Category: English


 

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Poland is built on metal!!! This is what comes to my mind, listening to latest effort of KINGDOM, band from Poland’s city of Płock. Well, built on Death Metal, to be specific. Band just record their third full length, and what a fantastic release it is! I am a fan of theirs since previous record – “Morbid Priest of Supreme Blasphemy”, which captivate me with retro sound of old school death metal rooted deep into early 90’s. Dark, sweltering and sepulchral atmosphere of former release, made me acquire their CD, and after many listenings  I was longing for a next piece of fresh bloody chops of meat from this trio.
And now, my anticipation has been rewarded and expectations fulfilled. “Sepulchral Psalms…” exceeds both its predecessors in all terms, which wasn’t an easy task to do, as both previous works were solid. But this time, one can hear that band has spent long time in rehearsal room, and in result, album is more deliberate, wary and consistent. 7 new songs and a cover of Darkthrone’s “Cromlech”, from their first album “Soulside Journey”, has been put onto disc and takes 34 minutes of intense beating of listeners ears.
It’s clear as sun, that band is deeply submerged into old styled death metal scene, its specific sound, and influence of bands like Autopsy, Incantation, Bathomet, Abramelin, Epitaph, Krisiun,old Immolation or even Angel Corpse are obviously present, but hey, these are specifics of this kind of genre right? You get what You see, and KINGDOM is one of the finest in this game, its members are veterans brought up to this music, and probably death metal runs in their veins. In terms of production, this one is more crisp than older stuff, but don’t be afraid, muddy, dirty sound of guitars is still here, it’s just gives more punch to the morbid riffs and mad breaks so Your sorry ass will hurt more than ever. In tracks like “Monolith Of Death”, “Kaplica Ducha Zgniłego” or “Whispering The Incantantion Of Eternal Fire”, guitars cuts like a katana cuts fucking bamboo, some parts are slower, heavier with nasty groove highlighted by rattled bass, like in the end of title track. But those putrid guitars would be nothing without Śliwa drumming.His furious, hurricane fills and swinging liver and other interior parts, double bass are more precise and noticeable in final mix. Ingenious marching snare in “Abyss Of Torment”, or accelerated blastbeats in “Kaplica Ducha Zgniłego”, shows his potential. Mentioned before, low and rattle bass guitar, used in the same way on former record, here sounds even more low and loud, and perfectly ballast other instruments, like in ending part of “Sepulchral Psalms”, fastest on album “Monolith Of Death” or medium part of “Abyss Of Torment”, where by the way Lewan has laid the most slow and low guttural vocals in whole career. This track should become KINGDOM’s showcase track! All this is complemented with very good lyrics, brutal, crude, disturbing and apocalyptic in meaning, but not infantile. Perfectly suits bands music, as their graphic design gives foretaste of what’s to come when You put disc into player – total annihilation of mankind!!!

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It’s been worth to wait three years for “Sepulchral Psalms…”. KINGDOM didn’t disappoint again. It’s their best record to date, in terms of production, but also in terms of compositions and abilities. Unquestionably they made a great progress on every level. KINGDOM is attacking listener with full force, each track is like a missile from RPG. KINGDOM is not taking any prisoners, either You like sinister and brooding atmosphere of their music or You can hate it and fucking rot. For me “Sepulchral Psalms…” is one of the best death metal albums of this year and will be high in my personal ranking. Album will be released 30th october by Godz Of War Productions, and You can hear 2 tracks here :https://godzovwarproductions.bandcamp.com/album/kingdom-sepulchral-psalms-from-the-abyss-of-torment .

Tomasz Radzikowski is the main man and frontman of Warsaw’s death metal band Spirits Way. You should carve this name on Your foreheads, as they are stronger and better with every subsequent release, intensively playing live and building their reputation on death metal scene, step by step, in their native country and abroad too. Just a few days away, I had a pleasure to listen and review their latest album, released in April 2016 by Germany label Godeater records, and today I invite You to read interview with Tomek…

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1.Hello Tomek. Let’s start with some standard question about creating Your band. When that happened and what is the main reason to form Spirits way?

-Hi. If think it’s typical story. Beginning of Spirits way is dating back to 2009, when the idea of forming a band was born in my mind and first compositions was created. After completing band members, in the middle of 2010, we started to play live, and soon after went to the studio to record our first demo “Freedom Through Blood”. From the start I was doing all of this, because of my love to music and this flame is not extinguished, in fact it burns even stronger. Spirits Way always walks it’s own way, way that I have set for it from the start. successfully and affectively we achieve our goals and dreams.

