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Ataraxy

Spain's Ataraxy definitely released one of the best death metal albums in 2012. 'Revelations Of The Etherial' is an album you should have heard. With an album this good we thought an interview was mandatory. Bassist Edu answered and guitarist Santi added some answers as well. Read on and find out what Ataraxy is all about.

By: Pim B. | Archive under death metal / grindcore

Hey guys, as far as I'm concerned it's time to introduce Ataraxy to the readers of Lords Of Metal. We've been following you since the release of 'Curse Of The Requiem Mass' and it's good to hear such a great band coming from Spain. First of all could you give us a bit of an introduction on Ataraxy?
Edu: Thanks for your kind words. Ataraxy was formed in Zaragoza (Spain) by the end of 2008. The band has since then had several line-up changes, keeping the same line-up since early 2010 (some months prior to the recording of 'Curse Of The Requiem Mass'). Ataraxy has always played dark and traditional Metal of Death.

Let's start out with your first recording, the 'Rotten Shit' demo that recently was re-released on vinyl through Black Mass Records. I think I read somewhere that you guys aren't really satisfied with this demo but I feel it's a good start. What are your thoughts on this demo?
Edu: Well, I don't think we are not satisfied or even not proud of this demo (I didn't take part of its recording though, so maybe my mates would explain it better). I think it's a legit part of the history of Ataraxy, and we still play one or two of those songs live. It's of course more raw and primitive than our later stuff, but very passionate and a total reflection of the band's personal feelings and visions towards Death Metal during that period.

'Curse Of The Requiem Mass' was a punch in the face when I heard it. It was also the first release for Memento Mori Records where Me Saco Un Ojo did the vinyl edition. I was particularly pleased with the fact that you didn't sound typically Swedish or American. It's kind of like you picked the best of death metal history and melted that together as you can hear bits and pieces from bands like Asphyx or Morgoth as well. How do you look back on it?
Edu: 'Curse Of The Requiem Mass' was the next natural step in the still ongoing evolution of the band. The compositions are a bit more elaborated and the overall atmosphere is darker and more serious than on the first demo tape. The sound is still very traditional Death Metal based, but it already shows traces of our own trademark sound and style which, in my opinion, has been fully developed on our new full-length, specially if you hear songs like the title track, 'The Last Stare' or 'Hear The Ghouls'.

band imageWhat are your main musical influences anyway?
Edu: Well, I think that you explained it quite well in your previous question. Asphyx (and many other of your fellow Dutch bands) and Morgoth are two big influences, but just like Morbid Angel, Autopsy, Death, lots of Finnish bands and many other new (and not that new) bands. We just try to evoke the essence of Death through the traditions of what we consider real and dark Death Metal, which has been misunderstood, mistreated, beaten and humiliated for many years.

Santi: Talking strictly now, from our first record there is no band that influences us above other. I mean that the essence of what is Death Metal is in our veins due to the great passion accumulated by years of feeling this style as something that lies within us. The intention of Ataraxy is not to follow the pattern marked by other bands but mark our own horizons. The key in the musical inspiration is feelings and personal visions on some aspects such as death, immensity, terror, the macabre, darkness... This is definitely what has marked our first record and what will mark even more the following material, as well as new feelings that will arise within us. Of course all this is possible thanks to some legendary records. I will mention a few that have not been named: Demigod, Cenotaph, The Chasm, Shub Niggurath, Amorphis / Abhorrence, Supuration, Stigma, Voivod, Cartilage / Wings and some others Funeral Doom bands that now are becoming a great inspiration for the most atmospheric part of Ataraxy.

