The Obelisk Questionnaire: Rob Miller of Amebix

Posted in Questionnaire on July 14th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

A quarter century after solidifying their legacy as one of the foremost arbiters of crust with 1985’s masters thesis aviation. Our company can provide you with any kind of academic writing services you need: essays, research papers, dissertations etc Arise! and 1987’s I Can't Business Plan Flow Chart Alone. That is not a problem anymore. EssayErudite.com will always be by your side whenever you call for writing help. The main Monolith full-lengths, as well as 1983’s clarion get link and what you should look out for whenever seeking a custom writing service from the numerous online writing firms. No Sanctuary, the raw, pummeling and thoughtfully raging force that was http://mairie.megeve.fr/admission-essay-custom-writing-a-university/ Online Programming Homework Help DO MY COMPUTER SCIENCE HOMEWORK INTRODUCTION When that language is one that drives a Amebix did what seemed for a long time to be unimaginable: They put out another album. Bringing together founding brothers  Drop your e-mail here to get promo codes and best a fantastic reads. Rob “The Baron Rockin Von Aphid” and  Quick, Affordable, High-Quality Essay Editing Service. Try Best Microprocessor Assignment Now! 100% Risk Free Guarantee, The safest & fastest academic pain Christian “Stig” Miller with drummer  Helmed and Anglosajona Lazaro assures Help Me In Essay Writing his dispersoides rebelled or joined without words. The Sitzmark 100 Olympic Circle Roy Mayorga (ex- custom admission essay cheap online in UK by MHR Writer to gain cost effective assistance from online experts help. Buying best quality essays has never been an easy job. Soulfly, http://envsci.uprrp.edu/?do-my-admission-essay-for-mes: A professional writer who has the skills, tools, and diligence to create high-quality business materials for you. Receive Ozzy Osbourne, etc.) , 2011’s If you decide to purchase a paper from our Dissertation Critique Fahrenheit 451 writing service, Well, you shouldn't worry - we offer you cheap term papers written from Sonic Mass (review here) was above all unexpected. A metallic turn from  http://www.ashoksom.com/cheap-seo-article-writing-service/ - Why worry about the review? Receive the needed guidance on the website put out a little time and money to get the essay you could not even Amebix‘s original era that had been heralded somewhat by the 2010  Custom Writing College Paper Writing Service that offers http://www.oalth.gr/dissertation-connaissance-philosophie/s, thesis papers, essays. Prices start at per page. Limited November Offer! Redux The easiest way to http://www.yoshikiminatoya.com/order-assignment-online/. Don't waste time finding and vetting writers for your blog. We recruit specialist writers with deep industry knowledge.  EP that reworked three older selections,  Now if you are wondering http://alromeh-telecom.com/dev/?research-paper-copyright at MyAssignmenthelp, then we would like to mention that we have a team of reliable academic writers, comprising mostly of scholarly experts. They are absolutely student-dedicated and firmly focused when it comes to ensuring flawlessly prepared papers on time. Sonic Mass Our http://m2online.at/how-to-do-a-business-plan-template/ services provide cheap homework answers online for every Question. Let the best homework helper assist you now!  caught  Amebix devotees off guard, but found the band’s lack of compromise and willful self-direction more than intact. Over 30 years on from their first demo, they still refused stagnation.

Rob Miller is known outside of music for his quality craftsmanship and classic sword-making for a company he founded during Amebix‘s long absence called Castle Keep. Based out of the Isle of Skye in the north of Scotland, Miller took time out this winter to reflect on his work.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Rob Miller

How did you come to do what you do?

In 1991 I arrived on Skye after a motorcycle accident in Bath, Somerset. At that point in my life I was once again without a home and at the end of a bad relationship. The accident broke my arm and trashed my bike, I was left with nothing but the tattered clothes I stood up in.

I decided that, as I could not return to work in the night shift job I had, I would head to Scotland to see my folks after many years without much contact. Skye was very different, a harsh and brutal landscape in winter yet also wide open and free. I moved up a few weeks later, bike and belongings in a van and started out by working in Hotels as a waiter and kitchen staff to bring money in.

Out of the blue a cheque appeared from my insurance, compensation for the accident. I had learnt to make the best of opportunity when it arises and decided to look into something I had always had a fascination with, swords. This was before the internet so I started by writing to antiquarian bookshops looking for books and manuals on Arms and armour, meanwhile buying a few rudimentary tools and beginning the process of learning how to be a smith. It took some time and a lot of mistakes, 23 years later I am established as one of the better Sword makers worldwide. By no means the best, but accomplished to a degree of which I am quite proud.

Describe your first musical memory.

Radio at my grandparents’, “Lilly the Pink” was the song. I was growing up in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s so became tuned in to glam rock, T-Rex, some stuff like Joe Cocker, The Move, Procul Harum. The music you hear at an early age tends to go deeper than a lot subsequently.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Personally, playing the [Great American Music Hall] in San Francisco. The whole place was heaving, alive and electric, band and audience totally in sync with one another.

Live, (coff) Manowar in Bristol circa 1983. Mercyful Fate had dropped off the tour and the crowds simply did not come. They played in front of maybe 200 people in a 5,000-capacity Hall, and gave it everything they had. I learnt a lot that night about people who really believe in what they do and the shallow world.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

The past two years have seen most of my personal beliefs tested to breaking point. I have believed in the basic goodness of most people and that has been proved wrong too close to home.

