Mar 13

Interview with Demonic Resurrection

Being one of the pioneering black/death metal bands out of India (where Bollywood films and music are probably the main entertainment exports), Demonic Resurrection has beaten all odds to become one of the most recognised faces in the Indian extreme metal scene. They have been featured in acclaimed film producer Sam Dunn’s documentary, Global Metal, alongside other prominent bands such as Lamb of God and Sepultura. I had the extreme opportunity to conduct this email interview with Sahil “The Demonstealer”, vocalist and guitarist of the band.


HMT: Give us a brief introduction to the band.

DS: We are a 5 piece Metal band from India, we play what we like to call ‘Demonic Metal’ which is a mix of death/black and power metal. The bands current lineup is Mephisto (Keys), Husain (Bass), Daniel (Lead Guitars), Viru (Drums) and myself – Demonstealer(Vocals Guitars). The band has been around for a decade almost and in that time we’ve gone through a number of lineup changes. We released our debut album Demonstealer (2000) just 9months after forming. A Darkness Descends (2005) was our 2nd effort and saw a complete shift in the bands sound. We also did an EP called Beyond The Darkness (2007). And our most recent release with the new lineup was released on 15th Jan 2010 titled ‘The Return To Darkness’.

What is the metal scene in India like? (E.g. Your brothers of the extreme sub-genres of metal?)
The Indian metal and rock scene are both growing and in India the scene is still very united though with time the rock scene and metal scene will definitely exist as separate entities. However India has many great bands like Kryptos, Exhumation, MyndSnare etc to name a few. We have a good number of festivals like ‘The Great Indian Rock’, ‘Independence Rock’ and ‘Resurrection’. What we majorly lack is good networks and support for bands to tour and release albums on record labels. However things are slowly changing. We had no international metal bands playing here till a few years ago and in the last few years we had Iron Maiden come 3 times, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Eluvitie, Maelifice, Hammerfall, Megadeth, Machine head among others. So the Indian scene is growing rapidly and I do believe it will be a force to reckon with in a decade.

How does it feel like being one of the most prominent metal bands out of India, with the name Demonic Resurrection coming to mind to most when Indian metal is mentioned?
It definitely feels great because we’ve really worked hard over the last decade to get where we are today. We’ve all made personal sacrifices to play the music we want to with Demonic Resurrection so this makes it all worth it.

India is known more for its Bollywood movies and music rather than its metal scene. What was it that turned the band mates to not only listen to metal, but also write metal music?

I think apart from Norway being famous for Black Metal due to the Church burnings I think most countries are known for things apart from metal except in the metal world 🙂 Having said that I think all of us in the band got exposed to English music through family and friends and eventually fell in love with metal music when we heard it. I guess all of us at some point felt inspired to learn the instrument we play and join a band and at some point everyone joined Demonic Resurrection. One of the things I love about metal music is it inspires you to want to learn guitar or drums or to sing in a band which is probably why we have so many young metal bands.
Let us now talk about your latest album, The Return to Darkness. The first thing that struck me was the shift in vocal styles – more throaty, and definitely more brutal and aggressive. Was it an intentional shift in the way you deliver your vocals or was it a natural progression?
I think that was just a natural progression because for me it’s all about variety and since the album carries forward a story I felt the need for many vocal variations and I knew that I wanted to do something vocally that sounded better and more aggressive than on our previous releases. If you listen to the clean vocals also they are not the same as what you hear on the older albums because that was mostly sung by ‘Pervez Quadir’ a sessions singer and this time I decided to do everything myself and make it good enough to be on the record.
Another thing that I noticed was the reduction of black metal trem-style riffing, but instead, death metal style riffing became more prominent in the new album. There was also definitely much more blast-beats. Was this the intended effect as well?
This is probably more because after the last record I’ve been getting more into death metal and I’m very inspired by bands like Anata, Arsis, Necrophagist, Nile, Behemoth etc and I think that’s showing in my guitar playing and song writing style. Also Viru our new drummer has definitely shaped the sound to a large extent because he was more into bands like Meshuggah, Sikth, Textures etc and some of that influence has definitely come into play even if it’s not in an obvious way. So it’s really this combination of a shift in musical influences and the new members that shaped the new album sound.

It was mentioned that with a new logo for the band, it represents the new direction of the band’s music. How so and what can fans expect from this new direction of Demonic Resurrection?

