1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
After releasing the “Womb of Worms” album we made a Czech tour with Secret of Darkness and Desire for Sorrow, then played some other gigs. Since the recording there were many gigs, because it was done in Spring 2018. Meanwhile, I started to compose some songs for our next release.
2.In October you had released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I think it has more negativistic and nihilistic atmosphere, it’s more dissonant and harsh. But some of the characteristics of the debut album “Assailing the Holy” remained, of course. The way of composing was quite similar, but some progress in terms of some musical, technical and productional development is perceptible.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
The lyrical concept of the “Womb of Worms” album is about the mankind’s blindness based on its own existence. It’s something like the anti-human-ego treatise, the essay about the intrinsic pointlessness and nothingness. We all are just the miniature segment of the world’s cycle. In the lyrical way, on our debut album there were some of the anti-religious texts, some lyrics were inspired by the books I had read that time. Now, the whole album is cycling around the one theme, although I would not say it is a conceptual album.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Mallephyr'?
It’s the combination of Malleus (means “hammer” in Latin) and Melafyr, the igneous rock with the grey-black coloration. Let’s say it kinda describes the character of our music – devastating yet cold.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The artwork was made by the Czech artist Marek Škubal who, besides other things, presented his art also at the Brutal Assault festival few years ago. His drawings and sculptures are interweaved with worms. Our bassist Sinneral visited Marek’s exhibition in Pilsen and had a brainwave that we should cooperate on the second album because of its theme and name. You can see the result on the “Womb of Worms” album.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Every show is unique, I can enjoy the gig in the small venue with few people, when the energy is flowing the right way, just as the show on the bigger festival. But of course, there are some experiences I think back to very often, for example the show at the Brutal Assault festival. Or when we performed as a support for bands like Dark Funeral, Krisiun, Acherontas, Rotting Christ, Forgotten Tomb, The Stone and many more. The dreams came true with these gigs.
Our stage performance is nothing unusual. We perform in leather jackets with the static red lights behind us. For me, the energy flowing between us and the audience is more important than some decoration etc.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for 2019?
We are slowly planning the tour with one of the best Czech metal bands for the Autumn, but now it is too soon to uncover something in detail. But we have a few shows confirmed for 2019, for example in Prague with Portuguese raw black metal band Sardonic Witchery in February or with Acherontas, Inferno and Djevelkult in March. We will also play in Vienna in March and on Symbolic Open Air in Kolín in July. And I think some shows will be added later.
8.The new album was released on 'Satanath Records', how would you compare working with them to your older label 'Mad Lion Records'?
We were satisfied with Mad Lion Records and we are satisfied with Satanath Records. We just wanted to try something new, but we are very grateful to Przemek from Mad Lion that he gave as a chance with our debut album. Thanks to him we also performed four times in Poland. When the “Womb of Worms” was recorded, we sent two promo songs to many labels and Aleksey with Satanath Records responded almost immediately after receiving the package. He was interested in releasing the CD (in cooperation with the Czech label Murderous Production), the conditions were pleasant for us, so we made a deal. We are very satisfied with the promotion Aleksey made before releasing the album. Let’s see what the cooperation will bring to the both sides in the future. We are also still searching for the label to release the new album on LPs.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of black and death metal?
I’ve noticed just a few reviews on the foreign webzines (and thank you for the one you wrote!), the reactions are very pleasant. The same can I say about the Czech webzines, some of the reviewers caught the essence of the album. It is also good that the whole album is available on YouTube, I noticed some very pleasant reactions there from foreign people. I’m glad how the “Womb of Worms” was accepted until now. It’s an honour.
10.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?
I also play with Stíny plamenů, sewer black metal from Pilsen. Its mastermind is Lord Morbivod, maybe you can know him also from Trollech, Umbrtka or War for War. He creates the music there and I think he slowly prepares the new Stíny plamenů’s album. The EP “20 let kanalizačních zmetků” was released last year as a celebration of the band’s 20th anniversary. I’m also a session member of War for War which changed its style from war black metal to industrial/electronica now. And few months ago I started to play as a live-guitarist with Cult of Fire who will perform at very interesting places this year. It’s an honour for me to cooperate with all the people from the bands mentioned above, I appreciate it very much.
Sinneral also plays in Panychida, pagan black/heavy metal from Pilsen. They prepare their fifth full-length album now in the KSV Studios, where we also recorded our albums, and they’re gonna also play in Brazil or Estonia this year.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
It’s a bit difficult question for me, because I do not know in advance where I will be led by my inner demons during the composition process. If I could predict, I would say the third full-length album will be more straight and aggressive than “Womb of Worms”, but we will see. As I wrote before, I prepared some songs just before releasing our new album, but most of them are meant for the non-full-length release. They are quite different from our “usual” stuff.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Everything I listen to has an influence on me in some way. But definitely the greatest influence have some of the bands from the black or death metal genre, I would mention for example Aosoth, Inquisition, Nightbringer, Behemoth, generally Icelandic, Polish, French and Scandinavian black metal scene etc. It’s difficult to say, because I’m really influenced by many things I perceive. But, please, do not take the influence as an attempt to plunder from someone. You definitely can hear many influences in our music, but I would say we have our own approach to music.
Right now I’m listening to the new Cancer album “Shadow Gripped”. Recently I listen very often to the last Trollheims Grott, Adaestuo, Aevangelist, Valkyrja, Totenmesse, Svartidauđi, Kommandant or Hate Eternal albums. And the best recording of 2018 is Ascension – Under Ether for me. I’m looking forward to see them live in Prague in February! And I must mention Rebirth of Nefast – Tabernaculum – one of the best black metal albums I’ve ever heard. It has everything I’m searching for in black metal.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I would like to thank you for the interest in Mallephyr, for your questions and for the review. I would also like to thank all the supporters of this music, not only ours, but in general.