtime friend and guitar-maker whom Hetzel had wanted to work with for years. "Over the years Franko has asked me several times to do solos for his songs," he said. "The lineup for this project is unbelievable, and Dean just put the whole thing over the top with great writing and texture. I'm proud to be a part of this and proud of Frank for putting this together."

The EP was engineered, mixed and mastered by Aaron Smith at Envisage Audio with artwork by Van Williams (Ghost Ship Octavius, Ashes Of Ares, Nevermore). Raining Plague was entirely self-financed and distributed. Digital downloads are available through iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. Physical CDs may be purchased at www.beltfedweapon.us.

 

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MORTIIS COMMENTS ON BEING PART OF FIRST- EVER FULL BLACK METAL SCORE IN EMPEROR'S 'IN THE NIGHTSIDE ECLIPSE'

Image: Mazur PR, Emperor, Mortiis, Michael MazurOSLO - For the first time ever, composer Martin Romberg has taken on the task of transcribing influential black metal into full classical sheet music, beginning with Emperor's 1994 masterpiece In the Nightside Eclipse.

"Martin has clearly put a lot of time and effort into transferring the Nightside Eclipse record into actual sheet music," said original Emperor bassist Mortiis, "and it's cool to be a small part of that."

The 72-page score includes all instruments and chord analysis for study and performance.

It is published by Raven Music Editions, a sheet music publisher founded in 2014, specializing in producing scores from dark alternative and black metal music genres. It is the first publisher of its kind. The score is available via www.ravenmusic.org.

In the 20 years since In the Nightside Eclipse's release, Mortiis has gone on an eponymous journey that began as solo dark, ambient music and has since evolved into a full band playing equally dark, angry, industrial-influenced heavy music. Mortiis' long-awaited new album will be available March 4.

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