Monthly Archives: July 2016
Dying Stars in the Warsaw Skyline
To be perfectly candid, Morthus was the first band I had in mind when I began the Fresh Blood Programme. Keeping a steady eye on the Polish scene, a scene of high quality extreme Metal, makes it hard for me to really be excited about a debut before it’s out. Of course there are exceptions, and some animals in Animal Farm are more equal than others, but Morthus is perhaps one of the most equal i’ve heard in the last half a century. Hailing from the suburb of Warsaw, Warka, this group of youngsters have been one that I’ve kept my eye on since I’ve heard of their tour with the ubiquitously renowned Infernal War. While rather young, (hell, I think i’m probably older than almost everyone in the band, and yes, that does make me feel useless, thank you very much reader,) they manage to make music that is far beyond their years. Imagine the astral essence of Dissection, Watain and their ilk infused with the the blasphemous, churning Death Metal of bands like Morbid Angel and Immolation to be on the correct path. I had a chance to speak with vocalist and rhythm guitarist P as well as lead guitarist D. Cardinal. Results ensue.
P- P. Vocals and rhythm
D- D. Cardinal, guitars,Lead
B- So, Morthus is literally two days away from releasing the album, how do you guys feel about Over The Dying Stars?
P- Well, great! to be honest. We were waiting for release date since we exited the studio, which was in August. It was more than half a year ago, so it was a long wait for the grand premiere of the material! so we’re excited.
B- Why did it take so long? you said it was a long process, what happened?
P- We were waiting for the mixing and mastering, and all the artworks were in the works. The most important thing delaying release were definitely the mixes and masters. Because, firstly, we were considering a premiere in March.
D- Also all the dealings with the label and waiting for the whole official process of making CDs, physical formats and what not. You know it takes a while
B- What is the title describing? is it a place? is it an ambience? what does it mean?
P- Pfffft, it’s something between those things. First of all, it’s Over the Dying Stars. When we were thinking about the title of that album, D. Cardinal and I were sitting under the sky. I remember we were thinking for a while, 3 or 4 hours or more, smoking and drinking. We had no idea. There’s also a Demonaz album called Under The Dying Sun, which was the first thing that inspired the title. I had something like that in mind when I was looking at the sky. I closed my eyes and next I opened them, I imagined that all the stars among us were like an ocean to be fallen into. They’re not above you, but you’re above them! So it’s kind of a place where you can open your imagination, dream and create art. But it’s also kind of something more, a rebellion against what happens these days.
B- It’s kind of an escape you mean?
P- Pretty much. Also I can add, that suns (stars in other words) can be metaphors for gods, a lot of religions are based on solar system and cults of the sun.
B- What are some of the lyrical themes on the album?
P- I hate questions like that! What do you say about your lyrics and things like that. I think the lyrics are not written to be explained. That what you were feeling while you were writing them is not to be explained. But to be interpreted. I write lyrics only for those people who get them. The lyrics are about what happens in our lives, and it’s metaphorically referencing these things. Our progress, our expectations regarding the world, and that’s all.
B- I guess that’s fair, that way the lyrics are still ambiguous and vague, that people can interpret them on their own. Moving on, how was working on OTDS different than The Abyss? How do you feel the experience you had between the two has impacted the latter?
D- First of all, I think we’re a little bit older and a little bit more professional than what we were before. So, when we started recording the Abyss we didn’t know what we wanted to achieve. We didn’t have a vision of a sound, how did we want it to come across in physical form or anything like that. Also we knew nothing about studio work, now we have more expertise in this topic. You know this time we came to the studio, we knew what sound we have and what we want. We came to record and all the material came out sounding more refined
P- It was just an instinct what we did on The Abyss. It was instinct that worked well for us, but it wasn’t our vision I think.
B- How does it come across as a more realised vision? in what way?Musically how does it come across?
