The Return of Derelict Gods, a long-awaited third full-length album is finally released! First of all, why it took so long to release the album? Regain Heaven was released 11 years ago, do not you think your fans could forget a bit about the band because of such a huge break? You have released some Eps, splits etc but not an album. What was the reason for the break?
As you can see, we haven’t been wasting all this time. We’ve released over 20 different materials since Regain Heaven, so nobody could complain. It’s so much music, that we could once a year or two, release a full album. Add concerts to this, which we have played a few – we have not been bored. And as for “The Return Of Derelict Gods” the story is as follows… Well over a decade ago we recorded drums, guitar pilots and bass for this material… It turned out that something was wrong with the drum tracks – they were out of tempo, or something like that. The material landed in the bin. In 2007, the demo “Black Pyramid” was released as an announcement of this material. “The Return of Derelict Gods” was supposed to be a half-concept album divided into two separate albums … As a result of changes in our line-up, we had some limitations in action – for a few years, materials shorter than the full album and concerts had to be enough. We are now in 2019 and everything has changed – from the project called “The Return Of Derelict Gods”, the title and partially the text layer remained (for new arrangements and completely new music, we changed the texts a little). And that’s roughly how it looks. We recorded a CD with this title twice over the course of 11 years and finally managed to make it the third time. It is probably true that the “third album” is a breakthrough.
The Return of Derelict Gods was released by Polish label Old Temple, why do you think the big labels had no interest to release an album? Are you glad with the final result to be in stock of your domestic label?
The „big labels” are those who should answer this question, haha. Well, the matter of labels is sometimes comic these times. I see that you raised this topic in one of the next questions, so I will not spoil the game now – however, we had several other offers to release this album. The conditions of Old Temple suited us the most, and I’ve known Eryk for a long time and I know that he wouldn’t fuck us over. So we are satisfied with how our cooperation works, and it should be added that we had to deal with each other several years ago when this label released the Empheris / Embrional split.
Does the album title reflects bands’ hiatus and returning of Empheris into the scene with an album or there is some another sense has been put into the title? I know about your passion towards Egyptian and other mythologies so I think album title relays to this theme 😊
Haha, it would be nice to hear that kind of the genesis of this title (and very modestly of course!), However, most of the lyrics and title were written in 2006 and were intended for the original version of “The Return Of Derelict Gods”, which as I mentioned wasn’t released. I would like to emphasize again that we do not “come back” from nowhere – we have been here all the time, simply for a longer time than usual – we have not put out a full album. The title concerns half of the lyrics that are on the album and, as you rightly inquire, refers to the mythology of ancient Egypt ornamented with Lovecraftian themes, which have been present in my texts since I can remember.
Empheris was always on the side of old-school metal hell, what helps you to continue with blasphemous ideas? I know you will never turn into some modern sounds but what’s your personal attitude on this topic?
I devour iron, drink mercury and listen to Metal for over 30 years, there is no way I would enjoy something else suddenly – you might as well try to persuade a shark to turn vegan or a priest to become an honest man. Empheris will always be based on an old-school foundation, we live this way and nobody will take it away from us… Anyway, as I now look at these new-fashion trends in “metal” (post-metal ???), I want to vomit. You can see 20-years-old corporation-lumberjack with the nicely stylized beard as well as an emo-twat in a nice shirt with a haircut a’la Travolta 1977. Both are trying to push the agenda that Metal is polite and for everyone. Fuck no! Metal is the music of rebellion, it’s Horns and Hooves! If you don’t get it, wear your sandals with white socks and fuck off to a disco party.
Empheris is a quite active band as for gigs but mainly within Poland. What’s the reason you don’t play many gigs in some even neighbor countries like Germany, Czech, Baltic States etc? I know you have no some “high” demands to play live while some young new bands with strict financial demands are playing in other countries.
