Fright Emblazoned On Faces
For fans of Blackened Death Metal I recommend quite fresh "Infernal Idimmu Individual" album from the Polish occultists NEOLITH. More specifically, it is a Death Metal with Black's dark atmosphere, which is close to bands as Nocturnus, Lux Occulta, and the like. It's fast, hard and dark, slightly melodic music with emphasis on clarity of riffs. Then you have to add some occult lyrics and you will find yourself in the metaphysical sphere of bizarre forms. NEOLITH recently returned from the tour and there happened a couple of changes in the band. More information’s were revealed by vocalist Levi.
Greetings to NEOLITH, what's up in your band, how's it going?
Hello. After several concerts promoting our latest album, once again we had to undergo some changes in the line-up. Unfortunately, it turned out that not everybody was able to fully engage in the Neolith´s activity and had to leave the band after the tour with Svart Crown even though we hoped it would be different this time. Yet, we are still active and looking for new musicians and working hard on the new material.
Why have you recorded "Infernal Individual Idimmu" album in several studios? How are you satisfied with the recording sessions?
We had to record “Individual” in a few different locations because we were forced to do that in a way. At first, we planned to do everything in one studio, where we recorded drums parts, but it turned out that not long after recording them, the studio stopped working. After that we had certain problems with getting back the recorded stuff and for a moment we thought of recording the drum parts again. However, in the meantime our drummer Fil died in a car accident and then it was evident that no matter what the costs we had to get his work back and finish it. It was difficult but we managed to do it thanks to our persistence and Jasiek´s efforts in Screw Factory Studio. Answering your question, yes we are satisfied with the final effect, especially if all these problems and calamities are taken into consideration. Surely, we could speculate now what we could have changed, corrected, but what for? This is Neolith of that time and let it be like that...
You use the keys to highlight the atmosphere in your music. Has already happened to you that someone would criticize you for it? Will you always use them?
I am not concerned with how people assess the presence of keys in Neolith´s music. We have been using them since the very beginning and I suspect that it will be always like that. However, it has to be pointed out that they are not the leading instrument but their only aim is to emphasize and give the music unique atmosphere. We compose our songs on the basis of traditional rock instruments, meaning guitars and rhythm section, and what U creates later is the complement of the atmosphere. We play concerts without the keys as we want to fully concentrate on the energy and brutality striking from our music.
The initial letters of debut create the “INRI” word, the second album starts with “I” and third one creates “III”. Was it your intention? Somehow you prefer “I” letter.
That’s an interesting matter because I didn’t plan it at the beginning but when it came to the second album I thought about beginning every next Neolith’s album with the letter “I”. I hope to continue it in the future. I don’t think that we especially like the letter “I” but it’s more curious this way...
Compared to debut your style was slightly changed. Has everyone welcomed this change as positive?
Changes are necessary and I cannot imagine Neolith’s progress without them. Surely, we’ve come to a moment when the band’s style has crystallized, yet I’m not saying there won’t be any surprises in the future... I’m not especially interested if others accept the long way that Neolith has come since the debut album because what we create has to fulfill our ambitions first. Naturally it is great if other people like it but not at all costs. You see, we’re not this kind of band which has to follow the people’s tastes as we don’t play to earn a living. Despite that, what we create we do as professionally as we can.
Most Polish bands have so typical sound that is easy to identify which country they come from. Do you think every country should have its characteristic sound?
There is something to it. I suppose it is a matter of exchanging the experiences between the sound producers in every country, of some typical features, settings, following other more experienced bands and producers. Of course, nowadays when bands are able to record their materials in different countries, this difference is quite obviously disappearing... In our case, we usually have our vision in mind. We are so experienced that we don’t have to follow others. However, the amount of available budget for recording the material is a completely different matter and the subject to talk about some other time...
NEOLITH was formed in 1991 which means there is 20 years of your existence! How is it possible you've produced 3 albums only? Have you had any breaks?
It’s hard for me to explain it as we have never had any longer break. Certainly, many line-up changes influenced releases of our materials. As a curiosity I can tell you that nearly 30 people have been involved in Neolith!!! Luckily, the core of the band consists of me and Conrad u the guitar player, so even if the line-up loses somebody we still work on new ideas yet later they have to be perfected with the rest of the band. That’s where the delays come from. Another issue is that during that time we didn’t have a signed contract before releasing albums and had to record them for our own money which is definitely not easy in the country like Poland... And the last thing is that we don’t feel any special pressure to release an album every year. We prefer to wait some time and perfect everything.