P- It’s actually much more raw. We recorded live instruments. There were no triggers, no samples, just our sound. Nothing made more beautiful by studio magic, you know? Not everyone but a lot of bands use tricks to make their music more beautiful. We say no, we’re making a raw sound. All procession is recorded live, no trigger. Vocals too. I am really proud of the vocals because it’s just me, I didn’t use something like Autotune or pitch correction, just little reverb.
B- Of course, the artwork was made by J. Yousif, who, hard as I tried to google I couldn’t find (which is impressive, as i’m not sure her/his identity is a secret but most people’s secret identity can usually be found on Google.) How did you come upon this J Yousif? and why did you choose him/her?
P- She is a wild witch. She’s a good friend of our band and I met her in 2012 maybe. Really I don’t remember but, importantly, she listens to exactly the same music I listen to. She’s also a great artist and a friend in our private lives. So our communication in the making of the artworks was very good. We only needed to call and talk, even 2 or 3 hours a day to describe and discuss all the details of this artwork.
D- Yeah she doesn’t exist (laughs.) But as P. said, she’s a friend of the band. Most importantly we had a very similar vision for the artwork. We had the same inspiration.
P- All the artworks were here vision of the lyrics. All artworks are visualisations of the lyrics. Except for the main cover of course. That’s her vision. We just put a little bit of what we wanted to have happen in this art.
B- So if the main artwork isn’t a visualisation of the lyrics, then what is happening in it?
D- We don’t know (laughs.) Well you know it’s Over the Dying Stars. There are stars which are dying, an apocalypse, everything is exploding. The universe going to shit. It’s a mixture of kind of a cryptic Medieval age style and the apocalypse, the final judgement. Mixed with a cosmic vision of the end, exploding stars, and in my opinion, it comes across a great mixture.
P- First of all, it’s a liberal visualisation of the lyrics and main title. So yeah. It’s the world going to an end. Also it’s a little bit connected with medieval triptychs, showing the damned and the saved on both sides, with the saviour between them.
B- I think the inspirations on this record should be interesting, as it somewhat sounds like say Sonne Adam/Maveth meets Dissection/Watain for me on a lot of level. Very dirty Death/Black meets these kind of organic melodies. What are some of the influences on this record? have they varied at all since the early days of the band?
D- The inspirations are the same. It’s not like we started listening to Nü Metal or what not. Inspirations are more or less the same, of course we’re discovering new bands and new stuff. For example, I found out about Tribulation two years ago, who I try to take inspiration from. That’s somewhere in the album. The main inspirations like Bathory and Dissection are still the same (P screams in the background “Morbid Angel! Fucking Morbid Angel!”) Each person in the band has a little bit different inspirations but it’s still in the same spirit.
B- We mentioned that some of the non-musical influences are stuff like your personal lives and stuff like that. Yet I feel that I should still give space to elaborate, what are some of the non-musical influences on the band? would you like to add anything?
P- To be honest, I like nature. I like walking around Poland’s forests and inspirations like that. Nature and dead nature. Old buildings and old architecture. Places i’m going to. I also picked up a love of reading books recently. I’m reading much more than before. It’s a good inspiration for when i’m working on our music.
D- In my opinion one of the most influential themes in our music is emotions. It sounds a bit cliche but it’s very important to me and to us. For example when i’m very angry and I don’t know what to do with myself, I start playing guitar and I feel better. If I have a good day and everything is fine it’s very hard to create something in this kind of music. The main thing for me is the emotions.
B- Digging back, Morthus formed in 2012, tell us a bit about the story so far
D- There aren’t many stories, we’re a very young band. We have a few short stories, mainly about spending a lot of time in the studio. We have a great time but it’s not really a tale full of adventures. Like “we were on the tour in 1983”, we don’t have many stories, we’re a young band!
B- Ok but you guys know each other from where? how did it come about?
D- Our drummer and bassist know each other. They live in the same town and have known each other for a long time. They’re two Metalheads, and there aren’t many Metalheads where they live , even less so of their style. Usually some Metalcore pussies. So they know each other and I think that P knows our drummer from before as well.
