Remmirath, great atmospheric Black Metal from Slovakia, ex-Helcaraxe. Czech underground label Ravenheart have put out Smrť Pútnikova on cassette (February 2006), and Todestrieb wrote to the horde for an introduction — their history, approach to music, side projects (including details about some planned projects not yet started!), and the scheduled debut full-length album!
Thanks to Lesodiv for the answers!!
Interview with Lesodiv
5 March 2006
What is the history of Remmirath and Helcaraxe?
The idea of forming Remmirath reaches to´96, when I and Sigi were influenced by the releases of old bands. We made some amateurish home-demos through the 2nd half of 90s, but nothing serious was going on for a long time. In 2002 we recorded our 1st unofficial mini-demo called „Beyond Redemption“, which only few people have heard. It contained two short songs in the true old black metal tradition. During 2003-2004 we recorded our first official demotape called simply „Demo 2004“. It contains over 20 minutes of pure old BM in similar style like norwegian demos from the half of 90s.
In summer 2004 we recorded two new songs, which were later released on the HELCARAXE/TEMNOHOR split-2005 (TEMNOHOR is an one-man band of our close friend, which produces primitive old school grim BM). This split was self-released, but not very distributed at all. Through summer and autumn 2005 we recorded „Smrt Putnikova“, our last material. This stuff is something that we always wanted to say. 90s-styled BM with many various atmospheres and moods, with several changes during a song. It has over 17 minutes and it was officially released by Czech label Ravenheart.
The name was changed in 2005, because there are 3 more bands using the name HELCARAXE.
Musicaly and lyrically, do Helcaraxe and Remmirath deal with different subjects?
REMMIRATH is the continuation of what we did as HELCARAXE, but more complex and mature concerning both music and lyrics. The idea remains the same: to produce something that has vanished in today’s degenerated pseudo-BM „scene“ and „underground“ – black metal with an artistic depth and spiritual background.
Have you played live?
No, we have never played live. There are several reasons for that. First of all we are only a trio, Sigi does both vocals and drums, so it is not very possible to perform live. The other thing is, that I am not very sure that the people that use to visit gigs would understand what is REMMIRATH all about. I´m really sick of it, when I see all those teenage NSBM loosers who are absolutely ignorant of what is BM and what it used to be in the past days. The audience is created by people, who have no idea about our art. But anyway, we´ll maybe do some gigs in the future, althought it isn´t a priority for us. We are here to make music, not to play it live for a bunch of posers…
Which bands are most influence to you? For Smrt Putnikova there seems to be some influence from east european pagan/black metal and more experimental sounds of Masters’ Hammer etc. ?
The driving force behind what we do is the old, non-degenerated BM scene, which inlfuenced us years ago. Today this scene is dead and we are here to stand for what once was so full of dignity and depth. We have nothing to do with nowadays scene, which is nothing but a pile of scum.
We never create music to sound as some other band that we like, our music is our way of expression. No, we were definitely NOT influenced by the so-called east european „pagan black metal scene“. This is something absolutely distant from anything we feel or do. Paganism became the same silly trend as satanism years ago. It is really funny to see all these „pagan“ clowns with Nokturnal Mortum t-shirts, knowing nothing about the true quintessence of BM art. Fuck off „pagan scene“, that´s all I can say to that. The spiritual heritage of our forefathers is a very deep and important thing, but most of these poser bands are just following the trend wave. And we also weren´t influenced by MASTER´S HAMMER, althought it is one of our most favourite bands – the only real czech BM legend ever… Maybe you can feel some influences of early IMMORTAL or SUMMONING, but there wasn´t any copiration…!
When and where was “Smrť Pútnikova” recorded, what instruments were used, any problems during the recordings?
