Monthly Archives: September 2016
Turkey is a country that is very interesting in Metal in a lot of ways. It is the only relatively (notice the italics? don’t hound me) liberal country in the Middle East except for Israel (which is rather quickly gaining that italics to the “liberal” adjective as well,) therefore it allows shows on a rather consistent basis. Meanwhile it also a place where a lot of cultures in history have collided, it was a trade hub for everyone from the Italians, the Ottomans, and the Arabs to the Slavs, Vikings and many, many others from as far flung as East Asia. In a way, Turkey is both a mix of cultures and a very dominant culture of its own, which piques the interest of Metalheads and non-Metalheads alike. But, as we all know, the first question for most Metalheads is, “so what’s the Metal from there like?” Apparently, fucking dark, brutal, and uncompromising. Istanbul based band Diabolizer are one of the first Turkish bands your truly has had the chance to listen to and they live up to their moniker. Heavy, uncompromising and absolutely dripping with old school malice. Interestingly, it doesn’t sound neither fully Euro or American Death Metal, it has this kind of dirtiness to it that I find really unique. So after i’ve listened to it, i’ve decided to contact the good folks in Diabolizer and see if we can get a sit down for Bulldozer Magazine. Sat down we have, and vocalist Ali “Abomination Demonseed” gave me the low down on the band’s first EP Apokalypse, their upcoming plans, their history, and what it’s like being a band from Turkey. Dikkat!
B- So, Diabolizer is a rather new band, what’s the story so far?
A- Our guitarist Mustafa and our drummer were already playing in Engulfed, another Kadıköy based band, and a killer one at that. Anyway, Mustafa started getting new ideas which were somewhat different then what Engulfed was aiming for. Therefore in 2012, they decided to form a new band to put into motion this new faster and brutal style. Back at that time I was going through difficult stages of personal hell. Aberrant was living close to where I was working, so most of the nights I’d go to his place instead of mine and we drank, listened to music and so on and so forth. I listened to the primitive demos of what were to become the current Diabolizer songs and I’ve made up my mind to handle the vocals, which I was luckily offered a couple of weeks later. There were some line-up changes along the way and now we’re now five-piece again. So far we have released a 2-song promo and our new EP Apokalypse, on which the songs on the former promo landed as bonus tracks.
B- Ok so I have a few questions regarding that. You said the vision is different, how is it different? what’s the vision like with Diabolizer?
A- If you listen to Engulfed, you’ll see it’s a tad bit different from what we are doing. They have a dirtier sound and slower sections that can be compared to say, Incantation. Diabolizer has a faster approach to music and the songs also possess a burning energy whereas Engulfed sounds more gloomy and feels like you’re being dragged through piles of rotten nails. I totally love both bands and can’t really say that one is superior to another though.
B- So, the first Diabolizer EP, Apokalypse, is out, how do you feel about it?
A- For me, it can always be better. If you’re 100% satisfied with everything, the urge to create new songs will die. But overall, things turned out pretty well. There’ are flaws in it of course, especially if you look at it from our perspectives, but most of them are acceptable.
B- How is Diabolizer different to the other bands you’ve been in before? how is it also different for you as a musician? Not just the vision but musically, in finality?
A- I’ve been involved in various bands so far and I can say that Diabolizer has the most professional approach to music out of all of them. Obviously, Mustafa is the mastermind behind most of the works and through his preparation fro things we can easily move on. As for myself, through my work for Diabolizer I’ve found new ways to make my vocals deeper and I also had to alter my lyric-writing a bit so it sounds different from everything I’ve done before. This is the most boundary-pushing band I’ve sung so far, not just for me but for everyone. This is not simple music, everybody in the band has to expand their limits to catch up with the intensity. It is perhaps the most boundary pushing work i’ve been involved in, technique-wise, stamina-wise, creativity-wise, you name it.
B- What are some of the lyrical themes on the record? how do they tie with the Apokalypse?
A-The lyrics emphasise on whatever one has to expect from a Death Metal band: death, torment, various levels of vice and madness, hell and bloodshed, written from a Satanic point of view.
B- As in a theistically Satanic point of view? are you guys actual true blue satanists?
A- I can’t say our lyrics are deeply involved in the occult. I love reading about it but I don’t see myself classified enough to write lyrics that way, but what the future brings we’ll see.
B- Who did you choose to produce this album? why him? and how was it working with him?
A- The guitars and bass were recorded at Mustafa’s place. The drums and the vocals were taken from recordingss at Jamsession studios, operated by a very close friend of mine. The mixing/mastering were handled by Ünsal Özata from Ankara. He’s pretty good at what he’s doing and Mustafa had previously worked with him on some Decaying Purity recordings so they know each other well. As for Ünsal, it was easy and cool working with him. Most of the products I’m featured in, including the 2012 promo were produced by Serhat Deniz, another great guy whom we’ve know for like 15 years. I wondered whether it’d be a different process working with another producer but everything went fine.
B- How would you say that Ünsal brought something different for the record? how do you think that it turned out differently than if you would’ve done this record with Serhat?
A- Honestly, I think we could get to a quality level similar to this one. Both guys have been easy to work with, with deep knowledge and fast-working skilled hands.
B- So you’re saying that it’s mostly the band’s vision for the sound rather than the actual mixer at hand?
A- Mustafa is a guy who knows what he wants and also how it’s done so it was almost pre-defined. The songs never sounded way different that how I’ve imagined they’d sound.
B- What are some of the band’s influences?