I think the new album ‘The Return To Darkness’ showcases the bands new sound so once the fans hear the album they’ll know what we are talking about. How this sound translates into the next album is yet to be seen, going by the past we’ve changed our sound with each record but yet keeping intact that distinct ‘Demonic’ sound. We will wait and see how it goes from here.

Demonic Resurrection managed to rope in renowned artist, Xaay, for the album art direction and the design of the new band logo. How did that come about?

We had actually selected a local designer who we were working with and on the sly Mephisto had contacted Xaay to do the artwork and when he replied saying he’ll do it we were pretty excited and it seemed like the most logical thing for us to do. His artwork is fantastic and we felt he would definitely do justice to our music and deliver something great, which he did. 🙂

The lyrical contents of Demonic Resurrection often deal with fantasy. Where do you draw inspiration for lyrics from?

Well thankfully I have a wild imagination, I can come up with a lot of wild stories and ideas which is where most of the albums theme and story has come from. This album basically tells a story and that’s exactly what the lyrics do but in between all this there are my personal experiences and emotions that make up a large part of it, however it’s all cleverly woven into the lyrics. However now that we are done with the darkness trilogy we’ll have to see what I can come up with.
Demonic Resurrection was one of the bands that were featured on Sam Dunn’s documentary on metal, Global Metal. How did it all happen, and how did it feel to be featured along global metal giants such as Sepultura and Lamb of God?
Well Sam’s company wrote to me saying they are shooting this documentary and that Sam wanted to interview me on the phone and that’s where it all started and I got around to organizing a concert for them to film when they came here and it was awesome to be part of the whole thing. I later received a mail saying they wanted to use our track ‘Apocalyptic Dawn’ on the global metal soundtrack and I was like ‘Hell Yeah!’ and then Universal Music Canada got in touch and finally we made it to the soundtrack. It felt great to be alongside such great bands.
Sahil, you are also the owner of Indian metal label, Demonstealer Records. What is it like to manage a record label in a country where the rock and metal scene is small?
It’s one of the hardest things to do and because of the fact that music wasn’t available easily here, downloading has become a trend and once people are used to free stuff it’s very hard to get that mindset to change. Thankfully at least for local bands people think it’s worth spending some money, even if it’s just a loyal few who make it possible to run this label. I released Behemoths ‘Evangelion’ last year and lost a lot of money because people just would rather download the album but I’m still going to keep going for as long as I can. Hopefully change is around the corner.
Any chances of catching Demonic Resurrection in Singapore?
We are constantly working towards booking gigs outside India and touring abroad, so we definitely hope to make it to Singapore sometime in the near future. We’ve already booked performances at Inferno Festival in Norway and Brutal Assault in Czech Republic.
One last question: any parting words for aspiring bands out there?
The only way to make it is by hard work and determination. Ofcourse you need good music to start with but persevere and it will pay off.

Cheers & Stay Demonic!

The Demonstealer
Thank you once again for taking the time off to reply to our questions 🙂 We wish you and Demonic Resurrection all the best for your upcoming endeavours

The Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance

View the pdf version on scribd.com here!

The Return to Darkness is now available. Contact the band on MySpace or Facebook for more information.

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

Mar 06

Interview with ChthoniC

Clarence and Ling from Heavy Metal Tribune had the extreme privilege to do an e-mail interview with Doris Yeh, bassist/leader of Taiwanese black metal band, ChthoniC. In this interview, we get to see Doris’ point of view from matters regarding their music, their image and politics.


Clarence: Hi Doris, on behalf of Heavy Metal Tribune crew, we would like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to conduct this interview. We are very honoured to have Chthonic on our interview section.

How are things going in Finland? Did you manage to learn any Suomi language?

Doris: Everything is fine here. The people from Spinefarm Finland / Universal Music are very nice, and I also met many people and friends during those few days. The weather is pretty cold here (-18 Celsius degrees), and the city Helsinki is all covered by snow, like a huge cake 🙂

I didn’t learn any suomi language here, but I remember the word “Sauna” because I went to a public sauna with friends, and I can’t even stayed outside over the snow land for over 3 min!

Ling: Chthonic had an extremely privileged honour to play at Wacken 2007. How was that experience like, to represent the entire Asian metal genre to a greater population of metal-listeners?

Doris: Actually before we get on the stage, we lost every instrument when we transferred flight in Frankfurt airport. So we borrowed all the instruments from the stage team. But when we stepped on the stage, the venue of our stage were all fully packed, and the fans were so crazy and always put their hands up and shouted with us.