Now you're back with 'Revelations Of The Etherial' and once again you managed to impress the hell out of me. I noticed there's a bit of a change when it comes to the production. It's not as 'in your face' as 'Curse...' but still heavy as fuck. It's got more depth I think and you even used some keyboard parts to spice things up. So what are your thoughts on the new album and who did the keyboards?
Edu: 'Revelations of the Ethereal' is the new stage in our never ending descent to the dark abyss of Death. The songs reach a more oppressive and evoking atmosphere than our previous stuff, and the compositions are way better and more complex. I think that many bands should follow the classic steps of releasing demos and EPs before the first full-length, so the band should be able to have its own sound developed by the time the full-length (which should be the most important release for a band) is composed. I'm glad you noticed the keyboards on the album. The fact that we gave more importance to them on this album than on our MLP (which only had a couple of background effects) was totally deliberated, since we thought that it could help to reach that atmosphere we were trying to create with the songs. I have always thought that keyboards can work perfectly with Heavy Metal (one of the darkest examples of keyboards in Metal would be the always amazing “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”), and the most evil Death Metal as well (Grave, Demigod, Morbid Angel, Sadistic Intent...). Anyway, we keep the keyboards as an additional studio effect, not as a main instrument (not in a Nocturnus way, even if they fucking rule), and we don't use any keyboards live. All keyboards were thought and recorded by our singer Javi.

'Revelations Of The Etherial' once again is released on CD by Memento Mori and the LP edition will be done by Me Saco Un Ojo. Is it easy to work with 2 labels releasing the same album? How is the cooperation with both labels in general by the way?
Edu: It's quite easy to work with both labels at the same time, since they are working on different formats (CD for Memento Mori and Vinyl for Me Saco Un Ojo) I think that they have no problem trading and working with the same distributors sometimes, as they work for different “markets”, and even for different “crowds” I think. There are some people who prefer to buy the CD version, and some people who are more into vinyl releases, so I think that both formats can coexist without any further conflict.

You recorded at Moontower studio, which seems to have become the studio for extreme metal in Spain. Can you tell a bit more about recording at Moontower?
Edu: Moontower is one of the very few studios here that can combine great equipment and a professional engineer with a real knowledge of Metal (and Death Metal) music. Javi (also known abroad by his Death Metal band Graveyard) is the man behind the studios and it's cool to work with him, as the communication between the band and him is quite easy due to his vast knowledge of Underground Metal. We take our recording sessions very seriously but we also have a good time there, otherwise we would go crazy.

You also run your own label Filthy Cave Records. I think you started this albel up to release your own demo 'Rotten Shit' but in the meantime you have released other stuff too. Can you tell a bit more about that?
Edu: We began Filthy Cave Records for the release of our first demo tape, but since then we decided that we could also use it to support any bands and releases we considered worth the effort. We have since then put out tapes of bands like Machetazo, Agonia, Pre-Mortem or Necroven. We'll soon release a demo tape by the US band Church Of Disgust, as well as a split 7” between the Spanish Black Metal bands Amnion and Balmog. More releases will be announced soon.

It seems that the Spanish scene is becoming stronger and stronger. I do think there were quite a lot of great death metal bands in the past as well but I think a lot of people never took bands from Spain that serious. In these times with everything being available through Internet I think a lot of people actually can hear now that there are some killer bands in Spain. So how do you look upon the state of the Spanish scene at the moment and do you feel you had some great bands in the past as well?
Santi: Spain has always been a country that has gone one step behind in everything. The musical aspect is no exception. Talking strictly about death metal, in Spain there were in the early 90s a few interesting records. The problem was that a few had the chance to record some material in a studio with a minimum quality and even less release a new record. To remember some old bands that are worth listening to those who might be interested, I will mention some: Necrophiliac, Feretrum, Chococrispis, Obscure, Human waste, Unhallowed, Spontaneous Combustion… Although few had neither the constancy nor the necessary support to truly appreciate their potential. Nowadays, I think that in death metal issues, it is not much better, at least from what I've heard up until now. Recent releases that I liked are those by Domains and Necroven. In Spain there is hardly demand of these styles. Most metalheads are pathetic drunks that only follow paths that have been established by others...

Back to Ataraxy. What are your plans to promote 'Revelations Of The Etherial'? Any tours coming up? Any chance we might be able to see you in the northern parts of Europe?
Edu: We will try to do some touring (or at least some spare dates) within Europe next year, there have been some talks with different people but nothing is 100% confirmed yet. Playing abroad is definitely one of our main goals for 2013. It would be great to play in the Netherlands or any other Northern countries, where there is a great Death Metal fanbase with very cool underground scenes. We'll do our best to desecrate the Northern soils as soon as possible!

That's all from my side. Anything else you might want to add?
Thanks for your support, more info can be found at our bandcamp and Facebook]Facebook pages.

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