The Arts of Desaster

By Georgi Bomb

Desaster may not be a huge name in the UK but they certainly are part of metal’s staple diet.

The adventure started way back in 1988 and their determination to “play some fucking black metal without compromises” has not yet diminished.

Releasing their seventh album, The Arts of Destruction, this month, it can safely be said Desaster’s objective is still being met. This album will crush and destroy before dragging you down to their safe haven in hell, the little terrors.

“There is no need to waste your time and money in a studio. And we recorded all the songs we have written. We don’t write songs and don’t record them. We were very fast, like the times before.

“Everything went fine. We went to the studio after we had done several demos from the songs,” vocalist Sataniac tells Culture Bomb.

“We know our songs very well, and want to catch the first takes, because mostly these are the most aggressive takes in my opinion.”

Despite having a career spanning way longer than your average celebrity marriage, Desaster don’t live the rock star life 24/7 – but that is how they like it! And maybe it is the inspiration to what has given the band their longevity.

“We prefer playing at the weekend, cause we don’t need holidays, and the crowd is also able to drink.

“We are not into business, and we are truly not interested in this shit. We do what we want, and we have all our normal jobs to pay our bills. That’s the way it has to be.

“I don’t want to live on a band like Desaster. There will be too many compromises when everything is built on money.”

So what is the general feeling about the new album? “This feels very good,” he says, “and it isn’t very new for me at all, because we finished it in the beginning of November, so it’s still a few months old.

“Now its time to release that shit. But it feels very good when you release a new record. It’s like a big shit is done. Hahahaha.

“We are looking forward to the release of The Arts of Destruction. I think we did a good job and hope you like that talent lacking shit.”

Talent-lacking? We must disagree, Desaster have taken a new turn but avoided losing that old, raw sound they have kept for so many years as Sataniac explains, “It’s Desaster with a LITTLE evolution.

“Not that much, but a small step, a small progression forward. But don’t be afraid, it’s still a kind of extreme metal in the way it has meant to be. Do you know the Metalreinheitsgebot?”

No, no we haven’t, but Google informs us it might be something to do with a Bavarian Purity Law from 1516 – and Sataniac has thrown ‘metal’ in front of it. Oh you joker!

There is definitely some progression on The Arts of Destruction, as stated earlier, that raw production is still evident but where on previous material, there was a thrash undertone, that has changed to filthy but sleek, black metal.

The devilish laughter appearing throughout is a nice touch but what needs to be commended is the fierceness from the get-go! This is pure back to the roots stuff so feels almost strange to refer to it as evolving but it works; less of a back step and much more a forward motion.

The guitars beginning Lacerate (with Rans of Doom) are sharp as hell and the forceful drums compliment each other rather than attack. Not one part on this whole album competes in the mix, it happily sits together perfectly.

It has to be said that after 23 years, this could be an album-defining moment for the German brutes!

Lead track, Queen’s of Sodomy is as relentless as it is consuming and the old school sound will suck you into a world of 80s mosh pits and pints full of sweaty and knotted hair.

The eight and a half minute whammy, Possessed and Defiled, is a stand out track that enters many areas, softer in style to start before progressing to a thicker, more chunky sound and unlike the usual Desaster length, it waits until over three minutes before Sataniac’s hearty laugh creeps in.

It’s been over twenty years and one thing Desaster have always kept away from is visual media. So is there a DVD in the band’s future? “Yes, but we will save the stuff for our 25th anniversary. You have to wait two more years!” Laughs Sataniac.

Any hopes for a UK tour soon? “That would be great, so please feel free to invite us to the UK. We played several shows in Ireland, most of the time in Dublin, and we played Belfast, Edinburgh and London.

“But London was the only show we did in England so far.”

With so few performances in the UK over their almost 25-year career, Sataniac reflects on what has stood out most from the shows, and it seems we all need a bit more confidence without the booze!

“I think the most special thing to me is, that the crowds are a little calm, till they drunk. Ok, that’s the fact why alcohol is that popular.

“I think in the UK, the people need to get warm with you, they have to check if you are ‘true’. That’s what the crowd seems to me, in the UK.

“We just finished planning for the gigs in 2012. We will do Granada in Spain next week, then we go to Columbia over Easter, some German festival shows. The normal things we do every year, time, hour.

“Maybe do a split-release with Lady Gaga…”

Now THAT is something to look forward to.

The Arts of Destruction is out February 28.

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