A series of posts to highlight select releases in the distro, track notes are written by band members.
Branching out from their metal roots, incorporating disparate musical influences honestly, Karst have created a great album!! Recommended. — us
Written by: Kristóf and Dániel
Halogató / Dilatory
Kristóf: This songs first version was dumped a long time ago, before releasing Cleaning a Cave. We re-arranged it when we have already been seeing the brief structure of Lime Veins Bleed Rust needing one more straight-forward song that really is A Song. The lyrics were written by me, then re-arranged by Dániel in order to be more allegoric, fitting everyone’s taste. The song is about delaying important business, which creates disharmony in one’s soul. A song with simple structure – perfect opener. The string instruments were tuned down from standard E (which we use all the time) to D tuning on the studio version to get a heavier tone for the opening riff.
Dániel: Our band shows two sides on this album. A straight-forward rock flavour, and a more complex, experimental part. We didn’t want to confuse listeners with the first track so we chose this one. We also often open concerts with it.
Szagodakvusz / Shagodyoweq
Dániel: The creature mentioned in the title comes from Native American (Iroquois) beliefs. They said it comes to take away the ones who are too ravenous, as a guardian spirit of the tribe to keep the tribe clear of sins. So it deals with death, fears, faith and occasionally – food.
Musically we used rich, out-of-this-world yet melodic chords. I remember it was a long time to improve the final version of this track. As we hate sharp changes between riffs and themes we rather used bridges and modulations (and whatever…).
When making rehearsal demo of this track we realized how wonderful would it be if we invited our friend Molestus from the once-been local ‘Psycho Black Metal’ band Carcharoth to do some vocals. With his voice some narrations came alive in the way we imagined.
Lot of people wondered how we did that strange guitar sound at the final part of this song. It was arranged by two of us in the studio: Balázs played the guitar and Kristóf dealt with the analog delay effect. This raw noise-making also works well at gigs.
Eszmélve / Awaken
Kristóf: Lyrics composed by Dániel’s poetic again vein based on my idea I came up with when I first heard the song as a whole. This song is about how much harm people can do with false history writing, abuse of national symbols and ignorant people boasting with ideals, ‘facts’ and symbols they practically know nothing about. A basically illiterate person telling you historical facts heard in television and pubs boasting how deep nationalist he is… this is just as harmful as a well educated far-left liberal person disrespecting all his/her roots and talking it out loud to others.
Dániel: It was one of the last songs written on Lime Veins. The lyrics are soaked in irony and contempt. When we looked through the songs we’ve done it was clear that a Northern Black Metal piece is absolutely needed. We are huge fans of WITCHCRAFT (a Hungarian horde, you should check out their album Years of Blood). I had inspiration from this kind of music when writing the song.
Although it’s raw and furious, another idea is included on drums in the middle section. Maybe this is the first time in music history to feature blastbeat with cross-sticks. You know, the snare sound is changed to clicks, a tone often used for example in bossa nova. It was an old ‘quest’ to do for me.
Fajkísérlet / Race Experiment (Prelude to Halomra)
Kristóf: Lyrics written by Kristóf, sung by Dániel until 2/3 of the song.
I have met with Tamás (our bass player) on a summer afternoon to drink some beer and talk. I told him I cannot invent anything for the new song we created in the rehearsal room since it is too complex, too much colours, and none of my ideas match. I have asked him to ‘give me a lead and I will invent the rest‘. The answer was simple: ‘let it be about a mad scientist‘ – he told me with a smile on his face expecting I will not take it seriously – I did. I came up with the story of a scientist trying to end all misunderstanding between the folks on Earth by creating and replicating billions of copies of a nano-device, a sort of virus that he spreads in the air and water so that the ‘infected’ people’s whole use of language gets re-written to a totally reasonable mathematical language that supposedly ends all misunderstandings, creates peace, makes a path towards collective consciousness. The story proved to be too long for one song, it continues with ‘Halomra’. Dániel plays the role of this person trying to ‘save the day’. He did an excellent job painting an old, tired, sour mastermind. To be honest I had issues with doing the vocals right on certain parts of this song, because it needed unusual rhythm patterns and timing to sound just right. After several better and worse tries I just simply passed it to the drummer. How mean I am! Anyway I think the change from the monologue to a narrator tone (me) at the end of the song could not do any better.
Dániel: Fajkísérlet a good example of our philosophy behind playing music… I composed some guitar and bass parts that were very difficult to play to others at first. We didn’t change them, instead Balázs and Tamás practised for a long time to get the right quality. I’ve read some time that TORMENTOR (legendary Hungarian early Black Metal act) did the same at their first full album. They were great minds to follow!
Yes, I did nearly all vocals on this song. I wanted to bring out a kind of rasping, lower voice of mine. I ‘invented’ that when I was 14, riding my bike and trying to imitate the tone of SEAR BLISS’ vocalist… It was worth for me at least.
