Paul Nazarkardeh, (guitarist), was kind enough to answer a few questions about the latest De Profundis stormer Kingdom of the Blind. This is the second interview I’ve done with this exceptional band, the first occurring shortly after their Frequencies EP was released; I think it’s important to support good music wherever and whenever you can, and De Profundis are one of the best Death Metal bands in the UK at the moment. A bold claim? Not if you’ve heard Kingdom of the Blind…
For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself
As the interview title probably suggests – we are De Profundis. We hail from the United Kingdom and play an intricate, mercurial form of death metal, free of gimmickry and bullshit. In truth, the best possible introduction to De Profundis can be found in the first song of our upcoming album Kingdom Of The Blind – Kult of the Orthodox. It introduces us better than I possibly could here.
Give us a bit of background to De Profundis
De Profundis has existed for 10 years, and have evolved and transformed much in that time. Kingdom Of The Blind will be the band’s 4th LP, following on from last year’s Frequencies EP. The band have played in 24 different countries alongside names some familiar names such as Immolation, Marduk, Rotting Christ, Malevolent Creation in 2009 supporting the legendary Iron Maiden in India. Needless to say, the band has kept busy.
Where did the band name come from? For me it will always remind me of a Vader album!
Haha – some would say Vader, some might say Abruptum, some might even think of Oscar Wilde. The term translates from the original Latin as ‘From the Depths’.
What are your influences?
Since De Profundis hasn’t always been the same collection of 5 individuals (hell, since I joined on guitars in 2013 in the grand scheme of things I’m pretty new) the collection of influences in our music don’t remain constant. The name Death is often mentioned in reviews, which is pretty justified. Chuck Schuldiner’s work has had a massive influence on me, as it should on any extreme metal artist with a functional pair of ears. Other than that it varies. Personally, when we wrote Kingdom of the Blind I was listening to bands like Carcass, Akercocke and Atheist as well as copious amounts of King Diamond/Mercyful Fate. I’m sure the other members of the band would give very different answers.
What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?
Well, as I’m writing this I’m listening to Ulver’s Bergtatt. I’m not sure why I find myself listening to so much black metal in the summer months – testament to the farce that is the British summertime I suppose. As far as new releases by bands, that becomes a lot harder. The new Paradise Lost is a great return to form, and I’ve high hopes for the new My Dying Bride. What I’d prefer is for some new music to be recommended to me!
There’s a lot of involved, intricate playing on Kingdom of the Blind, including some quality bass-work. How do you go about writing and arranging your songs?
The beginnings of a song usually come from me or Shoi. We’ll bring some guitar riffs we’ve been playing about with along to rehearsal and start bouncing those ideas off each other. As you can hear, Arran is by no means a typical bass player. Rather than us prearranging lines for him, he works alongside us to come up with bass lines that compliment our playing. Our frontman Craig then handles quality control, which he’s rather good at as he certainly isn’t afraid to tell us if an idea that we’ve been working on sounds like shit – which keeps us instrumentalist musos in place.
Do you ever see yourselves writing ever longer and longer songs in the future? I can imagine, potentially, you becoming more and more Progressive in the future.
Way ahead of you – De Profundis have a whole discography worth of longer more drawn out songs. With this album we’ve sought to do quite the opposite – trim the fat and leave only muscle. Earlier De Profundis material is full of longer, slower songs, but that isn’t what this current incarnation of the band represents. Kingdom of The Blind is the first De Profundis album that I feature on, and I can say both as a member of the band and a fan for many years that this streamlining in favour of the acute over the obtuse is part of the reason why Kingdom of the Blind is undisputedly the best De Profundis album to date.
Progressive is an interesting adjective. Although I agree with you, I think it’s a word that is horrendously abused in metal, especially in this day and age. It seems that every ten minutes I hear another flavour of the month band regurgitate the same hackneyed and insipid clichés under the supposed buzz word of “progressive” music, when anyone not sucked in to the paper thin marketing can clearly hear that the far more fitting term would be “regressive”! On the contrary, I think that De Profundis has been a band that have been progressive for the majority of it’s existence and I think that on Kingdom of the Blind this is rather evident, as it also is in the bands previous record The Emptiness Within. That being said, no two De Profundis records are the same – which is an ideal any truly progressive band has. No-one calls the early Morbid Angel records progressive, but at that time there were very few bands who would have the nerve to write anything as unorthodox as God Of Emptiness, and that’s what I consider to be a progressive mindset.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
I have a few. I’ve a special fondness for Illumination, as it was the first full song I was part of the creative process for. I can’t possibly neglect to mention the sheer ferocity of Kult of the Orthodox or the morbidity of All Consuming, but another favourite of mine is Thrown To The Wolves, with it’s juxtaposition of left-field guitar work with straight up old school death metal aggression.
What does the future hold for De Profundis?
Kingdom Of The Blind is finally set for a release on September the 28th of this year under our new label Wickerman Records. Though we’re looking forward to the release, we don’t like to sit idly by waiting around either. We’re already well into the creative process of album number 5. De Profundis will also be hitting the road shortly after the release of the album with two of death metal’s biggest names, where we intend to help as many people unfortunate enough to not know of us as possible by exposing them to the Kingdom of the Blind.