Beneath the upper echelons of the likes of Slayer, Metallica, Slipknot, Lamb of God, etc., (there are far too many big-name American Metal bands to mention) is a vast swathe of talent that stretches across the American Plains and has greater velocity than a F5 tornado. One band who is set to shake the establishment is Begat The Nephilim, whose infectious blend of Black Metal and Melodic Death Metal is enough to keep anyone orgasmic. Having dropped their debut album "Begat the Nephilim I: The Surreptitious Prophecy / Mother of the Blasphemy" last month and set to go on an East Coast tour, it was only right for GMA to interrogate this quintet.
For those who have not heard of Begat The Nephilim, could you please give us a history of the band?
"I (Cameron Dupere - Guitar) began writing music in late 2011 / early 2012 with intentions of getting a band going after several failed attempts. Later in the Summer of 2012 I came into contact with our soon to be drummer, Josh Richardson and we began jamming regularly. Within a month or so Josh introduced me to Tyler Smith who then became our vocalist and we began playing shows in the fall of that same year. After years of playing shows and several self funded tours, line-up changes (primarily rhythm guitar and to a lesser degree, bass) and a few unsatisfactory recording attempts we are ready to release our first album and play anywhere we possibly can."
What do your families think of your music, and when did you get your first taste in metal music?
"Our families have varying interests in our musical pursuits. They are all supportive in the sense that they don't discourage what we are doing and understand that it is what makes us feel happy and alive and that alone makes it worth it. I believe I must have been 11 or 12 when I received a burned CD with a Slipknot song on it and it blew me away, I couldn't have been less ready for the radical tones of metal since no one in my family had any interest in that style it made it much more appealing to my young prepubescent self."
What enticed you to mix Black and Melodic Death Metal together? How would you define your sound?
"The intention was to simply create a band that had elements of everything I enjoy about metal music. I refer to it as simply "Extreme Metal" since it combines elements of the most extreme genres i.e. Death, Black, Melodic Death, Slam, Deathcore etc."
How does it feel to be soon releasing your debut album "Begat the Nephilim I: The Surreptitious Prophecy / Mother of the Blasphemy", will there be a album launch party?
"It feels nothing short of amazing to finally be unleashing 'The Surreptitious Prophecy' upon the world. It took many long years and even more sacrifices to make this album happen but we never deviated from what we wanted to do and never compromised and I couldn't be more proud of that. We are hosting several album release shows through the North Eastern US and touring the east coast in support of the record in July."
Will you be looking to do an international tour in support of the album?
"We would love to tour internationally. I'm not in a position to say what is in store for us just yet but it is our intention to tour anywhere we possibly can after the album is released."
What challenges as an American band do you face when touring across the country?
"The main problem I personally face on tour is getting adequate rest and nourishment. Other challenges include ensuring we get from point A to point B in a timely manner and keeping morale high because nothing makes a tour drag more than shitty ego / attitudes."
What is the metal scene like in New Hampshire (NH)? What venues, bars, etc are there? What sights / attractions could you recommend to metalheads to go and see?
"There are a few bars and clubs in NH worth checking out such as Bungalow, Jewel, etc., NH was very dead for a while but it finally seems metal is returning to granite state and that is very exciting to see. The thing I would recommend most to anyone visiting NH would be to check out a local hiking trail or to visit the sea-coast, the outdoors and wildlife in NH is by far my favourite part."
What plans do you have for the year ahead?
"We had our album release shows in June and are touring the East Coast in July and after that we are working on plans for the fall that are still up in the air. Our intention as previously stated is to hit the road hard as much as we can and use any downtime to begin work on Begat II"
Putrid Ascendancy bears the torch of the true Metal underground movement, promoting the foulest sounds and meanest endeavors with a mission to unleash and spread the vicious seeds of extreme metal across the country.
As the name suggests, these guys are a dedicated bunch with the focus of being able to bring up a quality Extreme Metal scene in India and promote the scene abroad. Putrid Ascendancy was formed in January 2011.
Ritual Ascension Festival upholds the torch of the True Metal Oath and establishes the Kolkata (Calcutta) scene as one of the prominent epicenters of Metal in India, all through live shows from which some of the punishing acts of our times demonstrate their talent! Having being a constant face in the Kolkata scene for sometime now and going through organizing pure extreme occult local metal gigs, Putrid Ascendancy takes the next step, that is to bring in international bands in the form of Nafarmaan from Bangladesh to perform as the headliner for Ritual Ascension Fest II: War.Cult.Supremacy
On this occasion GMA's India correspondent Farzand Bawa had the opportunity to talk to D from Putrid Ascendancy on the upcoming storm that Kolkata is about to face, and what else is in store.
Welcome, Putrid Ascendancy. How is it going on in the camp with Ritual Ascension Fest II just around the corner?
It has been pretty hectic so far. The preparation for decimation is rigid and almost requires ritualistic attention to every detail.
What is the motto that Putrid Ascendancy abides by?
