Initiated from Tomsk, Russia during December, 2007, Funeral Tears is the solo Funeral Doom project of Nikolay Seredov (leader of bands like Стахановцы [Stakhanovite] and Taiga). Dark melodic music and lyrics convey the inner state of Nikolay at different periods of life, the struggle for spiritual balance, at war with himself for only purpose – to find his own eternal peace. With two grief-stricken full lengths and a split with Poyezd Rodina, Funeral Tears has made their place in the realm of underground Funeral Doom Metal.
The third full-length of Funeral Tears, “Beyond The Horizon”, clocking in at near an hour, creates the aura of getting buried into the grave of intense depression. Prepare to be crushed amongst the gloomy passages of 06 unadulterated Funeral Doom tracks.
“Beyond the Horizon”, the title track of the album,exhibits despondent melodies, slow yet heavy riffs, and wide range of vocal craftsmanship including scream, growl and spoken words within its over 09 minute duration. Thematically, the track is about the limitation of ours in terms of finding the truth; we can’t get beyond the horizon and and can’t find the truth from within. The only thing left for us is to live, and we will only be free when we will die.
The Projectionist (previously known as Lord Matzigkeitus), was initiated by the frontman Lord Matzigkeitus (Ex – Idolatry). He was soon joined by comrades from some other diabolic acts including Vile Insignia, Unrest, Ov Enochian, Belchior etc, however the lineup has continued to change. The music is centered on themes of hatred and isolation, to evoke new unexplored domains of intellectual fury and bleakness in black metal with complete despotic will poured over its endeavors.
Beginning their warpath in 2016, they released a full length and EP, entitled “Poisonous Disengagement” and “The GallowForest Eulogy” respectively, which attacked listeners with ghoulish screams and mournful yet ultimately violent guitar work, gaining good reviews in the process. Exalted Solitude is the Projectionist’s next phase in evolution. Refined and despotically black. Here, the ramparts of hell are fully manned and blotting out the sun with hateful arrows. Meant to vanguard the tortured isolation of Satanic rule. Lord Matzigkeitus, Parageist and new drummer Malphas bludgeon True cultists with eloquent savagery and indominable power.
With lavish artwork by Sang Ho Moon and Jan Pysander Whitney, and a guest guitar track by Christopher Hernandez of Xasthur. Out April 20th on Appalachian Noise Records and The True Plague Records jointly.
LAVA INVOCATOR is a mystical black metal formation from Ukraine, the idea of which originated in the small Swedish town of Lund, near Malmö… Dark storm clouds over the Öresund strait, black rocks, high forests and whispers of mysticism mixed in an infernal whirlwind of emotions – so originated the concept of the band.
The band was founded in 2015 by members of another Ukrainian black metal band DEF / LIGHT, after which the team immediately began partaking in concert activities. Infrequent, but with powerful and atmospheric performances, the band quickly won the minds of the circle of audiences, the red-hot lava was deeply ingested and filled among the souls of metalheads. The sound of LAVA INVOCATOR is a dense and verified alloy of iron and steel – tough and uncompromising, and at the same time melodic and atmospheric.
“Mörk” (from Swedish – “Dark”) is the debut work of the band. With the 07 nefarious tracks, the generated music of this album walk the pathway of the traditional black metal, inspired by such icons of the genre such as Dissection, Mayhem, Dark Funeral, Ulver, Darkthrone etc. The presence of both malicious ferocity and dismal aura of black metal can be descried.
The Band Stated
“The album is conceptual in essence and puts the listeners in the picture of the story of an intangible essence, which is dark and gloomy in nature”
Pennsylvania Black Metal band Dumal have released a new song on Youtube today , “Devour the child” an exclusive single recorded for the “Black Disc” and available via Omega Magazine issue #4 limited to 200 copies worldwide.
They are also pleased to announce they will be playing legendary NYC venue St Vitus in Brooklyn supporting Finnish Black Metal legends Behexen on June 5th
Today I spoke with Chicago Doom metalers Flesh of the Stars on their 3rd album “Anhilla”, Life in the North side of Chicago and playing gigs in their friend’s barn, read on:
* Firstly congrats on the release of your 3rd album Anhilla, was it a coincident you released it on Valentines day this year or was that planned?
Mike Fox: Thanks! It was very intentional. We actually waited a year to move on it because we specifically wanted to put it out on Valentine’s day.
* What does the title Anhilla mean?
MF: It’s just supposed to evoke “annihilation”. No big mystery or anything unfortunately. I wish that I had a cooler answer because a number of people have asked us about it, but that’s it unfortunately, haha.