P- I met him in a Slayer concert.
D- And I knew P from before. We didn’t all know each other before but as we started playing we found out that we had a lot in common. That’s it more or less. We were really close to each other. From Warsaw and the suburb areas. We were close and therefore there was better communication, that’s why I think we started playing together.
P- 2 years ago or more we didn’t even have a place to have rehearsals. We had rehearsals in our own homes, in school and in recreation centres. They have events there every once in a while, so they let us play there sometimes. And I can add that some stories connected with band are too private to be told. Maybe in the future, but you can imagine that they mostly involve excesses of youth, everyone needs to live it up.
B- Thematically harkening back to the second question, why the name Morthus?
P- We didn’t have a name and it was a hard decision, we didn’t have an idea of what to do. We were looking for a good sounding word. We looked into a latin dictionary and we found the word Mortuus, which means dead. We chose it and change one of the letters, added an H. We don’t really know why but it sounds good! It’s short, one word, and it’s easy to remember. It’s connected with death, we play Death Metal, so it’s very back to the roots.
B- While there are only really 4 short years between now and the formation of Morthus, one could pretty easily argue that the Polish Metal scene became considerably more popular in this timeline. Be it Behemoth publishing The Satanist and becoming arguably the biggest DM band in both Europe and the US, Mgła basically becoming underground Black Metal’s sweetheart, or Decapitated touring the US like Lindsey Lohan used to tour mirrors for cocaine, the jump in size is quasi undeniable. Have you felt a change? have you felt a noticeable difference? Do you see more international people taking interest in the Polish scene?
P- Yeah, I think. Certainly. We have good Death Metal, and the Polish scene has become kind of a seal of a quality. If you see a Death or Black Metal band from Poland , you know that it’s good as most of the bands from here are on a good level. Not always excellent but on a good level of that music. I think it’s taken from our location. I don’t know what your imagination is regarding Poland (I neglected to mention to P that I visit Poland almost every 3-4 years, was born there and have family there-Benek.) How life looks like here, in this area of Europe. But everyone just thinks it’s very cold in Poland. When I met Trey Azagtgoth, and all his stories regarding Poland were that it’s some kind of cold land. To this I can add to that people here are very poor
D- If you compare Poland to the other countries in Europe, we’re a little bit of a poorer country. Logically, this is a great place for this kind of music to be created. It’s an important part of it becoming a Metal area. The best bands are usually created by poor guys who just want to play Metal. Not to make money or some shit. To make music for people, and for the creation of music to be about the music rather than about money. That’s what we have in Poland.
B- How do you think the Polish scene has changed? Both after the increase in size and since you guys were teenagers, do you think that the scene has seen a shift? Do you think it’s become more competitive, more Dog Eat Dog?
D- I don’t know, I think the Polish Metal scene has more solidarity. The bands usually support each other, the true Metal bands. They are also in connection with other people from other place. When the internet revolution came, it became much easier to promote abroad. This is the time when people from abroad can have a much easier time taking an interest in what we do.
P- People are sending our bands to their friends worldwide. That’s the spirit of making our scene more popular in the world.
B- What do you feel are some of the advantages and disadvantages to being a young band in Warsaw? is it a relatively important city to Polish Metal? is a barren wasteland? is the scene there supportive?
D- It’s hard to say which place in Poland is the capital for Metal or some shit like that. In every big town there are some great bands. There are many for example in the area of Katowice and Wrocław.
P- I think everyone in Poland hates Warsaw as Warsaw is the capital. Everyone are moving into the capital as there are a lot of opportunities and more happens here than in the other areas of Poland. So a lot of people who are away from Warsaw or from the area hate the people who are moving in there. They have done for a few hundred years now. We hate them as they hate us (laughs.) You can make more art in Warsaw and it’ll be accepted by more people here than in any other city in this country. But it’s not a rule, sometimes people hates each other in their own area too, you know, it’s competition. And also we can find friends from other cities and support them mutually.
