translated by Markéta, thank you!
Ave PURGATORY! I have been listening to your new album "Omega Void Tribvnal" for some time now and still I am discovering new and new pieces of darknes in it. I must admit that I expected good work from you but I didn´t expect that you're gonna kick so much ass. The album for me really did great. What are the reactions of fans, and what about their reviews?
Cheers Jakub! We really appreciate your words about our new record. Thanks for your support and the Czech/English review by the way! The feedback by fans and press is very positive. Many others haven chosen words similar to yours. There are even some people that have known us for many years without really enjoying our stuff but just now really got hooked up on the new material. Seems like we must have done something right haha!
Have you played some of the new songs at the concerts? How is it working with your fans? Do you have some potential hit? Personally, I'd guess that the second song "Prophet of Demonic Wrath" is a major hit.
We've already tried to incorporate a few new songs into our setlist before the release of the album and the release shows. Since then, we didn't have many shows to play but by now we've played almost all songs live at least more than once. And after countless rehearsals we're feeling more and more secure in playing the new stuff! Once the people recognize that we're presenting something new, many of them are watching and listening carefully. It's hard and probably still too early to choose a potential hit song. Every song on „Omega Void Tribvnal“ has its own character in our perspective and we enjoy playing each and everyone of them. Next to the one you named, especially „Chaos.Death.Perdition.“ as well as „Codex Anti“ are huge riff monsters and the power they create live is enormous. They're also the fastest songs on the album and we definitely enjoy blasting off the audiences' faces!
The album has an atypical white packaging. Who is the artist and what does it represent? I must admit that this time it took me a while getting used to it but after sometime I had to have this theme on a T-shirt. It's excellent, original and apocalyptic!
The cover art and layout was done by SB (www.deathworship.com). He has become a friend of the band within the last few years. He's a local musician and a sick maniac with a certain vision of darkness and death. During the whole process of puzzling together the pieces of „Omega Void Tribvnal“ we began to imagine a raw and classic type of artwork. SB was just thinking the same way. After a few consultations and first tries, he came around with the idea to use „The Temptation of St. Anthony“ by Jeacques Callot. We immediately thought that this piece of art fit perfectly to the relentless violent and dark atmosphere of the album. Then he experimented with the colouring. White gave it an original yet old schoolish feeling so we went with that. Although we had a few concerns about this „brave decision“ as well, we knew that we chose correctly just when we saw the final product. Besides, the old stitches and copper prints used within the whole layout convey an unsettling surreal feeling of the darkness lurking in every corner of existence! By the way: As other people requested a white shirt as well we are thinking of actually printing such a design. Meanwhile, we still have a sick „Omega Void Tribvnal“ Shirt and Zipper with special artworks by Thomas Westphal of Necromaniac Artworks and Peter Handzus aka Digital Wortex.
Death metal sometimes forgets about the lyrics. You sing about darkness, death, Satanism. What are the lyrics on the new album and who is the writer? Are you trying to say something through them or convey some kind of message?
Five of the songs' lyrics have been written by our bassist Peter. The other three were done by our old warbrother AK AndyChrist „Deathmonger“ (HATESPAWN / CHARON). He did guest vocals on many of our youngest releases. This time he asked if he could write some lyrics to one or two upcoming songs, too. Eventually, the bastard had to do three haha! No need to explain that he contributed his abysmal voice to „Omega Void Tribvnal“ as well again! As our music is violent and blasphemous, dark and eerie, majestic as well as sick and morbid, the lyrics have to contribute to the atmosphere of the music of course! This time the lyrics to the new album revolve around negative philosophy and anti-religiousness and use a certain kind of imagery. Imagine that once you die your spirit is being confronted with a cosmic revelation. You realize that birth, life and death are nothing but a meaningless occurence. That there is no meaning behind it all. That all gods and all truths are man-made. That man has not found any truth but the ones he created himself. A final crushing and depressing revelation before you descend into the perpetual black.
The new album has a really dark and sharp sound...Nevertheless slightly different from the previous albums. Patrick W. Engel is signed under the sound again. He has also done the previous recordings. Have you considered someone different this time? Did Patrick have some different assignment? Some passages affects my up "doom impression." By the way its really nice to hear the bass. It delivers across the board, even more pressure.
Patrick is the sound magician we have always been looking for. There was no question that we would work with him again. His vision of how Death Metal should sound and how music should be produced in general is according to our views. Therefore he was engineer, mix- and mastering engineer and producer in one person again! The location, however, was a different one. Our old friend of MUSICAL MASSACRE invested a lot of work and cash into transforming their rehearsal room into a studio. Once we saw their rebuild rehearsal room, we knew that we just had to produce the new album there! So Patrick just packed his portable studio equipment and used a few of the given structures at the new studio. Besides, he is always contributing ideas during the whole recording process as well and he is maintaining a professional but relaxed atmosphere. Once he heard the new material a few times he knew that our stuff become much darker and more atmospheric therefore he tried to shape a very violent and bass-heavy sound that builds up like a wall of drone and darkness. We're fuckin amazed by his work every time!
