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Interview

Misanthropic Rage Chats About New Album "Gates Are No Longer Shut"

Hailing from Poland and offering a more experimental and avant-garde take on the typical black metal sound, Misanthropic Rage has arrived to show us the "Gates Are No Longer Shut!"

After releasing the "Qualia" EP this summer, debut full-length album "Gates Are No Longer Shut" just dropped last month via Godz Ov War Productions and can be picked up in various formats right here.

We got in touch with the mysterious Misanthropic Rage duo, known only as W. and AR., to find out all about recording these releases in seclusion from humanity, signing a record deal, and even chat about the subjective nature of realty. For more info on the band, head over to the Misanthropic Rage Facebook profile.

xFiruath: How did you get hooked up with Godz Ov War Productions and how has the relationship been so far?

W: Well, Misanthropic Rage at first was meant to be side project, just for the two of us, we wanted to record it just for ourselves and maybe some closest friends. It was only after we recorded "Gates No Longer Shut" that we decided to try to release it, because we really liked the effort. We've sent the material to a couple of main labels here in Poland and GoW was the first to reply positively, we've talked it through and decided to go for it. We're really happy about how it works so far, Greg runs the label not for the income, but with true passion for underground metal music, and that's what we were looking for. Today, when there's a lot of situations where music doesn't matter, only the weight of your money does, it's a real value to find someone with passion.

xFiruath: You guys had a three song EP come out just a few months ago that included one gigantic 17 minute track on there. How is the music different between the EP and album, and what prompted the release of "Qualia" so soon before the full-length album?

W: Well both materials were recorded almost at the same time, at the same place. Production-wise the only difference is that "Qualia" was mixed and mastered all by ourselves while the full-length was handed to Serakos Studio in Warsaw. From the conceptual side though we were just really stoked about what we have created, and we really wanted to share something with the world before the "Gates..." premiere.

On "Qualia" we cut ourselves loose, we wanted to experiment and just went with the flow. The main concept behind it are unexplainable phenomenon of our brain and consciousness/ For example I've always wandered – what if we just learn to describe what we see, but others sees it completely different? Like what I see as blue you could see as green or yellow, because we're taught to call it that way, but there's no way to actually measure the differences about our view if there's any at all. Same goes with almost everything in our lives, our beliefs, our decisions – it's all pretty much subjective. We wanted to explore that subject with our music, so it came out experimental all naturally. Our debut album, while clearly still experimental, is much more traditional, as in track length or lyrical themes etc. On EP we explore, on full-length there's just pure hatred to the world but served with experimental approach rather than raw brutality.

xFiruath: For those who haven't heard them yet, how would you describe the sound of Misanthropic Rage and what sets your music apart from any other black metal entity?

W: As I've already said, instead of focusing on cold, brutal and more "traditional" black metal sound we wanted to delve deeper in progressive and technical form of extreme music. We listen to a lot of different music, a lot of unusual things tends to inspire us, but we didn't overthink on how it should sound – we just transport our ideas into sounds and you can hear the effects on our works. Of course we don't deny the influence of original, raw black metal sound and energy, but we didn't want to just copy the pattern, we wanted our sound to reflect our experiences and view for the time being, and that's what we did, and who knows, perhaps some day in the future our goal will be to make much more traditional album.

xFiruath: Tell me a bit more about the recording for these releases.

W: Both EP and full album were recorded just by the two of us, in a small wooden house in the middle of nowhere. There were no human being in at least 5km radius, only forest around us. It has created certain, specific mood and atmosphere, and production wise I have to admit I really like the natural reverb of these wooden walls. So yeah, we have recorded everything on our own, though as I've stated before we handed recorded and partially mixed tracks to the professional studio in Warsaw. AR recorded all the guitars and bass, I threw a riff or lick here and there and we both worked on programming the drums. All screams and growls are mine while AR provided clean vocals.

AR: I think that working like this is the best option for a band/project nowadays. Why? Because there are no limits, there is no deadline, no pressure. We both are like brothers and we understand each other very well. We don`t need studio for recording and we don`t need anybody else for producing. Mixing and mastering is the only field where maybe we could need any help in the future. I really love writing and recording music, that`s the best thing for me in being musician. Creative process is something very personal, you should do it on your own. Honestly, I don`t understand situation when band pays a lot of money for big, well-known studio and for a producer who will make their record to sound like every other band, this is not right for me. Even If your own recordings sound like shit, they are still yours, they are your honest creation.

xFiruath: How does it feel to finally have the album out, and what sort of reaction have you received from reviews so far?

