Saturday, May 22, 2010

Interview: Cacodaemon

I am not that familiar with your band's particular history, or the personal history of each of its members as it is related to the music - could you clear this up by giving us some information about your inspirations for the band,the way that you came to write and record this kind of music, and how all you have been involved in music before now? Why the name 'Cacodaemon', for example? Describe, if you feel like it, just what Cacodaemon sounds like, what it offers to people who are tired of the current state of black or death metal...

Cruciatus: Cacodaemon was summoned by me and Moribundus in 1997 which was just a year and a half after I took the first hold of my guitar (I have also played piano for 2 years, drums for 3 years ...). I have known Moribundus since 1994 now so he was naturally the one who would share the sickness with me. Cacodaemon was formed to perform ogrish music which was back then something like Master's Hammer/Samael meets Mayhem on a thrashing trip. I did the guitars and ritual drums, Moribundus naturally summoned with his bestial voice and held the bass. Cacodaemon had a fistful of lousy drummers in the past, all of them were kicked out because they wimped out, all of them shat in their pants before Cacodaemon's extreme metal hardware which by the way settled to its present form (occult death music in nomine Sathanas, wicked and rotting riffs, bonegrinding and thrashing drums, inhuman vocals, deep basses, necrosounds ...) after those drummers. We recorded our 'Black Death Metal' demo in early 2000, and after it was released Obscurus joined the line-up to do the bass guitars. He was a good friend of ours, and a talented axeman as well so it was natural that he joined. "Fullmoon Ritual" was recorded in the summer of 2000, it was released last February. I describe it deeper in further questions. We got a new drummer a few weeks ago, he is a good friend too and as he also worships Cacodaemon music, all is well now.
The band name, eh? We chose this name because it walks hand in hand with our style. Cacodaemon means a lesser malign spirit, an obscure and evil one, impure, noisy ... just like our purposes, to make obscure metal of darkness. This is what Cacodaemon stands for. Cacodaemon represents darkness in its real and natural form, obscurity that can [only] be found through ways of occultism. Cacodaemon represents the Satanic side of living, all the demoniac that is here, all the impurity, rituals, sacrifice, death, necromantia, witchcraft ... Cacodaemon is a great way to spread the occult message and express dark feelings when they are about to turn venomous. Cacodaemon is here to turn everything upside down, ha. Demon est Deus Inversus. All these years I have been inspired by the same wicked feeling in my heart, black metal flowing liquid through my blood, death behind my shoulder and occult energies streaming free near me. I can't put it into words perfectly... It is just this darkness I just told you that inspires me, I want to give the listener a chance to feel this dark emotional ecstacy I am having.
Ah, Cacodaemon's logo gives some idea about the contents, yeah, messy, impure, bones and demons. If you are longing for Impure Metal, you should summon us, we offer you sonic destruction made of our blood, sweat and tears, DIE-HARD!

I'll admit that I stumbled across Cacodaemon completely by accident, just wandering around the internet, and like I said in the question above, I wasn't sure at all what kind of music you played exactly, even though the look and feel of your website gave me a few clues. Is Cacodaemon meant to stay 'obscured' in that you don't promote it widely, or has this happened by chance? Have you had trouble attracting people to your band - have you found an unwillingness on the part of the scene to listen to your music, even though it is obviously so pertinent to the scene of today? Is there an unwillingness on your own part to take interest in the music of your contemporaries?

Cruciatus: We are definitely an underground horde, we devote our musical morbidity to Saatan-Moloch, the Keeper Of Secrets. We enjoy doing our work in the 'catacombs', we release only tapes and LPs (on our own label, VOTU, also starting to run a distro) in reasonable editions, we promote our work via good underground promoters ... We do like this 'cos we don't want to get reduced into celebrities or marketing products, and of course we want to stay obscure, that's what our music is all about. Of course we have fans, there will propably be some gigs too in the future, lots of interest etc.
But Cacodaemon is still Cacodaemon, ugly and dirty, [there are] minimized number of people love morbid and impure metal today, but we always find our audience. So our music is totally aimed to those who don't have the unwillingness, those who are open for our extreme necro metal. In this point the limited editions come in handy as well.

Moribundus: I see that there's no reason for us become fucking over-popular 'black' metal. I'm quite satisfied in the current situation. Of course it's good to get some underground listeners ...

As a follow-up to the question before, tell me: just what is Cacodaemon trying to accomplish through its music? Where do you hope this band will go - do you have any ambitions? Do you write this material (for example, the songs included on 'Fullmoon Ritual') to mainly express your love for an older style of metal, or did it just come together in this way, completely different from what the bands around you are playing? Would you like to see a 'return' to an earlier style of black/death metal, where there weren't so many scene divisions and bands felt comfortable in expanding their sound without losing touch with their audience? Why do you think metal music has become so intensely categorized - splitting a single genre into multiple disciplines, and then trying to label each and every band by these arbitrary affiliations?

