American Death Metal usually stands for blasting and grinding Death Metal with less atmosphere, just musical brutality. Californian Death Metal act SANGUIS IMPEREM is the difference and offer some great Death Metal tunes on their "Stagnation Of Centuries" MCD. Although I still don’t know their real names I can only advice all of you to check this band out as they are not your average Death Metal band!
Hi there. Actually I don’t know your real names, so please would you like to introduce yourself to the Voices readers? Anything important to start with?
R.S.: "Hails Thomas! R.S. here, guitars and Doomthroat, from Sanguis Imperem."
S.S.: "Prost! S.S. here, Totalitarian Commands and 7 blade Deathsaw."
What’s your impression about an online fanzine like Voices From The Darkside?
R.S.: "Voices From The Darkside, and other online zines, are very important for the underground. They open up another medium for further spreading the Metal of Death, and on a scale that no printed zine could ever hope to achieve. Printed zines will always be my favorite promotional format, but in this day and age, where everything is online and easily accessible, it’s good to see people taking advantage of this tool and producing some very good sites like yours."
S.S.: "I think they provide much needed exposure for bands like ours who have little or no means to spread their propaganda otherwise. Bands such as ours have little chance of being featured in Terrorizer or Metal Maniacs. Those media outlets are controlled by money grubbing corporate types with no goal other than to reach the most people they can and therefore they promote mainly weak shitty bands with no fucking talent, originality or fucking balls! Online zines such as Voices From The Darkside help keep the flames of true Death / Black / War Metal burning on high! Hails!"
Your MCD "Stagnation Of Centuries" was my first contact I had with SANGUIS IMPEREM – and what a great one!! Could you please write something about the beginning of your band? When were you formed and who are the persons and what are the goals behind your band?
S.S.: "Having been in bands for years, first myself in the band STORMBRINGER (full-length released in 1999, "Abandon Hope"), then myself and R.S. in SANGUINARY PERVERSION, we had taken a few years off to try and create personal situations more suited to accomplishing our musical goals. In late 2006 that time finally arrived. R.S. and myself began to write new material for what was to become SANGUIS IMPEREM. Originally envisioned as a two man attack unit and more of a studio project. We wrote our first opus entitled "For The Pleasure Of Wolves" and recorded it at home. Once a proper moniker was invoked we set up a myspace. Immediately we got very good responses and a lot of them. A few months into 2007 we were asked by long time komrade Chris HATE WAR to participate in a tribute to the legendary masters of Aussie War Metal BESTIAL WARLUST with none other than Damon Bloodstorm on Hellthroat! The show was a great success and was the vehicle for the release of our debut demo "MMVII". From there we went on to be a part of the "Lightning Death Descends" and "Blood Of The Damned" Tours."
Your first release was the "MMVII" demo. Unfortunately I don’t know this recording therefore please tell something about it. Are / were you satisfied with this release?
R.S.: "I am satisfied with "MMVII" as a rough demo and introduction to our music, but overall I feel it was a bit rushed. We wanted to have something available for the Holocaust Wolves show and didn’t have much time to get it done."
In March 2008 you released your "The Stagnation Of Centuries" MCD with 28 minutes of great Death Metal music. What’s your impression about this MCD? The reviews you got so far turned out quite good as far as I know! Do you think this is already the sound SANGUIS IMPEREM was looking out for?
R.S.: "It was good to see the positive reviews for the MCD, but it’s more gratifying to me creating a slab of music that I, myself, enjoy. Our goals with SANGUIS IMPEREM’s sound were fairly straightforward, create the most oppressive, strong and vicious music we can. We will continue with this mindset until the end."
What I figured out while listening to the songs on your MCD is that SANGUIS IMPEREM sound everything else than the ordinary American Death Metal band. From my point of view you have nothing in common with those blastbeat hyper-technical Death Metal bands which are so common these days especially in the USA. How would you describe SANGUIS IMPEREM’s Death Metal with your own words?
