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Bandinterview: Denial Of God

 

Viel zu wenig Aufmerksamkeit aus der deutschen Szene bekommen die dänischen Horror Metaller von Denial Of God. Im Juli 2012 haben sie ihr zweites Album "Death an the Beyond" veröffentlicht. Ein wahres Meisterwerk des OLD School Black Metal`s. Grandiose Melodien mit einer unglaublichen intensiven Atmospäre. Wir haben ein Zwiegspräch mit Frontmann Ustumallagam über die Enstehung des Albums und weitere großartigen Sachen geführt.  Deutsche Übersetzung hier  

 

 

Sturmglanz: Thanks that you accepted my request for an interview. After a lot of demos and EP’s, you released your second Album „Death and the Beyond“ in July 2012. Do you already get some feedback? If yes then which kind of feedback?

 

Ustumallagam : Yeah, the feedback till now has really been overwhelming to say the least. Pretty much everyone seem to embrace the album and really get into it. The reviews have almost all been over the top with a few exceptions, so I couldn’t really ask for more. I had not seen such a positive response coming to be honest. Finally people seem to get it. Hell’s Headbangers do one hell of a job to promote us too, which really is all I can ask for. A great label.

 

Sturmglanz: You recorded the Album in just 13 days. Could you tell us something about the work in the studio? Did you had any problems or unexpected situations?

 

Ustumallagam: Working in the studio is always great. We do it in Sweden and feel very isolated there and as the studio has no windows or so, you tend to get all weird in the head after some time really. It’s a very unique feeling and it totally works with us as it helps focusing on the music anyway. We always record the analogue way to get a warm and fat sound. Doing it that way of course also makes it a bit harder to record, but it is certainly worth it in the end and the producer Berno has great fun with it you can see as he is rather tired of doing it digital for most bands. The chemistry in the studio is great, but of course sometimes tension rises too, but that’s what I call passion because we all care. There were maybe a few minor problems, like always when recording, but nothing really interesting to mention.

 

Sturmglanz: Are you satisfied with the album or would you do some tracks in a different way today?

 

Ustumallagam: After recording some music you always find something about the recording you could have done different, but I must admit I still haven’t found that thing with “Death and the Beyond”, but of course that’s only good. It may come with time, but for now it still seems rather perfect and what I wanted.

 

Sturmglanz: I’m really interested in your lyrics. Who is writing them and what are they about? Which phantasies and incidents influence the writing process?

 

 

Ustumallagam: I write pretty much all of the lyrics and they deal with various things. On the new album we did some kind of concept again. Not one long story, but there is a red line running through all the lyrics as they all deal with death and the afterlife in one way or the other. For example “Behind the coffin’s lid” deals with being buried alive, “The cursed chamber” deals with a pharaoh lying dormant in his tomb and “Pendulum swings” deals with a spiritist séance that goes out of hand. Lots of different stuff influences me for writing, but mainly my own sick mind. Most ideas come to me when lying sleepless at night cursed by insomnia.

 

Sturmglanz: Are there any special messages in your lyrics?

 

Ustumallagam: I don’t put any messages in the lyrics as such, but I sometimes write some things that you have to think about to understand. I like lyrics that way. I don’t listen to music to hear someone preach. I listen to music to ease my mind and escape reality.

 

Sturmglanz: How does your song creation progress works? Who has which job to do and do you have a rehearsal?

 

Ustumallagam: It’s normally like I come up with some lyrics. When I feel they are ready I give them to Azter, who then sits at home and adds his riffs to them. When he has something he likes we take music and lyrics to the rehearsal room and present it to Galheim (drums) and tell him what tempos etc. we’d like to have and he then plays that and adds his own ideas to it. We are very critical about the songs we bring to the rehearsal room, so when we finally bring something we know it will turn out good. When we have shows to play or music to record we normally rehearse every two weeks, but sometimes less when there is nothing planned as we live far from each other. Each member has something unique to offer to the music, so it has become more of a group effort than it was in the past.

 

Sturmglanz: Do you still want to say something about your songs or do just want that the fans form their own opinion?

 

Ustumallagam: I’m not really sure what more to say to be honest and I like the thought of someone reading the lyrics and forming their own pictures in their mind. That’s what it’s all about really. Like reading a book or watching a movie. The lyrics are the story, the music is the soundtrack. Get into it, dream away, disappear.

 

Sturmglanz: In the last 21 years your released a lot of records, whether EP’s, demos or 7”. Why did you release just two albums?

