Sometimes the title ‘demo’ belies the content of a release and none more so than ‘Demo #1’ from Czech Melodic Death Metal trio ‘Symbtomy’.
Three tracks, ‘The Sounds of Perverse Thoughts’, ‘The Taste of Human Trophy’ and ‘…and the Knife Cut Surgically’, which span a gripping fifteen minutes and you will not be able to tear your ears away from this.
Words: Jools Green
The balance between the hauntingly engaging melody, soaring leadwork and the deep rasping vocal growl is utterly sublime, a perfect contrast. The construct of the tracks is engagingly convoluted and delivered with precision and finesse and the clarity to the lyrical content excellent.
This goes way beyond a mere demo.
No small indicator of the excellence of ‘Demo #1’ is the fact that it also boasts not just one guest appearance, but three, namely Ralf Hauber of Revel in Flesh, Johan Jansson of Interment and the legendary Jonny Pettersson of Wombath/Heads for the Dead/Henry Kane etc.
This is high quality Melodic Death Metal and so, if this is your genre of interest, you are doing yourself a severe disservice not giving it a listen.
MetalTalk spoke with guitarist Dejvy and bassist Duzi to find out more about this fascinating project.
MetalTalk: “We love the three tracks…. is there a plan to go for a full album?”
Duzl: “Hi! Glad to hear you like our demo, thank you! Originally, the ‘demo’ was supposed to be followed by 7″ EP, but in the end we decided for a full-length album, because we already have the material completely composed. So, yes, it’s time to debut with a full-fledged recording and you can expect it in second half of the next year.”
Can you talk more about how you got together as a 3 piece band? You mention you know each other, but what pushed you to want to do this together?
Duzl: “The main brain and founder of the band is Dejvy (also Sectesy, ex-Despise), who had for a long time an idea to start a band that would play pure old school Death Metal, but he never made it happen because of time and other reasons.
“Once, while drinking beer, we touched this theme and I mentioned that I always wanted to play in a band when I was younger, but since I didn’t play any instrument, it never happened.
“Then after few beers…. Dejvy suggested to me that I should start to learn to play bass and keep this idea in mind. At first I considered it just as fun a joke from his side, but Dejvy was quite adamant and I agreed to try it…. and then here we are!
“Later Dejvy contacted Martin (Sectesy, ex-Despise) if he would make the vocals for the demo and then speak to other guests if they would be able to help record the demo.
“Štěpán/drums (Poppy Seed Grinder, ex-Despise), ADIS/bass (Elysium), Frank/guitar-solos (ex-Garbage Disposal).
“Now we are currently looking for permanent second guitarist and drummer who will complete our line-up, so we can become a regular five-member band.”
You have some great contributors on the three tracks. How did this come about? Did you feel you needed something else to add?
Dejvy: “No, there was no need to add guests to make the recording more interesting. This was not our purpose at all.
“Martin can create really interesting vocal lines and has a wide range of expression skills.
“We consider the band as a ‘tribute to Death Metal’. We are old fans of this style, collectors, we live by music and (especially me) I remember old times a lot and I love the 90s.
“I decided when founding Symbtomy, that in every song I would like to have a guest from the history of this style, who I appreciate for his contribution to this culture.
“I think that the future, the songs of Symbtomy will still be enriched by people who impresses me, either as a musician or a singer. It’s amazing to build the future on my ‘fan’ past … I’m fulfilling my most secret dreams.”
You mention you are a UK/Czech band – are you now all based in the UK?
Duzl: “We all come from the Czech Republic, but since I have been living and working in the United Kingdom for several years and I‘m just flying to the Czech Republic in my free time, we can say that we are a ‘Czech internationaly based band’. I am in the UK and the rest of the bandmates are in the Czech Republic.”
Covid… how did this change your plans? Can you talk about when you planned, recorded and decided to release the three track EP?
Duzl: “In fact, Covid influenced our plans a lot. The demo was supposed to be released in April 2020, so half a year earlier.
Everything was already recorded (Dejvy‘s Hell and HollySound studio), but because Dejvy and I agreed that we wanted to have guests on the demo for each song, so it take extra time.
“One of the guests was going to be John Walker (Cancer), but due to a long lockdown and subsequent restriction in Madrid, he was not able to get into the studio to record his parts.
“With an uncertain vision of when these restrictions will pass or lift, we all finally decided that he would be a guest on our full-length album.
“His vocals on the demo were taken over by Johnny Pettersson (Wombbath) and other guests were Johan Jansson (Interment), Ralf Hauber (Revel In Flesh).
“After this, everything went pretty fast. The final mix and mastering was completed, we dealt with labels and now the cassettes are in production and will be available in a limited edition of 100 pieces for European market, through Immortal Souls Production. We also have 100 cassettes for the American market via Frozen Screams Imprint label at the end of October.
“Due to this delay, Dejvy has managed to create material for the next record, so as I mentioned, we will skip the originally planned EP and a full-length album will follow next year.”
How is the Metal Scene in Czech Republic?
Duzl: “The Metal scene in the Czech Republic is very strong and I think it proved itself in the summer, during the ‘Corona crisis’, when it was not possible to travel anywhere. It is only possible to see local bands under certain restrictions.
“The support of the fans was really great, not only thanks to the increased attendance at all events. Instead of people sitting locked up at home, they went out to support the promoters and especially the bands themselves.
“People still buy merchandise, go to the gigs, listen to music and as long as this works, the world is still fine.
“The Czech scene have lot of great bands across all genres, just look a bit!”
With the idea of a cassette release and your love of 90’s Metal, can you talk about your influences, what drove you to Metal and who inspired your to learn your craft?
Dejvy: “I think I can speak for a lot of fans when I say that I just love music like a fetish in the form of anything related to Metal.
“The uncritical adoration of the whole Metal scene brought me to the guitar sometime in the early 90’s.
“Suddenly I could be part of the scene – the first bands, the first successes, the first European tour, the first cassette released, CDs, EPs, LPs..
“I loved to meeting, backstage, the music idols of my youth. Suffocation, Obituary, Sinister, Morgoth, Dismember.. there were so many bands in those years of traveling with Despise.
“Just supporting Devourment on their first European tour was an amazing experience.
“But you asked about the roots! So the tape was made because I want to experience it all again and from the beginning.
“We could release a CD straight away, but that’s not our intention. It’s about ‘treading our own way’, honestly and from the ground.
“That’s why the cassette is coming first, just like in the 90’s – exactly as when I started my first band more than 20 years ago.
“And patterns? Man, the whole scene – I’ve never been into technology, speed, brutality – first of all I always prefere Metal sincerity, enthusiasm and togetherness.”
And a final message for our readers?
Duzl: “Thank you for the interview and the space to present us on MetalTalk, and also for your time dedicated to our demo. We really appreciate it!
“Also thank you to all your readers and fans! The only commandment is: Use HM2!!!”