Even if you never heard a single note by IMPIETY so far, at least the band’s name should be familiar to every underground Metalhead around the globe because of the guys’ longevity and true to the bone attitude. Unfortunately some dark clouds seemed to appear on the horizon when it came to the lyrics of their new album "Paramount Evil" (see Stefan’s review for further details), so we figured instead of spreading false statements or rumours we should get some more information first hand from IMPIETY’s vocalist / bassplayer Shyaithan… Read on what he had to tell about those accusations and the band in general…
Greetings Shyaithan and congratulations to your incredible new album! Do you personally also still feel good about the record or is there anything which you’d like to change about it already?
"Warcrushing salutes Frank! Yes, all of us in IMPIETY really like how "Paramount Evil" turned out. From the concept to lyrics to production to the press, this album has indeed set new standards for the band proving that IMPIETY continues its ferocious reign in unholy Metal might and power!"
Tell us a bit about the recordings of "Paramount Evil", like where you recorded, who produced and how the whole process went in comparison to your previous releases? Any problems that occured during the making of "Paramount Evil"?
"Paramount Evil" was recorded, mixed and mastered in just 7 days end of July 2004 at Ambox Studios, Queretaro, Mexico. The producer is the same that we worked with on the "Two Majesties" split EP with SURRENDER OF DIVINITY back in February 2004. His name is Carlos Padilla and he’s the best for us! We chose Ambox Studio mainly because it’s just a 20mins drive from the house we live in Queretaro. Another reason is that it’s one of the very best Metal studios in entire Mexico. Bands like DISGORGE, DEMONIZED, RAVAGER, HACAVITZ, BLOOD REAPING have all used Ambox in the past. Carlos knows exactly how bands want to sound and gives his very best working patiently with us. Comparing the latest 2 recordings at Ambox with past IMPIETY releases, one would note that the records we’ve done via Ambox sound very much clearer, darker and heavier. No problems at all occured during the recording which went really smooth and swift. We were very focussed to give our best for this new fourth album and the hard work has indeed paid off. "
What I really like about the new material is the fact that you obviously found a perfect balance between the necessary rawness on one hand and a matured songwriting on the other… Did you have any goals that you wanted to achieve during the writing process or mistakes of the past that you wanted to avoid this time?
"Well progression is imminent and I guess the songwriting has matured over the years. IMPIETY’s sonic malevolence of war borders the extreme Black and Death Metal genres. But one thing is for sure, no matter how the progression is made musically, the message is always clear and has remained the same. We are a band that compromises nothing and have been delivering totally hateful supersonic antichristian warfare from the time inception, since 1990! I wanted to compose something different with "Paramount Evil" not only setting standards higher but by giving it more soul, depth and structure. Each song and lyrics to it has a special meaning. These are some of the best songs I’ve composed and also overall, this new album is indeed the most accomplished work of ours."
I was very surprised about the choice of the coversong on the digipak version of "Paramount Evil"… With all respect to early SEPULTURA (which I still worship myself), I honestly would have expected a different song, from one of the bands that influenced you in your early days, like BATHORY, SARCOFAGO, POSSESSED, MORBID ANGEL or BLASPHEMY… So, what made you go for ‘Morbid Visions’ and why was it not included on the regular CD version?
"Who can deny SEPULTURA being one huge influence to the Metal underground 15years ago? I know they’re not exactly Metal today but one must not forget how they have shaped the Metal world influencing so many musicians and Metalheads out there. My personal favourite releases are the "Bestial Devastation" EP, "Morbid Visions" and "Schizophrenia". Man, these albums caused some serious damage to my skull since young. Why we never chose the other bands you mentioned was that we felt too many bands we’re doing plentiful covers of those bands already. We all chose ‘Morbid Visions’ because it’s not only a killer song, but very direct and dark in meaning! I never saw any band cover this song for the "Tribute to Sepultura" and it’s a real shame cos to me this song is the sickest of them all! Thus, it would more than compliment all the songs of "Paramount Evil". The cover song only appears as bonus track in the limited edition Digipak CD."
The lyrics to ‘Carbonized’ caused quite some controversy, especially the line "We applaud the wanton brutality, anti jewish supremacy…", so would you like to comment on that a bit more detailed here?
