"Asia has given birth to so many great bands in the past and present which are very hard to be overlooked"
Interview by GMA's Bangladesh correspondent Nabil Abaddon
Orator perhaps needs no introduction to those who keep track of what's brewing up around the South-East Asian Extreme Metal scene. Orator, the Deathrashing horde of Tantric occultism rising strong from the lands of East Bengal, bears the fire of true primitive Metal in their hearts. Inspired by the unorthodox left hand Tantric doctrines, extremism and similar aspects from the Qlipoth tree of death worship, Orator preaches about cosmic destruction and burning paths of self-becoming through their barbaric primitive style of music. Born from the demiurgic womb of Barzak in 2008, Orator came out burning like a phoenix, stronger than ever before, decimating at home and abroad alike. Having played strength to strenght alongside Manzer (France), Infernal Execrator (Malaysia), Dying Embrace (India), Abigail (Japan), Infernal Curse (Argentina) at different Metal fests.
Orator has released an EP “Dominion of Avaktyam” (2010), a live tape “Live Cremetoration” (2011) and their first full length album “Kapalgnosis” earlier this year via Armee De La Mort Records (France). Followed by that, Orator inked a deal with the Singaporean label Pulverised Records this year, which elevates them to the next level.
The interview undertaken was done with the frontman, guitarist and lyricist of Orator, Amit Skullbearer. We spoke about the upcoming “Banish The Posers Fest”, his approach to music and much more.
Apocalyptic hails Skullbearer! Firstly, congratulations on the amazing worldwide response to Orator’s latest album “Kapalgnosis” and also on the sign up with Pulverised Records (Singapore)! So how do you define the genre “Deathrash” yourself?
Thanks for the support brother. Death / Thrash to me is the unification of two very archaic forms of Metal music into one that would represent elements from both the genres, distinctively but supporting each others.
Check out their song ‘Satanachesh Grimore’ here from their album “Kapalgnosis” :
How is the band doing now? Orator has not hit the stage for quite some time now. Are you guys upto writing some new songs?
Yup we are presently writing new materials. And we are also gearing up for Banish the Posers Fest in November.
Orator has played in many countries around Asia and with a lot of the big names around this region. What kind of response do you get from the audience and fellow bands every time you play a gig in the overseas? Which is your favourite country to play gigs in apart from Bangladesh?
Undoubtedly it is Thailand, to answer your second question. We have played there twice. Killer gigs with great bands, great brothers, good times and what not. We always have good response from the audiences wherever we play, surrounded by comrades who headbang to our originals and cover songs alike.
Orator started in 2008 from the ashes of “Barzak”, which was a Black / Death Metal band. Although being the brain-children of the same person which is you, these bands are totally different in terms of genres and ideologies. Why did this transition take place?
Well to be honest, I kind of had enough with this “Black / Death” notion, Barzak turned out to be like that on the full length “Qabiluhu”. But I have always preferred the “Opocheshta” demo tape sound which was purely of Death Metal. And, in 2008 it was only me and Vritra who were left with a broken band, so we decided to change the band name and genre along with it.
Recently you have posted a practice video of a Barzak song called ‘Shiraj’ on Facebook. Would you like to tell us more about it?
One of my earliest compositions, revived just for the coming gig in November. I jammed it for the first time after 8 years. Mephistopheles has added a totally different aura to the drumming compared to the original, so we’re really excited to go live with this track for the first time. I am sure a lot of Barzak enthusiasts are looking forward to this too. Orator’s rehearsal footage of “Shiraj” can be viewed here.
Orator is known for the distinctive primitive, barbaric yet Eastern essence and also for using ethnic instruments and chants in some of the songs. How important are these aspects to Orator’s music?
Keeping both the thrashy and Death metal elements is very important for us while composing. But the ethnic instruments, they have no importance whatsoever. We used some ethnic instruments only on few of the songs that demanded it, there are no obligations tied to the use of them. And, instead of ripping off Eastern classical scales what we do is blend in one / two notes within our own riffs to make the difference.
Do you care much about the sites which have reviewed Orator’s releases so far? Do you give them a read?
No not really, unless someone gives me the link to it or tells me about it. I have ignored many people who sent me emails asking for CD's in exchange for an album review.
Do you agree that Asian Bands are overlooked by much of the Metal world?
I agree, and then I also claim that Asia has given birth to so many great bands in the past and present which are very hard to be overlooked. They have proven that “your music speaks for your band”. Let’s see what the future brings.
2013 has been quite an interesting year for Bangladeshi Metal scene, specially for Orator. First, the release of “Kapalgnosis”, then the big news from Pulverised Records. How did this deal come about?
It was simple yet extreme. I wrote to brother Calvin, sent him few of our songs as sample. Both him and brother Roy Yeo were impressed and we got the record deal. Frankly this is the biggest thing that has happened to Orator so far.
What do you think of the overall Bangladeshi Metal scene right now? What are the goods and bads? Any new band(s) you would like to suggest to watch out for?
The scene is much better than it used to be. Bands with guts are showing up in the scene. They not only have good influences, but Warhound, Morbidity, Nafarmaan are some of the bands to look out for. And some promising Thrash Metal bands like Nuclear Winter, Enmachined, Thrash etc are building up a Thrash Metal scene which was previously totally absent.
Orator deals with Tantric occultism as far as the lyrical themes are concerned. Why and how did this mystical topic catch your interest to work on? What does Orator orate through the left hand Tantric ideologies?
Throughout the history Vama margh has proven to be one of the most unorthodox and extreme paths of self becoming, becoming into nothing. And this notion has drawn my interest very much. I personally use this tradition as a form to uphold the ultimate reality of nothingness, the unending vast void of ‘avyakta prakriti’ that every being or thing is destined to embrace. Orator is just the agent of the undifferentiated primordial chaos that is forever there and consuming.
You were a part of the legendary band “Weapon” before Vetis Monarch (founder of Weapon) moved to Canada. Earlier this year Vetis Monarch officially disbanded the band just when things were getting even bigger for them. He also stated in his “last” interview that he has untied himself from the isolation's of being a Black / Death metal musician’s life for good. What do you have to say about it?
It’s his life and I am sure his actions speak for himself.
What do you make of the studio facilities in Bangladesh in terms of recording Extreme Metal music?
We have many studios here to record the instruments and vocals. It gets frustrating when it comes to mixing and mastering. Most of the sound “engineers” here are into commercial mainstream pop rock shits to whom you cannot explain the type of output you want. Luckily we had Maamar Huq, of Sonic Occult Studio who himself is into metal music, so we did not have much trouble to deal with.
What holds for Orator in the future? When can the fans expect a new album under Pulverised Records?
Hopefully by mid 2015. There might be some demo tape releases in between this time, maybe in 2014.
Lastly, whats going to be Orator’s killing strategy for Banish The Posers Fest 2013?
Get up on stage, perform, and get off the stage.
Gratitudes for your time brother Skullbearer! Really appreciate it! The last words are going to be yours…
Deathrashing madness prevails! Keep up your apocalyptic support. Hail.
Orator is :
Skullbearer - Vocals, Guitar and lyrical concepts
Vritra Ahi - Bass
Mephistopeles Warmonger - Drums