* I feel this album was written to enjoy as a whole as opposed to the modern day mentality of “picking tracks” much like many classic rock albums were of the 70s..was that intentional or am I seeing into it too much?
MF: Yeah, absolutely! it was written to be a single track. It’s firmly in concept album territory.
Travis Marmon: It was written as one continuous piece of music and we debated making it a single track. Parts of it work individually but it is intended to be consumed all at once.
Matt Ciani: I’ve said this before, but it’s worth mentioning again: there’s a single-track version of the record that I’ll make available if anyone is interested.
“All the projects we worked on in 2016 made us better at everything”
* I feel you guys have really developed your sound over the last 3 albums – what do you feel has been the biggest change since your first release “Hide” ?
MF: Production-wise, we’ve definitely gotten more comfortable with the equipment. Matt in particular has a very firm grasp on the space that we record in, and an even better grasp of the equipment that we use to record. We did something like four or five records last year, and we’ve become a lot more confident with our gear.
MC: All the projects we worked on in 2016 made us better at everything, but our recording quality probably saw the biggest leap forward. It also seems like our style is starting to stabilize.
Anhilla is less all-over-the-map than Hide or Hosanna. It conjures and single mood, for the most part. It took a little while, but I think we’re finally past our early exploratory period as a band.
MF: With regards to songwriting, we’ve definitely been able to flesh things out a little more. Up until last August, I lived in Ohio, which made it significantly harder to sit down in a room and work songs out as a group. Anhilla was a nice first step away from that.
MC: When we finally started working on Anhilla material, we spent a lot of time actually playing together in my apartment, which is obviously a different vibe from when we used to practice alone, then do all our recording in quick weekend sessions when Mike and Nico would come to Chicago. The second half of Anhilla is the most live-in-a-room recording we’ve ever done as a group. That was really exciting for me.
* You have probably covered this in previous interviews but what are your influences? I am hearing everything from Sleep and Electric Wizard all the way through to Pink Floyd.
TM: All three of those bands are definitely an influence on us. We also love Pallbearer, Black Sabbath (obviously), Candlemass, Saint Vitus, etc. In the future I want to incorporate sludge like Eyehategod, Iron Monkey, Thou, and more. Outside of metal, we’re all over the place.
MF: I listen to Warning a lot nowadays. Outside of metal Matt and I both listen to a lot of synth-centric music. Mort Garson, Kaitlyn Aurelia-Smith and John Carpenter have been pretty big influences on us. I listened to David Lang’s Death Speaks a lot when we were making Anhilla, and I think that shows. I’m a pretty big Jim O’Rourke fan as well.
MC: I’m always down for some spooky folk music like Linda Perhacs and Anne Briggs. I realize how un-metal it is to mention Anne Briggs in an interview, but I’m doing it anyway. I’ll also give a shout out to Minneapolis doom dudes Livid, who were one of the first mind-expanding doom shows I saw back before Flesh of the Stars were a thing.
“I’m realizing I actually listen to a ton of music riding in Mike’s or Travis’s car. Mike’s CDs stress me out a little.”
* What are your favorite ways to “consume” music?Me personally, if I am just checking something out youtube or spotify is fine but if I am really into a band I need the album and make an event of it and sit down and listen to the entire thing with no interruptions.
TM: Personally I need to be doing something while I listen to music, unless I’m on a plane or something. Usually I listen to full albums while using my computer, and I listen to an iPod on shuffle when I’m driving or going to work.
MF: Ditto with Travis. I’m usually listening to music while I work or drive. I also have a pretty extensive commute, and because my car’s stereo doesn’t have an AUX cable, I have around 400-500 CDs in there now. I also tend to listen to music while I cook.
MC: Ha. I’m realizing I actually listen to a ton of music riding in Mike’s or Travis’s car. Mike’s CDs stress me out a little. As for my habits: I like to listen to music in an almost meditative state. I listen almost exclusively to full records. I’ll put on dance music if I’m doing other stuff, but I generally don’t like being distracted from listening.
“My and Nico’s junior high band Nuclear Fallout, who mostly just had a cool-looking album cover. I think we practiced like three times before disbanding.”
* Chicago has always been a great town for metal – were you guys in any name metal bands before Flesh of the Stars?
TM: No, this is the first metal band for all of us. I was in a blues rock/rockabilly cover band in college though.
MC: Mike and I have been in tons of bands, but most of them were based around Cleveland, Ohio, where we grew up, and none of them were metal bands. Unless you count my and Nico’s junior high band Nuclear Fallout, who mostly just had a cool-looking album cover. I think we practiced like three times before disbanding.