S.S.: "Death Metal Tyranny. Our goal is not to not sound like these bands because I fucking hate that style so it comes easy! I am almost 32 and have listened to Metal for over 2/3 my life. I am very picky about what bands I like. I don’t like overly technical, polished sounding, PC pussy bands! I admire dirty, gritty original sounding, nasty, in your fucking face Death Metal! Like from the old days. None of this triggered, flat sounding weak voiced bullshit you hear on Sirius satellite, find in FYE or see in big Magazines. SANGUIS IMPEREM plays what we feel like playing. Barbaric, dirty, nasty, oppressive, commanding, fuck your mother Metal! HAHA! We do pay a lot of attention to detail and care about structure and all that but we try and keep it very primal. All the members of SANGUIS IMPEREM are top notch bastards with a lot of playing experience and a good ear. We are all very much into both current events and historical ones and we bring that mentality to it as well. We like our message to be intelligent yet barbaric in it’s resolve. We don’t believe in lyrical boundaries and practice freedom of expression how we see fit. If you don’t agree or are offended then go fuck yourself cunt! You’re not welcome in our world and it is ours! Too many faggots and weak fucks pollute the so-called "scene" today!"
You seem to be quite addicted to the Latin language. Your bandname and several phrases you work with are in Latin and the layout of your homepage, flyers and all that stuff has a certain mediaeval flair. Please explain that concept.
S.S.: "Most problems and issues either were spawned way back when or are the same now as they were in older times. We like to draw parallels between those ancient peoples dilemmas and our own today. Also we study ancient cultures in our spare time and have a lot of respect and admiration for our ancestors wisdom. Satanism is fine for some but for us we choose to speak more about reality and true life circumstances rather than the "mystical". Not to down others for this it just doesn’t suit us as well."
The overall gloomy atmosphere of your songs reminds me a lot to German NECROS CHRISTOS. Can you live with this description and which bands are your influences and which are the bands you were wrongly compared with?
R.S.: "I can live with that comparison, as far as bands we were wrongly compared to… where to begin? Ha! The one that probably left me the most perplexed was Suffocation, has that wofta heard either?"
S.S.: "Yeah I get the feeling most people don’t really know what the fuck they are even babblin’ about half the time. Fukkin’ woftas. It seems there is a need to compare bands to others and I get it but there have been a few, such as the afore mentioned, that make zero sense. As far as the NECROS CHRISTOS comparison I take this as a compliment. I recall being compared to ANGELCORPSE as well, which I think is ridiculous, though we have always been huge fans. One guy said we were total IMMOLATION worship which makes absolutely no sense considering the fact none of us have listened to them since the early nineties and I can barely remember what they sound like, haha! I’m not really offended by any of these comparisons, I think some of it is just personal opinions and some of it is people who really have no fucking clue about shit."
What about the American Death Metal scene these days? SANGUIS IMPEREM sound quite unique to me and, as I said, not really typical American. Do you know some other bands from the American scene worth to mention and to support? How’s the scene in your side of the world?
S.S.: "Yeah actually, NUCLEAR DESECRATION, OBEISANCE, MANTICORE, NOCTURNAL BLOOD, KOMMANDANT, to name a few. Well the scene here sucks ass in general, but there are some very good bands scattered about out there of course. I like a lot of Canuck bands as well such as HORDE OF ANACHRON and MITOCHONDRION but again there are too many too mention all by name."
I figured out that you are a quite active live band. You shared the stage with bands as ANGELCORPSE, SADISTIC INTENT, MERCILESS DEATH, GOSPEL OF THE HORNS, PROFANATICA, MACABRE or MASTER and already played a 3 week US tour with some of the bands mentioned. How important are live appearances for SANGUIS IMPEREM and which were the greatest gigs you played so far and with which band(s)?
