How it would be when the dead suddenly raise from their graves again,as with the sounds of Dodenkrocht (Translated in English to 'Crypt Of The Dead' ) it slightly would be a possibillity being influenced by the deceased,and the realm of the dead beyond.
I am doing this interview with the originator and drummer T.
Hails and welcome.Please tell us briefly how you ended up in the BM scene in first place,and the passion for extreme music.
Greetings. As with most people in the genre, my passion for extreme music started in my teen years, but I had my fascination for the macabre as long as I can remember. I understand that might sound a bit cliché, but it’s just the way it is. With this background, it was just a matter of time when I discovered black metal. After some years, this path leaded me to my involvement with friends who were starting up a black metal project called “Ogrish”. Eventually this ended up as a black metal formation from Breda called “Saeculum”.
You are the drummer in Dodenkrocht, and play(ed)in several other bands like Saeculum and Onheil.How came the passion for drumming,and on what drums and cymbals are you using right now?
Up to now, I also do all the guitars in Dodenkrocht, but indeed, I’m a drummer in the first place. I decided to play the drums when I was nine years old. But being too young to know any other musicians to play with in a band, I eventually got bored with it when I was 12. See it like football practice but when you never get to play a match.
Eventually I started playing again when some friends wanted to start off a thrash metal band. I even took some lessons in playing metal drums, and got teached by Ploegbaas (the late drummer of Dutch brutal death metal formation Brutus). That’s how I was triggered to started playing in metal bands. There is a wide niche for drummers. This is why we always end up playing in several bands.
My kit is an 8-piece pearl export with mostly sabian cymbals, but I use several other brands.
What's your wish of the ultimate drums for you,which you really dream of having someday?
I still think Tama’s got great drumkits. Can’t be big enough. It might be a great thing when you can play on the smallest kit, but as a drummer I think that the more element to hit on, the better.
In 2004 Dodenkrocht was raised as a side-project due you were also active in the BM band Saeculum back then.The style was completely different as the mentioned band you were active in,containing down tempo,eerie dark BM,influenced by the deceased. How did you came up wih this style in music?I believe you also were/are studying archeology.Isn't it difficult to combine with being active in bands/projects as well?Especially Onheil seems to me a band that takes alot of time?
I came up with this style of music because I wanted to create the perfect dark atmosphere, indeed. It was ought to be the atmosphere of the deceased, the atmosphere of hauntings. The thing you feel when another entity is near, but you can’t (clearly) see it. It should be very oppressing. For that atmosphere, and that alone, I made downtempo black metal, used dark ambient programmings, and blended in many noises that are not part of the music. Lots of people think and even claimed that I was inspired by Nortt and Xasthur, but frankly I did not know these bands existed when I started with Dodenkrocht. But naturally, when I got to know the music of Nortt, I was intrigued by the dark atmosphere he created. Still, I think it is a bit different from old Dodenkrocht.
Back then, I did study archaeology. It was not hard to combine. It is harder to do that when you are actually working (like I do now). I even played bass for a short while in another band (Faal, doom metal on Ván records). But Onheil and Saeculum overlapped only for a short period. I started to get really active in Onheil after Saeculum kind of stopped. I knew some guys of Martyr and Onheil for quite a while and so I became the new drummer of Onheil. After we recorded ‘Razor’, Onheil did take a lot of time to be involved with. But that is the great thing about a (solo)project: you can put it on ice whenever you like and start working on new material when you feel inspired to write songs. There was no pressure whatsoever. Onheil is not black metal, and I experienced that I needed to channel my own dark creative side into music, so Dodenkrocht was perfect work on when I wasn’t doing anything for Onheil.
2 songs of Dodenkrocht appeared on a compilation album in 2006 as some Saeculum tracks as well.Was it an aware choice having the songs on the compilation,since Dodenkrocht was a project back then?
I was asked by the initiator of the project to participate with Dodenkrocht. The idea was to make an overview of the metal scene from Breda in that period. And Dodenkrocht was just a part of it, like Saeculum, Wiri Smokkor, Brutus, Vermin and other bands/ projects from Breda at that time.
