Not much is known about Ljosazabojstwa, aside from the fact that they are based out of Belarus and have only been around for a short period of time. Like so many black/death metal bands, they have left themselves cloaked in mystery in order to let the music speak for itself. Their debut demo ‘Staražytnaje licha’ is an incredibly strong first statement, and after a digital release and sold out cassette pressing last year, Hellthrasher Productions has given the demo a CD release. Whereas the digital release only had three songs, the CD and the cassette have the nine-minute opener Struk u horła chrysta, making them definitive way to experience everything Ljosazabojstwa has to offer (but since the cassette is long sold out, the CD is your best bet).
There are a lot of black and death metal bands vying for one’s attention right now, but Ljosazabojstwa is able to stand out by putting their own spin on some familiar influences. At the core of the material is the very bottom heavy and aggressive riffing of Finnish bands like Archgoat, but the use of ominous melodies and slower instrumentation gives them an overall sound more in common with some of the more mysterious, otherworldly entities in this genre. The material does a great job of switching things up regularly, as one song might emphasize a thrashier lead and all-out attack on the listener while the next slows things down and creates a murky tonality that sounds like it’s channeling voices from the beyond. It’s rare to see a band come through as so fully formed and sure of where they want to go with their material, and that leaves plenty of potential for even greater visions of death and despair still to come.
Though the group remains a mystery, I decided to send some questions over to see what I could find out about the writing process and vision the group has for their material.
Transcending Obscurity (Chris Dahlberg): Ljosazabojstwa is a fairly new entity, having formed last year. How long did it take for the material on the ‘Staražytnaje licha’ demo to come together?
LSZB: The band was summoned in 2014. It took about a year to compose and record all the tracks. Songs came out quite natural we’d say, everything went smooth.
TO: What does Ljosazabojstwa mean and how does this name tie into the music you create?
LSZB: Ljosazabojstwa translates as “murder of fate” or something like that. The name fits perfectly with the music, since every our song is about Death one way or another.
TO: The cassette sold out, are there any plans for a reprint or a release on vinyl at any point in addition to this new CD version?
LSZB: Tapes sold out surprisingly fast, but no plans reissuing them. No vinyl release planned at the moment either.
TO: The first track on the CD and cassette issue of ‘Staražytnaje licha’ is a new song. Tell us more about this piece and how writing it differed from the other three that originally made up the demo.
LSZB: Struk u horła chrysta was our very first song actually with lyrics being pretty blasphemic and violent. The riffs are typical for LSZB, except for there are no thrash influences in that song, just some good old Finnish Black Metal worship. We decided to drop the track from the digital version so it comes as some sort of bonus for those who bought tape/CD.
TO: ‘Staražytnaje licha’ is able to capture both the unrelenting, barbaric feel of black/death metal and its more mysterious, ritualistic variants. What are some of your primary influences, either musically or from other sources?
LSZB: An experienced listener can obviously trace some strong influences from Mortuary Drape, Mystifier, Infernal Majesty, Sarcofago, Beherit, Archgoat, and Blasphemy. Early Slayer was a big inspiration too. LSZB is influenced by almost every eighties extreme metal band really.
TO: The demo was mixed and mastered by Aliaksiej Siedzin, was it self-recorded? Are there any elements to the recording you plan to approach differently for upcoming material?
LSZB: The demo was recorded in our rehearsal pit, with only two mics and two amps. Aliaksiej has done an outstanding job to achieve that kind of sound for us. There will be no major changes for the next release except recording drums in a studio.
TO: The cover artwork is very striking. Tell us more about its creation and how it ties in to your lyrics and music.
LSZB: All the artworks were done by VR, a talented artist from our hometown. The artworks totally match the LSZB message–The Grim Reaper will meet every one of us in the end and Hell is the only destination!
TO: The CD was released on Hellthrasher Productions. How did this collaboration come together?
LSZB: Pawel from Hellthrasher got in touch with us several days after the tape release and made a perfect offer. He did a good job releasing and promoting the CD-release. Hellthrasher is a great label for Ljosazabojstwa.
Ljosazabojstwa translates as “murder of fate” or something like that. The name fits perfectly with the music, since every our song is about Death one way or another
TO: Your music remains cloaked in mystery in darkness. Are there any plans to play live or will Ljosazabojstwa remain a studio project?
LSZB: Too early to say about live shows but there’s always a possibility.
TO: With the demo now out on multiple formats, what else does Ljosazabojstwa have planned for 2016 and beyond?
LSZB: The primary goal for 2016 is to raise some hell with our next record!
TO: Is there anything else you’d like to say about Ljosazabojstwa or ‘Staražytnaje licha’?
LSZB: Hails to everyone who supported us and get prepared for some Kryŭjan Metal Sorcery!