Interview with Paul Nazarkardeh
13th October 2018
Interview by Hayduke X
Back in May, British death metal monsters De Profundis came out with an absolute ripper of an album entitled The Blinding Light of Faith. Taking to task all three of the Abrahamic religions, the quintet lay intelligent lyrics over the top of a blistering riff fest that grabs hold of the listener and won’t let go. This release grabbed me by the throat from the get go and has stayed in my regular rotation since.
The Blinding Light of Faith just came out. How has the response been so far?
[Paul Nazarkardeh – Guitars] The Blinding Light of Faith was almost never released. The album cycle for our last record was brutal in all the wrong ways, with a series of setbacks culminating in two consecutive UK/Europe tours falling through. It was a pretty demoralizing few years. The overwhelmingly positive reaction to The Blinding Light of Faith proves to me that we were right to keep going!
Making metal today is a tough job, but I don’t dwell on it – either I push on or I quit. I was born too late to be a part of this ‘Golden Age’ that every bitter old git interviewed by Blabbermouth.com harps on about anyway. We are all bombarded by endless content, new music, new films, new natural disasters, new political scandals every day. The fact that amongst that deluge of information people are singling out The Blinding Light of Faith their favourite album of the year is an honour.
Complaining doesn’t solve anything, riffs do.
Has the final product met your expectations for what you were going for?
Every band says their latest album is their best work. So if I say it about the Blinding Light of Faith, is my opinion not completely invalid? Maybe! The object was to make the most direct, full-on De Profundis album, and I think we achieved that. It’s 43 minutes of Death Metal exactly the way we believe Death Metal should be made.
How did you guys go about writing the album?
We started writing the album on the 4th day of 2015, and we finished writing just before entering the studio almost two years after to the day. Generally, one of us will bring some riffs into our studio and as a group we will arrange the haphazard mass of notes into a song. Craig [Land, vocals] handles the lyrics, but more importantly tells us when a riff sucks and needs to be scrapped! Which he does with all the subtlety of a coked-up Brian Blessed at a funeral.
How about the recording and production process?
The Blinding Light of Faith was recorded between Parlour Studios in Kettering and our own Barking Dog Studios. Pete Dowsett is the man who produced the record. For me nothing can kill a record more than shoddy production. This isn’t 2nd wave Black Metal nor is it Tech Death. We wanted both clarity and that visceral sonic punch in the gut that a modern extreme metal record needs. Pete gave us both.
The album is noticeably anti-religion. Tell me about that. Are there other lyrical themes present?
The Blinding Light of Faith is all about the evils committed in the name of all three Abrahamic religions. Whether blood is spilled in the name of God, Yahweh, or Allah, the blood is still red! As someone whose heritage is of one country that has suffered horribly from fundamentalist Christianity and the other from fundamentalist Islam, it is important to me that we don’t discriminate.
Despite the fact that we are quite clearly attacking all three as the unholy trinity they are, we still managed to upset people with our latest video for Martyrs, a song about the genocidal and futile mindset of Jihadism. God forbid that a death metal band says something blasphemous!
Basement dwellers everywhere nowadays insist that ‘Extreme metal must be in the name of evil, negativity and misanthropy’. Fuck that – to me, this album is an opposition to one very dangerous form of evil.
Who designed the album cover? How does it relate to your vision of the album?
Whenever I’m asked about Alex Tartsus’ excellent work on the album artwork, I always just leave this message he sent to us about his concept – he puts it far better than I ever could.
“I decided to put a grotesque figure of a man, with pages nailed to him from the scriptures. Also, his eyes are bleeding, nails are in them, his mouth is tied, and on the neck there is a rope, to each of the temples there is one blow. This symbolizes humanity, which under the influence of religious dogmas has lost the ability to think outside the permissible framework and look at things with an uncomplicated gaze and speak what it thinks. This figure is the Mankind enslaved by religion.
All the temples are bleeding, blood drains over the rocks in a sea of blood. Worms climb from the temples. It symbolizes the fact that religion is rotten through.”
Take us back to 2005. How did De Profundis get started?
Perhaps I’m not a great authority to answer that subject – I was still in high school! De Profundis was formed by Craig Land and my predecessor guitarist Roman Subbotin.
This is your fifth full length album. How have you evolved through your career as a band?
Although in it’s earliest form the music was closer to Doom Metal, each passing album gave way to more and more Death Metal elements, leading to now, where the ‘Doom’ aspect is only a faint strain of our musical DNA. Kreator are a major inspiration of mine, not only in their music but in the way that every album they have worked harder at their craft and so now in their later years they are even stronger a force than they were in the Pleasure to Kill era. Likewise, we want everything we do to be stronger than what came before.
The Blinding Light of Faith was released on Transcending Obscurity Records. How did you connect with this label?
There is a growing anti-label sentiment in all alternative music right now. I can’t help but sympathize slightly, as believe me, working with a bad label can be soul destroying. Sorry to ruin the romantic image of the ‘united metal brotherhood’, but bands and labels are businesses. They need people who not only love metal but have the brains to run things right. Fortunately for us, Transcending Obscurity has all that and more.
Kunal knows how to run a Metal label in 2018, and does it brilliantly. Just look at the label’s fanbase – they know that the bands on the TO roster are guaranteed to be releasing killer music, and so they are fans of the label as well as the band. Few labels achieve that nowadays.
Do you have touring/fest plans in support of the new album?
We’ve just had a busy summer in support of the album, with a run of UK shows, followed by a European tour with Belphegor and Melechesh, and finally our appearance at this year’s Bloodstock Open Air. Our work is, of course, far from done. Our next live appearance will be with Vallenfyre at their last ever show at London’s Nambucca on September 29th, followed by Iberian Warriors Festival in Zaragoza, Spain on November 2nd.
There are still many more countries we have to preach The Blinding Light of Faith to. Germany, France and of course my favourite country in the world to tour in, Holland, are definite priorities. Naturally, we won’t let our fellow Britons forget about us either, especially with the impending historical feat of national stupidity that I need not name which will make international touring very difficult indeed.
What are the next steps for the band? Are you writing new material already or will you take a break to focus on promoting this album?
It’s time to start writing album six! That’s all I can really say on that matter. It won’t be an easy job outdoing The Blinding Light of Faith, but we won’t rest until we’ve done just that.
That doesn’t mean we will stop promoting this album. No rest for the wicked! A vinyl issue of the record has been released on Lusitanian Music, so anyone who likes their Death Metal the proper old school way can get their fix. We’ll be continuing our partnership with Andy Pilkington of Very Metal Art, who’s very graphic visual realisation of The Blinding Light of Faith never ceases to impress us.
Do you have any last words for us?
Total support to Metal Rules for their continued backing of the underground! To whoever is still reading this – I express myself better through my guitar, so go check out The Blinding Light of Faith instead of suffering any longer through my rambling!