DEVILISH IMPRESSIONS – There is no God but You
DEVILISH IMPRESSIONS er et av de nyere polske extreme metal bandene som begynner å vise tenner utenfor de polske grensene. Bandets debutalbum, som ble sluppet av Conquer Records, falt godt i smak her i gården og da måtte man bare knote ned noen spørsmål og sende til bandet. Det er bandets vokalist Quazarre som representerer DEVILISH IMPRESSIONS ved denne anledningen.
ET – Devilish Impressions isn’t too well known here in Norway, so I think we can start with some history about the band.
QUAZARRE – With pleasure – haha… The concept of Devilish Impressions was born in 1998. By 2000, the band’s line-up was established and the ideas were starting to be shaped into musical works. The founder members of the band were: Quazarre (voices, guitars and additional synthesizers), Turquoissa (synthesizers) and Starash (guitars). Quazarre also creates dark atmospheric art with the well-known Polish band Asgaard. With this line-up we managed to put out our first self-released material enigmatically entitled “Eritis sicut Deus; Verbum Diaboli Manet in Aeternum; Vox Vespertilio Act I – Moon Var Dies Irae”. It is not available anymore as it came out in a strictly limited edition. The idea behind it was just to point out that there is such a horde which came into existence as well as to get this first, the most important, step in every band’s career done. For “Plurima Mortis Imago”, Adrian Nefarious (bass guitar) and Dragor (drums) have joined from Luna Ad Noctum. The involvement of these artists introduced greater power and a new dimension to our music although none of them had anything to do with creation of the whole album’s both music and its lyrical side. Every single note was written down much before they joined but I have to admit that thanks to them we were able to fulfill “Plurima Mortis Imago” visions and presumptions. At the end of the last year we have separated the ways with Adrian whose duties have been currently taken over by the band’s former guitarist Starash. As his replacement we have got this new guitarist – Armers but that is not all of the line-up changes. Knowing that Dragor will not be able to go with us for long tours – we have been forced to found also a new drummer. Therefore we have Icanraz of Abused Majesty and Hermh instead of him now. In June 2006 Devilish Impressions has signed two records deal with Conquer Records. From then the story just goes on and on…
ET – Plurima Mortis Imago is your debut album. Can you try to describe the album in your own words?
QUAZARRE – I would say that perception of “Plurima Mortis Imago” variations depends to a large extent on the potential listener’s patience whether he/she really wants to go through all of the record’s details or just to classify the album as unbearable to listen due to its excessive complexity. I mean, I have already heard a few opinions from some die-hard fans of both “true” black metal and modern black/death metal styles and they all admitted that there is something special in “Plurima…”, that the atmosphere we have managed to put into these sounds and words makes the album really accessible and easy to listen despite its false pretences and intricacy. I used to say that “Plurima Mortis Imago” is a record for every metal fan, as it contains a mass of technical death metal riffs as well as essential dose of original melodies, breathtakingly fast blasts, raging vocals and beautiful keyboard passages, enveloped in a totally sick and furious atmosphere of all-pervading coldness, rebellion and licentiousness. With this album we wanted to prove that moving across the genre makes it possible to distance oneself and play the music a little differently, but without losing the original spirit of what metal has always been, is and what it should be in the future.
ET – Which studio did you use when you recorded the album Plurima Mortis Imago?
QUAZARRE – Well, I have to admit that the recording session was incredibly tough as we have had to face a lot of problems which just shouldn’t have happened. But let’s start from the beginning… The whole session – as previously set up – was to take place at Hendrix Studios with Arek Malczewski (the producer and sound engineer for Behemoth, Vesania, Asgaard and Lost Soul amongst others) but due to his commitment to Behemoth’s works our plans have had to be changed. We then got in touch with Maciej Mularczyk whom we heard of that he has been pretty successful while working with one of the oldest Polish metal band – KAT. It just seemed to be recommendation good enough to all of us. Only later it turned out that nothing worked as we previously established. He said he is going to be with us all the time and just during his absence, which was supposed to be only two or three days during the whole session, there was supposed to be another guy taking over his duties. Can you imagine that it all went on inversely?! For fuck’s sake, we have seen him a few times at night-time only and even then he was too fucking lazy to move his fingers in order to do anything! We have made a deal not only to record all the drums and guitars but also to edit all of the laid tracks and this guy just ignored all our indications and fucked up a lot of basic things eventually. Later on, when we all got completely pissed off – we told him to give us back the material as we wanted to get all the other parts recorded and mixed with Arek Malczewski. From that point, after spending hours on speculations such as “what the fuck is that?” everything went quite smoothly. That was Malczewski and Wojtek Kostrzewa (Asgaard) who did their best to help us to get out of that shit. After all we decided the album has to be mastered by Wieslawski Bros at Hertz Studio (Vader, Decapitated, Hate etc.) to rich aggressive, spatial and straight-forward sound. In spite of everything “Plurima Mortis Imago” contains all of the feelings captured in the certain moments of creating and then recording the album. Technically you can always do almost everything much better than you did in the past but the feeling will never remain the same…
ET – What can you tell us about the lyrics; what are they about and is Plurima Mortis Imago a concept album?
