Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blackspell - Interview

Demon of Darkness is a focused individual, with his mind set on the future of his black metal band, Blackspell. With a release now out on Thorn Laceration Records that, though rough in spots, reveals what could be the start of a large extreme metal scene in the middle east region, Demon is the go-to-guy to get a sense on what is going on in a very unlikely - and dangerous - part of the world for extreme metal to flourish but where there are metal heads, there will be metal.

CT: Thanks for answering my questions Mr. Demon of Darkness. Can you please update us on the history of Blackpell for readers with no knowledge of the band?

DoD: You are welcome. The history goes back to late 2008, when I was trying to make some songs. At that time, I created the song "Lies Blocking Your Eyes" but didn't record it until 4 months ago, then I recorded the rest of the songs in june 2009.

CT: Syria isn't known for metal, especially black metal. How did you come to discover black metal and what has it been like being a black metal fan in a country which has no scene? How frustrating is it to get the records you want?

DoD: The scene is healthy if we are talking about the Metalheads, they are very thirsty for extreme music and there is a big metal fan base but on the other hand, people here hate that kind of music but I think they will use on listening to it by the time. I discovered black metal by listening to some Immortal, Burzum, Mayhem... songs on the internet, in that time I was a huge Slayer fan - and still so - and I needed something more extreme to listen to.

CT: You would view the internet as beneficial to the metal scene then? What is your opinion on the ease at which people can find music freely online and the downloading culture we see so often these days?

DoD: Yes It is, I think it's a very good thing .

CT: I'm going to say that you weren't aiming to break boundaries with your demo, "Dark Winds From Black Sky". Why take the road of raw and primitive black metal as opposed to say, something more atmospheric and subtle?

DoD: Well, I've been really infleunced by many raw black metal bands like: Marduk, Darkthrone... etc, but I tried to make something new, to mix between raw black metal and melodic black metal -like what I did on "In The Cold Dark Woods"- and I hope that it's worked.

CT: Can you give a hint of your tracks on the upcoming split with Folkstorm and Morktar split? Will they be the same style as your demo? Can you reveal any lyrical subjects to us?

DoD: Well, the style is "Black Ambient," there are two songs and two covers, my new songs have almost no lyrics.

CT: How did you come in contact with Thorn Laceration Records? How has working with Chris been for you? I know you are releasing the split through Thorn Laceration Records. Do you think you will continue to release music through his label or do you foresee a label change in the near future?

DoD: Well, I did come in contact with him on Myspace, I knew Chris before he has the lable and he's a really good and smart guy. Yes I'll continue release music through Thorn Laceration Records, It's a strong and good lable.

CT: How did you go about recording the "Dark Winds" demo? I doubt there are recording studios available which would willingly take on a project such as yours.

DoD: I recorded the demo through my PC. There are few recording studios that let me play this kind of music in it, but it's expensive.

CT: What programs and equipment did you use to capture your rituals? How long did it take you to record the demo and how long did you spend mixing and finalizing your music before having it released?

DoD: I used my 20 watt bass amp, Phil Pro guitar, Echo 4 Strings bass and drums machine. I recorded "Lies Blocking Your Eyes" directly from my amp and the rest of songs by some softwares on my PC. It took only 4 days to be recorded and mixied. I bought some new equipments (ESP guitar, Marshall amp...) to get much better sound on my next albums.

CT: What would you say your lyrics represent to you? What meaning do you find in your lyrics? What meaning do you find in black metal that you don't find in other styles of music?

DoD: It's really good question. My lyrics on the Dark Winds Demo represent my feelings and hatred against all of my enemies. I found the truth and the freedom in Black metal, there is no hypocrisy in this genre,

CT: What artists and musicians have influenced you the most? Do you plan on including any Syrian folk influences in upcoming released or will you remain the same general entity? The Iron Maiden of Syrian black metal possibly?

DoD: Well, I've been influenced by many artists like: Marduk, Rotting Christ, Bathory, Immortal, Burzum, Xasthur, Darkthrone, Dissection, Moonblood, Gorgoroth, Dark Funeral and many more... No I don't plan on including any Syrian flok influneces I'll remain the same.

CT: What Cd's, artists, movies, books have you been enjoying lately? What would you recommend to readers?

DoD: Artists: Rotting Christ (Sakis is one of my friends), Moonblood, Elimi, Mourning Soul, Circle Of Ghosts. Movies: The almighty Lord Of The Rings, Bram Stoker's Dracula. Books: anything for Lovecraft like The Call Of Cthulhu.

CT: How have your neighbors taken to your black metal? Surely metal is still offensive, loud and shocking in a country with no experience with the aggressiveness of pure metal fury!

DoD: Most of them used to it, I didn't play loud very much .

CT: Is it difficult to find like minded people in a predominantly Muslim country with no history of extreme music?

DoD: It's really difficult but not impossible , the people didn't read or listen about this music , they only listen to what other people say about it. I think if they listen to it or understand what it's all about they will accept it.

CT: How do you foresee the metal scene in Syria in the near future? Do you think it will grow into an underground movement? Is there fertile ground in Syria for a huge metal explosion? If so do you think there are any particular factors that might contribute to this?

DoD: I think yes It will grow, because there are many great bands in here like: Obia, Absentation and The Hour Glass and there will be more. The first particular factor will be: the people understanding for this music.

CT: Are there any particular resources for people interested in checking out the newest bands from Syria? Obviously myspace would be a good place to start but are there any Syrian fanzines focusing on the country's scene or any radio shows that play local metal and hard rock?


CT: Do you view Blackspell as having a particular role in bringing metal to Syria? Possibly in opening the minds of those around you to art and music that they would not have experienced before?

DoD: Like what I said before, there are many Metalheads in here, many black metalheads, and I did this record for them

CT: What are your views on religion? Do you adhere to a particular church or faith? If not, what would you describe your spirituality to be?

DoD: Sorry, but I prefer not to talk about religon .

CT: Would you care to comment on the political issues in the region? How has the Iraq war and democratization of Iraq affected Syria? Has it affected you personally? What are your thoughts on the Israeli / Palestinian disputes?

DoD: Excuse me please, but I have nothing to do with politics .

CT: What is next for Blackspell?

DoD: I'll release a new ep in the next month and I'll keep on recording new albums .

CT: Last words?

DoD: Thank you for the interview

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