Interview with Tormentor of Desaster

For twenty four years German metalers Desaster have treated metal through shows and releases to thrash fuelled venomous aggression veined with black metal malevolence and spite. With a  formidable intensity the band has brought forth sounds with a distinct old school heart and intent. With the recent release of new album The Arts of Destruction they showed they had not lost any of their might or potency but increased it. To find out more about the band, album and Desaster we had the chance to send questions the way of drummer Tormentor who kindly revealed all.

Hi and welcome to The RingMaster Review. Many thanks for sparing time to talk to us.

Desaster is entering its 24th year as a band with your brand new album The Arts of Destruction. How do you keep going with the same if not greater intensity and quality as shown on the album over such a span of years?

Thank you for these flowers! Maybe it is the love for music and the love doing this. And of course we don’t life on Desaster, so we are free to do what we want. That really motivate if you can do it ONLY your way!

Let us talk about The Arts of Destruction first of all. It feels like an even more intense release than ever from you but comes with a more defined creative use of distinctly crafted melodies as one aspect, was this a conscious thing or just how your music emerged naturally?

This was not constructed or planed. We only write songs, and this time everything is a little more melodic. Do not know how to describe this happens naturally!

We  thought the album showed Desaster were eager not so much to venture and break into new directions from your own sound but to explore your own boundaries more, would that be fair to say?

Yes, that sounds fair! Hahaha! Yes, of course, the main course is set, and this is the way it has meant to be. And we love it this way, but we growing older (and fatter!) and maybe this is a little more melodic.

Which aspects of the album are you most proud of and what do you feel is the biggest evolution of your sound since previous release 666 – Satan’s Soldiers Syndicate?

I like SSS a little bit more than the new one, but the sound on The Arts Of Destruction is very good. We took the decision that we won’t do the mix on our own, and gave it to the hands of a good friend. (Mr. Angel of IMPENDING DOOM) That was a good decision, ’cause now the sound is very organic but still powerful. I also like the different types of songs on the new one; it won’t bore you, even when you listen to it very often.

Did you enter the studio with a defined idea and sound or was it a more organic emergence by the album whilst within those walls?

Not really, but with the years you know how to work to get the sound you want. You learn from your mistakes and do it better. But the songs where all written, everything was fixed.

How does the song writing process work within the band?

All the riffs (building the basics of the songs) came from Infernal, like every time. But we build the song together at the rehearsal room and record demos from the shit. So I can listen to the demos and write the lyrics, and choose the titles which fits to the songs spirit. I hope it fits?!?!

There have been a few line-ups changes over the years but has the approach to writing songs remained reasonably much the same despite the different people involved?

In the early days the line up changes a little bit, but since we had done records only one drummer and the singer changed, and since 2001 there was NO change. Infernal is the Riffmaster, and the last remaining member. This is not a surprise that Desaster sounds like Desaster throughout the years.

The power and intense might you produce with your music is formidable to say the least, how easy is it to keep that in check enough to avoid the melodic skill and ideas of the band from being smothered?

Puh, we do not think about these things, we only write songs and record them if we like them. Easy, very easy!

How have you as musicians and as a band changed in regard to recording music compared to previous albums such as Angelwhore or further back Hellfire’s Dominion?

I do not think that we are musicians at all. But of course you get better on your instrument throughout the years. We love to play live, and that brings you together, to have a tighter sound.

Over the expanse of the bands life you have picked up a constant flow of new fans whilst holding on to those who were there at the start. Do they look for the same thing in the band would you say though they caught onto your music at a different stage and sound in its evolution and if not is this something that you think about when composing songs?

We do not care and think about that. We want to write the songs we like, and do not look at everything around. But we stay truth to our roots, so most of the old fans respected that, even when we sound is a little different from album to album. But hey, we do not betray anything Desaster stands for since the beginning, even when some people say we move a little from BLACK to DEATH. The new one is more black, and it would be boring if every album sounds the same.

Excluding the impressive The Arts of Destruction, which moments have been the profound highlights for the band to date either recording wise or in another aspect of Desaster?

Mainly every concert is a highlight, we do not play many tours, mostly gigs at the weekend, so for me this is a kind of ritual, bringing the beast on stage. I won’t play a tour with 20 gigs in 21 days. It has to stay something special, so I can say, every concert is a little highlight. But I known want you mean, and the tours through South America I remember very often.

Are you touring or dropping some shows upon the world in support of the new album?