Good question. Empheris does not have anyone to deal with the promotion and organization of concerts. We set our concerts by ourselves, or we are invited by other bands we know. And indeed, we do not have any requirements and we would be happy to play in any country. But when I hear that we can play, for example, a concert in Lithuania, but we have to get there at our own expense, then we have to politely refuse the offer. A recent situation: a band of our friends went to Prague to play such a concert. Only a few people came, so you can say that they played a rehearsal there – it was only a few hundred kilometers from home. And they paid for this ride from their own pockets. That’s not a pleasant situation, to be honest. Last time we played outside of Poland was in 2007 or 2008 in Berlin with Inquisition – a great event.
What can you tell me about Tomasz, Szymon and Rafał as “new” members for a band? Do you think they will be long-term members? Also, did they brought some new ideas into Empheris music or everything lays on you and Bonif?
Without Tomasz and Szymon, “The Return Of Derelict Gods” would not have been made, really the guys tried to make this record sound like it sounds. Szymon is a young but fucking talented drummer. Thomas, in turn, is an old dog. You might know him from such bands as Hazael, Alastor or Nightmare, he does not need a recommendation. Rafał played with Tomasz at a later stage of Hazael’s activity and at some point he also became a member of Empheris. These guests brought a lot of fresh energy to the band, some say it is the best line-up we had. I and Bonif are in the band from the beginning, we have our vision of this music and it crystallizes in what we do as a band.
How do you think Empheris’ music was changed during the last 10 years?
Music changed because the quality was raised to a higher level. We still want to achieve the maximum dark and suggestive climate with the help of extreme means of expression, we develop as people and as musicians, we hear it in the sounds we generate. The idea, in turn, remained unchanged.
Well, how do you see the future of metal scene? What’s an option is closer to your thoughts: 1) extreme metal will conquer the music world and really extreme and old-school bands will play many gigs and sell much stuff to continue with the music or 2) extreme old-school metal will become much more underground and possibly will be switched into some kind of “inner circle” (not like now but deeply underground and closed)?
Extreme Metal conquered the world and does not have to prove anything anymore. The problem are the new trends, like “post-metal” that never had anything to do with Metal. Such things should be recycled, but this is my private opinion. I respect the tastes of other people, but I think that the word “Metal” should not be defiled with what Metal is not, but only tries to be Metal (probably due to the lack of an idea for the genre’s name: cake musick, post-emo? …). So the answer to your question is somewhere in the middle: Extreme Metal found a place for its clumsy carcass on the show’s business shining showrooms, but it also sat down on a filthy throne in the deepest casemates of the Underground. So the genre will go forward in multiple directions. In the Underground as well as on the Earth.
What do you think about “labels” who asking for 2000-5000 Eur from bands to release one fucking album? I see there are a lot of such “businessmen” all around Europe… The most interesting thing – there are a lot of bands who accept such kind of “agreed rip-off” with a hope that label will do all the best for them.
It’s a book-sized topic. Such pathologies ruin the stage, and the fact that they happened, is evidence of whoredom of this generation. You know, a mom will buy her child a great guitar for a birthday party, he will set up a band, and get a contract from a “label” that is also owned by his parents, experts specializing in that kind of dealings. It’s how this mechanism works roughly. I wrote a lot about it in “R’Lyeh ‘zine” and I do not want to repeat myself, but just in our Polish yard look at a team like Misanthur! You have not heard of them? Probably not many people have, after all, the band only released two demos with their own effort of 50 and 100 copies. The kids can’t play too much, and their stage look is laughable! And these are the kids who were signed by the great Season of Mist!!! A warm and non-alcoholic beer like the band will be promoted by a widely respected label, as the “discovery of the year” will release the “record of the year” and may play the “tour of the year”. And the times we have are such that the internet has the best taste – they will have a lot of fans in no time. It will end as usual: when the supply exceeds the demand, those fucking actions will end, and Metal will clean itself of this shit and everything will be back to normal.
What about nowadays Polish underground scene? I see there are some new bands with good music but mostly “melodic”, “groove” etc, if we will compare Italy, Germany, Spain etc where are a lot of old-school bands who play killer death, thrash metal etc, why do you think Poland has a lack of extreme bands?