MF: There was a brief period where I played in a stoner metal band called Wizard. We also disbanded after around 3 practices.
* Speaking of Chicago – how is live there these days? All we ever hear in NYC is all the killings every weekend in Chicago
TM: Like many big cities, the gun violence is very much concentrated in certain areas, which we don’t normally go to. The North Side is no more dangerous than any other major city, and we love living here. All of us are transplants–I’m from the suburbs of Detroit, the other three are from outside of Cleveland. The reputation that the city has developed is unfortunate and I’m pretty unhappy with the local government’s handling of it, but this is still my favorite city in the world. And the metal scene is insanely good.
MF: There’s a lot of horrible socio-economic reasons why the south-side is the way it is, and like Travis said, I don’t think that the local government has done much to help that. This city is pretty corrupt in a lot of ways, but it’s still an amazing place to live. I certainly wouldn’t want to live anywhere else at the moment.
MC: Chicago rules, but we have to take care of our people better. Us North Siders should always be trying to do more to help out the more underserved communities.
“Every time we’ve played live so far has been a weird and unique and fun experience. I would love it if we could keep it just as weird and awesome going forward”
* Do you guys play many live shows? If so what’s been your favorite so far?
TM: We’ve only played three live shows so far, though we’re trying to play more. It’s been hard because our drummer lives in Ohio still–we’re trying to find a live drummer in Chicago. My favorite was probably when we played with the Minneapolis bands Livid and Without at a dive bar in Wrigleyville. We played in front of almost nobody, but those bands are awesome and also very nice people, so it was fun to play for them.
MC: Our recent Columbus show was a fun kind of challenge. The venue neglected to hire a sound guy, so I had to set up the PA and run the board all night. Our other show was at our friend’s barn in Ohio, where we provided a soundtrack to a pig roast. Every time we’ve played live so far has been a weird and unique and fun experience. I would love it if we could keep it just as weird and awesome going forward.
* Any plans for national tours or would you rather “pick your battles” and just play cool events? There is a good argument for both options.
TM: We love performing but we’re really not built for life on the road. Matt and Mike enjoy recording and producing music as much as playing it. I’ve got health issues that would make extended touring difficult. We all have day jobs. It’s just not really feasible. But we’re down to play anywhere in the Great Lakes area.
MF: If we were invited to play at a cool event outside the GL region, I would absolutely jump at that. Otherwise, yeah, we’re much more of a studio band.
* How do you guys write your songs? Does it start with a mood or feeling? or a guitar riff or?
MF: It really comes from all angles. I’ll usually start with melody, riffs or chord progressions. Anhilla was much more of an attempt to cultivate a mood though. We also put a lot of effort into lyrics and a lot of times things evolve out of that.
* What’s the recording process like for you guys – after 3 albums you must be vets by now?
MF: Very quick! We’re extremely methodical when it comes to recording. We mix while while track for the most part, and it really only took about a month and a half for the whole process this time around.
MC: Yeah. It’s always fast and fairly easy, honestly. We come in somewhat well-rehearsed and just bust it out in a few marathon sessions. We track drums whenever we can get Nico in town. I have a specific way I like drums to sound, so I pretty much do the same thing every time. For Anhilla, Travis did most of his bass live with Nico. After that, all the overdubs were done at my house or at our rehearsal/studio space in Evanston. Mike and I are both gear nerds, so I’m sure we could go on at great length about why we chose which amps/synths/mics we chose, but I’ll spare you the boring details.
* What can we expect from Flesh of the Stars in 2017?
TM: Playing more shows and writing more music. MF: We’ve got a couple things rolling. We’re taking it slightly slower this year than we did in 2015/2016, but there’s a lot of things that we want to get moving on.
MC: I see no reason why we wouldn’t get another record out before the end of the year.
* Any final words?
TM: Thanks for seeking us out! The response to this album has been awesome. We worked hard on it and the reactions have been super rewarding. MF: Ditto! Thanks for the support
NETHERBIRD sprung into existence October 30th 2004 in Stockholm, Sweden when Nephente, Bizmark and Grim decided to start collaborating. The was goal was to create harsh metal with influences from both black and death metal without any regard or limitation when it comes to style or even line up. Since their journey began, the band has released four well-received albums featuring guest appearances from members of At the Gates, Katatonia, Lord Belial, Dissection, among others.
A broad retrospective of all rarities, covers and non-album tracks throughout Netherbird history, Hymns from Realms Yonder is a must-have for every collector. Tunes that were once available as digital releases only have now been gathered into one CD summarizing the band’s creative journey through the first decade of its existence. Written and recorded during different session and lineups, these songs present a staggering sonic rollercoaster when it comes to their sound, tone and atmosphere, at the same time remaining recognizable and keeping all the distinctive elements that made Netherbird who they are today.
