Demonic Resurrection is one of India’s oldest metal bands. Frontman Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija has kept the band going with his dogged determination despite multiple lineup changes over the years. The band have performed at festivals and even toured the UK. On their fifth full length album Dashavatar, the band have expanded their already full sound with the introduction of Indian instruments and further experimentation in melodic death metal mixed with black metal and even strains of epic power. I spoke to Sahil about Dashavatar, their new sound and their plans for this year.
Read my interview with Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija on Nine Circles
Jon Pettersson is no stranger to the Metal world, he is a member of bands like Wombbath, Ashcloud and Just Before Dawn. A couple months ago, Transcending Obscurity released their debut album Den Förstörda Människans Rike from his new project Henry Kane is newest band from and it sounds awesome. The albums combines buzzsaw grinding guitar riffs with deep growled vocals in Swedish. I spoke to Jon about the album, horror movies and the possibility of Henry Kane live shows.
Read my interview with Jon Petterson on the Everydayhate blog
It has been a while since I have done a label profile here. Satanath Records is a record label and distribution from Russia. Similar to the labels profiles earlier, Satanath is mainly run by one person, Aleksey. I started following the label recently due to their unique releases from around the world. They have been really prolific, releasing 26 albums in 2016.
I spoke to Aleksey about the origins of the Satanath Records, the memorable moments and problems in running a label and more.
Hi Aleksey, you started your label in 2012. How does it feel looking back? You also have a sub label, Symbol of Domination. How did it come about?
Hello! I have two labels, Satanath Records and Symbol Of Domination. SR only for metal, founded in 2012. SOD in 2013 (founded by my colleague from Belarus), it releases unformat + music style is not suitable for the SR. There was another sub-label DeadDogSkull & HeilHellProductions, for unformat, founded in 2012 too, but he separated himself from us in 2014. There is still a distro GrimmDistribution (founded in 2011 by the same colleague from Belarus).
How did you decide to start a label? Why did you decide to start a label that releases only extreme metal music?
Back in that time I had an ambient project with the same name – Satanath (founded in 2011). Also I had another project that was more close to metal – Abigorum. One day my Belarusian mate asked me to print cover art for his band because he knew my profession is publisher (but I didn’t work by it). I printed the cover art for him and thought “Oh, it’s so easy, I can print something myself”. That was the moment when I decided to start a label. At the beginning I wanted to release only my own and my friends music, as most of the new labels. I printed my first demo and then a few other releases. Need to notice that I began printing from the CD-R editions from time to time printing CDs until the end of 2013, then since 2014 – CDs only. Now is two persons behind the label – me (boss) and my wife. But mostly I do everything by myself – design, advertising, printing.
Your first release was the self – titled demo by Abigorum. Did you plan on releasing albums by other bands then?
Of course! I on my label I release music I personally liked only. My music taste is wide, there can be not only satanic black metal, but classical thrash or avant-garde progressive metal for example. I try to keep within genres music that we release but we can provide help to anyone would need to have their release printed. We will just help to print the edition, without putting our own logo on it.
Having a record label requires a lot of commitment. How do you manage running a label? What do you look for in bands before signing them to your label? What has been your most memorable release so far? What are the problems that you have faced running the label? Do you have any advice for someone planning to start a label now?
All the money goes straight to fund new releases and keep the work of the label up, not to the iPhones and cars. Of course we have a very productive collaboration – the more people involved into release the more release will be spread worldwide. Also both label have album in their release catalog. Mostly I print everything here in Russia because price here is not that high as in Europe with the same good quality. I work like that because I have no trouble with our custom, my ‘secret friend’ works there so he can help me with parcels. Sent anything from Russia it’s always much harder that got anything from abroad so custom trouble with other countries is very rare. The latest case was about new Exterminas (italian black metal) album when parcel had been damaged by US Postal Service in United States and 200 CD copies of this album what was sent as a partake for a partner-label were broken…
Pretty interesting how people see us from abroad (probably many of them thinks that in Russia everyone drink vodka, eternal winter and white bears walking across town, through our label is from Saint Petersburg, near the Finland, so we consider ourselves as Europeans as well), but here we almost sure that we are one of the biggest labels on the CIS territory which dedicated to satanism and all black metal band can send us their demo submissions. CDs, tapes, vinyl, as everything else like books and board games slowly dying because of the progress, but people who appreciate physical formats is stays anyway, so everything seems not so bad. And yes, at nowadays is even like some kind of a ‘fashion’ to make himself individual by living in the old school way and resist digitalization. But I’d rather find here an golden mean.