2. You  have released three records to date. Mentioned by You demo EP “Freedom Through Blood”, self-made full-length “Brainless Puppets Are Enslaved”, and just a while ago second album “Devoid Of Morality”. With a naked eye, or should I say, naked ear, one can hear progress of Your music on each of those records. Is it a matter of changing members of a band in past and their abilities?

-Well…thank You for kind words. As I said, progressing and continual improvement of my guitarist and composing skills is what drives me.To be honest, time spend playing live, on tours, in company of amazing musicians of other bands, gives me big dose of experience and humility. Band knows it’s value, and we are aware on what level currently we are. On every record, we try to create form of art that is ours, something we could underscore with pride.

3. It’s been few months after release of “Devoid Of Morality”, can You said that signing with Godeater Records was a good choice?

-Yes! It was! It gives Us way better opportunity in terms of manufacturing and distributing our music. Time will tell how it will be in the future, but I’m very happy that the record is widely available, it sells well and it gets very good reviews from both, journalists and fans.

4. Where recording of album took place and how long it takes?

-Our tradition is, that We record Our stuff at Studio KLON in Sierpc. Aura of this place is very unique. It was produced by Andrzej Kamiński, and he did great as always! Recording time,for me is very special, it’s exciting, when You put a song and pieces into one whole thing, it’s like plain canvas for painter, and one can use it for something great. We had a lot of time in the studio, so for me, it was first time, that I could play totally comfortably…

5. Who was recording in the studio with You?

-There was a rotation in bands members before We hit the studio. We haven’t got a bassist, so I asked Damian Czajkowski( from Lost Soul) for help. All bass tracks was laid down in studio in Wroclaw. Dariusz Kupis (from band FRONTSIDE) add some guitar parts, and Filip Kapitua add keyboards and choirs. But the main thing was to record drums, and Przemysław Pietrzak, with whom I collaborate from few years, did it, it’s his first album with Spirits Way. He did a great job!

6.So, this time is studio was more comfortable than previous, what are the differences? Stress was an issue?

-As I mentioned before, We gave ourself a lot more time in the studio, and it gives a “more room” to our sound. Because of that, we started to create new compositions long before session, so we all have been well prepared for it.spiritsband

7. Name Spirits Way is growing stronger. It is a matter of Your last album, you have set the bar higher than before. But it’s not only that. I heard that You give everything You got at live gigs, and demand for Spirits way is growing as well. You like playing live? Tell Us, with what bands You shared the stage?

-In fact, We can see some changes in that subject. We are gaining recognition and respect outside Poland. Foreign press and media support our latest album very much.
Live gigs, this is the best part of making music. In the studio, or in rehearsal room, it’s just a laboratory, preparation “for war”, and this war is playing stuff live and touring. Last past years with had honour to share stage with many great bands, We learned our lessons from them, took knowledge and experience, this all made our live shows better.I always wanted to do, get to the level, like Decapitated on stage. Surely, it’s a long way to go, but every time I looked at them, every evening at shows I had shivers on my back and my jaw on the ground. We have played with many bands, that was…or still are a great source of inspiration for me, some of them were my idols, I’ve been at their concerts when I was younger and never thought, that I can be their opening band.

8. Can You make a living from music, records and live shows?

-Yes You can! All those big names has achieved it by hard work through those years. We are working on it Ourself too.

9. Are You as well managing Spirits Way? What else You do Tomasz?

– Sebastian Bednarek and BOSPromotion are currently doing that, and he is our manager, but I help him with this things as well.

10. You’ve played live in country (Poland) and abroad. How do You consider our polish metal scene? Do our bands cooperate with each other? What’s Your memories from touring abroad?

-To be honest…there is still a lot of rivalry between Polish bands, envy and jealousy, which is sad really. You know, there is few clubs, venues and companies that “organize” live shows and it looks like mutual admiration society, not much objectivity here. Meaning of creating art is lost somewhere in between, for sake of racing others or making their life harder, but let’s not be so grim, still there are many passionate people with will to help and with them we collaborate. We have been welcome very warm abroad, and I can tell, that We would like to tour much more outside Poland.

