Formed by Aees after the dissolution of INJEKTING KHAOS, joined by Nuctemeron of EMBRACE OF THORNS. Let that be a signal of their pedigree, not the music.
Strength of Giants is their first major release, and previous record of the week!
Interview with Aees, 28 June 2016.
How and why did INJEKTING KHAOS (IK) end? The self-titled last release was released in 2013 but recorded back in 09, was the band already finished by that time?
IK finished recording their s/t album in the summer of 2009 and never rehearsed again after that. We didn't talk about it openly until much later, 2011 if I'm not mistaken, but I think we all more or less knew this would be our last offering as we were recording it. All three of us felt like we had achieved what we wanted with the band and our musical tastes started changing and diverging further and further away from one-another's (at least that's what it felt like at the time). So yes, by the time the album surfaced in 2013, the band was well and truly over.
DYSEMBLEM formed after IK but before the last IK release. When did you first start the idea?
Death Metal has been my passion since I first listened to MORBID ANGEL's "Gateways To Annihilation" in 2000, when I was 13. So I had been coming up with Death Metal riffs since before IK even started. Most of these riffs never appeared in an IK release. Some of the riffs in "Strength Of Giants" date back to 2007 or so! But I think I came up with the idea of starting a Death Metal band while I was playing the intro to Skull Cult (a riff that had actually been rejected by IK as being too thrashy). I had all this tension inside me that needed to come out - and there is nothing quite as cathartic as playing metal music.
The info sheet talked about your years active and the decision to start this band in an environment of (probably too) many bands. Can you say any more about this? Was it ever a thought to not start a new band, or at least to not make it public? Did you have other band ideas that you rejected?
I do believe that there are way too many bands around these days and that very few (proportionally) of them have something to say. And that's bad because it gets harder for everyone to find the good bands! The last thing I'd want would be to add to this situation by putting out a half-baked, half-hearted record!!!
I never considered promoting DYSEMBLEM until 2015. I was writing songs and recording demos mainly for my own pleasure and as a sort of trial for what to do and what to avoid when/if I ever recorded a proper album. I did not want to present it to people until it had turned into something with a life of its own. I mean, I like what I did in the DYSEMBLEM demos but (except for a couple of songs perhaps) it is obviously not very focused or exhaustive; just a collection of riffs. It's fine to play your own versions of your favourite songs or to play the same riff over and over and over - as long as you're doing it in your bedroom or studio! If you decide to record something and, more importantly, put it out for the world to listen to however, then you need to be able to offer something different, as interesting as what came before and, at the very least, passionate.
You recruited Nuctemeron for the CD, is it your first time recording together?
Yes, this was my first time recording with Nuctemeron. I'd known his work in several bands and had always admired his style. He makes it sound so effortless when in fact he's playing really intensely. T.K. from DEAD CONGREGATION got us in touch, I sent him an elaborate demo of the album and he agreed to participate. As a matter of fact, we didn't meet face to face until after the recording was over!
How do you find working across countries? What's the recording process?
DYSEMBLEM is a very different beast from I.K. and that includes the way songs are composed and recorded. With I.K., each of us would come up with his own ideas and then we would meet whenever I was in Greece and turn them into songs. With DYSEMBLEM I compose every detail in the songs alone - I think that was one thing I could not fully enjoy in I.K. because I didn't want to be the 'dictator' of the band or anything. For Strength Of Giants, I recorded the guitars and bass in the studio, programmed an elaborate drum-machine guide and sent it to Nuctemeron with some details on what to focus on, what to keep exactly as it is and what to change at will. I was honestly blown away by his performance and ideas - he seemed to understand perfectly what I had in my head for each song.
I think this approach to recording suits DYSEMBLEM perfectly and I would be happy to continue with it in the future.
My description of the album was quite rambling in part because it covers many genres. What were some of your thoughts about the musical side of DYSEMBLEM. Did you want to separate it clearly from IK?
My plan was never to make a band that does not sound like IK. Nevertheless, as soon as the first songs started coming together, it was obvious that this would be the case. The Death Metal influences in IK were mine, but they worked perfectly within a black metal context. I mean, IK worked within the framework provided by bands like Antaeus, Arkhon Infaustus and Funeral Mist. I still absolutely love these bands but my tastes include a lot of traditional metal, thrash metal, doom metal, traditional black metal, even 70s rock and blues which would sound completely out of place in IK.
The visual side: the cover is a painting but your demo covers, and the facebook page use lots of minimalist symbolic images. Is there an overall theme and idea with the art-side of DYSEMBLEM?
With the DYSEMBLEM demos I wanted to keep things as D.I.Y. as possible. That included the visual side of it. Like I said, these demos were not meant for the public to listen so why bother putting an amazing cover to them? I therefore decided to make the covers myself. MS Paint and minimalism were my allies haha! None of these covers took more than 5 minutes to create.
That said, symbolism is the main idea behind these covers, indeed. I still very much like all these pieces and what they symbolize. I would like it if people could appreciate them for what they are but I don't expect them to.
What's the future you're working towards at the moment?
6 songs are almost ready for the next DYSEMBLEM release! DYSEMBLEM takes its time and I always change things -with Strength Of Giants I was still deciding on details while I was in the studio- but the backbones of the songs and several nice details are there already. I think I even have a title but I will not say more at the moment.
Of course I would be interested to re-release Strength Of Giants! I funded the present copies myself to promote the band. I am 100% happy with the aural result but unfortunately there were 1-2 things with the presentation I could not do because of space & time issues so a label re-releasing it would enable me to correct that - while also ensuring a better distribution.
I would love to play live under the right conditions (that is, with the right members and with the right bands). I am not excited by the idea of putting in such an effort only to play in front of a handful of friends.
Any final words are yours!
Entertain your gods and kill your masters.