I want to talk about Isgherurd Morth foremost and specifically. Mostly, the naming of the band, because I’m not a Siberian national, nor am I French. How does a group of musicians dream up a name like this, especially after forming groups like “Stench Price” which would make slightly more sense to those more English only readers?
The more bizarre and weirder the name is, the more true black metal it will be! I’m kidding, of course! My idea was to indicate our origins in the possibly strangest way. Considering the large amount of new and existing black metal bands with names difficult to pronounce, I got an idea to play with the native language and found a solution in the Tatar language. Our native Russian language is replete with many words from Tatar dialects. So, ISGHERURD MORTH pronounces as |<Iz-ge-rur Mort>|.
We, the Siberians are descendants of ancient tribes also in our veins is the blood of Tatar Hordes. So we have the real Tatar name “Iske-ur”, which is the olden name of our hometown – “Krasnoyarsk” and re-arranged in a distinctive way with authentic linguistic hissing consonants. “Morth” is “dead”. Thus, the literal name of the project is “Krasnoyarsk is Dead”. The title of the album – “Hellrduk” means “Hell” with the same twist in Tatar-like pronunciation. Therefore the same vibe connects to the song titles.
Stench Pride is definitely a different animal to Isgherurd Morth. What drove the change from the more grinding ferocity, into the ‘primal’ more blackened fierceness that culminated in “Hellrduk”?
First off, I would not put labels on certain bands and projects in which the musicians participate. We are quite experienced, accomplished, creative individuals and sometimes we are not interested in working within the same style.
Second, we are driven and united by ideas and [know] they can be totally opposite in every single project. Another point – we are the men from the 90s – “the good old days of metal”. As for me, my background counts over 80 projects and single tracks with various musicians around the world, where I played music from bossa nova, cool electronica, lounge, soul and disco-house to all extreme styles of heavy Music. I would characterize our work – the right place and time when ideas, opportunities coincide, regardless of style. And yes – being the main driving force, I’ve wanted to record a black metal album for a long time. With its own atmosphere and fluids. For us, (as musicians with a serious professional approach and past experience of working together in STENCH PRICE), it was very comfortable, and most importantly, productive process. The three of us working together in ISGHERURD MORTH was easy and perfectly matched. We got together to record exactly a black metal album.
And the last thing – what musicians who can play bossa, lounge and grind can play? They can play anything!
A quick amount of research tells me that “Hellrduk” was largely improvisational. But how were these ideas and processes thrown together? Were ideas simply layered onto each other? Stuck together with corner store glue? Or was there a meticulous, well-worked design that most casual listeners may not realize?
Ideas come out of nowhere and it’s supported instantly when you direct it further. This was exactly the case. It was exactly what we needed at that time. I had some ideas that I showed Max and we sat down to work together in the same breath. In the past, I was just crazy about my projects and picky as hell: sat in the studio till “the death”, scribbling, polishing, constantly improving and reworking. In the case of “Hellrduk”, we decided to make the project quickly and with minimal expenditure of energy, efforts, resources, and time.
The debut, nonetheless is a solid, and, yes, a meticulous in the same time, album focused on many musically and technically interlaced details just only me and our mixing engineer knows. Musical, lyrical, artistic storytelling that has a beginning and its end. In addition, a single composition has a complete narrative and can be taken from the album without losing all meanings and the attributes that we have embodied. The main aim was to release the real escalated tension, catchy groove, and a touch of some technical improvisations here and there which is completely absent in most black metal albums.
ISGHERURD MORTH’s image is to be a black metal band, where we portray our personal beliefs into a precise collective outlook to the whole black metal style that has been cemented in our brains for decades. Using monikers Ghoul, Res and Pitom to underline this special mind-set into ISGHERURD MORTH.
What did that involve? Describe the process that involves a Covid-era release.
