Metal Invader descended to the abyss and had a chat with Astrous (guitarist) of KATAVASIA about the Mediterranean spontaneity and other religious experiences…
Good evening guys! My opinion on “Sacrilegious Testament” was officially testified a few months ago, in the review I wrote, but when it comes to good things, repetition can only make matters even better. The album so far is definitely one of the best black metal releases, and I think it’s going straight to the list of the top releases of the year. What’s the reaction of the people when it comes to the album?
Good evening, thanks for your praises. Thus far, the overall response is very positive and it seems that people felt what we wanted to achieve with “Sacrilegious Testament”, so I think we’re more than happy.
You all play in your main bands, which are the vessels where you express yourselves on a regular and more “official” basis…and almost all of you have released great albums last year. What inner need led you to create KATAVASIA?
We all had a need to redefine our early initial influences. A nostalgic expression of our identity and of our musical foundations. You know, the goals we have with our main bands are different and that’s why KATAVASIA was an alternative and more spontaneous approach on how we perceive black metal.
So what’s that Sacrilegious Testament?
The sacrilegious testament is the 9 tracks of the album. Our own consignment to what we call Greek Black Metal sound.
What’s the meaning of the -admittedly fantastic- cover art?
It is a symbol of the duality of life and its final destination, which is no other than death. It’s a painting imprinted in two pieces of wood rendered by the Italian painter Agostino Arrivabene.
Will the band continue as project? No matter how you look at it, your next album is going to be a big challenge.
With KATAVASIA we’ve specified our sound from our beginning, so there’s no chance of following a different direction in the future. It might be a side project, but it’s not going to stop here after only one album. In the future you should be definitely waiting for more releases, always having as a guideline the classic Greek sound.
What’s your relationship with the church, since “katavasies” are Christian hymns that are chanted during the early morning rites? Did you celebrate Easter?
Katavasia means “descending” and the Christian church indeed uses that word. When it comes to the second part of your question, we have a rather bad relationship, since our drummer has been deflowered by a priest in Trikala.
Why Sakis and Vagenas and not, let’s say, Therthonax and Magus?
Because we felt their presence necessary in the parts they are featured. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be similar contributions like the ones you just mentioned.
The amount of live performances of Varathron this year surpasses the sum of all their previous performances ever! Are there any plans to tour with KATAVASIA?
It’s a fact that Varathron are very active and that’s a good thing. When it comes to KATAVASIA we really want to have some very few selective live shows, but in order for that to happen we need proper timing and of course proper conditions.
In your opinion, which traits define a Hellenic Black Metal release? What requirements must be met for a song to be called Hellenic or Mediterranean (if you prefer) Black Metal?
I don’t think that “requirements” is the proper word. There are definitely some elements that define in our consciousness the sound of the “Hellenic/Greek” black metal. I think some of them are the heavy metal forms, the aggressive drumming with the use of the reverse blastbeat and most of all the melodies which are based on feeling rather than the coldness of the northern bands.
I’ve had a chat with some of the editors of the magazine and we all agreed that after the big outburst of the Greek scene during the last 3-4 years, the time has come to see foreign bands that will define their music as Hellenic Black Metal. What’s your opinion?
It’s possible and perhaps it’s already happening. Bands as Ysengrin and Sacriphyx already do it. But I don’t think it’s that easy to get that particular feeling. You need to taste the Mediterranean aura to compose such music.
That’s it for now. I wish all the best for you and your band. Conclude in any way you want!
Listen to KATAVASIA. BLASPHEMOUS HAILS!