1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
END OF MANKIND is a black metal band from Paris founded in 2015 by 5 people with different backgrounds. The spectrum of influences of the band is quite broad, let’s say that we stand somewhere between THE RAMONES and DISSECTION.
The band wrote a first EP called "Faith Recoil" and released it in 2016 on vinyl, CD and cassette and then released a split cassette with KATACOMBES in 2017. The first full length album will be released on November 8th on CD version through MALEFICARUM RECORDS and MALLEVS RECORDS and exclusively on MALLEVS RECORDS for the cassette version.
2.In November you have your first full length coming out, musically how does it differ from your previous splits and ep?
“Faciem Diaboli” is very straight in your face, intense as well as contrasted by quiet and contemplative parts or even electro / industrial music on some tracks. Unlike our first EP, "Faith Recoil" which was recorded in a bit of a hurry, "Faciem Diaboli" was completely pre-produced, in order to get to the studio well prepared and able to play each song with more serenity.
The album was recorded at Hemlig Studio by Étienne Sarthou who did a great job both with the recording process and the mix. He almost acted as an artistic director. His advice helped us a lot in achieving the goals we set ourselves.
We entrusted the mastering to Magnus Lindberg (CULT OF LUNA, TRIBULATION, REFUSED, ALCEST, …) who turns out to be a good friend of Etienne, which allowed us to create a real synergy between the mix and the mastering.
We are very satisfied with the end result.
3.The band also formed out of the ashes of 'Eternal Majesty' what was the cause of splitting up the band to form a new one?
Before the creation of END OF MANKIND in 2015, Sagoth and Thorgon asked me (Goulaxe) to play as second guitar for an ETERNAL MAJESTY reunion show (the band split in 2006). Unfortunately, the project didn't go any further and from this frustration, END OF MANKIND was born. With only the 3 of us at the time, we quickly wrote the first EP "Faith Recoil". It was on this recording that we were later joined by Anxiferath (PYRECULT) as singer and Nesh (AZZIARD, NYDVIND) on the guitar. The line up has not moved since then.
As a tribute to ETERNAL MAJESTY, we covered two songs of the band “Soyons les Pierres du Temple Noir” and “The warlord”, both live and in studio, on the split ep with KATACOMBES.
4.The lyrics on the album also have a concept to them, can you tell us a little bit more about the topic you covered on this recording?
The concept of the album is based on the topic of recluses during the Middle Ages in France. The "recluseries" were small lodges often located at the entrance of cities, near cemeteries or built against the churches' walls. The recluses were often women who were sequestered in a wet and narrow built cube, being unable to move there. They would only come out of it as corpses.
Affected by an illness, a mourning, but also sometimes to atone for mortal sins (violence, adultery, murder, important theft ...), their salvation was possible only through the sacrifice of their own life, as an ultimate wish for humility and piety.
The recluses' role was to be in communion with God, in order to protect the city from all the evils (wars, famines, epidemics). This supernatural protection, at the time, reassured the inhabitants.
They only had food and clothes given by the local villagers and they were reduced to talking through a small gate, only with those who gave them the gift of speech. Very often, they did not resist such living conditions very long.
At that time, suffering was considered as necessary to obtain the celestial rewards. Because of this aspiration to sacrifice, the "recluseries" started to spread widely.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'End Of Mankind'?
Man has become a plague for himself, devastating the planet and enslaving his fellows. We are moving towards the end of civilization with a heavy and decided step. Man has concretely set up his own destruction - the planet and humanity will have reached a point of no return in the middle of this century - in which the prospect of a largely uninhabitable Earth will lead to the collapse of nations and the world order.
The frenzied consumption of rich countries at the expense of the poorest ones has made us good little soldiers / victims of capitalism. We have created so many barriers between us that we are unable to react collectively to recover.
The end of humanity is unavoidable and we propose to put it to music.
6.A lot of the band members also have a history of playing in bands as far back as the 90's, what is it that motivates you to keep going after a couple of decades?
I have been personally (Goulaxe) active in the French underground music scene for over 20 years. I come initially from the punk / hardcore scene in which I played in bands such as PROVIDENCE, RIGHT FOR LIFE, WOLFPACK, WORST DOUBT, SIX FT DITCH, ONESTA, 25 TA LIFE, TROMATIZED YOUTH and many others ...
I do not feel any weariness, quite the opposite! I find it very rewarding to be able to fit in different styles and musical approaches. I think that's what we call a passion.
Other band members were or are also involved in bands such as: AOSOTH, ANTAEUS, PYRECULT as well as some other obscure industrial / goth bands.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
During our shows we strive to create a heavy, violent and hypnotic atmosphere to provoke a physical reaction from the audience in return, while remaining ourselves: no corpse paint, no wristbands, no fake bad boys’ attitude,… Even if you do not move during our gigs, I (Goulaxe) want you to feel that at any moment we can attack you. I can not bear the quiet Black Metal shows where nothing happens, where people look like they are safely watching TV. Black Metal is supposed to be dangerous right?
