In September Slovenian black metal band Dalkhu released their latest album Descending into Nothingness, a great blackened death release that combined a scathing intensity with melodic sense and moments of both the epic and the atmospheric. Bassist and guitarist J.G. answered some questions for SoN about the release:
Hi and thanks for answering some questions for Swirls of Noise.First off, you just released your brilliant new album Descending into Nothingness. How pleased were you with the result compared to your previous work?
J.G.: Thank you for your compliments. It’s always a pleasure to hear the album is well received. I am very satisfied with the end result. It is a different piece of music than on our previous album Imperator and a lot of progress was made. I wanted to do something different and it will be the same with the next album. I do not like to repeat things, so I like to challenge myself to write music differently for every album.
So while you’ve released a scathing black metal album, Descending into Nothingness is anything but straight forward, with lots of epic and atmospheric melodic moments among the brutality. Is this something you intend when you start the song writing process, or is it something that comes naturally?
J.G.: After Imperator I said to myself don’t be a prisoner of tags placed on the genre and just write riffs. This time I had no specific formula when I wrote the music. I picked up my guitar and started to jam with no rule of how the song has to sound. I mean yes of course we play black/death metal, so riffs come from this type of extreme music mostly, but I am not afraid to experiment as long as it fits the whole picture. As I’ve said with this album I made a decision that I didn’t want to limit our style to only black metal so riffs are more varied. There is more freedom in writing when you shake of the boundaries of apparent genre and for me the structure and feeling of the songs come naturally. I never start the writing with the purpose to create a brutal or fast or epic song. Things just happen when the right feeling is present. For example all the solos on the album were not a part of the music when we rehearsed the album. I added solos and some twin guitar melodies when I recorded guitars and bass for the album as I felt something was missing and could uplift the songs if included.
You’re now just a two piece, with a session drummer. How had this affected the song writing process compared to the last album?
J.G.: The biggest affect that the departure of drummer and bassist had on me was that after a long and hard consideration I found motivation in it and in the end that found motivation affected my rearrangements of some parts in songs. As for the main writing and rehearsal part it was the same as always, because we were still a four piece when the songs were written. We became a two piece just before we started discussing about recording the album. We almost always recorded our rehearsals, so I also had the rehearsal recordings and that was very helpful, when I started working with the session drummer, so he had all the layout before him and I could also discuss with him how or what could be altered, especially over the parts which I changed after they left the band.
Do you have a standout favorite from the album?
J.G.: This is a very difficult question to answer, because with every song I write I try to give my absolute everything. Maybe E.N.N.F., because it was the last song written and is maybe the freshest to me.
That album art is one of the best from 2015 done by Paolo Girardi. How pleased were you with the way that turned out?
J.G.: I am very pleased. It totally met and exceeded my expectations and I really had high expectations. It complements the album perfectly and captures the soul of the album. Paolo is master at capturing feeling with his paintings. It maybe takes a little time to really appreciate the artwork and see the meaning behind it, but when you do it is a rewarding piece of art. It really goes hand in hand with the music.
So Descending into Nothingness was released on Iron Bonehead productions, how was working with them, and do you think this might help you become a bit better known outside of Slovenia?
J.G.: Iron Bonehead Productions is great. Really a very important label for extreme metal and we are so proud to be a part of. It sure helps to have your album released by a label such as this. We do hope to put our name out there and definitely more people take notice if IBP is your label, because they know the standard Iron Bonehead Production has.
And How is the metal scene over in Slovenia, and what bands should we all be listening to?
J.G.: Slovenia is a very small but diverse country we have a lot of metal bands from different genres. In general I would say metal scene is healthy here, but could be better regarding black & death metal. The black and death metal scene was much stronger a few years back with more bands playing. Maybe the youth of today will again be more into the extreme versions of metal and will bring back some of the fire from the underground. You should check out Thraw, Cvinger, Dekadent, Grimoir, Somrak, Hellsword, Vulvathrone, Penitenziagite, Negligence, Morost to name just a few.
Thanks for your time, do you have anything else you’d like to add?
J.G.: Thanks for the questions and keep supporting the extreme music that has not been globalized for mass production. Keep supporting the underground by buying records. Cheers!
Stream Descend into Nothingness at the link below: