Unleashed in the East
Darkestrah who now reside in Germany originates from Kyrgyzstan of Central Asia. The music crosses a multiplicity of borders and cultures like an epic journey through the dangerous routes of the Great Silk Road where men have succumbed to their deaths dealing in the trades of transport and exploration. The unknown journey of the Great Silk Road that remains till this day as elusive as centuries before. The Great Silk Road by Darkestrah was released on CD by Paragon and in limited edition digipack in 2008. The vinyl edition is the first release of Darkestrah on Shaytan Productions and marks the beginning of their Shamanic journey in hand with the Shaytan.
HMA: Welcome Darkestrah to Heavy Music Artwork. I believe you are from Kyrgyzstan. What is your background, and how does a black metal band fits in Kyrgyzstan?
Asbath: Greetings Alex! Yes, it is true that Darkestrah was formed in Kyrgyzstan in 1999 and our music and lyrics are still deeply rooted in Kyrgyz culture and history, however, we have since then moved to Germany and reformed our band there. As for the Black Metal in Kyrgyzstan, the 90s were the time of bloom for Kyrgyz metal scene, there were a lot of bands and a black metal outfit was not something completely unheard of at that time.
HMA: What can you tell us about your lyrical theme and inspiration?
Cerritus: Our lyrics deal with culture, history, and nature of Central Asia and, broader, of Turkic and Mongolian people. We take different approaches here, sometimes we are inspired by the ancient legends and beliefs, sometimes b a life of a historical person, like Genghis Khan.
HMA: Your latest album ‘Turan’ which I believe it means the land of the Tur. Who are the Tur and do they have any relation to your background?
Cerritus: Well, the word “Turan” comes from old Persian and was used to describe the lands surrounding ancient Iran where nomads were living. In modern times it is used as a kind of poetic “umbrella term” for Turkic, Mongolian and sometimes Finno-Ugrian people that share similar cultural traits. Our albums, in general, is about the hidden knowledge, special understanding of the world, ways to achieve it and how such knowledge may not only benefit but also destroy a person seeking it. But we chose to describe these topics from a point of view of ancient Turkic and Uralian spiritual traditions not concentrating on a single one, so we thought this name would be appropriate.
HMA: How would you describe your music, there seems to be a blend of both Back metal and folklore, right?
Asbath: That is correct. Our musical roots lye on one hand in 90es Black and Doom Metal and on another hand on the rich and astonishingly deep tradition of Central Asian folk music. We often work with traditional melodies and rhythms and use instruments from the region. We ourselves us the moniker of “Epic Shamanic (Black) Metal” to describe our music, since we try to combine the epic proportions, the feeling of the vast steppes and mighty battles with the nightly and insinuating atmosphere of a shamanic ritual.
HMA: Your lyrical theme it seems to focus on Paganism, Anti-Christianity, Folklore and History. Is it just Anti-Christianity or religion in general?
Asbath: We are interested in Pagan beliefs but do not consider our band Anti-Christian. We do not practice any form of organized religion and our opinion about them is not at all complimentary, but we do not think that this is an important topic for Darkestrah.
HMA: Lastly, to you what does it mean to be creative?
Cerritus: Sometimes I feel that for me it is a need more than a choice. I’d go completely insane without making music.
Official site: www.darkestrah.vze.com
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2017 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.