Paragon Records was founded in 2000 and its foundation was laid by Mike Zanchelli, also known simply as THE M. Paragon has been the most active metal underground label in Middle Islands with lotsa heavy stuffs crawling from all over the world. M, himself have been screaming in several death metal bands as part of his endless dedication to this dark arts. Alright! Let's get to know this man and his works...
Greeting from Malaysia. How are you my friend?
HAIL BROTHER! I am ok just busy as usual. Not enough time in the day!
How healthy is Paragon Records after all these years? I guess, Paragon is the strongest black death metal label from Middle Island, New York?
Paragon Records survives. We are the only black death metal label in middle island. However their are a couple of extreme metal labels on Long Island which is where we are located namely Warhemic Productions & Wolf Tyr Productions both who are good contacts of mine.
What bands in your latest catalogue? What are your best selling items? How many bands are under Paragon wings exactly?
Our best seller in the history of the label by far is Daresktrsh - The Great Silk Road DIGI CD version. Paragon records has worked with over 50 bands in it's almost 15 year history thus far. Here are our current releases below with some info on them as well.
Aetherius Obscuritas [Hungary] MMXV CD. This band should be no stranger to those who have followed Paragon Records for some years now. This being the bands 7th full length overall and their fourth with us. Once again Aetherius Obscuritas stays true to the Black Metal they wish to express and their influences of Taake, Ragnarok [NORWAY], and old Dissection are still very present. However as usual they make it their own and truly have a sound that really is unique within the Black Metal genre and though they still remain very straight forward the band has added even more atmospheric elements around this time and prove yet again they are truly one of the most underrated Black Metal bands of today!!!! OUT NOW!!!!
Fornace [Italy] - My Journey Is Ending But The Torment Will Be Eternal CD. This is the second full length from the band and the band has gone through some line-up changes again which sees the band going in a more straight forward Black Metal direction with little to no death metal elements present. This still evokes their great riffing, nice bass work, and also their raw drumming. However vocal duties have been taken over by Possessed who still handles the bass as well and remains the core and heart of the band! His approach is raw, very extreme and personal. This along with the excellent raw organic production evokes the Fornace we know but through a much more darker and deadlier realm!!! OUT NOW!!!!
Grey Skies Fallen [USA] - The Many Sides Of Truth CD. Melodic Doom/Death Metal with Progressive Elements. Originally known as Eve Of Mourning in 1996 and quickly changing their name to Grey Skies Fallen in 1997. This is another band that has been dwelling in the deepest catacombs of the underground honing their craft. With already 2 demos, 1 single, 2 eps, & 3 albums under their belt Grey Skies Fallen deliver a truly thought provoking and masterful piece of work that has a primal and organic feel!!! The band is influenced by such metal acts as Opeth, Katatonia, My Dying Bride, & Anathema,... however truly have a sound and approach that is all their own with many non-metal influences. I personally feel anybody who enjoys almost any form of metal or listens to music with an open mind will find this album not only enjoyable but thought provoking and truly challenging to the listener. Most impressive!!!!! WELCOME TO THE MANY SIDES OF TRUTH! Features members of Buckshot Facelift!!!! LESS THEN A 100 COPIES IN STOCK!!!
Heretical [Italy] - "Daemonarchrist "Daemon Est Devs Inversvs" CD. Originally known as Immolator and after 3 demos changing their name to Heretical they have been lurking and refining their dark craft since 1993!!! This being the bands third full length once again shows on how the old mixed with the new can be such a brutal and destructive combination. This also is another prime example of how symphonic black metal can be creative and yet devastating!! You will hear hints of mid era Marduk in some of the riffing however other then that the band has an approach though not overly original is all their own as they incorporate their own dose of occult sounds and ambiance that will bring to mind other Italian greats as Evol [R.I.P.], Mortuary Drape, Necromass, Opera IX etc.... . They even incorporate the old school gang Thrash vocals, some nice lead guitar work, as well as Death Metal Influences!!! There is some violin and piano on a couple of tracks to add to the overall atmosphere to. A band that has resided for far to long in the deepest pits of the underground and mostly unknown until now will leave it's mark with this Epic Modern Black Metal masterpiece!!!! THE SECOND COMING OF DARKNESS IS HERE!!!! ALMOST SOLD OUT!
I would really like to know about pre-DIMENTIANON era? What drove you to start this band and why chose black metal?
You are talking about The Forgotten i assume. The bands are one in the same we just changed the name to Dimentianon in 20002. We started a band because we wanted to express ourselves musically.
Why shift to black death metal after producing “L’aldilá” debut album in 2001?
I answered this in the question above and even though some might feel L'aldila has more black metal influence their is death metal influence as well as other influences in that record as well.
With 3 full length albums under your belt. In what way you see DIMENTIANON progress over the year since “Seven Suicides” album?
Well the band has progressed a lot over the years however i am still proud of everything we have done up to this point. We have undergone many line-up changes over the years and because of this the band has grown, changed, and become more professional. However we always remain Dimentianon which is something i am very proud of as well.
Feedback from your fans toward the latest “Collapse the Void” CD?
The best feed back to any of our releases. It was mostly all positive and it is our best album to date to many.
Now, tell me about your project with Hungarian band, SECTIONED? I heard they have recorded a demo after “Purulent Reality” album?
I am no longer involved in Sectioned. However I did record the vocals for the 2007 Elme promo and the 2010 full length Purulent Reality CD which I also released on my label.
