Friday, November 18, 2016

Deathkin Interview

1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Deathkin is a Finnish black metal band which purpose is to serve the majestic triarchy of death, chaos and immorality, formed in 2009. Regarding the purpose and main concept, key members of the band have always been very interested in death and chaos so the music is mainly written in honor of them both.

What comes to songwriting, musically and lyrically we never want to go the easy way because it would be really uninspiring. Especially lyrically our two latest recordings follow pretty much the same kind of view and the lyrics aren’t really your average “Praise the almighty Satan”-stuff. For example “Kohti Kotiani Kaaosta” is a concept album in which the lyrics are at least as important as the instrumentation. 

If you are interested in a small history – Our guitarist and drummer began playing together in winter 2003-2004. After various bands and many lineup changes Deathkin was officially formed somewhere around 2008-2010. We released our self-titled demo ep in 2010 and it got some nice feedback, including being named “demo of the month” in the biggest Finnish metal media, Imperiumi. Then we had some lineup changes since our original vocalist moved to Netherlands and at the same time we lost our so-far only long-term bassist. We had enough new material to record “Purged by Impurity” quite soon in 2011 and luckily our friend wanted to join us in vocals. Actually he would’ve become our original vocalist in 2008 but the time wasn’t right back then. “Purged by Impurity” got some really good reviews back then. Then we had a lineup change as our second guitarist quit the band and we had to find a replacement and fortunately found a really talented one. In 2015 we began recordings on “Kohti Kotiani Kaaosta”. It took about one and a half year to get all pieces together. 

2. You have your first full length coming out in November, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from your 2 previous demos?

The music on the album grows upon you. It is cold, raw and dark yet somehow strangely it draws you further and further towards its burning spiral. And the burning spiral is enormous like a gigantic black hole. You can listen the album many times a row and you still want more and every listen drags you further and deeper its sinister path. Guess it means that we have managed to capture at least some of the boundless power of the great cosmic chaos into the record which is quite a big thing to admit. Song structures and basics of the instrument tracks were composed on a way which gave a lot of space for music to breathe itself as well as plenty of room for vocals. Needless to say that we are really happy with the record and the feedback we have gotten of it so far.

Comparing album to previous releases is interesting and gives you a kind of view of the path we have more or less intentionally gone so far. “Kohti Kotiani Kaaosta” is actually quite easy to listen and not that complex comparing to “Purged by Impurity” which is a complex and inwards-bound recording like it was meant to be (for example there is no actual melodies at all, everything is written inside the guitar riffs). Where “Purged by Impurity” is pure blackness, “Kohti Kotiani Kaaosta” bursts with a great deal of cold and raw cosmic chaos. Our first release, the self-titled demo ep represents the era when we were still searching the way for our musical expression. In that time death metal was much more present in the picture even though we were already deep inside dark and black visions. Main goal was to express pure and aggressive hate and Chaos in fierce musical form. Music itself was intentionally stripped off of all but the real deal and turned out to be very striking and dynamic. We still play songs like “With the Host” and “Afar” from time to time.

What comes to how the recordings sound, “Kohti Kotiani Kaaosta” is a pure diamond. It sounds exactly how it should sound. Even though the music bases (theoretically speaking) on a quite simple ideas, it is really chaotic and even though every instrument and vocals are clear and audible yet it still sounds really chaotic. Guys in mixing and mastering did a really great job.

By the way, we still have few copies of “Purged” left. I believe nobody outside Finland has the physical copy. Our first release “Deathkin” is even harder to find. It is a plain handmade cd-r with a very simple cover. We have to make them one by one but it is still possible to get if anyone is interested. There actually aren’t very many copies made of it, maybe 20.

