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sobota 20. července 2024

Interview - VANHELGD - Mysterious, magical, atmospheric black death metal chanting!


Interview with black death metal band from Sweden - VANHELGD.

Answered Mattias Frisk (guitars, vocals), thank you!

Recenze/review - VANHELGD - Atropos Doctrina (2024):

Ave VANHELGD! It's been a while since your label Dark Descent Records sent me an album to review. And immediately with "Atropos Doctrina" you got to the imaginary top of my personal black death metal chart. The first time I encountered the new album was in the cold weather, when it got very cold. It was very pleasant for me to just listen, read and let the time pass. How was the album made and how do you think it differs from the previous album "Deimos Sanktuarium"?

It took a while to make since the pandemic got us out of track. We were back in writing mood after a small tour supporting At the gates when Sweden shut down and we were unable to rehearse on a regular basis. When we finally started to rehearse again we lost interest in the few songs we had done so far so we started up again with the demos I made during the pandemic. I think it took almost 2 years to write the album, rehearse everything and prepare for the studio . We entered Endarker Studios in the spring of 2023 and it was mixed and mastered sometime around august.

I think it's a bit different from Deimos Sanktuarium. First of all it's overall a bit faster and has little more energy. It's also less complicated when it comes to arrangement and song structures. Ok “Atropos Hymnarium” and “I ovigd jord” could fit Deimos Sanktuarium as well but the rest of the songs on ATROPOS DOCTRINA are a bit more straightforward in my opinion.We also spent a lot more time fine tuning this album. Westman was also quite new in the band when recording DS so I guess he feels more comfortable with AD.

In hindsight I kind of overlooked the back-up vocals for AD, it would have been nice with som more parts from Jimmy.


Let's go back in history a bit. VANHELGD was formed in 2007. The band is composed of all experienced musicians. Nowadays it's not easy to start again. How did you get together in the first place and why did you choose black death metal?

Me and Jimmy ( guitars) were in a band called Ceremonial Execution + me and Björn ( drums 2007- 2016) were in another band called the Jam Session. we shared rehearsal space and both bands were put on ice about the the same time so Björn got the idea for us three to start a new band. We wanted things to be simple so we decided that I shpuld do the vocals and guitars ( only did back-ups previous to Vanhelgd) After a few months or so Viktor joined ( bass 2008-2013) It’s so many years ago now but we see ourselves as a new band still but it is the longest I’ve been in the same band!

Jonas, bass ( ex thy Primordial, Retaliation, King of asgard) joined in 2013 and Westman, drums ( ex Throne of Heresy , King of Asgard) joined in 2016. I guess we always had some kind of nordic misery, strokes of black metal and folk songs in our songs but it has become more apparent on the last albums. When we started the band was more punkish and had a lot more Autopsy and old school death metal stuff going on. We have since then evolved more into a slower form leaning more towards hopelessness and misery rather than gore, zombies and beer. I think that a lot of songs from our first two album still works but I’m also glad we took the steps in this direction since the other way would have been a dead end for me creatively.

The new stuff has exactly the kind of cool, clear sound that I like a lot. It's signed by the master Magnus "Devo" Andersson. We all know his work for MARDUK and many other bands. I'm curious to know how you guys worked together and why him? With what feelings did you leave the studio?

Jonas and Westman had recorded there many times before so it was not hard to convince me and Jimmy to try it out. Devo was very easy to work with and had a lot of respect for our DNA as a band but still gave a lot of great input. When I leave the studio I’m always alternating between saying that our albums are just strange and not very good and that we did a hell of an album, the truth is often that we did ok :-)


When I look at the cover, it reminds me terribly of a scene from an old mural, from the catacombs. Beautiful work. Who's the artist and why did you choose this particular motif?

I work part time as an illustrator, a career I started making covers and merch for the bands I was in and for my friends' bands. So I have made all the merch and all the album covers for Vanhelgd. Atropos is the oldest of the three fates, the Moirai, in Greek mythology. She is the one cutting the thread of life after her sisters spun and measured it. She is the metaphor of death. Her attributes are among others the scissors and the veil.

The lyrics on your records are about death, anti-religion, pain. You're not afraid of horror themes either. Where do you get inspiration for them? And what are the lyrics on the new album about?

I get inspiration from different sources, mostly art and literature but also things in my personal life and things happening in these turbulent times. The lyrics on ATROPOS DOCTRINA are about misery, defeat, rebellion, suffering, war, death and famine.


VANHELGD are a band that when I listen to them, I immediately know who they are. You have your own unmistakable signature, expression. A strange dark mood that has a very urgent effect on me. How do you explain that? Do you have a secret formula, a recipe? How do you create new material? I'm talking about the process now.

We focus a lot on the expression, we don't care much about the technical aspect, riffs can be really boring and simple, the important thing is that it fits the song and has the right feeling. We work a lot in the rehearsal space trying out different aspects and perspectives on the riffs such as dynamics, tempo, drum beats. We re-arrange, play a black metal riff as if it would be a doom riff and stuff like and trust our gut-feeling. It is a frustrating slow process but very rewarding when you solve the puzzle. We can wrestle with a song for hours at a rehearsal and be about to turn the amps off, put the drumsticks down and go home when someone gets an idea or a perspective on the song or a riff that turns things around and gets everybody excited again. There are a lot of “what would happen if…” and “ can we try to...” followed by “ no, but maybe if we try to…” at our rehearsals. So writing songs is a very organic and kind of an investigative process for us and at the same time an uphill battle.

Does Swedish nature influence you in any way? Every time I hear a band from your country, I think that you can put such a special mood, melancholy in your songs. A lot of times I would take the album to the woods near my home, just outside the city, and it felt like I was somewhere up north.

Yes I think it does, the nordic melancholy that comes with the short summers and nature have a more or less subconscious impact on the song writing. The nordic folk music often has this vibe too and we have some influences from that in our melodies. The song “I ovigd jord” ( in unconsecrated soil ) have a lot to do with nature, the elements, man made borders, ideology and religion. Both when we wrote and recorded the album I went on long walks listening to the demos to figure out the vocals and later to listen to the mixes. I often did this in the evenings and the mixes were during the late summer period so for me personally the album is very associated with the landscape and the summer evening light.


According to wikipedia, Sweden has 10.59 million inhabitants. The Czech Republic has ten. We have a lot of metal bands here too, but definitely not as many as you. Does that mean you have a musician in every family? I wonder why you have so many bands? And I'm not talking about the mainstream, I'm talking about the underground. How do you explain that?

I think it has to do with that there were a lot of cheap or free rehearsal places ( often with instruments to loan) in Sweden for kids back in the 80ies and 90ies .You just had to start a study circle and report to one of the many public education organizations that got money from the state. There were also a lot of shows at youth centers in every town. So many kids started bands those days, first metal and punk bands in the 80ies, then a lot of death metal, black metal and hardcore bands in the 90ies.