A- I don’t think we can specifically point to a few bands, we all try to delve deep into the underground, discover and follow as many bands as possible. We can’t just limit it to “x, y and z” so let’s just say we can be influenced by anything as long as it’s evil and crushing. Mainly Death Metal and Black Metal bands though. As for myself, I’ve always had a more Black Metal background (Malefic Order, Godslaying Hellblast, Sacrocurse demo), so lyrically I’m more influenced by Black Metal bands, hence the Satanic lyrics. When I was trying to develop this vocal style, at first I was trying to imitate Glen Benton, who in his heyday sounded really fucking twisted and evil. I’ve found my own way ever since though.
B- Onur from Decaying Purity did some solos on the record, while usually he’s a drummer in your other band, how did that come about?
A- Apart from being a pulverising drummer, Onur’s also a very skilled guitarist. Mustafa’s original plan was to keep him as a permanent member, but that didn’t happen due to reasons I can’t remember. But we still brought him in to play two solos on the Diabolizer EP. In my opinion, the solos he played, and especially the one on “Descend into Desolation,” were fucking killer. Actually, nobody but Mustafa and Onur had heard the solos until the day it got mixed, so I was really surprised in a positive way.
B- What do you feel you’ve learned from the EP going forward? How will it impact the trajectory of the band?
A-The songs on the promo and EP date back to the period of 2012-2014. We have three more unrecorded song from that time-frame. We’re planning to use them for an EP or a possible split and then we’ll move unto recording our first full-length. I’m sure as fuck that the album material will be more fierce and devastating. There’s no point in playing further if you can’t take things up another notch with each release anyway.
B- So in what direction would you say you’d want the album to go? what feel did the EP leave you with?
A- We’ll definitely have faster tracks and the compositions will be eerier and more confusing. The EP left us with great feelings, it took too long to record everything and the wait to hear the final outcome had become way too frustrating, so we were all relieved when things came to an end.
B- You of course chose to go with T.E.T, how did that come about? why did you choose them?
A- Actually, the mixing/mastering process ended in April 2015, but it took us about 6 months until we got a deal with Third Eye Temple. Everyone was talking to mutual contacts between us and labels, and Third Eye Temple were not in my radar since I had almost no connections in Poland. I think it was Mustafa who first contacted Piotr, and it took him just a couple of minutes to accept working with us. All hails to Piotr by the way, he’s been doing an excellent job, both aesthetically and promotion-wise.
B- Aesthetically? what do you mean, I thought Robert Von Ritter made the coverart?
A- Well, actually we had friend from Ankara again, Mert Aydın to draw a cover picture for us. But Piotr said that he had another idead for the cover art, and the outcome was pretty good.The original cover had a giant face of Satan on the cover as well, Piotr just told us to wait a couple of weeks and he came with the recent version.
B- So of course, being from Turkey, I imagine questions regarding what’s it like have to happen. What’s it like being a metal band in Turkey?
A- In Shitstanbul, most people don’t have home with garages, so almost no band has it’s own place to rehearse. So we have to pay (!!!) to rehearse in professional studios which make things financially harder. 95% of the local “metal scene” is a big fucking joke so almost every good-band keeps things underground, out of the reach of the majority. If you like cocksucking, stupid, shitty, loser bands like Anathema or Orphaned Land, you’ll live a happy life in Shitstanbul. If not, too bad, welcome to a life of less than 5 gigs a year.
B- Does the public ever give you any problems? or is it really a financial concern, like in any other small scene?
A- Financial problems will never go away (laughs.) As for the public, you can see people look at you with disgust almost everywhere you go, but actual problems seldom happen. That of course goes for bigger and more developed cities. In small towns you’ll most definitely receive a lot of shit if you have long hair or wear “offensive” clothing.Ironically enough, during the most severe shitstorms against metalheads, a central-left party were the leading part of the government coalition. Since 2002, the conservatives run the country, but we never got publicly shit on so far. funny, right?
B- And police in Turkey doesn’t give you shit right? even considering recent happenings?
A- The recent happenings were like “islamic group a” conspiring against “islamic group b”; so recent events hardly bother us these days. But if you don’t look like the “regular guy” you always carry a potential of being attacked by some idiotic cunts or be stopped and searched by the cops, that’s for sure.
B- So what’s next for Diabolizer?
A- Like I’ve said before, we’re working on 3 songs from the, let’s say “first ear”, and we want to use them on a split or a separate EP. We’ll start working on the full-length afterwards. In February 2017, Infernal War will be playing here with us supporting them. I’d love to play a few more local shows after that, for we intend to make a tour in the summer of 2017. A few more live gigs would be good, cos we’ve played live only once since 2014. Being on a stage, you have to back up the evil and crushing atmosphere of your music, and you can only “train” your skills at that at actual gigs. I, haven’t been on stage too mush in the last years so I wanna play live more, both to improve the devastating atmosphere on the stage and to the thrill of playing your shit live.
B- Any last words for our readers??
A-Thank you very much for your time and support. It was a pleasure for me, definitely way better than the countless “who are the members?” interviews nowadays. As for the supporters, 666 thanks for your contribution. Hope to play live and devastate stages across all countries soon!
B- Thank you Ali! hope we’ll hear more from Diabolizer soon!
Latest release- Apokalypse EP The lads latest EP is a monstrous 5 tracks EP entitled Apokalypse, that also contains the first two-song demo as a bonus. Apokalypse caught my eye for many reasons, the most glaring of which is its uncompromising and ruthless nature. It’s not overproduced, and that realness is what lends it its punch-to-the-face characteristic and down to earth grime. For lack of a better word, on top of the well written Death Metal, it’s very gritty . I recommend this for anyone who’s into bands like Vanhelgd, Sonne Adam, or 13th Hour, as well as more technical stuff that isn’t really the ultra scientific-Technical Death (i.e, Apokalypse is technical but it’s not “wank your guitar like a prosthetic penis” technical.)