Smrt Putnikova was recorded sporadically in Rizling Underground studio through summer and autumn of 2005. With many pauses it took us cca 3 months. We didn´t want to record it in a hurry as we did with the first demo… We have worked with many details to make the atmosphere as strong as it was possible in our terms. Instruments? We have normal instruments, not very expensive but good enough to make what we need… Hmm, I think there weren´t any big problems with the recording. Maybe when we sometimes drunk too much wine (Rizling, Frankovka, Muller Thurgau, Portugiesischer Rose and other elite hehe) and then the recording proccess got damaged…
When was the material written (during the Helcaraxe time or all new for Remmirath), who does most writing? Is the music written together as a band?
I wrote the material throughout 2001-2005. It wasn´t like: now we are REMMIRATH so we make brand new songs… Most of songs are created by me, but for example on the demo more than half material was written by HV and also Sigi made some ideas. We are not writing music together, we just have our individual ideas.
What messages, images, atmospheres did you try to create with Smrt Putnikova?
You can make your own opinnion while listening to our music and reading our lyrics… We create images of mysterious places in nature, melancholic atmospheres, nostalgic moods of 90s scene, etc. We are something like an antibalance to current fucked-up and trendy scene. Most of nowadays´ bands use black metal as a tool of pathetic political propaganda. Their music is utter shit. We stand against this absurd trendy flood, because the main thing for us is Art. Black metal is art, that is what all these modern posers don´t know about.
What does the cover image show? Who designed it?
We were fascinated by this image and it´s strange, strong atmosphere so we decided to use it on our cover. It wasn´t painted exclusively for us. We don´t have a fix message what is this painting about, it depends on the individual fantasy of everyone who sees it. It can mean something else for us and something else for other people. It just has the same atmosphere as the music on Smrt Putnikova and that is the mean reason behind it.
Are you working on an album for the next Remmirath release? Do you have any material written or labels planned?
We have complete material for a debut album and we have already started to record it. Momentally we have problems with recording of drums, so we are looking for a right place where to record it. Of course we´ll send it to some labels, but we´ll see how it will all end up. The debut album will be a continuation of the style of Smrt Putnikova, but it will be even more varied and also a little bit experimental and avantgarde. We don´t want to repeat what was here for a hundred times, we want to create something theoretically new, with the old basis. The base will be 90s styled BM, but with some influences of 70s art rock for example… You´ll see when it´ll be ready. I hope we´ll finish the recording up to autumn of this year.
Talk about some of the side projects, Majster Kat for example. What releases do they have or coming soon, do they let you explore different music styles?
Majster Kat is a thrash metal band, where Sigi plays the drums. He joined this band because he likes 80s thrash metal. But he wants to leave M.K. in the near future, because of various problems. We wanted to record the drumparts for our debut album in MAJSTER KAT´s rehearsal room, but they had no respect for that and it caused us a very problematic situation. Members of M.K. (except Sigi of course) kind of ignore REMMIRATH, they think it´s just our way of enterntainment, so it doesn´t look like Sigi will stay in their line-up. He wants to fully concentrate on REMMIRATH.
We want to record several sideprojects. First of all VINATOR, which is a purely alcoholic 80s styled metal with lyrics about wine, influenced by old legends as MERCYFUL FATE, VENOM, HELLHAMMER, SARCOFAGO, etc. It will be also influenced by slovakian polka music. The line-up consists of REMMIRATH and TEMNOHOR members. Then we want to realise a more obscure project influenced by old stuff of BLASPHEMY, BEHERIT, DEMONCY, HAVOHEJ… The working-name is RHAN-TEGOTH, but it isn´t sure at this time. The line-up will consist of our trio plus Koronas of KORIUM. Sigi had an ambient project ARAGONIT (formed in ´94 as BLACK HOLE), but it is not active since 2002, althought he plans to record some new stuff in the future. HV wants to record a project called KROLOGH, it will be BM similar to REMMIRATH, but in a different view. I also plan a soloproject with working-name MURK, which will be in pure 90s BM style. I write a little bit more experimental stuff for REMMIRATH, therefore MURK will be a project fully dedicated to pure BM…
Thank you very much for interview and good luck.
Lesodiv of Remmirath