Cruciatus: Cacodaemon is walking under the banner of the occult, on a mission to speak of Satan and the necessary evil. Cacodaemon is the channel of all chaos that dwells in me, and in the other members. I am ambitious, but not greedy. I want to work beyond the mainstream. I want to see Cacodaemon quite well known in the deepest underground, some LP's/ 7" released, some underground live shows, but the best of rewards would be the occult achievements, like giving someone deeper experiences with necessary darkness and evil, or even helping someone out on this kind of research. Cacodaemon is the messenger of the demoniac. And you are almost right, we really like the 'older style', but I don't compose these songs just to show how much I love it. In fact old-school metal is almost the only kind of metal for me, bands like Judas Priest, Witchfynde, Venom, Sarcofago, Possessed, Impiety, Asphyx, Blasphemy, Beherit ...
I have always seen metal in its old-school form, so it is just natural for me to channel my emotions and experiences in this form.
Why would we need a return into an older style? Good old bestial metal has never vanished! Cacodaemon is occult death music in nomine Sathanas, fuck categorizers. Since Venom's 'Black Metal' was out this whirlwind has been devastating [all] around. I don't care, we are in the eye of the whirlwind, we play totally a style of our own. I don't want to bother my mind thinking in which human-made category we belong.

Moribundus: I myself haven't set any special goals to achieve through our music. I don't see that it is necessary to accomplish anything special through Cacodaemon's music. Just that we ourselves are satisfied [with] in our work. And time shall show where we will go...
I don't even bother to think about the return of old days. Metal is not all I live for, I have many more important things to think about. I listen all those old good bands and all the new good stuff that I like. Fuck all the scene policy shit, they are not so important to me, for example I don't give a fuck if somebody makes money with 'Black Metal' 'cause this has got nothing to do with me or Cacodaemon, all the sell-outs may do as they wish. But of course I respect the good old and new Hordes around the BM movement.

Tell me a little about what it's like to be a musician in Finland, and a dark metal musician in particular. Are you supported, in general, or is there a backlash against metal musicians in your homeland the way there is in almost every other country? It seems to me that metal is actually accepted on a wider basis in Finland in most other countries - what with Amorphis on the music charts, etc. Is this the truth - does it accurately reflect your country's open-mindedness, or is it all just another illusion? I should add that here in America, a band like Amorphis or Children of Bodom would not have any chance at all of selling the number of albums one needs to chart officially, this is why Finland's musical climate interests me...

Cruciatus: No, you are not having any illusions brother. Metal is accepted in a larger scale, when it is done in an idiotic main-stream style. Childrem Of Lobotomy (hehe) for example have been the first band to sell gold with a single, and they still are heavier than just the average 'sweet sixteen' band storming the charts. But I couldn't care less about them or the charts. Being a musician in Finland is good, this is a pure metal country, the attitude is ok, [there are a] number of UG bands and their 'fame' is growing/ reducing on appropriate scale. You usually get support no matter what kind of music you really play. But if you play extreme metal music with satanic/sick/rebelling lyrics and ideas you should be aware of the local 'Gestapo', ha, 'to serve and to protect the wallet of rip-off state's church where you worship the almighty dollar'. This sucks! Luckily this hasn't happened to me yet, but many satanic metal hordes have been boycotted and blackmailed by the civil police or whatever vampires of the society [exist].

Moribundus: ...Of course some people try to prevent you but I don't give a fuck about that.

As for your lyrics, tell me: what are your main influences or sources of inspiration? What main messages are you trying to spread through your verses? Which do you write first, the lyrics or the music? Do you think it's important for a band's lyrics to directly reflect the atmosphere they are building with their music?

Cruciatus: Morbid fate, rituals and magic, necromantia, death, demons ... all the obscure subjects of the Satan's Millenium.
Cacodaemon is an occult messenger, so read from question two and see our purposes, spreading an occult revolution, or at least occult messages. It is important that the whole entity of the artist reflects the reason why they are doing the work.
I myself write the lyrics in an extremely devoted atmosphere, any wicked emotion does the job as well. After I get the lyrics done I take my Ibanez and grasp all the inspiration from the eerie words and the atmosphere and here we have a Cacodaemon song ...

Moribundus: I can't tell anything about Cruciatus's lyrics, but my intention is to support people in individuality and in seeking of the 'Truth', and to try to find meaning to their lives, enlightenment.

Explain something to me: if Beherit is as big an influence on you as most people seem to think, just what do you find so attractive about their music? What did the growing popularity of Beherit in the world mean for similar musicians in Finland? Do you think it changed the perceptions people had of Finland's ability to produce dark music? What other bands from Finland would you recommend to people who are attracted to Beherit's sound? Are there any in existence who still play in that style?

