descending the mind's abyss
Hello freaks...first off I'm to say that I was very pleased after listening "When Landscapes Bled Backwards". I think it's one of the best recordings from new death metal bands in last time! So could you disclose something about your band?
Thanks for your words! We were formed in 2002 to play some Death Metal but as the years passed, the whole thing transformed into the exploration and expression of the very depths of ourselves.
How would you describe kind of your music style? Do you like music categorization?
Itís just Death Metal. We may have various influences and elements in our music, but the basis is Death Metal. I like music categorization because you have something in mind about a band, but I like it even more when a band confuses you somehow about its style and breaks barriers and music styles. And this happens because of music categorization, so itís great!
Have you read some reactions regarding to your debut in classic magazines or web zines? Were there also some negative reviews? What stress do you lay upon reviews? Do you think that reviewers are people which understand music enough?
So far the reviews are great! Of course there are some negative reviews - thatís inevitable - but most people understand our new Death Metal point of view. We are not stressed at all about the reviews. We write music to express and satisfy ourselves completely and if someone finds fragments of theirselves and digs our music thatís great, but if not thatís ok too. We donít play music to satisfy any other than ourselves. We are always curious about reviews and how someone will react to our music, but thatís not our aim. With the whole internet thing, anyone can write their review about an album and thatís great because you can read honest reviews, in contrast with the big magazines which promote the albums they have benefits of. No one will ever be perfectly suitable to do a perfect review, but as I said honesty is the most important thing.
Originality and freshness of your stuff completely blow me out. You are not typical US sounding band which are so many on todays scene but neither Scandinavian clone! Atmosphere of your music reminds me Italian NATRON sometimes or something bizarre in style of DEMILICH to compare just about. Where is the source of inspiration for your sick topics?
We explore the very depths of ourselves. This can only be expressed by composing music that gives you very specific vibes. When I write a riff and get this weird feeling that Iím far, far away and get strange emotions, I know that this is the correct way to unleash this vibe.
I can hear some Jazz influences in your music...especially in rhytmic section. Are you hearing lot of Jazz music? Which kind of Jazz do you prefer?
Iím not into jazz at all. Ilias is influenced by jazz music and his bass lines are quite jazzy sometimes indeed. He likes artists like Charlie Parker or Jaco Pastorious.
Next interesting thing is your playing technique...you use such riff combinations which are not very typical in death metal. This implies your originality and if we add still the sophisticated rhytmics we get coctail of SICKENING HORROR! How much is playing technique important to you?
Itís not that important. We donít try to be technical for technicalityís sake. We just try to capture the idea of Sickening Horror and this time some riffs came out quite technical. Next time they maybe more groovy and simple, on the 3rd album maybe more technical than this one, who knows? We try to get the correct way of expression which depends on our psyche at the time.
The third thing is atmosphere! Big element in your music and for all that you don't need any unconvential instruments to achieve it. Any several kinds of vocal including female ones, any specific intros...only sheer brutality with technique, good composition and special melodics...was it your intent?
Certainly. We want our songs to be multi-layered in order to drown in them and get this vibe of cosmic depth. There are things that you donít listen clear at the first listens and only with headphones one can fully comprehend whatís going on. We also want each song to be quite different from each other, especially in its atmosphere. About the unconventional instruments, there are some strange stuff. We have a couple of keyboard themes and there are the samples too. If we find something that adds on the atmosphere of the song, we will absolutely use it. Iím thinking about female vox, but I havenít figure a way to suite them in any of our songs so far.
Still I'd like to hold on your atmosphere because this is thing which makes your album different from usual recordings. Always when I'm listening to your music I feel feelings of anguish, dread, obscurity, absurdness, something unknown in horror, something abstract, surreal, nameless...no gore themes, blood etc. I don't know if you understand me....
Man, you surely have got the point! Itís exactly that! A trip into the darkest senses and emotions. A change of moods with all these strange riffs and melodies. A harmonization of yourself with the dark side of the universe, if you prefer. If you explore yourself deeply, you canít help but go through the darkest places of your mind, so these various aspects of that feeling are expressed with the music of Sickening Horror.
It is interesting that the atmosphere goes out also from bass guitar, such sombre beats and playing style....just if the bass links wouldn't be played in this manner, but only according guitar links, the album would lost something...
