Yet another band hailing from Down Under, Denouncement Pyre has managed to cause quite a stir with their debut album, being released under Hells Headbangers Records. We talk to Decaylust, mastermind behind the band to learn more about the history of the band
HMT: Infernal hail, Decaylust! Thank you for granting us this opportunity to interview you. World Cremation was released to critical acclaim, even having the LP being sold out recently at Hell’s Headbangers. Was this expected at the time of the release?
Ave. Yes the album has surpassed our expectations so are we totally satisfied with all surrounding its release.
Denouncement Pyre was formed in early 2002 but only released the full length this year. What was it that took the band so long to release your art unto mankind?
Several circumstances contributed to this including line-up changes, gathering the right members, preparing the ideas, etc. However we have always been active as a band and have released demo’s, 7” eps, mini-album, etc through the years which has kept us very busy. I think these initial releases assisted in establishing the band and provided a gateway to the first full-length, which went as planned and is the bands best material to date.
We are now more focused and are delving into darker realms that will no doubt lead us to create darker music. I believe the 2nd alum will be another step forward and the new material is already sounding promising.
The art of Denouncement Pyre was described by yourself as “BLACK DEATH CHAOS”. What are your spiritual beliefs and views on organized religions?
Black Death Chaos represents Denouncement Pyre as a band in both music and ideology. Look to our music & art for further hints on this and what it entails. As an individual I won’t preach to anyone about what they should and shouldn’t be doing, that is entirely up to you. If one feels the need or finds purpose in identifying or conforming with organized religions or organizations then let that be a reflection of their own character. It doesn’t mean a thing to me.
World Cremation was released on a few different formats – 2 LP and 2 CD versions. What was the reason behind the numerous different formats?
For us a vinyl version is essential. I’ve always preferred vinyl to CDs mainly for the aesthetic value, but also as the sound can vary to when pressed on CD. Within this there was a version pressed on white vinyl that was limited to 100 copies purely because I like different colour vinyl and it’s what we wanted to do. As the album is based somewhat on a concept of duality, to have both a black and white vinyl version stays consistent with this theme also. With the CDs we were in a position to have a digipak version plus the regular CD version which again offers something more as the digipak has a different front cover & outer layout. If it gives our followers the option over which format or version they prefer then I can see nothing wrong with that. There are also plans to release a tape version/s soon. Another must have for our releases!
The title of the full length – World Cremation – comes from one of the songs in the band’s 2005 live album, Barbaric Vengeance (correct me if I am wrong). Was the title intentionally taken from the songs on that album and what was the reason behind that?
Yes you are correct here. World Cremation as a song was only ever played live and was originally planned to be included on the album, which would feature the same title. This song was written around 2004 and as time passed it no longer fit with the newer material and so we left it aside when recording the album. I actually really liked this track but realistically it was very different to the other material we were preparing for the album. As we move forward I doubt we will ever do a proper studio recording of this song, so the only version of it is that which appears on the live tape.
You mentioned that the lyrics on World Cremation are more philosophical and not always meant to be taken literally. Compared to the lyrics of songs found on earlier demos, how has this changed? It seems that the lyrical contents have gotten darker over the years. Where do you draw upon the inspirations to write the lyrics?
I think the lyrics have matured since the earlier releases which is what is to be expected as we naturally gain a greater understanding and experience of the themes being explored. With our lyrics there is usually an underlying meaning, a multitude of interpretations that are possible if one chooses to decipher them. The lyrics and overall aesthetics of the band have definitely moved into darker realms as you have noted, which sits parallel with our own experience and knowledge of the left-hand path, as mentioned earlier, progressing further along its course.
As for the music, I read that the inspirations to write the music are drawn mainly from outside of metal. Perhaps you could enlighten fans of the band what some of these influences are?
This relates somewhat to the previous question/answer. To explain; I am mainly inspired by the experiences and energy which occur/transpire on a regular, sometimes daily basis, with the aim to, through music conjure an audio interpretation of that energy/experience. Writing music is both a way to channel and to release this energy.
Music speaks a universal language, its ability to alter and influence moods and to stir a reaction within an individual or group should not be underestimated. For this reason it is logical that through our own outlook on existence, mixed with an interest in the darker side of nature, it would lead to the creation of dark, twisted, sometimes chaotic or violent sounding music. The point is that this somewhat explains the source of inspiration as we experience it, rather than drawing it from listening to metal LPs or metal culture in general.
To further demonstrate the point, there are plenty of bands that I listen to outside of the metal genre that for me stir the same reaction as when listening to certain Black or Death Metal bands. Certain electronic, industrial and ambient music has a similar atmosphere although the actual sound and instruments used can be entirely different to those used by a black metal band. I can’t really explain it any clearer than this; I think if you get it, you’ll get where I’m coming from.
You also do bass, guitars and vocals on Denouncement Pyre. What are the advantages of being a multi-instrumentalist when recording the album? What was your personal musical history like?
For recording purposes it makes the whole process a lot easier as I can handle majority of the instruments myself. It also means I can work at whatever pace I like and don’t have to co-ordinate it around too many other members. The major disadvantage is that we have not performed live since we had a full line-up and this will not change anytime soon unless we have the right members.
I am by no means a technical or accomplished musician, nor do I care to be. Whilst we are always improving at our instruments and evolving in song writing, I think an understanding and channeling of the energy that goes into dark music is more vital than being able to play endless scales or a million notes a song.
Also, having only 2 members currently, how does the band handle, in terms of rehearsing? Are there any plans to involve more members in the future, and what does it take to be a part of Denouncement Pyre?
Well as could be predicated we simply rehearse as a 2 piece and center it around drums and guitar. When rehearsing for the purpose of recording it works well and removes any complications that can arise by including more members. It is planned that for the 2nd album we will rehearse and record as a 3-piece which I’m looking forward to. Those I’ll be working with will bring their own fiery spirit into the mix and I can already sense what will transpire as a result.
What do you think it was about Denouncement Pyre that attracted fans? After all, most bands start out as a covers band to gain some popularity before performing originals, yet you have mentioned before that Denouncement Pyre has never been a cover band.
I can’t really say. I view music as with all art as a personal experience so I can only conclude that it is completely up to the listener as to what they receive from our music. I won’t dictate what their response should be or why they should listen in the first place. Regardless of who is into our music, we will do what we want to do and focus on ourselves rather than worrying about if it will be received well or not.
I have never seen any purpose in performing cover songs with the exception of including one during live shows. We don’t rehearse or plan to record any covers.
Chaos Rising featured an unholy allegiance between Denouncement Pyre and New Zealand black/death metal horde Diocletian. How did the decision of the split come about?
Our side of the Split LP is the Hells Infantry mini-CD from 2006. It was the same label, Forgotten Wisdom Productions, who had released the CD who also released the split. We had the tracks re-mastered for this version and I think it sounds better than the original.
In a July interview that I read, you mentioned that work on the second full length has commenced. How is the progress for that album so far?
Most of the material for the second album is already written. We have 9 new songs, from which 1 or 2 may be used for a split 7” or bonus 7” or something like that. I hope to record it in the second half of 2011, with a release in 2012. Further details will be revealed in time but for now there is not much else to say about it. Again it will be darker and somewhat more twisted but other than that you will have to wait and see.
What are some of the advices that you can give to aspiring extreme metal musicians out there?
Start a Mutiilation clone band.
We have come to the end of the interview, thank you once again for taking the time off to answer our questions, and we look forward to new material from Denouncement Pyre soon!
Thanks for the interest. World Cremation is available now through Hells Headbangers, also check your local distro for copies. Await the second opus….