New album of Czech death metal band HYPNOS - "The Blackcrow" (2020)

DEATH, THRASH, BLACK, HEAVY, DOOM AND ROCK METAL ZINE

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čtvrtek 27. srpna 2020

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A few questions - interview with death metal band from USA - DRAGHKAR.


A few questions - interview with death metal band from USA - DRAGHKAR.

Answered Brandon, thank you!

Ave, can you introduce your band to our readers? – When was it founded and what style of music do you play etc.?

Hello Jakub, thanks for having us on Deadly Storm zine! Draghkar was founded in the summer of 2016 as an outlet for my deadliest influences- particularly, at the time, those of bands such as Massacre and Master. However we quickly changed styles and by the time of our first demo, which was released in early 2017, we were playing death metal much more akin to ancient Finnish bands such as Abhorrence and Purtenance, and we continued to develop over time. These days our biggest influences include bands such as Amorphis, Molested, Depravity, Mercyful Fate, Septic Flesh, Varathron, Mortuary Drape, Iron Maiden, Trouble, Darkthrone, Candlemass, Eucharist, Master’s Hammer, A Mind Confused, Entombed, Fates Warning, Manilla Road, and Dark Quarterer. It’s hard to pin down exactly what Draghkar is doing other than playing in the true spirit of heavy metal, black metal, and death metal! 


Where and under what conditions were you recording the new album? Who was in charge of sound, production and mastering?

As for all of our previous material, the album was mostly recorded with a DIY attitude, and everything save for vocals were recorded internally. Vocals were recorded by our friend Adam Gambel, who also reamped our rhythm guitars; Adam previously worked with me for some similar audio work for my other death metal band, Azath, and it was a natural choice to work with him again for recordings for the Draghkar album. 

These recordings were then mixed and produced by Andrew Lee, a great friend who I play with in a couple of bands and who has done engineering for a couple of Draghkar releases in the past. Mastering was handled by the inimitable Dan Lowndes from Cruciamentum, who has mastered all of our releases save for our very first demo. 

How many copies were released and which medium was used for this new edition (CD, digital, vinyl, cassette)?

The album was pressed to 1000 copies on CD, 100 on cassette, and we’re still looking for someone to put out the album on vinyl.


Who is the author of the lyrics and how were they created and about what do the lyrics deal With?

Though I’m no longer on vocals now that we have Dan in the band, I’m still writing all of our lyrics. At the Crossroads of Infinity is a conceptual album about a man who dies and is reborn again and again into alternate realities with each death, which drives him insane; I’ll leave the rest of his quest a mystery to be solved by dedicated listeners. This is a story that was originally intended to be an original novel, but over the years the passion to write it was lost; turning the story instead into an original album seemed like a much better fit and rekindled my passion for it.


Who created the logo of the band, and who took care of the graphics and the website? What about you and social networks? Do you consider these things important?

As with most of our artwork, our logo was drawn by Karmazid, whose talent is such that we can see no other possible artwork worth working with instead. His singular vision always matches our aesthetic for any given release even better than whatever I have in mind as I try to figure out art concepts, and it’s our great pleasure and fortune to have his art and logo gracing our releases, merchandise, and web pages.

I see social media as a necessary evil for bands that wish to actively promote their music by means outside of fanzines, live shows, flyers, and email blasts. I don’t like being on social media, and I only have accounts still to let me promote my music, my zine, and my record label. It’s not ideal but it works well enough and helps me expose what I do to a far greater audience than I might have found otherwise.


Which label did you choose for releasing your album and why this label? Are you satisfied by how your label represents you and takés care about you?

At the Crossroads of Infinity was released on CD and digitally by Unspeakable Axe Records, who have had a part in releasing a lot of the best modern death metal and thrash. We were drawn to them by their uncompromising vision of what the scene should look like, and by their willingness to take risks on unusual bands; many of our recent favorites have been on the label in the past, such as Ripper, Trenchrot, Encyrcle, and Sadistic Ritual. They’ve been nothing but good to us and it’s been a pleasure working with Eric. 

Which bands do you idolise and where do you get your inspiration?

I mentioned up above some of our biggest individual influences, so I’ll talk in a little more depth instead of just listing off bands here. It’s obvious listening to our previous releases that Draghkar has grown and changed a lot in just a few years, and it’s unlikely that we’ll ever really grow complacent and stick to a sound for long; my mindset is that this is my main band, my baby, and I need to keep inspiration fresh as I continue to grow as a musician. To that end, I look at bands such as Agatus, Zemial, or Manilla Road that have an extremely clear personal identity that’s never wavered but that also never settled down; how similar is Crystal Logic to Mystification, or Dawn of Martyrdom to The Eternalist?

I listen to a lot of bands that repeated themselves for years and that’s not a bad thing; if a band has a sound and can play it well every time, I don’t begrudge them staying in line with that core. I love Running Wild’s relatively static ‘90s sound for having several extremely similar albums, and at this point it’d be a bummer if Mortem or Deceased reinvented themselves, but that’s not who I am or what I want to do. My direct inspiration comes at all times from heavy metal itself and my passion for it, but the biggest influence on my direct is definitely my appreciation for the ability for growth that the rarest, and best, bands in the genre always have had.


Did you send your record to some Labels - which are the labels? How was the response?

We shopped around a decent amount and had very little luck getting responses for vinyl- we’re still looking for it, as I mentioned. We got a few offers for CD releases and obviously took Unspeakable Axe’s, and we’re very grateful to Eric for taking a chance on us. We did get the nicest rejections I’ve ever had, though- a lot of labels that ignored Draghkar in the past took the time this time to give us actual reasons for not working together and gave suggestions for alternates, and stressed that the quality of our music wasn’t responsible for us not getting offers, which has not really happened before. 

How many gigs have you played? Which type of gigs do you prefer, whether it's (clubs or festivals) and which of your performances would you consider as the best?

Draghkar is not a particularly active gigging band. We’ve only ever done one short tour a couple of years ago with our friends Tyrants of Hell, which served as both our first and last shows. We would love to play festivals but have had to turn down the offers we’ve gotten for a variety of reasons- hopefully when the pandemic is over, we can get out and perhaps do another small tour and some festivals.

What about your plans for the future? What do you want to achieve with the band?

We will continue as we always have, and write music and play infrequent gigs as our busy schedules allow. Draghkar has never been a vehicle to death metal popularity, and is not structured in a way that attempts to push towards goals other than to release music that will be remembered and appreciated by true fans of underground metal. There are no plans for now other than to keep working on our next release and see where the winds take us. 

How and where can your fans contact you? Can you provide some contact information?

We are easily reachable on Facebook, via bandcamp, Instagram, or at draghkarband@gmail.com.

Thanx for the interview.

Thanks to you, Jakub! I will leave you with a short playlist of what I’ve been listening to today.

Run After To - Run After To / Gjinn and Djinn 

Deathevokation - The Chalice of Ages

Question - Reflections of the Void

Dark Heart - Shadows of the Night

Black Hole - Land of Mystery



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