Original tunes (single b-sides as well as limited EP’s material) are neighboured by several cover versions of renowned classics of metal and obscure alternative, including Annihilator, Paradise Lost, and Sentenced. Vika Yermolyeva’s masterpiece piano rendition of Pillars of the Sky is definitely a rare gem to crown the album. The release is scheduled for the 7th of April, 2017, via Black Lodge Records.
Today I spoke to the boys from Grave Plague – guys playing classic old school death metal in the vein of Obituary and Autopsy. We spoke about stealing death metal from your local library old school VHS horror film collecting and more – read on:
* So you guys formed about 2 years ago How did the band come together?
Thomas Haywood: The band was formed by Anthony Biello (ex-Severed Remains – Drums) and myself. Anthony had been itching to play again and really wanted to do something raw, uncompromising, and visceral. After a number of phone calls, texts, and online messages, I finally gave in and started writing some material. Joe (ex-Severed Remains – Vocals) was the next member added and it remained just the 3 of us until all the music was essentially written, although we always knew we were going to ask Michael Wilson (Abigail Williams, Aborted) to join. We knew what we wanted to hear guitar lead-wise and knew, absolutely, that he was the man for the job. We reached out to Caleb Bingham (Athanasia), who’s become a good friend of mine, also a Ohio native, currently living in Los Angeles, to mix the 2 song demo. Caleb ended up loving the material so much, we asked if he’d like to join in on second guitar, and the rest is history.
Joseph Reed: Basically Anthony and Tommy showed me the songs and I offered to lay down vocals. I knew they wanted Autopsy type of vocals and really raw intensity.
“Cleveland is a very rough place to live. It’s a very violent and unsettling environment. The music reflects that”
* Cleveland has a great history as a rock/metal town – why do you think that is?
Joseph: Cleveland is a very rough place to live. It’s a very violent and unsettling environment. The music reflects that. The city is also smaller so people tend to find one another easily.
Thomas: The sun never shines here…it’s always grey and overcast. It is not a very pleasant place to live. It’s cold 8 months out of the year – Cleveland is a cold hard place and I think that has a lot to do with the music that comes out of it.
*I love hearing young guys playing old school death metal – what would you say your biggest musical influences are?
Joseph: Old school death metal’s influence for me has always been the ability to take a formula and create your own unique sound. Autopsy, Entombed, Obituary all achieved this.
Thomas: Autopsy are the kings, but all the usual suspects apply, Obituary, Entombed, Grave, Dismember, Immolation, the list goes on.
“Biello and I were very young. 12 and 13. Very impressionable. Obituary’s Cause…and Morbid Angel Formulas…were pivotal. We stole both from the library.”
* When did you get into Death metal and what were your “gateway” bands so to speak. I was speaking to a band a while back and the guitarist told me him and his buddy broke into an abandoned house when they were 12 and found an “at the gates slaughter of the soul” cassette left there..changed their lives – ha ha
Joseph: Biello and I were very young. 12 and 13. Very impressionable. Obituary’s Cause…and Morbid Angel Formulas…were pivotal. We stole both from the library.
Thomas: Hm…honestly, Cannibal Corpse was the first, then probably Mortician ironically enough. I use to listen to this local radio show when I was 13-14 called “Day Man Lost” , and that show introduced me to Death and Black Metal – this would have been around 1993-94’. Decrepit, also from Cleveland, were one of the first – still one of my all time favorites!
* The Infected Crypts release came out this year – how’s the feedback you’ve gotten so far?
Joseph: Amazing! Thank you to all the fans, zines, sites, and labels for the support.
Thomas: Incredible- blown away by the response of the demo!
* I love the artwork – who did that and did you just buy the finished piece or did you have a vision in mind for what you wanted and just commission it?
Thomas: a friend from Brasil, Marcio Menezes, better known as Blasphemator Art, did all the artwork. My great friend, Felipe Eregion, of the Brasilian band, Unearthly, helped with some of the layout using the original artwork. It wasn’t a purely commissioned piece persay, I told him what we ultimately were looking for, but Marcio is working on new pieces constantly, and shows me stuff all the time. There were a few pieces purchased from him for this album. He is great!
* You have released The Infected Crypts digitally, as a 7″ and a cassette. Are you surprised to see the return of cassettes esp in the grindcore / black metal and punk rock scenes?