As for my memories of "best shows", I have two specific ones that come to my mind. The first was the night of my birthday in Sofia, Bulgaria last February. It was the first time we played there, we received a great and warm welcome and the show was really cool. Big evening, big drinking, big party ... By the way, I take this opportunity to greet our friends in BELGARATH and Milena at Hangar 18 for the huge support.
The second one was the following gig in Thessaloniki, Greece where we played at the legendary Eightball Club. During this evening we met our friend Lefteris for the first time. Lefteris is a dude who helped us a lot with the band even though he did not know us at all at the time. I have a lot of respect for this kind of passionate people who offer their help without expecting anything in return. Hail to our friends there in SORGELIG, NIHILISM, SORDID DOGS and to Patroklos from KRISIS PRODUCTION.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
We will play the Winter Rising Fest in France on November 8th with MERRIMACK, PROFANATICA, MERCYLESS, VULCANO, ... among others. A mini tour in the west of France in early 2020 with our friends from THE NEGATION is planned and also a tour in Greece in October 2020.
And surely many other shows by then, we are working on it!
9.In 2017 you shared a split with 'Katacombes' what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?
The goal of this split was to have decent material length for a tape and then share it to have one band per side. This idea of doing this with KATACOMBES was easy in the way it is a studio side project of Nesh.
This project is a collaboration I (Nesh) had with a French manga drawer called Vald, who released 4 mangas called Catacombes (https://fr-fr.facebook.com/catacombes.vald/) which depicts Paris, the Metal scene and places through the story of a girl and an underground Black Metal fictive band, the whole surrounded with zombies and the mysteries of what’s dwelling in the Parisian catacombs. Vald worked with some friends to give life in a way to the his mangas’ Black Metal band KATACOMBES, and release digitally 2 demos with his manga’s volumes 2 and 3.
For the release of his fourth and last volume Vald wanted to do a bit more than a third demo and then I proposed him to work on some old materials I had from 2001 to 2011 and newer stuff. We selected the tracks and I recorded, mixed and mastered in my home studio all the instruments, and our friend who sang on the second demo wrote the lyrics and recorded the vocals. We could then digitally release this first 5 songs EP on Bandcamp at the same time the forth manga volume was released. We were trying to find a way then to have a physical release one day, and the project of sharing a split tape with END OF MANKIND was obvious and a perfect timing.
10.The album is going to be released through both 'Mallevs' and 'Maleficarum Records', can you tell us a little bit more about both of the labels?
MALLEVS RECORDS is a pretty young independent record labed run by Sagoth and Anxiferath from END OF MANKIND that focuses its activity on extreme underground music. Founded in 2016 by these two records enthusiasts, the label now has more than 25 physical releases from international bands, mainly from the alternative metal scene (black / death / doom / indus). The label has focused, since its creation and until now, on the audio cassette tape format, in tribute to the golden age of tape trading.
With a desire to highlight the object as a graphic and visual extension of the atmosphere and the message that the bands distil in their music, MALLEVS RECORDS often teams up with studios and businesses in the following fields: screen printing, laser engraving, but also with painters or tattoo artists, in order to offer products that are well-made and rather complex (hand-numbered collector boxes, deluxe packaging, etc…).
So far, they released bands such as VOCIFERIAN, THE NEGATION, SUMERU, CEPHEIDE or AZZIARD just to name a few.
11.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
The first batch of reactions toward our new album is truly positive and very supportive so far. There are some new reviews coming up, stay tuned! This is fuel to keep us going and work on the next tours as well as new material.
12.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
ETERNAL MAJESTY are currently recording a brand new album. Knowing that the previous album was release 13 years ago is sick! I (Goulaxe) had the chance to listen to some tracks and it’s going to be very good, trust me. AZZIARD, the other guitarist’s band, are in the studio now and will release their fourth album some time during 2020. And finally, PYRECULT, a band which shares two members with END OF MANKIND are currently in the process of writing a new full-length. We never stop man.
13.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
It would be pretty hard for me (Goulaxe) to answer to be honest, you know, we do not think too much about our musical orientation in the long run, we just play riffs and melodies that we like, trying to build something consistent and heavy.
14.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays.
I think that all member in the band are all into Black Metal old timers, think of DISSECTION, KVIST, DARKTHRONE, EMPEROR, GORGOROTH, MAYHEM, IMPALED NAZARENE, SHINING, MARDUK, …
Personally (Goulaxe), I listen to a lot of quite different styles of bands such as DOOL, KICKBACK, TERRORIZER, ULVER, ANGELIC UPSTARTS, DEVIL'S BLOOD, CONVERGE, CHOPIN, SERGE GAINSBOURG, …
15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
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