translated by Markéta, thank you!
Recenze/review - KATALEPSY - Gravenous Hour (2016)
Ave KATALEPSY! You released your second long-played album called “Gravenous Hour”. I have to admit that I didn´t expect such death metal tsunami. I can´t help it but I feel an apocalypse from your new album! How do you feel about the album now? How about reviews, responses from listeners and how do your songs work on live concerts?
Hi Jakub and all readers of Deadly Storm! First of all, thank you for your words about GRAVENOUS HOUR! It’s a great pleasure for us – it means that we didn´t spilt our sweat, spend time in rehearsal room and studio for nothing. We are very satisfied with this album – I´ve been listening to it for 8 months now and I still can’t stop! This is the best review – it has never happened to me before.
Most of the reviews are positive, some authors guessed our ideas and described our music as they were in the band. I’m very surprised. Most of the negative reviews can be describe in four words – “Where’s the slam????” That’s really funny.
Our set list consists new songs on one half and these songs look pretty cool with the old material. We played songs from all of our albums and if you are not in these songs just wait for the next one – it will be slam, for sure.
What wiped me out from this world was the sound. On the last album “Autopsychosis” (2013) was the sound great but now it is even better! Did you change the recording approach? Or did you change the album production?
Exactly, Jakub! The sound is the second innovation of our music. Sound became more clear and bright: there is a full specter of tones, not only dominance of low tunes. As always we worked with a brilliant sound engineer Arkady Navaho and as the album AUTOPSYCHOSIS we recorded in Cosmos Studio. And right in the first session of recording or even earlier – when we began to prepare for recording – we hit a problem: on one hand we used low 8-strings guitars and low basses, on the other hand – we had fast bass drums and all the drums parts. How to mix it all together in one solid monolith but not lose any instruments or notes? How to mix massive low grooves and speed melodic riffs and solos? That was really a big problem! But Arkady Navaho found a solution and the result is perfect, at least for me.
I also like your lyrics. Brutal death metal is full of prolapsed bowels and blood and your songs are about dark visions, fiction, philosophy and apocalypse. Do you feel lyrics are important in your work? Who is the author of these lyrics and what are they about on the new album “Gravenous Hour”? Do you want to convey some message with your lyrics?
I think all pieces of creative work are important: songwriting, sound, lyrics, art and inlay design. If you have all of this, your strike will be deadly! I’m the author of the lyrics and it’s more poetic but darker then on AUTOPSYCHOSIS. Once again we show you the world full of warp visions, non-human séances and the Other Side. It´s Lovecraftian world, which was painted by H.R. Giger and Z. Beksinski and filmed by J. Carpenter and D. Argento. There are no messages, we just describe this world to our listeners but not call to vote for Cthulhu, haha! We even changed some lyrics during the recording because they were too provocative. No slogans, no politics, no religions – just guide-book to dreams.
Vladimir Chlebakov (W. Smerdulak) did the cover again. I like his works and I have to admit that I didn´t know him until I discovered your band. Why did you choose him and how was the cover born? Were you choosing from the finished works or was the cover made just for this album?
During working on the album AUTOPSYCHOSIS we became good friends with Vladimir. We are always in touch, we call each other, discuss movies, music and of course, art. Also, he did and do arts for our merchandise. We liked his previous works for us so we did not even think about any change. We thought a lot about new cover art, had some different conceptions but the last point was made by our vocalist Igor – he gave us an idea of two worlds and two points of view on afterlife and the result became one of my favorite art in metal! Once again Vladimir made a miracle! All artworks – two cover arts, back art and arts in booklet – were create just for GRAVENOUS HOUR.
When I first hear your name on the music scene you mostly played slamming brutal death metal. I don´t really like this kind of a music but I liked that you were putting more styles in your music. But there was less and less of the slamming brutal death metal in your music and you were adding more technical and groovy passages. What direction does KATALEPSY want to go in the future?
We never think about #hashtags before composing music. The songs live their own lives – they are born as they sound in us. One of us compose the whole song, not different parts or riffs, and only after that he shows it to the others. Then we compose. We try not to copy our previous songs – this is the reason why we compose new material very slowly: each note, each kick must be on the right place. Then we became better musicians and we can describes our emotions in wide spectrum. And this is why we use different modes and elements. From primitive rhymes to dark grim melodies, from bulldozer mid-tempo to high speed chainsaw. I can’t say you what will be next – we have some ideas for new songs but at first we must play plenty of GRAVENOUS HOUR songs.
You can tell that you work on your development a lot. I wonder how the new album´s songs were made, who did the riffs, etc. Do you work together in a rehearsal room or every person works alone and then you just put it together in one unit?
We separate our work on few stages. On the first, each of us works with his own songs at home, makes structures and main directions. After that he sends the song to the others and we arrange song and discuss the result. Only after that we begin to rehearse new song and do the last corrections. At first, we play it slowly, but with each rehearse it is done faster and faster… So, the preparation is much longer then the time we spend in the rehearsal room. But it is a good way how to understand all the details which you could lose during the rehearsal.
KATALEPSY was founded in 2003. How was the start of your band? Did you have any idols? What about the first concerts?
