2 Albums Influenced by Rural Folklore and Witchcraft – MALOKARPATAN & LAIR

Both of these bands could be considered ‘folk’ metal. This music comes from the soil and soul of Slovakia and Ukraine. Both are inspired by native rural culture and the superstitions and lore passed down generations through stories, art and music. Both play raw metal – MALOKARPATAN with more heavy metal, LAIR with more punk.

MALOKARPATAN – Stridzie Dni

This band began life as an outlet for REMMIRATH members to produce something steeped in old school metal. It’s unsurprising though, coming from those same minds, that this is anything but a pastiche of well-trodden riffs. The influences are never far – VENOM (brilliantly on O Vine…), MOTORHEAD, BATHORY, MASTER’S HAMMER (Popolvár…). These guys haven’t made a one-dimensional record for years, and this new band continues to showcase their originality and skill. Old school metal influenced by legends played by endlessly talented lunatics!

LAIR – Black Moldy Brew

This album improves with every listen! On the influence from folklore – it’s there, but not overt. Vocals are impenetrable, lyrics withheld; visually it only hints and there’s no contact or information about the band available publicly. Only brief film samples directly reference the themes. Raw black metal reminiscent of the stripped down punk influenced sound of ILDJARN with strong bass throughout and vocals that wail with similar insanity to early TODESSTOß. While songs are immediately simple and attacking, there is a lot here that you really begin to appreciate on repeat listens. Recommended!

Album Notes: Remmirath – Shambhala Vril Saucers

Distro: Album Page | Artist Page

Written by: As

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  1. Tiger of the City
    Album opener, starting things in a faster tempo to give it an energetic punch. The opening/closing riff is inspired by one of my greatest favourites – Achilles Last Stand by Led Zeppelin. Later on, we add some 80s-sounding synthscapes that were meant to illustrate the cold urban landscape mood. This track is sort of a bridge between the themes of our debut Polis Rouge and the direction of the new album – it stays within the criticism of our contemporary world & culture (rationalism, materialism, Generation Y and its narcissism), this time paraphrasing the thoughts of both postmodern philosophers (Deleuze & Guattari) and those who opposed modernity from a traditionalist perspective – Guénon & Evola.
  2. Shambhala Vril Saucers
    Beginning with the Eastern-influenced throat chanting provided by our new member AE, this song takes the listener deep down the rabbit hole of Eastern mysticism, bizarre conspiracy theories and also confused Western New Age beliefs. The lyrics are intentionally ambiguous and it’s up to the listener to decide whether we are completely serious, half-serious or just playing around to mock everything. The truth is somewhere in between. Musically, it is very diverse – the main moog theme is inspired by a certain Slovak pop hit from the 80s, there are also traces of classic 90s black metal, 80s heavy metal, prog and even space disco. This is not meant to show off how many genres we are able to emulate, it works hand in hand with the lyrics to create a confusing atmosphere which is symptomatic for the world which we live in.
  3. The Gunfighter’s Quest for Enlightenment
    Possibly the most adventurous song on the album since it travels far away from the usual grim and dark moods of black metal (our roots). We used a lot of fairly non-metal instruments here like melodica, jaw harp, even maracas. The beginning is kind of a psychedelic take on Ennio Morricone’s compositions for Sergio Leone movies which evolves into a 60s surf rock vibe, then finally enters extreme metal territory and ends up in a somewhat space/acid rock theme. The inspiration for this one came from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s movie El Topo, but just as in other songs, there are sometimes more, sometimes less obvious references to various topics, even a nod to old Judas Priest lyrics.
  4. Fox Cooper
    The oldest song on the album, we started elaborating on these themes shortly after our debut album came out. One of the rare occasions where we used disharmonic melodies – they are quite popular in current metal but we prefer to stay melodic most of the time. The lyrics are very playful and they basically merge Fox Mulder from The X-Files and special agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks into one person. The reason for that is, I think the contemporary UFO phenomenon is just an updated version of what people in the olden days called spirits, goblins, djinns, etc. This idea was proposed by Jacques Vallée, an American scientist who researches UFO cases in a critical and non-conformist way. The music does everything to enhance this cinematic atmosphere of paranormal, fear, paranoia and driving on lonely roads at night. In the intro we’ve used sounds that pay homage to early electronic soundtracks of 50s sci-fi films when the UFO theme was particularly popular. Those are mixed with a sample of the hypnosis sessions of Barney Hill that give the whole thing a disturbing touch.
  5. Iram of the Pillars
    We have been playing this instrumental song live for several years now and each time in a different version. It was heavily influenced by early 70s krautrock albums from Germany where a lot of the bands just dropped some acid, entered the studio and recorded whatever psychedelic jam they came up with on the spot. The strongest influence came from Agitation Free’s album Malesch and Electric Silence by Dzyan – both of which incorporate exotic, oriental melodies. Iram of the Pillars is a lost city that Quran writes about and it was also used by some well-known writers such as Lovecraft or Gaiman. I wanted to make a song inspired by the Orient because I used to attend an Islamic art course during my university studies, which fascinated me and Islam as a religion is also a highly controversial topic in current world. Like with everything on the album – we don’t provide a clear, conclusive commentary and let the listener think for him/herself. Our earlier Guénon and Evola references might be a key to that, though.
  6. The Coming of Kalki
    Knowing the mentality of usual metal fans, I can imagine them considering this final song as a “filler” since it has almost zero melody and no clear construction. In reality, this was one of our experiments with sound collages, musique concrète and noise. Which probably sounds pretentious and artfaggish, but we were sincerely fascinated by this approach and improvised with it several times both in our rehearsal room and during live performances. The inspiration came from several sources – from contemporary classical composers such as Stockhausen, Xenakis or Globokar, through the most radical krautrock bands like Faust & Zweistein to total outsiders like Sun City Girls & Nurse With Wound. Our song is a mix of a live improvisation from the rehearsal room and another acoustic session at a place where the second guitar player HV was living at the moment. Plus it adds some speech samples which I leave for to the listeners to find out where they come from. The theme of the song is the waiting for Kalki – Vishnu’s wrathful avatar who is expected to come at the end of Kali Yuga – the age of darkness, degeneration and decay which we live in, to punish the deceivers and restore a new Golden Age. This hints at the direction that will be taken on our next album.

