I recently had the opportunity to interview a member of Melbourne black/death metallers Denouncement Pyre, who have been working on a follow up to their killer debut album "World Cremation". Enjoy!
Let’s start things off with a brief history of the band. How long have Denouncement Pyre been around? What have you released so far? Who is currently in the band? And anything else you consider relevant
The origins of the band go back to late 2002 – early 2003. We began as a 2 piece consisting of myself on guitar/vocals and J. on drums. We operated in that form for about a year or so before recruiting C. Volcano on drums which allowed J. to take up the guitar and thus we recorded the first demo as a 3-piece in 2004. By the end of that year we played our first live show in Melbourne, performing as a 4-piece with a live session bass player.
Since then we have remained active although the line-up has changed here and there through the years. From 2007 we remained bound to the studio and have not performed live mostly existing as a 2-piece which limited our capabilities as a live band. We are now back to a full line-up and are preparing to record Album #2 over coming months for a scheduled release towards the end of 2012.
To date we have released:
World Cremation – LP/CD/DigiCD/Tape – 2010
Circle of the Black Flame – 7” ep – 2008
Chaos Rising – Split LP – 2008
Hells Infantry – mini-album/mc – 2006
Under the Aegis of Damnation – 7” ep – 2006
Barbaric Vengeance – live tape - 2005
The Storm to End all Wars – demo tape/Cd – 2004
The current line-up consists of 3 core members whilst we will use a 2nd guitarist from within our circle to join us for the live shows we have planned for 2012.
Why was the name “Denouncement Pyre” chosen to represent the band and what does it mean?
DENOUNCEMENT PYRE represents the individual’s stand against all that would threaten or hinder his existence. One must remove and overcome those tainted elements of their being, whether they are internal or external factors, in order to become something greater than the ‘merely human’ state he exists in.
Humans inevitably consist of and possess ‘natural’ traits that resonate with a path of weakness, herd mentality, a need to associate and be accepted by other feeble beings, the gravitation towards the inferior, denial and servitude as an escape, avoidance of responsibility, all of which is a path that most will follow unquestionably and unconditionally, and above all else, unaware. DENOUNCEMENT PYRE is about cutting those ties and forging an individual path, dismissing the notion of a so called ‘fate’ or destiny, and becoming the creator of your own existence. A conquest of the left-hand path and one that leads away from the light and points towards the dark, metaphorically speaking.
In the context of the band, the name was chosen simply because it represents this as the ideology that we present through our music and carry as individuals.
How would you describe Denouncement Pyre’s sound and style to someone who has not yet heard the band?
To the point I would say Black/Death Metal, more specifically with chaotic and violent passages mixed with some mid-paced, dark and at times melody driven parts (in reference to the newer material in particular). I think we have a backbone that relates to old school metal and we don’t hide or deny that. Naturally we create music that we would want to listen to ourselves; however we don’t care to re-invent the wheel or exist to pay homage to any scene or band, nor experiment for the sake of being different. Everything we put into our music is to please ourselves, to serve our own purpose, and to convey the atmosphere and ideology that we wish to convey.
Beyond the mundane level, this music provides a channel for certain energy and is a good means of both summoning and releasing that energy. As long as a song or release can conform to whatever energy and spirit we pour into it, that is the main purpose and leads to us being either satisfied or non-satisfied. Whatever outsiders think beyond that holds no weight with what we have created or will create, it does not determine the direction we will take as that course & purpose is focused internally, and so be it.
What are the bands influences, musical and non-musical? Do any specific ideologies or themes go into the lyrics? Are you influenced by literature or other works of art as well?
Musically we are influenced by old Black/Death Metal, mainly from the 80s-90s, as well as genres outside of the metal realm. I listen to a lot of different music including various styles of metal, industrial, noise, experimental and ambient, old rock n roll, some old punk, 70’s prog, while the other members also have a vast taste of musical appreciation. I don’t think consciously about how we ‘should’ sound when writing, so if any other influences creep into our music as long as it aligns and works with that particular song then I won’t hold back from it. This may be something that comes to the surface more with the new material in comparison to some of the earlier releases, but even so, the foundation for our sound will always be extreme Metal.
Non-musical influences are more commonly the basis of influence & inspiration. I never think about what other bands are doing or from the perspective of how others think we should sound. I will usually start with a basic concept, whether it surfaces from the subconscious as a spontaneous thought, or as an idea that is nurtured and grows as times passes, and then the ultimate goal is to give that some sort of audible representation. The influence comes from various experiences, thoughts, knowledge, occurrences as well as practice of western and eastern traditions related to the shadowside. Ideologically the left-hand path denotes a course of the limitless, the thirst for the all-becoming and absolute potentiality of existence, being and non-being. This is one of the concepts we work with which can be identified with other artists, texts, concepts, but it is not directly influenced by any single one or particular, but first and foremost by our own goals, will, experience, fire.