From the days of inception, it has been the same:
[Necrodeity live at Ritual Ascension Fest I]
Putrid Ascendancy is the first band to pull off an old school metal gig in Kolkata. How does that feel and to what extent have you seen the scene grown since Ritual Ascension Fest I was held on 4th August 2012?
It was just last year, 2012. Our journey just has started. And yes it was one of the most important shock-waves ever to hit Kolkata, the rest is history. Kolkata, just after Bangalore, has now maximum numbers of high quality bands and most importantly fans, who are loyal, dedicated, sincere and knowledgeable. And this I hope would keep on ascending and it has to.
Bangalore is considered to be the old school metal capital of India. Where do you all see the Kolkata scene on a more national level?
Bangalore is indeed the metal capital for many reasons, one of them would be their professionalism which is the building block for any industry for that matter art-houses. Kolkata, it’s still a new scene but is growing and developing at sensational speed. Today we have very good quality upcoming bands with genres ranging from Death Metal to Thrash Metal, Death / Thrash to Black Metal, Black / Death Metal to War Metal, Hard Rock to Hardcore Punk, Grindcore to Doom / Death Metal and even Classic Heavy Metal. Times are changing, fans are not going to be force-fed with bullshit. They will not tolerate mediocre festivals that are coming from famous and popular 'been there done that, yet still here' bands / musicians, since they know their metal from its basic fiber and DNA! You know what I mean, right?
Coming back to Ritual Ascension Fest II, it has been delayed by almost 4-5 months due to the blessings of the Government and its great visa rules. Your thoughts on this.
Yes, Oath is an oath, Promise is a promise. We chose to wait because we are metal brothers to begin with and not promoters with monetary intentions. War.Cult.Supremacy was meant to be for all of us so it is, sadly Enmachined told us they could not see any possibilities getting the visas done so we had to give up on them, keeping it clear that we are there to organize another gig next time they get a visa and invited the young band named Deadbolt instead who debuted with full gusto at KOSMA's Hard and Heavy, they received positive accolades for a very strong debut performance. Regarding the Government and visa difficulties, we cannot do anything about it and we are not first ones to be effected by it, remember the Nile gig in Bangalore?
The earthquake in the form of Nafarmaan is going to strike Kolkata on the 11th of January, 2014. What does Putrid Ascendancy expect out of this occult occurrence?
We have seen them live already at the Banish the Posers Fest and trust me you can expect blasting bestial madness from the deepest regions of the crawling chaotic sea, swallowing you in it's apocalyptic void. 666% Guaranteed.
Being a pure Extreme Metal organizer, how difficult is it to make such an event possible in Kolkata?
People expect a free gig or don’t want to pay much which looks very cheap and ridiculous indeed. If you want good gigs with quality metal acts, start paying for it or be a keyboard krieg machine. Just pay for it or die. Hahahaha. They are forever pauper hahaha. The good side is that there are a new breed of educated and passionate metalheads who love to pay for quality fests / gigs and buy merch with full passion. To the new breed / generation of Kolkata Metalheads, we give our salutations to them!
If Putrid Ascendancy was to make a list of the most influential and essential albums, which ones would it feature?
Divus De Mortuus – Necrovore.
Seven Churches – Possessed.
Fallen Angel of Doom – Blasphemy.
INRI – Sarcofago.
Altars of Madness - Morbid Angel.
Under the Sign of the Black mark – Bathory.
Morbid Tales - Celtic Frost.
Worship Him – Samael.
Black Metal – Venom.
World Downfall – Terrorizer.
Severed Survival – Autopsy.
Show No Mercy – Slayer.
The Return – Bathory.
The Awakening – Merciless.
Horrified – Repulsion.
Triumph of Death – Hellhammer.
In the Sign of Evil – Sodom.
Malleus Maleficarum – Pestilence.
Exterminate – Angelcorpse.
Slowly we rot – Obituary.
Deathcrush – Mayhem.
The list goes on forever!
To a complete outsider tell us how much the underground Extreme Metal scene has grown in South Asia?
With the growth of old school entities, that are mainly Putrid Ascendancy and the Kolkata Old School Metal Association, we have only seen progress that was never there before. Stagnation and stereotypical understanding existed and most people who were in bands or were organizing gigs were highly unaware of the Heavy Metal membranes and aesthetics. So from the artwork to the sound everything sounded and looked everything metal is not all around. Still we have metal gig posters looking like DJ party invitation cards and bands sounding very repulsive and ridiculous, but you can witness the growth in the past two years. From bands being signed on for an EP in a matter of 1 year of formation (Mortar) to bands getting signed to big labels from the USA (Purgation) and successfully releasing them and getting them sold out completely (both of these bands) to being invited to play at international and national festivals:
Purgation (Undergrind Fest 2012, Death Skull Ritual 2013, Bangladesh, Banish the posers fest 2013, Bangladesh), Armament and Dead Veneration (Disorganized II, Bangalore), Mortar (Doom Over Bangalore, 2013), Necrodeity (Trendslaughter Fest III & IV) and Deadbolt (Thrashfest in Mumbai). All of these bands are highly professional, educated and talented musicians who are knowledgeable of the fibers of Heavy <etal so they can never forget their roots. Hence they are successful in their own fields / genres. All of them are working on their upcoming releases, to be released by a good label and they will carry on spreading the good name of Kolkata outside their home state for sure.
