Some of you might remember that I have a special corner for the hard working bands hailing from the Bulgarian black metal underground where yours truly hides in the shadows.
Among the bands that I featured in there, Dimholt took their rightful place for they took me by surprise with their debut album, which I kinda enjoyed and shared my opinion about. Anyway, these fellas are back after a long while with a new full-length and I invited them to have a quick chat discussing aspects of it.
First of all, congratz on finishing up the work on your sophomore record “Epistēmē”. It does promise a dark and quite bleak experience where light and hope seem to be perfectly estrange. Could you share more about the concept and foundation behind this opus?
Thank you very much. We basically began composing songs for the album right after the release of the debut “Liberation Funeral” in 2014 and even at early stages the sound was going into a much darker, more refined direction. A strong cliché here but this is how we felt the atmosphere and the initial outcome of these new ideas.
Hence the slight change in the lyrical concept too – a further step into more philosophical/abstract expressions rather than simplified direct meanings.
In general, we wanted to develop the steps already taken with the debut but also to refine and enrich our ideas.
Upon my first playthrough, I felt like throughout the past 5 years the darkness inside each of you guys has not faded away; not even the slightest. In my view, it actually grew into a nihilistic incarnate; more viscous, bitterer and void of life. To what extent does this ring true?
It surely rings true to a great extent. I may justify this with growing older too because this helps getting a clearer picture of what you exactly expect and how to approach it. In terms of music we were much more concentrated and honest to ourselves as to what we would expect.
Speaking of production and distribution, it appears that you will handle it all yourselves like your previous materials. Why did you choose to go for the independent route rather than working along with a record label?
The reason for that in all honesty is purely practical if I can put it that way. We wanted to have the album released within the current year of 2019 so we pushed ourselves to get it done which also gave us control of basically everything. This was an important factor given the short time and the fact that 5 years had already passed since the release of the debut album. Being released through a label is always an option and a constant goal that we would continue pursuing.
In our email correspondence you mentioned that the album had been delayed about 1 – 2 years. What was the main culprit for that?
We would justify the delay with several reasons including personal life, time schedules and the will to improve what we achieved with the first release in terms of music. Again a few clichés here but this is how the circumstances turned out for us.
We wanted to first record the entire album in a rehearsal place in order to dissect it thoroughly, then let the ideas grow and finally select carefully with whom we wanted to record it. The recording sessions were basically divided into three different parts at three different locations incl. Belgium so that alone required half an year in order to carefully plan it and put it in schedule.
One of the tracks, namely “The Fall”, features multi-instrumentalist Déhà, which was a pleasant surprise. How did you come to work together?
Déhà had become a very close person and a friend to us ever since he moved to Bulgaria years ago. During his stay here he also shared with our drummer a black metal project called Sources Of I and was involved in recording and generally helping many bands in one way or another.
He has also appeared live as guest on stage with us numerous times so after moving back to Belgium we were firm in our view that the album would be recorded there, at the Opus Magnum Studios in Brussels. This turned out to be the right decision since we share a lot in common in terms of our perception of music.
Apart from the Live and Loud show on 26th October, have you planned any other appearances both in Bulgaria and abroad in the near future?
Currently there is nothing booked but we are already in talks about possible live appearances for 2020. We would put additional effort into playing at places we have not visited before that including places in Bulgaria too.
Before we wrap up this blitz session, let me challenge you with one last question. I’ve contemplated quite a lot on the Bulgarian black metal scene and the possible reasons why it is so underdeveloped even to this day. What’s your personal view on this and what are the probable causes why black metal has dramatically less coverage unlike other metal sub-genres in Bulgaria?
That is a very good question actually. My impression is that Bulgaria still maintains a pretty conservative metal fan base, generally speaking, to which black metal does not appeal the way other metal genres do. On the other hand, black metal itself proclaims aesthetics or general feeling of introversion which inevitably puts in a shell, barely visible or easily acceptable to the wider audience.
It is just not your regular “party” music suitable for any event, at any given time. Almost like an automatic exclusion. We shouldn’t forget that quite a few talented black metal projects originated from Bulgaria in the past, visually and musically influenced by their 90’s black metal contemporaries but I get the impression that this inertia back then did not lead to the desired results.
Could have been the lack of experience or the insecurity how to approach the development of black metal in general, including your own very art of music. Anyway, none of the above should be regarded as justification or complaining – nobody owes you anything so sometimes you just approach things according to the given circumstances.
Dimholt on Facebook