As mentioned in my review; “You can’t spell Old School Swedish Death Metal without the B, the U, a double Z, the S, the A and the W. But once again, not a simple copycat”. The first demo of Symbtomy caught me by surprise, stumbled on it after it was just released, as it grabs different influences from different scenes and blended it fluently. Sure, the old Swedish HM-2 scene is the fundament Symbtomy’s house is build on, but you will hear the old Floridian scene, old Amorphis and the UK Doom scene and so on as well. Well, let’s welcome this Czechian/UK act to the stage and introduce Symbtomy to you…(Ricardo)
Duzl: Hi Ricardo, the history of the band is not so long. The main brain and founder of the band is Dejvy (also Sectesy, ex-Despise), who had for a long time an idea to start a pure old school death metal band. Then let’s blame alcohol …because once while drinking beer last summer we touched this theme and I mentioned that I always wanted to play in a band when I was younger, but since I didn’t play any instrument, it never happened, then after few beers…. Dejvy suggested to me that I should start to learn to play on bass and keep this post in the band, at first I consider it just as fun and joke from his side, but Dejvy was quite adamant and I agreed to try it…. and then here we are!
Later Dejvy contacted Martin (Sectesy, ex-Despise) if he would make a vocals for demo and then speak to other guests if they will able to record the demo. Štěpán/drums (Poppy Seed Grinder, ex-Despise), ADIS/bass (Elysium), Frank/guitar-solos (ex-Garbage Disposal). Now we are currently looking for a permanent second guitarist and drummer who will complete our line-up and we become a regular five-member band.
What inspired you to start a band in this style…
Dejvy: The inspiration is clear and as I always mention it – it’s Death Metal as such – the whole genre and the lifestyle associated with it. I love it, and I’m happy I found the meaning of my life. It all started with Heavy Metal – when I first heard Iron Maiden in 1984 and their “Powerslave” it was clear to me where my life path would lead. Even before the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, I had recordings from Manowar, Kreator or Death. I don’t divide Death Metal into European or American, this has always been weird to me. The music has to appeal to me or not and it can be old recordings from ABBA or news from young bands. In terms of influence, the patterns for my first band Despise were clear – I was captivated by the second wave of American Death Metal – bands like Suffocation, Pyrexia, Internal Bleeding, Torture Krypt, Uncreation, Prophecy, Deprecated, Scatterd Remnants, Disgorge, Clean Flesh, Dead Devourmet, Fleshgrind, Deeds Of Flesh and thousands of others … as a listener, however, I did not forget the old school death metal roots. As a tribute to this style, I founded Sectesy after the break-up of Despise. This band was a pure tribute to melodic OSDM. However, I always wanted to try more and more the “Swedish sound” and therefore I founded Symbtomy. I think the patterns here are also absolutely clear – Unanimated, Gorement, Dismember, Entombed, Interment, Grave etc…
Can you tell us more about “Demo #1”, which was first digital but also will be released on cassette by Immortal Souls Productions & Frozen Screams Imprint…
Dejvy: I have to say that the physical demo isn’t out yet, but it will happen really soon by the end of October. Composing was an incredibly liberating feeling. I could create riffs and melodies as I wanted, because I didn’t create anything for a well-established band from which the listeners expect something, but for something completely new that will get a face thanks to those riffs. Fortunately, I have at home recording studio (Dejvy’s Hell) so everything was created there, so far without any bandmates. When I had all three songs composed I approached Štěpán ( ex-bandmate of Despise) and we composed the drums for the songs during a few rehearsals. Then we went to the studio with who I collaborated on all my latest recordings (Hollysound), where we recorded the drums and later I recorded all guitars, all the guests and even keyboards parts at my home studio. Then we went to Hollysound again for mixing and mastering (I want my recordings to be mixed by another person to keep the distance from the material). The result came closer to my expectations, but I believe that we will achieve an even better sound on the debut full-length CD.
And the cover? I think the central motive itself is quite amusing. I’m a huge fan of 70’s horror movies – I love the Zombie genre and it’s true that even Sectesy has been presenting itself as “Old School Zombeer Death Metal” from the very beginning. On the cover of our Symbtomy demo you can find a Zombie ivy craving the brain of a young beautiful girl :).
Can you tell us more about the lyrics?
Dejvy: My lyrics for the first demo of Symbtomy are fictional stories (actually only one divided into three parts). Scary and yet (at least for me) kind of perversely beautiful. For many years I wrote to a large Czech magazine and I create there a section – The History of Death (death metal). I enjoy hiding a lot of facts behind gossip and fiction. The lyrics are an important aspect for us and the direction of the band. I think we will again use one of my sick stories for the debut CD. At last, we confirm my words of importance lyrics by fact, that the story will be printed in both Czech and English version on the cover of our first demo.
How did you get in contact with your label Slovak Metal Army & Frozen Screams Imprint? Will they release your new material as well, if you have any?
