2016’s Miserable Miracle was heavy and dirty, in a very good way. Blackened death metal of this sort is frequently done poorly, but Mithridatic got the formula right on their debut album. Continue reading
Blackened Death Metal can sometimes be a bit hit or miss, but with the début album Miserable Miracle from French band Mithridatic, it’s a definite hit. It’s a very strong album in more ways than one, and I was curious to find out more, so I caught up with their guitarist Romain Sanchez to find out what makes a miserable miracle…
For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!
Hi! Firstly Mithridatic is just a band in the middle of a plethora of bands, created in 2007 in Saint Etienne France. Our inspiration is in old school death metal with some modern touches. We try to make an uncomfortable feeling, and to give much violence and power to the auditor. We pass by diverse styles of extreme metal such as doom, or fast as death brutal and using dark atmospheres of black metal.
Give us a bit of background to Mithridatic
Mithridatic is formed by 5 musicians all from the same region in France.
The drummer Kevin Paradis joined the band for the release of our demo “Hunt Is On”. Since Kevin’s entrance to the band we brought our style to a faster way, more extreme music, more hostile and oppressive. We are musicians with a lot of different influences. It allows us to pass by various styles of rhythms and various feelings. By the opportunity to have in the team musicians with a lot of technique, we want to achieve our goal: to give extreme music and to accomplish ourselves with our skills.
What are your influences?
We all have different influences, but I am going to begin my influences: the groups which marked me the most for making our song tracks are Morbid angel, Slayer, Arkhon Infaustus, Mayhem, Immolation, Angelcorpse etc. Mithridatic is a mix of an heavy atmosphere with ultra fast beats!
What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?
How do you feel that you fit into the wider Extreme Metal scene?
We still have a long way….But we are very enthusiastic to expose our music in various situations, we just want to play more and more!
Give us a bit of background to Miserable Miracle – any particular concepts or ideas you want to discuss?
The main idea of this album is to overcome different kinds of harmful situations… we describe nocebo effects, social anxiety, precarious existences…lyrics are inspired by some writings from French authors like Antonin Artaud, Henri Michaux etc. and some strange movies…Guitou had a kind of surrealist approach for its works for this album. We tried to create a ‘bardo’ state and to give a transcription of our anxiety and sickness…and this is also the way for the next album. Miserable Miracle is an important album for us because it’s our first “official” album for almost 10 years of activity. We hope the first one of many others! It also marks our entry into the French label Kaotoxin and Miserable Miracle has a better exposition than our old productions very underground. We also changed our habits of production by recording in two professional studio “DLM Studio” and “Sainte Marthe Studio”. We are all satisfied by results and by the sound of this album between old school and modern stuff. Kevin our drummer decided to record in a most natural possible way to get a sound close to our live performance. We wanted an organic and human sound.
Tell us about the album artwork
Damien Guerras’s illustration gives a free interpretation….I’m going to speak to you about mine: it represents the Adam and Eve tree in our world and society! The perversion of humankind have exceeded all the limits, the tree decomposes. The poison of perversion intoxicates our nervous system….This is a pessimistic picture of our miserable human condition.
How do you go about writing your songs?
I lock myself at home with my guitar for several days to record many riffs. It’s long process and sometimes inspiration doesn’t comes. I need time to get into a negative state of mind. Sometimes it can go very fast for example riffs of “Dispense the Adulterated ” and “Oxydized Trigger Sabotage” were written in the same week…Once riffs are recorded I send it to Kevin. It helps for structures of tracks and he makes his personal drum parts. Then we discusses of our ways to develop harmful songs…In rehearsal Alex and Remolow also composes with the material for bass parts and leads guitars. To finish Guitou places his vocals…The lyrics process is a quite difficult to describe because it’s an everyday process…. Miserable Miracle is a team work and everyone gives its personal style or feeling to get the riffs richer. Everyone is involved in an extreme vision of life and music.
How did the recording process go?
We recorded all the songs in the DLM Studio in Saint-Etienne and the mix/master was made by the Sainte-Marthe Studio in Paris. We decided to make the mix/master in Sainte-Marthe Studio with Francis Caste because we like his works on Svart Crown, Arkhon Infaustus, Kickback or Cowards for example. Francis Caste is a great professional, very fast, and an effective worker. Dupont Ludovic of the DLM Studio allowed us to record without stress at 20 minutes from home with a very good analogue equipment. Everything is very well.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
My favourite song of the record is surely Oxydized Trigger Sabotage…I like the particular atmosphere of this track. Doom and tortured. The vocal performance by Guitou is awesome!
What does the future hold for Mithridatic?
The maximum of gigs to defend our music on stage. We hope to build and to acquire a solid place in extreme metal! We will work on new material as soon as possible! We have a lot of motivation to make a second album and to make good shows!! See you on stage!! Thanks for your interest!
Boasting a heavy and dirty sound that immediately puts me in mind of Arkhon Infaustus’ Blackened Death Metal classic Filth Catalyst, Mithridatic reveal themselves to be a similar proposition, albeit one with its own blackened charms, of course.
The songs are extremely satisfying and have that fine ratio balanced just about right between Black Metal and Death Metal influences. As such, these songs are both brutal and grim, providing the listener with some of the strongest Blackened Death Metal currently out there, in my humble opinion.
Mithridatic have obviously taken their time with these songs. They’re well-composed, well-structured and have just enough variation to keep things interesting without losing their sense of direction. Blackened riffs, fluid guitar solos, darkened melodies, moody malevolence, brutal assaults and blasting mayhem are all used effectively during these tracks.
High screams and growling shouts form the bedrock of the vocals. The singer has a certain quality to his voice that allows him to have instant charisma, putting me in mind of Morbid Angel on occasion, (whose influence also extends to aspects of the music).
A very impressive achievement. For me, Blackened Death Metal is a style that is all too easy to do poorly, but when it’s done right it really gets the hairs standing on end. This is one such release; not only due to the atmosphere the band create, but also due to the quality and personality of the songs themselves.
A mix of Arkhon Infaustus, Morbid Angel and a touch of Akercocke? Sign me up.
Go check this one out immediately.