S.S.: "The most recent show with REVENGE (a band we enjoy intensely!) was, I believe, our best live performance to date (hail the LA maniacs who came and supported our Tyranny!), but it is way too fucking hard to say! We have been lucky enough to have played with so many infamous demons that it is impossible for me to say which was my favorite. I will say that playing with GOSPEL OF THE FUKKING HORNS and CEMETERY URN at the Gathering of Shadows fest in the middle of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life! The Australians know how to have a fucking good time! Being on tour for 3 weeks with all those maniacs was the stuff of Metal legend! The HWOTA/SI set at the Sacrifice of the Nazarene IX was also very satisfying, the huge party at the Alamo Hotel after was fukking awesome!"
R.S.: "Live assaults are necessary for us at this point, It would be unfulfilling not to. Some of the songs, in my opinion, come off more barbaric, violent and intense in the live / rehearsal setting and require a good, fired up pack of maniacs to be fully realized!"
I wonder how your singer performs the first vocal lines of the song ‘Conflagration’? I mean, hearing it on the MCD is truly awesome but I wonder how he manages that long line without breathing, haha!!
S.S.: "HAHAHA! Well that would be feat indeed! Actually R.S. and myself do a lot of trade offs. Our goal was always to record the vocals / material so that we could recreate them live the same as they are on the recording. We don’t double up our own tracks either. No effects other than a little reverb are used. We keep it raw and real. Our newest edition J.V. plays bass and was the guitar / vocalist for my old band STORMBRINGER, so we have as many as three vox at once live. I pretty much handle most vokill duties, however, R.S. does a lot on his own as well. All the doubled parts are a mix of myself and him and any seemingly impossible parts are the two of us trading off."
If I remember it correct you are also organizing live gigs on your own. Which bands do you want to support with it and how are the reactions so far from the visitors? Do you have any good and bad stories about that?
RS: "Actually all, with the exception of the Nifelheim / Macabre / Master fest, were put together by our brother and comrade in arms Chris Wood (Hate War Prod.). We never intended to play as many shows as we did this past year, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share the stage with so many monumental and great bands!"
S.S.: "We try to limit ourselves to playing shows with bands that we really like. We don’t want to play the same place / area too much either in order to maintain a hungering for SANGUIS IMPEREM by our fans. We try to be as strategic as possible with our live assaults."
We already talked a little bit about the American Death Metal scene but what do you think about the current Death Metal scene worldwide. Which are the bands you have the biggest respect for? Which are the most outstanding and influential ones these days and what does Death Metal mean to you at all?
S.S.: "CEMETERY URN, GOSPEL OF THE HORNS (RIP), DESTROYER 666, VOMITOR, NECROS CHRISTOS, AXIS OF ADVANCE, NUCLEAR DESECRATION, OBEISANCE, PORTAL, GBK (RIP), ARGHOSLENT, MARDUK, PRIMORDIAL, Fukk! There are just too many to list them all here! Death Metal is what drives me most to continue on with this fucked life on this fucked planet in these fucked times we live in! It is a way for me to create art and to let out the frustrations I have for things such as politics and religion! Too many people shy away from having any sort of opinion on world and or national affairs for fear of being blacklisted. I would agree it is a reality and some bands have been fucked off by the powers that be. But if there are these PC trends in underground Death Metal today then where exactly is it ok to have a true and intelligent opinion? If you don’t have any opinions on anything then what the fuck are you doing playing "Death Metal"? Fuck off cunts! Music is for expressing feelings and opinions and Death Metal is fucking hate!"
How long are you an active person in the scene? What where the greatest moments since you are a Death Metal fan?
S.S.: "I’ve been a part of the "scene" since I was about 14 but I’ve been a fan of Metal since I was 8 or 9. Obviously it’s been the recent years playing as HOLOCAUST WOLVES, the tours, the recent show with OBEISANCE and REVENGE! Some of my favorite shows I attended were DESTROYER 666, BLACK WITCHERY, DEMILICH, DISSECTION, MORBID ANGEL (1993 and 1997), Impaled Nazarene, KATAKLYSM (1994), SUFFOCATION (1996), DEICIDE (1997), fukk! Once again too many to list! I can’t even remember them all! HAHA! Many, many nights hanging out with close friends sometimes at bars or shows, sometimes around a blazing fire listening to Death Metal and drinking beer! Violence and other alcohol related mayhem! Hail the destruction!"
