Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Interview: Stoic Dissention

A Colorado-based band, Stoic Dissention's creation came about with the end of their bass player Dave and Zach’s band Acheronian Dirge. Stoic Dissention plays an amalgamation of black and doom metal. Through luck they came across Isaac and Kelly besides they found that they had common taste for what they wished to express musically and decided to pursue it. From there Isaac's roommate Peter joined the band on drums and thus had a full line-up for Stoic Dissention. They released a demo earlier this year and it sounds immense! Six tracks of deep spheres will propel you into a swirling void of aural effects as from Peter's apocalyptic grooves and hellish blast beats to Isaac and Kelly's infernal dirge filled harmonies, Dave's pulse of decay bass and Zach's decadent chants and howls of despair, they've created a mighty force indeed.

Before you began Stoic Dissention your musical efforts were concentrated on your long term black metal project called Acheronian Dirge. Can you discuss how Stoic Dissention was conceived and what inspired this new musical direction?

Stoic Dissention came about when Acheronian Dirge ended. Still wanting to work on arcane themes and despondent principles I start talking to Dave our bass player about returning to the essence of what we lost with the passing of our previous band. Dave and I started asking around for kindred spirits and happened to be at a Centimani and Kastigation show where we met Isaac and Kelly. Both were interested and thus the inception of the band came about. Our drummer Peter came along a few months later and we've been dredging a path ever since.

What do you feel about the number good reviews your mini album Senium has received? Six melodies for 37mins long Ep. All the songs are relatively lengthy.

We were glad that Senium was well received. It’s good to hear rewarding comments about something you grasp at so passionately. I believe it was a combination of proving to ourselves we were capable to write something so vehemently held close to us musically and talent wise. Luckily we are all rather like minded with what we wished to achieve as a final outcome. The length of the songs we felt perfect for achieving everything we wanted to convey without drawing out too much. The life of an entity with a succinct purpose and function.

As the opening track ‘An Ubiquitous Coming’ begins to meander through the guitar and it joins drums later you prove to be a brilliant exercise with enticing vocals. Senium is not something to be forgotten fast! It’s a perfect amalgamation of black and doom metal, quite weird but original. You put out very dark and depressing music.

Thank you! The darker side of the mind and heart has always held me in a certain fascination and depression being one of the strongest emotional states it was only natural for me to want to convey it with the meager talents I can portray. Luckily for me both mediums (black and doom metal) coincide with my expression also. Their embodiment of the mysterious and dark in a congruent state of mental decay was a key part in bringing A Ubiquitous Coming to form.

‘The Arcane Rites…for me some fond memories attached with this song. Vocals reminiscent me that Senium sounds not completely different from Acheronian Dirge! What is it that you learnt from your first band that helped shape your versatile vocal?

Essentially it’s just practicing and pushing myself beyond the limits I originally believed possible for myself. I liked what I did in Acheronian Dirge and felt I should carry on what I was doing. That was my foundation, and then I added and played with certain aspects to start to bring out a stronger representation of what Stoic Dissention represents. The new album has some new twists vocally for me which am good so that I don't become stagnant as an artist.

I’d be happy if Acheronian Dirge are still active. Stoic Dissention's creation came about with the end of bass player Dave and your band Acheronian Dirge, but is there any possibility of re-union of Acheronian Dirge? 

As far as we know Acheronian Dirge is no more. Clay (A.D.'s guitarist) and I have talked about maybe working together on a black metal project but with schedules and life and our bands we'll have to wait and see if it comes into fruition. I do what to do another black metal project so hopefully one day soon. The anger within black metal is a very cathartic release and I find it paramount for me to have that form of release. 

Acheronian Dirge was not the most prolific band in the US metal scene. Had been in existence since 1998, had only released a full-length album, along with three demos and an Ep release in 2009 but the band had built a strong cult following for it, were you happy with what you've achieved with the Acheronian Dirge?

Yes and no. I think we did well representing what we wanted to get across musically, yet feel it needed to be better represented. A lot of the fault lies in the fact that both labels we were signed to did not have a strong work ethic and understanding of what was needed to help bands on their line-up. Also we started writing and recording a second full-length that was never completed which is a letdown. It is weird now that people enjoy what we were doing when at the time we didn't really have much support externally. I guess its good black metal if you stay "cult".

I love Acheronian Dirge and I love Kastigation! So what happens if these two bands create music together? Hell yeah something likes ‘Deception of the Genuine Intellect’. This is constructed with slowly excursions that sustain the excitement until the end. How did you meet Isaac and Kelly?

