“You could leave life right now,” Marcus Aurelius muses in Meditations. “Let that determine what you do and say and think.”
Let that also, the Roman Emperor might have added a couple millennia later after jamming Konflict & Terror — the musically unrelenting, philosophically uncompromising, ultra-brutal debut full-length from Indian death metal warriors KillKount — determine the riffs you play and the messages you growl.
Which brings us to the video for album opener “Memento Mori,” exclusively streaming below. Check it out and then dig a little deeper via a short interview with guitarist Divyanshu Gupta. Konflict & Terror is out March 13.
What is the “Memento Mori” origin story?
“Memento Mori” is a gritty outlook on the consequences and morality of warfare. It switches to the perspective of a soldier inside a battlefield, and his spiked adrenaline that aids his kill streak, and also becomes the reason why he survives. It talks about, how the reasoning of the higher ups can mean nothing for the soldiers sent off to die in battle, for whom the concepts of politics and justice don’t matter, and it is only the moment where they do or die. Memento Mori, is the perfect introduction to the record, since this theme is recurring in a bunch of songs in different perspectives.
Tell me more about the full record and how it fits into the Killkount story.
Konflict & Terror is about cyclic patterns of violence found in human kind. It’s about our cruel natural tendencies that is evident through recorded history and the current world, which suggests that true peace just might not be achievable.
If the opening track is from the perspective of a soldier in battle, the title track that follows is like a commentary on these repetitive patterns. The next track, an interlude (“HollowKast”) is a sonic scene from a post nuclear attack and ties thematically into the following track (“W.M.D.”) which is a song from the perspective of a nuclear weapon, bragging about its destructive capabilities. “Korruption Kauses Katastrophe” is a re-work of ou debut single that came out in 2017. It’s about the role of corruption in pissing people off enough that they have to take things in their own hands.
“Schizophrenic Machine Kill” delves into the mind of a serial killer and his reasoning for why he does what he — or she! — does. “Korpsified!” is just some stupid word I came up with as a kid, which basically means “dead.” The song is about human kind’s inflated ego and some existential nihilism.
“The Koffin Feeder” is our tribute to the best written comic book character, The Punisher. His story is of Konflict & Terror.
Finally, the album closer “Limbless” goes back to the centric theme of the album, and talks about how post war, all entities are limbless. No good ever comes out of conflicts ever. Both parties suffer major losses, and those alk are lives lost for the propoganda of higher ups, who never set foot in battle. It also briefly mentions PTSD, since even the people survive are never the same. So its about how warfare crippling in various ways.
It seems as if the metal and hardcore scene in India is really on the upswing. Is there any particular misconception people have about Indian metal?
The biggest misconception I think, is the fact that Indian metal scene is a new and budding culture. Actually, the scene just recently started getting attention from outside the country in the last few years. There have always been a lot of bands making really kickass music and performing live whenever they can. But recently, i feel bands have started paying attention to the business aspect of the music business, which is why more attention is being paid to the Indian scene lately. These are all good signs for bands like us that are just making their way into the global scene with our debut release.
I personally was introduced to metal at a very early age through VH1s Headbangers Ball that featured songs by Pantera and sometimes Megadeth and Slayer. I was fascinated to find out as a kid, that there were bands in India that are making original music, and it compelled me to form a band of my own.
Finally, in press materials you reference the “current socio-political” atmosphere. Can you flesh that out a little more for people perhaps not familiar with Indian politics and how it helped inspire the record?
Without going into specifics, it’s not just the socio-political climate in the country, it’s the world! The more you pay attention to what’s going on, the more you realise that maybe the world does need a war. Because purposelessness has made the world pretty fucking stupid. Bigoted leaders are trying their best to brew as much conflict and terror as they can in the world. They try to divide people, spread hate, and push their own propoganda forward. I dont think any world leader has the interest of their country in mind. I think its all about their own propoganda, and getting the best out of their power while they still have it. Which is why i feel like Democracy is a flawed concept. All this hatred in the world gives our record the voice it needs. The album on a whole is an observation, and i hope it reaches everyone that can relate to these observations.