SL: Hello guys and welcome to “The Somber Lane” blog.
Thanks a lot for giving us the opportunity for this little chat!
First of all could you please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us your role inside the band?
Hails! A.E.O.N. is here. I’m the guitarist, songwriter and the founder of MASSENHINRICHTUNG band from Minsk city that is the capital of Belarus.
SL: What is the meaning of the “Massenhinrichtung” moniker? And what does it means for you guys?
Would you tell us a brief history of the band?
The meaning of MASSENHINRICHTUNG moniker is “Mass Death”.
From the early beginning I was creating songs about Death, War, dark side of Paganism, Mass Disasters, the deadly Power of Nature and I needed appropriate name for the project. When I was choosing the name of the band I wanted the title of my project to sound really grim, so taking into account that the German word “Massenhinrichtung” is really horrendous and reflects all the sense of the band, I thought that it was a suitable one. So MASSENHINRICHTUNG – is the name that shows the Power of Death, let’s say.
I founded the band in 2004 as my one-man project that occasionally became a band with full line up. After 2 demo tapes we released our first CD “Go beyond Gist” in 2008 under the sign of great polish label EASTSIDE Records, then the band was “on hold” until 2010. I revived the project and in 2012 we have released a split CD with our Brothers from RAVEN THRONE band that was named “Adzinota Kruka” (Raven’s Solitude) that was out via cooperation of EASTSIDE Records and DARKER THAN BLACK Records.
After 4 years of musical and conceptual work we are releasing now our second authentic full-length CD – “Zakon Zbroi” (The Order Of Force) via DARKER THAN BLACK Records.
SL: I had the chance and, I must say, the pleasure to listen to your latest record “Zakon zbroi”, which is an impressive black metal record with interesting atmospheric influences.
What is the concept that stands behind this album?
Thank You for the good words. I was preparing the songs for that album for 4 years and, of course, it contains lion’s share of my heart.
The concept of the album is the tragic events of World War II on the territory of our Motherland – Belarus. The history of these hard times is extremely controversial and has lots of dark spots. I spent 2 years in expeditions to the places of hostilities and maybe that’s why album has become so “real” and atmospheric. We tried to consider the history from our side and to show the audience the TRAGEDY, MASS DEATH and posthumous HEROISM of Belarusian Folk and Culture during the military actions WITHOUT any political background. Surprisingly we were groundlessly argued by some unsatisfied audience in chauvinism and antifascism by reason of we have chosen this topic. But we don’t pay attention to it. As it seems to me every real Person must have its OWN opinion and we should respect it.
SL: You’re album is going to be released by Darker Than Black Records, which is definitely a good legendary label but…with a strong ideology, not to mention its clear political position.
Do you think that some of your “potential” audience could be convinced not to listen to your album because of your label and its beliefs?
And how has been your “meeting” with Darker Than Black?
I don’t think that “potential” auditory should be convinced that way. The Band and the Album are not NS nor other political movement. All should know it clearly. “Zakon Zbroi” narrates only about raw facts that I have found out during my expeditions and research. No more and no less.
DARKER THAN BLACK is a legendary Label, as You rightly said. Of course, we definitely know about the ideology of the label and we should take into account that the label is from the great country of Germany. German History is well-known all over the world and we accept it AS IT IS in spite of everything. At the same time our native Belarus is an ancient country with its own rich history about which we have a lot of to say in our oeuvre. This is what we are.
It must be also said that unless we are non-political band, it’s the Honor for us to be a part of DARKER THAN BLACK roster because only a few labels worldwide now are devoted the Black Metal Idea as the team of DTB are. And by the way, many of DARKER THAN BLACK releases are non-political but extreme, dark and deadly. As real Black Metal must be.
It was a good initiative of EASTSIDE Records to promote “Adzinota Kruka” Split CD in collaboration with DARKER THAN BLACK. We are glad to continue our cooperation as we are satisfied with promotion and distribution of our previous work.
SL: What are the main influences that helped create the Massenhinrichtung sound?
And what bands/artist are you listening more to often at these days?
The main influence was the atmosphere of battlefields and sounds of the documental videos that I was watching during the building of the historic conception and creation of the lyrics. I like “live” music at all, so I preferred not to use keyboards and to record real instruments instead of VST. We recorded violins, flutes, bagpipes and authentic folk drum and the result is right what we wanted to have. My aim was to show Belarusian National Character in authentic sound of Black Metal. Hope that the audience shall know Belarus better now.
These days I’m listening to lots of music, from classics up to grindcore. The metal bands that I would like to note now are BATHORY, ANATHEMA, KATATONIA, GRAVELAND, BENEDICTION, VADER, BEHEXEN and ALTAR OF PLAGUES. From non-metal bands I’m fond of listening to THE EXPLOITED, THE CRANBERRIES, ORGASM NOSTRADAMUSA and NEURO DUBEL. But in fact my favourite genre is Black Metal. It’s favorite music and the basic principle of my life.
SL: What is your idea of music business?
Do you think that this “internet era” could be helpful to bands and labels in spreading their music?
And you guys are actually interested to be a part of that business?
MASSENHINRICHTUNG is not a business for us, actually. It’s our lives and our self-realization. We just do what we need and feel.
The usefulness of “Internet era” is rather controversial. Of course, it’s easier to communicate, to deal all over the world, the media is much more available now – it reduces hard efforts and time losses. At the same time due to the universal access to EVERYTHING people have lost their interest almost to EVERYTHING. Nobody needs to make efforts to search and pay for CD’s, concert tickets and even food – they can order them via Internet. What concerns metal music, it has become a business with classic marketing schemes but unfortunately without any protest or individual core. From the early childhood I collected CD’s and Tapes – and now I’m doing the same, because it has a “special” atmosphere when You are listening to original CD but not MP3. So we respect and hail our fans and all people who still buy merchandise or support the underground culture somehow. HAIL OLD-SCHOOL!
SL: What do you do in your everyday life if music isn’t your actual job?
We all have permanent jobs to provide our existence. Some of us are administrative workers, some of us are engineers. We don’t earn money with the help of music. Unfortunately, we only spend them on our musical activity.
SL: Unfortunately we have come to the end of the interview.
If you have anything to add, something you’d like to say to your fans and our readers this space is all yours.
Thanks a lot for your time. All the best!
Thank You for the interest to MASSENHINRICHTUNG and Belarusian Metal. It was nice to answer these questions. Hope that our new album shall be heard by wide European audience and people will know a little bit more about Belarusian History and Belarusian Folk. We are doing our best to make some concerts in Europe but now it’s only a couple of plans that are going to be confirmed. We hail strong Personalities! Support the Underground!