Does Denouncement Pyre play live very often? What is a live Denouncement Pyre show like?
We have performed live 7 times between 2004 and 2007. Since then all live activity ceased and we retreated to the studio to record the first album ‘World Cremation’ and the preceding 7”ep ‘Circle of the Black Flame’. This year we will once again take our music into the live arena which is something we are really looking forward to. I had thought at times over the last few years we would never do this again, for various reasons, but as everything has aligned the time seems right. We will play in Melbourne in March, Sydney in June, and have plans to play some other shows later in the year. Those interested should get in contact with us if they are interested in setting up some shows.
In the past a DENOUNCEMENT PYRE show typically proved to be something of a chaotic, forceful, aggressive and at times violent experience. I hope the same can be said for the shows we have planned for this year, except I think we are more focused now and have greater control over how we can present the band and our music. Whether that will manifest in a way that an audience will respond positively or negatively is still to be seen, I hope it would be a mixture of both.
I understand you’re playing Evil Invaders IV in Sydney in June. Are you looking forward to it? What can fans expect from Denouncement Pyre’s set that weekend?
Actually the last show we played was at the Evil Invaders fest that was held in Melbourne in 2007. It’s always a good festival to be a part of, especially as majority of gigs and festivals in this country are complete shit or consist of very unbalanced line-ups, at least here we have the rare opportunity to perform with bands we have some common ground with as well as catch up with a few individuals we rarely have the chance to see as we live at opposite ends of the country.
For the DENOUNCEMENT PYRE set, it will be one of the first opportunities to perform a few tracks from the ‘World Cremation’ album live as well as some new material that will appear on the upcoming album, ‘Almighty Arcanum’. It will also be the first time we have played in Sydney since 2005 and I think things have changed from our side a lot since then. That’s all I will give away for now, check it out in June and judge the experience for yourself!
It has recently been announced that you are working on a follow up to “World Cremation” entitled “Almighty Arcanum” (which is now one of my most anticipated releases for this year). What can you reveal about this so far?
The new album will be recorded early 2012, consisting of 7 tracks + intros and will again be released on CD/LP by Hells Headbangers. If all goes as planned it should be released late in the year.
The new material is by far the darkest we have written and is probably the closest yet to how I have envisioned for DENOUNCEMENT PYRE to sound. I think the songs have greater depth and consist of a balance of harsh & heavy parts mixed with some more melody driven sections, we are definitely avoiding the concept of it being a one-dimensional album. I will revisit that thought once we have finished recording and have had time to reflect on what materialises from the energy and will we are putting into it. So far it’s coming together as planned.
We also recently recorded an EP that consists of a new track and a b-side that will not appear on the album. We are putting finishing touches on this and the plan is to release it as a 7”ep leading up to Almighty Arcanum to act as a bit of a preview of what’s to come. This will be released by Hells Headbangers also. More news on this one soon!
How do you feel the band has changed (or not changed) musically from the time of the first demo “The Storm to End All Wars” ‘til now, leading up to the release of the second full length album?
Change is inevitable when working within the creative channel and I see no purpose in re-creating what we have already done or continuing on if we find ourselves restricted by creative stagnation. We have advanced in many aspects, I think we’re writing better music now and the new material especially is the best we have done. It’s natural that as we learn from past experiences and releases that we will grow as band, as musicians, as individuals, and I would hope this would reflect in the upcoming album. We don’t deny or hinder any growth so as long as it is natural and that each release is representing to us whatever we will it to then that is all that matters.
It’s important to note that the core of the band and the why as to we create this music has not altered since the beginning. If anything we have a better understanding of the themes we are exploring now and this is a reflection of our growth as individuals. This in turn draws us closer to our true purpose and causes things to manifest as intended. It’s not as easy as it seems in terms of having the foundation of an idea or concept, and then going through the whole process of nurturing that idea, chopping and changing it, transforming it into audible form, and then recording and releasing it as intended or as close as possible to its original form. A lot of things come into play along the way but I have found as we gain a better knowledge of what it is we are doing this starts to close the gap between how things materialise and how close they are to the energy we put into it. That is change within itself and from my perspective represents growth for the better.
Thank you for taking the time to complete this interview, I hope you enjoyed the questions! Any final thttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhoughts?
Thanks for the interest. Check out ‘Almighty Arcanum’ later in the year on Hells Headbangers. See you at Evil Invaders
Official Merch: http://denouncementpyremerch.blogspot.com.au/