And there are two movie samples in this tune. In the intro we used a vintage Hungarian-French co-produced sci-fi ‘Az idő urai’. Then an amazing French one ‘Il était une fois… l’Espace’ is in the middle which is the greatest influence from my childhood. Both released in 1982! The samples are Hungarian but you can check out their translation with all of our lyrics at www.karst.hu
Norák és lidércek / Wisps and Demons
Kristóf: A song about mythical beliefs of our ancestors put parallel with the destruction of natural inhabitat. Civilisation means losing contact with nature and getting rid of the strange creatures who once lived in our forests. They have to hide deeper and deeper, finally into oblivion. The flute I have used in the middle section is hand made by Balázs’s (our guitarist) father. Just as mentioned before since I don’t consider myself a real musician this flute part is simple improvisation. We used the take from the rehearsal room demo for the flute track because we all agreed it was the best take no matter how many times I tried in the studio. There are original sound samples recorded by me on this song: Stones rolling down the hillside in the Bükk mountains, the sound of Szinva creek that comes from Bükk and flows through our hometown Miskolc, and some special nutshell instrument.
Dániel: In the middle section a folk flute appears. That’s a soundscape nearly all listeners mention from Lime Veins. I got the idea from DRESCH QUARTET, a Hungarian jazz band operating with completely acoustic instrumentation: drums, double bass, cimbalom (instead of piano or guitar) and winds. That’s amazing how they create bleak, pure, natural atmosphere without trying to be annoyingly virtuoso.
Norák és lidércek also features a very special percussion instrument. I made two pieces of them during the summer nights of 2013 from empty walnut shells. Exactly 218 pieces of half-walnuts were used, each on 11 threads of twine. It’s a kind of ritual equipment maybe. There are letters on the walnuts from my lyrics. Some inscriptions are engraved in the grip: ‘Memento Mori, Memento Spes’ and ‘Vanitas Vanitatum’. There’s Nothing more important could be there.
Kistérségi / Regional
Kristóf: Probably the angriest song on this album. Pure rage against metropolitan life and hopeless countryside poverty in Hungary. Plastic hate, litter and filth thrown up all the way from the evil throat of black humour.
Dániel: We were always longing to use the unplugged, chiming sound of an electric guitar. Finally we got it in the intro!
As I look back, I wrote the music at about an hour in night time. Although I’m not really interested in new musics, the debut album of DJERV got my attention. Their works indicated my mind to arrange some skinny, forthright rhythms and melodies.
Savós / Serous
Kristóf: Another song about anger, without any special details, but rich in pictures. The goal was simply to get that exact feeling when one’s having a five minutes rush of madness for no reason then calming down.
Dániel: Nearly all musical parts came from Balázs, our guitarist. When we finished it in February 2011 as first song of this album, he had to move abroad for several months so we could restart the process only after he returned. It’s another answer why we wrote Lime Veins for 3 years… That time gave us the possibility to include all different colors that were around.
Halomra / Mound
Kristóf: The plan of the old scientist becomes reality. Cultures collapse, people kill each other because they understand everything the other person says even what him/her not wanted to do so. Exact information is a sharper than any blade’s edge. Earth is finally getting rid of the vermin called humanity going mad and killing each other with bare hands. Annihilated we are relieved to the void and forever forgotten.
Dániel: Musically it was done way before it became the lyrical continuation of Track 4 – Fajkísérlet / Race Experiment. The ‘mission’ was to use the 2-and-4 feeling of Swing music but without being jazzy in the funny way. We tried so many versions, it was rather an experience, a brainstorming for us than writing a metal song. To say it out, I had an old wish to hear my band playing jazz… and it’s been fairly apocalyptical, especially the ending of the tune.
The intro was composed in a quite strange way. I was on my way to sell a very low-quality, used guitar cable to an old man via classified ads. When we made the deal I turned around to walk back home then suddenly the notes started to sound in my head completely vividly. The only thing I had to do is not to forget until I arrive home again. Sadly no further sells inspired me to imagine Karst riffs, haha – but we kept this one.
There’s an outro after the song, played on a very old electric organ across various effects. I played the keys, Kristóf was messing around with the knobs on the instrument and Balázs dealt with the guitar pedals. Three of us made a homage for TOLUOL here. It’s an underrated local cosmic dark ambient project.
Footprints of Harrison Crabfeathers
Kristóf: The original lyrics – about a young boy killed and buried – have a special personal fill here for Dániel and me including no violence but just as tragic.
Dániel: I’ve heard the original Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers jazz tune back in 2005 and it totally made me shiver. A trio played it on piano, bass and drums. The first thing came to my mind that I must work it out as a Black Metal tune. I didn’t even know that it has any lyrics. It’s strange that its words totally fit the necro spirit of the genre.
Then on rehearsals it came out that it would be too short for a complete song so we interpreted Footprints from saxophonist Wayne Shorter. It’s such a nice activity to browse between the American jazz legacy of 60s to find a properly death-like piece. We found more – and we have plans with them on our next release!
Van egy malom / There is a Mill
Kristóf: Is about alienation of modern people not caring about anything but their own private shells.
Dániel: It’s a track that closes the album in the same way we opened it. The musical texture is inspired by artists like RAVENSHADES, KATATONIA, ENSLAVED – their meeting point in this case is somberly pulsating, blackening rock. That’s what we used.
There’s a guitar solo in it. I got the vision what I would like to hear so composed the basics for Balázs – and he suffered it quite deeply, haha.
The drum solo at the end is quite the pair of this guitar solo mentioned before. I’ve practised multiple times and although I’ve successfully recorded it at first take in studio, I forget it time to time when we play it… As a matter of fact, it seems we have a masochist side by playing instruments – but it’s always secondary. The result heard as a whole is what matters above all.