I will say about the groups that have written to me, not that I found myself (there are many). To be honest – country of origin speaks for itself. For example first release with 6 bands together with the darkest corners of the Asia: Barzakh (Indonesia) / Goresluts (Malaysia) / Horrific Disease (Japan) / Savage Deity (Thailand) / Shadowmirth (Brunei) / Suicidal (Singapore). For me it’s hard to imagine what kind of life people live in Asia or what kind of metal scene they have in Brunei for example. Anyway split was good and bands participating their is serious just very small amount of bands can get to the Western market, so almost nobody knows them. With Russia almost the same and next release a bit of provocative – Ildverden, this band from Crimea and they use ukrainian language, they contacted me and asked me to release their album after the annexation of the Crimea by our criminal government so I released it as Ukrainian band as musician and we wanted. Our label apolitical, but most russian people are so stupid that could not support the musician. And third album and band that surprised be that’s Hatecrowned from Lebanon. I didn’t expected to hear any metal from there. Of course they have their own underground scene as in Iran or Iraq but it’s hard to imagine how it’s is happening in their Muslim countries. If they’re caught – they’ll be publicly executed on the square, but probably I know nothing about it and it’s just a stereotypes. Anyway music is great, so there’s a double interest to release it.
Have you been in a band? What instrument do you play?
Abigorum – everything. The group formed after the ambient project Satanath because a new style in which I wanted to try myself, did not fit into the frames of ambient. Genres of project is different and varies from many styles, so as I have broad musical tastes. No texts. music tells about deep matters as space, death, philosophy. More instrumentals. First there were session musicians such as Amezarak, Astarium, Winter Vampyr, Misanthrofeel, Dmitry Kolosov, but then project became a solo, as I’m a perfectionist and I can not work with people.
In the past 5 years, a lot of music listeners prefer streaming and downloads to buying cds. What other changes have you noticed in customers? What is next for Satanath Records and Symbol of Domination? What are the next releases from the labels?
Yes we sell digital on bandcamp too, it’s not big deal, 21st century, internet age! we’re not underground label with only physical sales. We will continue to release various bands, new or famous. Depends of life situations… Thanks for interview!
Here are some of the best releases from Satanath Records & Symbol of Domination
Indian readers can buy Satanath Records releases from Metal Masala
Seputus was started by Steve Schwegler in 2005. After a hiatus, he revived the band in 2013. The band also features his band mates from Pyrrhon, Erik Malave and Doug Moore . Their debut album Man Does Not Give was one of my favourite death metal albums from last year. I was blown away by their mix of death metal, black metal, grindcore and noise.
I spoke to Steve Schwegler about the album, their unique sound and also their plans for the future.
You started Seputus in 2005. What inspired you to revive the band again in 2013?
Steve Schwegler: The goals of the project changed somewhat over the years. Seputus was done “for fun” mostly at the beginning; there were not any goals in mind at first other than writing music Doug and I would enjoy listening to. Frankly, I revived the band in 2013 out of emotional necessity. During the last couple years of my military career, I took on a wildly different job than I had usually performed. I experienced some events during that time that brought back a visceral desire to write aggressive music.
After picking the guitar back up and woodshedding for a while, all of a sudden I had started considering songwriting ideas that I had never thought of before. Although I wouldn’t say it stopped being fun, Seputus became more personal for me at that point. I had a lot of heavy emotional feelings during those years, and I had been compartmentalizing them to ensure I could handle my military work properly. Finally, it just got to the point where I needed some sort of catharsis, and I ended up working on the album basically non-stop when I wasn’t performing my duties as a military member. Writing the music and trying to interpret my emotions “accurately” was extremely gratifying for me.
The lyrics from your debut album Man does not give draw from personal experiences. Can you tell us a bit more about the album?
Steve: It’s important to mention that Doug Moore wrote all of the lyrics for this record, and that they are his thoughtful reactions to the music that I presented him with. The simplified, overarching theme of the album is that of disgust for the actions of mankind. Doug painted very deep, descriptive vignettes of different situations in each individual song. I cannot encourage people strongly enough to read through the lyrics themselves, and take some time to decide what they mean on a case by case basis. Doug’s lyrical work on this album is, in my humble opinion, some of his best.
From a musical standpoint, Man Does Not Give was a deep exploration of the negative feelings I had about life at that time. I used the opportunity to ruminate on what kind of person I thought I was, and what I was capable of doing with my life at that point. Themes of betrayal, deep-seated fear and personal anxiety fed a lot of the songwriting. Despite the depression I felt at that time, I found that I was incredibly productive when writing music. I wrote all the songs on the record, from start to finish, in a period of six months. And I mean that quite literally, because that was the manner in which I wrote MDNG. I kept coming up with ideas that would continue the flow of the previous song I completed. The first song you hear on the album is the first song I wrote, and so on throughout the entire album.
After I was satisfied with the songwriting, I mixed and remixed the record alone, second guessing myself on the results for nearly a year and a half. I wasn’t entirely sure how to achieve the sound I was looking for. The process of creating MDNG was a daunting, arduous task. It was a learning experience that I am grateful for, but I don’t think I’ll ever write a record in that manner again.
