Heavy, dark, brutal, occult death metal in its most unclean and twisted form, massacre of horror, ritual of desecration! This way could be defined music of Texas duo VASAELETH with a brilliant debut "Born & Crypt Tehered To Ruin", for me one of the strongest candidates for album of the year! The band is very active and this year they released yet another split with hellish VORUM horde. It’s not so long ago, when interview with these Americans appeared in Slovak Equimanthorn fanzine, and since they were asked the most basic things there, I had to designed interview a little differently to avoid any similar conversation. I think this band has a very good future, and we will get still much quality and dark Death Metal.
Greetings to infernal VASAELETH horde of Georgia! What is currently happening within the band?
At present, we are focusing heavily on preparations for the Rites of Darkness fest. This will be the first ever live presentation of VASAELETH. Also, our split 7inch with VORUM titled Profane Limbs of Ruinous Death has just seen release from Negative Existence Records. There are more recordings yet to surface, and we are in the initial stages of preparing our second full-length album.
Do you still exactly remember the moment when hit you the idea to form VASAELETH? Do you find this band as priority? What does VASAELETH mean to you?
VASAELETH took shape over an extended period of time before our intent realized fully in our first demo, so it is difficult to pinpoint an exact moment. Yes, this band, this beast of darkness and death, is THE priority. VASAELETH, while the creation of O.A. and Antinom, is a driving force by itself. We adhere to its dismal beckoning...
Your debut album "Crypt Born & Tethered To Ruin" is a perfect example how to transform putrid and demonic madness, lunacy and decay, degradation and nihilism into music. Where do you take all of these horrible feelings from? When you re-listen to your music, do you feel the depravity?
We write from within foremost, so these feelings that you mention come from us based upon our experience in the physical and metaphysical realms. When revisiting the material, we hear and feel structure along side the possessive, hypnotic surge of creative energy that went into each song and the record as a whole.
When I’m listening to your production, I feel completely opposite emotions as perhaps 90% of other musicians would create, tones tend to fall downward, which works quite depressing, slow wail also adds to the negativity, a way of Antinom´s drumming is highly destructive and vocal comes from the bowels of the abyss ... overall it all sounds like some bug in the system, if you understand me right. Most people would say it as well. Why does anyone need to compose such an ugly music? ... How do you feel knowing there are many people who like such music?
We compose tracks for VASAELETH for the same reasons a great author writes. That is to say, because we feel the urge to create this decrepit material and have no real choice but to do it. If the music that we created happened to sound differently, then it would make no difference for us, but given our own experiences, we create what you find in VASAELETH. Indeed, we continue to be surprised that so many people listen to and seem to relate to this music...
Your music is also melodic, although at first sight it seems not. A layman wouldn’t certainly believe there is melody to some extent. For an informed listener there is melody, but melody of death, downfall, depression ... How much is the melody important to you?
The layering of instrumentation that produce the melodies you hear are very important to the band. Aside from creating a turbulent wall of sound, this method allows each part of the song to cut through clearly. Our music is dark, dense and suffocating, but also audible and riff-oriented.
Do you think you would prove to compose music also the opposite way, funny, merrily, hopping, with flair? Or your inside is so rotten you always create just downfall into an endless night?
While we are certainly human and have broad (but twisted) senses of humor, to interject more trivial or "base" aspects of life into what we consider to be art would be offensive. It would make light of what we have created, and because we pour ourselves into what we do, this would cheapen our creation. We also feel quite close to the sounds we create. This is not some kind of release or catharsis, it is an extensions of ourselves.
One of your most powerful weapons is sound, of course, I feel it is right unclean, as if a man groping in the dense fog and blind to move, immersed in smelly mud in which he may be unaware what all it can hide. How long have you been doing this sound? Did you have a clear idea beforehand as the debut should sound? Can you imagine how would your music sounded with a completely different, clean and professional production? I think it would kill your atmosphere. In my view HEAVY and DARK are keywords...
Our sound is as such because we wanted to control every aspect of the project, thus, record ourselves. We made an effort to capture a sound that embodied what VASAELETH is to us. While we always plan to improve certain aspects of our sound, a clear and clinical production will never be part of this band. The sound has evolved naturally and will continue to do so, but we have no desire to change what works, and we will imbue darkness and death into everything we create.