How do you perceive your scene? Gigs, fans, labels? There are quite a lot of gigs here, but only some of them are well attended. Plus, it seems to me that young fans are already listening to something a bit different.

I think we don't get as many touring acts here as in the rest of europe since we are a bit off geographically. There are quite a lot of metal gigs going on but I live in a small village so I have to travel to see shows. We don´t do many shows a year so we are not really well connected to the scene in that way but we have contact with some bands and listeners of course.

 

Personally, I find "Atropos Doctrina" to be such a perfectly polished stylistic gem, but it can also appeal to fans outside of black death metal. The album is raw, but it also has a lot of memorable melodies. Where do you want to take the band? What is your goal? Someone is attracted by big festivals, someone wants a famous label. What are your dreams?

Personally, I just want to continue to write music and record albums. It is nice to do shows and we are happy to play when it works but the goal is not to tour a lot and so on, probably because it takes so much energy to plan and book shows and tours on our own. My goal for Vanhelgd is to keep evolving and make a superb death metal album.

How did you get into music in the first place? Who was your role model? First gig? First gig as a musician? How about some wild experiences, readers are always interested in that:)).

Oh I don't have many wild experiences since I've never done many tours and my memory always fails me so I´m the worst at talking about the past. As for role models, I would say Entombed and Paradise Lost since they were the bands that got me into death metal in the early 90-ies, soon followed by At the Gates, Death and Edge of Sanity

Me and Jimmy and Viktor did our first gig as a musicians with our metal band BLUMP in the afternoon at a fair in our hometown back in 94. We played a 15-20 min set of bad covers and one or two original songs. We started out together with Hans on drums. I remember drawing Obituary influenced death metal logos for the band that I wanted to be named Sauron but the first songs we did were punk songs and we soon got Stefan on vocals and became a metal band. Back then the Hardcore scene was huge in Sweden and many of our friends were involved in one way or another. I wasn't a big fan, I was into heavy metal, black and death. I always wanted to play death metal and did some rehearsals in two or three local death/black metal bands during the 90-ies but there were only 2-3 songs made with each of them before the interest faded… so I didn´t play extreme music for real until I joined a grind/hc/punk/doom band called THE JAM SESSION in 1998 or 1999 where Björn was playing the drums. We did a lot of strange songs and drunk shows for a couple of years, rehearsing two times a week and drinking together as often as we could and got to do shows together with bands like The Locust, Switchblade, Trapdoor Fucking Exit, From Ashes Rise, Catharsis and Totalt Jävla Mörker. It was a great time. When BLUMP split up in 2001 after releasing 5 demos me and Jimmy formed CEREMONIAL EXECUTION together with Robert from THE JAM SESSION on vocals. We got David on drums and Tommy followed by Jonas on Bass for a while and after him Björn Ahlqvist joined. We played some kind of US-influenced death metal with a bit of an old-school vibe and released 1 demo, a split 7, an album and another 7” before splitting up in 2007 at the same time as THE JAM SESSION was put on ice. We started Vanhelgd in 2007 and our first gig was probably the one we did in a non-offical club in our hometown together with King of Asgard ( where Jonas were playing bass) back in 2008.

 

I'd be interested in your relationship to music. What does it mean to you? Is it a hobby? A lifestyle?

It's a part of my daily life for sure and specifically it's about a passion for death metal. I´ve been in bands since 1994 and rehearsed weekly or monthly and in some periods even up to 4 times a week since then. Even though I find it hard to call myself a musician. I realized that I'm only interested in playing music if I can write my own stuff and that my technical skills are poor for playing guitar for so long, I only play guitar at home when trying to figure out an old song that we will start playing again or when writing. I wish I've spent more time practicing but don't find it interesting. I would never join a band without being part of the writing process and I can't understand why anyone would be in a cover band. I also realized that I can't do things half hearted when it comes to being creative. I love being in the rehearsal space with the others creating songs together and releasing the aggression you build up in your everyday life. It's been about a year now since ATROPOS DOCTRINA was finished and as much as I want to play those songs live I also want to start making new material. So I guess it's all about passion for me.

What is VANHELGD going to do in the near future?

We are having a release show at Palatset in Linköping on the 16th of august, then we are booked for Malmö Massacre at the end of august and a show in Umeå in october. I hope we can do some shows and festivals in Europe in 2025.

Thank you very much for the interview, I appreciate it. I guess you can guess what I'm going to do. Yeah, I'm going to go out into the woods and take your new book "Atropos Doctrina" with me.

Thank you! Sounds like a good plan!

Recenze/review - VANHELGD - Atropos Doctrina (2024):



Rozhovor - VANHELGD - Tajemné, magické, atmosférické black death metalové zaříkávání!


Rozhovor s black death metalovou skupinou ze Švédska - VANHELGD.

Odpovídal Mattias Frisk (kytara, zpěv), děkujeme!

Recenze/review - VANHELGD - Atropos Doctrina (2024):

Ave VANHELGD! Je to už nějaký čas, co mi poslal váš label Dark Descent Records album na recenzi. A ihned jste se se s „Atropos Doctrina“ dostali na pomyslnou špičku mého osobního black death metalového žebříčku. Poprvé jsem se s novinkou setkal v sychravém počasí, kdy se hodně ochladilo. Bylo pro mě velmi příjemné jen tak poslouchat, číst si a nechat plynout čas. Jak album vznikalo a v čem se podle tebe odlišuje od předešlé desky „Deimos Sanktuarium“?

Chvíli trvalo, než jsme ho nahráli, protože nás pandemie vyvedla z míry. Po malém turné na podporu At the gates jsme se vrátili ke skládání, když se Švédsko zavřelo a my nemohli pravidelně zkoušet. Když jsme konečně začali zase zkoušet, ztratili jsme zájem o těch pár písniček, které jsme do té doby udělali, a tak jsme začali znovu s demosnímky, které jsem udělal během pandemie. Myslím, že napsat album, všechno nazkoušet a připravit do studia trvalo skoro dva roky. Do studia Endarker jsme vstoupili na jaře 2023 a někdy v srpnu bylo album smícháno a zmasterováno.

Myslím, že je trochu jiné než Deimos Sanktuarium. Především je celkově trochu rychlejší a má trochu víc energie. Je také méně komplikované, co se týče aranžmá a struktury písní. Dobře, "Atropos Hymnarium" a "I ovigd jord" by se hodily i na Deimos Sanktuarium, ale zbytek písní na ATROPOS DOCTRINA je podle mě trochu přímočařejší. také jsme strávili mnohem víc času dolaďováním tohoto alba. Westman byl navíc při nahrávání DS v kapele docela nový, takže se asi cítí s AD pohodlněji.


