Today is extreme Metal scene divided into many subgenres, labels and so on. Black / Death, Occult Death or Black Metal, however, push the limits of these genres in an interesting way. A lot of bands from the USA, Australia, Poland, France, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Iceland, Finland, Sweden etc. are ready for new unsuspecting possibilities, there is still a lot of space and inspiration. Polish Death Metal RITES OF DAATH is still quite a new band, but actually ... they first began as Cemetery Whore when they were formed in one of the oldest Polish cities of Krakow, which is the Metropolis of Malopolish Voivodeship, of southern part of Poland. It lies on the Vistula river in the narrowest place of so-called Krakow Gate, which connects the Sandomer with Osvetim basin. Poland is a strongly Catholic country and this can be a strong reason why there have always been, since the 1980s, various Metal bands often criticizing the church, religion, god, various blasphemous cults and in the beginning mainly bands as Turbo and Kat. Later Vader and Behemoth were on the rise, then it was a quick turn. Today we have great bands as Cultes Des Ghoules, Bestial Raids, Death Like Mass, Mgla, Blaze of Perdition and many more. Cemetery Whores released three recordings over their longtime existence as "Into The Cunt Of The Cemetery Whore," Nuclear Holocaust / Hell United / Necrosodomystical Slaughter split under the title "Infected By Old School," and the "Deathlike Passages" demo. This year they were renamed to the current RITES OF DAATH. Tomek (bass, vox) answered questions.
First we could start with a logical question. Why the change of band name from Cemetery Whore to Rites of Daath? I have some premonition, but what happened?
A: I call it a natural evolution. We realized that the main concept behind Cemetery Whore is not flexible enough to fit growing new elements such as different lyric themes, music approach and symbols around it. At that point we already knew that the new band name will be something can connect all separate pieces into a strong, full vision.
"Hexing Graves" EP is out, a fresh material under Godz ov War Productions. Is this material an impersonation of your journey or you are still looking for a more specific trace?
A: 'Hexing Graves' is important because, after finalizing all work, this EP showed that there is still a lot of untamed energy and ideas around. To materialize it, the formula should be channeled the same as our music, therefore who knows where we really end.
The music acts monstrously and horribly, the atmosphere is present in every riff, rhythm, vocals. Do you feel connected to a non-sensual source, collective unconsciousness, subconscious memories of dreams and the like at writing process?
A: No, writing process was and is a very individual experience even though we creating music for Rites of Daath together. The fact that the atmosphere on our debut EP is so sensual is because each of us delivered honest but unique piece of own experience.
It is quite obvious your music is not just for fun or a good feeling to create something. Depth, complexity and spiritual aura are definitely fitting terms...
A: It's a matter of personal perception, I guess. We are delivering our message through words and sounds which - as music - for many people can be nothing else but one more way to take a break. What really matters is our own feeling around ROD plus understanding what and why we are doing it that way.
Could things like human bones, special places, strange smells of crypt, ritual aids, or something special affect you at writing process more than just musical and thought inspiration?
A: Some elements of let's call it, 'surrounding' can in fact have an impact on the composition and their final shape. Sometimes it comes immediately as a clear indication, but more often it's rather unconscious vibe filtered through senses before catching the 'right' feeling.
Many bands play only Death Metal, rhythm like a wheelwright, recycled riffs of legendary bands, monotone vocal of incomprehension, but your music provides original ideas. Is originality important to you?
A: Not at all, when composing new material or building the album concept we don't really think if it's or isn't original; this approach would ruin the whole point of Rites of Daath. Originality is secondary to what we strive for.
Personally, I would say although you play Death Metal, but your thoughts are closer to a Black Metal...
A: One clear connection I find between us and black metal concept is 'Death' as inexhaustible source of reflection. Behind that, there is so many individual ways of understanding "Black Metal" that there is no deeper point to estimate how close/far we are.
What does death represent to you from a physical and mystical point of view? Is this term a basis for RITES OF DAATH?
A: Rites of Daath in the context of our music/lyrics/message connects the death (as spiritual state) and rituals (a practice) so in my understanding - two powerful states which cannot be really described and formed as closed definition. At that point the term 'mystical' can be indeed the closest method to scratch the surface. Maybe except all religious burden behind it.
Do you perceive Daath as a hidden Sephirot or something else?
A: I guess that partly you can find answer on above; even if originally coming from Kabbalah, the meaning of 'Daath' has been transformed in our hands and became independent from religious connotations.
Is your music a gateway for you? Do you have any interesting experiences from listening to your music? Would you recommend listening to "Hexing Graves" in an appropriate environment?
A: The experience of listening the music I find so individual that would be difficult (if possible) to suggest any way of doing it.
Your sound is defined as dirty, earthy, heavy, naturally dark and brutal. Did you use analog recording? Have you adhered some special practices or rituals at recording process to get a more authentic feel?
A: Yes, 100% analog, this is the only way which can work with Rites of Daath as a whole. We don't need to awake or stimulate 'the feeling' by specific practices, it's was naturally inside of us for a long time. The closer to the recording session the stronger we've felt this aura. As turned out, it possessed us in the right time and place.