"This new album is more or less based on world history and not just blatant bullshit created from a drunken state of mind. Each song has indeed a special meaning, musically as well as lyrically. Let me tell you that indeed we are an anti-religious band and not really racist or nsbm bullshit as how the minority perceive us to be. I find alot of hypocrisy with the world and also Metal underground who often disagree with lyrics being anti-semitic. It seems so perfect to be anti-christian, anti-muslim, anti-hindu or anti-buddhist but what about Judaism and its shitness? We are against all who bow to a god of flesh or stone! Do you know here in Singapore we have a growing number of Chinese Jews? Yes… Jews who are Chinese and going door to door like the christians trying to spread the word of Adonai. Likewise, in other parts of South East Asia, there are synagogues and new places of worship for jews which have been recently built. It sickens me this thing called religion. It is no more a cultural or race thing. It’s simply a disease. I think people in Europe don’t see or study much about religion. You must know your ‘enemy’ before attacking them, or not? We don’t blindly lash out blasphemies but we plan, aim, and hit the right spot where it hurts most. ‘Carbonized’ is all about Dr.Mangele and his evil work at Auschwitz. Truthfully, that line in the lyrics is what IMPIETY believes. We are Anti Chistian, Anti Muslim, Anti Jew and Anti Hindu. In short, anti-religious!"
You went through quite a lot of line-up changes since the band’s origin back in January 1990, with yourself being the only remaining original member nowadays… How did you manage to keep yourself motivated all the time? Has there never been a time of frustration, when you were almost ready to quit as well?
"Keeping IMPIETY on its throne for 15 long glorious years has been really tough and challenging for me. There have been some points over the last 2 years to call it quits simply because things became really stressful, especially with finance and getting very little help from Osmose Productions. I owe it to the fans, diehard Legions and long time Metalbrothers of the band who urged me to go on. Battle hard and battle proud I did. Today, indeed, the force is stronger than ever and working harder then before. No matter what challenges there are to face and no telling what the future holds, I take it all a stride at a time and with a deadly smile. The blasphemous conquering ensues… "
I suppose you consider the current line-up as the strongest, but if you could reform a classic line-up of the band, which members would you choose and why?
"It’s been really great working with Oscar, Antimo and Eduardo. They are the best I’ve had pleasure working with. We cooperate and work really well together. Indeed, Mexico is really very far from Singapore but to fly 24hours each time I am there is nothing to me already. I am used to it. I am just glad Agonia Records helps me with my flights for recordings and tours. I don’t want to form this band with people who aren’t into IMPIETY but Oscar, Antimo, Eduardo are really IMPIETY to the heart and am sorry if I can’t see myself commanding the force with others."
Unfortunately I never got the opportunity to listen to any of your previous releases, but from what I’ve heard, you originally were more Black than Death Metal. Is that correct? What lead to this musical change? Was it because of all the line-up changes or would IMPIETY also sound this way if you’d still have the same guys in the band as in the beginning?
"Like earlier explained, from the "Ceremonial Necrochrist Redesecration" demo in 1992 til the new album of today, IMPIETY has always loyally been desecrating both the extreme Black and Death Metal genres. We were never totally Black Metal or totally Death Metal, nor does it interest me to end up having IMPIETY categorised into a single genre. We create and execute Metal with no rules, just straight from a rusty Metal heart of pure hatred and blackened fury. Yes, having different line-ups does have an impact on the songs due to the style of playing but all this falls to a minimum I guess. In the past we recorded a different studios and that had major impact on the final result because it was such a huge problem working with non-Metal producers, eg. the "Salve The Goat" EP of 93, "Asateerul Awaleen" of 96 and "Funeralight…" of 97 all were recorded at the same Boss studio with a really dumb ass producer / engineer called Philip who kept giving us different sounds on each of those record."
In the summer of 2000 you finally played your first shows in Europe… What kind of memories do you have on those four shows? Did you have the impression that you were welcomed by a lot of IMPIETY fans already or was it more like building the foundation for the band over here first?
"The first tour had dates like France, Belgium, Germany and Holland. It was very DIY and we had to take train and coach most of the time travelling on our own. Tiring but great. Yes, we were welcomed by many fans, legions and the support was awesome! Some highlights of the first tour was playing at the DRAKKAR HELL FESTIVAL with DECAYED, ARKHON INFAUSTUS, ANTAEUS and CELESTIA! Crazy French hellhordes! And also the HELLBANGERS FESTIVAL in Germany with UNPURE. Overall, a killer first tour that led us to hunger for a swift return to spread more satanic steel annihiliation and chaos accross western Europe."
In October of the same year you already returned for another, bigger tour of Europe, this time to play 15 shows in 6 European countries… What was the reason for this quick return and how was this tour in comparison the the first four shows in the summer?
"It was DRAKKAR Productions who contracted IMPIETY to do this tour with ABIGAIL, DECAYED and INFERNAL POETRY in support. A totally crazy and memorable tour it was! IMPIETY lost alot of money on this tour since there was a guy called Filip (yes, yet another Filip! Haha) who was tour manager and he didn’t pay us US$ 2000 that was owing. I and IMPIETY were really dissapointed that when we returned from the tour, this asshole completely vanished. Even DRAKKAR PRODUCTIONS couldn’t locate him. This second tour undoubtedly was bigger with more dates and handled well by Cyril and DRAKKAR PRODUCTIONS. We met and played with many killer bands! Greater response as compared with the first tour!"
