sobota 16. září 2023

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Interview - STURMTIGER - A bestial, diabolical black death metal assault by undead soldiers!

Interview with war black death metal band from United Kingdom - STURMTIGER.

Answered vocalist PB, thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - STURMTIGER - Transcendent Warfare (2023):

Ave STURMTIGER! I must admit that when I received your new album "Transcendent Warfare" for review, the first thing that caught my attention was the name of your band. I wondered if your music would have the same power as the German rocket launcher you are named after. In fact, most bands that play warmetal choose a more mellow, melodic form of it. You guys literally blew me away. I really found myself on the battlefield immediately. Please take us through the history of the band.

PB: The band was founded in Denmark 20 years ago by VJ and JS. They recorded and released the first self-titled 10” which was thrashy black metal and sounded quite different to what we do now. I joined in 2007, when we recorded the very primitive “Tank Attack” 7”, and then we gathered a complete live lineup a couple of years later to record the Atomic Hammer EP. Our first full release was the “World at War 1914-1918” in 2014, and we also had a bunch of split appearances in between.

We used to play as a power trio, with bass, guitar and drums, but decided things would be better at every level if we had a separate bassist, so we enlisted our old comrade SB. The live show has become even more intense in recent years, when we decided to obscure our identities to appear more inhuman and faceless.

For us, War Metal is supposed to be ugly, like Conqueror, Blasphemophagher or Death Worship, although people’s definitions can vary. Bolt Thrower are obviously a “War Metal” band in the purest sense of the term as a band themed around actual war, even though their later material is cleaner and more epic. We also have a lot of influence from evil old thrash like Sodom.

You're interested in World War I and World War II in your lyrics. That's a pretty broad topic. Could you please tell us where you get your inspiration, which period or part of it you are most interested in? Who is the author of the lyrics?

PB: I write all of the lyrics for the band, apart from the Danish lyrics on the first self-titled 10”. It is interesting that people always seem to assume that we focus on the two World Wars, even though many of our songs are about the concepts of warfare and conquest, the horror of the experience and the bestial instincts of the human animal that drive it.

I was always more interested by the actual psychological experience of warfare than just telling the stories of some wars and battles, war as described in “Storm of Steel” by Ernst Junger and the bleak poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen. The Russian Civil War is really interesting, where many of the participants were equally admirable and terrifying, like Baron Ungern von Sternberg and Nestor Makhno. The accounts, memoirs and diaries of those who fought on the Eastern Front in WW2 and their stories of unspeakable ruthlessness and self-sacrifice are very inspiring as well. Current events and various films and works about the aftermath of a nuclear war also feed into some of the lyrics – “Threads” is probably the best film that really brings it home.

The new album "Transcendent Warfare" has a raw, gritty sound. I thought to myself, I haven't heard a record in a long time that was so bestial and blasphemous. Where did you record and who mixed and produced the album?

PB: By or standards, this is the most polished and clean we ever sounded! The album was mixed and mastered by a great Hungarian metal engineer called Tamas Rosznyai at Volume Unlimited studios in London, he is a real metalhead and completely understood what we were doing. As an underground band we did not have a “producer” as such – it ourselves and the engineer who worked on it. We also recorded a very raw demo version of the album in a rehearsal room to make sure the arrangements were as killer as possible, especially the vocals.

The packaging is also interesting. It's got a soldier on it and probably a raven on it. The motif has a very depressing effect on me and perfectly complements the music you play. Who's the composer? Isn't the painting based on an old model? I have a feeling I've seen it somewhere before. Or am I wrong?

PB: The art was done by a Russian artist called Anastasia, she has several online portfolios a page on FB and some other platforms called “Afuneral Morbidart”. Here is what she had to say about the cover: “I was inspired by the lyrics and music of Sturmtiger when I created the cover. The name of the album itself. The transcendent, otherworldly experience of destruction and death. I depicted the face of a soldier disfigured by death and the work actually was based on a real photo from those years. The raven is a carrion bird, a messenger from the world of the dead which has long been associated with war, dereliction, evil and death in Europe. The work is symbolic and I wanted to depict the symbols of Chaos and Death in a simple and accessible form. In this, I think I was successful.”

