domingo, 2 de febrero de 2020


Khoraja was born in Thessaloniki in 2017 that same year editing his first EP “Echoes of Thunder, Beneath the Waves” that has had continuity recently with the edition of his first full-length “Sailing Our Ships to Martyrdom.”.

1. DM, Leonidas and Thomas Goud, you are the members of Khoraja, how was the band's creation process ?, and why do you choose the name of Khoraja? and what does it refer to?
Thomas: Well I always had a plethora of riffs and ideas for songs, but didn't want to form a band (at first). Me and Leonidas are friends from way back. I used to play to the death metal band that came to be Cease of Breeding. Just before I left he joined them and that's how we met. Some years later I decided to show him some of my ideas, since we both were black metal fans. Then these ideas turned to full formed songs, which were recorded at his place. Unfortunately Leonidas had to leave for England for studies, so the creation process was postponed. Fast forward couple of years later, Leonidas came back to Greece and in 2017 we recorded our first EP  “Echoes of Thunder, Beneath the Waves”.  
Khoraja is a fictional country, in Conan's world. I used to be a huge Conan nerd back in the   day, but I also think is a very cool sounding name, so that's why I chose it.

2. You form the band in 2017 and that same year you publish your first EP “Echoes of Thunder, Beneath the Waves” a work that already clearly shows the identity of the band, especially within a black that incorporates current elements in its sound but that maintains others such as atmospheric and melodies, how was the recording and composition process of this first EP?
Thomas: The songs were already formed in my mind, so most of the parts were prerecorded and then sent to Leonidas. Afterwards we recorded them at his place with his equipment. At this point some new ideas came along, and of course the drum programming, which is done
by Leonidas, along with the mixing and mastering. Eventually we recorded the final version of the songs, we sent the tracks for reamping at the studio and finally to Andy, the vocalist in our first EP, and he recorded his parts.

3. You have recently edited "Sailing Our Ships to Martyrdom.", A more varied work in terms of sound richness, which has not lost the elements mentioned above, but sounding much more dynamic and especially intense, what do you think has changed between a album and other?
Thomas: I  think the songs are more complete in this one, and also we kinda found a rhythm in the recording process. We struggled a lot less with this one, although it is a full length album.Also the compositions are more aggressive,plus we used different guitars this time, thats why it's sounding more intense.

4. Draws attention to the inclusion of programmed batteries in the two releases, however, it is not something that separates the final result of your music. Did you know from the beginning that you used this type of programming in your music? Is it very difficult to fit the battery? programmed in your music?
Thomas: I´ll always prefer real drums, but drum programming is a necessary evil at this point since we didnt have time, at least for then, to form a band and go to rehearsals. On the bright side, Leonidas does an amazing job at this, but I can't go into further details for the technical side of things, since he is responsible. I just order the blastbeats.

5. "Sailing Our Ships to Martyrdom." Includes a greater variety in the compositions, the guitars sound more powerful, the riffs are more incendiary and the voices of Dm are full in much more aggressive facets, do you feel more comfortable composing days of Today, when did you start?
Thomas: We were very excited  when we finished our first EP, so we started to do some pre-recordings for “Sailing our ships...” immediately after we released it. The songs came up more aggressive than atmospheric. This was not planned, it just came out naturally. Also me and Leonidas worked more fluently this time, and I was better prepared for the recording process. Since the songs were sounding more brutal, we figured out that we need a different approach to the vocals, although Andy did an amazing job for our first EP. So I posted a thread  in the metal-archives forums, searching for a singer, and that's how I came in touch with DM. When he sent me the sample with the vocals, me and Leonidas both agreed that he is perfect for this album.

6. As a Greek group, it is impossible not to try to typecast in Greek black and the Greek black metal scene, however it is quite impossible to fit your sound into this scene, although it is true that there is a classic aroma in your sound, If we look especially at the most atmospheric parts, it is no less true that your sound includes more current extreme elements that may become somewhat misplaced, how would you define the sound of the band? What are your main influences in terms of sound?
Thomas: Yes, we don't have the usual “Greek Black Metal” sound. \Though personally a fan, the influences come from elsewhere. Agalloch, Wolves in the Throne room, Lantlos are some of the main inspirators. Of course influences are not limited to black metal, but to other types of music as well, such as shoegaze, neofolk and post-rock. So how would I define our sound? Hmm...An apocalyptic wall of sound, featuring upbeat moments of clarity, with sudden dips to depression.

7. As for the theme of your latest work, it also moves somewhat away from common themes in the genre such as Satanism, encompassing others related more to the despair and loss of the souls of the dead. How did the letters and themes of “Sailing Our Ships to Martyrdom.”?
Thomas:  Most of the lyrics are dealing with personal feelings,thoughts, and  stories.  The meaning behind the title of the album is that you are devoting and sacrificing yourself for a god, or an entity that doesn't exist, so there is an anti-religious sentiment and an opossition to god, that you also can find in some of the lyrics,in the record. Satan is always welcome though.

8. Both Leonidas and DM are members of other bands related to extreme metal and not only related to black sound, but in them there is room for others such as death or grind, what leads you to want to create a new band? What makes Khoraja different from your other bands and what does it offer you as musicians?
Thomas: I can only speak for Leonidas here, because we have talked about it. I think because there is a more medolic side to Khoraja. Both his other bands Deuteronomy and Carthage are very brutal, so it's a bit of a different challenge for him, in terms of recording and mixing.

9. You come from the city of Thessaloniki, what is the extreme metal scene like in your area, what bands would you recommend?
Thomas: Unfortunately, I haven't been active in the scene for a long time, but apart from Leonidas' other band, Deuteronomy who are releasing a new record, there is another black metal band from Thessaloniki called Nihilism that I saw live recently, and really liked their music.  

10. Who has taken care of the album cover design? What does it refer to and how is it related to the theme of the album?
Thomas: I was responsible for the cover. It depicts the firmament. When you wander aimlessly in it, the sun is the semblance of hope in the darkness.   

11. How were your beginnings in music: first CDs that you bought, first concerts you attended, etc. What did you do in your life that led you to want to be musicians and form a band?
Thomas: This question takes me waaay back. Ok, I think the first cd I bought was “Crossroads”, a best-of album from Bon Jovi. Things got darker from there, although I still enjoy many of the songs. First concert was Rotting Christ, here in Thessaloniki. I never did want to pursue a career as a musician, it's more of a natural need. I think that the first album that made me want to sit down and learn to play guitar was Death's “Symbolic”

12. "Sailing Our Ships to Martyrdom" was self-published in August in digital format, is there any chance of reissuing in physical format?
Thomas: There were talks about physical format, but it's a bit difficult for one person to pay the costs for the cds etc. Perhaps in very limited editions, but we'll see.

13. What future plans do you have for the band in terms of concerts, upcoming releases, etc.?
Thomas: Looking for a drummer nowadays. If evertything turns out good perhaps some rehersals are in order. We may, or may not release a new EP till summer.

14. Thank you very much for the time dedicated to Black metal spirit, if you want to add something for Khoraja followers, this is the place. I hope the questions have been to your liking.
Thomas: Thanks a lot for the interview, I really enjoyed answering your questions! Check our facebook page for news, and hope you're having a blast listening to our album.

Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, EP, Limited to 500 copies


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