čtvrtek 14. března 2019

Home » » Interview - VIRCOLAC - The lyrically themes through out the album are strength and deceit.

Interview - VIRCOLAC - The lyrically themes through out the album are strength and deceit.

Interview with death metal band from Ireland - VIRCOLAC.

Answered guitarist Brendan.

Translated by Petra, thank you!

Question prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Ave VIRCOLAC! Greetings to Ireland! I hope you are doing well. I have received your new album “Masque” for the review, and I have to say it is excellent. You did a really great job. The record is dark, sophisticated, and interesting. But I have to admit I didn’t find much information about you. Could you please introduce your band to our readers and lead over us through your history? 

Brendan – Hi There!! Thank you very much for the kind comments! We are very happy with the results. The band began in 2013 and soon released the Codex Perfida demo. It was well received. I then joined the band afterwards as I was living in the UK at the time of its formation. We began writing for the “Cursed travails of the Demeter” EP and it was released late 2016. Since then we have played several festivals across Europe and adjusted to some member changes. The writing for Masque began early 2018 and was recorded in October of last year. 

If I am right, the name VIRCOLAC originates from the Romanesque term for werewolf. Why did you choose this name? Do you have some deeper relationship to the early middle ages culture? In any case, it is an interesting fact in connection with the werewolves. 

Brendan - One of the guys was reading a Romanian folklore book around the time they were looking for a band name. I wasn’t in the band at the time. Vircolac sounded good but also encompasses a lot of what the band stand for. The werewolf transforms to beast from man which suggests we all have a beast inside us that a lot of the time is suppressed but maybe we shouldn’t be afraid to let it out every once and a while. Playing Death Metal is a good way to exercise this. 

Let’s look at your new record. A few years ago, I came across your EP “The Cursed Travails of the Demeter”, which literally chained me to the wall. Excellent EP! However, three years have passed between the new record and this EP. How do you perceive differences, developments, did VIRCOLAC some shift during this time concerning the music? 

Brendan - We approached this record differently and we wanted to do something new from a production point of view. There are intricacies in the new songs that we wanted to bring to the fore ground so we have an in your face production which is loud and not smothered in reverb. Musically we have added some new elements which should feel different for Vircolac but strangely familiar. 

It is important for us to keep things interesting by evolving without steering to far away from our core sound. 


How was the new material for the album “Masque“ created? How exactly VIRCOLAC writes/creates the music? 

Brendan - Usually the riffs will be written separately to the band and in some case built into song format. Either a rough demo would be recorded and sent around for everyone’s approval or the song would be brought in and explained to the rest of the guys. If everyone is into it we start adding other instruments to the arrangement a build it from there. When you listen to each song you are hearing what each individual has brought to it which is another reason for the clear production, to go back to an earlier question. 

I was impressed by the rough and dark sound on your new record. Where did you record the album, who did take care about the recording, mixing, mastering? 

Brendan- The album was recorded in Sun studios in the center of Dublin. This is also where the Codex demo was recorded. There is a great sound in the live room there and plenty of space to move around. We had Ola Ersfjord working with us. Ola is a longtime friend of the band and someone we can trust entirely to understand our point of view and how we like to approach things. He knows how to push each member of the band to get the most out of them! 

In death metal, sometimes the lyrics are overlooked. Could you reveal us who is an author of the lyrics at the new album and what is their background? Some of them sound really frighteningly (I mean like horror movies). Were some movies or books an inspiration for writing the lyrics? If yes, which one? Are you a fan of this genre? 

Brendan- Darragh wrote every word on the album. He is a very prolific lyricist. There is no direct reference to any movies or books on the album but on our previous release we refer very strongly to Dracula by Irelands own Bram Stoker. We are big fans of horror and we do refer to movie soundtracks quite frequently when writing. Popul Vuh and Goblin are usually mentioned a lot. The lyrically themes through out the album are strength and deceit. The reason the album is called Masque is a reference to the daily performance people put on to hide their true selves. The spelling Masque comes from Masquerade which is a reference to this performance. That is the deceit part of the album. Side one deals more with strength in the face of adversity usually brought on by the falseness of others. 

Who is an author of the cover art for the album? I really like his work. How did you actually choose the idea of the album cover? 

Brendan - The photographer for all the album art is the extremely talented Lea Purcell. We had an idea that we wanted to continue a similar yet slightly different aesthetic to the EP by using photography. Lea managed to get a really striking photograph which captures the emotion we wanted with the album. The idea of the skull is that is all that is left after your last mask is removed. 

How exactly is the situation with concerts and VIRCOLAC? Will we ever see you in Europe? Do you like playing live? If so, do you prefer small clubs or big festivals? 

Brendan - We have played in a few places around Europe so far and we definitely plan to do more. We have played Beyond the Gates in Bergen, Metal Magic in Denmark and North of the Wall in Scotland. We also played a few one-off shows in other countries. We deeply enjoy performing live and it is a facet of the band by which we measure ourselves. To put on a good show is important for us. So far we haven’t played any big open air festivals but to play in the small clubs is definitely enjoyable especially when everyone is really into it. 

What could you tell us about a current Irish underground? Is it active? Do people still go to concerts? I admit that I don’t know too much death metal bands from Ireland. How do you perceive your metal scene? 

Brendan - The metal scene here is quite strong currently. Malthusian have released their first full length LP Across Death and Sacrilegia have released their debut The Triclavian Advent. Both are really fantastic releases. Other bands to check out are Coscradh, Unyielding Love, Death the Leveler, Dread Sovereign, Zom, Alter of Plagues. Every show tends to be completely sold out here so I would say there is a good appreciation for what is going on. 

Do you follow up the scene; do you like to discover the new albums? If so, could you recommend some new albums, which impressed you at the latest time? 

Brendan - Yes of course. We are all very much actively searching out new bands and albums all of the time. I would highly recommend the New Malthusian album Across Deaths and the new Sacrilegia album “The Triclavian Advent”. Both bands are close friends of ours. Outside of Ireland personally I have been enjoying Taphos “Come Ethereal Somberness” and Obliterations “Cenotaph Obscure”. There are definitely several others I am missing here. 

We are slowly approaching the end of the interview so I would like to ask one more philosophical question. How would you define the style called death metal? What represents this music for you and why did you choose exactly this genre? 

Brendan - The core elements of Death Metal are loosely defined for me. Of course guttural vocals, intense lyrics, heavy crazy guitar riffs and blast beats spring to mind but within these ingredients there is a lot of room to be completely original and chop and change things to how you as a band wish to do so. It’s a malleable format that when used correctly a bands original sound and intention can shine through. For example Morbid Angel sound absolutely nothing like Autopsy but the ingredients are similar. To say we chose this genre is probably to strong a phrase. It is simply what naturally comes out when we play and write together. Death Metal will always be the very foundation of what Vircolac is built on. 

Thank you very much for the interview! I wish you a lot of sold CDs and full concert clubs. Additionally, I wish you all the best in your personal lives. May the force be with you! VIRCOLAC forever! 

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