D- Well obviously it is the Polish capital, and on top of that it’s closer to western Europe. It’s more liberal and on the negative side, also more hipster. Other places in Poland tend to be more conservative. Other places tend to hate Warsaw because of that too.
B- You guys of course, ended up going with Witching Hour Productions for this release, how do you feel about this partnership? how did it come about? why did you choose them?
P- It’s one of the biggest labels in Poland, it was kind of a no brainer. It’d be stupid to go with anyone else.
B- Speaking of productions (ba dum tish,) I heard that this record was produced in Mandagora, why did you go with said place?
P- Easy, we know Maciek, who is Mr Mandragora. He’s a good guy to work with, he has this specific kind of humour that we appreciate. We can talk a lot of shit around him and he’s a good sport. We can also drink and smoke in the studio. Sometimes he also did that with us (laughs.) I had a vision for recording vocals, I needed to be closed in a small place, maybe two meters or so and he created that place especially for me. It was dark inside and I could record all the vocal parts under optimal conditions.
D- It’s easy to communicate with him, he knows what he’s doing and he knows what we want. We just tell him to do whatever it is we want and he knows how to do it. He’s kind of a friend of the band as well. There’ll be a bit of delay but yeah…
B- so, you guys came off of a big tour with the peaceful guys in Infernal War and another big new band, Outre, what are some of your touring plans for the new future, anything interesting planned?
D- At this moment we have no bigger plans in the near future. We’re awaiting some prepositions after the release of the new record, but meanwhile we’re working on new material. Material for the next record. We’re waiting for more prepositions, especially from abroad. We want to try and promote ourselves abroad.
B- Aside from the record, do you have anything else coming out? a video?
P- Maybe a clip or something, but it’s not really a priority for us. First we want to close the things we’re currently working on.
Latest Release- Over the Dying Stars
Released in June by Witching Hour Production, the debut album by Morthus Over the Dying Stars is one of those debuts that you can see being the beginning of a Metal Archives Page. Strong from end to end with a sense of raw meticulousness that is hard to come by. It’s definitely influenced by a lot of other bands, but the bands own personality shines through as it’s own entity, and that’s why it gets my seal of approval. For those who read my other two Fresh Bloods, if Dim Aura is very Punkish and kind of strikingly aggressive, Armagh more along the lines of almost Rock n’ Roll-ish, then Morthus is more tactically and strategically put together. Finesse, I’d say.
Interview: Benek Astrachan
The Fading Auras of Mankind
The Israeli Black Metal scene, if you can call it that, is quite an odd beast to reckon with. Diverse as all hell and very small, almost every band you encounter sounds radically different than the last. Especially between any ones that have any kind of size or traction. You have all your usual variants of course, Dimmu clones, early first wave wannabes, and all of their ilk, but you also have a few bands that are actually very much unique and interesting as they sound markedly different than most Black Metal bands you’ll come across. One band that exemplifies this difference is Tel Aviv’s Dim Aura. A relatively young band, Dim Aura today is one of the very few Israeli underground bands that I really keep a constant eye on. Basically, imagine Carpathian Forest meet Shining musically, and then insert a healthy dose of Punk riffing an attitude. It’s no YAITW or Kvelertak, it’s still 100% Black Metal, but it’s Black Metal that is as much “Grim” and “Frostbitten” as it is in-your-face , violent and burning.
I sat down with vocalist H. for an update on where they are-
B- So, what’s the story of the band?
H- Well, basically, Ferum, Ofir, and E.F.F formed the band without me. It wasn’t Dim Aura at the time. They used to play in another band called Sitra Achra, which I don’t know if you’ve heard about. They disbanded for several reasons and ten to fifteen years later, they met up and decided to play again. Ferum called me, I knew him as we released a split together with my solo project Crux Infernum and his project, Infernal Nature. He asked if I wanted to join the band. I came to like, some kind of an audition, really more of a jam and it jelled. They gave me their instrumentals, to which I added lyrics and it worked well. I met E.F.F and Ofir that same night, we clicked, and that’s it. We just started playing together.