Of course, we will have three gigs in Columbia in April, and we will do one show every month at the coming weekends of 2012. That is enough promotion, and beware it had to stay a ritual hahahaha…

Do you still get the same buzz from all that goes into live shows or has it changed into a different emotion until hitting the stage after so many years?

No, for me nearly every gig is fantastic. I love the conversation between the band and the audience. We want to entertain and feel that the people like it and get wild.  If we reach this everything is fine.

What were your initial influences and over such a long time what others have come in to drive you further in recent years?

(OLD for all bands I will mention )SLAYER, VENOM, KREATOR, SODOM….
But I also listen to different types of music, but if it comes to metal I like at more extreme. Maybe this is a question for you. Which influences do YOU hear? Hahahaha

Any plans yet on how to celebrate the bands 25th year?

Yes, but I will not tell you yet. This should be a surprise.

Thanks again for talking with out and good luck with the album.

Would you like to leave with a message or comment for those about to feast upon The Arts of Destruction?

Ohne Musik wäre das Leben ein Irrsinn!

Read the The Arts of Destruction review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/desaster-the-arts-of-destruction/

Ringmaster Review 04/3/2012

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Desaster – The Arts of Destruction

With new album The Arts of Destruction, German metalers Desaster show they have not lost any of their spiteful aggression or formidable intensity over the last twenty plus years since forming in 1988. In fact as their release shows they have simply increased all levels and their creativity over recent years unleashing an album that gives the senses a real working over whilst treating them to well crafted melodic intrusions. The Arts of Destruction does not exactly stir up an undying exaltation for its thrash fuelled venomous sounds veined with black metal darkness and malevolence but it certainly leaves most similar coated bands fighting to share their shadow.

Through six previous albums, 2 live releases, and various compilations, splits and EP’s Desaster has increased an ardent following that started almost from their start and certainly after debut album A Touch Of Medieval Darkness in 1996. Despite a tumultuous time line-up wise at the beginning, the band strode on racking up great responses release by release and through their tremendous live performances impressing with an ever potent array of tours, gigs and festival spots.  Desaster bring forth sounds with a distinct old school heart leaving innovation to others but their music has a satisfying variety and density to it that makes listening to them a pleasure at any time.

From the opening title track The Arts of Destruction announces itself as a collection of songs that are uncomplicated but pierced and punctuated with a forceful intent combined with incisive melodies and grooves. To be honest the album took time to grow on the senses, the initial play simply enjoyable but subsequent visits unveiled a richer creativity within the compositions which at first hid behind the power. The first song is a solid and formidable track opening on the back of an intro offering sounds of battle or a loud and lively dining room, the sound of steel upon steel leading into an incessant pummelling of the ear by The Arts of Destruction. Tormentor and Odin on drums and bass respectively grab the head forcing their might through the ear whilst the guitar of Infernal scythes with sharp riffs and sinister melodies intent on harm. As with the music the vocals of Sataniac took a time to connect to, his coarse bile spitting screeches and growls caustic. After a few plays though it is hard to imagine anyone offering the same intensity and extreme effect to Desaster.

Whereas the opener is a relatively straight to the core attack, other songs offer a varied and at times thrilling mix. The likes of Lacerate (with Rans of Doom) with a rampaging grind that refuses to relinquish its grip once it takes hold, Phantom Funeral which is unpredictable with a groove that winds around the ear to almost mesmeric effect as the rhythms twitch and twist with intimidation, and the mighty Troops of Heathens, Graves of Saints hold no mercy for their willing victim but still treat him with some crucial metal. The latter of these three rumbles and rolls between all out consumption of the senses and a less intense aggression, the transition seamless and satisfying. Desaster forge their sound on a thrash driveshaft as mentioned but are not afraid to mix it up pace and attack wise, using acute melodies and acidic grooves to captivate and overcome the senses.

As the album progresses it gets better and better, the final two songs of Possessed And Defiled and Beyond Your Grave revealed as the best on the album. The first has a warm yet cutting guitar which whips around the ear as the rhythms stomp across to accompany it. There is a slight folk metal vibe to its militant enforcement that is wonderful and this is the one song that really revs up the pulse rate. The closer, apart from a great melodic outro, is a steel toe capped kick to the groin, rampaging and malicious it is an example of how metal should always be, forceful, vibrant, and without shame.

The Arts of Destruction is a satisfying formidable slab of metal that even without Desaster wanting to venture outside their own slightly expected sound is impressive, fresh sounding and a should listen to release.

The Arts of Destruction is available via Metal Blade Records by the end of February wherever you are.

RingMaster 23/02/2012

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