Bandcamp has revolutionized the way dedicated music fans find and purchase new music, and this is especially true for extreme metal devotees. The fact that it’s so easy to set up shop has led to an explosion in small labels. Many of these put out small runs of CDs, vinyls and even cassettes to supplement the ubiquity of digital music. It’s a lot like the recent craft beer explosion, which has led to a limitless array of new options. Hell, Decibel even combines the two worlds into a festival! But let’s be honest in both cases: there’s a lot of crap out there.
This year, I’ve tried to spotlight some bands worth exploring in this vast sea of sounds, with a focus on black metal. (You can read the Black Metal Gold series here, along with our feature on the Cumbrian black metal scene.) Several of the bands I’ve covered have come from Britain’s Death Kvlt Productions, including Thy Dying Light, Heathen Deity, Nyctophilia and Ühtceare. Death Kvlt has only been around for a year, but is slowly gaining a reputation for putting out quality material, with an emphasis on bands that champion a raw, straightforward approach.
Being a small black metal label in 2018 is a rough existence, as the market is so flooded with works of grim mediocrity that it’s hard to get excited for yet another black metal label. But somehow Death Kvlt has found a way to do it well, even rackung up a couple top-selling bandcamp releases in the process. I was able to chat with the staff at Death Kvlt Productions and find out a little more. I’ve included some of the label’s music below as well!
Tell us some general info about Death Kvlt. When did you get started, where are you based, and how big is your operation?
Death Kvlt Productions started around a year ago. DKP-01 was a one-man Scottish DSBM project called Hertless which was released on the 13th of November 2017.
I’m based in the south west of England and Death Kvlt is a one man operation. I handle all, from designing artwork to shipping and everything in-between.
What made you decide to start a label dedicated to black metal? There’s definitely no shortage of other labels out there.
I started Death Kvlt to help out smaller projects that don’t have physical releases that I’d personally like a copy of.
Why do you like to do cassette releases? Is there something about the lo-fi aspect that just sort of fits with black metal?
Nothing can really beat raw, nasty black metal on cassette. They go together perfectly.
What standards do you set for music that you release? What does “quality” mean to you?
It goes back to a previous answer, I release music that I’d like to own myself. That’s the only standard I really set. Luckily I’ve managed to work with some fantastic projects that I was a fan of before the label started. Abduction, Heathen Deity and Autokrator for example.
I noticed that you’re not currently accepting unsolicited submissions. Does this mean you won’t sign my crappy solo black metal project???
The reason why submissions are closed is because my release schedule is pretty hectic as it is. In the last year, I’ve released over 30 albums. My last release of the year is due in December and 2019 is already filling up quickly.
People do still send me stuff and I take the time to listen to everything. Some things make it onto the label and some things just really aren’t for me.
Finally, what plans do you have for the future? Expansion? Or stay the course?
I have a lot of releases planned for 2019. Some I can mention, some still need to be finalized.
Hammer of the Heretics by French extreme project Autokrator is scheduled for release early in 2019 on limited vinyl, with pre-orders going live on the Death Kvlt Productions Bandcamp page on the 28th of December at 10 a.m. (UK time). Limited to 100 copies.
The live debut from Thy Dying Light, Blackwood Live, will see a cassette and vinyl release. Limited to 50 cassettes and 100 vinyl.
La Patria Que Danza en Rabia by one-man Argentinian ambient black metal project UHTCEARE will also be getting a vinyl release in mid 2019. Limited to 100 copies.
There are no plans to expand. I’d like to keep it how it is, I love the hands-on aspect. I never started the label thinking it’s going to get huge, replace my full-time job and pay my mortgage. I do this for the passion I have for the music. As long as that is still there, it’ll carry on as it has done for the past year.