If I understand correctly, you were originally from Denmark and then moved to the UK? Do you see any change in terms of the underground in those countries? Over here they say "drinks like a Dane" and is "dry and boring like a Brit". I know they're clichés, but what about at gigs? What about the fans?

VJ: When I lived in Denmark and especially where I'm from, there was nothing going on. It was absolutely dead. Trying to find members to start a band was near enough impossible. Of course, after a few years stuff started to happen. Metal Magic and Killtown Fest appeared and the scene is getting bigger. The metalheads are pretty much the same, when they are sober, they are boring as fuck and get more interesting as their blood alcohol level increases.

Let's go back to the subject of your lyrics. It's such a strange time these days. People take shortcuts, they're quick to judge. Give a label. Plus, you play extreme metal, it still shocks some people. Have you ever had a problem in any country singing about World War II? And black metal? I can think of Christians in Poland...well, I could go on, but I don't want to upset anyone...

PB: Various retards assume that we are a political band simply because of the name, especially in the UK. We had a couple of gigs cancelled, but this is rare and the events we play are too underground for anyone in the authorities or the church to give a shit. There is this general trend for more and more censorship in metal itself, which is complete fucking shit, true underground metal should be free to explore whichever side of death, darkness and violence it wants.

I assume you play mostly in underground clubs. Do you enjoy presenting your music live? What about some kind of tour, I can think of a screening of films, documentaries related to your music. Isn't that tempting? Maybe I should have just written that I would like to see you somewhere live:)).

PB: We want to do a European tour this year or the next, probably concentrating on Eastern Europe where metal is more real. We also have an insane plan of maybe touring India, as we actually have some good contacts and their scene is really growing, or South America, as the maniacs there truly understand our metal. It would be great to involve other media like film and art, but it would take a very special promoter to organize something like that. There was a great show in Scotland put on by our friend Dave from Nyctopia which also had an exhibition and talk by Christophe Szpajdel, a real underground event, not just a metal gig.

You have two full-length albums, several EPs, splits, demos. What is your next goal? Is it a major label? A festival? Where do you want to take the band?

PB: We’ve been thinking of playing some festivals, of course, both to get more fans and the free food, booze and tickets. We definitely hope it won’t take us another nine years to release the next album and we will at least release some splits with bands from around the world in between. Our goal is to keep making martial metal of death that satisfies ourselves first and foremost, and whether it is heard by 100 underground maniacs or has some kind of mass appeal is purely secondary.

What does black and death metal mean to you? How would you define it if you had to explain your music to someone outside the scene? Do you see music as a lifestyle? Or is it mainly relaxation and a hobby?

PB: The simultaneous application of a trepanning drill and a chainsaw to the skull, coupled with intense and perverse pleasure. And yes, it is definitely a lifestyle for me for nearly 27 years, both spiritually and ideologically. Apart from playing in bands, I’ve been a promoter, written for metal sites, run a distro and have been learning sound engineering.

What is STURMTIGER planning in the near future? Will we see "Transcendent Warfare" on vinyl?

PB: We will definitely release the album on tape and vinyl once we find the right labels for it. It’s not a question of “if”, it’s a question of “when”. Now that it’s easy to find any release instantly and for free on the internet, metalheads want real artifacts like tapes and vinyls and the ritualistic feeling of having to make some effort to listen to music. Thank you for the support – when I read the album review, you truly understood the idea behind the album 100%!

Thank you very much for the interview. I wish the new album to sell well! For me it is really excellent! And I hope to see you live sometime! Good luck in your personal lives too! STURMTIGER to the fight!

Recenze/review - STURMTIGER - Transcendent Warfare (2023):

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