Cruciatus: Beherit is an important band for me, of course, they are CULT. It is not just the music that gives me the grindcore heartbeatz and boiling blood in my veins, the wickedness in that music is just overwhelming and magical. I quess that when Beherit became a world wide cult band, it just inspired the Finnish hordes to go on with their extreme metal rituals. What a shame that they ended their metal career. But Beherit is Beherit, Cacodaemon is Cacodaemon, don't forget! They are not the source from where I get the ideas to our possessed and obscure music. If someone says we are some Beherit retro-band, I would be very insulted! Cacodaemon is not a Beherit tribute band, there still are 1000 times more differences than similarities. (True - Ed) Blasphemous Evil is the only one I know which plays that really Beherit-kind of Metal in this mobile phone hell...

Moribundus: Yes, I think Beherit is an influence to our style. I think that Beherit could be called some kind of Finnish (black) Metal Godz. I have not bought so many releases from the Finnish scene lately so i'm not the man to recommend anything to you... but I'd say a band called Northern Damnation (Hailz to Riena and other comrades in ND), it is something between Sarcofago and Darkthrone.

What do you hate the most about the current black metal scene? What needs to be 'fixed' or repaired, and what can be done to bring these repairs about? Do you think that traditional black metal, as a style of music or reservoir of inspiration only, has run its course and can not produce original music anymore? Do you think that Scandinavia's strength in this form of music is now waning?

Cruciatus: Too much backstabbing and false rumours, attitude is fading into something ridiculous: everyone wants fame whatever the price is. Also too many bands play with 'IBM-synths and drum machines and computer guitars', hey, where has the blood, sweat and tears gone from the sounds? And I wish that the underground would someday be a brotherhood, not a mess of prejudice and competition like it is now.
Scandinavia fell into trends and weak sounds years ago, just melodic and soulless 'death metal', boring 'Abyss studio black metal' and so on. But the Underground is strong of course; Flame, Urn, Nifelheim, Deep Red, Pagan Rites (still alive?), Clandestine Blaze, Misogynist Pussyslasher ... so the real black metal has not run its course yet, we will always hold high the torches of die-hard underground metal!

Moribundus: Well as I said that I don't give a fuck [for any of] the scene things. Some reasons for this: I dislike all those actions and ideas which will never achieve anything. There are not many interesting goals inside the scene that I could follow so I don't see the 'scene' [as] so important... The bands hanging around have usually no meaning. But of course there are some very extreme bands that I like... No, I don't think that the Scandinavian strength is waning, there are still good bands around. And of course there are the lousy ones too, AND FUCK ALL THOSE RIP-OFFS!

Your band obviously believe that the art and other physical parts of a recording or release, other than the music itself, should lend a distinct sense of atmosphere to the listening experience - while I am typing this I am looking at the insert to 'Fullmoon Ritual', which is as obscure as possible, and which lends the entire first experience of listening to your band a mystery that probably couldn't be summoned any other way...tell me about your beliefs in this vein, how you think a black metal band's style should be portrayed in cover art or the packaging of their recordings, and why it is so important to make the outside mirror the inside, the music...

Cruciatus: Ah, yes, all the colours and images that fly beside the musical magic streams of darkness have a strong influence on the listener (his emotions, and mental health in some cases). I (and Moribundus) use all my skills to make our releases as obscure as possible, psychedelic in a dark way, so the listener can totally fall into the black hole of demonic music. When I buy an obscure ('black') metal release, I want to experience the darkness and evil streaming into me, dark colors and images suit this kind of a trip. VON's 'Satanic Blood' is a good example of this. I love this record, the imagery is very obscure and morbid, the underground way of music is at least twice as satanic and obscure, this record is one of my faves! Other examples are Possessed's 'Seven Churches', Venom's 'Welcome to Hell' and Bathory's 'The Return...'. Disappointments would in this point be Immortal's 'Battles In The North' ... the inappropriate sheet etc. takes away a huge part of the listening pleasure. But the 'image' will never be more important than music and attitude.

Moribundus: Well if you have something to say, say it through your music...
The covers etc. are important, of course. I think that if the record's 'portrait' would be only white and no lyrics your message wouldn't be so clear. So the outfit plays a big part in the expression. When it comes to Cacodaemon, I think it's important to get the listener deep into the feeling that the music is all about. If you have a mystic 'image' (more likely a message) it's easier to get people interested to listen to what you have to say...
And it's better to get people [to] realize your messege themselves rather than you telling it strictly to them.