Pojďme trošku do historie. VANHELGD vznikli v roce 2007. Kapele je složena ze samých zkušených muzikantů. V dnešní době není lehké začínat znovu. Jak jste se dali vůbec dohromady a proč jste si zvolili black death metal?

Já a Jimmy (kytary) jsme hráli v kapele Ceremonial Execution + já a Björn (bicí 2007-2016) jsme hráli v další kapele Jam Session. Sdíleli jsme zkušebnu a obě kapely byly ve stejnou dobu u ledu, takže Björn dostal nápad, abychom my tři založili novou kapelu. Chtěli jsme, aby to bylo jednoduché, a tak jsme se rozhodli, že já budu dělat zpěv a kytary ( předtím jsem dělal jenom back-upy pro Vanhelgd) Asi po pár měsících se přidal Viktor ( basa 2008-2013) Je to už tolik let, ale pořád se považujeme za novou kapelu, ale je to nejdéle, co jsem byl v jedné kapele!

Jonas, basa (ex thy Primordial, Retaliation, King of asgard) se připojil v roce 2013 a Westman, bicí (ex Throne of Heresy , King of Asgard) se připojil v roce 2016. Myslím, že jsme v našich písních vždycky měli nějakou severskou mizérii, vlivy black metalu a folku, ale na posledních albech se to projevilo víc. Když jsme začínali, kapela byla víc punková a měla v sobě víc Autopsy a old school death metalových věcí. Od té doby jsme se vyvinuli spíše do pomalejší formy, která se přiklání spíše k beznaději a utrpení než ke gore, zombíkům a pivu. Myslím, že spousta písní z našich prvních dvou alb stále funguje, ale zároveň jsem rád, že jsme udělali kroky tímto směrem, protože opačná cesta by pro mě byla z tvůrčího hlediska slepou uličkou.

Novinka má přesně takový ten chladný, čitelný zvuk, který mám moc rád. Podepsán je pod ním mistr Magnus "Devo" Andersson. Všichni známe jeho práci pro MARDUK a spoustu dalších kapel. Mě by zajímalo, jak se vám spolupracovalo, jak jste se dali dohromady a proč právě on? S jakými pocity jste odcházeli ze studia?

Jonas a Westman tam nahrávali už mnohokrát, takže nebylo těžké přesvědčit mě a Jimmyho, abychom to vyzkoušeli. S Devo se pracovalo velmi snadno a měli velký respekt k naší DNA jako kapely, ale přesto poskytli spoustu skvělých podnětů. Když odcházím ze studia, vždycky si střídavě říkám, že naše alba jsou prostě divná a nic moc, a že jsme udělali sakra dobrou desku, pravda je často taková, že jsme udělali dobře :-) A taky jsem si říkal, že je to v pořádku.


Když se dívám na obal, hrozně mi připomíná jednu scenérii ze starých nástěnných maleb, z katakomb. Krásná práce. Kdo je autorem a proč jste zvolili právě tento motiv?

Pracuji na částečný úvazek jako ilustrátor, což je profese, ve které jsem začal dělat obaly a merch pro kapely, ve kterých jsem působil, a pro kapely svých přátel. Takže jsem pro Vanhelgd vytvořil veškerý merch a obaly všech alb. Atropos je v řecké mytologii nejstarší ze tří sudiček, Moirů. Je to ona, kdo přetíná nit života poté, co ji její sestry upředly a odměřily. Je metaforou smrti. Jejími atributy jsou mimo jiné nůžky a závoj.

Texty na vašich deskách jsou o smrti, antináboženství, o bolesti. Nebojíte se ani hororových témat. Kde pro ně berete inspiraci? A o čem jsou texty na novém albu?

Inspiraci čerpám z různých zdrojů, hlavně z umění a literatury, ale také z osobního života a z událostí, které se dějí v této neklidné době. Texty na albu ATROPOS DOCTRINA jsou o bídě, porážce, vzpouře, utrpení, válce, smrti a hladomoru.


VANHELGD jsou kapelou, kterou když poslouchám, tak ihned vím, o koho se jedná. Máte svůj vlastní, nezaměnitelný rukopis, výraz. Zvláštní temné nálady, které na mě působí velmi naléhavě. Čím si to vysvětluješ? Máte nějakou tajnou formuli, recept? Jak tvoříte nový materiál? Myslím tím teď samotný proces.

Hodně se soustředíme na výraz, technická stránka nás moc nezajímá, riffy mohou být opravdu nudné a jednoduché, důležité je, aby se hodily k písni a měly ten správný feeling. Hodně pracujeme ve zkušebně a zkoušíme různé aspekty a pohledy na riffy, jako je dynamika, tempo, údery do bicích. Přearanžováváme, hrajeme blackmetalový riff, jako by to byl doomový riff a podobně, a věříme svému vnitřnímu pocitu. Je to frustrující pomalý proces, ale velmi obohacující, když skládačku vyřešíte. Můžeme se s písní na zkoušce potýkat hodiny a už se chystáme vypnout zesilovače, odložit paličky a jít domů, když někdo dostane nápad nebo pohled na píseň nebo riff, který všechno otočí a všechny znovu nadchne. Na našich zkouškách se často objevuje "co by se stalo, kdyby..." a "můžeme zkusit..." a pak "ne, ale možná kdybychom zkusili...". Takže psaní písniček je pro nás velmi organický a tak trochu badatelský proces a zároveň nerovný boj.

Ovlivňuje vás nějak švédská příroda? Já pokaždé, když slyším kapelu z vaší země, tak mě napadne, že umíte do skladeb vložit takovou zvláštní náladu, melancholii. Hodně často jsem si bral album do lesů u nás, kousek za městem a připadalo mi, jako bych byl někde na severu.

Ano, myslím, že ano, severská melancholie, která přichází s krátkým létem a přírodou, má víceméně podvědomý vliv na psaní písní. Severská lidová hudba má často také tuto atmosféru a my z ní máme v našich melodiích určité vlivy. Píseň "I ovigd jord" (v neposvěcené půdě) má hodně společného s přírodou, živly, hranicemi vytvořenými člověkem, ideologií a náboženstvím. Když jsme album psali i nahrávali, chodil jsem na dlouhé procházky a poslouchal demosnímky, abych přišel na to, jak budou znít vokály, a později jsem poslouchal mixy. Často jsem to dělal po večerech a mixy vznikaly v období pozdního léta, takže pro mě osobně je album hodně spojené s krajinou a letním večerním světlem.


Podle wikipedie má Švédsko 10,59 miliónů obyvatel. Česká republika jich má deset. Máme tu taky spoustu metalových kapel, ale tolik jako vy rozhodně ne. Znamená to, že u vás máte v každé rodině muzikanta? Zajímalo by mě, proč se u vás daří tolika kapelám? A to teď nemluvím o mainstreamu, ale o undergroundu. Čím si to vysvětluješ?

