sábado, 25 de marzo de 2023


 Good evening, thank you very much for answering these questions, how is everything going in Minsk?

Good evening. Thank you for the opportunity to answer interesting questions. 

At the moment it is difficult to say, as at the moment we are far from our Motherland, and its capital - Minsk. We suspect that everything is not as smooth as we would like it to be, especially the musical activities. 

1. The band is formed around the year 2019, in what circumstances did you decide to create the band? Why did you choose the name Ciemra and what does it refer to?

There are quite a few causal connections. The main reason for forming our collective is the desire to bring to life and manifest the inner Dark Stream that has haunted us over the preceding years. The name speaks for itself. Ciemra is Darkness (from the Belarusian word "Цемра"). A word that embodies our activities in its best.

2. I suppose the period of confinement derived from the Covid, caused you a certain delay when it came to having your first Ep ready, how do you remember the process of composition and recording of these first two songs that made up this "Agony Blasphemy"? Did you expect the impact it achieved?

Covid definitely had a negative influence in the period of writing, recording and realization of the conceived things. This can be evidenced by the presence of only two songs in this release. Recorded not in the best way, but no less relevant to us at the time.

I don't think this EP made any furor or somehow shook up the media, which cannot be said about the full-length album.  

3. You have recently released “The Tread of Darkness” your first full album, how do you think your sound has evolved between these two releases in the years between them? What has the writing and recording process of this album been like and what brands of instruments have you used for the process?

The production of the full-length album was more extensive and significantly different from the EP. The main body of the album was recorded in a week at our studio, called Alma, based in Minsk. The issue is quite wide, we don't see any point in describing all the equipment. We can say one thing - nothing fancy or technologically powered. Tama drums, Sabian iron, Gibson, Rickenbacker guitars. Pretty classic and simple set of instruments. 

Even though the process itself was pretty tough because of the conditions we were doing it in, after a while we can say that it was interesting. It was a good experience. All the instruments were recorded live - and that's the main point. 

4. In your sound there is a component of darkness and death, at the same time that you do not give up let's say pagan elements, with an ear set on the traditional black sound of the nineties, but neither do you give up other not so classic elements that refer to and more varied influences, how would you describe the sound of this “The Tread of Darkness” for someone who hasn't heard it yet? What are your main influences when it comes to defining your sound?

We think it's quite a complicated question to characterize our sound. Having absorbed the whole history of the genre (from the origins, to the second and even the third wave), favoring one character or another, we tried to find a kind of balance. And I think we succeeded. This sound is the sound of the Ciemra. No more, no less.

Interesting facts: 5 pairs of drumsticks killed in 2 hours, probably a bad series. Several dead mics, bare concrete walls in the control room, sleeping bags to get some rest in the studio. Now that's a real treat, if you know what I mean.

The bass guitar was not recorded in the studio, so what you hear in the album are the parts from the demo, recorded in 1.5 hours at home-based studio. The bass player was put in a mental hospital for 3 months. They took him away on the third day of recording. It's a sad story, and we'll talk about it some other time. 

5. Malvain is in charge of the vocal section, how did Malvain join the band? What aspects of his personality do you think ended up emerging and giving the sound of the album a personal style?

Malvain is a phenomenon. An artist with a very rich experience in different, very dark forms art, not only BM. She joined the band around the same time that the title song of the album was born. Her main idea is the inexorable urge to destroy all living things, chaos and total hatred of primitive forms of existence. You can feel it in her voices.

6. I previously commented that in your sound there are elements such as darkness and a certain tone of paganism, contact with nature, along the lines of bands like the Ukrainians Drudkh or the Slovakians Malokarpatan, do you feel identified in any way with the proposal of these bands?

Thank you for your question. Regarding the bands mentioned in your example, we can say that no, none of them is any kind of reference for us. Neither ideologically nor musically. Nevertheless, we are flattered, or rather surprised, by some sort of comparison, or mention of these formations on your part.

7. Aspects such as darkness or war are present in your lyrics, why did you decide to deal with these issues? Who is in charge of writing the lyrics? Do the lyrics adapt to the music or vice versa?

Regarding Darkness, I think the answer can be found by listening to the whole album. As for the song War (which is most likely the one in question), I can note right away that it has nothing to do with what's going on in Ukraine right now. The song was written long before all the events and has a direct relation to the war with the usual order of things, anti-religious sentiments are not excluded. In any case, everyone who in one way or another has touched the Dark, will decide for themselves what it is about and with what or with whom they wage this very War. The Horseman is ruthless and evil. Nothing can stand against this phenomenon.