That was a really fantastic experience for the band.

Clarence: Chthonic has been around for 14 years. But it was only after the release of the English version of 9th Empyrean and your appearance at the Fuji Rock Festival that you garnered more attention from the worldwide metal scene. How did all these (label distribution in US & Japan Festival appearance) come about?

Doris: Sometimes things just keep coming to us. After releasing 9th Empyrean, we’re starting to reach out the label companies outside of Taiwan. And then the foreign promoters and booking agent start to contact with us, we get on to bigger and bigger stages afterwards.

Ling: If you had to choose one word to represent the sound and ideology of your band’s music, what word would it be?

Doris: I can only describe a similar feeling of the word in Taiwanese that is 「衝!」And I don’t know how to translate into English… 🙂

Clarence: Since Chthonic’s formation back in 1995, a lot of extreme metal bands have spawned in Taiwan. How different is the scene now, compared to the late 90s?

Doris: I think Extreme Metal scene here is getting bigger, and also full of variety. In the past, people who are playing metal are more into 80s metal or speed and progressive metal. ChthoniC has a hard time in the beginning. But after the band got success, we roll up a trend of playing death/black/folk/thrash metal. And also because of the popularity of internet after late 90s, bands and fans in Taiwan can also get different kinds of music information easily, that brought up a certain degree of growth into the metal scene.

Ling: Any informed metal listener would know of ChthoniC’s journey from obscurity is one that is nothing short of extraordinary. If a new band would aspire to reach ChthoniC’s level of musical success, what advice would the band impart?

Doris: We do have some awesome profiles, but I can’t say now ChthoniC has already achieved their ideal success, we still have to be more active and positive things to get into next level. But I think have your own independent thoughts, make the band not just another genre of the music but has its own personality, give the whole band a unique soul, not just a shape of the music.

Clarence: Let’s touch on the topic of politics. This year has indeed been a great year for the Democratic Progressive Party, where they won all three seats in Taoyuan, Taichung and Taitung. Any expectations or hopes for the upcoming election in 2012?

Doris: I’m not the supporter of DPP, I’m the supporter of Taiwan Independence. Any party who support Taiwan Independence and human rights in on my side. President Ma has no sense of direction for this country. He is totally incompetent to protect the benefit of the country and also incapable of bringing happiness to the people. What I can expect is I hope people can really understand treasure the real value of democracy and choose a better person to lead the country.

Ling: Since ChthoniC has always been at the forefront of conveying politically-driven messages in their music or otherwise, does the band ever see their music getting played in China? Can music truly be a medium of unification?

Doris: We don’t limits playing in any countries, but China government limits every freedom of people, including art and music. I think we can play in Hong Kong and Macao but can’t get into China. But as I know there’re already a lot of ChthoniC fans over China, they can find their way to grab our music and see our live on the internet. Freedom exists in every normal human, we give our message of freedom to them, hope someday they can find a way to get their own freedom like they find a way to get our music!! 🙂

Clarence: Back to the music. What are the plans of Chthonic this year? Can the fans expect a new album?

Doris: We’re now writing new stuff, hopefully we can go into studio early next year. And this year we’ll play more shows all over the world.

Ling & Clarence: Any last words for the fans in Singapore?

Doris: We do hope to see you guys soon!!!

Once again, thank you for taking the time off your busy schedule to do this interview with us. On behalf of Heavy Metal Tribune, we wish you (and the band) the best of luck in your upcoming tour, and we hope to see Chthonic perform in Singapore soon!

View the pdf version on scribd.com here!

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | Ling & Clarence

Feb 28

Guttered Down the Gutters: Draconis Infernum

DISCLAIMER: 
The following material might be classified under highly controversial and might offend certain communities. Viewer’s discretion is advised.

