Demo:listen: Vaamatar

Brought together by evil providence under the tattered black banner of true black metal, a fierce new companionship has emerged from the USBM underground. They are Kathaarian (on drums and vocals) and Wicked Procreator (on guitar and backing vocals) and, together, they call themselves Vaamatar.

“Vammatar is a goddess of disease, pain and suffering,” Wicked Procreator writes. “We thought the name was fitting considering the global climate in 2020, especially in the US. We chose an alternate spelling for the aesthetics.” Vaamatar’s guitarist goes on to explain that their demo title, Evil Witching Black Metal their “take on classic titles while also sending a little hails to Necromantia.”

Vaamatar seem to have come together at the perfect time in both of their lives. As Wicked Procreator explains they “met through some mutual friends and discovered that [they] had a shared passion for traditional black metal.” Wicked Procreator continues: “Two of our main projects were coming to an end and we were looking to start a new project that we were both enthusiastic about. We have been fans of old school first and second wave black metal for years but have been out of the game for a while so when we met it felt like fate almost immediately. After our first practice, we already had 2 songs written.”

Evil Witching Black Metal

Regarding their pseudonyms, the band says: “We chose these names to honor the godz that came before us. If you know, you know.”

The band’s drummer and vocalist Kathaarian elaborates on their lyrics and the themes behind Vaamatar’s lashing vitriol. “My lyrics are mostly Lovecraftian influenced with some of my personal poetry sprinkled in,” they explain. “Specific themes I wrote about on this demo are mostly political from a mythological perspective. The first track, ‘Hands of Fate,’ for instance, I talk about how it feels like a black cloud is looming over the human race because of our disconnect from natural instincts and logic. Political polarization occurring when there’s a deadly threat to our species is absurd. It cannot stand. In a way, this is our mess that we created because of how our system is set up. It’s not one or two people’s fault but an accumulation of selfish acts over centuries and centuries that have brought us to this point in time. In the US, we have improper rank and political agenda. We cannot stand for it any longer. The people on top are starting to be exposed and the people on the bottom are starting to infiltrate. We are at a very unique point in time where the historically beaten are starting to do the beating. The systems in place are starting to crumble.”

The band recorded their four-song demo Evil Witching Black Metal themselves the old school way, using a 4-track cassette recorder. 

“We feel like the last decade introduced a lot of cleaner production on the black metal genre and multiple off-shoots rooted in black metal,” the band explains. “Although a lot of that music was influenced by the lo-fi classics, they sound incredibly distant from what their roots are. We wanted to re-introduce why black metal was great in the first place in our own way. We liked the idea of recording on a 4-track because of the limitations it puts on you. It gives you a natural rawness that cannot be replicated any other way. All of our favorite black metal albums had an analog approach, whether they had a choice or not.”

At the time of recording their demo, they lived in the same state. That has since changed, but Vaamatar have no intention of stopping now. 

“We both lived in Los Angeles at the time of writing and recording,” Wicked Procreator says. “We wrote the demo in early 2020 before the COVID hit California hard. We wrote like any other band, rehearsed a bunch then self-recorded it.  Because of the pandemic, Kathaarian decided to relocate to Montpelier, Vermont. We are both new to long distance collaborating but we are making it work through the internet.”

Relentlessly firing off piercing riffs, riddled with blasting destruction and completely aswarm with mephitic atmospheric qualities, Evil Witching Black Metal sounds like an old school recording. But more importantly, it sounds like a demo recorded during genuinely corrupt and apocalyptic times. 

“I would say that the last track on the demo, ‘Ancient Cities,’ captures Vaamatar in multiple ways,” says Kathaarian. “The beginning of the track features a sample from a favorite film of mine, the Spanish film Tomb of the Blind Dead. Being the horror movie freak I am, I think the sample sets the tone perfectly and fits the theme of the song as well. The song is (more or less) eloquently saying that sometimes we have no control over where we end up in life and although our roles may change over time, we ultimately can’t control our fate.”

Evil Witching Black Metal was also released on cassette back in April. According to Wicked Procreator, “The first pressing is nearly sold out, but we have a second pressing already in transit that should be available by the time this interview is published.” The band says there are “no plans to release the demo on any other format as of now unless a label approaches us and shows interest.”

Looking ahead, Vaamatar say: “We are currently writing a full-length record and hope to record it by the end of the year or early 2021. We plan on playing live shows when time allows it. Because of our country’s unwillingness to handle COVID properly, it’s really day-to-day at this point. Only time will tell when live performances are able to happen again, at least in the US. Hopefully some tours to follow.”

Until then show Vaamatar some support and pick up their excellent demo.