The album sounds like a jaw dropping mix of death metal, black metal, grindcore and noise. How did you develop this unique sound?
Steve: I’ve nourished my obsession with quality extreme music for well over a decade now, and my tastes have continuously evolved. The collective listening experience of all the amazing albums I’ve spent time with have had the most profound influence over my writing process. I’d make the analogy between writing an album and what is said about authors of great novels; they loved reading great writing too. Inspiration has been essential to me for creation. I spent a great deal of time developing the sound of Seputus by asking myself what I’d love to hear from an album. It is accurate to say that, besides meeting my personal needs, this album also functions as a love letter to the extreme metal community.
You engineered & produced the album. What do you feel are the main advantages of producing the album yourself?
Steve: The main advantage of producing the album myself is that I had total control over the engineering process and the artistic direction of the record. I could instantly make creative changes born from conversations with Doug, and by referencing my own extensive notes as I listened to the demoes continuously. I used all the available tools at hand to make sweeping artistic decisions in real time, and once everything fell into place, finishing this album was one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve ever had. It is also, obviously, infinitely cheaper in a monetary sense to make an album yourself.
That being said, I’d caution that it is very time consuming and stressful to assume the responsibility to produce an album yourself. When deciding to do it yourself, understand that the outcome and the responsibility falls on you; an album is forever. So to all the DIY’ers out there that may read this, don’t be afraid to enlist your closest confidants to put ears on your work during the process. It is an eventuality to lose perspective on the albu
m’s sound over time, and the input of my friends and fellow musicians have been crucial for my sanity.
Pyrrhon also recently released an EP this year. How do you manage between both bands?
Steve: As far as splitting responsibilities between both bands, compartmentalization of our time has been the most effective tool. Pyrrhon and Seputus are two very different entities songwriting wise, so it has not been difficult to split our time between them. Doug focuses on one project at a time lyrically, and does not generally allow any cross-pollination between bands when doing so. I follow the same philosophy; I set aside a particular timeline to engage the mindset required for one band or the other. I’d also like to mention that Pyrrhon completed the “Running Out Of Skin” EP before I joined the band, so the outstanding drum work is all Alex Cohen’s doing, not my own.
The album is being released through PRC music. How did you get signed to the label?
Steve: Doug reached out to multiple labels while shopping the album around, and Remi from PRC Music was quick on the draw to contact us. He showed a great deal of enthusiasm for our album right from the start, which is reflected by the fact that he put the additional effort forward to press vinyl for us. We got along right away and he made us an excellent offer, so we were thrilled to sign with PRC Music!
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Are there any shows/tour planned in promotion of the album?
Steve: At this time, and for the foreseeable future, Seputus will remain a studio project. We’ve found ourselves incredibly busy with Pyrrhon as of late, in addition to the complications of our personal lives. Forming a live lineup for Seputus is, at this juncture, nearly impossible for us to commit to. However, I will not say it will never happen. I’m still creating new Seputus material, and we may decide to do it live in the future if the right circumstances align.
Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have any final words?
Steve: A great deal of attention and care, from many parties, was put into making the best record we could. From the heartburn of our endless production process, to Caroline Harrison’s amazing artwork and Alan Douches’ final mastering at West West Side Music, it has been a labor of love. Creating this album was a super real experience, and we are extremely proud of Man Does Not Give. So to everyone out there, we humbly ask that you give it a shot. Lastly, I want thank everyone who has given it a chance and passed us their words of encouragement. Thank you.
The United Arab Emirates is a country consisting of expatriates from around the world. Grindcore band Maticrust has been in the country for 5 years and made of of expats from the Philipines and India. This week, they released their first EP Inhumane World Deprivation. I spoke to vocalist Dondon Crust about the EP, performing at Obscene Extreme and also their plans for the rest of the year.
Check out my interview with Maticrust on EveryDayHate
Not your run of the mill grindcore.
Peter Shallmin (ESCAPETHECULT, Kamlath) put together an avant-garde grind project called Stench Price featuring members of Brutal Truth, Necrophagist, Cynic, Hail of Bullets, Paganizer, Putrevore, etc. The project’s self titled EP can best be described as grindcore with offbeat bossa/samba and lounge music unlike anything I have heard before. Once I heard it, I had to know more about the mastermind behind this supergroup of sorts. See what Shallmin had to say after the jump.
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Written by trendcrusher
February 9, 2017 at 12:06 am
Posted in Uncategorized
Jeff Loomis is known as the guitarist for Nevermore. He has since joined death metal band Arch Enemy. He has a solo project as well as one with notable muscians such as Alex Webster and others in Conquering Dystopia. Next month, he’s doing a multi-city tour of India, in the following cities – Delhi, Guwahati, Chennai and Bangalore. I spoke to him about his different projects and what has kept him going on for so long.
Read my interview with Jeff Loomis on Transcending Obscurity