“In the fight for existence and life/There is no law/And in the presence of eternal death/There is no law.” – Bolt Thrower
It seems like every war movie starts with a quote in white text against a black screen, providing thematic context for the carnage to come. For classically-trained Californian trio Dead War, “Leptospira” is the pitch-black screen for their debut EP, The Triumph of Death. It’s a formal introduction to their blackened death-thrash that lingers like a mustard gas cloud. Cue the gunfire audio montage, a few screams for a medic that won’t arrive in time, and “Debellation” truly launches the full arsenal.
Formed in 2015, Dead War focus on – are you ready for this? – war and death. It just so happens that “death” is a huge piece of the extreme Venn diagram they share with Horror Pain Gore Death Productions (who will officially release The Triumph of Death on Friday, 12/23). From the dizzying assault of “Ashes Cast into Darkness” to the gentle aftermath of “Elegy Nocturne,” the 17-minute EP is both savage and cinematic, balancing lean ‘n’ mean blasts with classical flourishes.
Drop into the warzone and inhale the napalm while streaming Dead War’s The Triumph of Death below. Also, check out the band’s thoughts on their classical training, cave trolls, and Apocalypse Now‘s heart of darkness.
One of my favorite moments in The Triumph of Death is the bass and violin interlude (“Elegy Nocturne”) following the charge of “Ashes Cast Into Darkness.” How did you develop that short classical piece?
DW: Dead War is comprised of two classically-trained musicians [vocalist/guitarist Chuck Death and bassist Nathan Nunes], and [drummer] SadoCritter, who was raised by trolls in a cave. Before any of the songs on The Triumph of Death were written, it was determined that we would have a classical interlude for every offering. Chuck Death is classically trained in Suzuki Violin, and Nathan Nunes has a degree in Performance for classical Double Bass. Nathan wrote “Elegy Nocturne,” and Chuck and Nathan worked on it as a duet for our first classical composition.
What war film embodies Dead War’s music most, and why?
DW: Apocalypse Now. The embodiment of Dead War is themes of death and war. As Captain Willard begins his mission, he is walking into a world of darkness that only goes deeper and deeper. The violence increases the further the mission goes into the jungle, and the bodies stack higher. Captain Willard and his soldiers slowly lose their minds in this world, where death and war are everywhere. The mission must continue all the way to the end, and both Captain Willard and his objective Colonel Kurtz know it. The title track “Triumph of Death” supports the true heart of philosophy Colonel Kurtz leaves Captain Willard with, “Drop the bomb. Exterminate them all!”
What’s in store for Dead War in 2017 and beyond?
DW: Dead War is currently writing material for our next release, to be recorded in 2017. We will be supporting the release of The Triumph of Death on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions.