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Shadows of Sin Are Getting the Metal Out

By Staff | Jun 30, 2008

Shadows Of Sin was conceived in 2006 by DamienVonDusk, then known as Count VinterFaust, as an old-school raw black metal project called Frost Throne. Three demos were written and recorded in rapid succession. By the summer of 2006, he wanted to take Frost Throne to the live performance level, including one at Backroads in Beckley and the other at Hellstock ‘06. After these two shows, Frost Throne fell off the radar for a little while. In mid October 2007, the band reconvened. Renewed, the band went through some drastic musical changes. The Count and the band underwent a name change to break away from the cheesy image they were associated with. They decided on Shadows Of Sin, at the advice of the head of Blast Zone entertainment. For more info, check out www.myspace.com/shadowsofsinwv.

Graffiti: What are your latest projects?

VonDusk: We have been working on our album, “As Above So Below,” due out in September. We are recording it at Bullfrog Recording Studio with engineer David Mounts. It’s a bit different from what we put out before under the name Frost Throne, with more behind the music and lyrics and such. We just got done playing a show with another black metal band from the area, Ceremonial Flesh, at the Outskitz Bar in Glen Morgan.

Graffiti: Tell me some of the characteristics of black metal and differences between that and goth.

VonDusk: Black metal is about a certain atmosphere and feeling. Musically, the scales and notes are all in minor keys for that uneasy feeling, like when you’re alone in the woods at night kind of vibe. Black metal is a lot darker with the philosophies, music, imagery and the feelings behind it. A good example of the atmosphere I’m talking about, is put on Darkthrone’s album “Transylvanian Hunger” and turn out all the lights and lose yourself to it. The guitars are always the main atmosphere-creating instrument. Keyboards can be used to enhance the atmosphere of a black metal record.

Lyrically, black metal is known for spreading Satanism, paganism, misanthropy, or to even reflect pride in one’s ancestry. You can write about anything as long is it has conviction and you believe and live by the philosophies that you write about.

As far as the differences between black metal and goth metal goes, it depends on what black metal bands you are listening to. For the most part, black metal lyrically is about darkness, evil, cold, blasphemy, death, war, mysticism, astral themes and so forth. Whereas, gothic metal is more about romantic ideas and how dark this world is and bad it is and how it makes one sad. Musically, black metal is usually fast paced with blast beats, tremolo picked guitars where the melody and rhythm is in the minor keys for that uneasy atmosphere. The vocals are more raspy and shrieked, as opposed to the clean singing done by most goth metal bands.

Graffiti: How did you get into that scene?

VonDusk: Our drummer Wargoat and I went to high school together. We liked the same bands and music and we both played guitar, so we decided to hang out and jam together. We became best friends and it was Wargoat who always found bands that I had never heard of. If I liked it, he usually made me a copy of what he had.

Graffiti: What instruments do you play?

VonDusk: I can play guitar, bass and keyboards somewhat. As far as Shadows Of Sin is concerned, I do vocals.

Graffiti: Who are your musical influences?

VonDusk: Musically, my influences are Cradle Of Filth, Emperor, Rotting Christ, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum, Nokturnal Mortum, Dark Funeral, Marduk, Celtic Frost, Immortal, The Misfits, Danzig, old Metallica, Megadeth, Type O Negative.

Lyrically, my influences are Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft, Sheridan Le Fanu, Friedrich Nietzsche, Edgar Allen Poe and various legends and tales.

Graffiti: Do you come from a musical family?

VonDusk: My father used to play guitar when he was younger and my sister sings in her school choir.

Graffiti: With your genre of music, there’s a lot of pageantry with costumes, stage makeup, etc. How do you balance that with the music? For example, lots of people know who the band Gwar is, but they can’t name any of their songs.

VonDusk: The imagery is just as important as the music with black metal. It’s a visual enhancement of the music. The corpse paint is to appear as a dead decayed corpse and to bring out the inner grimness of the individual. It also gives a somewhat ghoulish and demonic appearance.

Besides the corpse paint, when you see a band in leather and spikes, you know that’s a black metal band. The appearance of the members of a black metal band sets the band apart from a death metal band. Death metal is also a form of extreme music in the category of extreme metal.

Graffiti: Where in West Virginia do you play?

VonDusk: We do mostly the Hellstock festival every summer with Blackdamp. We will make appearances at Outskirtz here and there because we had a decent turn out.

Graffiti: What are some of your biggest gigs?

VonDusk: The biggest venue we have ever played was Jaxx Night Club in Springfield, Va. The biggest crowd was in Morehead, Ky., when we opened up for The Luchagors.

Contact Tamar at tfleishman@graffitiwv.com