Joseph: I’m not. When I was growing up I saw the vinyl revival in the hardcore and punk scene. Everything is cyclical.
Thomas: The cassette thing is a little strange to me – but I love it. It’s still a pretty niche market, but there is a time and place for it.
* Out of the 3 formats listed above what was your favorite?
Joseph: The 7″ is rad and sounds great but Caco-Daemon did an amazing job with the tape. Both are cool respectively.
Thomas: I can’t say I have a favorite, esp because the 7” hasn’t been delivered by the factory yet haha. Still waiting. Caco-Daemon Records did a fantastic job on the cassette though for sure.
* Like most good death metal bands you have a fascination for 70s and 80s horror films…do you collect on VHS at all? (Have you seen the prices of good 80s VHS tapes on ebay? Its like $12 for a brand new blu ray and $400 for the VHS these days)
Joseph: I do collect VHS and there are some great distributors and collectors in Cleveland. My favorite tape is Maniac signed by Matt Harvey of Exhumed.
Thomas: Haha I’m not surprised. I have a pretty big collection on both VHS and DVD – maybe my shit will be worth that much someday !!
* What are your top 5 favorite horror films from the 80s?
Thomas: (these are not all from the 80’s but whatever)
1. House by the Cemetery
2. The Beyond
3. The Shining
4. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death
Joseph: This is in no order.
1. City of the Living Dead
2. Prince of Darkness
3. Return of the Living Dead
4. The Shining
* Do you rate any of the modern day horror franchises?
Joseph: I enjoyed Cabin Fever quite a bit and Wrong Turn. I think for the most part horror isn’t viable anymore in mainstream cinema and the art of effect production is gone.
Thomas: Eh, there were a couple I liked. I actually quite enjoyed the first Insidious. I liked the Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 a lot as well. Others worth mention, The Mist, The House of the Devil, and It Follows. I like more of the psychological / Supernatural horror films then all the ridiculous gore nonsense.
* How many live shows have you done so far? Any notable shows?
Thomas: No shows thus far. We are all old and have kids, day jobs, the whole 9 yards. If we get some festival offers or possible some short tour offers, we’d most definitely consider.
“It’s been my dream to visit Sweden. Please book us. Anyone.”
* Are there national /international touring plans on the horizon?
Thomas: see above
Joseph: It’s been my dream to visit Sweden. Please book us. Anyone.
* What else can we expect from Grave Plague in 2017?
Joseph: A full length LP. Pure death worshiping horror.
* Any final words?
Joseph: Thank you all for supporting us. Death metal lives.
Greek cinematic progressive metal project releases concept album “Entropia”
Greek symphonic progressive metal band QUADRUS, were formed by panist/guitarist and composer John Galanakis in the summer of 2014. John Galanakis immediately began working on the compositions and orchestrations for what was to be the band’s debut album, “Entropia” and he was lucky enough to quickly find other like-minded and accomplished musicians as partners (and eventually fellow band members) so as to complete his ideas and record them.
“Entropia” is a concept album dealing with mankind’s history as well as the endless cycle of the interdependence between humanity and the universe. The answers to such burning questions as “how did it all begin?”, “what brought about our downfall?”, “what is the meaning of life?” as well as others, are all well hidden inside the album allowing the listener to judge as well as interpret a deeper meaning, basing it on their own understanding and knowledge concerning the world.
The album features some of the finest musicianship, both in terms of song-writing as well as performance. With beautiful orchestrations and cinematic songs, progressive rhythms and operatic vocals as well as male and female vocals, sprinkled with some brutal singing, all fused together nicely, while each managing to perform a distinctive role. These are all elements that give a somewhat theatrical character to the album and guarantee to maintain the listener’s interest until the very end.
“Entropia” features two notable guest appearances: guitarist George Constantine Kratsas (MANHATTAN PROJECT) and vocalist Iliana Tsakiraki (ENEMY OF REALITY) and it is set for release on April 14th on CD and digital. Pre-orders are now available directly from the band.
Watch the lyric video for “Deceptive Projection”
ALEXANDRA MISAILIDOU: Female Vocals, Choirs
JON SOTI: Male Vocals
JOHN GALANAKIS: Guitars, Orchestras, Brutal & Clean Vocals
MARIOS KONNARIS: Lead Guitars
JOHN SOTIRAKIS: Bass Guitars
NIKITAS MANDOLAS: Drums
“Entropia” track listing:
CHAPTER 1 (Born – Fear, Anger, Doubt)
1 Astral Nova (Intro)
2 Shadow Provision
3 The Alpha Origin
4 Sense of Matter
CHAPTER 2 (Living – Deception, Guilt, Sadness)
5 Alternative Hypothesis (Interlude)
6 Deceptive Projection
7 Attribution Theory
CHAPTER 3 (End of Circle – Redemption – New beginning)
9 Entropia (The Final Chapter)
Part I: Atom
Part II: Epiphany
Part III: Kosmos
Part IV: Shadow light Spirituality
Part V: Justification
Part VI: Elevation
Today I spoke with up and coming Pennsylvanian Black Metal trio Dumal. We spoke about the metal scene in Philly, why Polish people create so much great Black Metal and the ignorance of organized religions – read on!