In 2007 the first release saw the light of night.It were to be re-recorded songs which appeared on the demo 'Zwijgend als het graf '(Silent as the grave),and contains really obscure material,and most definitely no to be compared to mainstream BM,which made the sound a pleasure to listen to.Too listen at nights with only a candlelight on.You really could feel the vibrations of the music haunting your mind.(at least that's the way this kind of music should be listened to in my humble opinion).
How do you look back on the recordings,and do you feel something could have been changed somehow?
Well, first I have to say that you completely understand how you should listen to that demo. That was exactly what I was aiming for. I look back on the recordings with satisfaction. Considering all the tools I had, it came out just as dark as I wished. But the fact that it was not a professional studio also made it pure, in my opinion. It might sound different when I am to record it today, but we’ll never know. That’s good, it’s a product of that time, of that place and a mirror of my darkest fascination. Most songs actually were recorded late in the evening or at night. Always alone. That is always how I write songs: alone.
After the demo it became quite and later on Dodenkrocht returned with a new direction in style,heading for faster songs,and the new album deals with a certain concept.Can you tell us more about ' Malebolge Opens ' (which has been released this year) as the concept?
Dodenkrocht naturally changed. But when you listen carefully, you hear the same style of riffs. The same style of song writing. There is a change ofcourse, because several songs are now with blastbeats and double bass on drums. But I still write all music and I recorded all guitars, and you can hear it on Malebolge Opens. Listen to the slower parts of the song ‘Bloodworship’ and you will know what I mean. Qua concept, Malebolge Opens aims for a blend in the old concept, and a hellish concept. Malebolge was described in Dante Alighieri's Inferno. In this poet he describes the eighth circle of Hell. The place were all deceivers, heretics, seducers, sorcerers and alchemists (and more) are. In this work, they are tormented, as is the classic view of Hell. We, however, place this (on a certain point of the album) in the context of the End of Days, when hell bursts open and these souls wander the earth again.
What's the difference between Dodenkrocht 1st era and nowadays,besides the change of style?
Dodenkrocht nowadays is more fit for live performance. I always had the opinion that the slow and dark vibe of the old Dodenkrocht was extremely hard to put on stage. Our gig at Sathanas In Gloriam fest in Baroeg, Rotterdam, proved that the atmosphere of the slow tempo songs were hard to create. The old Dodenkrocht is just more for experiencing on record, than live.
- T. -
Nowadays Dodenkrocht is set with a complete line-up featuring J.(Vocals)and S.(bassguitar)and session members(?).With this line-up a really rare live show was given at Sathanas In Gloriam festival in Rotterdam/NL.
How was the response from the audience and how do you look back at the show yourself,and does it inspires you to play more live shows in the near future?
J. and S. joined the band in full fashion. They made their contribution to Malebolge Opens. If they were session members, I probably screamed and played bass on the album myself. For Sathanas in Gloriam we had Alex Koorengevel and Pascal Vervest of Faal on guitars. It worked out OK for a live gig. Of course I had mixed feelings about it, but the audience took it very well.
How does the future look for Dodenkrocht from this moment on?What can we expect?
The guitar riffs will be a bit more technical, since I have to chance to work with the mastermind behind the Dutch cult project Wiri Smokkor. But also expect a greater variation in tempo. Fast fragments will be well alternated with the mid and low tempo, atmospheric parts. A bit of both worlds (first and second era of Dodenkrocht).
Alright,with this final question i want you to give the final words...
Although some things changed, Dodenkrocht is still the kind of music you have to listen in the dark, in the dead of night. This is certainly no music for the masses. One can only understand the concept if one understands the atmosphere of death. If this is true for the first album, than you won’t be disappointed when listening to the second.
Thanks alot for the time in taking part of this interview with MRP,and hope to see you soon performing live on stage someday.May it be with Onheil or Dodenkrocht still.