We set the year 2004 as our birthday because it was the year we played our first show. It is actually an ordinary and boring story, without UFO’s abductions or raising of the dead – as thousands others bands we found each other by internet and began to work. We chose the direction of classical brutal death (as Suffocation/Broken Hope) and combined it with the modern US-way death metal bands (as Devourment, Disgorge, Digested Flesh - DDD, hehe). We played our first shows in our native town, Moscow, and after that, little by little, we began to increase our territory. And finally, in 2008, we reached the Europe…
You play difficult, complicated music. You have to be precise and synchronic like a machine. How often does KATALEPSY play in a rehearsal room? And how do you approach to the playing itself? Are you a conscientious and meticulous band or do you choose the “punk attitude”? Some of your riffs are just very difficult, how do you work them on concerts? Do you have to simplify something sometimes so the live performance is possible?
We rehears 2 times a week by 3 hours. This is the law! And we try to play at homes as often as possible. Our drummer Eugene plays almost every day, he is a passionate drummer. We are very disciplinary band and we are very serious in everything related to our music. All of us have regular jobs, families, so we have no time for the “punk attitude’ – if we want to reach something, if we want to compose and play good songs we must be hard-workers.
In some reviews of GRAVENOUS HOUR I saw words like “techno death”, “technical” and now “difficult riffs”. But when we compose and perform music we don’t think about this. We just play death metal – and that´s it. And I’m very surprise that someone finds our music a little bit “technical”. And we play same music in rehearsals, shows and in the studio. If I don’t forget my parts of course, hehe!
You play for long 13 years. When you look back, you did a lot of work. Today you play by one of the best death metal labels Unique Leader Records, you have tours, play with famous bands. It looks like you achieved everything underground band can. Do you have any unfulfilled dreams?
The only one – I dream about a clip: not about play through video, but about theatrical clip – a movie about our music or with our music. With costumes, good light, make-ups, actors… I have a few ideas about screen play, but it would be very expensive. We can find a better way to throw away our money. Well, less fantastic dream is to play in the USA – and that is real. We´ll see what happens next.
KATALEPSY and me we both come from the former socialist countries so we had a little bit different policies than the west bands. The conditions death metal and metal had at the beginning were not very ideal. Do you even remember the first time you went abroad and what was the most shocking thing? Have you ever felt a disability or a different approach from the organizers, etc.? Me for example, when I saw the first German club I was in shock. The service, equipment and so on. It was so different from what we had in Czech Republic. Do you still feel there is a difference between the east and the west?
The first thing which stands out in the west Europe is the great number of adult metal fans and fans in advanced age. In Russia, metal is for teenagers. Then you graduate university and you “must” listen to “serious adult music” – pop, dance and others. The second one, you’re right, are clubs and metal bars. Clubs in Europe are much better and you have more of them, and we have no metal bars at all. We really fall in love in these places! Times passes but the differences are still differences – I don´t see any improvement in Russia in this way. It just gets worse. As for us we didn’t feel any discomfort in Europe. We feel ourselves as members of a large metal family.
You are from Moscow and you play extreme death metal. Your readers would certainly like to know how the death metal scene works in Russia. We only have a few information from medias about banning of BEHEMOTH and CANNIBAL CORPSE performance. Do you really have committee for concerts approval? Have you ever had any problems?
Metal is not popular music genre in Russia and this is the reason why we have no “scene” - just separated bands, scattered through the country. The number of death metal bands is very low in comparison with Germany. We don’t need banning – if you have bad clubs and no fans, the scene will be dead very soon by „natural causes”. We have no metal festivals and each year hundreds of metal diehard fans travel to Europe to visit Brutal Assault, Waken, and others festivals.
As for us, we have never had any problems with censorship or banning – maybe because we are not involved in politics or religions wars.
How about the Russian underground? You are a huge country so the tours must be very time consuming and it probably cost a fortune. How many people would go on a death metal concert in Russia? What about fans? Do they support you, buy CDs, merchandise, are they proud that the band from their country is so huge?
Yes, the distance between cities counts by hundreds of kilometers. Traveling by plane is very expensive, by train – very slow. This is the reason why we play more often in Europe than in Russia – if you spend your time and money it’s better to do it with comfort. The average number of visitors on death metal shows is near one hundred. If the band is from a foreign country it will be a little bit more. Of course, monsters as Cannibals or Nile have a good crowd. The t-shirts sales better than CDs because you can’t download it, haha! I know, this situation is similar all over the world. But we really don´t care – we play music for us, not to be a millionaires.
Do you have any favorite albums you want to share?
My music taste is not very that original: these are either icons of death metal (Suffo, Immo, Morbid Angel, Dying Fetus) or my favorites of the last 5-10 years (Decrepit Birth, Beyond Creation, Gorgasm). And I’m a fan of black metal – I recommend you the Polish bands (Mgla, Plaga, Medico Peste), but Norwegian are still on their feet too!
Do you know or listen any bands from the Czech Republic?
Of course, I have a large collection of CDs and there is a good amount of Czech bands. My favorites are Heaving Earth and Inferno. I listen to them very often and they are on my personal top. Unfortunately, I have never seen either of these bands on stage – this is really sad for me.
What are KATALEPSY´s plans for the next few months? Are you planning to go on some concert in the Czech Republic?
Right now we are preparing ourselves for the European tour (in September). After that we’ll play a few shows in Russia and then we´ll come back to the Czech Republic in the middle of October. I can’t lay down my cards right now, but one the shows will definitely be in Prague. And of course we are very proud to be a part of mighty Netherland Death Fest 2017 in March.
Thank you so much for the interview and I wish you a thousand of sold CDs, hundreds crazy fans and tons of good ideas.
Thank you for being in touch! Support metal scene, buy CDs and merchandise, visit shows – and death metal never be dead! See you on the road, my friends!
Recenze/review - KATALEPSY - Gravenous Hour (2016)
Recenze/review - KATALEPSY - Gravenous Hour (2016)