(I’d like to thank everyone for your kind reminders that this may land me in jail; like the dude who was racist. However this band that we are featuring is a Black Metal band, and they may have certain image to keep, and the answers to the interviews might be sensitive and offensive, just almost like how sometimes Russell Peters is but these people are just musicians, artistes and performers. What they say might be just part of their act, and may or may not be what they truly believe in. I hope you enjoy a little freedom of expression at this point of time. -cyn) 

As we’ve promised…
We had this in mind for a really long time, and wanted to approach Draconis Infernum,
Yet we were really afraid we might be the ones to get guttered literally.
So slowly, carefully, we approached them and proposed our unorthodox interview idea…
But pleasantly enough, everything was well. Much to our surprise, they are very spontaneous people, took time out on a week night to meet us, just to finish this up.
You might want to check out the photos at our official Facebook Profile:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=1842&id=100000839082293&l=00f45f4e63


Editor’s Note: Due to the sensitivity issues, I shall take down the images,
Just to lessen the risk a little bit. But the link to the High Reso PDF files is still valid.
Please take your time to go over there to read it.
And you can view (and download) a high resolution copy of this interview at
http://www.scribd.com/doc/27599511/GDTG-Draconis-Infernum
Check out Draconis Infernum on MySpace:
http://www.myspace.com/draconisinfernum©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | CynnedCynner

Feb 28

Views From the Pit: Mass Ritual 2

Mass Ritual 2 is the first proper gig for me in almost 4 months. After a one and a half hour wait outside Blackhole, the ritual finally began. It kicked off with an initiation with incense and chanting, with gig organizer Jaarvis drinking a cup of blood-looking fluid. Thereafter, Abyssal [7]kicked off with their first track. It was hard for them to get the crowd, who were restless from all the waiting, to move. But with their infectious style of melodic black metal people in the crowds were soon bobbing their heads to the music. Their frontman tried to fuse some humour effect by mentioning that “no, I (he) am not Cedric, but thanks for the beer” to some laughter from the crowd.

However, it didn’t take much for Stillborn [8] to get the party started. The band’s charismatic stage persona, the frontman’s random ramblings, coupled with their aggressive style of melodic death metal, by their first track the crowd was headbanging wildly and by their second track, moshing was inevitable.
With all the hype and energy built up by Stillborn, it would be hard for Massive [6] to carry through the momentum. But Massive wasn’t going to let the crowds down. While unable to retain the whole crowd’s attention, their main fanbase was there to cheer them on, encouraging them throughout their set.
Xanadoo [8] was up after Massive. They played songs from their latest 2 demos, Blood is Dirt and This Demo is Shit. They played song after song, with hardly any time to breathe in between them. With such loud and blazing fast thrash metal, it wasn’t hard to get crowds to mosh and headbang.
Featuring ex-members of Saitan, Warsaw [7] put up a pretty impressive performance, being able to make the crowds headbang to their music, with lots of horns in the air. Xepher (Draconis Infernum) was invited on stage to perform a track for them as well. The music stand on the stage was a bit awkward though, to be really honest, it was kind of funny to see the vocalist staring into the music stand while growling away the lyrics. However, they put up a good show, featuring Serberuz Hammerfrost (Draconis Infernum) on the bass and backup vocals.
I unfortunately missed Sammath Sathanas’ performance due to a relentless growling devil in the stomach, begging for food. However, judging from the responses and positive feedback, they seemed to be a crowd favourite, playing 3 originals and 3 covers and opening for Wormrot. Apologies to Sammath Sathanas for being unable to be present and do a justifiable review.
Wormrot [9] probably gathered the most violent crowds in the moshpit, with even one member of the crowd being dragged out perhaps due to exhaustion in the pit. Flying limbs and people jumping on each other weren’t an uncommon sight, but all in the name of good fun. Notable moments included the guitarist and vocalist taking turns to surf the crowd in the middle of songs, while maintaining their flawless playing.
When it was time for the last band, Draconis Infernum [9], most of the crowd has already dispersed, probably due to the time it was. Having kept the identity of their new vocalist a secret for a long time, everyone was curious who was going to complete the new line up. Surprisingly to most of us, Serberuz Hammerfrost (previously drums) took over bass and vocals duties and Syroth (Warsaw) filling in for drums. 2 new songs from their upcoming album were played, along with 3 from their previous album and a cover from archgoat.
Overall, was an awesome experience though the venue got pretty stuffy and suffocating towards the end of the gig with the lack of ventilation, excessive activity from the crowd and lots of loud live music. Thanks to JaarVis for this awesome gig line up, and the bands for putting up awesome performances!
Most horns in the air: WARSAW
Most violent moshpit: WORMROT
Most violent headbanging: DRACONIS INFERNUM
Special mention: STILLBORN

View the pdf version on scribd.com here!
©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

Feb 25

Guttered Down the Gutters

Heavy Metal Tribune presents…

Watch this space.

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | CynnedCynner

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