jueves, 11 de febrero de 2021


1. When did you decide to create Burn Offering? And why do you choose this name? What does it refer to?

Nameless Enemy: We’ve started the band in late 2012 and have recorded our first demo in 2013. It only got released in 2015 though.

Blind Idiot God: Burnt Offering means burning one’s soul to ash in pursuit of the Higher Ideal.  

2. What does Burnt Offering bring you with respect to your other band Darkestrah? What main differences could the listener appreciate between both projects?

B.I.G.: Darkestrah has a much more subtle approach to composition, it’s a much more atmospheric form of Black Metal and it focuses a lot on and is inspired by Central Asian music and shamanic lore, whereas Burnt Offering is an Archaic Black Metal in all meanings. 

3. Your first release was in 2015 with the demo “Беснование”, a work that consisted of four songs and where we can highlight a cover full of symbols that is clearly related to the themes of your lyrics that deal with themes related to Satanism and Slavic chthonic deiads, can you explain to us a bit how the idea of ​​creating this artwork came about and what do you intend to convey with it? How was the composition and recording process of this demo? What happened after it was released for spend almost five years without editing anything new?

N.E.:  The cover depicts a character from one of the songs from this demo, the Dog-Headed Saint. There is a folk-christian belief in St. Christopher, a Cynocephalus, i.e. human with dog head, who has become a christian martyr. This belief in an obviously chthonic being masked as christian saint has inspired the song and the cover. Actually, as far as I know christians today believe that the idea of a dog-headed saint is heretical, because even such a creature would exist, their god will give him human had as soon as he converts.

B.I.G.: The recording process was very quick and dirty. We’ve recorded all instrumental parts live in our rehearsal room in the course of an evening using only a Zoom stereo recorder. The vocals and samples were added afterwards and after some very rudimentary “mix” and “mastering” the demo was ready. 

After that the band was put on ice until 2019, since we all were concentrated on different projects. We’ve managed to release it in 2015 on tape and in 2020 on CD though. 

4. You have recently released your first album Жатва (2020), how have you approached the recording of this new album and what aspects do you consider that you have changed with respect to the demo? How has the process of composing and recording the songs been? What has the figure of Anatolii Nikulin contributed to the final sound of the album?

N.E.: The approach to composition was much more reflected and disciplined this time in comparison to the half-improvised demo. 

This time the recording was also rather barbaric, though this time we used a multi-channel approach. I imagine that this is more or less how 80s Bathory albums were recorded.

B.I.G.: The huge difference with the demo is that Anatolii Nikulin, professional sound engineer and avant-garde musician was involved in the mixing and mastering process. He pushed 100% if not 110% out of the recordings, making them sound better than we could ever imagine they would. 

5. One aspect that you take great care of is the theme of your themes related to Slavic elements, does this have something to do with your origin from an ex-Soviet republic? Is Liepzig's choice to live in some way related to his Slavic past? Has the use of Russian in the texts been a problem to reach more people with your music or at the same time is it necessary to be able to express yourself fully?

B.I.G.: Exploring one’s primordial native tradition has always been one of the key elements in Black Metal. So, yes, since we all come Slavic countries and are native Russian speakers the choice of topic and language were more or less obvious for us. Writing lyrics in Russian was, by the way, a sort of challenge for me. I had much more experience with English lyrics in my other projects due to the nature of the music or involvement of singers who do not speak Russian.

N.E.: I’ve always been interested in the history and culture of the region between Black and Baltic Seas, also known as Intermarium. Being based in Leipzig we find ourselves in the westernmost corner of this region. This is what’s important, not the fact that we spent our childhood in the communist state. 

6. Unlike the cover of the demo that had more to do with paganism, the cover of the new album has more to do with death and despair, however it is not directly related to the lyrical content of the songs. Why did you decide to use this cover to illustrate Жатва? What does it represent and how does it relate to the music on the album?

N.E.: The cover uses a painting by Mikalojus Čiurlionis, Lithuanian artist, composer and mystic visionary. It is a part of his “Burial Symphony” cycle and it represents Death, Grief and Devastation that the Night of Harvest brings to primitive lives. 

B.I.G.: There is also a certain connection to Leipzig, because Čiurlionis spent some time here studying musical composition. 

7. As an influence on your sound, do you speak of the Norwegian black of the nineties and of the Ukrainian black metal groups relating in some way to folk, first of all, what bands are a clear influence on the sound of Burnt Offering? And on the other hand, don't you think that the entire underground Russian black metal scene has somehow also had an influence on your sound?

B.I.G.: It’s name-dropping time! Darkthrone, Burzum, Hate Forest and Astrofaes are the most important influences, I think. The latter band, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated bands in history of Black Metal, having vast and diverse discography, they are almost forgotten now, nobody talks about them anymore, re-releases are scarce and far-between. 

