Slaughter in the Red Square

After the release of their come back "Apocryphal", we reputed our review didn't do them justice, so we contacted Morgoth and the rest of the members to know more details about the recording and the new plans.


1) First of all, a summary for those who don't know you yet.
Evgeny Gradov: Our band was formed in 1998 in the small town near Moscow called Dzerzhinsky, Russia. We used to play a mix of melodic motives of doom metal and aggressive death metal riffs. In the beginning, musicians of future Artemesia played separately: Alexey Rogov (bass) with Asad Yusufov (guitar) and Sergey Mosendz (guitar) with Pavel Klimkin (drums). Under the influence of bands like In Flames and Dark Tranquillity, the music style of the band has changed to melodic death. In April 1999 the band found its name, Artemesia, while at the end of May 2000 Roman Bazovkin appeared in the band, becoming the new vocalist and the co-author of some new songs. Alexey Elensky was taken as a keyboards player. In the first half of 2001 the first promo-record was completed, it was entitled "The World Of Black Colors". Practically all year the band was in a fever with changes of lineup. Alexey Elensky and Roman Bazovkin left the band. In the beginning of May 2001 the place at the microphone was occupied by myself, that is Morgoth. However the fever with musicians was not finished by that and in autumn 2001 Asad Yusufov left the band. After considering possible nominees, Michael Ponomarev (ex-"Obereg", ex-"Cruel Suffering") was taken in the place of our old guitarist. In May 2002 the promo-single "Sorrow's Reflection" was recorded, as trial record with a new sound engineer. The band was pleased with the results of the work, then came the decision to record an album entirely, instead of waiting for a metal label to pay the recording. In autum 2002 the recording sessions were over, and the album was titled "Apocryphal". The band began its quest for the right label. The material has turned out rather ambiguous: 10 compositions of melodic-death-doom, representing heavy and gloomy, but melodious songs, with thoughtful psychedelic instrumentals in which sounding the influence of our self early creativity (bands such as Dark Tranquillity, Dismember and Hypocrisy) is appreciable. In October 2002, practically right after performances in the city of Tula, the group was left by Michael "Alsou" Ponomarev. Alexander Abramenko became the new guitarist, earlier he played in several death-grind bands and at present he has his own band under ominous name Suicide In Excrements (well, it's a very cool name!/Note of Markus). In April 2003 after concerts in Podolsk and Yaroslavl, Alexey Rogov (one of the founders of the band) left the band, the reasons were the same: creative disagreements. Alexey has organized the new band which is yet devoid of a monicker, but their style has already been formed - thrash-death-doom. Sergey Kayumov, quiet well known in Moscow music circles (ex-"Shadow Host", "Elven Crown") became the new bass player. In May 2003 the band signed an ageement with one of the leading Russian metal-lables: CD-Maximum, so the album was released in June 2003. The band also recorded a live video for the track "Reflection Of Sorrow" which is included in CD as a computer media track. In September 2003 Tatiana joined the band as a keyboard-player. She became the first woman in the lineup since the beginning of the band history! For this moment the band line-up looks like the following: Evgeny "Morgoth" Gradov (vocals), Sergey "Meyson" Mosendz (guitar), Alexander Abramenko (guitar), Sergey Kayumov (bass), Pavel "Klim" Klimkin (drums), Tatiana "Aix" Kourilovich (keyboards). The band has a lot of gigs in Moscow rock-clubs, and at the same time is working on material for the upcoming new album with worktitle "Deadfall".

2) What were the biggest difficulties occurred during the songwriting and during the recording/mixing?
Evgeny Gradov: There were no problems and difficulties during songwriting. We're a very democratic band when deciding any questions relating to the composing of the music and lyrics writing. Everyone in our band has a right of voice. So when someone disagrees about some things then we try to change them and to find a compromise. As for the recording sessions - it was a lot of fun, so what the difficulties may occur when you like what you do? For me personally - I still can't forget myself covered with sweat when I got out from special studio-cabinet made for sound-isolation for vocals recording!

3) What are the main differences with your first CD?
Evgeny Gradov: Of course the main difference is in the vocals! (laughs) To be honest there are a lot of changes both musicwise and lyricswise. Now we play melodic-doom-death style but at the same time we're trying not to exhaust ourselves in some special frameworks when we write our songs. As for my opinion the first album "The World Of Black Colors" was just a first attempt of recording.
Sergey Mosendz: As for our last album "Apocryphal"- its sound wasn't mixed properly, besides it was done without mastering. New CD will be recorded in our own studio located at our rehearsal base, the sound will be taken with microphones, not in-line, so we hope it will be much better. Besides, we should notice, that our last CD was done almost without keyboards and without pure vocal. Also we are planning to use cellos in some songs. We will re-record one or two compositions from our "Apocryphal" album, because we want to add something, to improve them.
Evgeny Gradov: For sure the first of them will be "Cain", the most gloomy and sad song on that album.