Why did you just named as NEOLITH? Haven’t you accidentally been inspired by Neolithic song from NOCTURNUS band? Are you influenced by their music? Have you already heard Mike's new AFTER DEATH band?
You hit it. While forming Neolith we were very much inspired by the Nocturnus´s first demo and their first album! Well, I still really like them, especially the mentioned materials are very important to me. After Death is also a great band yet it is a bit different music from what Mr. Browning did in Nocturnus.
It’s evident you are quite interested in occult themes. Are your lyrics exclusively focused on this issue? Do you think Necronomicon magic really works?
Well, the lyrics are an effect of my collaboration with my close friend Jacko S. with whom we have been writing since the “Immortal” album. He actually wrote everything for “III” after our endless conversations concerning the subject. We know each other very well so I can fully trust him upon the verbal contents of our works. You are right, the lyrics are dark, Occult based but they do not blindly stick to Necronomicon. They are variations, like single paintings in a huge gallery of scary mutations. Their form is vague, unclear and not obvious at times. All due to Jocko’s intentions. Does Necronomicon work? This is a very powerful tool, I believe, but not to experiment by the weak...
I know you also played some gigs here in Slovakia. How do you remember it? I wonder myself I did not know you till now...
Yes, we have played many times in Slovakia and have always been warmly welcomed. I remember the first time in 1998 in Svidnik, near the border. There were a lot of people, great fun and amazing reception. And our good show that later brought invitations to, among others, a great Festering Blood Festival in Brekov. Then we played a mini tour with Abstract and Return To Innocence (hello guys!!!) and it was fucking great. You’ve got a really great scene and amazing maniacs and I simply can’t wait to the moment we come back there!!!
In February you were going tour with SVART CROWN and BEHEADING MACHINE. How would you value it?
Right. The tour was great especially if you think of the organizational-party aspects. It turned out that guys from Svart Crown are an amazing band and wonderful companions. We became friends and I think we will play together and not only once. Beheading Machine is our local band so we knew them very well (until recently some of them were Neolith’s musicians). When it comes to attendance it was not that great, but it seems to be typical in Poland, especially if we talk about the bands not from the very top... Nevertheless, the reception was really good and every time we did our best.
Are you going to play some live gigs and festivals this summer? Aren’t you going to Czech or Slovakia?
Unfortunately, not during this summer. We have to pass this time due to the line-up issues, works on the new album and some important personal matters. Yet, I hope in autumn we will strike again with concerts and will be able to reach the south (of heaven ha ha)...
How is the work on new album going? Do you want to change something in the future?
As I mentioned earlier, we’re working on the new material. So far, we have 4 songs ready and it looks as if it is going to be a fucking heavy stuff!!! It will be a lot more harder, darker and more intense with a unique atmosphere. The new songs are maybe a bit simpler in their construction yet more mature, more skillfully composed and direct. I hope we will be able to finish everything before autumn and record it in winter...
You as a vocalist got some idols?
Absolutely! I have my idols and even though I try to work on my style to make the vocal parts as interesting as possible, I have been influenced by certain artists. Want to hear some names? O.K., David Vincent, Martin Van Drunen, Cronos, Ishan, Maciek Taff, Tom Araya, Mikael Akerfeldt, Attilla Csihar, Damien Rath. They are the most important ones originating from the Metal world. Yet, gods of other genres are to me: Mike Patton, Bjork, Kate Bush, Michael Poulsen, Ozzy and a few others.
Ok, thanks for the interview, you have the last word. Many successes and if you can, please add your current top 5 albums.
Thank you for this interview and support for Neolith. I encourage everybody to try and listen to our latest album "Individual Infernal Idimmu". See you at the concerts soon!!!
Current top 5:
- AZARATH "Blasphemer's Malediction"
- NECROS CHRISTOS "Doom of the Occult"
- MORBID ANGEL "Nevermore" sp
- NADER SADEK "In the Flesh"
- KYPCK "Nizhe"
Levi 2. 6. 2011 Storm