In 2001 IMPIETY signed to Osmose Productions… originally for 3 full length albums, but only "Kaos Kommand 696" came out of it… So what went wrong with them? A statement like "IMPIETY gladfully left Osmose" doesn’t sound like you separated on good terms, did you?
"The future of IMPIETY was hanging in balance with Osmose Productions. In the beginning it was really good working with them but when the album was out, the true colours of the label was revealed. I faced a lot of problems with Herve and his empty promises of touring, communication problems with their promotion office and problems with lyrics in the "Kaos Kommand 696". Each time they would blatantly blame me for late interviews with big commercial mags or as in the case of the lyrics which they never checked before pressing claiming they were in trouble with the French authorities, etc. Besides we were getting a really shitty deal with Osmose and I felt we couldn’t survive like that in the long run and even when we tried re-negotiating the deal, Herve still wouldn’t compromise! I was not going to have IMPIETY be taken for granted. I requested a breach to be signed and Herve gave it to us without any conditions. Perfect. We are glad to be on AGONIA RECORDS even if it means they are smaller. But at least we get the very best support from Filip and have no complaints so far! It’s smooth sailing so far and we both have very close communications. That’s what IMPIETY wants! "
How did you hook up with Agonia Records? Did you negotiate with any other labels as well or where they your number one choice at the time?
"I first met Filip when IMPIETY played at the Under the Black Sun Festival in Germany summer of 2003. He seemed professional and honest and I felt we could work together in future. When problems with Osmose couldn’t be resolved, I approached Seasons of Mist, Listenable Records, Merciless Records and Iron Pegasus Records. Most of them couldn’t afford our high recording budget and Listenable was full of signings. Agonia Records was also in mind and finally we got a deal going and signed it late December 2003 right after the breach with Osmose was signed."
You have already a quite impressive back catalogue of releases and a lot of them will probably be kinda hard to find, so will there be any re-releases of older material from IMPIETY some day in the not too distant future or is this chapter closed for you forever?
"Already the debut album "Asateerul Awaleen" CD re-release is out and this March the limited LP and PicDisc will be unleashed. Next are plans to have the 1997 "Funeralight…" MCD out also on Agonia Records. "Funeralight…" was released in 97 by an independent Malaysia label but only in MC Format. This was when Shivadarshana Records closed down that same year. So, am glad it’s finally going to be out all over the world since the original MC Version done in 3000 copies didn’t reach many souls in Europe or US but mainly around the Asian region. "Skullfucking Armageddon" has to be re-pressed by DRAKKAR productions too since all 5500 copies of the original and license version have sold out to date."
Is there any old release of yours that is still extremely close to your heart (or one that you totally dislike nowadays)?
"Perhaps the first demo 92 "Ceremonial Necrochrist Redesecration" which is totally raw in production is memorable to me. Some of the songs appear on the first album. I personally dislike how "Asateerul Awaleen" turned out due to lack of money for a good production. I still remember that we wanted to re-record it but Shivadarshana Records told us it was good enough to be released. Anyway, we’ll play the song ‘Ceremonial Necrochrist Redesecration’ during gigs and tours in the near future!"
I remember that you already had the opportunity to support SODOM at one of their shows in your part of the world… How did that come about and did you get along with them? Was it a die hard SODOM crowd or did you win over a lot of their fans that night as well?
"Sharing the same stage as our menthors was an incredible experience! Tom Angelripper and SODOM were really great and still remembered our first meeting when they played in Bangkok, August 2001. I had met them earlier at SODOM’s first ever South East Asian gig and that very first show they played, also in Bangkok, Thailand totally krushed with me myself in the front hellbanging ballistic! It was really good to see them back in Thailand again in 2002 and in top form as always! It was a diehard SODOM crowd present who were also diehard IMPIETY fans! A memorable night indeed for SODOM, IMPIETY and Siamese Black Metal kings SURRENDER OF DIVINITY!"
What kind of promotional activities are planned in support of "Paramount Evil" now that the album is released? Will you be on the road around the world again? Any new plans for Europe as well already?
"IMPIETY has already done a 9 date Mexican tour and 6 date Asian tour to our success. We are working closely with Paragon Records – USA and Agonia Records for a European and US tour for the Fall of 2005. Already Antimo and I are writing up new songs which we hope to put together as a mini album late 2005. I’ll be back in Mexico early April and probably we might do some gigs there before we record the new songs. "
Ok Shyaithan, I guess that’s all from my side for now… If you think we missed out on something really important, feel free to add that now… The last words are yours, so to speak. All the best.
"Darkest greetings and appreciations Frank for this interview session! Much success to you and Voices from the Darkside! We urge all extreme souls to embrace the fury and unchallenged brutality of "Paramount Evil" and die a thousand violent deaths!!!"