For me personally, "Crypt Born & Tethered to Ruin" is one of the best albums of this year, absolutely! What kind of reactions you've got? Is critique important for you? Do people write to you from around the world?
Much appreciated. The reviews and interview requests have been overwhelming. We are not terribly concerned with how people react to or "enjoy" the album, but the positive response overall is gratifying, indeed. We have had people write to us from all over the world, sending us artwork, interview requests like this one, demo tapes, et cetera. We are just as maniacal as the people who support us, so it is welcome!
I have read in one of your interviews you are fans of surrealism in art. Which works or authors would you highlight? How do you like works of David Lynch director? Do you think surrealism has more frightening elements than Horror genre?
Great question. Yes, we are proponents and supporters of surrealism. Lynch is a source of inspiration, and has been one of the most creative forces in the film industry for the past thirty years. We endorse surrealism because it more closely represents the world as we see and experience it. It is more horrifying in a way because it is so contingent on what we call "reality." We are continually influenced by Baudelaire, Proust, Breton, Zulawski, Tarkovsky and others...
What do dreams mean for you? They say dreams can be a gateway into another world, they can warn, inspire, dreams can affect mood, they may be part of the magical experiments ... what a Dreamer are you? Are you dreaming often? Do you have some particular experiences from this subconscious sphere?
Dreams, like the divine, are something that can never be truly analyzed or experienced. The only way to know what this is, is to be it. There is the thought that you can try to influence the flow of the subconscious and that this conscious effort will affect the sub and unconscious. This idea has been in magick systems for hundreds of years….I think what we do with VASAELETH is channel the elements that make up the darkness and death of VASAELETH and work within those elements both consciously and not. That is why we do not limit what comes naturally…these forces have seeped into our work just as something may seep into a dream. But again, what we produce is just a copy of the experience and feeling that we are truly after. So that we are not able to directly affect the subconscious of the listener, but we feel that, just as I have discussed, if the music is imbued with the correct atmosphere and feeling that this may then seep into the listeners minds, consciously or not.
Your music clearly radiates something dark, mysterious, dedicated only for certain ones ... definitely anything positive. What's your relationship to the supernatural, paranormal activity, mysteries? Which areas are you most interested in and inspire you?
Well we consciously channel these dark forces, feelings, atmospheres when working with VASAELETH. Our own personal hermetic practice has led us to various ways of approaching this that we find the most effective. Beyond that, I cannot say much because our practice and experience is unique to us. It would be like trying to tell you what the color red looks like. We could only describe and refer to things like or close to it.
What do you think of death alone? Is death only the end of suffering, or is it a passage to elsewhere? Do you believe everything is a matter of chance, chaos, or it has some purpose and direction? Wouldn’t it be an extreme coincidence that our world would be created just randomly for no reason?
This is a great question, but covers such huge territory that to answer this with any definitive statement would simply be arrogant on our part. We are traveling our paths as most others and find that either chaos or determinism seem as likely. Either way, it changes little for what we can do and experience.
Have you already met with the works of H. P. Lovecraft? What impression have you had from it? Have you ever visited his grave in Providence?
We are both fans of Lovecraft. Lovecraft seems to have been inspired by a similar kind of dark force. Whether he appealed to this consciously or not would be interesting to find out. Either way, it seems obvious he was aware of how to channel elements of death, terror and paranoia that have a universal appeal. It hardly seems coincidental. I have not been in the area to visit his grave, but from the pictures I have seen, it does not seem like much, and it is much more productive to read his works than stand in front of his bones.
Ok, let's back to music. Your nearest recording will be probably split CD with VORUM, can you write something more? How many songs will be there and what songs will you use?
The split with VORUM is actually a 7inchEP. We both have one track exclusive to this release. We feel that this release will uphold and expand the qualities of both bands. It is now available from Negative Existence Records.
Ok, it would be all on my part, if I forgot something, you have the space, thank you for answering my questions and wish VASAELETH only the best for the future, much inspiration from non reality and many great concerts, we would like to see you in Europe ..
Thanks for the good interview. We hope to spread the Black Curse of Vasaelethian Darkness over Europe one day. Who knows what will happen...
Vasaeleth 28. 11. 2010 Mortuary