4) Are you satisfied with the final result or would you like to change or improve what?
Sergey Mosendz: It will be great if we could use some other instruments, folk, for example. Besides, we think it would be interesting to use more pure vocal. Maybe not only male ones, but, as an experiment, female ones.
Evgeny Gradov: Yeah, our bass-player Sergey Kayumov is studying in special music school in classes of academic vocals, and of course we will use his experience. Except that we know a lot of female-vocalists with nice voices and… hmmm… Just pretty looking girls singing like angels!
Sergey Kayumov: I think our style has chances to live only by mixing other (metal and especially non-metal) music styles. The time runs very fast and we must progress and make our sound perfect. I hope next album will be more aggressive and in its turn more melodical than "Apocryphal", and we have some secrets, we know how to reach this result.

5) Would you feel like spending more about the lyrics?
Evgeny Gradov: In my opinion lyrics are the one of the most important part of a song. Maybe such an opinion depends on that fact that the whole work on the lyrics lies on my shoulders! (laughs) As for the lyrics on "Apocryphal": there's something like one conception on this album. It's all about pain and bitterness of human existence, several themes about human sinful nature: hatred to other humans (the song "Reflection Of Sorrow"), blind curiosity in quest for forbidden pleasures ("Sinday Morning"). The third main theme is about superhuman forces that created the humanity and now they're playing with our lives ("Script For The Play","Wait For A Vile"). And the song "The Outcome" is about how this comedy will end at last.

6) What song is more representative to you?
Sergey Mosendz: CAIN, Alexander Abramenko: SCRIPT FOR THE PLAY, Evgeny Gradov: THE OUTCOME, Tatyana Kurilovich: CAIN, SCRIPT FOR THE PLAY, WHAT LIVES INSIDE, Sergey Kayumov: SCRIPT FOR THE PLAY.

7) Are you gonna try to sound more personal on your next CD? Have you already written any new songs?
Sergey Mosendz: Yes, we already have enough songs for two albums. Each composition will differ from the others, because more people take part in making music now. There are songs which are completely written by our vocalist - we should only arrange it.
Evgeny Gradov: Yeah, I really appreciate our guitarists and Tanya for arranging my stuff, especially for their patience when they tried to decode my tabs! (laughs) You see I'm not a very good guitarist, but when something is boiling deep inside of you - you can't stop it.

8) What about the live shows? If you were asked to play abroad, would you have problems to get the necessary working visas?
Sergey Mosendz: We have regular concerts, generally, in Moscow. We haven`t been asked to play abroad yet, besides in our group there are war-obliged (people, who should serve in the army), so they couldn`t get necessary visas.

9) Have you sold CDs abroad, and if any, what countries responded best?
Sergey Mosendz: In general, they are sold in Russia.

10) Why did you decide to record a live videoclip? Isn't it early for an underground band like you? Did it receive a good rotation on MTV Russia via cable and other channels?
Sergey Mosendz: We decided to record a live videoclip, because it's one of the easiest variants. Leasing some cameras, laying the sound, assembling - as a result, the clip is done. It`s not early, because it took a little investments, and it tells about us. There were some demonstrations on MTV Russia in special shows, generally it's showed on cable channels.

11) Is your line-up steady now? Do you want to introduce us to Tanya, the new keyboardist?
Sergey Mosendz: As for the line-up - we think yes, it's steady. We've been in this line-up for almost 2 years. Tanya is the only girl in our collective, whom we all love very much…(eh, how much I understand you.../Note of Markus)

12) Now that you're 6, it's gonna be even harder to make everyone happy when writing a song democratically, or are you the leader so the burden of the most important decisions is on you like for Megadeth for example?
Evgeny Gradov: Like I said before, we're very democratic when deciding any questions relating to the composing of songs. As for important decisions, we always try to find a compromise. Of course, during the history of our band there were a lot of changes in our lineup, you know it's a part of the history of every band. Anyway the change in lineup is a very hard and painful decision so we try to avoid it and every time we try to find consent.

13) Evgeny, thanks for the intie, you can add what you want to conclude this intie.
Evgeny Gradov: Thank you very much! See ya! We'll return soon with "fresh meat"-metal stuff! AAARRRGGGHHH! (hehe!)