Denouncement Pyre is total destruction. This Melbourne blackened death four-piece seek to bring mysticism back to a genre falling victim to popularity and, as a result, comfortability.
We talked to frontman D. about the band’s recently released third full length, Black Sun Unbound, and how exploring the depths can often prove to be a positive experience.
The concept behind Black Sun Unbound (2016)
I have been drawn towards the symbol of the ‘Black Sun’ for a long time and I found it to be a worthy concept that we could build an album around. From the earliest traces of civilisation, the sun has been a commanding and powerful symbol and is often associated with light, prosperity, growth and life.
The ‘Black Sun’ however casts shadow where there is light and comes to represent death, darkness, disruption, chaos and a disintegrating force. A gateway to the underworld. This is where inspiration is found. This is a symbol of awakening and liberation. This could be likened to the subconscious, where knowledge, memories and visions remain for those who are unaware and unawake. We want to bring those shadows to the surface.
By exploring the darkness of existence, one is able to unlock unbound potentiality that leads to personal growth and empowerment. This is the Black Sun Unbound. What inspired the album was based on hours of exploration through meditation, realisation and conscious dreaming. It represents a journey to be taken for one who dares. Fuck the world and its limitations. Long for the deathless horizon and the black sun unbound.
On writing ambitiously
Working on new music is the most satisfying part of playing in a band for me. It’s where we challenge ourselves because we like to work from the perspective of always trying to push in terms of how we approach our music. How to inject new ideas, write different structures, use our instruments in different ways, create sounds and arrangements that we haven't used on pervious releases; that sort of thing.
If I had to choose between wiring music and performing live, I would prefer to be creating new sounds and recording any day. That’s the part that I find most rewarding. It’s also the most personal aspect of the band; what goes on behind closed doors. Playing live is a completely different experience.
With Black Sun Unbound being our third album, we were conscious not to settle for any ideas unless we felt it was the strongest material we could put forward for the album. Specifically I think of tracks like Wounds of Golgotha, Black Sun Unbound, Witness and Sophrosune—they were harder songs to compose and were the result of a great amount of time that was invested in exploring how we approach our music. They still have a distinct Denouncement Pyre feel I think, but if you compare those tracks to World Cremation or Almighty Arcanum, there is some definite growth there. We don't want to play it safe. It would be pointless to write the same type of album again and again.
Using negative expression to create positive outcomes
I have always been drawn to the 'other side', the dark I would call it, especially with music and art where ideas are commonly expressed. It’s where I feel most comfortable. Rather than shield ourselves from the harshness and cruelty that is found in nature and in man, we embrace its darkness and recognise that its disintegrating and disrupting force leads to the breakdown of mental, physical, social and emotional order, both in individuals and in a mass of people.
It’s something to admire and use to ones advantage. Only the strong survive. Suffering consumes the weak and so it should. Some may see this as focussing on something that is wholeheartedly negative and destructive, which in a way it is, but it’s a truth that we have embraced through our music and art and that has caused positive change in our world.
We have grown as individuals, we have realised goals through our music, we have met likeminded folks from far and near with whom we share a bond, we have experienced the wildfire that comes with playing this music and have found personal empowerment when in its grip.
The ideology behind Denouncement Pyre: Exploring total darkness and depravity
Black and death metal should be something that pushes boundaries. It should be an outlet where one can express whatever they like, without restriction and control. Denouncement Pyre is our weapon that is used to express ideas that come from a place beyond the mundane world. We don't present ideas for the common man because those ideas are not drawn from a place that a common man will know.
The chaotic legacy of Australian blackened death metal
If you look at bands like Martire, Sadistik Exekution, Bestial Warlust/Corpse Molestation, Slaughter Lord, Hobbs Angel of Death and Destroyer 666, you can see why the underground worldwide expects Aussie bands to be wild, untamed, totally savage. We have never had goals in terms of continuing on that reputation. But whether right or wrong, we have often been identified as bearers of that old spirit. I think it’s important for a band to find its own place rather than be defined by those who have preceded them. We all dig that old Aussie sound and its fighting spirit.
It’s a spirit that I see is dying when I look around now. I mean in Melbourne particularly, you struggle to find newer bands with that same hunger. It has really mellowed out over the last few years. With crowds also, there is no fanaticism, music takes a backseat to socialising and standing outside whilst bands play. But I guess when bands are offering something that is uninspired, then that’s the only reaction it will generate.
It’s a case of the same old faces and no new blood paving the way. The scene here is now predictable and worst of all safe. We want to share the stage with likeminded folks who want a show to be something outside of ordinary experience, yet it’s hard to get a solid line-up when bands are not willing to push to do something more than mediocre.
Grab Denouncement Pyre's Black Sun Unbound and give it a listen on Bandcamp.