QUAZARRE – “Plurima Mortis Imago” means “Many Faces of Death”. All of the tracks are separate sort of vision regarding to death’s essence presentation, explicit praise of internal self-independence, being some kind of manifesto against all the religions and other forms of restrictions. There are also a lot of apocalyptic visions, inspired by dreams and imagination of the Armageddon’s aftermath, strong statement directly saying that “there is no god but you”. In some sense – the concept behind “Plurima Mortis Imago” continues and develops the themes started on Devilish Impressions’ first material – above mentioned “Eritis sicut Deus…” The only difference is that they seem to be rather less poetical than before as – together with the music – they became more immediate and absolute in their meanings. And when I say – less poetical – it doesn’t mean they are shallow or whatever. They are just stronger, hateful and full of anger. They reflect the state of the band’s spirit while composing and recording the album. I would also like to remark that we do not consider our band as a messenger of any particular concept. I mean, obviously there is some although it is not a part of our interest to convince someone to our way of thinking. We just play what we love to play, say what we want to say and present all our ideas in a way we would like it to be presented. Same thing comes with our image. You may hate it or admire it but you are not able to change it. It is just a way we see ourselves while exploring different stages of our nature both on musical and personal level. We do not want to tell others what to do, tell them which way is better to follow therefore I can not see any reason for which we should claim to possess any knowledge which enables us to be bearers of “the only one true” or whatever. The only thing we stand for is independence of thinking and conscience. Obviously, the concept behind Devilish Impressions’ lyrics is clear enough to shape your own opinion about it…
ET – Which bands or scene would you say has influenced you the most?
QUAZARRE – I think Metallica “Master of Puppets” would be the first one!!! This was the very first album I had and the first band ever which inspired me so strongly. Then I felt in love with the aggression of Kreator “Endless Pain” followed by even stronger and long-lasting expressions left by Death and their debut “Scream Bloody Gore”. Then I started to discover more groups and different albums which turned out to be even better than those which I was admiring at that time. That is how Iron Maiden came, earlier Metallica’s titles, Accept, Kreator, Megadeth, Wasp, Sepultura etc. The most influential ones as follows: Metallica (Ride the lighting, Master of Puppets, … And justice for all); Death (Leprosy, Individual Thought Patterns, Symbolic); Tiamat (The Astral Sleep, Clouds); Bathory (Blood Fire Death, Twilight Of The Gods); Christ Agony (Unholyunion, Dameoonseth Act II, Moonlight); Emperor (In The Nightside Eclipse, Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk), Arcturus (La Masquerade Infernale), Limbonic Art (Moon In The Scorpio, In Abhorrence Dementia), Burzum (Aske, Hvis Lyset Tar Oss), Vital Remains (Dechristianize) and the list goes on and on… I think that there is only good or bad music and that is the only definition of music I have. Obviously, it is metal which I listen to most of the time but I do also admire some other artists, especially those who compose movie soundtracks and those who are known as a classic composers. Sometimes I also listen to ambient or even industrial as long as it sounds are not becoming some fucking noise only. I could mention hundreds of band’s names or movies’ titles which strongly influenced contemporary Devilish Impressions’ face as well as a lot of other things, phenomenon or even daily situations which are having a strong impact on our creation. I also get inspired by people I meet and conversations I have with them plus – on top of it – all sorts of visions, dreams, nature’s complexity, memories, art and different states of our consciousness… Sometimes these visions appear automatically, without any external stimulus. It is just inside of me, inside of us and come out totally unexpectedly, without any particular reason. In my opinion what really matters is ability of transforming it into intriguing sounds and words, into something you can be internally proud of as a reflection of an authentic feeling.
ET – Please describe your musical style for our readers, as you see it.