* Your first album came out January of this year – how’s the reaction been so far?
Hail! Thanks for the interview. Though The Lesser God was released independently on our home label and we did very little to promote it, the reaction has been surprisingly strong. The album was put out quietly, with only a few blogs mentioning its release at first. We were shocked to see it being reviewed so positively and at how quickly the first limited pressing sold out. We were caught off-guard by the attention it has been receiving and are glad that the people are receptive to our sound.
* If I am not mistaken it’s been 4 years since you guys formed – what do you think it’s taken you so long to release your first album?
A lot of that time was spent writing and recording the EP’s and splits that were released before the album. We wanted to get a few releases under our belt before we ventured off to make a full-length album, just to get our name out there and to get people familiar with what we’re trying to do. I don’t think we would have been ready to put out a full-length right away, as it took us some trial and error to find which direction we wanted the band to move in. At first we tried sounding a little more “raw”, but after a few months we realized it wasn’t what felt right to us. This can be heard on our self-released and live-recorded 2013 EP. Writing for the album began in 2014, alongside writing material for the EP’s and splits. The album’s main writing had been completed by late 2015, but we let the material gestate with us for a while. If we had recorded the album immediately after writing, it would sound much different than what you hear today. Those few months of tweaking the material made it what it is, I expect to do that for all our releases.
* The artwork is great on The Lesser God. Was that an old Medieval woodcarving or a new design done up to look old?
It’s an original drawing by Joshua Bowens, and that’s exactly what he was going for: a medieval wood carving. We found Josh through our friends in Helcaraxë when he did the layout for our “Raise the Hammer” split. He is a former member of Helcaraxë and several other bands, and has done fantastic artwork for numerous metal bands. I sent Josh the lyrics for the album and the title, and using just that as reference, he created what you see. I feel that it represents the album so well, and sums up a recurring theme on the album – the smothering of religion and the drowning of the world. I’m still blown away by how great his work is, and am thrilled to say that he will be designing a shirt for us.
* How deep into Pennsylvania are you guys? Close to Philly or out in the woods? I think Philly has a great music scene, it’s still affordable to live (Unlike say NYC or the Bay Area)
We live right outside of Philly in a town called Ambler. Philly has been on an upswing in the past few years as far as the metal scene goes. For a while it seemed to be slowing down, with a lot of big tours skipping Philly and just a general malaise in the scene. I’ve noticed a renewal in passion from the metalheads in the city, and we’ve been fortunate to play at many of the venues in town and will be playing Philly every chance we get.
“Philly crowds seem to take pride in being nasty to people they don’t particularly like and aren’t afraid to let them know how they feel”
* Have you played any shows in NYC yet? If so how do NYC crowds compare to Philly crowds? (I saw a band from Sacramento open for Deicide in Philly once, the singer said “We are With Passion from Sacramento California and one of the crowd shouted back “why don’t you fuck off back there!”)
That sounds like a typical Philly audience! Philly crowds seem to take pride in being nasty to people they don’t particularly like and aren’t afraid to let them know how they feel. We have played NYC a few times: at Saint Vitus, Lucky 13, and Tobacco Road. NYC shows generally have bigger turn outs and you get play with bands that are from all around the country, whereas in Philly it’s more likely that you’ll be playing with Philly/Jersey area bands. There’s nothing wrong with that, but NYC is just more on the metal radar when it comes to bands from New England and out West.
“It’s hard to say what exactly makes a show good, but it’s more than just quality bands playing well.”
* What’s been the best gig you guys have played so far and why?
The show we played at “The Fire” in Philly in 2016 I thought was a particularly good one. Skulsyr, Ominous Resurrection and Abazagorath performed as well, and the show just had a unique energy. There was a great turnout thanks to the solid lineup of bands. It’s hard to say what exactly makes a show good, but it’s more than just quality bands playing well. Some shows just have a special feel to them that make them more memorable than others, and this one certainly had it.