Omega Void Tribvnal" is published by War Anthem Records on CD and the vinyl is released through Animate Records.
Actually WAR ANTHEM RECORDS is releasing CD, Digi-CD as well as LP of „Omega Void Tribvnal“! ANIMATE RECORDS did indeed release the vinyl version of the latest releases like „20 Years Underground“ or „Deathkvlt – Grand Ancient Arts“ and at first we thought things would be just the same this time as well but the deal didn't really work out somehow. In the end, we are extremely satisfied with the vinyl release as it comes as a very noble Gatefold LP with printed innersleeve and a 12-inch 12-page booklet.
Lately, it seems that the vinyl as a medium is becomng increasingly popular. Are you aware of this "trend" as well? Are you selling more CD or vinyls at the concerts. I know about you that you are great lovers of vinyl records. Do you have in your collection some really rare piece from last time?
Yes we are very well aware of this trend. If you want to print a vinyl at the moment, you have to accept waiting times of more than half a year or even worse! Miraculously, we got our LP-versions of „Omega Void Tribvnal“ just in time to sell them at our release shows. We were quite lucky in this case, I guess. I'd say that we are still selling more CDs and Digi-CDs than vinyls but the amount of vinyls is definitely increasing. Be it trend or not, I think it's cool to see that more and more people want to have something real in their hands. People want the joy of vinyl again - its visuals, its haptical feel, the ritualistic character of putting on a vinyl record and even its sound. And they want something that cannot be converted into an mp3 or even pirated as easily as a CD. It has always been very important for us to have all our releases available on vinyl as well and yes we are vinyl freaks, too. By the way: I personally have some fuckin´ cool releases in my collection and for me these are rare pieces! But what are real rarities? If you´ll see this as „trend“ at the moment you have thousands of fuckin´colours per release and this sucks.
Last year you repeatedly appeared here in the Czech Republic. I remember the great concert in Prague,and then you've got in Pilsen on Phantoms of Pilsen and then you had a small tour with HYPNOS and DYSANGELIUM. How did you like it and what do you think about the Czech fans? You definitelly must be noticing some striking differences between concerts in Germany and the Czech Republic?
Especially Phantoms of Pilsen was an amazing experience. The crew was very kind and caring and the beer was fucking great of course haha! DYSANGELIUM have become big friends of us during the few weekenders we did with them in the last couple of years! We feel honoured that they repeatedly want us on their shows and its very impressive to see how motivated they are. They carried a whole fucking backline with them all the time and everytime and we were free to use their backline gear where and when we needed to. Thanks a bunch you death metal psychos! HYPNOS are friends of us since the good old days. They have become a Czech legend by now and they truly deserve it as they are very focused, versatile and ambitious musicians! Everyone could bear witness to that especially at Uherske Hradiste in December 2015. I hope they shot some good material there in the way they intended to. We're glad that they're back on stage because we know that they truly live for making music. There aren't as many differences between German and Czech concerts as one might think but there are a few at least. For some strange reason there are always some guys at Czech concerts that aren't even metal fans. It seems like as if they just go to their regular club to have a few beers – They don't care if there is a metal show or not. You usually don't have that in Germany. Then we sense that.
Lately a lot of young bands are trying to play "old school death metal again " Most of them are not very good but we can find a few new bands that understand what it is about. Do you have a favorite band in recent times which you think can "revive the old times"?
I think it's a good thing that many youngsters give a big „fuck off“ to modern and over-produced productions and try to capture the spirit of the old hereos. It's a good thing that many people actually remind the originators of their favourite musical style, that they're doing some research on classic records and celebrate these bands as they deserve it. And I do think that quite a lot of these new bands are really good if not fucking amazing! There is of course a wave of bands that comes along that cannot nearly achieve what their musical forefathers have done. The true diamonds, however, will always shine through since the word about good bands spreads quickly among the scene. In our local Death/ Black Metal Scene you have really good bands like II, ARCHAIC THORNS, ABYSSOUS, VIDARGÄNGR & NOCTURNAL WITCH! I personally like also the current Death Metal scene in Finland with bands like KRYPTS, LIE IN RUINS, CORPSESSED, LANTERN and so on!
In 2013 you celebrated twenty years in the underground. You are a witness today. When you compare your early days and the present day scenario - do you notice any changes? I mean now there is huge access to the fans, labels, promoters etc.. I often hear that "there's nothing like it used to be in the old days ." What do you think?