Thank you, we were going for an actual blend of doom and black metal and "Deception" is a great example of our ideas brought to form.  I met Kelly a few years back at a Watain show I believe. Also Acheronian Dirge and Kastigation played a show together at the end of a tour we did in 2009. Isaac I met about a year later at a Kastigation show and we talked about music and found we liked a lot of the same bands (although we did argue a lot too).

Stoic Dissention as you guys have learnt a lot of attention through an Ep release besides you guys recently shared a stage with amazing Nightbringer and Weapon. Zach and Kelly, tell us yours live experience with them? Musically, both are unmatched insanity but two of my absolute favorite. 

It was a great show, although Nightbringer was a little different as their vocalist was touring Europe at the time so their guitarist filled in on vocals. He did well but it’s not the same as the regular line-up. Weapon was awesome and is great people as well. Total annihilation! A great time for sure. Hopefully there will be future shows with both.

Kelly, Kastigation is one hell of an Ep. All the music Kastigation has recorded has a different vocalist as well as you do high pitched growls in dreadnought’s new stuff. Do you have plans to do vocals for Stoic Dissention?

Thank you! We have just recently begun toying with the idea of having clean vocals incorporated into our music. Along with harsh vocals, I've begun singing clean which has opened up new possibilities for future songs. Zach has a new lyrical idea for a song that splits the lyrics between two people as two different characters, where one would use harsh vocals and the other would sing. We should start piecing this idea together in the near future.

How do you go about creating a new album? Zach, Can you discuss what is involved in the creative process for you? What are your main influences for your upcoming release? How many compositions will there and how will it be different from Senium?

When creating new works it usually starts with Isaac and Kelly presenting some riffs to the rest of us and we change them or add to them. As far as my portion of writing for me I listen and critique mainly. I might have some suggestions here and there but when you’re working with people more talented than you musically there is only so much I can do to contribute in that fashion. My moment usually comes after we have a partial song then I start writing and or placing lyrics to the music. Then I work on the placement and so forth. For the new release I and a lot of influence from a myriad of sources but mainly from the music itself. The music was very compelling and actually brought everything forward, almost an invocation of some inner demon summoned by the music working as an incantation. The difference between “Relinquished...” and “Senium” is a more refined approach and presentation. We also branch out into some funeral doom on this album.  There are 3 songs and it’s about 50 minutes of dark psychedelic depressive music. Also it is a conceptual album, so all the songs tie into each other. I think it’s the natural next step in our approach.

Any particular offers already from any labels?

No not yet but hopefully.  We are currently searching and have a few in particular that we want to work with.

You grew up listening 80’s, 90’s metal, opera and classical so you’ve literally seen different eras in metal and you must have good enough experience, what I’m saying is do you wait for music to come to you or do you keep up some sort of writing routine?

Yes I have been around for many different "trends" and styles in the metal scene. Some good many more bad! With my own music I try and do both.  If a song is captivating to me I will write for it but also I try and write by myself for a multitude of different reasons. It helps with staying sharp and keeps the creative process more prolific as well as honing my craft to a more succinct image.

What do you think about the many bands who copy someone else's style?

I find it disappointing that many people actually support these acts. Imitation is supposedly the sincerest form of flattery but it’s also a dead end way to help destroy a scene. A saturation of unimaginative and basically untalented people trying to pass themselves off as musicians. I understand being inspired by a band and all but there is a limit before its plagiarism.

American bands have always had a place in our heart since the late 80’s due to their uncompromising attitude to create the profound music. How much do you feel part of an American metal scene? Are there any great new bands coming out from your area in the near future?

There is a very small scene here but it is decent. It’s growing though slowly. America has been a strong institute as far as uncompromising and angry in its musical forms. As far as a part of the American scene we are barely part of it since we are so "underground." We are hoping to be more contributing though in the future and let everyone know we are a force to acknowledge. There are some good Doom metal bands, but black metal wise I can't think of any right now besides “Achral Necrosis”. They have a good Scandinavian throw back sound. 

I'm obviously a big fan of instrumental music, and would love to hear more in the black metal area. Instrumental metal seems to be a wide open playing field right now; I hope more bands explore this sound. Can you tell us your massive interest on Dark Ambient music?

Dark ambient music is the perfect form of meditative pure expression almost an anoesis. A bliss of the perfection of simplicity brought about by the expression of soundscapes and moods of psychological decay in an almost classical approach. I've been enjoying how some have been adding guitars to the music to an almost funeral doom style. I cannot wait for more people to try their part in this genre as long as it doesn't become generic.

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