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Interview - CULTUM INTERITUM - Blasphemous black death metal that reeks of rotten meat and brimstone!


Interview with black death metal band from Poland - CULTUM INTERITUM.

CULTUM INTERITUM - Sacrum Funeral (2023):

Ave CULTUM INTERITUM! Greetings to the Polish underground. I hope everything is fine with you. It should be because this year you have released a third full-length album in your band's career. I have to admit it has literally blown my mind. It is dark, energic and as if it cuts by the sharp edge of the knife. I can hear from the record you did a really good job and you added a big portion of the talent, too. How do you perceive the new album in comparison to the previous recordings? Where did you want to move and in what are these two records different?

Thank you for your words. First of all with ‘Sacrum Funeral’ I wanted it to be way more minimalistic, shorter but at the same time more dirty, cavernous in terms of music and sound. Second thing was the overall lyrical and artwork concept presented on the record. This material’s concept is way more complex than the previous albums because of more themes that were implemented for this opus and due to the fact that it wasn’t only me who took responsibility for the lyrics. Some time after ‘Poison of Being’ had been released I started talking with R.P. who turned out to be CI’s music fan. After months of frequent conversations we had both gained trust towards each other and I showed him instrumental ideas for this release plus the general concept and some of my lyrics that were meant to be used for this material. As it turned out he really liked the concept and told me that he also had some visions in his trances and dreams in the very concept of that album. After a while he sent me a couple of his lyrics and this was that moment when my mind started screaming: “Holy shit, this is the fucking missing element of the puzzle”. I instantly decided to ask him if he was ok to use his lyrics for that album. He agreed and we both adjusted mine and his lyrics to 2nd and 3rd track. There are also few other things that differ this album from it’s predecessors but I will explain more in following answers.

“Sacrum Funeral“ includes all attributes of good black death metal. For me personally, it represents the record, which I really like to listen to. How did you produce it? How look the writing process of new material in the case of CULTUM INTERITUM?

Most of the riffs and basic structure ideas had been already made in 2018, however within time they went through rearrangement process. Most of CI’s music ideas have to be done in certain circumstances, whether made while being filled with negative emotions, after trance, meditations, dreams etc. All riffs that are present on ‘Sacrum Funeral’ were written by me, as well as most of the lyrics (as previously said lyrics for 2 tracks were done mutually with R.P.), concepts and basic tracks structures ideas. K.M. took responsibility for the recording process of instrumentals for 1-4 track as well as putting some of his own marks for the final composition structures.

Most of the music were done by me and K.M. apart from rhythmic section for 5th and 6th track and which was performed by Grief (he also made an intro for this album).

I found out that Grief is signed under the mix and mastering of the new record. I have to confirm that the sound is literally killing. It still makes me add volume to the player. Grief has created a sound that is cruel, raw and at the same time dark and organic. How went the work with him and why did you choose him? In which studio did you record it? How did the recording process look like?

Another thing that differs ‘Sacrum Funeral’ from previous albums was the fact that K.M. did not take care for the sound on this record. At that time K.M. had different priorities and I didn’t want to absorb him even more so it was decided that someone else would take care for the mixing and mastering. In the very end it turned out that Grief will do that. Why I chose him and not someone else? Simply because I knew his work under Nyctophilia and how much work and effort he put into the sound aspect. The fact that he knew CI and my sound preferences also helped me in making up the decision to ask him if he would be up for this collaboration since I had already known that we could certainly achieve something that satisfies both of us.

This album wasn’t recorded in studio actually, but at our homes and other places. As mentioned before the instrumental parts for tracks 1-4 were recorded in K.M.’s home, For track 5-6 the guitars were recorded by Nimerius at his place, me and Grief took care for recording rhythmic sections for the same tracks which Nimerius had recorded the guitars for. As for the vocals I recorded them in my family’s house and also during one night in an abandoned flat in one of tenements located in my family town. I have to say that during that night I had the most special vocal session ever simply because of the atmosphere and overall aura present there. From what I knew few people had committed suicide there between WWI and WWII including one nun who had literally jumped from the window and another guy who had hanged himself.