* Have you guys done any national touring yet? I always say National touring is either going to make you or break you? It definitely separates the men from the boys
I’m sure it does. National touring is something we will be considering in the future, but it hasn’t happened yet. Until we can sort out the logistics of a large-scale tour, we plan on doing 3-4 day stints in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region later this year and early 2018.
* You guys are heavy and aggressive yet there is a real melodic sense about the band..is that deliberate or did it just come naturally?
Everything we do and play comes naturally. We don’t force melodies into songs where they don’t belong, and likewise we don’t make songs heavy and aggressive just for the sake of being aggressive. We craft our songs one riff at a time with what feels right for the mood of the song. Most of our songs are collaborative efforts. Each of us has his own style and method of writing, and I think that’s what helps Dumal sound a bit different than a typical Black Metal band.
“The Polish Black Metal scene is great these days”
* Your last name is Siatkowski correct? If I am not mistaken that is Polish…why do you think so many great Black Metal bands are coming out of Poland these days? (Batushka, Mgla, Behemoth etc)
My last name is Polish indeed. Philly has a sizable Polish population and my grandparents lived in the very Polish “Port Richmond” section of the city when they immigrated here. The Polish Black Metal scene is great these days, but I’d argue that it has been good for a long time. Unfortunately, some of the better bands have NSBM leanings, and have been making great music despite their idiotic political ideologies for 25 years. My personal favorite Polish Black Metal band at the moment is Wędrujący Wiatr. Why exactly does Poland seem to be an epicenter for great Black Metal? I wish I knew!
* Where does the name Dumal come from? I know there is a castle in India of the same name..it also sounds like a French name too (perhaps one of the 3 musketeers type of thing)
You’re correct, the word Dumal has both Indian and French meanings. It has an English meaning as well. It is the name of a caste of people in India where it means “a coil of rope”. It also means a thorny pathway, and is the name of a book of poetry by French poet Charles Baudelaire, “Les Fleurs du Mal”. It is mostly from the book that we take the name (which translates to “The Flowers of Evil”). The fact that it works on three levels is something that made us like the name right away when it was suggested by our drummer Evan. We take inspiration from cultures and music from all over the world, so it fits our style perfectly.
“It always makes me laugh a little inside when I see all the anti-Islam rhetoric coming from the Christian right “
* From what I can tell a lot of your songs are pretty anti-religious – are any of the band pagans? if so what faith do you follow?
To me, for one religion to have power, they all would have to have power. Judaism begat Christianity, and both begat Islam. All three of the big monotheisms worship the same god, and are all equally false. Since I do not believe in any form of god, I cannot believe any real form of Satan, or any other deity period. That’s not to say that Satan doesn’t have great power as a metaphor and symbol for the opposite of god, it works great for me on that level. Every religious myth, from Greek and Nordic to Christian and Muslim, must have its nemesis – an opposite of the good benevolent gods for people to believe in order to scare them into being good, easily controlled people. No members of the band are pagan for this reason, though I would bear the title of heathen, blasphemer or infidel proudly. I personally am not only atheist, but strongly antitheist. What that means to me is that I not only do not believe in any god, I also believe that they are actively harmful and must be extinguished in all their instances. It always makes me laugh a little inside when I see all the anti-Islam rhetoric coming from the Christian right in America, how they have somehow tricked themselves into thinking they do not believe in the same exact god that Muslims do. That is just one easy example of the willful ignorance that the religious people of the world partake in every day.
* What plans do Dumal have for 2017?
We were just featured as one of the bands on a compilation for ViaOmega magazine. We live-recorded to tape a new song (one that will appear on our second album), and are proud to be part of a great compilation for a very cool magazine. Since then we have been busy writing more songs for a second album. Our plan is to take the first half of the year off from shows to focus on writing, and spend the second half of the year playing shows to promote The Lesser God and preparing to record the second album. This may seem like a backwards way of doing things, but we wanted to hit the ground running and keep the momentum we gained from the release of the first album and foray that into writing. It’s not easy for us to both write and prepare for shows at the same time, so we typically separate the two actions. We are tentatively planning to have the second album out sometime in 2018.
* Any final words?
Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed, and thanks to everyone who has checked out the album. Look for a cassette version of The Lesser God being released via Underground Soundscapes in summer 2017. Cheers!
Today I spoke to one of the best Stoner Doom bands from Poland ..Dopelord. We talked about the risks of getting weed in Poland, touring Europe and why a West Coast US tour has to be done! read on…
* Poland is known worldwide for its great Black metal bands but not so much its Doom bands – how did you guys get into playing doom music? What were your influences?