Name some of the old school bands from kolkata?
Inhuman(Inactive), Purgation, Mortar, Necrodeity, Armament, Dead Veneration, Strangulate, Kapalin, Deadbolt, Zahhak, Chhinnamasta, Mortis Divinum, Steelbird, Gypsy, Blakhole, Neon Rooster, Cryptocasm and the ever increasing madness of old school aesthetics.
[Armament live at Ritual Ascension Fest I]
Will there be a dedicated merch stall and if yes than what are the essentials which Putrid Ascendancy recommends the audience to pick up?
You can get hold Nafarmaan's T-shirt. Purgation's EP and shirt too will be available.
Along with Putrid Ascendancy we have another great bunch of guys in the form of Kolkata Old School Metal Association promoting the old school metal sound in its entirety. What does Putrid Ascendancy have to say about the efforts of Kolkata Old School Metal Association and how does it see the partnership with them to decimate the ever declining false core scene over here?
We acknowledge and appreciate their effort and its great to see Kolkata having two strong forces nurturing and looking after the Metal scene and its future, you can say the future is in safe hands! Partnership and legionship will be welcome in right time to decimate impurities and restore anarchy and chaos of true f**king metal!
It’s a quite known fact that of the biggest issues one faces as an organizer is the proper sound and monetary part. How does Putrid Ascendancy deal with these being such an active organizer of gigs?
Money is an issue but will and passion takes over when it comes to music. We are a small underground cult dedicated to passion for Extreme Metal. So definitely we won’t expect big sponsors, but we are lucky to get help in different forms like Sid Sharma doing the artwork to our friend and renowned tattoo artist Mr. Kaivalya decision to help us, also promotion is well carried out by you with much vengeance! Money is an issue! Yes it is. But it can never tame or defeat us hahahaha, till we have strength in our bones!
[Purgation live at Ritual Ascension Fest I]
A lot of people on social media sites like Facebook show support for the scene as if they would risk their lives for it, but in reality all they do is click the attending button on the event link but never turn up. What does Putrid Ascendancy have to say about such people?
Well such examples are there in every scene and every underground festival, so we better deal with the fact Facebook is just a medium and it comes with faulty data often so do your predictions. You got to know well who are the true fans and know how many to expect in your gig rather than blindly relying on the RSVP.
The lineup of Ritual Ascension Fest II is very diverse, covering all the Extreme Metal genres that can be. It must have been a consorted effort by you guys. How does Putrid Ascendancy feel about achieving such diversity?
Yes from Thrash Metal to Death Metal and Black / Death Metal! We are looking for some chaotic Black Metal bands to fill out the spectrum completely, this may happen in the next edition. There are two very talented pure Black Metal bands in Kolkata right now, Chhinnamasta and Zahhak, but both of them don’t play live for their ideological manifestations which we understand and respect. I've heard of two new bands playing Black Metal but are yet to go through their material.
There is this ever going battle as to which bands laid the foundation for Black Metal and Death Metal genres. What is Putrid Ascendancy’s take on who should be the fore fathers of these two essential extreme metal genres?
It’s an age old debate. Let me give you the right answer.
Possessed - Death Metal.
Hellhammer / Bathory - Black Metal.
As simple as that.
[Contact these numbers for passes of Ritual Ascension Fest II]
What does Putrid Ascendancy have in mind to make the coming future an even better one for the Kolkata scene?
We will start planning future after Ritual Ascension Fest II: War.Cult.Supremacy is over.
Finally a few words that Putrid Ascendancy would like to say to the people who support extreme metal with their heart and soul?
Do attend Ritual Ascension Fest II: War.Cult.Supremacy, watch it till the very end and do leave us feedback.
Ritual Ascension Fest II - War.Cult.Supremacy: https://www.facebook.com/events/154565728083266/
Final Teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrYY05NVBwQ
Genre - Bestial Black / Death Metal
Country - Bangladesh
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/nafarmaan.horde
"Bloodsoaked Revelation" Live at BTPF 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7763uSnD8rw
"Quayamat Lullaby" Live at BTPF 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zq0u6hfieI
Genre - Bestial Death Metal
Country - India
Bandcamp - http://necrodeity.bandcamp.com/
Genre - Brutal Death Metal
Country - India
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PURGATION
"Communal Carnage": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQt49BuEzEg
Genre - Old School Thrash Metal
Country - India
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/armament666
"Hammer of God" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=948R2NNlHyw
Genre - Black / Death Metal
Country - India
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Kapalin666
"Forgotten" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J04NyfHuWdQ
Genre - Thrash / Death Metal
Country - India
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Deadbolt.India
"City of Rot" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVWQW9QQmFw
Official Inking Partner - Dragonfly Tattoo - https://www.facebook.com/dragonflyta2
Official Artwork Partner - Sid Artworks - https://www.facebook.com/SidArtworks
F**k the False!!
Worship the true!!
Hail the cult!!
"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