East German death metal collective Deathrite weren’t always what they are today. Over the course of three full-lengths—2011’s Deathrite, 2013’s Into Extinction, and 2015’s Revelation of Chaos—the Germans outgrew their initial crust-death leanings, opting for a more old-school approach while still clinging to their DIY ethos. Much in the same way fellow Germans Chapel Of Disease, U.S.-based death metallers Horrendous, and, of course, defunct oddballs Morbus Chron leaned on traditional and then broke the tenets of tradition, Deathrite have also steered clear of straight interpretation of death metal’s sonic laws.
New album, Nightmares Reign, is proof Deathrite are thinking differently. From “Demon Souls” and “Appetite for Murder” to the darkly beautiful cover design and layout, the Germans are a vestige of their past output, with aggression and self-determination the two most powerful holdovers from Revelation of Chaos. Nightmares Reign isn’t a paradigm shift, insofar as Deathrite are doing completely new things with the genre. Rather, they’re interpreting it through their lens, which includes Dresden, the city they come from, and its impact on their outlook.
Read on as Deathrite, as a collective, answer Decibel‘s queries about Nightmares Reign and their raw, impulsive death metal.
How did the Century Media deal come to fruition?
Deathrite: Mutual trust and the desire to tread new paths connect us to Century Media. Our young and untamed fire meets the experience of 30 years of hard metal business. Non-compromising, real and dangerous.
There are new members in Deathrite. What facilitated the change?
Deathrite: The passion for this band requires a certain amount of time. Shifting priorities over the course of time create change and new beginnings. Because of the musical development, the extension to become a five-piece band was a pretty natural and logical step. We gained two talented musicians with Anton and Tom, who bring a completely new dynamic to this band.
How would you describe Deathrite musically at this stage?
Deathrite: Unconventional death metal: raw, impulsive and different
The new album is a bit different from Revelation of Chaos. What were some the reasons behind the musical adjustments?
Deathrite: The impressions over the last years, touring, the people you meet on the road, etc. have led us to grow as musicians and artists. For the first time we haven’t set any boundaries for ourselves on this album, be it genre-specific or of any other nature. This time, the songs were supposed to be brought to life in a much more free and self-confident way.
Which songs came first in the writing sessions?
Deathrite: “Devil’s Poison” and “Appetite For Murder” were the first songs that were conceived only a few months after the Where Evil Arises 7-inch. So, in retrospect, we already had a phase of explosive creativity that we were able to continue after the band extension on “Invoke Nocturnal Light.” The whole process peaked in “Temptation Calls,” which was evidence for us that we were on a good trajectory.
Which songs are speaking to you at the moment?
Deathrite: We had to overcome a lot of obstacles to write this album. Therefore the album as a whole is a personal milestone for all of us.
What do you remember about your time at Big Snuff Studio?
Deathrite: Multiple long-haired sweaty guys with warm beers in approximately 100 degrees (Celsius, that is) under a flat roof. So, we expect at least a small outbreak of sweat while listening to this record.
How important is a real-sounding production to Deathrite? I hear a lot of rawness, almost as if I’m hearing the songs live. Was that the idea?
Deathrite: We are first and foremost a live band. So, for us it’s important to capture that vibe in a studio recording as accurately as possible.
What’s behind the meaning of the album title, Nightmares Reign?
Deathrite: The album is obviously covering the topic of nightmares since they are dreams that influence people the most –- even beyond the boundaries of dreams themselves. There can be an immense force developing subconsciously that dictates thinking and actions in real life. The album is meant to reflect that force.
Lyrically, what is Deathrite singing about? Flowers, puppies, and sunshine, I’m sure.
Deathrite: Consummation of darkness and death.
Deathrite aren’t a new band, but you’re being exposed to wider audiences now. Any pressure or thought about hitting a deeper set of potential underground fans?
Deathrite: We see creating music as something like our destiny. Luckily Century Media offers us a platform that fuels this fire even further.
What’s Deathrite’s next steps?
Deathrite: More evil is already on its way for 2019.
** Deathrite’s new album, Nightmares Reign, is out now on CD and LP through Century Media Records. Order it HERE, or pose hard.