úterý 23. června 2020

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Interview - PYRE - Death metal is just a good guide to the underworld.

Interview with death metal band from Russia - PYRE.

Answered Dym Nox, thank you!

Translated Petra, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - PYRE - Chained to Ossuaries (2020):

Ave PYRE! 

Greetings to Russia. I hope you are well and your band's activity has not been much affected by the current difficult situation. You have a new album "Chained to Ossuaries" out there, which, like your previous album "Human Hecatomb" (2014), immediately became a frequent guest on my player. What progress do you see in your music in those five years? Personally I consider this new album darker, colder. 

Dym: Privet! Yeah, we're well, thanx. Even though every member of the band had some illness in early spring, but we're okay now, and that self-isolation did not greatly affect the state of the band, since we just released a new album and were just in search of a new drummer. And the whole headache about organizing the tour in support of "Chained To Ossuaries" album disappeared with the closure of borders and the cancellation of all events. So probably it's even better for us, because we have more time to practice with new drummer. 

I noticed you changed the drummer. Respectively, the last album features Kannib Maledik, whose style I really liked, but the new album is signed by Dmitry under the drums. How am I supposed to understand that? Is PYRE a band without a drummer? How do you deal with live performances? 

Dym: After some disagreement with Kannib we decided to part ways with him in June 2017. Then Mal Noer was taken as a drummer, with whom we played gigs for about a year and a half and recorded two songs for the split with Corpsehammer. At the turn of 2018-2019 we break up with Mal Noer. At the same time we receive an offer from Raul to release a new full-length album through Memento Mori. We were left without a drummer and started practicing some new riffs and songs with me behind the drum kit. Kannib Maledik was invited again to rejoin the band just for European tour. And then as we received an offer from Memento Mori the three of us decided to continue as a trio for that, where I played drums. I mean in my life I'm a drummer originally and only when we found Pyre I took an ambitious decision to handle vocals and bass, trying my hand at another role other than drums for the first time. So after almost a year of practice and songwriting we went to a studio where I recorded drums, vocals as well and recorded some bass parts, the rest of the guys Roman and Fred are still in their places with all the guitars and backing vocals and also Roman recorded the bass. So that's it. Now we got a drummer and there are four of us again. 

Nowadays, a lot of metal bands play or at least try to play old school death.. Very often, however, they are only copies of old bands from the 1990s and cannot be distinguished much from each other. You managed to have your own sound. Where did you record, who is signed under the mix and production? 

Dym: Almost all of our records we recorded at Hiboll Studio here in SPb and engineered by Konstantin Dolganov. But I got to say that the mix and the whole sound production is always under our control, as only we knows how it should sound in the end. This time we recorded only drums at Hiboll Studio and the rest of instruments and also vocals and even muxing we recorded/did at our Deaf Enough Studio where we also rehearsing. We also more and more want to move away from all kinds of cliches.

When I was looking for an author of cover (Artem Grigoryev) I really liked his work. How does the drawing on the new album correspond to the music? How did you get together with Artem? And what exactly should this impressive motif represent? 

Dym: Honestly we found him somewhere in social networks and really liked his works. Roman wrote to him in English, not knowing that he is also Russian haha since he has the name as Black Typography. But as it turned out he was already at one of our gigs in Petrozavodsk and knows us well as a band and support it. So it really helped us in communication as well. First, we got the idea itself, described in detail just by words, then he got down to work, and despite the fact that time was very short and he was late a bit with art, the result was simply amazing. 

You come from St. Petersburg, which is a beautiful city. It belongs to one of my travel dreams. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to visit your place yet. But how does underground work there? In Russia, are fans in favor to old death metal? Because mostly the brutal or technical death metal I am receiving for reviews. 

Dym: Yeah it really one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But we are all originally not from SPb. We are from southern regions. First, me and Roman traveled here just with concerts with our previous band Drama. And then decided to relocate and settle permanently, as St. Petersburg has always been and will be a city of free artists, poets, musicians, informal creative people and is considered the cultural capital of Russia with a huge history. There has always been a certain spirit of underground and freedom. So that's why here is probably the best scene in Russia, in different genres.

What did PYRE want to express by the lyrics on "Chained to Ossuaries"? Are lyrics important to you? A lot of death metal bands don't care about that so much, but you probably won't be like this, will you? What I read from you gave me a sense. Who is the author of the lyrics? 

Dym: When you see titles like "Ornaments of Bones" or "Chained to Ossuaries", you immediately can think about the Sedlec ossuary in Czech Republic. Indeed, Chained To Ossuaries was written by Artemy Nemerowski (mastermind of Teitanfyre) after his visit of Sedlec kostnice in Czechia. Ornaments Of Bones is written by Roman without ever having visited any ossuary but it’s inspired with the related topics. And as for lyrics in general, that's really matter for us. And I'm glad it gives you a sense and you find it meaningful. Roman writes almost all the lyrics. But sometimes our friend and colleague Paul Vakhlakov helped us with this too, giving us some of his texts. On a new album three by Roman, three by Paul Vakhlakov and three also written by Artemi Nemerowski. 

