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Interview - SIJJIN - My Death Metal contains nothing else than horror, death, darkness and the devil.

Interview with death metal band from Germany - SIJJIN.

Answered Malte Gericke, thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Recenze/review - SIJJIN - Sumerian Promises (2021):

Ave SIJJIN! Greetings to Berlin. I've had your new album "Sumerian Promises" at home for a while and I have to say that I'm really enjoying it. Autumn is slowly coming and the mood of the whole recording literally engulfed me. How did SIJJIN come together and how did the album "Sumerian Promises" come about? Please take us through the history of the band.

: Hey Jakub! Nice to hear man, I am glad that you like the album. Sijjin was actually founded during one of the trips we made to Party San, I think it was the 2017 edition. I told Iván and Ekaitz about my ideas of forming a new outfit and both were enthralled immediately. Since we all worship the Death Thrash movement of the 80ties and share the same musical taste, it was just a matter of short time until we recorded our first demo called Angel Of The Eastern Gate in summer 2019. Now, two years later, we came up with our first full length and I think Sumerian Promises turned out to be one hell of a record.

It's no secret that members of SIJJIN have already met in other bands. Malte Gericke and Iván Hernández met in my favourites NECROS CHRISTOS (which I really enjoyed once at a concert in Prague). Is there any difference from how they compose and form SIJJIN? The manuscript is still known, but otherwise SIJJIN are a completely different band. How does the process of the new song go?

: Oh man, you saw us in Prague? Damn, so you saw the worst show of the tour, at least it was mine. This was a strange night, the stage was so tiny and I had problems to give a good performance. But it seemed to have worked out in the end. Nevertheless, I hope we can come back with Sijjin soon and I will do my best to make up for it. Sijjin is indeed a completely different band and the working flow for the new songs went just incredible. I wrote the material together with Iván, we spent countless hours in the rehearsal room. After we had done a track, we always recorded it and sent it to Ekaitz, who added many details to each song and riff. I am really proud of the material, it is high quality shit for sure.

I'm an old fan of death metal and I wouldn't be afraid to compare the sound of SIJJIN to MORBID ANGEL motherboards. Am I wrong? I don't mean any copying, but rather the expression, the atmosphere of the album. Where did you record and who is signed under mastering? Was it hard to get such an old, dark and dusty sound?

: Our guitar player Ekaitz has his own studio named BlackStorm Studios in Karrantza, Basque Country. The house is situated in the Basque mountains and the studio possesses excellent equipment, it is the perfect place to be. Ekaitz is not only a great guitarist, he`s an incredible producer too. We had talked much about the sound we wanted to achieve prior to the recording, so as soon as we went to work, we had this certain vision of how the album should sound like and Ekaitz did an amazing job to let it happen.

What are the lyrics to "Sumerian Promises" about? You took us on a trip to antiquity, to the realm of the ancient Sumerians, to Egypt. Where did you get your inspiration from? And who is the author of the lyrics? I really like similar topics in death metal, I just think that it must be very difficult to put everything together in such a way that it fits the music?

: It is me who is handling the lyrics and most are dread, obscure horror stories in the classical vein. You know, I a big adorer of such masters as Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood and Lovecraft, all mixed with my passion for ancient history and mystery. Honestly, I feel no difficulties to write such kind of lyrics as I always was fascinated by the mysteries of death, pharaonic Egypt and Sumer.

I like it when albums are a complex work. When the band cares not only about the sound, but also about the cover. The one for "Sumerian Promises" is interesting. I'm still attracted to something by the symbol on the cover. I just couldn't find out exactly what it means anywhere? Who is the author?

: Hmm, not sure if I got you right here. Which symbol on the cover? You mean our logo? Well, it was created by Theby, who used to play drums in German Drowned when I was also part of this entity handling bass and vocal duties. He`s a fantastic guy and absolute maniac, so when we needed a logo, he was my first choice and delivered this insane sigil which works as one of the best current logos of the whole scene, if you ask me.

Not only today, it is very important for the band to be different from the others. You sound interesting, fresh, you can immediately differentiate you from others. You have your handwriting. How did you actually start playing? What were your first steps in extreme music, who was your role model? What about the first concert? And who influenced you the most in your beginnings?

: I started playing guitar relatively late when I was fourteen. Way before, I had started listening to Hardrock and Heavy Metal at a very young age, somewhere around 1984 I guess. My first heroes were bands as Dire Straits or Santana, soon followed by AC/DC, Motörhead, Maiden and so on, before I got heavily into Venom. Mantas was one of my first guitar heroes, I love his solos man. Also Mercyful Fate and King Diamond`s musicians had a huge impact on me while simultaneously I fell into Metallica`s Ride The Lightning and Slayer`s Show No Mercy. I took part in Death Metal from the late 80ties on and when I heard Altars Of Madness, it was all over. Seeing Morbid Angel together with Sadus in 1991 in Berlin on their Crush Jesus Christ tour literally dragged me to hell and since 1990, I don`t want anything else than playing and living Death Thrash Metal.

SIJJIN was founded in 2019, at a time when everything began to close thanks to covid 19, there were no tours, etc. How are you doing with the concerts? Have you played live yet? The new album will be released in November, aren't you planning a series of performances in support of it? How do you perceive and what does contact with fans mean to you?

: Playing live and meeting all the Death Thrash lunatics out there means everything to us, insofar we are longing to play live. The founding date you mentioned is not correct, as I said earlier, we initiated the band in August 2017 and went to record our first demo in summer 2019. We have played only one show so far, namely at Hell Over Hammaburg fest in 2020. Let`s cross fingers that we can go on tour and play some festivals in 2022, we have quite some shows in the making.

The two of you in the band are from Germany, but guitarist Ekaitz Garmendia is from Spain. Is it difficult for you to rehearse, rehearse new material, prepare for concerts? I know we have the internet today, but that's not it. In addition, you are each a member of other bands, which certainly also keep you busy.

: Sijjin has absolute priority for each of us, to be precise, it is my one and only band right at the moment, same for Iván. Actually, we are all living far from each other, as Iván went back to Spain and is now living in Galicia. Ekaitz still lives in Basque Country and my ass is rotting in Berlin, Germany. We normally rehearse only before tours and shows, but every one of us practices a lot and is well prepared as soon as we come together to play.

Death metal is inherently a dark, cool and ugly style. I think you managed to define it precisely on "Sumerian Promises". What does this style mean to you, how would you define it? What do you think it should contain? Don't be afraid, feel free to start philosophical considerations.

: No single academical or philosophical thought is needed my friend. My Death Metal is that of the 80ties as played and worshipped by bands such as Sadistic Intent, Mortem (Peru), Possessed, Morbid Angel, Incubus (US/Fl), Sepultura and contains nothing else than horror, death, darkness and the devil.

Thank you very much for the interview and for the music. I'm going to play "Sumerian Promises" again. Looks like it's going to be dark soon. I wish the recording the best possible sales, the most devoted fans and may you prosper in private!

: Thanks so much Jakub for the interview, my pleasure. Sincere greetings to all readers, don`t bow to any fucking trend and be proud to be underground. Sijjin hails Death Metal!

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