Russia’s Epitimia will release their album ”Faces of Insanity” this summer. The album could be best described as a combination of rock and black metal. Sound intriguing? It is, and it is also one of the best underground albums you will hear this year-If you seek it out and give it a chance. Check out the below interview with the mysteriously named A.
I really enjoyed “Faces of Insanity” and found it to have a unique sound. How have advance reviews been?
We’re glad you loved our music. The “Faces of insanity” will be released in the middle of July, but we’ve already received some good feedback about three songs from this album that now are available in the net.
Can you go over the band’s history and background?
Epitimia was created by A. and K. as a home project. The band history can be divided into several phases. The beginning of our work and recording our first demo “You, Whose Name Dies On Quivering Lips…” and full-length titled “To the Non-existing Shades…” refers to the first phase.The music quality was raw and the style could be described as ambient black metal.
The working on the second album “Four Truths of The Noble Ones” and two split albums refers to the second phase, when our music was very melodic. We also used additional instruments and interesting samples there. That was the time when M. joined Epitimia as the third musician. She played drums, violin and performed some back-vocals. M. also took part in recording “Faces of insanity”. That album will open a new phase in the band’s history where we try to make experiments with different musical structures.
For a black metal band you seem to incorporate a lot of rock and atmospheric sounds into the music. What bands influenced you?
We are not positioning ourselves as black metal band, although our music is black metal-based. We try to make interesting music in the first place. We now use many elements of rock and atmospheric music, and we are going to continue the style-mixing in future.
Talking about bands that influenced us, it is difficult to choose exact ones, so we’ll simply say that atmospheric black metal and post-rock/metal is close to Epitimia.
Are you worried about any kind of backlash from BM fans from incorporating these elements into your sound?
We are making music not only for black metal fans, but all the listeners who are open to fresh and new music. We pay attention to all the constructive criticism about what we do, but it will never have general influence on our motivation.
When the band changes style even a bit it is normal to get some backlash from conservative fans. We can only say to them that only time shall tell if we will use some of our old tunes in the future.
Can you go over the concept of “Faces of Insanity”?
All the bands’ concept is based on expression of emotions, thoughts and experiences of the lyrical hero. This hero remains the same in all our works. In ”Faces of insanity” we tried to describe some double-standards of the society which stigmatizes our hero as an insane person.
Every song of the album is the new epicrisis to him from the world around, but it is also a new step in his spiritual development. The final song is named ‘Diagnosis’ so that it is sentence, but not only for individual that couldn’t oppose the hostility around him, but also for all the society that has a twisted understanding about what the normality is.
How did the deal with Hypnotic Dirge Records come about? Has it been a good partnership so far?
Frankly, we had some problems in finding a label to release ”“Faces of Insanity””, but when Hypnotic Dirge Records offered cooperation everything normalized. We can confidently say that we have a good partnership. Hypnotic Dirge Records gives us all the support that Epitimia needs at this moment.
What do you feel are the hallmarks of good black metal? Is the atmosphere and lyrics more important than a quality sound?
We think the main thing in black metal is good atmosphere and originality. It is also very impetuous style of music, so the emotions must be pure. The sound quality needs to be good enough for listener to understand the main conception of music and lyrics, but it can sometimes have some flaws.
I had never heard any Russian BM before you guys. Are there many others?
There are many BM bands in Russia, and there are some very good ones as Stielas Storhett, Djur, Astel Oscora.
How do you feel about downloading and file sharing and why?
We don’t mind downloading files to make the acquaintance with the band’s music, but we also think that buying a CD is the good way to support musicians and label, if you liked what they had done.
File sharing is also a good way to promote your material. We published two of our first works in the net and only after that we were offered the physical release from the labels.
Talking in general, what is now going on around file sharing is because of greedy major labels and politicians. Pity, but many simple people who only want to continue doing their work can suffer from this.
Any other projects you guys are involved in that you want to mention?
We used to play in different musical projects, but all of them are now split-up or on hold because all our attention is now concentrated on Epitimia.
Anything else you want to say?
We wish you all many interesting and exciting musical experiences.