IMPURE WORSHIP are the proof that for one to find devastating as well as firmly executed bestial black/death metal, they don’t have to look exclusively into Canadian or Finnish releases. Especially now, that IW’s new “Chthonic Litanies” tape overcome by far the bounds of a sterile pounding by embedding various dynamics and changes into their songs, I think that they deserve the attention of an audience broader than the fans of BLASPHEMY copycats (however good or bad they are). Guitarist Fallen Angel Of Fornication responds to the call of the Anti-Flesh Nimbus and further explains…
I) My respect to you Fallen Angel Of Fornication and welcome to our dungeon. If one were to visit your page at Metal Archives, they would find that you began as HELVETE many years before, back in 2001-02, yet you stopped after one demo, only to return in 2010 (in terms of new material release) with the new form of IMPURE WORSHIP. What happened during all these years and what was the motive to become active again?
Good evening. You are welcome and good luck to your new effort (editor’s note: he means the printed version of the Anti Flesh Nimbus ‘zine).
About 3-4 months after the HELVETE demo, I went in to serve my time in the army so there never was any serious promotion of that release. When I returned to Athens, our then drummer had no interest anymore so the band became on-hold but always on the back of my mind (the tracks of the first IMPURE WORSHIP demo were rehearsed from the HELVETE era). So, after some years, when I met Vassilis (Black Priest of Impurity) I knew I’d found the right person to continue what I had started back then.
II) The new promo tape “Chthonic Litanies” was unleashed a few weeks before 2013 waved goodbye through one of the most serious European labels, Iron Bonehead. How was the deal done and what feedback have you received so far?
The tape was initially to be released through Nuclear Winter Records (hails!) like the 7’’. But the label is on hold now for the last few months and the material was already created some time ago, so after communication with Anastasis we were “granted the approval” to search for another label.
Patrick and Iron Bonehead were our first choice, since he’s created a really strong roster of band and does great work on distribution. He was already familiar with us since he had distributed the demo tape and the 7’’ EP so after listening to the new tracks he immediately accepted. We’ve got some very good reviews and the demand for the tape has been surprisingly high.
III) The two new songs of the promo are fantastic, a natural evolution I’d say from your self-titled EP. Should we expect a full-length any time soon? Although from what I know you have some other plans going on in parallel.
The way we approach our songs has not changed, neither we try intentionally to move forward, so that natural evolution is a product of the more collective work now done in the band. There some tracks completed but we don’t push ourselves, ideas arise on their own. For the time being, the “Monomaniac vol.4” compilation will soon be released where we participate with one song, and sometime in the next few months we’ll probably have a split with NECROHOLOCAUST (Canada), NECROBLOOD (France), WEREGOAT (USA) and OGDRU JAHAD (Denmark) out there.
IV) How do tracks of IMPURE WORSHIP come out? Is composition your own business or is it a shared job with Black Priest of Impurity?
The demo tracks were a more personal situation since as I already mentioned they existed from many years before. But from that point and onwards we work completely as a team. I go to the rehearsals with some ready riffs and we find everything as we are playing. Structures changes, riffs go away so everything is liquid until we’re all satisfied. Also, the addition of a third permanent member in the band (bass) has made things even easier in terms of composing.
V) In the way I perceive your course starting with the raw brutality of “Goathorns”, you have now proceeded to a more structured treatment of your songs, while a suffocating, claustrophobic feeling emerges. Has your way of approaching how an IMPURE WORSHIP song should sound like become any different?
As I already stated, we are now working as team so it’s a natural result for the material to sound more cohesive. Our approach is always the same; we write songs we would like to listen to in our homes. Some parts may lean more to death metal while others are blacker but we don’t restrain ourselves. If we like something and it’s compatible with the song’s aesthetic we keep it.
VI) In my opinion, there are three elements in your music that distinguish you from many other similar sounding bands in the last decade. These elements are: a) The crawling doomy parts (like “Praise The Goat” or the ending of “Impurity Prevails”); b) The occasional nicker solos we once loved in SLAYER and other thrash bands; and c) the emphatic sound of bass, especially in the tracks of “Chthonic Litanies”. What sonic background and influences made you incorporate each of these in the band creative logic?
The doomy parts come mainly from the inspiration we’ve drawn from the Finnish death/black scene (BEHERIT/BLACK CRUCIFIXION/ARCHGOAT etc) as well as bands like early SAMAEL, AlASTIS and more. I hold the slow parts as an integral part of our sound and they are (almost) necessary in order to create a climax in each track.
The SLAYER solos, I believe are best for band in our style. This is where we were influenced by BESTIAL WARLUST who, for me, are and of the top bands of their genre yet unfortunately only few have given them the attention they deserve.
As for bass guitar, we have no specific influence on that part. We just want it high on the mix in order to provide the necessary volume and an extra filth.
VII) You are only two people in the band! Shall I assume that the duet function better in terms of understanding and decision making regarding your next moves? If I’m not mistaken you two are good friends also.
We began as a two-member band and that’s how we recorded our first demo (with the help of UNHOLY ARCHANGEL’s Iapetos in vocals). In our 7’’ I took control of the vocals too and so that release as well as the new tape was recorded solely by the two of us.
As of now, we have a permanent member on bass and thus the band consists of three people. Vaggelis (Festering Ghoul from the Beyond) initially began a session member for live performances but apart from being a good friend he also showed great interest in the band, had some very nice ideas and has the right listening preferences so his addition in our lineup became necessary.