11. I admire Your musicianship, Your abilities to create brutal stuff with spacial, atmospheric compositions. You’re talented guitarist. Have You got any musical preparation?

-Thanks for kind words. It’s a result of a hard work with my instrument, hours spend on practice, abnegation of other things, all leads to current effect. But it doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better, and I think that musician should always try to expand his abilities, not only technique, but musical consciousness…develop sensitivity and be emotive, and formal school don’t do that lately.

12. Your music echoing with a trademarks of old school death metal. Specifically first records had that sound dipped in heavy, dirty, basement riffs. This time it’s a bit different, but still You bow before classic death metal tradition, and same time new stuff seems to be more self-conscious. Where Your inspiration comes from? Is it only music, or other arts too?

-Touch and interact with beauty and form, gives a lot of inspiration, doesn’t matter is it music or paintings, sculpture…all these forms reflects on emotions, gives particular feelings, experiences that one can put into creating his own compositions. I’m inspired by all kind of emotions, consciousness comes from experiences and expanding knowledge about my inner self, more and more.

13. This spacial and vast sound in Spirits way music, it’s not only work done by studio and producer. It’s as well Your technique, guitar work and exceptional soloing that You put into songs. How You develop Your musical taste?

-What can I say…My biggest inspiration, always was and will be Joe Satriani. I was learning to play, watching and listening his work, and I won’t hesitate to say that his music changed my life. I listen to other great artist as well like Zakk Wylde, Dimebag Darell,Jeff Beck, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dave Suzuki etc…but Joe is my no.1 forever.I listen to many bands and soloists, and I love extreme metal and have favorite bands like Vital Remains, Lost Soul, Marduk, Churchburn…but I like music to have a space, spatial sound and big emotional load. I am a fan of Dream Theater, Cacophony, Pink Floyd, Sade…list could go on for hours, but main thing I need in music is honest and real feelings in it.

14. When You discovered metal and what You listen to?

-I think, metal has found me, hahaha…In my family home, we was listening to good music as I remember, and it comes naturally for me to evolve from rock’n’roll to more extreme forms like death metal. Lately I listen to lots of modern things, bands that adding some fresh look in my tastes, like Cattle Decapitation, Aborted. Their on my playlist all the time.

15. Any plans for near future of Spirits way?

-Autumn tour in Poland and other European Countries. Soon I will have an update about that. there is a plan of tourin in Germany and Belgium.

16. Are You thinking about next record yet?

-Not at all. Now I want to focus on touring, playing our stuff live, creating new songs will come eventually.

17. What You want to achieve with Your band?

-I wish that playing with Spirits way in future will give me same joy and happiness as it gives me now, my plan is build upon this. Second thing will be more and bigger touring, released next album and make Spirits Way bigger name.spiritsreklama

18. Ok. Are You waiting for any upcoming releases? Morbid Angel just sign with new label and working on new record. There’s a rumor about new Coroner and Disharmonic Orchestra records…

-Exactly! I can’t wait for new Morbid Angel, and I will say, and it’s not popular, I will be pleased if they will add a breath of fresh air into death metal, like they did on previous one.

19. You are up to date with new releases? Gojira is now a big thing, new trend.

-I remember, few years back, friend took me out on their gig in Stodoła (venue in Warsaw), and I didn’t want to go. I didn’t know much about them then, but they totally bought me with their performance.

20. Have You got any interest in popular culture besides music? Movies or TV shows like The Walking dead or now very popular Game Of Thrones or else?

-I am close with art in my Art Gallery (https://www.facebook.com/galeriaartradzikowscy.galeria.sztuki/), so I am focused on that too. But I don’t have much interest in TV shows, so I missed all that hype on “Game Of Thrones”.

21. What equipment are You using in the studio, and live?

-I am fanatic supporter of Marshall, got their few amps,and lately I use their two heads…I became to love stereo sound. I am a bit traditional in that matter, as I think nothing will compare to valve head amplifier. I’ve got substantial collection of guitars, because I never get rid of any of them, and I hope to expand it more soon. But my main weapon is Ibanez guitar.

Tomasz, thanks for answering these questions. I wish You many good gigs, and new record soon. All the best.

-Thanks for talking. Take care.

 

Interview by darkuss3 for Golden Age Of Metal (https://www.facebook.com/Cmentarzysko/)