I born in Czechoslovakia (today the Czech Republic) and I got into metal at a time when there were not many opportunities to listen to it. We looked for cassettes everywhere and the first death metal I heard were VADER and KRABATHOR. Who influenced you as a fan and as a musician? 

Dym: We born in USSR (СССР) and we know about Chechoslovakia for sure and can imagine how the deal with metal records was in Russian region that time of 90's when CCCP splited up and everything is destroyed and fell into disrepair. No internet yet of course. But who seeks will always find, you know. We had a huge collection (thanks to a couple of older guys) re-recorded cassettes with b/w front cover photocopy with hand-drawn logos on butts of cases. I remember Krabathor "Orthodox" too was one from couple of bands on one of cassettes. Piles of magazines, etc. Hungry but happy times.

I know that you played a short distance from my birth house in Mladá Boleslav in the Farářova sluj club. Unfortunately, at that time I could not attend the concert due to work. So I wonder when the borders re-open because of coronavirus, are you planning a tour for a new record? How difficult it is for you to organize a foreign tour. Apart from money, the main problem is probably distance, or am I wrong? 

Dym: Really? Then I want you to know that the gig in Mlada Boleslav was probably the best one from that tour. What an atmosphere! Amazing, real metal undergraund as its best. Hope we'll back when this lockdown covid shit is over. But the most difficult thing for us in not the distance - it's nevermind, but it's money we should pay for some tour management, rent van and so on, I guess, 'cause we can't manage the whole tour ourselves, also we haven't our own van and no one of us haven't license to drive it. So many reasons why we forced to pay lots of money, which is not always covered even by a good sale of merch. But I think this is not news if we are talking about not big band. So with great pleasure we are ready to hit the road again haha.

What about the gigs in Russia? I used to have an interview with my favorites from Moscow - GRACE DISGRACED, who talked about the underground group "515", which organizes fans, supports bands and they seems to be very active. I don't know how it is today, but how it is in St. Petersburg? And what about concerts in other areas? After all, Russia is simply a huge country. 

Dym: Well, the things are not so wonderful here than in Europe. That's for a few reasons such as the country's economy, the low level of development of the scene and the standard of living in general. And of course the distance between cities, because of what doing tours is very expensive and not logical. But some bands manage to tour anyway. But the general movement is between two centers Moscow and St Petersburg. As for "515" group, it's located in Moscow, although they did concerts and not bad enough, but it’s mostly slaming brutal shit and it all looked more like a schoolchildren’s party on weekends, so...

As I mentioned, that when a record from Russia come to me for review, it's black metal (mostly pagan) or brutal death metal. But what about old school death metal bands there? Can you recommend us some bands? 

Dym: Russia's death metal and the whole metal scene can be separated by three periods. Soviet/early the post-soviet period is late 80-s and the first half of 90-s, the strongest old school time with titans like Aria, Master, Korrozia Metalla, Kruiz, Div, Aspid, Graveside, Shah, Hellraiser, and many more. The second period is the the weakest time for extreme metal in Russia, like a revival, after the collapse of the USSR, everything was in decline. And the 3rd one is coming from 2005-2010, the scene is growing up, getting stronger, more and more good bands coming. And now we can see a lot of great world-class metal bands on the scene. There's many pagan black metal in this period. This also applies to Death Metal. As for new names (not only DM) you can check Grond, Wombripper, Cist, Dig Me No Grave, Ulvdalir, Grave Disgrace, Drama, Blazing Rust, Iskra, Todestriebe, Edoma, Infiltration, Caustic Vomit, Bastard, Contemptor, Sandarmoh, Minuala, Is, Ork Bastards, Is, Lashblood, Pressor, Teitanfyre, Mental Slavery, Vendel, Constrictor, Tanator, Internal Damage, Pseudogod. 

I always have one tricky question ready at the end. What does death metal mean to you? I don't mean riffs and drums now, but rather from the point of view of life, style, how do you perceive it - both as a fan and as a musician? What does death metal give to you? 

Dym: You know, the whole traditional metal is an addiction and our lives. But death metal got an additional attitude. That magic comes from beyond. Dark and morbid themes excite the minds of human beings always. Death metal is just a good guide to the underworld. 

Thank you so much for the interview. I wish you the best possible sales for your new album and I firmly hope that we will see you at a concert soon. Also wish you all the best in your personal life. PYRE RULES! 

Dym: Thank you very much for this interview, interest and support! To all the maniacs see ya in hell of gigs hopefully soon! Cheers! 


Recenze/review - PYRE - Chained to Ossuaries (2020)

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