B- You mentioned your solo project, Crux Infernum, was the transition difficult? between being in a solo project and a band with other members, strong personalities and different people?
H- Not really as I didn’t understand anything about being in a band or playing in public. In our first rehearsal , I just came in and said “lets play!” without like, any effects on the vocals, no reverb or delay. I was just like, “volume up! lets play!” I didn’t understand the idea of playing live for people. Even if it’s just your bandmates. Before that I just used to record by myself, in my bed room, in front of my lap top. Screaming at a shitty PC microphone. I wasn’t really shy about it or anything, it wasn’t a difficult transition. I gave it my best and that’s that.
B- Was your lap top impressed? (both laugh) No but really, the interesting question here then is, you’ve very organically developed an onstage show, an approach to playing live, did they give you any guidance? Did you do your own thing? how do you approach playing live after 6 years?
H- Actually, that’s a good question. After we formed the band we thought about how we should look to the public. How should we look live? What should be our “thing,” that differs us from other bands? We noticed that now a days, a lot of Black Metal bands play Shoegaze, in the manner of live shows. Most of them just stand and act very “grim” and “occult.” “I’m going to play with my rope and that’s it.” We wanted to bring back the…not really hardcore but the raging, banging your fucking head approach to Black Metal. In rehearsals we used to headbang all the time so it just flowed naturally into our shows. To give hell and not just stand there looking cool, “oh we’re so fucking dark and stuff,” it’s still a Metal show and you should act the way the music sounds. If the riff is really headbang worthy then you should fucking headbang. We do what feels right.
B- Why the name “ Dim Aura?”
H- We came up with that name like a month after we formed the band I guess. Someone brought it up and it sounded right. It’s a Dim Aura as the Aura of every person is somewhat fading and nothing will be left eventually. Which harkens to the nihilistic themes in the lyrics.
B- The band of course, formed in Tel Aviv, in the somewhat exotic locale of Israel, do you feel that has effected the band in any which way?
H- I’m not sure as i’m not really in touch with guys from other bands, at least not very much. Most of my friends aren’t generally in bands so I can tell you from my own experience only. I’m not sure it’s really a thing , except for the relations with the Nazi scenes in Black Metal. For example, in our show in Finland, there were a bunch of Nazi bands there. Nazi salutes and Nazi stuff. People approaching us “you look like you’re from Israel!” I still remember there was this one time, this ultra drunk guy walked up to me and said something along the lines of “this guy looks like he’s from Israel” to someone who I was talking to. I was like “well, I am” and he got upset, visibly upset and defensive. I said “Do you have a problem with that?” , just to point out, I was also drunk, it’s not like i’m in the habit of getting into fights with Nazis in Finland. He said he does, and I asked if he wants to leave the festival area to “sort” said problem. He just went quiet and I realised he’s just an idiot, I asked him again, and he said no and asked me for a cigarette. Other than that, we don’t really get any kind of special or different treatment because of the fact were from Israel. Most of the reviews we get mention at the top we’re from Israel, but that’s where it generally ends.
B- What are some of the band you feel are under-appreciated in the Israeli Black Metal scene? that should get more exposure?
H- Well, Mortuus Umbra are really good, they’re worth checking out as they’re very different than most Black Metal bands people usually listen to. The first Azamoth record is very good too, but I think they’re split up. They’ve been back on and off for years. Like I said, i’m not very deeply connected to the scene or to people in bands so nothing really comes to mind. There are a bunch of very good Punk bands, there’s a better Punk than a Black Metal scene here. Speaking of Punk, one of the best Grindcore bands here is one called Hatealldaylong.
