BLACKMASS - Adramelech

Blackmass is a well-known Black metal band from South Brazil. The band was formed in 2001 by the infernal warrior Lord Aeshma and Magus Dux Adramelech joined the horde as the vocalist in January 2002 and eventually became a permanent member of the band. After two EPs "Diabolical Ritual" in 2002 and "Episcolum, Servo Servorum Satanii" in 2003 they released their first full length album in 2005 entitled "Gloria Diaboli". Already from the time of the two EPs the acceptance was great and Blackmass was considered as a great Brazilian black metal horde. After two years this great Brazilian black metal act is about to return in the limelight with a new release, titled "Nemesis". The new album was scheduled to be released in 18 December 2007 but a sudden break of the deal with their ‘til recently label Open Grave Records has forced the band to push back the release to February 2008. Metalzone contacted Blackmass and Magus Dux Adramelech answered all the questions about the new album, the arising problems with their previous label, their return to Sinister Sounds from Canada and of course their schedules for the future.
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\r\nMetalzone: First of all welcome to Metalzone. And for those who don’t know you yet give us a brief bio of the band. How did all started for Blackmass.\r\n

\r\nAdramelech: Thank you! Blackmass started in late 2001 as a side project of Lord Aeshma (Guitars), after a couple of months I joined the band, and as soon as we got some songs ready, we recoded them all in a demo CD called "Diabolical Ritual" in 2002. From this point and on Blackmass became the main band of Aeshma and myself. In 2003 Verberibus Necare joined the band as a drummer and we recorded an EP: "Episcolum, Servo Servorum Satanii". For releasing our 1st full-length called "Gloria Diaboli" in late 2005 the Brazilian label Blasphemy Productions offered us a contract, and in 2006 Sinister Sounds from Canada released the same album in North America and Europe. Even in 2006 we recorded a single "Bleeding Heaven’s Angels". After we worked for a short time with Open Grave Records, we returned back to Sinister Sounds, and the release of our new album "Nemesis" is planned for late February. \r\n

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\r\nIn a few days (18 December) your new second full length album "Nemesis" was going to be released but suddenly you parted ways with Open Grave Records and all your schedules turned upside down. Can you tell me exactly what happened?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: Well, Open Grave Records (OGR) and Blackmass weren’t fitting each other’s interests anymore. OGR was looking for new kinds of promotion to the band, and to OGR the band should have a complete line-up as soon as possible, and until the day we were still without a drummer the release date of the album would be delayed. As to get a new musician so soon is really something hard, and as we didn’t know the future, the main interest of Blackmass was to have the album released in the date announced, as who knows how much time we may be without a drummer, more 3, 4, 7… months, and because of that the CD isn’t released, it didn’t fit Blackmass’ wish. Then, both of us talked and decided that it would be the best by now to be apart. It was in a friendly way.
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\r\nWhat were the reasons that Verberibus Necare departed from the band? This was your decision or his? And was he gone before you sign with Open Grave Records because he was nowhere in the current promotional status of the band?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: Verberibus Necare left the band by his own wishes. It was a personal decision, as he was looking for other things for his life and future. It hadn’t any connection with Blackmass’ songs or anything like that, it was his wish. We talk to him and meet him almost every day. He left the band during the process of composing songs, and at the time he left Blackmass he hadn’t composed any song, and because of that he didn’t appear on the new material.\r\n

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\r\nHave you found any replacement yet or are there any guys around that you would like to discuss with or see if they are appropriate for the job?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: After Verberibus Necare left the band, two guys have played with us, but both of them due to personal issues, regarding time to rehearsal, time to travel, and other obligations that a band demands, they couldn’t be on Blackmass. Nowadays we’re looking for a new drummer to make some rehearsals, but we have no-one yet ready to join Blackmass. \r\n

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\r\nAnd now you signed a new deal with Sinister Sounds from Canada, the same label that licensed your previous album "Gloria Diaboli" in North America and Europe. Did you contact with them? And what were the reasons you left them in the first place?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: Blackmass always was in touch with Sinister Sounds, mainly because we have friends there. As the CD "Nemesis" was ready for being released and we got no label, we told the situation to Sinister Sounds, and it was natural to contact first with Sinister Sounds, we were based on our previous deal. And fortunately Sinister Sounds gave us the opportunity of backing and releasing our new album. We’re thankful because Sinister Sounds made a great effort to change all the schedule of 2008 to get us signed right away, and mainly Sinister Sounds was able, into their possibilities, to fit the release of the album in late February, this way made the lapse of time between the announced date and the real release date much shorter, something that wouldn’t happen if we got another label. What’s really great is that Sinister Sounds offered themselves to release our album even if we were without a drummer, what fits our wishes right now, something that would be harder to get on OGR. First time we left Sinister Sounds it was a business decision as Blackmass was looking for new contacts, new forms of promotion, new ways to spread the songs etc, but we always were friends.\r\n

