DEMONICIDUTH: The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend
If the 90's death metal scene was 2D in nature, with a plethora of Cannibal Corpse caricature type bands spouting violence, the new millennium has shown growth in the genre. The stereotypical illegible extreme metal logos remain, but modern death metal is much more dynamic, musicianship is up, new subgenres and influences are being explored, and lyrics are finally displaying some intelligence. This progression has led to more of an acceptance for christian bands of this ilk to boldly express their faith. Demoniciduth, whose current incarnation is trans-atlantic, is one such band boldly declaring their faith and stomping on the devil's face. We spoke with the band's frontman and Swiss contingent Taanak about the release of their new album Enemy of Satan.
Heaven's Metal: Your new album Enemy of MXLLSSatan was just released on Vision of God Records, but the band Demoniciduth has been around for almost 20 years. Can you tell me a little bit about how your band began?
Taanak – It began when I was a Christian teenager. With a very good friend of mine who was new in the faith, we were listening to Christian Metal. We felt a burden to reach our fellow metalheads in our area because we were aware of the near total absence of Christian Metal bands out there. But it was very hard to find Christian musicians who were also into Metal. We thought that we could do it with our non-Christian friends, believing they might convert along the way. Once they realized we were openly preaching Christ on stage, tensions within the band became recurrent. This explains our multiple line-up changes. Something was wrong. We read in 2 Cor. 6:14: "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers" and we decided not to start again until all members were fully committed Christians. Hence, we didn't come back until 2012, when we released The Valley of Decision EP.
You've gone through 3 different band names, finally settling on Demoniciduth ― or "demon killer". How does this fit in with your lyrics and goals as a band?
Taanak – The blasphemous diatribes hailing from the Black Metal scene prompted us to react. We couldn't remain silent. At the time, we were very influenced by the lyrical content of Christian bands such as Horde. But in accordance with our spiritual growth, the content became more diverse, more rooted in Scriptures. The essence of our lyrics is spiritual warfare, but this term became broader to us and include the defense of our faith (2 Peter 3:15) and the demolition of "arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God" (2 Cor. 10:5).
You are from Switzerland. Tell me about how you came about working with Lord Ekklektus and Sir Krino of the Ecuador band Golgota.
Taanak – Back in 2012, after The Valley of Decision EP, my bandmates left and I felt very tired of all these line-up changes. I thought that maybe I did my time and needed to move on. My wife was pregnant and we planned to visit her family in Ecuador soon. Golgota's bass player suggested Demoniciduth could be part of the Dikaion Fest there. While I explained to him the band's present situation, he suggested I could still do it with his bandmates. I agreed and this became the start of a fruitful collaboration, praise be to God!
Being from Europe and South America geographically, are you able to do live shows together? How has that gone?
Taanak – As often as possible, I travel to Ecuador with my wife and children to visit my wife's family. We always set up a few shows while I'm there. Last time was in October 2017 and we played a few shows in Ecuador and Colombia. We would love to do the reverse, Lord Ekklektus and Sir Krino flying to Europe to play a few gigs there. God willing, it might happen sooner than expected!
I see in your music a great love for Mortification. What is your favorite album of theirs, and what about Mortification inspires you?
Taanak – You're right. I don't have a favourite album of theirs, though I prefer the early more brutal ones. Mortification is the first Death Metal band I ever listened to. While I took bass lessons in a music school when I was a teenager, I also learned to play Extreme Metal with a Christian friend who enjoyed their stuff a lot. They became a major influence on me as a musician. Their songs are structurally simple and efficient, even predictable. I like it when I can anticipate what should come next: "After this exciting theme, the chorus should follow, then a bridge and back to the theme." Mortification's songs have this kind of predictability. A good song to me is one which I can remember where I am. That's why I enjoy Mortification. Each song is pretty easy to remember. But that's not the case with ultra-technical Death Metal bands with twenty riffs per song. At first, I'll be in awe of the band's performance. But it will not last 3 songs before I become weary.
Is there a Tourniquet influence in your music as well?
Taanak – We certainly enjoy Tourniquet and respect them as pioneers of Christian Metal. But no, they're not an influence in our music.
The new album came out beautifully, both visually and audibly. Were you going for a different sound on this album?
Taanak – Thanks for the encouraging comments! Yes. I was conscious we deflected a lot from our original musical intention. I've always had members who weren't fully into Extreme Metal and thus wanted to please them. But this wasn't the musical direction I hoped for the band. When Lord Ekklektus and Sir Krino joined, I knew Demoniciduth could return to their original musical roots. I definitely think our next album will even be better than Enemy of Satan because the compositions will not only be mine. Lord Ekklektus will compose half of the songs.
Why did you remake the song "Dogs of Antichrist" on the new album? The beginning of the new version reminds me of Seventh Angel's "The Charmer": "Hold my hand. I'll take you to ... forbidden lands".
Taanak – Apart from our new stuff, we played our old stuff on stage. Especially "Megiddo Massacre" from our Post Tenebras Lux EP and "Dogs of Antichrist" from our split-CD with Sabbatariam. It became natural for us to envisage a revised version for both. The long introduction is due to our live performance. I use to preach between each songs. We thought it could be more diverse for the public if I use to do it – at least one time – with a musical support. Finally, we adopted it for the recording session.
What is your vision as a band?
Taanak - Our vision is certainly two-fold: (1) to exhort, encourage, edify Christians who enjoy this kind of music, and (2) persuade unbelievers to turn to Jesus for their salvation.
How has your new label Vision of God Records been able to make that vision come to life?
Taanak – Vision of God Records have a larger network of contacts than we ever had, which is significant.
Any other words for the metalhead brethren?
Taanak – Yes, I'd like to encourage Christian metalheads to pray and read their Bible daily. In an age of deception, these are really powerful antidotes. Trust God's Word like little children (Matthew 19:14), no matter if people despise you, for God said He will honour them that honour Him (1 Sam. 2:30). Besides, we now have plenty of excellent apologetical resources to support the reliability of the Scriptures and refute the opponents of the Christian faith. On the other hand, I'd like to encourage those who read this and don't know Jesus to really search for Him. Too much people live their life as if they were living dead. Not dead, not alive. Unwilling to search for the whole truth, trusting just anything as long as it doesn't challenge their lifestyle. Paul said in 2 Thess. 2:9-12 that when the antichrist will display all kinds of counterfeit miracles, many will be deceived because they refused to love the truth. We should love the truth, even if truth is uncomfortable to us because it reveals our sinful condition. For there's hope in the saving blood of Jesus. He is truth in person. Thanks for the interview!