– Spanish here –
When I fist reviewed TORRENS CONSCIENTIUM‘s album, All alone with the thoughts, I was surprised that a band with so much quality in their debut release didn’t have more attention from specialised media. What surprised me the most was that they are from Crimea, a land always disputed by two countries (Russia and Ukraine) whose diplomatic relationships are worse than ever right now. With this background in mind, my main concern for this interview was to know more about this band rather than talking about conflict zones ( which are more than just places were bombs are dropped), so as i just said I planned this interview aiming to know more about their music, but i am afraid that inevitably we will also give a little spot to the geopolitical situation and how this affect them.
Subterráneo Heavy: Thanks for answering this interview, and we have to start with the most obvious question, who are TORRENS CONSCENTIUM and how has your path been until now? Can you tell us more about your band history?
TORRENS CONSCIENTIUM: Hi guys! The backbone of the group its Sergey Korolev (vocal, guitar), Alina Tischenko (guitar) and Sergey Rachinskiy (bass), we don’t have permanent drummer.
Briefly describe the history of the group. In the end of 2008 we decide to gathered with friends: I (Sergey Korolev), Alina, Sergey Kapustin (bass) and Vlad Skaldin (drums). Before that none of us played in other bands, it was a first experience. However we quickly made some songs, it was funeral doom with black metal elements. After half year, in may 2009, our debut took place in the Kherson (Ukraine), when our friends the group LANDSCAPE OF SADNESS, offered us to play instead of them. We prepared for some days, our name wasn’t even on the poster, nobody knew that we will arrive, but as a result everything passed perfectly well.
In 2010 Sergey Kapustin went to University in other city and his place was taken by Sergey Rachinskiy. After that we had some gigs through the country, the biggest one was “Doom Over Kiev” in October 2011, where we played with ESOTERIC, DRACONIAN and FOREST STREAM on one stage.
In November 2012, after many experiments, we finally released demo Four Exits. Then Vlad left the group, and some performances we play with session drummer (Ilya Zuikov).
20 October 2014 was released first full-length album All alone with the thoughts. All material was recorded and mixing on Blacklight Recording Studio in Kiev.
Subterráneo Heavy: In your album All Alone With the Thoughts I can hear some atmospheric vibe, that i think it’s closer to bands such as DOOM VS, ESOTERIC, SWALLOW THE SUN, NOVEMBER’S DOOM, that kind of doom/death in which the melody is also a big part of the song. It’s not the extremely monolithic death/doom that bands such as THERGOTHON, dISEMBOWELMENT or ENCOFFINATION play. I don’t know if you agree with me, about whether these band mentioned above are amongst your influences or not.
TC: Of these ESOTERIC and DOOM:VS definitely influenced. Many groups had impact on our music and it’s concerns not only Metal, but I can highlight some of our idols on which our musical consciousness was cultivated: SATURNUS, SHAPE OF DESPAIR, MY DYING BRIDE, MOONSPELL, ANATHEMA, TIAMAT. It makes no sense to list all of them.
Subterráneo Heavy: How has the reception of your debut been? Do you think people have enjoyed it? Are you satisfied with the result?
TC: We read and heard many good comments and reviews, so we can conclude that many people liked the album. Overall, we are satisfied with the result, but of course there is still much work to do. We must continue in the same direction, so that the next album would be even better.
Subterráneo Heavy: Do you have all the songs fully written when you enter to studio, or is there always a place for improvisation? Is there a main composer, or do you all take part in the creative process?
TC: Before recording in the studio, we tried as carefully as possible to work out every detail, but it almost always turns out that music can refine indefinitely. And even though we were, it seemed fully prepared, without improvisations it didn’t turn out. It always seems to us that it is possible to make much better, even now, during listening of an album.
Generally all music was created by Sergey Korolev, but every member offers something his own. Often some parts we make on rehearsals, but Sergey makes the final form.
Subterráneo Heavy: I’m looking at the artwork of the CD and it’s quite beautiful. It seems handmade, not like the album covers we find nowadays, which are usually made with computers, Who is the author?
TC: The plan was to pass the integrity of the album like one idea, where every page matches sense of song, and in general tells about small story.
Creator of design our friend Michel Malkin, he excellent did his work, but I don’t know how exactly he did this.
Subterráneo Heavy: Let’s go back to 2012 with you demo Four exits, it is the same length as All alone with the thoughts (is even longer). It was rawer, more old school doom/death. Less melodies, no clean vocals… In your opinion, What have you improved between one work and the other?
TC: About same length, it’s just coincidence. Maybe “demo” heard less melodic because of crude sound in general. It’s hard to define what exactly improved in music, as we like demo songs not less than All alone with the thoughts. Definitely improved presentation of the material, quality and sound in general.
Subterráneo Heavy: Now you’re Solitude Productions’ roster, Who contacted who? Did they show interest in your music, or was it you who called to their door?
TC: After record ends, we start looking for label. Without thinking twice we contacted with Solitude Productions, because it’s most famous and “true” label in all Eastern Europe. Guys from label were very friendly, and we quickly make a deal. In this question and other organizational affairs helped us another our friend Aleksandre Sergyeyev. Thanks to this label we received many good reviews and comments from different points of the planet and we are very happy with their work.
Subterráneo Heavy: You’re from Simferopol, the capitol of Crimea, a place which has been very controversial over the last year because of the referendum about joining Russia or staying in Ukraine, besides all the conflicts in the past few years all over Ukraine. Has the political situation affected the band in any way? I know this interview is about music, but what’s your opinion about the situation of Crimea, do you think that there´s a possible solution, or will there always be problems between Russia and Ukraine?
TC: Political situation didn’t effect on our group. Yes, we long time didn’t have lives, but we continue to work in same direction and creating new material. At that time in Crimea all peaceful, but there are dissatisfied people.We hope that the conflict in Ukraine ends as soon as possible, because of political games ordinary people suffer. We hope that common sense will prevail.
Subterráneo Heavy: Here in Spain we really don’t know much about Crimea, and less about it’s music. Is there a real musical scene? Can you name us some interesting bands of your territory? Do you guys know some bands from Spain?
TC: In Crimea we practically don’t have metal stage. In example last time we play live in 2011. But we have some cool bands like THE LONE DARK SIDE (doom/black metal), TERRA IMPRESSIONUM (avantgarde metal). From the Spanish: KATHAARSYS, AUTUMNAL, DAWN OF TEARS, maybe we are forgetting some more.
Subterráneo Heavy: You’re only three members, but you don’t have a drummer, Is it because you haven’t found the right person, or is it because you prefer to keep it as a trio? I’ve seen some live photos where you play with a drummer (I´m asking you about this because you could be playing with a drum machine), Who is him, a friend, a hired musician…?
TC: Yes, now we don’t have drummer, we try to find him, but you know it’s trouble in nowadays. Before 2012 we had Vlad, after that we play with session drummer. I can’t imagine how people plays with drum-machine, I couldn’t so, without live drummer there will be no drive.
Subterráneo Heavy: And what about tour dates, any shows booked?
TC: We very love to play live, but situation is not definite. We think about european tour, but for now it’s just thoughts, again, the political situation played role. Maybe somebody will become interested and will invite.
Subterráneo Heavy: Well, that’s all, thanks for your time, Anything else you want to say to our readers?
TC: Thank you, we are very glad that you are interested. We would like to wish all the more good music.