I must admit “Hellrduk” was recorded in 2016 right after the finishing of STENCH PRICE. The whole process went naturally: me and Max recorded the basic ideas and technical parts for the demo for all 5 tracks in 16-18 hours. Romain is a hell of a musician, a great improviser with a mind of a chess master and brought some killer ideas into each song. It was easy for us to record the final parts based on his precise performance and to complete all arrangements.
Much more time we spent on mixing and mastering of “Hellrduk”. We decided to finish it here in Krasnoyarsk, in The DI-ART STUDIO, with the best engineer around here – Vladimir Ryaposov, who is a real wizard. And here was that meticulous job: to keep it as one take, to sound natural, acoustically clear, readable without any sample tweaking and hard effect forge.
Thus, we were lucky enough, Covid did not touch on current events. Probably, another question arises – why we didn’t release this album then, in 2016-2017. Yes, we had a proposal, but just at that time events developed in such a way that they indicated that this was the “wrong place and time”. It was too early for ISGHERURD MORTH. Our time had not come yet. I trust my intuition and put the album on “the shelf”. Being productive I have a few more unrealized and finished projects still had to wait. Therefore, I did not feel desperate, but simply trusted the current passage of time. All in good time.
It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to bump heads with any musician, but my normal play is asking what albums in the current year have really turned your head. Basically, if you had to rank the top albums of 2021, what bands/artists should we be spinning non-stop?
Axel Flóvent – “You Stay By The Sea”
Eric Hilton “Infinite Everyhere”
Jacob Banks – “For My Friends”
Leon III “Antlers in Velvet”
Mint Julep “In A Deep and Dreamless Sleep”
Popincourt “A New Dimension To Modern Love”
Ruby Haunt “Snow Angel/ Reverse Creek”
The Antlers “Green to Gold”
Isgherurd Morth “Hellrduk”
And retrospectively looking back, what albums do you base these opinions on? What founding artists defined what’s “good/great” in this modern age?
I always return to the music of my youth, this is the base that gives my soul warmth and energy. For ISGHERURD MORTH is of course our rethinking of music created by BATHORY, ENSLAVED, DARKTHRONE and many others from that golden era.
As a whole inspiration and stays in my heart forever – METALLICA, DEATH, VOIVOD, CYNIC, ATHEIST, KING DIAMOND (big brother Mike!), DISHARMONIC ORCHESTRA, DAN SWANO with EDGE OF SANITY, NIGHTINGALE and other his projects (The Glory Days, Dan!). Can’t stop expressing my love and endless listening to my Italian brothers THE FORESHADOWING (Hugs, Marco), French UNEVEN STRUCTURE (This time will come, Matthieu!) and of course the mighty PRIMUS (Tim, my eternal admiration). All remarks are going to my long time “partners in crime” in my past, current and future projects.
I’ll make it easy, I will list the first 15 albums that I have in my car playlist and to which in one order or another I return for the last few months. I do not pretend to be original, but these albums leave a certain feeling in my mind and I just enjoy listening to it (in alphabetical order):
- Alice In Chains (discography)
- Antendex – 2015 “Until We Reach The Sea”
- Daniel Land – 2016 “In Love With A Ghost”
- Etherwood – 2018 “In Stillness”
- Fabrizio Paterlini – 2010 “Fragments Found”
- Hania Rani – 2019 “Esja”
- Leon III – 2021″Antlers In Velvet”
- Liam Gallagher – 2020 “Acoustic Sessions”
- Resurrection – 1993 “Embalmed Existence”
- Screaming Trees – 1992 “Sweet Oblivion”
- Slift – 2020 “Ummon”
- The Antlers – “Green To Gold”
- Turnover – 2015 “Peripheral Vision”
- Washed Out – 2020 “Purple Noon”
- Yumi Zouma – 2020 “Truth of Consequences”
I listen to a lot of different Music, most of it is not extreme metal oriented. I am inspired by the works of young artists/bands when there is emotion. In recent years, I have kept myself music that evokes a warm and special feeling and sometimes it is far from high-precision, highly technical performance.
