Finally, it's here! I'm referring to the one weekend every year when even the brightest eyed, bushiest tailed Christian joins our cult of death for 48 hours and worships the treachery of friends, agonizing torture and public humiliation, and the brutal suffocation of a (reportedly) innocent life, just before we all pay lip service to the pagan feast day honoring the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn. To celebrate, we here at Decibel bring you a special introduction to German doom/death collective Decembre Noir. Taking cues from their spiritual brethren in Katatonia, Swallow the Sun and other great purveyors of the style, Decembre Noir have concocted a prime example of brooding, disconsolate metal that is musically rich and emotionally fulfilling.
On May 9th, the label FDA Rekotz will release DN's debut album, A Discouraged Believer, to the general public. Right now, you can hear the album's closing track, "Escape to the Sun", while you get to know the band through the brief interview we conducted with them through email. Hail Doom!
Your bio sounds intriguing. When the band was just a duo, what kinds of sounds/songs rose from that working relationship? What kinds of ideas/feelings were driving the creation?
The idea for Decembre Noir was created [at] a birthday party where I met our former drummer Daniel. We both played in other bands but we also were addicted to this style of metal [that] Decembre Noir stands for. We met one time a week and tested our opportunities very emotional [sic]. So the songs were created only by a guitar and the drums without lyrics or a voice. A lot of the songs on our album emerged there, but they changed [through] the influence of our new band members.
How did the inclusion of new members reshape the direction of Decembre Noir?
Everyone who got into the band discovered something and built it up his own way with his own way of playing. Our members changed but the hardest change was when Daniel, our drummer and founder of the band, left us. We broke away with the original thoughts of pure Doom and it seems that the band very naturally forms itself without [external] forces and creates its style in this way.
What are the DN members' backgrounds? What kind of musical or non-musical experiences do they bring to the energy in DN?
We all arise from much faster and harder bands of Death and Black Metal. [Some of us] have already played together in different bands for many years. I [played] with Mike (bass) when I was a boy. Sometimes we are proud of this ;). Except for our singer Lars, each and every one of us played together with the others and not only with the instrumentation [we use in] Decembre Noir. Lars was picked by us [to give] the band his voice. Everyone has his own knowledge and imaginations which he wants to contribute into the music. But every one of us is a living human being with [unique] experiences.
How/where was the album recorded?
Lars had a contact to Alexander (Ali) Dietz form Heaven Shall Burn. Both know each other since many years. Ali owns the “Chemical Burn Studio” and brought the “Projekt Mayham” on its way in cooperation with Eike O. Freese. For me it’s a fantastic collaboration. I think we grew up during the work in the studio. At the beginning we were a loose bunch of musicians, and [we came] out as a real band. The demands of Ali were extreme high. At the beginning we didn’t know if we could meet them. But with every passing hour we felt more comfortable and had a lot of funny moments. The next album will be recorded with Ali and Eike too.
What are your feelings about the new album? Is it a relief for you to release it now? Is there a sense of finality now that it is finished, or a sense that you will continue with the work you've done on A Discouraged Believer?
There are a lot of feelings. For me it’s a relief ‘cause it took so many years to put the songs on a record. The changes in the band throw us back again and again. But there is no point of finishing. The songs will be performed every time and are the basis for new material – not to copy them but create continuation and a development.
Who is the Discouraged Believer? Why did that song lend its title to the whole album?
There is a common theme straight through the album and the order of the songs is not random. They tell a story, show us a way, where lot of people will find themselves. Discouraged Believer was the [perfect title to fit the topic].
How have your live shows been going?
I think our performances are developing all the time. At the beginning we had trembling legs and sweating hands. Today there is much more energy on stage. The increasing resonance makes it easier. Until now we have played in small and middle sized clubs and look forward for the festivals. But also there are recordings taken by mobiles which make us beat our heads on the desk or laugh without an end. But also that’s a way for growing up. We became a live performing band already before recording the album.