Sickening Horror would never be the same without Ilias on Bass. His bass lines uplift the songs many many levels and thatís why we want the bass to be easily heard on our music. There is no point to play the same things with the guitar all the time, so the soundscapes get more multi-dimensional.
What inspires you to make such absurd themes? Are you fans of classic old horror films? Wanted you to create such macabre unknown feelings, or it came out only from your subconsciousness indirectly?
The other guys not that much, but Iím totally into horror movies. Old-school and modern. I enjoy the ď7th Gate Of Hellď as well as the ďSawď movie. However this has very little to do with our music, it is quite different situation. The vibe didnĎt get out subconciously, we explore ourselves for these things, so it couldnít come out other way. And as we continue furthermore to search for it, it comes out sicker and sicker.
Are you interested in secrets of subconsciousness? Do you think that subconsciousness takes impulses only from outer effects? I'm not aiming to music composition only, but in general...
Iím totally into exploring the vast spectrum of senses and emotions. This implies a descent to the very bottoms of your mind to find unknown places. Maybe you can call it a great work. Meditation could be a lighter form of this quest. Maybe you can call it the secrets of subconciousness. The factors are always inner and outer but the line sometimes is too thin to discriminate.
Can you disclose something about your lyrics? Who is the author, what they deal with and how much you take them personally? Are they fictious only or they have profoundness? Just the track names make shivers....
I write all the lyrics and they have to do with things like dreaming, paranoia, personal experiences, apocalyptic visions, anything that moves me. Many lyrics have to do with simple subjects, but are given in a completely strange way so they can only be fully understood by me. But thatís not the point, anyone can read them and get this deep vibe, like you said about the titles, and find something that could express his own psyche or just to take the trip into the mindís abyss.
Do you like cosmic horror in the way of Howard Phillips Lovecraft? Are you interested in cthulhu cult, necronomicon, old Sumerian magic etc? Who is your fave book writer?
I think that someone who is into Death Metal and doesnít like or know H.P. Lovecraft and Sumerian magic is a fag. Lovecraft was a very unique individual with outstanding experiences, I mean, he certainly had explored his mindĎs abyss! Trying to understand the cosmogonic riddles of Necronomicon is great and truly inspiring. My favourite writers are H.P. Lovecraft and Charles Bukowski. I know, they are totally different but they are the only writers that can make me read whole books at once.
What is your view to your music development in the future? Are you going to keep current style, or you will try something new?
We always try to do something new. We keep the basic elements of Sickening Horror and expand it in any possible way. The 2nd album is already finished music-wise and it is more solid, catchy somehow and the atmosphere is a lot deeper and cosmic. The 3rd album will be different too. Same goes for the 4th and so on.
What's the situation with your live activities? Do you play live often and where? Which band would you like to go touring with? How do fans react to your unnatural rhytmics? Neverthless you don't use classic mid tempo suitable for headbanging.
We try to play live as much as we can. Live shows are very important for the band cause they are full of energy. So far we have played in some clubs in Greece, but we will do our first European tour with Immolation, Melechesh and Goatwhore in Spring. Also we will part of the Nerurotic Deathfest in May, which includes bands like Napalm Death, Suffocation, Malevolent Creation among others. Most of the time the guys in our shows just watch and headbang over the more groovy parts.
Which bands are your faves and why? What must the music contain to interest you? Do you listen also to other music besides metal and jazz?
I love bands like Cannibal Corpse, Dodheimsgard, The Project Hate, Morbid Angel, Arcturus, Disillusion. They all have so many elements and so much depth in their music that are astonishing. If a band has such variety in extreme feelings can easily be one of my favourites like the ones I mentioned. But obviously this cannot happen that often. Generally, I like anything that is extreme in its case, has flow, gives me some emotion and has some identity of its own. We all like catchy pop-rock songs. I love industrial bands like Wumpscut and Wolfsheim. Also, we listen to classical music a lot.
Big thanx for answering my questions! Hope I didn't forget something important....if so, you can write. Please add your current top 5. Once angain thanx and all the best to SICKENING HORROR!
Thanks again for this great interview, your questions were far from the typical stuff.
1.The Project Hate MCMXCIX - In Hora Mortis Nostrae
2. V28 - Violution
3. Insision - Ikon
4. Immolation - Shadows In The Light
5. Nemesea - In Control