Myslím, že to souvisí s tím, že v 80. a 90. letech bylo ve Švédsku spousta levných nebo bezplatných zkušeben (často s nástroji k zapůjčení) pro děti. Stačilo založit studijní kroužek a hlásit se u jedné z mnoha veřejných vzdělávacích organizací, které dostávaly peníze od státu. V každém městě se také konala spousta přehlídek v mládežnických centrech. Tolik dětí tehdy zakládalo kapely, v 80. letech nejprve metalové a punkové, v 90. letech pak spoustu deathmetalových, blackmetalových a hardcorových kapel.

Jak vnímáš vaši scénu? Koncerty, fanoušky, labely? U nás je koncertů poměrně hodně, ale jen některé jsou solidně navštěvované. Navíc mi připadá, že mladí fanoušci už poslouchají trošku něco jiného.

Myslím, že se u nás nejezdí tolik koncertů jako ve zbytku Evropy, protože jsme geograficky trochu stranou. Metalových koncertů se tu koná docela dost, ale já bydlím na malé vesnici, takže za koncerty musím cestovat. Nemáme moc koncertů ročně, takže v tomto směru nejsme se scénou příliš propojeni, ale s některými kapelami a posluchači samozřejmě kontakt máme.


Mě osobně připadá „Atropos Doctrina“ jako takový dokonale vybroušený stylový drahokam, který ale může oslovit i fanoušky mimo black death metal. Album je sice syrové, ale má i spoustu dobře zapamatovatelných melodií. Kam až chcete kapelu posunout? Co je vaším cílem? Někoho lákají velké festivaly, někdo chce zase slavný label. Jaké máte sny?

Já osobně chci dál psát hudbu a nahrávat alba. Je hezké koncertovat a jsme rádi, že si můžeme zahrát, když to vyjde, ale naším cílem není jezdit hodně na turné a podobně, asi proto, že plánování a objednávání koncertů a turné na vlastní pěst nás stojí hodně energie. Mým cílem pro Vanhelgd je dál se vyvíjet a udělat vynikající deathmetalové album.

Jak si se vlastně dostal k muzice? Kdo byl tvým vzorem? První koncert? První vystoupení jako muzikant? A co nějaké divoké zážitky, to vždycky čtenáře zajímá?:)).

Nemám moc divokých zážitků, protože jsem nikdy moc zájezdů neabsolvoval a paměť mi vždycky selže, takže o minulosti mluvím nejhůř. Co se týče vzorů, řekl bych Entombed a Paradise Lost, protože to byly kapely, které mě na začátku 90. let přivedly k death metalu, brzy následovaly At the Gates, Death a Edge of Sanity.

Já, Jimmy a Viktor jsme v roce 94 poprvé vystoupili jako muzikanti s naší metalovou kapelou BLUMP odpoledne na pouti v našem rodném městě. Hráli jsme 15-20 minutový set složený ze špatných coverů a jedné nebo dvou původních písní. Začali jsme společně s Hansem na bicí. Vzpomínám si, jak jsem pro kapelu kreslil deathmetalová loga ovlivněná Obituary, která jsem chtěl pojmenovat Sauron, ale první písničky, které jsme udělali, byly punkové a brzy jsme získali Stefana na zpěv a stali se metalovou kapelou. Tehdy byla hardcorová scéna ve Švédsku obrovská a mnoho našich přátel se v ní tak či onak angažovalo. Já jsem nebyl velký fanoušek, bavil mě heavy metal, black a death. Vždycky jsem chtěl hrát death metal a v devadesátých letech jsem udělal pár zkoušek ve dvou nebo třech místních death/black metalových kapelách, ale s každou z nich vznikly jen dvě až tři písničky, než zájem opadl... takže jsem se extrémní hudbě věnoval doopravdy až v roce 1998 nebo 1999, kdy jsem se přidal ke grind/hc/punk/doom kapele THE JAM SESSION, kde hrál na bicí Björn. Několik let jsme dělali spoustu podivných písní a opileckých koncertů, zkoušeli jsme dvakrát týdně a pili spolu tak často, jak to jen šlo, a dostali jsme se na společné koncerty s kapelami jako The Locust, Switchblade, Trapdoor Fucking Exit, From Ashes Rise, Catharsis a Totalt Jävla Mörker. Byly to skvělé časy. Když se BLUMP v roce 2001 po vydání pěti demosnímků rozpadli, založili jsme s Jimmym CEREMONIAL EXECUTION, ve kterých zpíval Robert z THE JAM SESSION. Po Davidovi na bicí a Tommym jsme na chvíli získali Jonase na basu a po něm se přidal Björn Ahlqvist. Hráli jsme jakýsi death metal ovlivněný USA s trochou oldschoolové atmosféry a vydali jsme jedno demo, splitko, album a další 7", než jsme se v roce 2007 rozpadli ve stejné době, kdy byli THE JAM SESSION uloženi k ledu. Vanhelgd jsme založili v roce 2007 a naším prvním koncertem byl pravděpodobně ten, který jsme odehráli v jednom neofficiálním klubu v našem rodném městě společně s King of Asgard (kde Jonas hrál na basu) v roce 2008.

 

Zajímal by mě tvůj vztah k muzice. Co pro tebe znamená? Je to koníček? Životní styl?

Určitě je to součást mého každodenního života a konkrétně jde o vášeň pro death metal. V kapelách jsem od roku 1994 a od té doby zkouším každý týden nebo každý měsíc a v některých obdobích dokonce až čtyřikrát týdně. I když je pro mě těžké nazývat se hudebníkem. Uvědomil jsem si, že mě hudba zajímá jen tehdy, když si můžu psát vlastní věci, a že moje technické schopnosti jsou na to, že hraju na kytaru už tak dlouho, chabé, že na kytaru hraju jen doma, když se snažím vymyslet nějakou starou písničku, kterou začneme hrát znovu, nebo když píšu. Přál bych si věnovat cvičení víc času, ale nepřijde mi to zajímavé. Nikdy bych nevstoupil do kapely, aniž bych se nepodílel na procesu psaní, a nechápu, proč by někdo měl být v cover kapele. Také jsem si uvědomil, že nemůžu dělat věci napůl, pokud jde o kreativitu. Baví mě být ve zkušebně s ostatními, společně vytvářet písničky a uvolňovat agresi, která se ve vás hromadí v každodenním životě. Už je to asi rok, co jsme dokončili ATROPOS DOCTRINA, a stejně jako chci ty písně hrát naživo, chci také začít tvořit nový materiál. Takže myslím, že je to pro mě všechno o vášni.

Co chystají VANHELGD v nejbližší době?

16. srpna nás čeká release show v Palatsetu v Linköpingu, na konci srpna jsme objednaní na Malmö Massacre a v říjnu na koncert v Umeå. Doufám, že se nám v roce 2025 podaří odehrát nějaké koncerty a festivaly v Evropě.

