Sunday 29th May 2022,
The Black Planet

Interview: Darkestrah – Grizzly Folklore

João Osório 08/06/2016 Interviews Comments Off on Interview: Darkestrah – Grizzly Folklore
Interview: Darkestrah – Grizzly Folklore

The formation year of Darkestrah is 1999. Seventeen years of activity for a band is a considerable and respectable time. How you see the path you did and you are doing?

Asbath: Well, as you already mentioned, Darkestrah was formed in 1999 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. However, we have moved to Germany in the early 2000s and now the band is located in Leipzig. We’v released 6 full-length albums, the latest being “TURAN”, published by Osmose Prod. on April 29th 2016.
It would be a lie to say that the path was easy. We have managed to record a decent album back in Bishkek in early 2000s, it was almost impossible in Kyrgyzstan at that time. We have managed to relocate the band to the other side of Eurasia and start anew. We have stablished ourselves in Germany where many people do not really know where Kyrgyzstan lies with our Kyrgyz-folklore inspired music. We have survived all possible line-up changes.
But we are still here, and not going to stop.


At some point you left Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and you went to Leipzig, Germany. How do you, Asbath, remember the whole process of “restarting” the band again, finding a new lineup?

Asbath: The funny thing is that it was not the hard part. I’ve met Sharthar who moved to Germany from Russia at the same time as I did, and through him I’ve met Resurgemus. He was very interested in the idea behind our music. Our singer Kriegtalith has moved to Germany around the same time. And so it went on.


Do you consider that moving into a different country proved to be beneficial to Darkestrah?

Asbath: Absolutely. There would be no Darkestrah today if we didn’t move. Kyrgyzstan had a huge and very original metal scene at that time, but there was no money and no possibilities to record an album. All the bands of that period have disbanded leaving little to no trace. And as far as I know there is not much going on there now. In Germany we had stimuli and possibilities to go on.


In March you released a split with AlNamrood. How did the opportunity to collaborate with the band from Saudi Arabia came up?

Cerritus: We are collaborating with a label from Canada, Shaytan Prod., they are rereleasing our back-catalogue on vinyl. They also have signed AlNamrood, so I’ve contacted Shahid and asked, if such a split was possible. To bring two oriental Black Metal bands together on the same released seemed like a good idea, and it has proven to be such.


“There would be no Darkestrah today if we didn’t move.
Kyrgyzstan had a huge and very original metal scene at that time, but there was no money and no possibilities to record an album.”

In April 29, your new full length record “Turan” came out. Can you tell us about its concept, lyrical approach, as well as creative and recording process?

Cerritus: The word “Turan” is a kind of poetical umbrella term for Turkic people such as Turks, Kazakhs and, of course Kyrgyz and many others not to injure anyone… Sometimes Momgolian and Finno-Ugric people who share similar cultural traits are also included. The word is the program.
Nomen est omen. The album’s concept and lyrics are based on a vide specter of Turkic and Uralian legends and spiritual traditions. The album describes a spiritual quest for knowledge and understanding of the world, and how such knowledge could reform or even destroy the person seeking it.
Asbath: The album was composed in the rehearsal room and all members were involved in the creative process. The recording took place in Echolux Studio in Leipzig, the owner of this studio is Andy Schmidt of Disillusion and he was responsible for sound engineering. We’ve worked with him since “Epos” and the end result has never disappointed us.


Is this the 2nd release via Osmose Productions? How is your relationship with Osmose?

Asbath: So far everything was alright.



In your music you include some traditional Kyrgyz folk instruments like the Temir-Komuz. What you can tell about the use of traditional instruments in your music and why do you include them?

Asbath: Temir-Komuz is Kyrgyz version of jew’s harp. In the course of time, we’ve also used such instruments as komuz, a kind of lute with strings maid of horse hair, shaman drum and other percussion and kyl-kyjak, a kind of hybrid between cello and violin. We also put in action some less exotic instruments like cello and mandolin.
All this is very important. Our music is deeply inspired by traditional Kyrgyz and Mongolian music and the use of such instruments is underlining these influences in our sound.


Concerning live performances, are there any plans for future shows, any dates that are already scheduled?

Cerritus: There are several shows in discussion, but nothing definite yet. However, I’m sure that we’ll have a lot of possibilities. We just can’t wait to present our new program live.


Any last words for The Black Planet readers?

Asbath: Thank you for your interest and hope to see all our fans live soon!


Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us!

Interview by João Osório.

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