3. This is the first release to come out in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?

Between writing “Purged by Impurity” and releasing “Kohti Kotiani Kaaosta” happened a lot. We had some major personal issues, members moving to different cities, lineup changes and the actual writing and recording of the album and finding a suitable cover art for the concept, it took a while. It was actually as late as in 2014 when we decided that we are going to make a full-length album by ourselves. The drums were recorded in summer 2015 and by the end of the summer 2016 we had everything recorded. A friend of ours, Teemu Iso-Kulmala, mixed the album in great cooperation with us and the final mix was sent to Necromorbus Studios for mastering.. The cover art was also made in cooperation between the whole band and our friend Saila Leskinen, the band giving ideas and Saila mastering them in to the art form giving a great deal of her own ideas. The artwork sits seamlessly to the album concept and we’re very pleased with it.

4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

As our vocalist put it this way, “Kohti Kotiani Kaaosta” preaches about an eternal crusade beyond all boundaries. Of a Journey across aeons that is trodded on the bones of your predecessors in order to witness the faces of Chaos. Of reaching out and longing towards entropy, home of the universe from which we were spat out as a cosmic joke to suffer in a prison of flesh and blood in the wheel of life. Guided by the ardor of darkness and awakened by the serpents venom we will return home.

5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Deathkin'?

The will was to honor the almighty Death and its ultimate power over everything. The idea for the band name was to express our relation to Death. To say it simply, we are the kin of Death – Deathkin.

6. All of the band members are anonymous, do you feel this adds to the dark atmosphere of your music?

Well, yes. It builds a certain kind of veil of mysticism around the band especially when nowadays everything is so easy to reach. Being anonymous means you can’t link the musicians to the band via for example social media. At least that easily and with full certainty. Yet it isn’t actually the main reason behind being anonymous. One really good and maybe the main reason behind it is simply the fact that the identities behind the music is a very irrelevant matter, especially having as many lineup changes as we have had.  All of us stand strong behind the music so we have no need to hide ourselves though. 

7. Currently the band is unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

There has been some interest after releasing “Purged by Impurity” but we didn’t take the step back then. Don’t know how it will go now when we have a really great album with us, maybe it builds a bit bigger interest in some bigger labels. We decided to do this album on our own and so far it has turned out pretty well so we are not in a hurry finding a label. We are no longer teenagers either so we have no interest in jumping in with some minor label with no resources when we can do the same on our own without someone telling us what to do or making boundaries. Being honest, the label has to be able and interested to give us something more in return than just being a company releasing our record.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?

There has been a worldwide interest along the release of the new album from Europe to Far-East and South/North America. Internet and social media are powerful tools to reach global fan base. The feedback has been really good, we haven’t actually heard anything bad said about the album, mainly only praising words. Which, as you might predict, feels good since we have been really honest to ourselves with this record and not a single compromise was made.

9. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Giving a little retrospective view on the releases so far it seems that the music has developed towards being more epic and atmospheric and less fast, in-your-face-kind of black metal. Guess that the development will continue more on that way than taking steps to ever-changing structural polyrhythmic atonality. Though you never know since we don’t have even a single new riff written yet. 

10. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I personally believe that anything that you listen will more or less influence the music you write so black, death and doom metal as well as classical music has had some influence on the music as a whole. As a main influence writing album “Kohti Kotiani Kaaosta” has probably been Primordial, Enslaved and Negura Bunget yet not forgetting Emperor, DHG, Arcturus, Deathspell Omega, 1349, Wagner and Urfaust. None of them may not be heard in the music that much but they’ve had some influence on the mainframe. We listen to a very broad variety of different kinds of music from black metal to industrial to classical music.

11. Does Occultism play any role in your music?

I guess you can say that occultism has its fair share in our music. For example the latest album deals a lot with aspects of chaos gnosticism combined to ancient mythologies, to gain knowledge, power, to grow and burn through it. Like I earlier told, it is a concept album which is very highly influenced by Tiamat – one of the most primordial embodiments of Chaos. 

12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Listen and buy our album. If you think you can offer some kind of collaboration, feel free to contact.

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