VIII) What did you acquire from your first two live gigs you gave last year? Especially for Goatlust Festival, I must say to you I was very impressed that given the nature of your sound and the technical issues often present at 7 Sins club, you appeared not simply but with an aura of an experienced band on stage. There was heavy work in rehearsals I’m guessing, right?
For me, our first gig was really stressful since apart from being the first, I would play with IMPURE WORSHIP as well as EMBRACE OF THORNS too. As you said, we did a great deal of rehearing so from the moment we entered the stage the stress disappeared and we were able to perform our material very well. In our second gig we were even more comfortable and bonded so everything went great. There is more to come!
IX) Well, we have in order: demo tape – 7’’ EP – promo tape! Why are CD followers left out until now? Only analog is real, huh? I’m kidding of course but I would like you to tell me how you view this whole analog revival with vinyl and tapes (especially in some cases like the Crepusculo Negro phenomenon) having achieved a huge fetish status.
The reason is simple enough. I grew up with the vinyl records of my parents and the tapes we copied for each other in our circle of friends. CDs I never held them as something special and I never had an interest in them; and since I wanted to have my band’s releases, even when we had an offer for a CD, we declined, haha. It has nothing to do with any trend or “underground” attitude; I just don’t like the CD format.
Now as far the whole vinyl revival is concerned there are positive and negative aspects. To state the positives first, we see old and out-of-print material rereleased, which previously would be an utopia to even think acquiring. Important releases, which were available to very few people, now can be obtained by those with a desire to search for them. Also there are still lost diamonds of the past exhumed and as a result, we can have a better view of what happened in the beginnings of the underground scene.
Now the negatives; the existence of a larger shopping target group of people has pushed many labels to unnecessary exaggerations. Labels that didn’t give the slightest attention to vinyl (Century Media, Napalm etc) now release 10 different versions of a record. 5xLP box sets are sold for bands with 2 demos and one 7’’ (i.e. TREBLINKA). A 40-minute album is rereleased in the form of a 3 vinyl box-set (i.e. ABSU) and so on.
The guys that belong to the Crepusculo Negro circle, even though they’re in bands I like a lot (ARIZMENDA, VOLAHN, DOLORVOTRE and more) are total clowns. While they are aware of the existing demand for their releases, they put out editions of one hundred copied and have already announced the second press even before the first one is released. They actually promote their records not for the music itself but for the limitation fetish. Also the way they continue to sell like crazy while they rip-off almost everyone is something beyond my understanding.
X) What’s going on with cover songs? You obviously like them, but if we consider those on IMPALED NAZARENE, BESTIAL SUMMONING and PROFANATICA somewhat expected, how did the ones on CHAOTIC END and ANTIDRASI came up? Is it true after all that the energy lines of punk (part of it at least) and those of black metal cross paths on certain occasions?
I love covers! I always like to listen to a good cover song but even more I like to do them myself. One of my first (if not THE first) tapes as well as the first vinyl I ever bought was a PANX ROMANA album. As a student, in every excursion, apart from “Kill ‘Em All”, the record “Enantia” by ANTIDRASI was always on the playlist.
So, my/our black metal roots aside, we have grown up with greek punk/hardcore as well. I always believed that punk, aesthetically (album covers, collage artwork etc) has much in common with black metal. As for the music aspect of that, you can easily track the punk inheritance in the bands that influenced black metal the most. For me, early BATHORY, HELLHAMMER/CELTIC FROST, SODOM, ONSLAUGHT etc sound more punk than metal (when we take metal of that era –IRON MAIDEN, PRIEST, SAXON into account).
XI) In continuation of the above, which are your influences as a musician but also you preferences as a listener in general?
I can’t state my influences exactly, because on some level all the bands I listen to have played, more or less, a role in my personal perception of “melody”. Mainly, I listen to black metal, as well as some death metal bands (the majority of them coming from Finland) and a lot of –mostly greek– punk. BEHERIT, SAMAEL, ANCIENT RITES, BLASPHEMY, EMPEROR, ROTTING CHRIST, NECROMANTIA, DEMIGOD, ALASTIS (“Just The Law” is a huge black opus), IMPALED NAZARENE, ROOT, ABIGOR, ARCHGOAT, AETERNUS (another underrated band), MASTER’S HAMMER, PURTENANCE, DISSECTION, SIGH, THERION, ABSU, DEMONCY, PROFANATICA/HAVOHEJ, CONVULSE, SUMMONING, BURZUM, BESTIAL WARLUST, MAYHEM, CARNAGE, SENTENCED (OLD), TIAMAT and many more, but also newer acts such as MGLA, CULTES DES GHOULES, THE RUINS OF BEVERAST, URFAUST, MARE, BLACK CILICE, RIDE FOR REVENGE and many others.
XII) Expecting only the best from IMPURE WORSHIP (and also EMBRACE OF THORNS of which you have been a member lately), I thank you for your participation in this new Anti-Flesh Nimbus effort (editor’s note: again referring to the printed fanzine). The last unholy words are yours.
Thank you very much for your interest in IMPURE WORSHIP. You can expect our new tracks in “Monomaniac IV” and the 5-way split. As for EMBRACE OF THORNS, this autumn will see the releases of our 4th full-length album through Nuclear War Now! and a 12’’ split with MAVETH through Dark Descent (editor’s note: this is out already). Both IW and EoT material is recorded so when the layouts are finished, they will be out there.
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