 

Ustumallagam: The answer is really quite simple. We had quite some line-up problems and recording albums without members is not easy. Here and there we had the band together and could do an EP or two, but often it was not a strong line-up and we needed that to do something big. And also it took time to write the songs for the album. The songs we released on the EPs were equally as good as the album tracks, but somehow they just didn’t feel like songs for an album, so they had to be used somewhere else, hence the EPs and mini albums. Everything with this band has to fit together and have a red line running through it. Now we finally have a unique line-up with dedicated people who all have the same goal and we really know each other musically, so song writing will speed up a bit now, simply as we have become better writers and know what to expect from the other members. I cannot complain.

 

Sturmglanz: I saw Denial of God two times. With children coffin, blood, gravestones and guts is the mood really awesome and bizarre. How do you prepare yourself for a gig? Are there any rituals?

 

Ustumallagam: I hate the time during the day as I am really impatient and don’t know what do with myself. These are my worst hours. When getting ready before the show it’s really just getting the band together and start changing. Not just clothes, but also personalities. Everyone knows what do to, so there is not always so much talk and I like that. I like the quiet. The calm before the storm, so to speak. It helps me focus too. I mostly don’t get the adrenaline rush before the intro rolls, sometimes even later. I am very relaxed with all this. No alcohol till after the show.

 

Sturmglanz: Is it possible to turn the different sounds of the “Death and the Beyond” album (like the keyboard or the different vocal types) to a live performance or is the sound more rough?

 

Ustumallagam: The vocals are no problem to do live, but the keyboard parts are something that has made us think a bit. Keyboard intros for songs we already do live now with the help of Azter’s pedals, but keyboard parts during the songs are another thing. We have thought about maybe getting some guy to do some keyboard parts behind the stage for a one off thing or so, but let’s wait and see what the future brings. I’d love to perform “Pendulum swings” live, but as it is right now it is not possible. Our shows will always be more rough than on album anyway...

 

Sturmglanz: Back to the latest record. In the new songs are again and again slow, dark and melancholic sequences. Did you reached the point where a band not just only makes fast music and starts using more slow parts which are influenced by your feelings?

 

Ustumallagam: The reason for having more slowed down parts on the album this time is simply because that was what fitted the lyrics. We never planned for it to turn out like this, it just came naturally. You cannot sing about depressing stuff like losing a loved one and then blast away at the same time. Still the album also holds some very fast parts, in fact, the ending of the album is some of the fastest we have ever recorded. The next stuff we record may turn out extremely fast again. It all depends on the lyrical concept really as it all has to fit together. Playing fast just for the sake of playing fast is stupid and I believe too many bands do that. We all love playing fast, so don’t expect it to be a thing of the past though.

 

Deathkult Open Air 2012 (Germany) - Bericht

 

 

Sturmglanz: I think with the releases from the last few years you achieved an affinity of the British Jack the Ripper time. With “The Red Terror” layout you confirm my thought. Are there any similarities?

 

Ustumallagam: That is exactly what we are aiming for. Something out of this time. To portrait something from a much darker and more interesting period. Most of our lyrics are not set in present time anyway. Go watch an old Hammer movie and you will know what I mean.

 

Sturmglanz: You shaped the style of „Black Horror Metal“ for a long-term. Which meaning does horror have for your lives?

 

Ustumallagam: Pretty much everything. My only two big interests are horror and music. I have been into horror as long as I can remember and the passion has never slowed down. I collect whatever I can get my hands on like movies, books etc. and watch movies pretty much on a daily basis. It’s all about escaping reality and dream away. It’s in my head all the time. As late as last night I had a strange Cthulhu-like nightmare where some kind of shark with a hollow elephant trunk was screaming at me in a weird language “MOO-MOO GEN-EN-NA!!” again and again. It was great, but even greater to wake up. Fantastic. Sometimes I try to inflict nightmares upon myself well knowingly sleeping on my hand or arm for example, which often causes nightmares to the sleeper.

 

Sturmglanz: Does the black metal have a special signification for you?

 

Ustumallagam: I love black metal and I hate it. Confused? I love black metal because it’s so fucking powerful and sick and means the world to me. But I also hate what it has become as it’s nothing but a bad joke nowadays. Black metal now is just silly shit run by spoiled kids who have no clue and never read an occult book in their life. It’s ridiculous. Of course here and there you can find a good band or two, but in general it’s just a joke now. Another bad joke nowadays is the occult retro rock thing. Fuck off.