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\r\nYou were also announced for participation on a chat of Open Grave Records on December 18th but for some reasons you cancelled it. Did it had to do at all with the bad situation with the label or was it cancelled for other reasons? And are you going to re-schedule a similar event in the future?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: Yes, as the situation got harder between us and OGR we cancelled the participation on the chat, as the chat would be pointed on the release of "Nemesis", but as it wouldn’t be released, it had no sense for us to be there. Blackmass is looking for a way to be closer to their fans, and as soon as we get something about it, people will be informed.
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\r\nLet’s talk about the new album "Nemesis". What can we expect this time from the new Blackmass inferno?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: Well, Blackmass worked hard on this album. We made all we could to offer a CD with an audio and graphic arts as good as possible. The CD has new elements that hadn’t appeared on the previous albums. It has a great balance between aggression and technique, great guitar riffs and lyrics. It’s a great album, and I suggest the readers to check it out and get their own opinions!
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\r\nHow long did it take to write and record the album? Were there any problems during the recordings and where did you record this time?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: As we got a deal suddenly, the process of composing and recording was short. We got around 35/40 days to compose all the 11 tracks plus 15 days of recording. It was really a short time to bring "Nemesis" to life. The main problem was with the guitar, we recorded the 11 tracks 3 times, to find a good distortion to fit the atmosphere of "Nemesis". But at the end everything worked out.
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\r\nAre there any differences with your previous release or how evolving is it concerning the sound of Blackmass?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: It’s something common among bands’ statements but always the new album is the best one, because you could change and fix the possible mistakes committed on previous works. For sure there are differences, on "Nemesis" we tried some elements and effects that we hadn’t before. We introduced on "Nemesis" album songs in slow-down beats, I mean 2 full songs, something we never created before. And the lyrics also got new characters that express the evil all around us. But there is still the essential “cell” like our first album.
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\r\nFor the "Gloria Diaboli" you received massively good reviews. Yet were there any mistakes or some things you wanted to have done differently last time that you didn’t repeat on this one?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: Thank you again for the words! Yes, we got a natural evolution as musicians from the release of "Gloria Diaboli" to the moment of composing for "Nemesis". We have listened "Gloria Diaboli" many times after its release, we collected the opinion of friends, media, reviews, and we analyzed all the good and bad points of "Gloria Diaboli" that we got. The main change is about Monotony. Many people said us that "Gloria Diaboli" was a great album, but it made people tired, because it’s focused on Blast beats and the songs were long ones. And it didn’t allow people to listen to the whole album twice in a day, as it’s too much massive for the ears. Then we changed it. On "Nemesis" are songs based on Blast Beats, on slow-down beats, and the ones that mix both into themselves. We also made the compositions with shorter duration, what allowed us to create more songs, in a total of 11 tracks. It’s based on your previous mistakes that you grow up and offer a better CD to the people!
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\r\nYou were also featured as the “band of Month” on the program “Panzer Division” of the Swedish Radio SollarFall. How much recognition did it bring forth to the band and was this something unexpected to you?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: At that time Blackmass hadn’t hit Europe, we were just starting to appear out from Brazil, and for sure the contact of SollarFall was totally unexpected. This brought us many contacts with labels, magazines and people all around the world. SollarFall featuring us gave us great opportunities, and opened the doors for us to enter Europe.\r\n

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\r\nYour artwork has been always quite elaborate. How important is the artwork for you and did you cooperate with Svart (Lys Aeon) once again?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: For Blackmass the artwork is the extension of the songs. We have a real preoccupation and care about it. We love when people contact us and say that the Booklet and other arts are great ones, as great as the songs! Anyone who buys a CD wishes that the booklet is a good one, with an elaborated booklet layout. The artwork is another appeal to people to get your CD. This time we were looking for new ideas, and new ways of working, then we contacted Heber Lobo, and he created all the arts for "Nemesis". \r\n

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\r\nHow does your band function in the writing process?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: Basically Aeshma composes the guitar riffs and show them to me. And I write lyrics based on Aehsma’s guitar work.\r\n