Piotrek: Well black metal as a genre is far more popular than doom, maybe that’s the case. I think if you’re interested in stoner/doom you should know at least few pretty good Polish bands. We started our band because we were listening to this kind of music and didn’t know any stoner-doom bands in Poland at that time. Our main influences at that time were Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard and Sleep to name the most obvious, but I remember that was the time of releasing Cough’s „Ritual Abuse” and Windhand’s demo both of which were in heavy rotation.
* Have any of you played in bands outside of doom music before Dopelord?
Piotrek: I played in one band, it was not doomy at all, more to the psychedelic side of rock (at least we wanted it to be). It was called Klingonian Beauty. That’s how I met Paweł (guit., voc.), he was looking for a band he could sing in. KB’s drummer, Arek, became Dopelord’s first drummer.
Grzesiek: Me and Paweł were in a band called Solarbabes at that time, and apart of the singer, we also shared rehearsal space with Klingonian Beauty. Also, Arek owned a pub (where we all worked at some point) which I guess was the sort of place where you could come and talk to people with similar taste in music, share ideas. I can’t really remember when and where it was that we came up with the idea for Dopelord, but my best guess is it was that place.
* The band has been going for over 7 years now – what keeps you guys going for so long?
Piotrek: Actually, band came to life in the end of 2010, so we’re six years old now hahaha, not that old, right? Anyway, what keeps us going is music. We just really enjoy every new riff, every next album, every next gig. Simple as that.
Grzesiek: We came to know each other really well over the years – there’s not really much more to it than this. We know what to expect from each other, and how not to piss each other off too often.
* The artwork on the new album is amazing? How did you get to work with Pighands? And did you have to give him an idea of what you wanted? or? how did it work?
Piotrek: We collaborated with PigHands earlier, he designed one of out shirts. He did tremendous job and I was quite certain he’s the right man for the cover art job. I just pointed Antonio some rather loose ideas, the atmosphere of the album, and he did the rest. I think that the songs and cover art work great together. It was a perfect fit.
“We try as hard as possible to make our every show the best we can, that I can promise.”
* I know you guys have done some touring of Europe before – what’s been the best show so far? and why?
Piotrek: It’s hard to point out a single show and say it was the best. How could you measure it? The biggest crowd? The best organisation? The best venue? The best performance? We try as hard as possible to make our every show the best we can, that I can promise.
* Have the band played Amsterdam before? If so any crazy stories?
Piotrek: Nope, not yet.
* I know the band play the Uk in May? Have you played the UK before? I would imagine people would love you there
Piotrek: It will be our first time in the UK. So I hope you’re right, man. We’ll be playing there with great company of Poland’s finest: Major Kong, Weedpecker and Belzebong so I think it will be quite ok.
* Has the band played any concerts in the USA before? Are you guys aware come 2018 recreational weed will be legal down the entire West Coast of the USA?
Piotrek: No, we’ve never been to the U.S. To be honest, there are enough reasons already to come and visit with a tour hahaha.
“We like both our booze and our buds”
* I think of Polish being a land more for vodka and beers than weed..do any of the band smoke and if so what is their favorite types of weed?
Grzesiek: we’re not that picky, man. We like both our booze and our buds, however, when it comes to the latter there isn’t really much of a choice.
* Is weed easy to get there? I lived in England for 10 years – when I first moved there good weed was very hard to find by the time I left the country it was much easier due to hydroponics? is if the same in Poland – or does it come from places like Spain and Portugal?
Grzesiek: Well first of all it’s illegal and unlike in the UK, where the worst case scenario is being told off by the cop, here you can actually go to jail for possession. It’s still possible to get decent weed, but as I said – not much of a choice there, and most of the times you won’t even know where it came from.
“Our spiritual needs are fulfilled by playing music”
* Poland is well known as being a Catholic country. Do any of the band practice any form of paganism? If so what path?
Piotrek: No, we don’t practice any form of any religion. Our spiritual needs are fulfilled by playing music, I guess.
* I know old movies are big influence on you guys – tell me some of your favorite movies
Piotrek: One of my all time favourite Polish movie, that you might know is „Saragossa Manuscript” by Wojciech Jerzy Has. It’s brilliant on so many levels. Funny (and sad at the same time), that the first DVD version was curated by Martin Scorsese and released abroad, not in Poland. If you have not seen it – please do, it’s a great story with great acting.
* What can we expect from Dopelord in 2017?
Piotrek: We try to focus on playing as much gigs as possible. Worth mentioning is that we will re-release all of our albums on vinyl. Hopefully this year.
* Any final words?
Piotrek: Now is not the time, though „The time is now” would make great final words hahaha.