What are you talking about? There are no extreme bands in Poland? Modern Talking, Backstreet Boys … no, wait, a mistake, haha wrong interview! Okay, let’s be serious. Well, in my opinion, Poland has one of the best Black / Death Metal scenes in the world! And I’m not talking about Vader, Mgla or Behemoth. The first league is undoubtedly Azarath, Anima Damnata, Witchmaster, Infernal War, Throneum, Pandemonium and others, but they are feeling breaths on their back of Embrional, Deus Mortem, Warfist, Nekkrofukk, Besatt, Voidhanger, Bloodthirst, followed by Moloch Letalis, Hate Them All, Freezing Blood, Zmora, Kingdom, Crippling Madness, Haunted Cenotaph, Chanid, Hell’s Coronation, Zmora, etc. The list of great bands is very long, but … to tell you the truth, in opposition to your argument, I do not know too many “melodic”, “Groove” bands from Poland;). And as for Germany or other EU countries, they have fantastic bands and a fantastic story of the scene, but look how much there is, for example, fanzines? You can count them on fingers of your one hand, meanwhile, with us (May 2019) there have already appeared more than 10 such releases. Assuming the principle that the zines are a measure of the size of the scene, I think the subject is closed;)
Bro, what can you tell me about KAT? Some people calling Piotr as a rip-off guy who steals all the music etc, do you know something on this topic? If you remember, we spoke about return on Imperator band. Do you still think that’s a senseless return? Do you believe they are unable to record some hellish stuff anymore after almost 30 years break? 😊
Recently we played with KAT & Roman Kostrzewski – a great concert. Roman is undoubtedly one of the best frontmen created by Polish land. Luczyk, in turn, founded this band and was at the beginning his main composer. The whole dispute between Piotr and Roman is well known to me. My opinion is that I have no opinion. Oh, they have quarreled about the name and we have two teams named KAT. In turn, what both gentlemen recorded with their joint forces, i.e. the album “666” KAT – is the best album Polish Metal gave to the world. As for Imperator, I do not trust such reactivations announced as “a return in an old lineup”, while one person from that line jumps onto the stage (fact, commander in chief!), but surrounded by people who have nothing to do with the glorious history of the Imperator. There were not many successful reactivations, most of them are simply willing to make money on their youthful passions, which nowadays are “fashionable” after many years. However, after the Imperator I do not expect too much (and I also hope that I’m wrong!).
Empheris share the stage with Possessed years ago, how do you like their fresh album? Do you want to share the stage with them again?
This is just a successful reactivation and a great exception to the rule where only one person remained in the original line-up! Jeff and company recorded it, they gave concerts where it was possible for over 10 years, the band was reaching for energy while playing the old songs. And look what happened! They have released a great album! “Revelations Of Oblivion” is a time machine straight to golden years in the band’s history, which will probably come again. The concert with Possessed was a fantastic event, if it was to be repeated, we will, of course, say “YES”!
I know you getting many inspirations while visiting some ancient places all around the world, like Egypt, Mexico etc. What are your plans for the near future? Any mysterious places in your schedule?
That’s true, I try to visit as many “marked” places as possible. It certainly affects not only what we do, but also who we are. Obviously, the obstacle in traveling is finance, but any problem can be solved somehow. Plans? Once a year, I wander with my friend in the woods in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains and around, places with inexhaustible energy reserves. For some time I have been invited to Peru and Bolivia – I think everyone knows about the artifacts there, and Puma Punku (Bolivia) has spent my dreams for a long time. This is another place that should not exist! There is also Yonaguni in Japan … and many more. One life is not enough to see it all with your own eyes, but you only need to be aware of these places, to realize that we were not the first …
That’s all for now, see you soon bro!
Thanks for the great questions! Best wishes to Antichrist!!! If you have any questions about Empheris, feel free to write! Metal til ‘Death!!!