Děkuji moc za rozhovor, vážím si ho. Asi tušíš, co půjdu dělat. Jasně, vyrazím ven, do lesa a vaši novinku „Atropos Doctrina“ si vezmu s sebou. Je totiž vynikající! Přeji vám, aby se dobře prodávala a ať jste spokojení i v osobních životech.

Děkujeme! Zní to jako dobrý plán!

Recenze/review - VANHELGD - Atropos Doctrina (2024):



pátek 19. července 2024

A few questions - interview with thrash metal band from Chile - ABREAKTION.

A few questions - interview with thrash metal band from Chile - ABREAKTION.

Answered Roran Fatehatred (guitar / vocals) and Javier Salgado (guitar), thank you!

Recenze/review - ABREAKTION - Bornhatred (2024):

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

Roran: Abreaktion is a rethinking, we could even say a project that was maintained for a long time as a hobby, even knowing that it has potential, we had not given it the value it deserved. The band has had milestones since 2012, when with a fretted guitar, chaotic feelings and the desire to express something, they turned to the first song. The style that emanates from the center is the classic thrash metal of the 80s/90s, where riffs with speed and a technicality barely in construction gave the sound that we can identify.

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

Javier: We recorded our “Bornhatred” EP at Lion’s Roar Studio in the second half of 2023. We spent a lot of time polishing each of the songs in detail so that the final result was as exact as possible as we imagined it. Since we did not yet have a label at the time we started recording, the truth is that we did not have any type of ties or commitments to third parties, so we were able to do everything exactly as we wanted it to be. Regarding the producer, Cristian León, we have all already worked with him several times on other projects, since he is experienced within the underground metal circuit and that made things a lot easier in terms of technical aspects. Basically, we arrived at the studio knowing exactly how everything would happen and the result left us more than satisfied; the EP sounds killer as fuck!!!!!

 

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

Javier: Chaos Records (Mexico) released 300 copies in CD format and a cassette edition is in the works as well. We are also currently working on getting a cassette edition released by a Chilean label, but there have been some setbacks regarding the deal we are trying to make. In any case, it is certain that there will be a Chilean edition on tape, either under a label or independently.

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

Roran: I write the lyrics. Each of them has a different context, but at the same time they have feelings that together are the most common in a meaningless adolescence/adulthood. Resentment and hatred.

"Empty promises" talks about how sometimes we come across people who are scared of any commitment, either because of their shortcomings or insecurities. It is one's duty to know what kind of people is around him and get rid of those who do not contribute anything to its life. It's a current reflection, rather than what I could reason at the time of composing and writing it.

"Pyromaniac" is a bit of a peculiar creation, as it may seem inconsistent with the meaning of the disorder it describes. However, it captures the impulse of wanting to destroy everything with something as easy to handle in our era as fire. The first member of the band supposedly suffered from this disorder, which led me to translate that energy into catchy riffs and lyrics, resulting in a powerful song.

In "Amnesia Chronicle", I realized my own reality, marked mainly by depersonalization to fit into a world of appearances and false friendships. This happens in every context; Nobody is one hundred percent authentic. Even transparency seems like a dream, which leads me to feel contempt for both others and myself, for forgetting who I really am.

Insomnia and constant anxiety about our future as human beings in an uncertain world is what I try to transcribe in 'Mental Torture'. Sometimes we think too much and other times we get carried away; We need to find a consistent balance to live life. Otherwise, we simply become crazy and addicted, as society seems to want us to be.


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?

Javier: The first attempts to create a good logo for the band were sketches and drawings that we tried ourselves. We had many difficulties, to be honest, because we wanted to achieve something that was striking but sober, and that respected the style we play, while also being as original as possible (not easy with 40 years of development in this music style...). When we had a more or less defined idea, we contacted Bastián Velásquez (an artist who has done covers for Ripper, Demoniac, Mayhemic, etc.), and after a couple of observations (including indicating inspiration from the Donkey Kong Country logo haha), Bastián finished the work; he is a great artist and we were very happy with the result. Regarding visuals and social networks, for the moment, I am the one who mostly takes care of that aspect. I think it is as important as any mass media was in the past or will be in the future. Currently, we are in talks with a visual artist who might take care of it, so I can have more time to focus on other aspects of the band. Abreaktion is growing!!!

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

Javier: Chaos Records handled the release of our EP. I had already worked with them on another project called "Deviants," where they released an EP, and I was really satisfied with their way of working and their ability to distribute the material both physically and online. This was why we contacted this label directly once the EP was ready. They liked what we had done, and we made the deal. So far, everything has been positive.


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

Roran: The 80s and 90s marked a before and after in my life as a thrash metal listener. During that time, songs that are now considered classics emerged from bands like Kreator, Sodom, and Exodus. In particular, Kreator became my muse, with "Coma of Souls" being the most special album for my inspiration and composition. Secondly, there is Sodom, with their iconic album "Agent Orange." Later, I discovered that the legendary guitarist Frank Blackfire had worked on both albums. At the time, it seemed like a coincidence, but I later realized that his contribution to these bands was a great source of inspiration for me.

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

Javier: Regarding labels outside of Chile, we only sent it to Chaos Records because we were really convinced that they would do a good job. In Chile, we have been in talks with Dissonant Death Records and Sepulcro Prod, but we haven't closed any deals yet. Overall, we are happy with the reception the EP has had; many people are asking about it, and we are eager to prepare a live release date.

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?

Roran: Honestly, we have had few performances, although we can highlight different aspects in some of them. Without a doubt, the best was in Rancagua, an unforgettable show that I would like to repeat due to the warm reception from the people. There, we were able to deliver one of our best performances, and it was also our first time in a different city.

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

Roran: We continue working, although in a more discreet way. At least we try to incorporate a new song every two months in our next performances. As for material, we have something in limited distribution in mind, as we want the next thing we show to be a musically devastating explosion.

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

Javier: The quickest way to contact us is through the band's Instagram, "abreaktion," as it is the platform we check most frequently. For dealings with labels, gigs or press, ideally our email abreaktion.thrash@gmail.com. And for those who seek the insatiable desire for noise and hateful speed, attend our shows, because that’s where the brave are seen! And if you bring a beer, even better, hahaha.

Thanx for the interview.

Recenze/review - ABREAKTION - Bornhatred (2024):

neděle 14. července 2024

Interview - SCEPTOCRYPT - Hybrid death metal!


SCEPTOCRYPT - Answered by Malcolm Callus, thank you!

Questions prepared Duzl, thank you!

Sceptocrypt was formed in 1992 in Malta with the members there, however let's cut to the chase! It is now 2024 and you are trying to bring the band back to life after 24 years, how is it going and why the attempt to come back didn't come sooner?