Alright, let's talk about the recording process of 'Fullmoon Ritual'. How and where was it recorded? Why was it deliberately mixed or initially recorded in such an abysmally necro fashion? Doubtlessly you have read my review of this release, and noticed my criticism of its sound...have there been any other negative comments about the sound, or am I alone in disliking it? My essential point with that review was that you play beautifully, with an original style, and the production, rather than enhancing the atmosphere of the recording as most necro sounds strive to do, took away a large amount of the pleasure I could have experienced listening to the music because I had to strain so hard to hear what was going on...I don't mean this in an insulting way, I am just curious about your decisions when it came to recording/releasing this material. Was this all intentional, or will you change the recording style in the future?

Cruciatus: Cacodaemon's intention is to be present for the listener in an impure and wicked form, the necro touch is essential, but in the case of 'Fullmoon Ritual' the sounds are a bit too messy. We recorded it in beautiful countryside, in a large garage which was consecrated for our musical rituals. It was very hot, I recorded the drums and guitars in the 'Impure Darkness' mostly alone, with a sleazy computer programme, with simple mixing commands and one single track to record on or something. Then Obscurus did the basses etc. It was a great 6 days, seventh we rested. The middle-summer thunderstorms slowed us down, therefore the vocals weren't done on that week. So we returned to Kuopio and decided to do the vocals after two weeks. But a local yahoo at 'Impure Darkness' messed up with the recording computer, aargh, so we had to send our only master-tape to Remasters, so that we could get a CD of it and then do the vocals. So we got that CD in the end of 2000, and we recorded the vocals in two days of January. And in February it was out. I hope you understand now that this tape has gone through too many hands, so the production has gone too bad (Yes, that's what it sounds like to me, like it travelled around before it was pressed finally - Ed). We will use a better recording style [in the future], but our sound intention is to make it very necro and bestial, but the tape hiss shall not be one of the instruments, so that you can hear everything without struggling. But our music style and riffs are sometimes so wicked and destructive that you can never make the sound so clear that you can hear 100% of it. Just feel the wickedness.(Alright...good point - Ed)

Moribundus: The recording sessions didn't go like it was planned. You can hear it from the lousy sound. There were lots of problems with the recording sessions like money and shitty recording gear and so the things got twisted in a quite bad way but after all I'm quite satisfied with the tape. Better luck next time!

A gathering of smaller questions: what have the responses to this release been like so far? Are you getting mail from different parts of the world, or is the attention localized? How are you mainly distributing the tape? Will you be sending any copies out to other magazines? Why did you release it in such a small limited edition? Can people who read this interview still obtain any earlier material from Cacodaemon? Has there been interest in your band from any labels, or do you have plans to release a CD in the future?

Cruciatus: The response has been very good! As it has been spread in circles that worship necrosounding death noise, the comments have been almost too flattering. The sound has got criticism, of course, I understand this. Yes, I get some mail, and the attention is world wide (last one came from Serbia), we have got a plenty of attention on a healthy underground scale. We distribute our material through Voice Of The Underworld (our own rexx.), 'Fullmoon Ritual' is also distributed in southern Finland (Northern Heritage), soon in France (Rotten Bones) and hopefully soon in Italy and Greece too...
Ah, we won't send any free 'Fullmoon Ritual' copies no longer, so no free 'promo' stuff will be sent for now. Two zines have got our attention (yours is the third). We released this one in a small edition 'cos it is the first Cacodaemon release given full promotion and distribution, and we had no money, and we don't want to be celebrities like I said earlier.
The 'Black Death Metal' demo is still available, 10 copies left or something. We have no regular price put on it so if someone wants it, please mail VOTU ( 'Fullmoon Ritual' is of course available as well, 30 FIM/ 10 DM or inside Finland 25 FIM. Note that it is a full length tape album.
No labels have offered deals, after all we don't want a deal 'cos we have VOTU, but cooperation bonds have already been made between some companies. Cacodaemon will NEVER EVER do CD's, we hate them! Only vinyl and tape! But there will surely be something more "official" for you soon, Cacodaemon has lately got a new drummer, recordings for a 7" ('Black Magic') will commence soon. The material will be more ancient, killer songs, wait for it if you worship Possessed, Blasphemy, Beherit, Asphyx ... also 'Fullmoon Ritual' will be on LP format, bonus songs, the Mortuary Drape cover is replaced with Bathory's 'The Return Of Darkness And Evil'. We'll see what happens ...

Lastly, use the space here to finish off this interview any way you there anything else our readers should know about your band?

Cruciatus: Thanx for this great interview Brother! Sheer pleasure to answer. Feel free to summon Cacodaemon. Live like an angel, die like a devil. Hail Elohim, Saatan-Moloch, Tetragrammaton! It is finished when the seven are one.

Moribundus: Seek for the truth, don't let your search stop at dogmas. Don't fall into routines. Do what you feel to be the best for you.