B- D.A seems to be once of the few Israeli bands we see that really do manage to get out of Israel, having preformed in Steelfest and a variety of other European shows. You could literally count the grand majority of Israeli bands that have toured just on your fingers, all of them if you include toes, why do you think that is? also, how did Dim Aura break out of that?
H- The amount of bands from Israel that tour is not very large. Orphaned Land is pretty big, Hammercult and Shredhead tour around, but the reason there aren’t many is because the fact that it’s very hard to tour from Israel! There aren’t any labels that can support you.For example, lets say you have a band in Europe, you put out a decent record, most probably you can manage to get signed to some arbitrary label and begin to tour all over Europe. By a tourbus or a car. Not flights. You see we cant just drive to Europe from Israel and flights are obviously way more expensive. Meanwhile in Israel, you start a band, you spend a shitload of money to release a demo, EP or debut. Then you have to plan a tour, and pay for that tour on top! From your own hard working money, no one else helps out. Most bands have to work and have other responsibilities outside the band. I’m guessing this stuff comes first before playing in some festival or tour abroad. For us it was just like that, we got the opportunity to play in Switzerland and in a few places abroad and we had to finance it ourselves. We weren’t signed and we didn’t have a manager or label or anything like that, and I guess you just have to be persistent. That’s what separates those who stick from those who fade.
B- So, it’s been 4 years since the Negation of Existence, how do you feel about this release?
H- For me, personally, our one point that could’ve been slightly improved was the sound.Though i’m not sure my bandmates would agree, I think we didn’t get the production as we wanted on the record, even though it was mixed by Tore Gunnar Stjerna from Necromorbus Studios in Sweden. It wasn’t big enough, for me. I’m really proud of it musically, but as I found out, the production can weaken the riffs and the music. For me, that was our only misstep. I mean, not a misstep as it’s a good album, but it could’ve been better.
B- What were some of the lessons learned when making the debut of the band? what aspects do you think you’’ll take with you to the future?
H- Basically, the entire recording process. It took way too long on the debut album. We recorded the drums somewhere and were deeply unhappy with the sound of the drums, so we had to re-record everything. It was a waste of money. The actual process of recording man, I mean, it was my first time recording a serious record and not in front of a PC. I didn’t know anything about anything.I was just screaming into the mic and was like what the fuck “I actually need to scream in front of the mic and not hold the shit out of it like I usually do” It was hard for me. But I learned that before going into recording, that you should practice in rehearsal using the same method,just screaming in front of it,leaving some space between yourself and the mic, that that will help you record more easily. I learned from my mistakes, and now I just know how to prepare for recordings in contrast to shows. I know how to cater my vocal performances to each event, etc
B- What’s the meaning of the title, Negation of Existence?
H- Fucking nihilism at it’s core! Fuck everything! The actual title came from our drummer, E.F.F. He watched that Kevin Smith movie, Dogma, and in some scene of the movie, the arch angel or some shit said “something something bla bla bla ,thus negating all existence.” He had kind of a eureka moment saying, wait, that sounds like a good title for an album! So he mentioned it in rehearsal and we concurred. It fits with every song on the album and with the general vibe of the band.
B- When you say nihilism what do you mean? Because when I read the Negation of Existence, at least what I get from it is an ending to existence. The opposite to existence. Is the opposite to existence nihilism or nothingness? Jesus I just mindfucked myself on this (both laugh)
H- Nihilism is a broad concept but for me, Nihilism is just “ I am here, I won’t be here anymore at some point, and anything most of us do won’t really effect anything else at any point.” I mean, I guess Nicola Tesla changed everything but most of us will probably not do anything with our lives that will change the course of the lives of our specie. Most of us will probably live, have a family, spend some time here, and die. In like a hundred years, no one will remember Benek or H or anybody else we know.
B- How do you feel that N.O.E is a development over the EP R.U.S.T? I’ve been trying to come up with some kind of funny meaning for the acronym but i’m not really pulling it off , maybe next time!
