MORAST is a new band from Germany, it's a typical dark band of guys who try to push their deepest black feelings out of their souls with a gloomy and heavy atmosphere. Their music could be characterized as slowly led Death / Black Metal. With the new "Ancestral Void" CD we have already met in the review, this time you have the opportunity to look deeper under the roof, directly to the words of vocalist F., who took the keyboard. I do not even have to remind you that interesting things are happening recently in Germany, there are bands that many years ago have not been playing such oriented music, creating works worthy of deep thoughts and artistic expression, and just MORAST are one of those bands.
Greetings to the MORAST band. Could you write something more about reason you put this band together? I noticed that you all play in other bands. Who was the original initiator?
F.: It all started as a 'sideproject'-idea somewhere in 2015. J. and myself just wanted to start something new together. Some months later J. got in touch with R. & L. to complete the line-up. Our first rehearsal was in August 2015.
How would you describe your crew and introduce individual members? What is the average age in the band, who is the most crazy, the biggest introvert, and what role does alcohol, music or other vices play in the band?
F.: We are split in two camps. R. and J. are the mid forty legion. L. and I are in the very beginning of our thirties. We are a weird constellation of four very different individuals that share a similar artistical idea as well as a love for outrageous courses of conduct.
We could start nice from the beginning. First you have released a demo in 2015 containing 4 songs for about half an hour. It's not such an old material. How would you rate it from today's point of view? What responses has it reached in the underground and what was the target for the release? All the songs it contains will remain in this form, or can they ever get to some EP or album?
F.: I'm still loving the 4 Demo tracks and we still play stuff from it live. These songs will only remain in this form as we are not big fans of re-recordings and the production is still very good for a demo that we recorded two months after we started the band. We received some nice responses and had the opportunity to play some cool shows with it.
Your next step was an interesting "In Memoriam of Quorthon" split with Ultha. How did you get to do this split? Do you know Ultha band personally? Are there good relations between yourselves? You have chosen Armageddon, the 6th track in order from their cult and probably the best "Bathory" album. Why just Armageddon?
F.: We just got an offer directly from Cvlt Nation to be part of their sampler series to do a cover for the Bathory s/t. R. and J. already knew some of the Ultha guys for years and they were asked too to be part of this compilation.
I think it was the St. Helena Doom festival in Munich where we played together and talked about the idea of a physical Split of our two versions. Two months later the record was released.
We chose 'Armageddon' because it was one of the last remaining songs for that compilation. The original is a hell of a song. As the title says, it's pure fucking Armageddon.
"Ancestral Void" debut was released in late March. Are you satisfied with it? Could you write how has this album been creating? You probably used only new songs. Who brought the most ideas and how did the rest of band get involved in the writing process? Was it easy to compose or everything was born slowly and gradually?
F.: We started the songwriting already after finishing the demo. All riff ideas came from J. and in most of situation we arranged the songs as band in our rehearsal room.
Sometimes the songs were only arranged by J. and myself at J.'s house. We were very fast and creative in 2016 so there was no need to take a demo track for the album. Looking back we were probably a bit too fast (haha) but that was our energy at that time. Taking no prisoners.
Your music clearly shows signs of slow rhythms, gloomy and dark atmosphere, it is quite difficult to label it, even though certain elements of Death / Doom / Black Metal prevail. Do you think it is better to achieve an obscure atmosphere by using slow and shadowy creeping riffs?
F.: Absolutely. The first and most important afflatus for us is creating 'darkness'. There is no real difference if the songs sound more Death / Doom or Black Metal.
I have noticed almost all of your members play in bands that do not play Doom Metal directly, but almost every one is flirting with this genre. Do you think all this resulted in MORAST?
F.: More or less 'Yes' but I think Morast still sounds unlike all our previous bands.
Atmosphere is clearly the most powerful element of your music, it feels from every riff, word, drumstick, bass line, the whole album is saturated by it. Atmosphere and feelings are actually reason music should be created, without the atmosphere it is like lifeless. While your music sometimes acts as if tense and gloomy depression reached the listener. How do you perceive your music? Does it act equally to you, and is your creation a certain catharsis for you?
F.: If you create honest and authentic music you'll always reflect a part of yourself. It sounds cheesy but it's like an urge to let off your inner abyss.
Could you write where do you draw inspiration whether it's music, art, life, darkness, or whatever? What music do you listen most to? My personal opinion is that I hear something from Black Sabbath, through old Tiamat, Alastis and similar bands ...
F.: Celtic Frost, Satyricon, Burning Witch, Winter, Craft, The Cure, Secrets of the Moon (Priviligium & Seven Bells), Axegrinder are my main inspirations.
How do your fans perceive your music? Do they write you what they think about your music, or it is time now that fans listen to the recording and do not express themselves? Are you really interested in what other people think about your music?
F.: I don't know. I never asked someone to give me a feedback.
The album was released under Totenmusik. How did you get to them? Was your demo reason why they taken you? How are you satisfied with their work so far? Do you plan to release next material with them or would you like to see some other label?
F.: Totenmusik supported us from the very beginning and we are more than thankful to release our music under his flag.
The German metal scene is now more interesting to me in its underground form. Are you watching new or newer bands over there? What names would you recommend and which German album is your favorite for this year?
F.: There are some very good and interesting bands you should listen to: Vidargängr, Chapel Of Disease, Antlers, Nocturnal Witch, Deathrite, Wound, II (Infernal Invocation), Sulphur Aeon, Ultha, (Dolch) etc...
Ok, that would be all from me, thank you for answering my questions. It was my honor to question MORAST. By the way, in Luxembourg there was a band with the same name, I do not know if you registered it. Thanks again!
F.: I wish them only the best for the future. Thanx for the interview!
F. 6. 12. 2017 Mortuary