 guenon

REMMIRATH Album Preview #5: Wherein all things are like the void and cloudless sky

…and the naked, spotless intellect is like a transparent vacuum without circumference or center.

One of the rare occasions where we used disharmonic melodies – they are quite popular in current metal but we prefer to stay melodic most of the time.

I think the contemporary UFO phenomenon is just an updated version of what people in the olden days called spirits, goblins, djinns, etc. This idea was proposed by Jacques Vallée, an American scientist…

REMMIRATH’s second album Shambhala Vril Saucers will be released Saturday, 14th March on Todestrieb Records & Kristallblut Records.

REMMIRATH Album Preview #4: Lord Kalki will appear in the home of the most eminent brahmana of Shambhala village

vicarann ashuna kshaunyam hayenapratima-dyutih
nripa-linga-cchado dasyun kotisho nihanishyati…
…After all the imposter kings have been killed, the residents of the cities and towns will feel the breezes carrying the most sacred fragrance of the sandalwood paste and other decorations of Lord Kalki, and their minds will thereby become transcendentally pure.

…this was one of our experiments with sound collages, musique concrète and noise.
Our song is a mix of a live improvisation from the rehearsal room and another accoustic session…

REMMIRATH’s second album Shambhala Vril Saucers will be released Saturday, 14th March on Todestrieb Records & Kristallblut Records.

REMMIRATH Album Preview #3: When it sees the sun, it is blinded

(unmixed and unmastered version)

In search of the sun, it sometimes comes to the surface,
When it sees the sun, it is blinded

The inspiration for this one came from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s movie El Topo, but just as in other songs, there are sometimes more, sometimes less obvious references to various topics, even a nod to old Judas Priest lyrics.

REMMIRATH’s second album Shambhala Vril Saucers will be released Saturday, 14th March on Todestrieb Records & Kristallblut Records.

REMMIRATH Album Preview #2: Indeed, your Lord is in observation…

Emaciated priests, displayed as reptiles in ornate robes, cursed the upper air and all who breathed it; and one terrible final scene shewed a primitive-looking man, perhaps a pioneer of ancient Irem, the City of Pillars, torn to pieces by members of the elder race. I remembered how the Arabs fear the nameless city…

“The strongest influence came from Agitation Free’s album Malesch and Electric Silence by Dzyan – both of which incorporate exotic, oriental melodies.
Iram of the Pillars is a lost city that Quran writes about and it was also used by some well-known writers such as Lovecraft or Gaiman.”

REMMIRATH’s second album Shambhala Vril Saucers will be released Saturday, 14th March on Todestrieb Records & Kristallblut Records.

