Hi Cihan, let’s start this interview with the fact there’s quite some time between your debut EP ‘Rituals Of The Grotesque’ from 2010 and the new full-length ‘Abiogenesis’. It seems you took some time off for a couple of years, but what exactly made you put Burial Invocation on ice?
There are several reasons for it. But leaving the personal ones aside, the most important reason is that I was feeling that the material I came up with after our first releases wasn’t exactly the direction I wanted to go for the album. So I took my time to work on becoming a better musician, collecting bits and pieces of riffs and lyric ideas while listening to a lot of good music, also taking time to digest them as much as possible. After we came together to play some gigs, I started to present new material to drummer Aberrant. Until then, he was only used to playing straightforward styles and this material was kind of alien to him. But I always knew that he has a very good ear and would be able to adapt to these compositions, which he did very well. We just worked patiently on each riff, whenever we could, because we live in different cities. Actually the album would take way less time to be ready to record if we lived in the same city.
Once you decided to get the band back together you have had some line-up changes as well. I think only Abberant and you are original members, right? So tell us a bit more about what happened there and was it easy to start doing vocals for Cihan?
Changes happen when a band looks for a stronger line-up, not only work in terms of music, but also in terms of good communication between members. So changes have happened until we came to an ideal line-up, in which all members work harmoniously for a common goal and no one is being lazy and everyone is putting in honest effort for the band. About the vocal change, our vocalist Mustafa has moved to Germany for good, he came here to record the album and has been coming and going back for concerts. But for the future, we need to rehearse a lot more as a band and some long tours will happen, so when it became clear that Mustafa wasn’t going to be able to keep up with that, I started working on doing guitar & vocals. To my surprise, it came a lot faster than I thought, but still it is not easy to do at all, but I am sure it will become easier and I will get better as I go along.
In my opinion you could say there are some differences between the material on ‘Rituals Of The Grotesque’ and ‘Abiogenesis’. I guess the fact you have a new line-up might be a part of that but you probably have also evolved as musicians. How would you yourself say you have changed? Did you have other influences for instance?
It wasn’t the result of the line-up change at all, I already had this in mind even before the line-up changes, and also I have been doing all the song writing since the beginning of the band. But I can say that everyone who played in this band has been influenced by it and reflected it to their other projects. As for influences, I wanted to incorporate the elements I love so much in all genres of metal. Also started to learn some classical guitar pieces and trying to play fingerstyle a bit, which resulted with the outro ‘Tenebrous Horizons’. On the other hand, the themes the songs deal with have matured and it is now a lot more than just “horror themed death metal”. I recommend to people who listen to the album to also take time to read the lyrics too, it will make the listening experience much better.
’Abiogenesis’ mainly consists of 4 long tracks with a shorter 5th track that can be considered as a sort of outro. Did you intentionally write these long songs or was this just the way they came together? Additionally, did it take a long time to compose the material?
It wasn’t intentional at all, the riffs just kept evolving and coming after each other, and we completed the songs whenever we felt it was right. I once read a Mercyful Fate interview and there was a question about their song ‘Satan’s Fall’, which is quite a long piece as well, and they were saying that it happened exactly the same way, the riffs just being added after one another while writing the song. We did not hurry at all, so the writing took a couple years. After the arrangement of the songs was done, we sat down with Aberrant to brainstorm about the drum parts, giving their latest shape. For the bass, there was no one around to write bass lines, as the “bass player” at that time wasn’t showing much interest. So I had to do that myself. That’s why it may have taken longer than it should.
I think I read somewhere ‘Rituals Of The Grotesque’ actually was your first studio recording as a band. How was it recording ‘Abiogenesis’? What studio did you use? How long did it take to record and mix the material?
We recorded the drums in Studio AYI in İstanbul, and the rest of it we did in Studio Retro in Ankara, and Dan from Cruciamentum mixed and mastered it. The outro was done in Dead House Studio in Ankara, which is owned and run by our new bass player Ozan, by the way. He opened it last summer and already doing a really good job recording many bands. He recorded, mixed and mastered the Molested Divinity album, check it out.