Some may wonder why tracks 5 & 6 weren’t fully performed by me and K.M. To tell you the truth in the very beginning ‘Sacrum Funeral’ was meant to be a 4-track Ep and other remaining tracks were supposed to be used for other material. In the end I decided that it was better to close the chapter of unreleased tracks that were meant to be done with K.M and make this release a closing element of CI’s trilogy. As mentioned above at that time K.M. had different priorities and I decided to ask Nimerius and Grief to help me out in the matter of finalizing the recording process of tracks 5 and 6 for which I am grateful to them.

An important part and a kind of extra bonus for fans today is the physical CD. You released the new album at CD through Godz ov War Productions, and it has a corpsy cover art. Who is the author? Do I explain well the picture when I would think it is altar of the dead? How did you choose the motif and how does it relate to the music at the record?

BMS Illustration is the author of the covers art that represent ‘Sacrum Funeral’ and also other artworks that mark this release. He had already proved that he is the right person to work with while creating logo for CI back in 2020/21 because he had understood my vision in 200% and also put his own mark and suggestions to emphasize the vision even better. Since then me and Bryan have been in constant touch, getting to know each other and sharing our views about different topics. He was also one of the first people who listened the very first versions of this album back in 2021 and he also knew my vision for lyrical concept. After few conversations related to ‘Sacrum Funeral’ he came up with his interpretation of some of the lyrics as well as what he could draw for such release. I felt that with his additional interpretation and suggestions we could put this album to higher level. We had spent many nights while discussing the ideas for these artworks and implemented many changes during creation process. In the end it paid off and we are satisfied as fuck from the final effects.

When it comes for the CD cover artwork meaning I will try to explain the general symbolism as short as possible. The CD cover art represents the altar/pantheon which is carried by the procession of dead people. Between those people we can see 3 masked entities which can be seen as the guardians of procession. Above them we can see 3 skulls being put on the altar. These 3 skulls symbolize death and annihilation of heaven (Christian Trinity). The candles and the smoke coming out from that symbolize the illumination of that whole scene and are also a reference to coming of Christ/ praising the majesty of ‘God’. When it comes for the colors used in the album: purple is a mixture of red and blue. The first color stands for blood and flesh of the Christ as well as sacrifice and death. Blue color symbolizes the kingdom of heaven and word of ‘God’. Apart from that the purple color in Christianity appears during advent while waiting for the Christ’s birth. White color represents purity and spiritual cleansing and martyrdom of Christ. As you can see the concept of the artwork is based on contrasts. All these elements put together symbolize the exodus of Sacrum. Sacrum Funeral.

I have been wandering the underground for over thirty years and I still go to Poland for music with certainty. I think we have a similar nature and taste when it comes to metal. I like your bands a lot and I monitor your scene carefully. Maybe I envy you a little, because we only have a few death metal bands that are worth it. How do you explain that black and death metal are doing so well in your country? How do you perceive your scene, fans, labels?

Perhaps it comes from the fact that Poland is very oppressed by catholic church institution and as an effect people who are into black and death metal are able to transform both their frustration and personal beliefs into their music. Perhaps the reasons are way different. I can not speak for the others since every band has different source(s) of inspiration.

When it comes for the second part of your question I haven’t been following Polish scene that carefully for few years. Generally I have respect for Polish black/death metal labels (apart from Witching Hour Productions obviously) because they give the chance to new or less known bands and invest their time along with money into promotion and production of physical forms of these materials. Chapeau bas for such behavior especially in the times when more and more people prefer to listen to the music from Spotify. Not mentioning the fact that current economic situation does not enable many people to live above medium level and as an effect blocks them from buying such things as cds, merch etc.

You play devastating death metal influenced by, among other things, the American school. Today, the band can't avoid comparisons, but I would like to know how the idea to start CULTUM INTERITUM was born, who was and is your metal idol? Where do you want to move your band? Are you attracted to large foreign festivals, for example, are you willing to go on tour with a more famous band?

From my perspective I do not see CI as death metal, nor American inspired. It is a synthesis of black and death metal.

CI was brought to existence in 2017 on the ashes of previous name. I didn’t like previous name nor did I feel any connection or meaning towards it. After many weeks of thinking about the right name that I could identify myself with I came up with ‘Cultum Interitum’ name which means cult of annihilation/destruction/death and is a reference what Christian Bible and their belief system symbolizes for me. Delving deeper into that book we will find a lot of death-cult, mass murder related scenes. I could go on about pointing out more reasons why I chose this name and what does it mean for me personally but I guess it’s not ‘story of my life’ sort of interview.