Daily Noise: Remmirath – Tiger of the City (3 Songs from Forthcoming Album)

 

The world holds nothing we could pity
Toss it down and rebuild

These songs are taken from their forthcoming album. Take note! — the band are looking for interested labels.

Their début album is held in high esteem here. It’s not perfect – at times it goes ‘too far’ – but their creative and adventurous approach matched with their skill made for one great album and several killer songs! That was six years ago, and their next release is almost ready…

REMMIRATH began in Bratislava as a purely Black Metal band – HELCARAXE. They released Smrt Putnikova in 2005 (an atmospheric black metal demo) then Polis Rouge on Ravenheart in 2008.

REMMIRATH take their music far, far beyond the typical boundaries. This is not simply co-opting some riffs from another genre; their whole approach is detached from normal genre limitations.
These three songs are not really black metal, but that is often at the root. Everything is experimented with and distorted to such a degree, what can it be called? Lyrics deal with popular culture, Eastern mysticism (in Fox Cooper they are explicitly interwoven), Lovecraft, conspiracies and occultism. Other musical influences include experimental and psychedelic 70’s rock (look for that most obviously on The Gunfighter’s Quest for Enlightenment) and experimental music in general – John Cage has been mentioned at least once.

Their music is honest and sure of itself. As listeners it is our task to decipher, and you will probably find yourself accepting and rejecting aspects throughout a song. A wildly varied assortment of influences and techniques. When it works for you, it’s a truly memorable experience!
I cannot follow every move, when you involve so much it’s no surprise; but there is no doubt – these are real masters!

REMMIRATH performing an early version of Tiger of the City 3 years ago! —

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Track by Track: Remmirath – Polis Rouge (Album Guide)

Track by track is a feature from the Distro: song explanations, background info, lyric details; written by the bands themselves.

Distro: Album Page | Artist Page

Written by: As

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The Will Behind the Colossus
Just a short intro setting the untrve tone for the album. Saxophones are not very unusual in metal anymore, but we thought it would fit the urban atmosphere we tried to create with the album. In the background, you can hear authentic sounds from a factory where our bass player used to work at the time.

Replacing the Sun
About mankind worshipping speed and the illusion of perpetual linear progress. Many fools believe that we live in the best of times, because hey, we got iPads and we are able to travel the stars. Those who exceed their minds beyond the primitive material plane already know that we are on the verge of the End times.

N.W.O. Neverland
Our conspiracy theory song. No Alex Jones or David Icke stuff, just a simple and direct lyric that could encompany the movie They Live. It speaks about Paris Hilton in the beginning. I once grabbed some tabloid paper and she was there on the front page, scratching her vagina in a swim suit. Breaking news, sheep!

A Little Trip to the Stars
The most personal song of ours and my favourite lyric. It tells about a couple of nights in summer 2005 that we spent with a few of our friends inside a cottage surrounded by the woods. A rural idyll if you wish. In the end it describes how we are returning to the city in a morning train, which takes us “so far from miracles”. The accoustic guitars slowly fade out and the electronic sounds of the next track brings us back into the brutal urban world.

La Figurine Plastique
Our tribute to Kraftwerk. And to the mystique of the city at night. Walking the lonesome streets and gazing into the illuminated shop windows, with plastic mannequins which stare at you with their empty, artificial eyes. However we loathe the trappings of the modern world, at the same time we find ourselves fascinated with it’s peculiar aesthetics and twisted charm.

Polis Rouge
The heart of the album, more or less continuing the theme of urban isolation and fascination with the atmosphere of a nocturnal city. This is the first time we entered the psychedelic rock territory, which we are exploring a lot more today.

What Remains After Us
Continuing the message of Replacing the Sun, the song tells about humanity limping across the edge of the Abyss, no longer having a meaning of life in a dystopian, transhumanist world where there is no more purity and spirituality left. Our science and arts are worthless and the Earth will devour us to grow a new skin. It ends with a positive thought though: “still it is so beautiful to stand here with you, at the end of all. That is what remains after us.” There is humanity left in humans, but their beloved civilisation needs to become extinct, so the world will get healthy again. Conoisseurs of modern classical music might spot a Gyorgy Ligeti sample in the second half of the song.

Rainy Friday
The most sappy song and my least favourite today, after 5 years. Cure fans might enjoy it though. It is almost fully instrumental, but it’s basically about a lonely (and rainy) friday spent at home, watching the rain pouring outside and thinking of someone you will probably never meet again.