Although Scepto was founded in Malta, it's always been artistically limiting and too hot for my liking to live there. So come our split in 1999, I started extreme metal band Dysmenorrhea, momentarily joined Achiral (2nd guitar) & Weeping Silence (bass), and continued organising underground music events under the monicker of Bisoul Promotions, while waiting for Malta to join the EU, which happened in 2004, so I left to Germany intent to make a living out of teaching music (which is more possible in a bigger country).

But as my German was far from decent, and discovering there were less metal bands per capita in the cities I lived (namely Berlin & Hamburg), I popped to London on a 2-week holiday to test the waters. I was immediately sold, and 2 months later, I moved here.

Despite the idea to reform Sceptocrypt always at the back of my head, I initially met a metalhead into flamenco (Mick from Corpsing) and together we started a duo that evolved into an anomalous world music band EthnaMorte, which pushed me to better my guitar/composition skills. So when EthnaMorte came to a hiatus in 2015, I resumed writing for Sceptocrypt with new ideas learnt along the way. Jammed with some guys on and off but never managed to get a steady line-up so in 2016 we all went our separate ways. Until in 2022 I was introduced to a good drummer available to jam (as much as the big city with lots of metal bands that London is, finding a good drummer able to commit seems quite the feat here). We meanwhile tried some bassists, and chose our current one Dip Roy. Our search for vocalist was not as successful, so currently I am writing all lyrics and singing them. Along the way, Andrea Paro joined us on samples & noize.

It did not work out with the 2022 drummer! So how's it going? It could be much more fun if we had a drummer, but things are alright anyway, life has to go on...... anyone interested, email us at band@sceptocrypt.com


Have you thought about starting a completely new band instead, wouldn't that be easier?

I see no reason why starting a new band is easier. To find dedicated musicians is the harder part. So once that is sorted, why start afresh when the name Sceptocrypt already had a small name for itself through acclaimed reviews worldwide in the 90s?

The music of Sceptocrypt is somewhat atypical - it has a lot of different elements, be it the instruments, the atmosphere, the backing chorales and the overall concept. The individual songs are different, some are death metal, others I would say are more like scenic ambient music! Tell us something about how the songs are created...

Like every other band worlwide I suppose – i.e. someones comes up with a motif (aka a riff), and then that idea is developed. Not necessarily so, but more often times than not, a tentative sequence of riffs is laid out by one bandmember, and the others contribute by suggesting changes to the riffs/sequence.

I however do not have a clear cut answer why songs differ sometimes. Come to think of it, it might be as we definitely listen to a wide array of music, and just like when one goes to dine out they are free to choose cuisines from all corners of the world, likewise we set no limits to the food for our ears, and the food we present to others!

What's for sure is that we do not consider our musical presentations as songs, but as soundscapes, where the listener is taken on a journey. And who knows, maybe along the trip, they sometimes stop for a salad, then hike a bit, then have a steak to stack up on protein before going uphill, then after a good ole cold pint & passing of wind, they wanna have a soup! I am kidding of course. We are artists, and we compose the way we feel! Hopefully others understand the avalanche of emotions conveyed.

But I lately tried an experiment & fed an AI analyser our latest two tracks. Whereas one came up as predominantly death/black metal with gothic, thrash and doom metal/sludge making up for the smaller percentages, in contrast, the other one popped up a mix of art rock, experimental electronic & folk rock. Do I have a problem, or should any of your readers, have a problem with that? I say that as long as it is done right, they should enjoy the experience.

 

Could you somehow define your work to the listeners?

Well, despite I never abandoned the idea of reviving Sceptocrypt, I always had it at the back of my head that the return had to differ from being a complete rehash of our 90s sound.

So whereas non-metal influences were quite obvious before (in the sense that when songs delved away from their main extreme metal core, it was obvious what style we were flirting with), nowadays, with 25 years more experience dealing with varied genres, whenever an influence is non-metal, it is disguised more maturely. In the sense that a musician might trace the influence, but a non-musician might not.

So for Sceptocrypt mk2, we set out a manifesto for our new Extreme Music Research sound, which is also published at our website as follows :

Proud of but not limited by the heritage that is extreme metal, Sceptocrypt have always been known to not be confined by one style and to welcome cross-genre influences! So for our re-launch, we have a vision that we are calling Extreme Music Research. Read our manifesto as follows!

Extreme – undettered by trying different forms of experimentation, from over-the-top technical riffs to the lack of same in form of time & harmonic changes that flow seamlessly, an extremity measured in the myriad of influences recalled to shape the final aural palette.

Music – in a time when visual media continually compliments the music industry, we aim to present you music that evokes you the more you close your eyes, aiding you to see colours with your ears, where colour has no limit set by your visual spectrum, and thus extreme!

Research – we shall be free to research past effective music templates as we merge them with/as merchants to/for future sounds.

We look forward to share with you some surprising musical twists as this new journey unfolds! And that you welcome our will to stay restless in our discoveries!
The tag “you need not fear shame to play this game” that you see at our website is there for a reason. So enjoy this game with us! Shamelessly!

Are the lyrics conceptual and intertwined with the songs? Were they newly created or did you pull them out of the drawer just like the songs?

Everything is a reflection of when inspiration hits.

The soundscapes dropped since our comeback (Oratorio Mortem 2 : The Unwanted Requiem) and The Wards Outside were both penned in 2023.

Other tracks for our upcoming full-length were composed over a timespan. Without spilling beans about song titles yet, listeners will be presented with a tune from 1999 with original lyrics & structure yet all music re-written in 2015, an instrumental from 2016, a completely new 2023 banger, and another that started off in 2016 but was finalised only in 2024.

This is a works in progress. We keep refreshing the tunes ever so often, and I am sure the spectrum of influences will present itself once we release the full-length fucker!

 

You're a guitar/bass teacher, so there's no doubt about your playing skills, but anyway, listening to your songs, I wonder if it's not difficult to find similar experienced musicians who could keep up with you and especially understand the philosophy of your songs?

It is extremely difficult believe me, but I persist out of my love for my music!

The world of a private teacher (not working in a school) translates into most evenings being held up, and hence less networking.

What makes it even harder is that once you find skilled players they got to be realistic that the underground functions on artistic merit over financial reward. Being an artist is about pushing boundaries, and I do not think that many greats of the underground - bands like Dodheimsgard, Gorguts, or similar ilk for instance - live from music full-time. There are rewards in life no money nor popularity can buy!

To feel part of this school of thought, one has to continually get a kick from merging music styles. No more no less – just the right mindset to produce music to make listeners go “wtf?” !

Is it your band, where you rigorously apply teaching tendencies to set the direction, or does democracy and creative freedom work in Sceptocrypt? Do you allow the members to change the music you have written, or do you insist on your own and always have the last word? There are a lot of musicians, especially composers, who can't imagine playing someone else's music and there is a dictatorship in their bands. How do you perceive it?