N.E.: As for Russian scene, we don’t know much about current affairs in the scene, and older bands didn’t have some specific “Russian” vibe to them, they all were very much influenced by the Norwegian scene, some of them even used Norwegian lyrics.

8. What main differences have you found within black metal in terms of concerts, scene etc ... between two countries as disparate at first glance as Germany and Russia? How would you describe the black metal scene of a city like Leipzig?

N.E.: I don’t really know much about the comings and goings of the Leipzig scene. We have many bands here, many live shows that gather a substantial audience. I know many of these people, but not that we are in a sort of dialogue with the scene as community. We have our own ideas, our own goals.

9. The CD and vinyl edition of the album has been through Casus Belli Musica, while the cassette has been edited by Analög Ragnarök, how did the possibility of working with these record labels come about and when did you decide to cover all these formats ? Are you satisfied with the editing and promotion work by the record labels?

B.I.G.: We have already worked with Casus Belli Musica and Beverina for the release of Darkestrah boxed set, so the connections were there. We were also very much satisfied with the results of that collaboration, so we addressed them again when the album was finished. This time yet again we have nothing wrong to say about their work. They did everything great.

However the don’t work with tapes and tape is a very important format for me personally, because in my younger years in Russia everything was on (mostly pirate) tapes. And so we contacted Analög Ragnarök, a tape label that pays a lot of attention to both sound and layout quality and has a great program. It’s really a pity that they are closing their doors soon. 

10. Apart from the impossibility of holding concerts, in what way have you been affected by Covid-19? Do you think, like some bands, what has been a good opportunity to maintain and explore new ways of getting in touch with fans ?

N.E.: Concerts do not belong to the obligatory program in Black Metal. Everything else has not changed a lot. There is that global swamp called the Internet, so everybody can get in touch with us and we can get in touch with everyone. It simplifies things a lot though the letters on paper and signed flyers that were common things in the scene even in the beginning of this century were much more dedicated.

B.I.G.: I for one didn’t see much change. My day-job and personal life haven’t changed a bit and both the recordings and the mail-order/ postage stuff would take place in my apartment regardless.  

11. How were your beginnings in music, first albums you bought, first concerts you attended? Was it very difficult to show interest and have access to music in a country like Russia? What is missing from that time with respect to to the current one within the scene?

B.I.G.: The first metal album I heard and bought was “... And Justice For All” by Metallica. This was also the first time I really had any interest in music. I was 10 years old mind you. In 1997, being 14, I went to see a live show for the first time. The band in question was Motorhead on their first visit to Russia and you can imagine how overwhelmed I have been by the experience. In Russia almost all music was available, albeit not as official releases. Pirated tapes and CDs were sold everywhere back then and you really could get all the new stuff almost as soon as it was out. I still hold a lot of nostalgia about tapes as a format.

I was very skeptical about local bands for many years, and started going to local shows much later. I still don’t think very highly about most of St. Petersburg bands of that time. However, with my interests rapidly drifting into more and more underground sound I could find enough people to exchange music and ideas with. 

N.E.:  I come from Kharkiv, Ukraine. In the 90s in our city, as in many other places in ex-USSR there was a lot of enthusiasm about Metal music. We had Metal on local radio and TV, even such bands as Impaled Nazarene, Diabolos Rising or Emperor. For example I’ve recorded the first Hate Forest demo, “Scythia” completely from the radio transmission. It also included the only interview in the history of the band. 

One of the most important activists in the scene was a guy called Sir. Imagine a huge fat guy, pressed into a Glam Rock-style spandex outfit, fronting the local Glam Metal band KPP. This was a real Soviet farmer Glam Metal, very tongue-in-cheek, very authentic stuff. He also had his own radio and TV shows that promoted all sorts of new music, both local and international. He also owned a record shop that had all the new stuff, Death Metal, Black Metal, Doom Metal. 

12. Which album represents to you the essence of black metal? What recent albums have you bought? Which Russian black metal band should be a must-listen?

B.E.: There is a huge discussion among our ranks about that. I would say “A Blaze in The Northern Sky” and I bet N.E. would say “Under a Funeral Moon”. As for Russian Black Metal, if i’d have to choose only one, that would certainly be Blackdeath (ex-Draugwath). There are several other great bands, most of them rather old, Forest, Old Wainds, Thy Repentance. 

N.E.: I’d also add “Hvis Lyset Tar Oss” as an example of absolute wildness combined with stellar composing. The beginning of the third song there annoys a lot of so-called metalheads, and it is good so. 

13. What more immediate future plans do you have for the band in terms of concerts and reissues? Are you already working on new songs with a view to an upcoming release?

B.I.G.: We are working on a new full-length program. So far we have three lengthy songs.

14. Thank you very much for the time dedicated to Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Burnt Offering  fans this is the place. I hope the questions have been to your liking.

B.I.G.: Keep the War raging!


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6.Forbidden Spaces
7.The Rulling Truth
8.Behind the Wall of Tears

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