W: It feels really great that we can share our work with other people, even better if somebody likes what we've done. Godz Ov War did really good job with the promotion, there's a lot of reviews here and there and majority of them are rather positive. I'd lie if I said I don't care about it at all, it's nice to read something good about an album you put so much effort in, but on the other hand we're completely aware that many listeners won't like it at all, and it's fine. Our goal isn't to please everybody, we would make completely different (and propably commercial) music otherwise. We do what we do, what is appealing to us, it's very personal effort, and as in life I don't care if somebody doesn't like me, I don't feel the need to please anyone with my music.

xFiruath; I'm in love with that artwork featuring the demons and the hulking goat-thing in the background. Who created the art and what sort of input did you give the artist on the direction of the piece?

W: Oh yes, we love the artwork as well! The author is our fellow countryman Maciej Kamuda who's slowly becoming more and more world wide known for his work, which he totally deserves. We've contacted Maciej, after small talk we've sent him few tracks from the album so he could feel the atmosphere, gave him the album title and that's pretty much all of our input. Everything else is his own idea, but we loved it from the very beginning and we didn't need to change a thing.

AR: That`s right. Maciej is one of the most talented and very friendly artist nowadays. You can always rely on him. We decided that it`s not the last cover for us, our cooperation has just begun.

xFiruath: It seems based on the artwork and titles we're dealing primarily with occult and anti-religious lyrics, but what in particular is going on with the lyrical themes on this album and are there any curveballs fans won't expect?

AR: I don`t like to talk about lyrics very much. They are inspired by daily life situations. Everything which makes us angry. I am not a huge fan of mankind and the world and I am not a religious person. I don`t need declarations, rules or any kind of masters. Those lyrics are also inspired by Nietszche`s philosophy, which makes them a little tricky in understanding. You can say that in some point “Gates no longer shut” is a concept album, because every lyric presents our point of view on many life aspects. Every lyric is our manifestation against the current order of the world. By that kind of music and that kind of lyrics we purify with anger and bad emotions.

xFiruath: What's happening your local live scene as far as metal bands and venues, and are you guys active there in playing shows?

W: If you ask about our home town, there's a lot of musicians here, lots of bands too, none plays extreme metal though. Rumours are one sort of legendary 90's death metal band named Rotting Head is working on new material after years of silence, but for now it's just us. We're living in a small town near Warsaw though, and there are certainly lots, lots more bands and gigs out there, so there's no problem with that really, as long as bands are willing to play in our country. The scene, if I might call it that, is growing, and there's more and more valuable shows to watch as the time is passing. As for us playing live, it's not happening for the moment, simply because we're just a duo. Of course we could somehow make it, with computer drumming and samples whatsoever, but I feel it would strip down essential atmosphere of our music. For now we're focusing on composing new material already, but if we come across suitable musicians for live shows, we will definitely consider playing live.

xFiruath: Now that the album is out, what's on the horizon for Misanthropic Rage?

W: As I've said, for now we haven't met anyone that would fit in Misanthropic Rage. We're a duo, and we like how it works for us. We don't say no to live shows, but there's no point doing it just the two of us, I really think our music needs proper live setup rather than half of the sound being played from tape. If we came across somebody with good predispositions for our live shows then we will definitely think about it, for now Misanthropic Rage remains as studio project. As for our current plans, we're taking a little break from musical activities to the end of the year. We're focusing on promoting the album, but at the same time we're already gathering ideas for next album, and I think that early 2017 we will begin working on it.

xFiruath: With the year ending, what's been your favorite metal release of the year, and what's coming out soon you are looking forward to hearing?

W: This year has been really great when it comes to music that was released. I listen to a lot of music, basically every free moment I spent on searching for something new, so the list of the albums that I admire is really huge, I can't decide which one is my favourite, the list is just too big, but the new Darkthrone and Deathspell Omega are one of those I have expected most, and I'm not dissapointed as a fan.

AR: I listen to every kind of music. I must admit that one of the most inspirational record of 2016 for me is David Bowie`s “Blackstar.” Recently I am more focused on jazz and fusion music, but regarding heavy stuff the new Deathspell Omega is amazing, but my favourite album of this year is probably a new album of Fates Warning – "Theories of Flight." I am a huge fan of their music since early childhood and I think that this album is one of their best.

xFiruath: Anything else you'd like to say to our readers?

W: Listen to our album, and if you like it, keep an eye on our – or our label’s – Facebook page. This year is coming to an end, and it was really great for us and we're already starting our work to make next year even better, so you can definitely expect a lot more coming from us.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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