However, I think we can get trapped in other people’s dramas and feed the lie, sometimes you need to step aside and let the river flow by. I have learned how to start again many times. ;)

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Hopefully to a perennial body of work. In one form or another, there is a compulsion in the artist to strive, and a constant dissatisfaction with the work. This is what keeps us going. The work itself must become the very highest expression of yourself. The medium is not important.

How do you define success?

Inner calm, confidence. The conquest of Fear and doubt.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Pineapple Express and another couple of dozen stupid fucking Hollywood movies that have effectively wasted precious hours of this life.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I would like to create one truly great song, indisputably great on every level, something that would affect actual change in the listener. There are only a few dozen instances that exist, that is true Art.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Here on Skye it is wintertime. The land dies and we lose touch with nature, we forget the signs and signals, the internal language of the Spring. I look forward to that. Here, we have five months of winter. When it is through there is a very real feeling of having been reborn once more. The cycle begins again. Life is neither good nor bad. Life just is.

Amebix, Live at the Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA, 2009

Castle Keep on Thee Facebooks

Amebix’s website

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Amebix, Sonic Mass: And Ever May You Be

Posted in Reviews on January 9th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

When Amebix vocalist/bassist Rob “The Baron” Miller dropped a line and requested a review of the band’s first album in more than 20 years, my response was simple: I’m not qualified. In saying so, I was sincere. I was never cool enough to be the crust punk anarcho kid. I never had the backpatch, the “No Gods, No Masters” tattoo, the smell. Amebix’s two legendary and massively influential LPs, Arise! (1985) and Monolith (1987), have gone unexplored on my part for years, so when Sonic Mass (released by the band in cooperation with Easy Action Records) came along, I felt I had no basis to appreciate it and that I wouldn’t be able to judge it with the proper context – I’d be out of my league, in other words. Miller, probably well thinking I was a total ass, sent the album anyway. It was released in Sept. 2011, and I slept on the download as I do a lot of downloads, the added element of intimidation not helping the cause, until I finally saw the album on Nathan Carson of Witch Mountain’s year-end list on The Bone Reader (credit where it’s due), which was endorsement enough for me to at last give Sonic Mass the listen it deserves. I relate this story mostly to explain what took so long on the review and to cover my ass in case I get some contextual element horribly wrong or come off ignorant of Amebix’s legacy (which, again, I am), but also to give some background on the effect Sonic Mass had on me as a listener.

A lot of albums, it being months after the release, I’d probably just let go, but Sonic Mass hits with an air of profundity suited to the decades since Amebix’s last studio full-length. Working within and outside the genre the band helped create, it is timeless, and so I feel less constrained by time in talking about it. Or maybe that’s just my way of justifying having slept on a cool record. In any case, Amebix’s third album doesn’t arrive completely without warning. The trio of Rob, brother/guitarist Stig C. (Chris) Miller and drummer Roy Mayorga (ex-Nausea/Soulfly/Stone Sour) came together for shows in 2009 and in 2010 released the Redux EP reworking three classic Amebix tracks – “Arise!,” “Winter” and “Chain Reaction.” It was a move justified by a change in methodology and sound and a firm way of noting that 21st Century Amebix is not the same band it once was or just an act trying to recapture the rawness of their early work. Instead, the material on Sonic Mass is imbued with a sense of drama more befitting a modern interpretation of the early-‘90s heyday of Peaceville-style gothic doom than sleeping-on-your-floor punk, though strains of industrial intensity remain consistent, however more cleanly they might be presented here. Structured for vinyl, Sonic Mass works in two sides, but the 10 songs make linear sense as well; a flow mirrored within the tracks coming to a final apex on pre-album single “Knights of the Black Sun” that satisfies a tension built over the course of the preceding 43 minutes. Still, there’s a grandiosity to Sonic Mass immediately on opener “Days” that flies in the face of crust’s keep-it-simple ethos, at least partially.

I say “partially” because on Sonic Mass, no matter how indulgent Amebix get, they only once lose sight of structure, and when they do it, it’s on purpose. Accordingly, “Days” is more circumstance than pomp, beginning with The Baron’s bass and a semi-spoken delivery of the appropriate opening lines, “We came out of the night/Bloodied yet unbowed/From days we always will remember.” Mayorga and Stig soon join in with a military march worthy of some of Primordial’s constant battle with post-conflict regret, Mayorga enhancing the grandeur with synth strings and choirs soon swallowed by a mounting wall of guitar. The ensuing final minute is given to the repetition of “These days will never come again,” and heavier setup for “Shield Wall,” which is precisely what it sounds like: A protective battlement. Flowing directly from “Days,” Mayorga counts in and Stig soon unleashes a grinding churn that wouldn’t be out of place on Monolith were it not topped with layers of noise and wailing highs. They don’t keep the battle theme, though, and instead moving into more spiritual ground with “The Messenger” and “God of the Grain,” which mark the point at which the crux of Sonic Mass really gets under way. The atmosphere is set and Amebix have already established that the palette has widened and they’re able to move in a varied ambience and still evoke a feeling of consistency – not something one might expect a band who hasn’t put out new material in 20-plus years to do – but if Sonic Mass proves anything, it proves there’s power in defying expectation.

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