Dejvy: I’ll start from the end. Honestly, I already have the complete material for our debut CD, but we don’t have a permanent line-up yet. We are still just three with Duzl and Martin. I firmly believe that this situation will soon change and we will start rehearsing and thus give the debut a concrete face. I think the new material is more advanced. Maybe even more melodic, anyway, when I listen to those songs I would say that even a little bit more technical and peculiar. I don’t compose music to sound this way or that way – I compose music by my heart and the heart can’t calculate.
Well let’s talk about labels. We originally wanted to release the demo ourselves, but I decided to leave the release and subsequent distribution to the more experienced. However, the intention is to issue a license on every continent for availability. I want every fan around the world to be able to get a copy of our demo for reasonable shipping price. So we started addressing publishers in Asia, Australia, South America and Africa.
What are your expectations for Symbtomy in the future?
Duzl: As Dejvy already mentioned, our current goal and expectations are to get our record distributed worldwide, get Symbtomy into the subconscious of fans, find a band-mates to complete the line-up, record our debut full-length album and start to play live shows and also plan a tour, simply – we want to be part of the scene with everything that goes with it…
Some of you are involved with acts like Sectesy to name a few. Are you guys involved in any other way in the music scene?
Dejvy: Within Sectesy, I’m the only one who gets involved in the scene and in fact the music has been feeding me for many years. Around 25 years I have been a radio moderator and for the last 5 years also a music dramaturg of the largest Czech rock radio (Radio BEAT). For years I also worked as a music dramaturg for the television station “Očko”. For many years I wrote to a few printed periodicals (Payo, Hardrocker, Souls Of Underworld Zine) and for years I owned a rock club here in Kolín. Around the 20 years, I have an hour-long show dedicated to extreme music on radio BEAT once a week. Really only extreme metal music, all over the whole territory of the Czech Republic. On top I am owner of the SYMBOLIC festival and two functional bands and you will find out why I have been living alone for years :).
Duzl: Although I don’t have as rich history on the scene as Dejvy, I have been also contributing to several periodicals for years. I used to start at Fobia Zine, then together with Jakub Asphyx I co-founded Deadly Storm Zine in 2015 which will soon celebrate the five-year anniversary and last year I also start regularly contribute to the printed magazine METALEGION, which is published in Portugal and distributed worldwide. I am also part of the organizing team of the Symbolic and Brutal Assault festivals.
Are there any bands or albums of your recent playlist you would like to mention? Any other bands of your region of Czechia / United Kingdom that are worth mentioning and to check out for our readers?
Duzl: Between the albums I’m currently listening to you would find new albums of bands like Just Before Dawn, Cancerfaust, Benediction, Morta Skuld, Carnation, Burial Remains and now I’m really looking forward to Dawn Of Obliteration who will finally release new LPs. From the “Kingdom” bands the new album from Decrepid or the band De Profundis, Dead Kommander definitely deserve attention and now even Necrorizer recording new material and according to the samples it should be a blast.
Also do you have favourite labels you always keep an eye on when they announce a new release? Or a favourite illustrator / cover artist? Any favourite printed / online zines? A distro you order a lot from?
Duzl: Great question,….I am a big fan of Mark Riddick, it’s unbelievable how this man influenced the metal scene in terms of design, how many logos, covers he drew and at the same time how many other artists he influenced. I have a large collection of his works in all available formats, on the wall I have his paintings hanging on and I could look at them indefinitely. My other favorite is Mörtuus-Art …I just simply love these black and white bone / skull motifs… from classic “painters” I would mention for example Paolo Girardi or Mark Niederhagemann and then there are many others like Chris Moyen, Christophe Szpajdel, Kris Verwimp, Mike Majewski, Matt Carr, Rob Smits, Medan Savamhel, Ray Heflin, Lou Rusconi, Irwan Azman Awang,etc.
As for labels and new recordings, by collecting vinyl myself and by actively devoting myself to the scene at the editorial level, I have a regular supply of information and an overview of what is published by which label, so I have not to really make my own research. But what I like a lot and what I really follow and collect are all books about extreme metal, musicians, scene history, underground, bands, biographies, zine anthologies, etc., so I follow a lot of book publishers such as “Cult Never Dies”, “Seven Metal Inches Records”,… and then individually authors of these publications as Andres Padilla, Dima Andreyuk, Ian Glasper, Aleksey Evdokimov, Ikka Johannesson, Albert Mudrian, Dayal Patterson, Joel McIver…to name some of them.
Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? Is there something I’ve forgotten to ask you which you would like to mention? Thanks for your time!
Duzl: We would like to thank you for a great review and at the same time thank you for this interview and the opportunity to present Symbtomy through VM-Underground to another fans, we really appreciate it! Hopefully the world will return to the normal soon and we will be able to spread death metal not only online, but also through concerts. And let’s not forget that: “The only one commandment is: Use HM-2” …