QUAZARRE – Devilish Impressions is wandering around all of extreme forms of above mentioned genres. We are black/death metal and there are a few symphonic elements in the structure of our songs as well as some which may suggest we belong to some sort of the avant-garde. In my opinion it is the atmosphere which mostly makes our creation so characteristic. You see, even Devilish Impressions’ name came into existence to reflect the band’s search of dissimilar identity, to mark our need of creating words and sounds that would be hard to classify by our potential listeners. When we formed the band and slowly started giving a shape to the first songs we said to ourselves that our creation can not be limited by any artificial rule; that we would like to compose something which could go far beyond everyone’s and even our expectations. I do not know if we are succeeded in what we wanted to do but I know we will be always giving our best to do so. Getting back to the point – it is so hard to say where we exactly belong to. At the same time I am aware of the fact that all of those definitions just simply must exist. Otherwise it would be impossible for a new horde to come into existence of the metal fans’ consciousness. Imagine if you had to write down something else of every single record you get without helping yourself even with band’s general classification… Obviously, sometimes names you are being given or bands you are being compared to have in fact nothing to do with it but it just proves lack of reviewer’s knowledge. There are a lot of these omniscient journalists who – instead of giving possibly the most objective opinion about certain release – have their own self indulgent prejudices on the subject. Unfortunately we are not able to change it, as it is far beyond our possibilities I am afraid… I believe Devilish Impressions is just one of these bands which play qualitative sort of black/death metal.
ET – Poland has for a long time been well known for the death metal scene, but with bands like Behemoth making the way for the rest of the polish black metal scene, would you say that the scene is getting knowledge and respect outside Poland?
QUAZARRE – Polish scene has a huge potential and at the moment is undisputedly one of the fastest growing up scenes in the world. Imagine that in almost all of the interviews we get from abroad there is a question regarding to that subject! That really must mean something. That proves that there is a lot of metalheads who are aware of the fact that Poland is becoming a hellish-red point at the metal map of the world and in my opinion this is an extremely positive phenomenon. It all gets to the place where all these bands are having strong influence on each other causing kind of a competition when it comes to taking all the things into higher, far more professional level. It is true that in Poland there have always been more death than black metal bands getting worldwide response but I do not see any particular explanation of this case. Behemoth is a fantastic band and thanks to them lots of other Polish groups have now ability of presenting their creation somewhere beyond our country’s borders. It was Vader who started it all in Poland but I think Behemoth may get even further…
ET – You are using synth and some synth effects in your music which makes the music rather special and combined with the technical and somewhat progressive guitars and the more traditional black metal vocals; I do get some vibes from another polish band called Lux Occulta. Can you understand the vibes I am getting or do you think I am losing my perspective?
QUAZARRE – Honestly speaking, I can not see any parallels between us and them. You would rather hear journalists comparing us to Emperor, Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, Nile or even to some progressive rockers from 70’s but I have never heard someone who would compare it to Lux Occulta. But again, it is your point of view and you have a total right to do so We are actually really surprised when it comes to both media and fans reaction. “Plurima Mortis Imago” has been critically acclaimed and so far we have had lots of amazing reviews from all over the world. Obviously, being an artist you always expect people to say good things about what you have done but it never works this way. Sometimes you feel you just put out something which just couldn’t be done better but when it gets to someone else’s hands you have this bloody, disappointing response which may pull you down afterwards. Luckily, “Plurima Mortis Imago” is doing really well so far and I am just holding my fingers crossed that it stays like that in the future. If not, well… We are Devilish Impressions which is enough to suggest that not everybody has to like the smell of our shit – haha.
ET – You recently were on tour with the Norwegian band Aeternus; how was the tour?
QUAZARRE – It has been fucking amazing!!! Enough to say that even in the bravest presumptions we didn’t expect it to turn out into something it has eventually become. The atmosphere between all the bands was just perfect and I hardly remember having the same joy of being together with someone during the past years. Imagine that you accidentally meet someone and after a while you realize that he/she is strangely getting so close, that you have the feeling as if you know each other for ages! That what has happened with us and the guys of Aeternus! They are not only a great band but also fantastic, open-minded and incredibly friendly people. Massive hails to Ares (The Propolki Master), S.Winter (Daddy Cool), Dreggen (Borat) and V’gandr (The True Viking)!!! I hope Devilish Impressions will have another opportunity to hit the stages with Aeternus and other bands again.
ET – There is also an upcoming tour with Behemoth in 2007 + a gig with Die Apokalyptischen Reiter and Natron in London.
QUAZARRE – Our participation in the gig you are talking about was cancelled as it was scheduled for the same day when we started European tour with Aeternus. Devilish Impressions will support Behemoth on their UK and Ireland tour in 2007 although exact dates have not been planned yet. That is an honor to play with such a great band that – as you have noticed yourself – makes noticeable room for other Polish bands at international scene. We are also confirmed as a direct support for MARDUK on all of their Eastern Europe shows, including Russia, Ukraine and Belarus during spring this year!!! Plans are also being scheduled to get Devilish Impressions on another UK and Ireland tour on March but we still wait for all of the clubs’ confirmations.
ET – That’s all I have at the moment; any famous last words?
QUAZARRE – Well, first of all – thank you very much Rune for letting us appear on Eternal Terror!!! I hope one day we will come to destroy Norwegian stages!!! Any famous words… Hm, may these ones become eternal: ”There is no God but You!”