London-based death metal warmongers Scythian, who will join the madness at the Zero Tolerance Winterfest at Camden Purple Turtle on Dec 15th, have started working on their new material. The band’s mainman A. Satyrus told ZT the whip is already cracking…


2011 hasn’t really seen much activity at the Scythian camp. What the band are up to those days?
We’ve had a pretty good run with our first album, “To Those Who Stand Against Us” – It’s taken us to some insane places, and we’ve had some great gigs. What you’ve got to understand is that we’re just not suited to the hype and bustle of the overground – we don’t fit, never have and probably never will. That suits us fine. When the offers and the interest dry up, we head back to camp and get working on a new weapon – the whip is cracking and we’re working on our second full-length album at the moment.


What about the musical direction Scythian are about to take while working on new material? Is the 2010 track “Grunwald (Anno Satane 1410)” off this year’s split EP with Kawir anything to go by? Epic death metal, is it?
More Epic, More Aggressive and More Ambitious, to answer in short. Any band can make the claim, but we’ve got the balls and the substance to back it up. Like all the bands I respect and support, we practice our own art and we’re not here to assemble a product. “Grunwald” was a very special song that took a year to compose (one year, one six-minute track, what the fuck – WE KNOW), but it’s the most complex, most progressive thing we’ve ever done. You don’t just pull music like that out of your ass – it’s all spontaneous and inspired. The split is just one pigment of a larger picture…


What motivated you to write a story on the battle of Grunwald, the Dark Ages clash between army of Polish–Lithuanian union and the Teutonic Knights?
Just like Bolt Thrower and Destroyer 666 – conflict is our musical bread and butter. The Battle of Grunwald was one of the bloodiest and most sacrilegious events of the medieval period, a time when tens of thousands of Christians fought over religion (and of course, territory). You don’t read about it in the west, but it changed the course of history, it humbled the Catholic Church and their armed, monastic orders with such a blow that they would never take up arms again. I’m sure it makes for popular lyrics with Polish and Lithuanian bands – but we did it our way – with imagination, substance and respect. That said, we’re not in the habit of cataloguing the battles of the world into musical form. It was a one-off, a tribute to the Poles, the Lithuanians and the Germans – three nations that we hold in high regard.


Which new records inspired you, can you tell? And what do you think about today’s metal scene in general?
NONE and NOTHING. I spend my time catching up on the classics. Right now I’m enjoying the barbarity of old Cogumelo releases: Sextrash, Sarcofago, Vulcano and the sounds of South American metal (Check out Atomic Aggressor from Chile!). I’m also catching up on some Angelcorpse. Aside from Trey, Murphy and Macey, Gene Palubicki (another long-lost Pole) is one of the greatest players out there in my book.
Modern metal is taking another turn on an endless wheel of revival: the new wave of old death metal that exists today has spawned some great bands (especially Grave Miasma from the UK), but we’re not involved. One of the greatest movements of today is embodied by new bands playing GREAT, old heavy metal and rock’n’roll.


When can we expect a new full-length? Any details on who, where and what you could reveal already?
No details yet – it’s in the making and we’re keeping everything other than that to ourselves.


Scythian will play the Zero Tolerance Winterfest on December 15 with Wynterfylleth, Sardanitum and Basement Torture Killings at Camden’s Purple Turtle. What can the crowd expect from your performance?
The same shambolic, arrogant display of musical violence that you’ve learned to expect from us. You’ll bang your head, then maybe you’ll laugh and break a bone – it’s happened before.

Thanks for dropping in!

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