H- First of all, R.U.S.T is a song in the EP, Ritualistic Unholy Self Torment is what it stands for! (both laugh) R.U.S.T was written, musically, mostly before I even joined the band. They actually sent me the demo tapes from R.U.S.T for me to listen to their material before I joined the band. Then I joined the band, we wrote the fourth song on the EP , and that was it. Meanwhile, on N.O.E, it was really a four man effort. Everything on that record was the four of us, the riffs, the drums, and everything in between. It wasn’t like they just presented me with the songs. It was more of a dynamic effort to write and record that album. Just four guys spending a lot of hours in the rehearsal space and studio to make it happen.
B- You mentioned that the music on NOE is a democratic effort, and that every band member contributes, but what’s the working process like ? is it sometimes difficult to work without no clear leader or line to tow?
H- The working process is usually myself, Ferum, and Ofir coming into the the rehersal space with various riffs we’ve worked on at home. We just brainstorm around those riffs at that specific day and see what works. Sometimes it takes us an hour to complete a song and sometimes it takes us a month. It all depends on how the riffs jell together.Then our drummer lays his drum lines, and we ask him if we don’t like it to change it up, add a cymbal or maybe up the tempo, anything like that. Is it hard being in a democracy? yes, very much so. Till this day I remember a specific note on the NOE album that I wanted done differently, and the three of them voted me out! I still remember that specific note every time I listen to it, which is at least not very often, as I don’t like to jack myself off to it that much. It was a hard transition, as it used to be just me without anyone telling anyone what to try and etc. But in general it’s way better, as four minds are way superior to just one.
B- You also write the lyrics correct? what are some of the nonmusical things that inspire you? What do you draw on when writing lyrics for Dim Aura? Please don’t shake your glass and say Satan…
H- “shakes beer like Gaahl in Metal a Headbanger’s Journey” Satan! next question please! (both laugh.) Jokes aside, yes, I write most of the lyrics , though my other bandmates do pitch in and bring their own pieces in. To be honest, nothing really inspires me. I just sit down when I have free time, listen to the demoes, and just let the song take me to some mental place that will work with it lyrically. I just listen to the songs again and again to let the songs bring it out of me. Like I said in other interviews, we’re not a traditional Satanic Black Metal band. I don’t write about any Satanic themes or use any Satanic imagery as i’m not a Satanist. I just listen to the songs over and over, most of the time it comes after a few listens. The idea elucidates and becomes specific as time goes on. Obviously I don’t just write about fantasy murder and death, I try to put my personal experiences and writing style in there. Just so that it won’t be so boring. I don’t know if anyone reads lyrics anymore but I try to make the lyrics as deep and meaningful as I can.
B- I’m not going to delve into specifics considering privacy, but what general things in life do kind of slither into the lyrics? what things are in that spot which you write in?
H- It sounds really cliche and overused, really an answer in every interview i’ve read seen or head but everyone goes through shit in their lives I guess. Everyone. Everyone have a depressed and dark side that needs to get out and be shown. When I write lyrics I let that side be a bit more expressed.
B- What appeals to you about Black Metal and these genres of music as a form of expression and as a person?
H- I’m not sure actually as I discovered Black Metal as a teenager. It was either Darkthrone or Dark Funeral, and I just heard it, it clicked in my head that this is the genre that sounds and speaks the way I want Metal Music to sound. The message it has to convey to the listener. Everything I wrote from that point automatically transpired a bit more to darker and more serious notes rather than just cutting yourself and dying, Emo shit. It just got to basically being a genre that felt like a lot of what was in my head and mind, it just clicked I guess.
B- The music also, at least to me, definitely has a strong Punky vibe, do you also feel this way? It has this bumpiness to it. I can definitely hear a bit of the Shining and more depressive influences but also a lot of very Punk influences. That to me, also correlate with the live shows and attitude. Do you concur?