8. Have you already started to offer a concert to present the new album? What plans do you have in this regard? Will you keep the hidden identities in the live shows?

Yes, a show is already scheduled in Warsaw, Poland. May 4th. We have some hopes for Italy and some more shows in Europe. We are also looking for connections and it would be great to visit other continents of our planet. 

Our images remain the same. We don't plan to distract our listeners from our music and creativity through our personalities/faces. 

9. You have recorded the album at Alma Studio in Minsk and the mixing and mastering has been done at Jaro Sound in Prague. What led you to choose both studios to finish getting the sound for the album ready?

Why we chose Alma Studio, because great people work there, our friends, we have known them for a long time, our views and approach to art have a lot in common. A good, correct technical base, which leads to the trust. The proper communication is a very important thing. 

As for mixing and mastering, we worked with Yaroslav in previous projects, quite a long time ago, since 2013. We managed to become friends during this period. I like his approach to business and his responsiveness. Despite many tons of edits and searches, we were able to get the result we were looking for. 

Communication and understanding of what we want to create is the key. 

10. The album cover has been made by Nestor Povarnin, why did you decide to work with him for the cover? What does the cover represent and how does it relate to the content of the album?

We started a dialogue with Nestor even before the edits and mastering of the album were finished; he heard our music in the early stages. The man is a true Artist. His work deserves attention outside the context of our cover. Our correspondence lasted several months until we came to a consensus on what or who should be depicted on the cover. Namely five horsemen, in addition to the four, well known to all, there is a fifth at the head of the procession. His name is Darkness. This is what represents our quintet. A sight at how we relate to the world and what we want to convey. As detailed as possible. He embodied the spirit of the album in all 100%. And we are grateful to him for that.

11. Avantgarde Music has been in charge of editing the album, how do you contact them to edit the album? Are you satisfied with the work done by them?

Our acquaintance with Avantgarde Music label was quite sudden, like an impulse. The man from Black Metal Promotion contributed a lot to it. The communication developed from the first words. Their interest to our work surprised us. We can say that they are very professional and experienced people, with a rich history and the most open-minded approach to the art. Extremely pleased with our cooperation, communication, and the support we receive to this day. In addition, we hope for our further fruitful cooperation.  

12. Belarusian black metal bands, Infestum, Doomslaughter or Pa Vesh En come to mind right now, what is your perception of the Belarusian black metal scene? Which bands would you recommend? What is the metal scene like? end of a city like Minsk?

Oh yes, we know these names. 

Unfortunately, the scene in Belarus is rather disconnected, and we have no contact with each other. Nevertheless, there are bands that you would like to listen to. In addition to those you mentioned, there are a number of formations that deserve attention and studying deep. 

Those are: Raven Throne, Dymna Lotva, Khandra. A decent part of Belarusian BM scene.  

Zaklon - one of the pioneers of the genre in our region - deserves special attention. We express our respect and admiration to our fellow countrymen. We hope for a soonest reunion of most of our scene and joint concerts. Believe me, Belarus has a lot to offer to the World, as art, and sometimes not by right these formations remain unnoticed on the world stage. Likewise, I have no right to speak for them, perhaps they wish so themselves. 

13.How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attended, first albums you bought? What happened in your lives pushed you to want to be musicians?

Well, we're pretty different. Each member has a different experience. Nevertheless, I'm sure that each of us has a moment of rejection from this world. It certainly has an impact. A desire to walk a different path than the one that most people choose, and a society that disgusts us. With the endless search for profit, imaginary power and might, the exaggeration of their dignity and importance. We are disgusted by what is happening in the World. We want to open the eyes of the lost, to cleanse this place of filth, to give them another world, a new one for them. To turn their eyes to the hidden and beautiful side, whose name is Darkness. But, only to those who really deserve it to be happen.

14. What album represents for you the essence of black metal? What last albums have you bought?

When it comes to the essence of Black Metal, without a doubt it would be the Watain - The Wild Hunt album. Don't ask why it's this one. Just give it a listen. There are also many names that are worthy of this title, but you asked for one. And that's the first and last thing that comes to mind. The pinnacle of art at the moment, for me personally. 

The last album I bought... 

Immortal. War Against All, looking forward to it. Abbath is really good on the first single. 

15. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Ciemra fans this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

Thank you so much for these questions. We really enjoyed answering them. Lots of good memories. Thanks fot keeping Black Metal alive. 

Let the Darkness embrace you! 


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