"some music was meant to stay underground..."


Interview with Guitarist Volkar Kael of Dawn of Ashes

Dawn of Ashes has had a busy few months. After releasing “Genocide Chapters” on September 14th and shooting a music video they struck out on a North American fall tour with Dimmu Borgir, which conveniently ended just a couple days ago. Their transformation to a vile-blackened-death-horror-metal monstrosity complete, guitarist Volkar Kael took some time to answer a few questions via email, which is good because he probably would have sucked my soul through the phone.

Bloodofheroes: Initially your sound was more of an industrial/techno type thing - talk about the decision to move toward metal.

It was purely a natural progression. The imagery and subject matter that DOA employs is much better conveyed via metal music, and metal is definitely a genre we are all very passionate about.

Bloodofheroes: "Genocide Chapters" was released just a couple months ago, how has the reception been thus far?

The reception has been amazing, and playing the songs live a true release and affirmation of our belief in the material.

Bloodofheroes: What elements from previous albums did you try to keep on "Genocide Chapters?"

I feel that Kristoph kept his style alive with the keyboard composition and vocal performances. The main difference was coming from a sonic focal point of complete brutality.

Bloodofheroes: What are some things that are completely new to the album?

The entire album is something new to explore. Fans will not be disappointed.

Bloodofheroes: The production on "Genocide Chapters is phenomenal - What secrets does Fred Archambault know that nobody else does?

To start with, he knows how to make the artist comfortable and really open up in the sessions. Fred is capable of emulating any tone or atmosphere anyone could throw at him.

Bloodofheroes: What about the horror themes make them interesting and sing about and center an album on?

We all know there is a secret world out there, a very dark and sinister void filled with the most evil of intentions, just beyond the sight line of mortal eyes. Realizing and embracing the true horror these forces are capable of inspired us to produce the aural equivalent of that terror-filled landscape.

Bloodofheroes: Talk about some musical influences on Dawn of Ashes and yourself personally that might not be obvious to the casual listener.

Katatonia and Type O Negative are two very big inspirations of mine. I believe in song writing as a whole as opposed to different parts being mashed together in compromise.

Bloodofheroes: The Darkness Reborn Tour is happening - what songs from "Genocide Chapters" are you most excited to play live?

"Carnal Consummation In the Empty Space" and "The Ancient Draining Room" are personal favorites of mine, and I look forward to relaying the energy and violence of these tracks to our audience.

Bloodofheroes: What is your favorite part of touring? Does that change depending on where you are touring (USA/Europe/etc)?

Watching the response from the crowd and connecting with them throughout our set is a very satisfying reward. No matter where you are, music is a universal language.

Bloodofheroes: It is a summer afternoon and you are drinking some beers - what is on the stereo? What is on the stereo in the tour van?

Danzig II Lucifuge - in the van, probably some Dark Fortress.

Bloodofheroes: What is the parting thought you will leave the Metal Underground readers with?

Make sure you experience the Genocide Chapters, and if you can stomach the grotesque, witness us live. We are the Vile...

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Joel is indebted to his high school friend Joe B. for giving him "Kill 'Em All," "Ride the Lightning" and "Master of Puppets" for his 16th birthday. Now that he works from home for his day job at a small ad agency in Chicago, he can play those albums, and Meshuggah, as much as he wants.

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