Happy New Year to all SBM followers out there! The very first installment for 2016 is dedicated to an interview with a band that I respect and admire a lot. I now introduce you Polish black metal band Cień who share some interesting facts about their musical expression as well as the extreme metal from around their native land.

Salut, guys! How are things?

Suffer : Hi! Unfortunately, Sunday afternoon is often the time when you can feel pounding head ache caused by the previous night events. Additionally, alcohol starts to evaporate from your body so your hands begin to tremble ;) As for the other band and music related topics: everything seems to be perfectly fine…

Prins : Cheers. Well, you know…New Year on the horizon but same old shit around us. ;)

If you have to describe Cień with a couple of sentences, how would it be?

Suffer : I presume that this quote from our label might be suitable: “…songs drive into the consciousness and plant restless visions that doubt sense of life, faith, feelings, finding last moments before death, the thought of the victims before killing blow, destroying survival instincts, inserting into the abyss of shadows full of condemnation, pain of existence, hatred towards the laws of life…”

How do you respond to terms such as depressive black metal or suicidal black metal? Do they apply for Cień?

Suffer: When we have started the band, me and Gulver (lead guitar) were under the influence of Shining (SWE), Xasthur or Lifelover and we wanted to create music that would bear resemblance of sad and depressive melodies. Since that time, due to evolution of our musical tastes, as well as the fact that we intend to create more complex music, we derive a lot from classic BM, doom or heavy. I think that currently you still can find some depressive black metal aspects in Cień music, but blended with other genres of music.

Prins : I would say that music of many bands evolves from original, primal style. It is a natural process of transformation. And it is similar in case of Cień, where actual material still can be called ‘depressive’, but is also enriched by influences of other metal or even rock stuff.

In 2015 you released a compilation titled “Time of Anti-Humanity” through Old Temple and I am curious how you feel about it? Also, how did your fans respond to it?

Suffer : The main reason why we decided to release this compilation was fact that we didn’t have any piece of neither demo “Anti Humanity” nor EP “Time Of Desolation” and a lot of people asked for them. In addition to that, both have been released by ourselves so their availability was really limited. Now, thanks to Old Temple, who decided to release this compilation, our old material has a chance to get into hands of many more metal maniacs. “Time Of Antihumanity” presents the way the band has been changing, evolution in terms of song structures as well as our technical skills. It is a very nice sumup of the first steps that
Cień has taken in the metal underground. So far I received only positive feedback regarding this CD. Anyway, I wouldn’t give a shit if anyone disliked it…

Your lyrics take an important place in your work and they are primarily dealing with humanity being worthless and the suffering from living this life. Is this just an artistic approach of expressing your ideas or your lyrics act as a messenger, as well?

Suffer : Our lyrics aim to present our attitude towards the human kind. Do they carry any particular message? I’d say they generally deal with the fact that our society mainly consist of worthless and stupid scum, which should have terminated its life a long time ago instead of abusing the oxygen…

Prins : Basically, it is the music itself that should be regarded as the main part of the band’s release. But, of course, lyrics should be conceptual and aesthetic complement of it and I believe that’s how it works for us.

So far, you have released only one full-length “Ecce Homo”, which I recommended on SBM not so long ago. Are you currently working on new material?

Suffer : Material for “Ecce Homo” was entirely ready for release in April 2014, so for the last 18 months, counting from now backwards, we have managed to prepare about 75% of new stuff for the next album. We are not obliged by any deadlines, but I think it should be ready by the autumn of 2016. The question of label that would take care of promotion of the new album is still open, but for me it will be very important not to wait a long time with the premiere after we are done in a studio. This will give us the opportunity to present the new songs during live shows, not only play them when we rehearse.

Prins : Yes, the work on the successor of “Ecce Homo” is going smoothly. After some concert period in the autumn, we finally got down to play the new stuff and we already have most of material ready for the next release.

Sometimes while listening to your music, I get reminded of another cool Polish black metal band Massemord. Have you had anything in common with them?

Suffer : Well, interesting comparison and, at the same time, grand honour, because the music played by our mates from Massemord is one of the finest that is currently present on Polish black metal scene. Generally speaking, all bands that go under the sign of “Let The World Burn” are very solid and should definitely be recommended to each fan of extreme music.

Prins : It’s hard to say anything more than Suffer. Massemord has almost classic and symbolic position in Polish black metal underground, so any comparison to them is a true distinction.

Poland can be entitled as a must-visit country for extreme metal fans. However, as far as I am familiar, people are very religious there and I wonder if that caused you some issues? How do most people look on and your music and how do they comment on your anti-human visions?

Suffer : In my personal life I am surrounded by people who share my beliefs and opinion about the rest of the mankind, so I think to them it’s not a problem how I see the society. Unfortunately, when it comes to our country, recent political changes may slowly lead to restraints of civil rights, such as freedom of speech or religion…The president and the leading political party, deeply rooted in Christianity and conservatism, can see the only ‘true’ image of Polish man: weak and thoughtless entity, which goes to the church every Sunday to listen to the priest, entity which does not have its own opinion and is a blind follower of its ‘leader’…it is deeply sad, because Poland becomes narrow-minded country, which steps back into dark medieval times…What’s even worse this image is probably seen also by other countries.

Prins : Take Behemoth for instance. I don’t know if you are aware of that, but a few months ago, they were banned to play concert…in their own (and our) country! These guys have toured freely all over the world and when they came to play home, some of their gigs were cancelled. An absurd. We used to laugh at it, but recently we realized that perhaps this shit may happen to us as well…Bands from Norway are treated by their government as a national treasure when they go playing live abroad. In Poland, playing extreme forms of metal makes you almost a criminal…

What are the future plans for Cień?

Suffer : For the time being we are focused to organize mini tour consisting of 46 gigs all over Poland. I hope to play these concerts in March/April, and then tohit the studio to record the successor of “Ecce Homo”. What’s next? Time will tell…

You are now welcome to end this interview as you wish. Thanks for your time!

Suffer : Thanks for the interview and favorable opinions on our music! I am looking forward to have some good beer together after the concert!

Prins : Stay true to yourselves! And support the good metal music!