In a reflective year-end message on Facebook, Decapitated announced the departure of Michal Lysejko. He will be temporarily replaced by Vader drummer James Stewart for their upcoming tour dates. No reason was given for the dismissal. Continue reading
Look, let’s just talk metalhead to metalhead here shall we? This album is an absolute rager and nothing in printed form can prepare your ears for the assault that will hit them when you press play on the new record from Poland’s Decapitated. The album is called Anticult (Nuclear Blast), and it is probably the best pure metal album since Lamb Of God’s Sacrament (Epic/Prosthetic) in 2006. Continue reading
Polish extreme metallers Decapitated were hailed as one of the rising stars to enlighten the world about what was brewing within their country’s metal scene. They released their sixth album Blood Mantra in September 2014, and continue to showcase their powerful brand of technical death metal to the world.
Founding member and guitarist Waclaw “Vogg” Kieltyka talked about creating Blood Mantra and the process he goes into crafting what goes onto each recording. Reaching album number six is a milestone for them, but he insists that thought process does not factor into the writing process.
“The main thing when I create a song, I don’t think about this type of stress, like someone is waiting for it and the tension. I think we have loyal fans and they know every new Decapitated album is different from what we did before. This one is different – different production, different atmosphere, different groove and it’s heavy as hell. I wrote it on seven string guitar only this time. We have a couple of songs which is the first time we played something like that. It’s kind of an experimental sound based on one riff and it takes almost six or seven minutes.”
“It’s not that hard to compose the music. Even if you have a contract with a huge label, there are some expectations. When we release it and people start to comment on it, there will always be many good comments and opinions, and I’m ready to hear some bad comments too. It’s normal and nothing new to me. So I don’t really care about it.”
“Of course I think about those things, but I still feel the freedom of when I compose the new riffs. I know I can play wherever I want. That’s the freedom of art. We’re not a pop band selling 20 to 25 million CDs or something like that. We’re an extreme metal band. We can play wherever we want. We have the freedom of creativity. It’s a cool feeling. Even if you know there are a lot of people who want to hear a new Decapitated album. I don’t feel too much stress about it. I just play what I love to play and I trust myself that it will be good.”
Keeping a consistent lineup had been an issue within Decapitated, especially since their tragic accident in 2007 that took the life of drummer and his brother Witold “Vitek” Kieltyka and severly injured vocalist Adrian “Covan” Kowanek, has their situation a bit strained at times. Vogg believes he has found the right personnel to continue the band and keeping it moving forward.
“Hell yes! I have to say that this lineup with Michał [Łysejko] on drums, Paweł [Pasek] on bass (and Rafał “Rasta” Piotrowski on vocals) – those guys have been in the band for almost two years. This is the best lineup we’ve had since 2010 since we’ve rebuilt the band after the accident.”
“I have such a good time with those two members. We really can play together. We can talk and understand [each other] in almost every way. We have such a great time together. We just go on tour and sit on a bus, sit on a plane, and go and play. We love to do it. I hope this lineup survives at least for the next couple of years. It’s the best thing to have the same lineup if it’s possible,” he said.
Even though it has been some time since the tragic accident that took the life of his brother, Vogg admits those factors did influence prior albums and even him accepting the loss.
“Those things that happened in the past come back sometimes. Of course it was the worst day in my life. It was the worst part of my life – the accident and the next couple of years. Right now I feel much better because everybody knows time makes you better.”
“For sure some things like that are happening to you, it will leave some scars into your head and into your heart. For sure it will influence your music and whatever you’re doing in life. It changes you as a human being, and your views of the world, life and how you interact with other people.”
“When I create music, I try not to think about those things. But for sure those things did change me and probably the music’s end, to create music with who I am. It touched a little bit of our creativity, as far as the atmosphere into the music and the riffs we play right now. Maybe that’s why the last record (2011’s Carnival Is Forever) was more aggressive and more fast. In the same way it was a reflection in the mood.”
“It’s hard to say how much those things influence you when you create something. But for sure it did influence. How exactly – I don’t know. I can just say I appreciate life now after what happened. It’s a big loss with Vittek passed away and Covan is sitting in his condition. We cannot do so much about that. We’re trying to do the best things within the band and keep the memory of Vittek and push things in the right direction by playing the best heavy metal music we can.”
With the release of Blood Mantra, Vogg issued a challenge to himself to create the heaviest yet the best written record he could create, and longtime fans got to the latest chapter of Decapitated.
“For sure this record took lots of time and energy to put into the creative process. I’m the main composer of every song and every instrument. This time I took this challenge to compose every note on the album, starting from drums, bass, guitar and vocal lines too. That’s because of the line up changes I was forced to create drums and everything,” said Vogg.
Already touring with such bands as Lamb of God, Meshuggah, and GWAR, and now an upcoming North American tour supporting Soulfly, Soilwork and Shattered Sun, they are ready to bring Polish technical death metal to new audiences and many who may have never experienced this style of music before.
“This album is kind of a new chapter, I think for the band. We are more mature as a band. We’ve taken more experience from tours with bands we were touring with over the past three years, on the Carnival Is Forever album. We’ve played with bands like Meshuggah, Children of Bodom, and Lamb of God. We’ve seen so many places on so many stages together with these experienced bands. Those musicians have been doing this for a long time.”
“Watching those guys all of the time makes you start thinking about those things. Talking with them and listening to what they’re trying to tell us, we learn so much from those guys. We put all of those experiences into our new songs. I think it’s the new step for Decapitated. It’s the new direction. The songs are different. This album is really surprising. You don’t know what to expect from each song coming up.”
“This album starts with dark riffs and then going into the blackest death metal atmosphere and really aggressive. Then the second side is a classic death metal sound, together with a grindcore atmosphere. Then we go into some more groovy parts on the next three songs. Then we come back to the fast riffs. It’s a lot of different things going on on this album. It’s possibly the best live album. The songs actually kick ass live. It’s the experience taken from those tours. We are better at making those songs good live than something we did before. We’ve been thinking about it to create stuff that we can take on the stage and play and sound great everywhere in the venue.”
“We are a metal band. We want to bring the heaviest riffs into the venue. The most beautiful thing about playing in a metal band is playing shows. That’s what we love the most. Not recording the records. Not sitting at home and creating new riffs. Not sitting in the bus. Not reading the news on the internet. The best thing is to go onto the stage. That’s the biggest motivation being in a metal band. To go on a stage, to go on tour, to be on stage, play music and deliver some great sounds that people can enjoy.”
“During the creative process, when we’re creating new riffs, we’re thinking about that. We are creating the things that after a couple of months, we will take these songs, play these riffs on the stage and we’re going straight in front of the people and they have to enjoy it. We have to have a great time and everything has to sound great. We’re thinking in this way right now.”