With the recent release of Dawn Of Ashes‘ new album, the highly anticipated follow-up chapter of The Crypt Injection, Loud-Stuff is honoured to interview the band’s founder Kristof Bathory to reveal what to expect from the music and discover some of the deeper, more personal inspirations behind the material.
It’s been a little over 10 years since the ‘The Crypt Injection’ was released. Can you tell us about what this album has meant to you and the decision to return for a follow-up album this year?
Kristof: The Crypt Injection 1 was DOA’s first breakthrough. This project gained a great following from our original sound. In 2009; I made the decision to venture off into the Extreme Metal side of the music industry. Our older fans were completely confused by this dramatic change. A lot of people thought that DOA was two different bands. I feel that my biggest mistake was to completely let go of the style that drew attention to us, even though it did also create new avenues for this band. Throughout my stubborn years; it haunted me about what DOA was and I was constantly being reminded of it. About two years ago in the preliminary development of Bornless Fire. I was listening to lots of old Industrial bands that I still enjoy to this day and it made me miss the writing process of Industrial Music. I released the debut Bornless Fire album and it got great feedback. Our booking agent hounded me about doing selective dates of playing nothing but old material from the “Aggrotech” days. I declined many times until I finally gave in. Then he threw out the idea of writing a new Industrial album for DOA and I gave a very solid decline. After sitting on it for a few days, I thought that it could be a good idea. I wanted to recreate the Aggrotech/Industrial thing and blend it with our Extreme Industrial Metal style to create something kind of unique. The Crypt Injection 2 popped in my mind and I gave birth to a sequel to the first album but heavier, darker, and metaphysically deeper in my spiritual and philosophical path. I definitely feel like this is what everyone wanted from DOA.
Can you tell us how you have evolved as a band and how this album is different to the first chapter?
K: I have experimented with many aggressive styles in this band. From Dark-Electro to Melodic Extreme Metal, to Shock Rock, and to Industrial Metal. The true face of DOA is what we have always represented, our Hellish imagery, and always a pissed off aggression sound. It’s always been DOA; just different stages of metamorphism. The Crypt Injection 2 is different because it appeals to every dynamic of our evolution. It compliments every bit of detail in what I have musically created in the past.
The musical direction has significantly switched back to your dark, harsh electronic origins. Can you give us a little background into the switch and does this mark the end of the band’s distinctly Symphonic Black Metal material / sound, or more of a brief return to your origins?
K: I feel like I still placed the Black Metal sound very lightly in this album and the Black Metal influence will never go away. Both sounds compliment each other in my opinion. Industrial Metal with influences from various forms of aggressive music is a very comfortable place for me.
It’s well documented that the message Dawn of Ashes and side-project Bornless Fire expresses comes from the Left Hand Path point of view. What is it about the LHP philosophy that really speaks to you and the message you share with your fans?
K: It’s a path that I have been following and working with for many years now. It has made me into something more powerful and definitely something that I didn’t think I could become in the past. This is my life and my spirituality. DOA is my true will so it only makes sense to have both working together as allies. The message that I value very much in the music is meant to awaken a spark in each listener. To give each listener a gift of understanding individuality and their own personal God seed.
Self-discovery and development is very important to you. How much does this carry through into your music?
K: Again, DOA is my true will, my blood, my soul, my magickal creation. The maturity of DOA shines brightly as much as the maturity of myself shines as bright as a star.
You have Johan Van Roy of Suicide Commando lending guest vocals on one of your songs, entitled ‘Hexcraft’. Please tell us how that came about and what it was like to work with Johan on this song.
K: I have worked with Johan many times in the past and Suicide Commando is one of the few Aggrotech artists that I enjoy. It was extremely appropriate for this album.
Do you have anyone in mind for guest spots on future releases, either vocal talents or instrumentalists?
K: I was hoping to get a Hardcore singer since Punk, Metal, and Hardcore was a big influence on this album. Brandon from Bleeding Through and myself were chatting about him doing a track with us but we will see. No concrete plans for anything in the future.
Are there any bands still on your wishlist that you’d like to tour with, or wish you could have shared the lineup with if they’re no longer active?
K: On a realistic level it would be Cradle Of Filth, 3 Teeth, Youth Code, Dance with the Dead, Ministry, Behemoth, and a few more.
Speaking of live shows, Dawn Of Ashes will be playing Castle Party Festival in Poland, later this year, in July. Are there any plans to perform any other shows in Europe this year and any chance of a UK appearance, whether a tour or festival appearance?
K: There is talk. That’s all I am going to say.