You used art by Dan Seagrave for your cover. Seagrave of course has produced some classic art for bands. How did you get him to do the art?
Well, we paid him, haha. (Awesome answer, haha! – PB)
As with ‘Rituals Of The Grotesque’ Dark Descent releases the album on CD and Me Saco Un Ojo does the vinyl edition. I assume you have been satisfied with the cooperation with both labels?
Yes, this is how it has been from the beginning, also with our EP. They seem also to be satisfied by working with us, so they both supported us to get the recordings & cover art done. Actually they both agreed to support the album, even before hearing how the new songs sound, that means a lot as there was quite long time between the EP and the album. They both loved the album after listening to it though! Everything went just as it should be. Great guys, awesome labels, cheers to Jesus and Matt!!
You already have a tour lined-up in September. So far there’s one show booked in the Netherlands where you’ll share the stage with Cardiac Arrest from the US. If I’m correct this will be your first show on Dutch soil. Any expectations towards playing in the Netherlands?
Yes, this will be our first time there, and we are looking forward to it. I played in Hengelo, Netherlands last year with Cenotaph, was one of the most enjoyable gigs of that tour, the club we played in was really cool. For expectations, I hope a good crowd shows up, and you guys can totally approach us with some joints after the gig!
Being from Turkey has it become harder or easier to be in a metal band? There always have been bands active. I myself remember buying a tape of Dr. Skull in Ankara in 1994, but I can imagine things might have become different? Perhaps it also depends if you’re in a bigger city. So, how is it currently in Turkey? Any other bands we should take note off?
Contrary to popular opinion, no, it hasn’t become more difficult to be in a metal band in Turkey. Yes, equipment has become more expensive, getting visa to other countries to play gigs costs money too and is not always so easy, and yes, Turkey is a different country now from what it had been in 1994, and Dr. Skull ruled by the way! But in the recent years there is a noticeable rise in extreme metal, both in terms of bands and listeners. Mezar Organization is constantly working, bringing lots of extreme underground bands, so does Electric Fence, and there is an annual festival in my city, Ankara, called Heavy Stage, in which a lot of Turkish bands who play different styles of metal perform, also bands like Malevolent Creation, Grave, Pestilence, At the Gates have recently visited Turkey in recent years. There is İzmir Attack, who organized a Venom Inc. concert and many others. Yes, these things happen mostly in Ankara and İstanbul and İzmir, but there have been bands like Legion from Kırşehir and Death Oath from Kayseri in the past, which are totally unexpected cities for emergence of extreme metal bands.
My favorite old releases from Turkish bands are, Nekropsi ‘Mi Kubbesi’, Suicide & Cidesphere Split ‘Spiritual Mess & Dying in Confusion’, Cenotaph ‘Puked Genital Purulency’, Self Torture ‘Mislead’, Decimation ‘Anthems of An Empyrial Dominion’, Cidesphere ‘Interment’, Deathroom ‘Violate the Newborn’. Some currently active metal bands which I can think of now are Cenotaph, Diabolizer, Hecatomb, Molested Divinity, Persecutory, Thrashfire, Grotesque Ceremonium, Carnac, Sarinvomit, Engulfed, Decaying Purity, it can actually go on. Also there is a young generation of talented musicians from my city Ankara, who are doing their first recordings, keep your ears open for SCYTHARM, HEATHEN SWARM and NO RELICS! Definitely check out the album ‘Kamlama’ from the band KES, their bass player is a total metalhead (also bass player on the legendary ‘Mi Kubbesi’ record of Nekropsi), but they play something different and mind-blowing here.
Okay, that’s all from my side. Please feel free to use some space if you need to tell some more. And hopefully we’ll meet in Utrecht.
I think this is it from my side as well, see you in Utrecht!