Orator hails from Bangladesh, not really the place one would think of when the metal genre is mentioned. However, with just a short history, Orator has proven to be one of the vilest bands out of the country. We talk to Skullbearer to find out more.
Orator started out late 2008 and it was I, Skullbearer and Vritra Ahi who formed Orator from the ruins of Barzak. Mephistopheles joined the band as drummer in 2010 after Daarbesh, our first drummer left the band just finishing the recordings for the EP.
The band was previously known as Barzak before changing its name to Orator. What was the reason behind the change in band name, and why Orator?
Barzak was Orator’s ancestor and was active around 2004-2006 with a different lineup including me. Since the first full length “Qabiluhu” released in 2006 the band went to a long hibernation until mid 2008. The other band members were somewhat reluctant to revive the band after such long halt. It was then I met Vritra and decided to change the band name to Orator. The name change was due to the musical orientation of the band inclining more towards thrashend death style and also for the lyrical standpoints of the band.
With just one EP and a live demo, the band has managed to garner a serious following. Was this expected by the part of the band, and how does the band feel about this?
The feedback we received from the EP exceeded our expectation to some extent. We gave our 100% on the EP and it paid off by bringing us this far. Yet as band we believe that Orator has much to accomplish. Now we prepare for a full length attack yet we are but in the very beginning of a long journey and many orations to follow in the years to come.
The band describes its lyrical themes as dealing with tantric occultism. Skullbearer, being the principal lyricist and the one coming up with concepts for songs, what was the reason behind writing on such topics? How and what was it that sparked your interest in these topics?
Tantra, especially the Vama or left handed tantra is the unorthodox lethal gnosis of self becoming as opposed to the orthodox mass worship of egoistic imprisonment called life. Orator embraced these inauspicious concepts to oppose such cosmic limitations while craving for the ultimate liberation from the delusions of causality.
When writing songs for Orator, how does inspiration for the lyrics come about?
Lyrics play vital role in determining the ultimate shape of the song and such inspirations come from the urge of a particular theme that goes along with our band ideology. And while at it I extract the gnostic juices from relevant ancient Tantric Metaphors and myths.
Being unfamiliar with the concepts and lyrical themes that are written on Orator songs, would it be possible to explain the running concept behind the band’s EP, Dominion of Avyaktam?
The EP is bathed in the chaos gnostic notions of creation and uncreation. Avyakta means non-manifested the ultimate abode of complete nihility as opposed to Vyakta which means the manifested reality. And through its power of chaos, Avyakta sucks down the vyakta into its dimension of wholeness. It dominates the process of grinding illusions of matters to nothing through the jaw of chaos which is described in the EP “Dominion of Avyaktam”.
On the EP as well, on top of the usual death/thrash metal styles and instrumentts, the band has also incorporated certain ethnic instrumentation in the music. How did that decision come about, and how important are those elements in the music of Orator?
We have used the instrument “Pakhwaz” in few of the songs just to add the vibe of destruction played by a guest artist. In Tantra vibration of music or sound is a way of banishing ethereal parasites and causing destruction. Pakhwaz as percussion would represent a strong vibration of dissolution. It was more significant in the song Samhara Tandava which literally means dance of destruction by Shiva the god of chaos.
On top of the ethnic instrumentation and chants, the guitar riffs and solos that are laid down also have a certain sense of Eastern vibe to them. What are some of the influences in writing these riffs and solos, and what was the songwriting process like?
Major influence of such guitar works comes from the conceptual contexts of each song. At first the ideological contexts are visualized, and then a skeletal structure is prepared. The ultimate structure is given with contribution from every members of the band usually at the jamming sessions. We also keep in mind the musical identity of the band while composing songs, which is a blend of old school thrash and death elements.
With such lyrical themes and atmosphere in the music, what are live Orator experiences like? Certainly, it has to be nothing short of a ritualistic experience to fully enjoy Orator tracks!
I could say from the crowd’s perspective that they enjoy an ambient of macrocosmic dissolution at a microcosmic level while confronting Orator’s sonic assault. All we give the audience is a package of bullets heating right between their subtle eyes as once said by comrade Vikram of doom/death legend Dying Embrace (India) with whom we had the honor to share stage earlier this year in Bangalore. The crowds tend to enjoy Samhara Tandava in utter trance apart from headbanging to other old and new songs.
Skullbearer, you were also part of the band Weapon before they moved to Canada. What was the experience of playing in Weapon in its earlier days like?
That was a unique experience as it was the first time I ever played bass guitar for a band that was also an international act. Dedication, musical contribution and diabolic jamming sessions accompanied us during that hellish era around late 2004 and early 2005.
Being the first band we interview from Bangladesh, would it be possible to tell our readers more about the Bangladeshi metal scene? What are some of the bands that we should check out?
Metal scene in Bangladesh has evolved much since its birth in the late 80’s with bands such as Rockstrata, Rock Brigade etc. Now it gives almost all subgenres of metal bands and recently many old school death and black metal bands are popping up. We also had the honor of performing with foreign bands like Manzer (France) and Infernal Curse (Argentina) who invaded and decimated Dhaka with their hellish live performances. So yea, the scene is growing. So far Jahilliyah and Idolatry are some rising local bands worth checking out.
The last words are yours!
Thanks for the support. Keep up the good work brothers.