Not a lot of the guys on sputnikmusic[dot]com know that I’m personally a chef (and likely to be until I retire/or hit the tiled floor of a commercial kitchen) – but when you guys eat out of home what do you prefer: a hearty cut of beef, braised game, mead, wine or ale?
You and I are on the same field, my friend!
If that’s not the definition of coincidence I don’t know what is!
I am also a professional chef from the past, started from an apprentice to a certified, to sous chef and the dream of opening a small restaurant remains a strategic near-term prospect. Our, Siberian, preferences are no different from, say, the Italians or the French, since all specialties and cooking technologies have wide development and practical application everywhere. Our cooks, in Siberia, have the highest qualifications, believe me, it should be noted that in Krasnoyarsk we have the only one in Russia and the seventh in the world campus of legendary French higher school “INSTITUT PAUL BOCUSE”. So you can expect the level of HORECA infrastructure here.
I prefer quite simple recipes where you can catch the impression: to hear and enjoy a note of the main ingredient (doesn’t matter meat, fish), to feel its taste, shades with sauces and side dishes and get the inner harmony in the presentation.
Kitchen for me is equal to Music. This is Art, Craft and Pleasure at the same time. And if it is, even an appetizer, accompanied by fragrant, delicate wine or rich full-bodied whiskey, then it’s a double enjoyment!
What’s your ultimate dish? Make these readers crave!
There are so many, depends on the mood, anyway right now:
– Beef flank steak tataki with Pino Noir
– Homemade pastrami on charred lavash paired with Carmenere
– Siberian salmon with fennel cream and Bourbon
Hellrduk has been out since mid-March now. How has the reception been both critically and casually? From what you and the guys behind the band can see, is it seeing the kind of positive reception you’d expect from a debut record via Repose Records? Continuing that thought, how has the label helped, especially since you guys would have [possibly] released the music independently?
We are happy that the new unknown project from Siberia even with famous and top class French drummer (as Romain Goulon is), is being evaluated highly and positively. “Hellrduk” was praised highly by many critics, magazines, blogs around the world. My sincerest thanks for all warm, kind words, in-depth analytics. The response is really overwhelming, indeed!
Over the years, I calmed down a little, but, nevertheless, I painfully perceive unreasonable criticism. I must admit we practically haven’t it… at least for now. One thing is the opinion of the press, which will go down in history with its reviews, comments and publications that we collect and form a certain image of the group and try to make some buzz to raise awareness around.
The opinion of an ordinary listener is another matter, it is of the highest value for us, since it is word of mouth that is that unplanned, main phenomenon when music reaches everyone’s ears. Most of the listeners do not sit on blogs and do not read reviews, they are guided by their own feelings from listening to a randomly taken track in 10-15 seconds. And it costs a lot if he passed on his impressions to another person, friend, even cooler if he shared his opinion, spread more than a single word in his/her agenda. We really appreciate the emotion that the listener received. It’s very important to get a feedback because we were sincere creating “Hellrduk”!
Our cooperation with REPOSE RECORDS, just a confirmation of my words above – All in good time: right time – right band – right label. I’m down to earth guy and I see the total dedication of the label head Thomas and we are on the same field: we both truly passionate to the serious and forward thinking music and have a common understanding of what ISGHERURD MORTH’s music represents now and ready to bring further.
Thanks for taking the time to chat about the new project and new record. Do you have any imparting, final thoughts you’d like to give to the readers of sputnikmusic[dot]com? Any messages to the future listeners of the band perhaps?
Each new project for a single musician is a significant chapter in life and musical career. Each song is a part of our soul and heart. When creative minds unite, a true chemistry and magic interlacing into the most sincere creative, artistic form.
Please, listen to the Music of ISGHERURD MORTH and if you find what vibrates within you, we will be happy, no matter how extreme we express ourselves, regardless of style and name! Tell us your impressions and thoughts.
Thank you so much, for this interesting talk and kind opportunity to be heard!
Warm regards, Peter G. Shallmin