India’s Aempyrean released their death thrashing EP Fireborn late last year and the tremors of said EP can still be felt. Yea well, that was probably over the top but in all seriousness, these five tracks are savagely divine. Plus, any band that can pull off a wicked, top shelf cover of Morbid Angel’s “Chapel of Ghouls” on their debit outing gets a serious vote in my book. For those that like their death and thrash metal blackened and uncompromising, Fireborn is the cure. We recently had the chance to ask vocalist B.R. our set of Profile questions so head below to see what he had to say and if you missed out in December, now’s your chance to rectify that with the links included.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
Greetings! I suppose it’s the usual slippery slope – being obsessed with heavy metal as a teen, getting into more extreme forms of metal gradually, collecting records, attending local shows and finally forming our own bands. It was almost inevitable.
As for success, even if it is defined as achieving what we set out to, the answer would be no. We have a long way to go and a lot to say, and we’ve only just got started.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
Honestly, I don’t believe we’ve ever compromised on our integrity for gigs or promotions, and I doubt we ever will. In fact, every gig we’ve played thus far, it was the promoters who approached us and not the other way around. As far as funny/embarrassing stories go, we don’t have much of that either. It all involves copious amounts of alcohol or other intoxicants, so it gets hard to remember anyway.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
Great things – lots of bands playing classic and extreme metal, and a real throwback to the ’80s and ’90s style of songwriting and production.
Worst things – Deathcore/metalcore still seems to exist and some of these modern brutal/slam/tech death bands don’t sound too different from that garbage either. And then there’s Ghost too, haha.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
Let me be very clear when I say this – Aempyrean is a band that plays black/death metal with lyrical themes of war, violence, the occult, etc. This entity is not a vehicle for social/political agendas and we have no “causes” as such. That being said, part of our lyrical themes deal with human weaknesses (in this context, following organized religion, taking political sides, campaigning for flavor-of-the-month social causes – you name it) exhibited by the “clayborn” and the need to rise above it, be rational and do whatever it takes to achieve what you set out to. Following the herd and taking sides with these distractions mentioned above only gives people a false sense of strength (in numbers), and results in a loss of critical thinking and reasoning – all this, while being pawns in somebody else’s games. Personally, I believe social/political causes have no place in extreme metal.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
A classmate of mine in 8th grade got me into this music, actually. I must’ve been 13 years old. It started with Metallica, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, etc., but a lot changed when we came across Slayer and Sepultura, particularly the former. From there on, there was no looking back. My family initially thought it was weird and they couldn’t understand this music (typical coming from a traditional Indian family) and hoped it was just a phase. Then came disapproval and opposition because I was spending too much time (and money) on this music. That was almost 20 years ago. I suppose most of the metalheads from here, particularly my age, have similar stories.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Simple – be objective and well-researched about the band/genre.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
Most of us in the band have regular jobs except our drummer, Avi, who’s a full-time musician. He’s a multi percussionist and a drum instructor by profession.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Of late, I’ve been listening to a lot of Vomitor, Ritual Necromancy, Autokrator, Mournful Congregation, Tomb Mold, Funeral Mist, Omegavortex, Corpsessed, Abigor, Cultes des Ghoules, etc – all released fantastic records in 2018.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
There is a line-up change that we’ll be announcing shortly. Also, we’re looking to be more active with playing live in 2019 as we also start writing again, this time, for a full-length hopefully.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to B.R. And Aempyrean for their time!