As I only got a promo copy of your MCD I unfortunately don’t have any lyrics of the songs, but from what I figured out is that your lyrics deal mostly with topics like war and terror. How serious do you take your lyrical concept and what are the lyrical themes your music asks for?
S.S.: "The perils of parasites, intolerance for the weak, historical places, people and events, the total eradication of filth and scum, the importance of the will, the greatness of empire, dissent, awareness of the existence and intentions of those who mean to rule you, etc., etc., so on and so forth."
What do you think about those Death Metal bands which don’t really care that much about the lyrics at all or those who write about politics and stuff like that? How important do you see the lyrics for your music and as a fan when listening to other bands?
S.S.: "I can’t usually get into a band if their lyrics suck. I don’t necessarily care about how serious they might come off, for example, I am a big fan of the band MACABRE and personally I think they’re lyrics are pure genius! But, generally speaking, I like substance, brutality and at least some sign of higher intelligence. As for politically charged lyrical content, that all depends on whether or not I personally agree with the opinions they express or not. I can’t like a band who have pussy or overly PC views on life. For instance, If you are a member of PETA, then go get fucked! I love animals too, one of my favorite programs growing up was Nature (Sir David fukking Attenborough!) but I am a fucking omnivore and I eat fucking meat! As far as these cunty bitches who preach tolerance, piss off! I am disgusted by the notion that we are all "equals", it’s ludicrous! Most humans are dumb, wastes of space, weak lesser beings who should not be allowed to exist among us. Another thing I can’t stand are these assholes who think that Satan is real! Supposedly condemning all ideas that include so-called "goodness". They aren’t fooling anyone. They act as if they despise all things in life, well then fuckin’ die already. Like they wouldn’t be upset if their mom died. I’m sure some of these people are truly defective individuals are really like this, but for those others, I find it weak. Don’t confuse yourself on who and what it is "we" stand against, "they" are truly evil, those Government and religious officials who make the laws and control the money, they are the face of true evil. "We" are actually on the side of good, "we" want to rid the world of these slime-laden rats, these putrid filth-breeding parasites!"
Now you joined forces with Invictus Productions for a full-length recording in mid to late 2009. Besides that what are your next steps? What can we expect from SANGUIS IMPEREM in the near future?
R.S.: "We’ve got quite a bit in the works for 2009. We’ll be releasing a couple of split 7"es, one with Nocturnal Blood and the other with comrades Cemetery Urn, and were making preparations for an Australian conquest for mid to late 2009. We’re not releasing any details just yet, but it will be a devastating package for sure."
What about merchandise? Which articles do you have to sell right now?
S.S.: "We still have some of both T-shirt designs left for sale. Of course our debut EP "The Stagnation Of Centuries" is still available through the band direct or through many distributors world wide! We also now have tape versions of the EP available through the band direct or through Iron, Blood & Death Corp.! More merch to come in the future (go to our myspace, Geocities site or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details!). Support true Death Metal bands you bastards, Fukking buy!!!!!!"
That’s it for now. Thanks for your time spending with this interview. Hope you enjoyed answering my questions? Please take the opportunity to spread some final words to the Voices readers now!
S.S.: "Cheers Thomas! Your rabid support for our campaign of tyranny has been appreciated greatly! Hails to all the true maniacs around the world who have inspired us to spread our empire outward to the far corners of this orb and of course we salute those bands who we’ve shared the stage and the road with and who have continuously encouraged us to excel! We owe you much! Mors Vincit Omnia!"
R.S.: "Hails! Thanks for the support!"