Do you satisfied with the recording process? And who wrote the lyrics for DIMENTIANON and SECTIONED?
Yes I am however their are always things that could have possibly done better but when it comes to my part of the vocals I work very hard on it and I always give my absolute best when recording them. Dimentianon lyrics have been written by various members over the years including myself. Sectioned lyrics for the songs I did were all written by me.
Nowadays, it is easier to promote your stuffs thru social media unlike in the old days we just used photocopy flyers and letters. Does the internet really help building the scene or destroying it?
I have a love/hate relationship with the internet I would say. I stand by emails 100 % though. It has taken the place of the snail mail letter and it has gotten me in touch with some many great bands, labels, zines, distros etc... . As for the other social medias like facebook, my space, twitter etc... I really do not have personal time for them as email is where most of my label work is these days. However I do have others who help try spread the word about Paragon Records, Dimentianon through these medias... . I personally really do not like these medias. However it is what it is. And I still have snail mail contacts today!! Which is really great!! That is where it all started for me personally.
What problems annoy you most? Whether in bands or label?
The biggest things that annoys me to this day is people who do not communicate properly or at all. This can reflect in anything I am doing including the band and the label as well as anything else going on in my life. As for my band their is one thing over all that really annoys, line-up changes!!! I HATE THEM!!! However I feel we finally have a strong line-up again with Dimentianon. However time will tell. Also not having enough time to practice as a band is very annoying. However it comes with the territory and between every bodies jobs, school etc... you have to work with it the best you can. If you are talking about any bands we have worked with I honestly can say not one band has ever really annoyed me. We have had disagreements and misunderstandings of course however both sides have always been very professional about working it out.
Hel’s Trash Industries is a division of Paragon Records which is specialized in cassette format releases. Tell something about this label? And you told me, the hunting for tape releases is quite amazing in New York. How good is tape business over there?
This was something my good friend Brain Varney who assists me with Paragon Records formed. Tapes are his and mine personal favorite format. He has released 5 tape releases up to this point. However the label is currently on hold. I actually sell tapes quite a bit on the shop. It really has become a cult format for a lot of people. And if you look in thrift shops out here or get in touch with collectors who are looking to sell some of their collection you can really find some gems. That goes for cd and vinyl to. Here is the info on the 5 Hels' Trash Industries releases that are long sold out!
HT 01 - MIDNITE HELLION - The Fever CASSETTE Heavy Metal SOLD OUT!
HT 02 - BONEBREAKER - HEAVY METAL ATTACK-WARRIORS OF THE NIGHT CASSETTE Thrash Metal SOLD OUT!
HT 03 - COMMON ENEMY - AS THE WORLD BURNS CASSETTE Punk/Thrash SOLD OUT!
HT 04 - ARMOUR COLUMN - MAXIMUM COLLATERAL DAMAGE CASSETTE Power/Thrash SOLD OUT!
HT 05 - EMPTY - THE HOUSE OF FUNERARY HYMNS CASSETTE Black Metal SOLD OUT!
What things you do beside this musical life? Do you interested in politics?
I like to watch T.V., hang out with my friends and family, work out, sleep [ i would sleep forever if time allowed it heh heh], and though I can be a very social person I like to be alone most of the time. Can always use more sex but who couldn't heh heh. Politics though I do follow it here and there is nothing but lies over and over no matter how many times you follow it. Sad but true.
Have you been to South East Asia? Do you know metal music is a crime in Malaysia? Hahaha!
No. but traveling is something more I would like to do. I had the pleasure of playing some different countries in Europe when I was the vocalist of Sectioned. Went to some great places and really had a great time! I think I have heard music was a crime there but I was not certain. I have been in touch with bands and labels in your country for quite some years now. I know you have a pretty strong underground scene there. I know labels Eastern Myth Records, Evil Dead Production, Kvlt666 Produtcion, Narrowards and a few others as well as bands such as Anguish, Atomicdeath, Blackfire, Died, Lobotomy, Necrotic Chaos, Omen, Silent Death, Storming Steels, Shamanic Rites etc... . Also the debut album by Putrefied Remains "Novus Ordo Seclorum" is excellent!!! If anybody can help me get a copy of the split CD they did with Died in 2013 release by Metal Porn Productions from your country I would be most grateful! I also would be interested In their 2012 Ep "Eerie - Spread The Hate" also released by Metal Porn Productions and their 21012 single Cassette "In Gloomy Darkness Mourning" released by Morbid Invasion Rex also located in Malaysia. Anybody reading this I am always interested in a trade.
Tell me more about your future plan?
Future plans right now is getting Dimentianon ready for a show out here for Sept 19th [ just played this one a week and 1/2 ago and it went killer!!!] and then another one for novemeber 28th and keep learning some more old songs to play live and hopefully start working on new materiel. And right now i am working hard on building up funds for hopefully what will be the next 3 paragon releases which I cannot announce them at this time.
Thanks for your time. Any message to our reader before we stop this conversation?
Thank you for the interview brother i really appreciate the support. And thanx to all who have shown support to Paragon Records, Dimentianon, and Sectioned over the years we really appreciate the support. Anybody wishing to get in touch with me do not hesitate i answer all my mail whether it's snail mail or email. My contact info is below. REMEMBER TO KEEP METAL SICK AND NEVER LOSE HEART!
PO BOX 879
MIDDLE ISLAND NY
email - firstname.lastname@example.org