Desaster need no introduction, really, they don’t! And with “The Oath Of An Iron Ritual” the Koblenz-crew once again deliver a scorching, evil, perfectly desastrous album that will definitely stand up to its predecessors, even though that’s not an easy task: Desaster’s seventh output, “The Arts of Destruction” from 2012 got some really flaming reviews (Angry Metal Guy called it “a blackened thrash How-To seminar“), and the album made a second place in German Rockhard’s Soundcheck. Sataniac even went so far as to say that it „is the most complete album up to date. With everything on it Desaster stands for. Good artwork, fine sound…“ In the light of all that, what can Desaster fans expect from the new album?
Vocalist Sataniac keeps it low-key: “Well, what can I say? It’s not that easy to talk about your own record, especially when it’s not yet released. I think it is a well-balanced mixture like nearly every Desaster album is. But this is not a guarantee for good songs. It would be more interesting to know what our fans think about the album.” That well-balanced mixture Sataniac speaks of is definitely provided for. “The Oath Of An Iron Ritual” offers a well executed blend of tradition and originality, of raging Thrash attacks and epic harmonies, of shout-along-Thrash jewels and slower-paced, majestic passages, though it is hard to pick out one single song which could stand for the whole album: “I’m not sure. This time there are a lot of different influences that played a role on the album. We even have some Doom parts in “The Denial”, so it’s hard for me to find one song that captures the essence of the album.” Well then, what is Sataniac’s own favourite piece on “The Oath of an Iron Ritual”? “My favourite song is “Damnatio Ad Bestias” because of its lyrics about the ‘efficient’ Roman Empire and also because of the ‘high’ riffs and its overall kick-ass nature. And apart from that, it’s one of the newer songs. We had been writing that album for four years and after a while the older stuff starts to bore you a little bit.”
If writing the album took so long again, what was the song-writing process like this time? Did Desaster simply let things flow, as usual, or did they a plan, this one time? Sataniac denies: “No, we didn’t have a concrete plan. We always write songs till we think the album is ready, and we have always done it that way. There is no master-plan at all.”
"The Oath Of An Iron Ritual" was forged under the watchful eyes of sound veteran Patrick W. Engel, who is also responsible for mix & master. Sataniac shares his memories of the recording process: “We decided to record the album at our rehearsal room this time. And it was more fun and a lot easier to bring the songs to the hard disc. The recording session was very relaxed and Mr. Engel had a lot of good ideas for some details like changing some words for a vocal part or changing the phrasing for some lines. Really good. During the mix of the album, there were some disagreements between Desaster and Mr. Angel, but that’s also normal when you work with Desaster. Hahahahaha…”
If there is something like a let-down, it’s that Desaster’s plans for a special guest contribution got busted: “We had asked Big Boss from the Czech Black Metal band ROOT to sing some rhymes on the song “Hauting Siren”, but his record company wouldn’t allow him to do that. That’s a little bit disappointing, even if it was a business decision.”
Many Desaster fans already believe that the new album will be a “must have “, that “quality is guaranteed”, and that Desaster “have never disappointed us!”. Does that put any pressure on the band or do they simply trust in what they do, after all these years of experience as a band? “It’s a very big honour for us that our fans trust in our desastrous qualities. But I personally don’t feel any pressure. We always try to do our best. Live and in the studio or at the rehearsal room. The quality of a record is not something you can construct.”
Next year Desaster will be playing another show in Bamberg where they recorded and filmed their anniversary show – a good opportunity for everyone who couldn’t attend that special event. What other plans do the Black-Thrash veterans have for 2016? Sataniac is as modest as ever: “It’s always the same. We’ll be doing shows, once a month, ten to twelve times in a year. And we will try to have maximum fun at these gigs, and to deliver the best we can. Nothing special. We choose the concerts and events we like best. That’s all! We released live albums, splits, boxsets, and DVD’s during the last couple of years, so in 2016 there will be only our new album, ‘The Oath Of An Iron Ritual’.”
Judging from what we’re used from Desaster, I guess that there have been no major changes since we last spoke, am I right? What’s the secret of the longevity and stability of Desaster? “Like I told you last time! We don’t take ourselves too seriously! We are definitely not the best, or the loudest band or whatever on this planet. And the universe doesn’t depend on us or even on humanity. We are not better people just because we play in a shitty band like Desaster. We are NO ROCK STARS (though maybe Tormentor is a small one! Hahahahaha…) and I personally don’t like it when people come to me, hailing me for doing ugly vocals in an ugly band. We are just assholes like every other human being!”