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\r\nTell me about the title that you selected for this album. What’s the message behind "Nemesis"?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: Well, Nemesis is a word that appears in many cultures, and it’s always associated with Punishments and Revenge. We adapted such aspects and created an album about it: Revenge and Punishment, with Satan as Nemesis.
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\r\nYour lyrics have always been about Satanism. Some black metal bands proclaim that their references to Satanism are just a metaphorical expression against the hypocrisy of organized religions. What is your view on Satanism and was this something that just came with the music? \r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: Satanism can get many forms and many ways of viewing, it will depend of each person. We look at it as a free way for talking about the many ways of life itself. It’s a way to discuss things, and you can get another point of view on a same object and see that the truth can have many realities, and such reality is fixed as a person manipulate it for his/her/their/our (etc) interests. That’s Satanism for us, a way to look things from different ways.
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\r\nWho are the biggest influences on your outlook and sound? What bands inspired you when you were forming?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: There were and are many bands, such as: Belphegor, Setherial, Krisiun, Slayer, King Diamond…etc…etc… In fact, being honest, I guess that all you like and listen to often in some way influence you and your way of composing, even if the band you’re listening to isn’t connect directly to your musical genre.
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\r\nMany black metal bands seem to visualize a modern era renascence of paganism and occult philosophy. What do you think about that and how does this movement in general relate to the black metal scene in particular?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: Hard question to be answered. There’s been a long time during which many bands and people are looking for something like that that for a near future. I’m not sure if it can get so soon, as it’s a cultural revolution, and for such revolutions many times decades and decades were necessary, some even hundred years. It will just really come true when human’s mind change values and consider “new/old” ways of living as normal, and acceptable for society. To the scene it brings new elements and themes for bands to compose lyrics and music. It increases the genre as a whole.
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\r\nDo you believe that in nowadays music in your genre is still being banned by some countries? And have you ever dealt with similar incidents due to your lyrics and attitude?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: This is a complex subject, mainly if we remember about a "free way of cultural expression", as any song, book, portrait, sculpture, etc.., is. It’s hard for a country to ban it, mainly if the subject that a band is on is just limited to a normal way, and it means: a show, CDs, posters, and that the fans behaved well, and enjoyed the songs in a good way. I wish to believe that such thing will not happen to the Black Metal bands at all. In Brazil only one time we had a little problem, when we went to play in a city and the "Church organization" of the city wouldn’t want us to play there…. But at the end we played, and it was a nice show.
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\r\nWhat do you think is the major difference between first-wave Norwegian black metal and the current output of worldwide black metal?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: In Norway, the first wave built the basis of ideology and let a path for the others to follow. Nowadays the Black Metal bands can concentrate theirs efforts more on composing and playing live shows. The difference is that the first wave built a path, and nowadays bands follow it.
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\r\nOf course till you find a drummer for the group it will be difficult to tour. What’s going on right now in that section of your plans and do you intend to come to Europe this year?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: What you said is true. We have no plains about touring anywhere in 2008. As the delay of the release of the album, as we’re without a drummer, things got harder for 2008. Of course there is a strong will of touring Europe and mainly we have the (personal) wish of playing in Greece– (Greece is such a fantastic place, with a nice and wonderful folk, in Brazil we have a big "Colony" of Greek and you’re so great people, close of our way). But first we need to fix our things and only then we will plan anything about tours.
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\r\nWhat can Blackmass fans expect in the near future?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: Well, they can check our new album "Nemesis" from February 2008 and on. See that Blackmass are working hard to respect our fans as much as they deserve, and also see that we’re looking for a drummer to get a complete line-up as soon as possible to tour.
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\r\nAnd a last one. Do you think that the Internet is the most helpful tool for an underground band like yourselves? Or do you also curse it for all this free downloading stuff?\r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: Internet is a tool with two sides at the same: A bad and another one that’s good. Every single band has its own reasons for loving or hating internet. In the specific case of Blackmass, we can say that internet is our most powerful tool. With it we got all the contracts with labels for releases of our albums and/or for distro of our albums. Our contacts are via internet with the world, as this one, for this interview, internet made it easier than to mark an hour to talk via phone, then we’d need to fix the time zone, etc… With internet our songs are played in radios of the world, we got contacted by people from far countries, etc… Of course the bad side of internet such as downloads of songs and other things also bother us, but the good possibilities and benefits that internet offers are larger than the bad ones. But every band has a different view of that.
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\r\nIs there anything you would like to add or comment for our readers? \r\n

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\r\nAdramelech: First of all Blackmass would like to thank you Vaso and Metalzone for the opportunity of appearing on your pages, we use to follow Metalzone, read the interviews, news, and we’re very glad and honored for now being interviewed by such a great & respectful magazine. And a special thanks to the readers that spend their time here on this words. Check out in February 2008 for our new album "Nemesis" via Sinister Sounds from Canada. Keep with us through this journey! Hails! \r\n

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\r\nVaso Prassa
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