I don’t have any so called ‘idols’. There are some people from the scene that I really respect for the music they have done and what they generally do for the scene but I wouldn’t call them as my ‘idols’.

Large foreign festivals or touring with a more famous band is completely not what I “aim” for.

When I started my blog seven years ago, I had a vision that I would try to support bands that are not so much popular, or they are lost in underground. To let the world knows about them. I think I'm doing quite well, at least according to the responses. How do you approach the promotion of your music? Do you rely upon the label or do you send the CDs for various reviews by yourself? For example, I buy albums that I really enjoy. What about you? Are you also fans who often support your colleagues? Do you go to concerts?

Both parties (label & band) should take part in the material’s promotion process, especially in today’s reality where you have tones of stuff being unleashed. Of course label has more range, contacts and possibilities which will be used during promotion so it’s usually the label’s part to approach zines, webzines for various reviews but sometimes it’s not enough. Mutual actions of both parties should have been discussed and taken no matter if the label is well known or lesser known to make things work better. In the end both parties play in the same team and should cooperate. If there is no partnership then this kind of cooperation will sooner or later collapse. Of course there are some exceptions where bands do not take part in promotion process (not having any social media channels etc.) and somehow the labels manage to deliver really good job when it comes for promotion etc.

Regarding your second part of the question I try to support some of my colleague’s work as much as I can by purchasing their stuff or simply by sending their music to some of mates and also by sharing their music through social media. If there is anything that I can do for the ones that I respect then I will go for it. When it comes for the concerts I try to attend gigs when I have an opportunity or simply a will to attend one.

On the one hand, today the new band has a lot of opportunities to make themselves more known, but on the other hand, there are a huge number of groups and the fans are getting lost in this big metal sea. A lot of people just download mp3s from the internet and instead of to visit the concert they prefer to spit poisonous saliva on Facebook. How do modern technologies affect you as CULTUM INTERITUM? What do you think about downloading music, google metalists, streaming music, etc.?

As it was mentioned above there has been a vast number of materials released for the past few years. I myself have many times missed info about release date of an album from band X or Y simply because the internet is over polluted with so many stuff being released.

These modern technologies, social media give the new bands perspectives for better reach to wider audience, however every case is different. There are bands that in my opinion have made really good materials and deserve much better appreciation and recognition among certain type of listeners, yet they many times never reach it. It’s safe to say that today’s luck of reaching people with your music is sort of a lottery. Sometimes a release that I consider a really medicore is being overpraised by people and at the same time band X releases something outstanding but it doesn’t get proper attention as it should have in my opinion. What is marvelous for me might not be even average for you.

When it comes for Cultum Interitum I think that the aforementioned modern technology, social media or streaming platforms are from one side good option to present such music into certain group of people. However steaming services like Spotify, Deezer etc. haven’t really changed much in case of CI and as an effect I came up with decision of deleting CI’s music from these platforms. The only 2 places where you can find digital version of CI’s music is Bandcamp and Youtube. There is no need to follow the trend and put your stuff into streaming services where your music have been streamed by 40-50 people in the last two years. If someone wants to put their music on these digital platforms sure why not, but I myself do not see a purpose to be part of that. The ones who will find out about CI will find out. Same when it comes for support.

I like to ask the musicians what death metal means to them. How would they define it, whether it is more the philosophy and lifestyle thing for them or "just" relaxation? What does it mean for you? How do you perceive and experience it?

I am not sure if I am actually the right person to answer that question since I do not consider myself as a ‘musician’ plus I am not a big fan of death metal.

Finally, a classic but important question. What is CULTUM INTERITUM planning in the upcoming months? Where can we see you at the stage and when will you visit the Czech and Slovak Republics?

It’s hard to say anything right now in this materia. For me live appearances are not a priority in CI. I’d rather concentrate on writing and releasing music. Who knows maybe in some time there will be a couple of shows, maybe not. No need to put additional rush and pressure.

Thank you so much for the interview. I wish a lot of success to the new album and let the number of your fans expand as much as possible. I will look forward to seeing you somewhere live again. I wish you a lot of success both musically and personally. I'm going to push "Sacrum Funeral" into my head again!

Thank you for your words, approach and the interview.

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