 

Sturmglanz: Are the Denial of God members playing currently also in other bands?

 

Ustumallagam: Azter and I are not active in any other bands right now, but our drummer Galheim is also active in Bone and the two cover bands Mercyful Diamond and Fiercer. We sometimes do guest jobs for friends though and stuff like that. I have done guest vocals for bands like Black Oath, Victimizer (RIP), Impiety, Sodomizer, Church Bizarre etc. and even written lyrics for other bands.

 

Sturmglanz: Here in Germany we don’t hear a lot about the Danish black metal scene! Do you actually have one in Denmark? Can you recommend us some bands?

 

Ustumallagam: Well, there are some black metal bands, but I don’t really care much about any of them apart from Nortt, if you consider that black metal. There are other bands like Blodarv, Ogdru Jahad (ex-Sadomator), Angantyr etc., but I never really got into them to be honest. Nothing against them though. I am just very fed up with that style of music after it got watered out by all the scene kids around the globe. Danish bands I can recommend though are Altar Of Oblivion, Cerekloth, Oath Of Woe and of course Nortt among others.

 

Deathkult Open Air 2012 (Germany) - Bericht

 

Sturmglanz: Why don’t you have more live gigs? Do want to play more in the future, especially in Germany?

 

Ustumallagam: I don’t see why it is necessary to play all the time. I’d rather play a few shows here and there and then make them really great. Sometimes organizers think they can get the band for a plate of pasta and a cold shower still, but seriously, I can’t be fucking bothered. None of us can. If you can’t afford it, don’t do it. Not that we are expensive, but you get my point. The only show confirmed right now for the future is for 2013 in Hamburg at the Hell Over Hammaburg fest actually. There are 2-3 more coming up for next year too in Germany, but it’s still too early to reveal. We’ll announce it as soon as we can though.

 

Sturmglanz: Do you have any plans for the future, what can we expect from Denial of God?

 

Ustumallagam: Right now the only plans are to play a lot of shows to support the new album and of course to keep on writing new material. There is already something being planned, but I cannot talk about it yet. Be sure it will only get darker and darker…

 

Sturmglanz: In the last 20 years the European black metal really changed. Many want the old times without social networks and emails back. What do you think about the development and the infiltration of the internet?

 

Ustumallagam: Well, I love the internet and emails for fast communication and all that, but it has no charm like receiving a letter has. Every now and then I get letters still and you can always see the person who sent it put a lot of time in it as it often features drawings and all kinds of stuff. That really means a lot to me that people still bother. The internet is great to gain quick information etc., but it also killed the underground scene as now every man and his dog has access to cult acts with just a few clicks and everyone is suddenly a specialist about obscure bands etc. What used to be the underground for dedicated maniacs tapetrading and sending flyers is nowadays simply called Facebook. Let it go to hell.

 

Sturmglanz: What are your personal interests beyond metal?

 

Ustumallagam: Besides metal? Pretty much just horror. I really love collecting movies. I also run Tornado Magazine of course, but that’s pretty much all I do. I don’t have many interests, just a few that I really dig into.

 

Sturmglanz: Which meaning and Influence does this have for you?

 

    •   Satanism

     

Ustumallagam: A lot. I have stopped talking much about it though as I don’t want to use it as a way of gaining attention like many do. It’s personal anyway.

 

    •   World religions

     

Ustumallagam: Always a good laugh. One’s worse than the other.

 

    •   German Black Metal szene

     

Ustumallagam: As shitty as everywhere else nowadays. I don’t care much about new bands, but luckily here and there you can find a few good ones. In Germany too. Hail Kathaaria.

 

    •   Europe crises

     

Ustumallagam: I don’t give a shit as long as I don’t lose my job. Greed rules the world and it will never change.

 

    •   Venom

     

Ustumallagam: The best band ever. The “Black metal” album infested my mind as a kid and I never became the same again.

 

Sturmglanz: Thanks for your interesting answers. Does something recommendable or odd remains what you want to say?

 

Ustumallagam: I guess we have covered it all here. Just look out for our shows and give the new album a spin in the dark by candlelight. Let it consume you. Mors ultima linea rerum est.

 

August 2012 (Thurock)

 

Review: Denial of God - The Red Terror (Horror Records 2011, 12")

 

Review: Denial of God - Death And The Beyond (Hell`s Headbangers 2012)

 

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