Sceptocrypt in Malta had 4 main song-writers, Abela & myself in the 1st line-up, and then myself, bassist Johann and vocalist/keyboardist Conrad in the 2nd line-up. With others contributing occasionally, but less. So we were always feeding off each others' ideas (sometimes fighting hehe, but disagreements can only exist in a democracy) and suggesting changes to each other accordingly.

Fast forward to Sceptocrypt mk2, I would welcome suggestions to current riffs from the other bandmembers anytime, even a whole song for the matter. But nowadays, the others prefer writing around my riffs. Maybe inadvertently, as we are all so keen to find a drummer to get out live as soon as possible that unconsciously we sticking to the songs as they are, to then experiment once the line-up is complete.

So what is your idea of a music teacher if I may ask? A good tutor is the student's friend, using one's experience to consistently get the better out of their student. Through showing the fastest way to learn anything, but also by allowing them to make mistakes, since every slip-up is a small win in learning how not to do it! As bandmembers (myself included) past and present, we feel content how any musical challenges within a riff turn into a reward – to better ourselves collectively as musicians, and also for the benefit of better tunes!

Dictatorships are arguably a weak trait of who cannot handle a divergent opinion, and maybe composers who do not accept suggestions are sometimes incapable of adapting their style, and growing. Not that original ideas have to always change, but there is never any harm in trying alternative suggestions from each bandmember. After all, it creates a chemistry that every one can stand behind!

 

If I'm not mistaken, you yourself feel more of an artist than a musician, could you explain why and what you see as the fundamental difference in these two terms in the context of music, creation and performing?

I consider myself to be an artist, a musician and a metalhead all at once, sometimes one taking over the other, which one depends on the mood of the moment.

Whether I try to avoid it or welcome it, whatever I do/create, comes from years of loving/disliking things about metal - the type of music I generally gravitate to - and other musical genres in general.

As a musician, I however do not allow metal to cast any confines of what musical emotions I can explore.
Finally, I consider myself an artist, and for me the creation of art is something that should always get a reaction. Not necessarily be liked, sometimes it could upset, but definitely and mostly never could one be indifferent to its presence.

So going back to your previous question about the polar diversity of our songs, this maybe explains further why.

You are known to be a great lover of flamenco, could you describe what fascinates you about it?

Considering the guitar's predecessors were the lute (that came from Europe) and the oud (that came from Arabia), the latter had considerable influence on the Mediterranean, and in turn the Arabic influence on the gypsies that moved to Andalusia, and developed the Roma chanting of flamenco. As a son of the mediterrean seas, this flirting with the Phyrgian mode must be something in the air and sands, broken chants you can hear from flamenco to Maltese ghana to Greek lullabies. This is the b9 interval, the 2nd most used interval after the diabolus in musica b5th, due to its dissonance, and there is hardly any avant-garde act that does not use it, even in metal!

Growing up as a guitarist, I always admired the amazing plucking techniques that this style of music brings forth, as well as the half-barre techniques of the fretting hand. Indeed, to play flamenco is no easy feat, and I hold them players in high regard. Like blues, it is the chant of the forsaken, and like metal, it comes with many subgenres. I personally gravitate towards Canto Jondo (deep singing) and the Solea, a solemn style of flamenco where the subject matter is generally tragedy, death & desperation, as opposed to the more upbeat flamenco the non-aficionados associate the style with.

So there you go, even in the flamenco world, I tend to prefer the styles that are less subject to commercial capitalism.

But of course, flamenco is just another facet of what I listen to. For example, I like reggae for its bass lines, jazz for its harmonies, latin & African music for its beats, and etc etc,...., I like to learn from any style.

 

Let's continue with the flamenco influences. During the Sceptocrypt hibernation you had a project EthnaMorte - which we shouldn't forget to mention - combining elements of metal with traditional music and Latin rhythm. How would you define EthnaMorte's genre, and what brought you guys to dissolve?

First off EthnaMorte was not a project but a band. I find this word “project” as a term when musicians put their hands into many pies not knowing what they really want, as opposed to dedicating themselves towards a purpose. So as Ethnamorte was the main thing I was involved in from 2007-2015, it was not a project but a life choice.

Our sound was a collection of different types of music from diverse corners of this world, hence the “ethna” as a reference to the various ethnicities that helped shape different musical genres, and “morte” (Italian for “death”) to reflect the band’s gusto to promote the death of musical confines by experimenting with same genres as tools not limitations!

Shifting our sound along the years, we started off with a tag “world music with a dark twist” moving to “death to music confines” and finally to “avant-world-noir” as to compliment our ever-changing sound and more literature works that continued to surface into our works.

Although there were times in our ever-changing line-up where we were 9 people, the best synergy existed when we were primarily only a duo, of myself on many instruments, and Fabio on vocals and percussions, theatrics & scenography. Being a sought after tourist guide in his hometown, Fabio always returned to Italy to make a better living in summer. One fine summer he made a baby, and eventually moved back there to grow his son up. As we both preferred to compose by rehearsing face to face, we decided to put the band on hold. I been to see him earlier this year, and both him and his son are doing fine, quite frankly much better than he ever felt living in London, a city that can drain you as much as it rewards you sometimes.

You come from Malta, you lived in Germany, USA & Australia for some time, now you live in England (London). Could you compare the differences between the scenes (metal - underground) in the countries and highlight both the positives and the negatives?

I think I cannot, because it has been so long ago, that my comparisons might be outdated.

But I am a gentleman, and as Dasa has asked, to lady shall be answered haha!

· Australia – Although Sydney has a consistent calendar of events, Melbourne is the best for music overall. But overall, the isle is still very far away, and hence ends up with having more local bands and a repetitive music calendar due to less touring bands.

· USA – New York is amazing, truly a city with many colours that never sleeps, with anything from goth to metal to punk to any other alternative adding to the buzz! On the other hand, in Boston I was mostly studying so did not go out enough other to say there is a healthy jazz scene (then again I was studying at Berklee College of Music, so knew no other). Found some goth but no metal.

· London – was much better before Brexit came along making it difficult for smaller bands to tour here. But still a place for lots of live music. But London is not reflective of all England, and any other cities I only visited mostly for few days. I like Liverpool, but it seems more of an indie & cover version scene.

· Germany – Hamburg has more live music whereas Berlin is a good scene for industrial, being the electronic mecca it is. For metal, both however do not compare to London, not even in its post-Brexit slope. On the other hand, for industrial & goth, Berlin is one of the capitals of the world!

If any of your readers are sure I wrote something that is complete bs, blame Dasa for insisting on an answer :D

 

You recently performed with Sceptocrypt in London as part of Renaissance Open Air Festival, but your fans might have been surprised, as it was an acoustic one-man show set. How did that happen, what were your impressions, and what was the feedback?

