How many of you are aware of the presence of a national network of death metal musicians attempting to usher in the end of stagnation in the modern American death metal underground? To inform you, then, they go by Atrahasis, and they’re getting bolder by the day. Two weeks ago they revealed Antediluvian Prophecies onto the unsuspecting internet. What’s more, they told us they were going to do it. They knew we were powerless to stop them.
“Originally, we wanted to keep it anonymous, solely for the reason of having people listen to what we wrote without any prior ideas or thoughts,” Sean AKA Ningishzida, Atrahasis’ guitarist, vocalist and synth player tells us. “A clean slate so to say. Derek and I keep busy with a lot of other death metal-related things and we just wanted this to be a different entity. Upon releasing it, we both realized that we wanted to share what we made and have it heard. It is public information, but neither of us are loudly proclaiming it or denying it. But we are happy with the end result.”
Sean continues, “The band consists of Derek on bass and me (Sean) on guitars and vocals. We had our good friend Jay Clifton from Graverape/Humanity’s End/many more bands, join us on session drums for the release.”
According to Sean, “Dumuzi and Ningishzida were harvest/farming deities, as well as Lords of the Underworld. They are both represented by the twin serpents, or the Caduceus. They are both very similar. They are also both the Twin Celestial Guardians at the Palace of Anu, the supreme God in the Sumerian pantheon. Serpent mythology and symbolism is prevalent not only in the Ancient Near East, but all over the world. Ningishzida is also known as the feathered or plumed serpent.
The Plumed Serpent is also the god of the Pre-Hispanic Mesoamericans. Quetzlcoatl, Kukulcan, Amaru, etc. Even the name America or Amaruka derives from the words Amaru (serpent, plumed serpent) and Ka (land,soil) or Land of the Plumed Serpent. America does not come from Amerigo Vespuci. We urge readers to delve deep into the books and ancient mysteries of our past.
Serpents represent knowledge. Tales of Serpent Gods bringing wisdom to man after the Great Deluge are common to almost all ancient civilizations across the globe. We do not believe this is just coincidence.”
Atrahasis’ razor-sharp, ritually clean logo was executed, Sean says, by the band’s “great friend Ian Turpin, @spectral.corrosion.” Sean says, “He is also the man responsible for Throat Breach, Napalm Meth, and much more. Super talented guy and we’re proud to have released his music and call him a brother. He even does all the art for his own releases. He has his own unique style and we believe he could do something unique. We told him our themes and that we wanted absolutely no derivative, dripping, slimy, moldy cave death type logo. Make it sharp and triumphant! And that he did!”
The beauty in Atrahasis’ approach to death metal is not that it’s entirely novel, but that it explores realms few others do and with a heady/head-pulverizing combination of their influences. According to Sean, “Nile was a huge inspiration for us. Morbid Angel’s Formulas and Gateways were also huge inspirations. Stuff like Immolation’s Here In After, Angelcorpse, early Belphegor, Mithras, Deicide, and even death metal-era Behemoth were also very inspiring to us. And of course, we worship bands like Benediction, Entombed, Dismember and Autopsy. Catchy riffs and choruses in death metal! We could list a million influences, but those are definitely the big ones.”
Sean continues to explain, “The lyrical content and themes came from our shared love of ancient history, archaeology, psychology, magick, the occult, and other esoteric things. Authors Zechariah Sitchin and Graham Hancock and their theories on ancient civilization. There is so much truth that is hidden and distorted. Seek more. Reject conformity. We are more than we think. We just wanted to put out music that felt ancient and old. Like opening a crypt and discovering the mummies of an ancient race of giants. Derek and I have been writing remotely as we both live in two different states. Even our drummer lives in another state! We wrote like we always do, sending recordings back and forth and recording versions until we were happy with them, then finalizing them and recording.”
The first song Atrahasis released to the public was “Kibrat Erbettim.” Sean says, “‘Kibrat Erbettim’ is Sumerian for ‘All Encompassing’ or ‘Land of the Four Directions.’ The song is about the ancient battle between Marduk and Enki and the fall of Sumer. There is also a bit more to it when you think about the meaning of the song title. We will let the listener think upon it.
According to Sean, “Derek and I have been writing music social distance-style since before it was cool! Like I said previously, we both live in two different states! Our drummer lives in another! People like to make a lot of excuses on why they cannot do something constructive or creative during this time. It is not only possible to do it, but in fact, I would say it is the most inspiring time to create. Use all the negativity and hatred and harness it to create great beauty and art. It can be done. We all have computers. It is easier than ever to self-record and produce. Derek recorded his own bass. I recorded the guitars, vocals, and synths. Jay did the drums in his basement with 3 mics. I then mixed and mastered it myself. Your experience may vary. Approach with caution. But also go crazy and push yourself to your limits and learn new things.”
The cover for Atrahasis’ demo, “was done by @Deathbait,” Sean informs us. He explains, “It depicts a Sumerian deity, possibly known as Ninurta (there’s no one answer) standing upon the Great Ziggurat of Ur. This eagle headed type being is depicted in Mesoamerica, Asia, and many other parts of the globe. Behind him, the exoplanet Nibiru. Below his feet are people wailing and laying prostrate before him in worship and adoration. Worthless to him.”
While the demo tape is nearly sold-out— “At the time of this interview, there are less than 20 tapes left.”—Sean says, “We have a CD version on the way, as well as news regarding a 12” version which we will announce soon!”
Furthermore, he says, AWe never stopped writing! There’s plenty more coming. Maybe a 7”. Maybe another 7” split….it’s coming. Expect more.
“Thanks to everyone who listened to Atrahasis. We hope that some may even be inspired to read some books and search for answers to things! Expect more music soon! AZAG MUDUTU NURU. You can support us at the links. No matter how you do, it supports us as we are the label and band.”