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Rakoth - Russian for beginners... - July 2000


Only very few of you out there might have heard of RAKOTH so far, especially as they only have released one album and over a small label only. Additionally you really cannot label their music as "mass-compatible", but all these points were reason enough for me to hack into my keyboard and send a few questions to Russia...

Could you please tell me the history of RAKOTH?

The current line-up was formed in spring 1997, including me (Rustam) on keys/vocals, Black (now P. Noir) on vocals, Dy on guitars and Den on bass, helped out by TEMNOZOR's drummer Leshiy. In summer 1997 we recorded two demos - the garage demo "Tales of the Worlds Unreal" and the studio demo "Dark Ages Chronicle". Soon after the recording Leshiy left us, and our next effort, the promo-album "Superstatic Equilibrium", was recorded with a drum-computer during August 1998. The same autumn Den left the band.
In 1999 we signed a deal with code666 and recorded/released the "Planeshift"-CD. That's it so far.

Band

How did you get in contact with code666? You are the first ever release on that label.

Once I've received an email from them, something like "We would like to hear your music". I've sent them our promo MC "Superstatic Equilibrium". The reply was "Great, what about a deal?" That's it. We've signed the deal.

What does the name of RAKOTH mean?

Rakoth is the name of a literature character. He is the Master of Darkness in N. Perumov's trilogy "Chronicles of Hjorvard".

Your compositions are pretty avant-gardistic in many places. Don't you fear that it might prove too much for many potential listeners? Especially "Mountain God" is a particularly difficult to digest, also with the clean voice having a, hm, different sound than usual.

Well, we don't make music according to appease the listeners' taste - we have our own. We like what we do and we like how the music we make sounds. As for those "morbid" vocal parts in "Mountain God", they were made intentionally in order to help our music create a certain "weird" and "sinister" atmosphere. There were some more reasons why the vocals sound so, though.

How would you yourself describe your sound?

I wouldn't at all. I simply don't know and don't care about it. However, when the current line-up had come together, we wanted to play something like "Doom with elements of other styles".

Which bands could then be named as influence for RAKOTH? Listening to your music, they should be pretty diverse.

I don't think any bands really influenced our music. However, there are some bands, which you might be reminded of when listening to RAKOTH. They are, for example, SATYRICON, KATATONIA, SUMMONING, EMPEROR, NOKTURNAL MORTUM, ANATHEMA. But if you listen a bit more carefully, you will notice that our music is absolutely different even from these bands. It is often happening that someone says that a member of a band is a bit influenced by BURZUM (for example). And soon after that everyone's sure that this band copies BURZUM. So we play our own music, uninfluenced by any other band.

Compared to your "Dark Ages Chronicles"-demo, your sound has changed quite radically. What has lead to this change?

A lot of things. Our line-up has shortened - there is no drummer and bass player anymore. We have moved to a new studio, which is more professional, so that we could make everything much more accurate. Dy used more than one guitar part, P. Noir (former Black) used multi-timbral vocal parts, I applied orchestrations. All this was impossible on "Dark Ages Chronicle" - we were recording everything live then.

Could you tell me a bit about the lyrics? From the song-titles they seem, at least partly, be influenced by Tolkien's "Lord Of The Rings".

Almost all lyrics are based on some "fantasy" episode. But it is not the reason to call us a "fantasy" band since we don't use "fantasy for fantasy's sake". We just exploit the decor, the metaphors to express our own thoughts/feelings. As for "Lord Of Te Rings" - no. Some are based upon Tolkien's "Silmarillion" and "Black Book of Arda" (written by Niennah, as "Silmarillion" from the opposite point of view), but not "Lord Of The Rings".

Hm, well, at least I got the right author, hehe.
Are they somehow connected to each other?

Yes. The key-song is "Planeshift" and others represent something like flower's petals. The concept is hazy and uncertain, but it does exist. It is personal for each of us so I won't reveal it here. Let everyone who listens to "Planeshift" define the concept for him(her)self.

Will there be a chance to see you live over here, too?

Well, we don't play live much. Frankly speaking, we haven't gigs for at least two years. Although we plan some shows here in Russia. If we decide that we like them, we shall consider the idea of playing elsewhere. And Germany would be great place to go to play.

How have the reactions been so far for "Planeshift"?

There were no negative reviews so far. However some big labels (such as Nuclear Blast) refused to license the CD due to its "incommerciality". Everything as we expected.

Band - Three In One

The Russian scene is a book with at least seven seals to most of our readers. Which bands are there that we should keep an eye open for?

Well, I'd gladly advise everyone to listen to TEMNOZOR' (Pagan Metal), MELISSA (Doom/Death/Jazz/Funk/something-else Metal), ROSSOMAHAAR (Sympho-Black Metal). There are more bands of course, but I can't recall any decent at the moment.

You are a very young band. Do you also use the internet as a means of promotion, to make your name, your music more known among the fans? On the one hand the internet is seen as welcome opportunity to do that, but at the same time it is accused of endangering the existence of young and new bands with the more or less uncontrollable spreading of mp3-files. What is your opinion on that?

We used the internet for promotion before the deal with code666 was reached. Now there's no need - Emiliano (code666 boss) is in charge for all promotional stuff. Of course, without the net we wouldn't have reached our goals that soon. Concerning mp3's, I don't mind that mp3's spread widely. They don't represent a product anyway. And with them one can evaluate the CD before buying it.

Do you have any last words to our readers?

Ah, erm... Well... Nope. Hehe... Farewell.

Discography:

2000: Planeshift (CD, code666)

Alexander Melzer



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