H- Yeah, definitely. Mostly because our bass player, Ofir, and I really like Punk. Though we like different kinds of Punk, as he doesn’t like G.G Allin nearly as much as I do…G.G Allin is the fucking king as far as i’m concerned! So us two are really influenced by Punk, but for example, Ferum, our guitarist, is entirely not. He mostly listens to just Black Metal. Meanwhile our drummer, E.F.F, is possibly the most varied musically between us all. He listens to regular Israeli music, Punk, Black Metal,Death Metal and everything in between. He brings his stuff to the table, Ferum brings his stuff to the table as well and the both of Ofir and I bring our Punky-Thrashy type riffs into the mix. There’s definitely a lot of Punk influences, and live it felt right for us to be aggressive. To act, not really like a Punk band but not a typical Black Metal band onstage.
B- Of course, the artwork was made by Sonnelion of Blaze of Perdition, how did that come about? how does the artwork tie in with the lyrics ?
H- We emailed him, and he was like “alright fine, send me some lyrics from the album.” So we sent him all the lyrics, which I don’t know if that’s what he asked for but whatever. Then he sent us the first version of the cover which was different. B.O.P got into the famous bus accident around that time, and he went into a coma or something. He was injured badly. So we were like, alright, fuck, what do we do? So I contacted a good American friend of mine from the US, Joseph Condejas, a really good visual artist. I asked him if he could complete the artwork Sonnellion sent us, to which he agreed. That was it, he did a very good job with it. So Sonnellion basically did the artwork from the lyrics we sent him and Joseph made it possible to print. As far as lyrical relations, I believe that the lyric that caught him was that of the second song, The Golden Tombs. Seeing as, bluntly, the album cover has a bunch of tombs. It’s completely me saying that, so i’m not sure, but I believe that that’s the song that inspired him specifically.
B- What’s in the future? Ferum mentioned something about an EP?
H- We decided to release an EP or something of the sort, it’s not a full length album. It’ll probably consist of 2-3 songs that will be recorded live. Not like a “live record,” but the recording technique will be to play live in a room. It’ll probably be released on vinyl. Not sure yet. We also have 12 songs ready for the second full length, but we decided that after a while of being absent that it’d be better for us to come back with a smaller offering and then a full length. I believe that the second full length is well on it’s way to being ready, about 85% ready as a matter of fact, circa 11 or 12 songs.
B- So why did you decide that you wanted to come back with an EP? why do you feel that it’s important to come back with the EP first?
H- Because after the release of the NOE album we played a good few shows live and went into a “hiatus” of writing this new album, which took a while. it took a while seeing as we wanted to perfect it. Naturally it took a while for us, and we just decided that releasing a shorter taste of what’s to come will be easier for a listener to get into rather than throwing out a fucking 12 new songs mammoth. We just thought that it’d be easier to first get into 2-3 songs to grasp the idea of the more developed Dim Aura. It’d be much more listenable I guess, than a full new album after a few years with nothing new.
B- Is there anything concrete about this EP? the themes, any information you can share so far? What direction is it taking from the point you left off?
H- Most of the lyrics I wrote again, so I believe it’ll stay on the same line as most of our material. A personal and un-glorified approach to lyrics. No fantasy and demon themes, more grounded lyrics about individuals and their things. The music got way more professional and way tighter as far as i’m concerned. We added a second guitar role on some of the songs which we didn’t have on the previous releases. Like a second guitar line which adds more depth to the sound and to the music in general. It sounds to me like a more complete Dim Aura experience.
Dim Aura’s Negation of Existence is a Punky, Black Metal record that hits hard from several different angles. With that said, while it is diverse, it doesn’t feel spread thin whatsoever. The band puts into practices everything from Shining to Aura Noir and makes it work all together. The way the whole record comes together is interesting in and of itself, and definitely leaves a taste for the coming-soon more.
Interview: Benek Astrachan
Photos: Elad Levy