The whole world has fucking changed from the bottom up... The potential access to fans, labels, promoters and bookers etc. has grown a lot, you're absolutely right there. On the other hand the sheer amount of bands stands against your chances of actually getting your foot in anywhere as a band. Recording a whole album has become an easy task. With the help of modern production tools almost anyone can record his ideas in his bedroom, add some perfectly sampled drum patterns and eventually mix and master everything by himself. Therefore, releasing an album might be very exciting for the person or band doing it, but it's actually nothing super special anymore to anyone. If you want to „make it“ as a band, you're either lucky and have success by pure coincidence or you're working your ass off by financing, promoting and distributing yourself until you get a proper label deal and enough supporters to help you on your way. When we released our first tape and later two Eps and even later our first album back in 1993 and 1994 every release meant a huge leap forward for us. If you release an album today there is the chance that noone will give a shit about it if you don't promote it like hell on all available social media channels and so on...
Phenomenon of our time is the internet. Sometimes I think that some people do not live elsewhere. What relationships does PURGATORY have with downloading music over the Internet? A lot of "fans" just download music, watch a concert on youtube and the physical medium they consider only as a thing of the past." I wonder how you perceive this "phenomenon" ?
The internet changed the whole world and it connected everyone with everyone. But the ones who use the internet to create a whole new life, a whole new identity and who get most of their well-being and social needs through the net are pitiful creatures in my eyes. Who really gives a shit who you are on the net? Many people seems so over-obsessed with themselves. The whole social process has shifted into a virtual reality, which is actually just a half-real reality. Having a 'CD' on your hard drive is just another symbol of the age we live in. Its quick to use and if you don't need it anymore, its loss is not really a loss of value. Once these peoples iPod drops into their toilet, all their music is lost. What kind of value do these people see in their music? There is no value in mp3s, not at all. We say „Fuck this shit!“ The internet is only an instrument. You can use it wisely to promote your music, to keep your fans informed, to sell your stuff online or quickly answer a concert request and so on. A live video on youtube is also a cool thing and enjoying a youtube session with some friends once in a while to check out live videos or professional videos of other bands is a pleasure as well. But the real deal is buying vinyls and CDs, visiting live shows, meeting your friends and local metal maniacs and having a drink together. Nothing can replace that!
At the concerts in the Czech Republic I often hear that people do not visit gigs, and due to which there is a low attendance. What experience do you have in Germany? For us you're a big country with lots of bands and promoters. Often there are great bands which avoid our small country on their tour. What about gigs in your country? Do you prefer clubs or festivals?
Yeah we realized that as well. We had a few shows in the Czech Republic that weren't attended by many. I can't tell if it was the promoters fault or if there were many concerts in the near or whatever. It's a real pity because we know that the Czech fans can party hard! We had shows within the Czech Republic were people just went fucking crazy, unlike anytime here in Germany. But rest assure, we had and in certain places we still have the same problems here in Germany. Nevertheless, the German scene seems to revive more and more. Although almost every tour is travelling through our county, although we have a ton of metal festivals and although we have a lot of club shows everywhere, too, the attendance seems to be quite high at the majority of shows. Especially here in Saxony the scene is literally flourishing with new bands and promoters. And with them come new fans and clubs supporting and organizing metal shows. We definitely prefer the atmosphere of a club show especially when it's well-organized and if the promoter knows what he's doing. Festival often make up for a cool experience as well but in most cases they're not as personal and familiar as a club show.
What are the plans for PURGATORY in the next upcoming months? Will you support your new album by some longer tour and are you planning to visit us in the Czech Republic?
We didn't tour for many years, that's why we're damn hungry to finally spread some madness aroung Europe or even further away! In most cases our jobs and occupations kept us from actually going abroad for more than just a weekend but we're working on it! The feedback to „Omega Void Tribvnal“ was very impressive so far, therefore we're just now working on a few special gigs abroad. A gig in the near of Sokolov on the 20th of August 2016 has just been made official by the way! Then we wish to release a split-EP with the Finnish bastards of LIE IN RUINS in the run of this year. Next to that we will play a few summer festival shows here in Germany like Party-San Open Air, Chronical Mosher Open Air and Protzen Open Air. We will also hit the Nederlands for the Stonehenje Festival. Check out www.purgatory666.de for further info and upcoming gigs!
Thank you for this interview and I wish you great CD sales and gigs full of crazy fans. I am looking forward to our meeting again!
Thanks in return Jakub and thanks again for your support! Hope to see you again out there in the Czech Republic or some other weird place of Death Metal rituals! A hail to all your readers! Chaos! Death! Perdition!