I see no reason why fans would have been surprised as it was advertised both by ourselves and the festival as an acoustic show. But yeah, you always get those who do not read the details......

Anyway, Sceptocrypt played 2 sets. The 1st was earlier so the people were still arriving. Being an open air park, luckily it rained during my 1st song so more people came to the stage, the only place offering shelter.

On the contrary, the 2nd set was received much better as the place was buzzing with attendants by now. Maybe as one of our songs features the French playwright Antonin Artuad as protagonist, some French people attending came to compliment me about our works afterwards.

The reason I however played was to present Sceptocrypt in hope of finding a drummer by playing live to the London audience. Unfortunately, this has not yet happened, so once again, if anyone is interested in the tunes you can hear at www.sceptocrypt.com/lyrics-songs, pls email us.

You took the role of singer in the new songs, I know you are struggling finding a drummer, but what about the vocals? Growl, clean, narrative - what is your idea of a singer? Or do you plan to do both roles in the future?

I actually do not want to be the band's vocalist for the main reason it frees me to focus more on the guitar riffs (which are not that easy). I also believe that a vocalist not having to play the guitar at the same time is more flexible with his voice and building a rapport with the audience, and hence we are looking for a vocalist too.

But as vocalists normally prefer to have a full band before entering the scene, for now I am singing in the studio, and writing more lyrics, just because they come to me. Ex-vocalist Conrad might also contribute.

Funnily enough, from feedback for The Wards Outside more people appreciated my erratic vocals than my guitar work :) So let's see what the future holds!

The band could definitely benefit from a second guitarist, right?

It could, but we are keeping it under consideration for now. Once we have a vocalist and drummer and the songs are more full, there is more magic in my head that could be translated onto the guitar, not to forget we now have a noize & synths guy.


You have quite long tracks, how much material do you have at the moment, are you planning to record any album? So far you're only releasing singles, if I'm not mistaken.

Yes, we released 2 singles 3 months apart, mostly as a statement to showcase we are back, but the long-term intention is to release full-lengths.

Other than the 4 tracks mentioned earlier, we also currently have 5 more songs that could encompass a 2nd full length. But things could change and we might release an EP between albums, so only time will tell.

Music in general is your passion and also your job. I wonder what are the trends in guitar teaching? How's it going with the younger generation? What's their motivation nowadays? In the past everyone aspired towards The Beatles, what do they want now? I suppose The Beatles are not idols for the young generation anymore :)

I agree that The Beatles are not the thing anymore, although they do have some numbers, that from time to time I suggest to learn easy strumming songs. Kids nowadays idolize more Ed Sheeran and bimbo Taylor Swift, but then again I teach adults too, who tend to lean towards Slash, Bonamassa, Tool and Rage vs the Machine! But that is just an idea. The best thing about being a tutor is the amount of new artists that each student listens to – I am always presented with new names I have not heard before – and us working on their fave songs to help boost their motivation.

And that brings up another question. Technology today - streaming, spotify, etc.... what do you think? Social media and its influence on music? How do you find yourself in these areas?

As for streaming, it is a double edged sword. With people always on the move, they tend to listen to music more on streaming platforms, so although most bands know that most digital platforms are ripping them off, they still post their music there to reach a wider audience. As for Sceptocrypt, we are not on Spotify, but on the free platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Eventually, once we start gigging we might bow to the unwanted elephant in the room, but for now, we find no necessity.

Personally, I never use Spotify/similar. I work from home so I listen music via playing my CDs or YouTube. I sometimes discover new music from YouTube, but I prefer to discover bands live as support bands to other bands I attend shows of.

I do not stream music from a mobile, also as generally I leave home to go to gigs, so during my journey I rest my ears.


Because of your job you have a home studio. Are you the type who likes to do everything yourself or do you let someone else with an objective view mix and master your music? Do you always have the final word?

Before the advent of the current Sceptocrypt line-up with no drummer leading us to share ideas more remotely, I never recorded my riffs other than as a quick video from my mobile, and even nowadays my home studio is more set up for teaching group lessons than recording.

Due to the time I have to spend – not necessarily like - working on computers to promote myself as a guitar tutor, I spend less time on DAWs. I do not hate the process, but there is only so much my eye sight can deal with daily.

For that reason, guitar, bass & drums for our latest “The Wards Outside” were recorded live at our ex-drummer Dan, with anything else handled later at bassist Dip's own home studio. With the mastering outsourced to the crafty hands of Ays Kura from Amnion Studios.

Do not take me wrong – I love the studio and can do more than 12hours at a stretch playing, listening, etc. But I like it as my playground where I get to be the musician and the others push the buttons. I try to be present throughout nearly every step, as for it to get released as Sceptocrypt, it needs my stamp of approval, as every strict dictator must ensure haha!

Kidding apart, it is like a parent who wants to ensure their children look good before going out, so creative control is rightly called for. There can not be Rotting Christ without Sakis, Kreator without Petrozza, Sabbath without Iommi..... so Callus has to oversee Sceptocrypt!

You are quite a thoughtful person. Do you look for some kind of philosophy in music (extreme metal in particular)? Yeah, I guess there's a difference between looking for depth and soul and social dimension in Cannibal Corpse as opposed to Napalm Death. How do you feel about it?

I follow or seek no particular line of philosophy, thus allowing myself to be free to conceive Art, in all its facets, like a sponge takes to water. But every now and again, like any human, I go through experiences that I end up writing about. These end up into my lyrics, into which I put a lot of effort. I hope to think I am right in saying they are miles away from your average metal band, and hence invite your readers to check them out at https://sceptocrypt.com/lyrics-songs/

What are your ambitions after all these years? What would you like to achieve, do you have any goals and what are your closest plans for the future?

My short term goal is to find a drummer, and soon after a vocalist. My long term goal is to release more music under the monicker of Sceptocrypt. We already have a label deal for once we get to record the songs, so hope the line-up is completed soon so we get cracking!

Thanks for your time Malcolm, it was a pleasure. Good luck with the band and the last words are yours.

Thanks to you Dasa, and the readers of Deadly Storm! If anyone is interested further about Sceptocrypt, please follow our @sceptocrypt handle for our socials, with direct links at www.sceptocrypt.com

Some riffs can also be found using the handle @coolgoolmusic where I post music-related reels as a music tutor, including but not limited to only Sceptocrypt, and where you can also see me play guitar in different tunings, bass & ukulele, and occasionally other instruments.

One last shout out for drummers (and maybe vocalists) based in London or who can commute here regularly – pls read https://sceptocrypt.com/2024/02/20/seek-drum-vox/ and act accordingly via email and/or phone (no whatsapp/facebook pls). We chat only by talking to you not through msg ping-pong! Like normal human beings!




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