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INTERVIEW: Singapore-based Black Metal band ILEMAUZAR

Metal is truly a global phenomenon. This is evident from the emerging acts from countries like Singapore, from where Ilemauzar come from. They play a style of music that was originated in Norway. With an Australian drummer in their ranks and a recent full length under their belt, they’re definitely a band to watch out for. Staff writer Peter K talks to the frontman Bloodcurse about their activities, their album ‘The Ascension’ and also the music scene in Singapore and South East Asia.

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): Greetings! You started the band after taking a break for almost 14 years. What inspired you to start to band again?

Ilemauzar (Bloodcurse): I guess playing live was one reason why the band was reformed. Live shows are always the main reason for the adrenaline rush which I enjoy!

TO: How did the present line up get together? You have a drummer from Australia who plays in the band WARDAEMONIC. How did that come about? It’s similar to Louis Rando of The Furor drumming for IMPIETY!

Ilemauzar: The present lineup was not easy to form up. We went through lotsa changes. As for the drummer, we’ll cut the long story short. We were schedule to be on Rock in Solo Festival in Surakarta, Indonesia. 4 weeks before show, then drummer couldn’t commit due to family and work commitment. Posted a status on the band’s Facebook page. Got a reply from Maelstrom. The rest is history.

TO: What about black metal appealed to you? What made you decide to start a band?

Ilemauzar: Black metal has always been a part of my life since 1995. I don’t know what appeals to me but there seem to be a spiritual connection between myself and black metal since the first day I started listening to this genre.

TO: What does the name Ilemauzar mean?

Ilemauzar: Ilemauzar is the name of a familiar of one of the witches during Matthew Hopkins (Witchfinder General) time. During the 1600s, Matthew Hopkins went around hunting for witches and many innocence died during that period as suspected witches. The cause of all these was because Christians think that they are heretics towards Christianity. So basically, we are honoring the dead witches who either lose their lives or lose their mind because of the most treacherous cult call, Christianty.

TO: What are the bands that have inspired your sound?

Ilemauzar: Behemoth. Belphegor, Naglfar and Dark Funeral.

TO: Your first full length album, ‘The Ascension’ released in September last year. How has the response to the album been so far?

Ilemauzar: Response has been pretty good for a start. We did a great launch show in Singapore last September as well. So far, we still have people asking for our CDs. Not as much as the launch but the interest is still there. We get pretty decent reviews for the album as well from US and Europe. But we can’t really please all metalheads in the world to like our music. There is no way to achieve 100%. Not even big bands.

TO: Tell us a bit about the album. What is it about? Most people expect would Asian themes from a band from your region, is it anything about that?

Ilemauzar: The album’s main topic is about our point of view towards religion. And a little Goetic topic. Not really having Asian themes. Maybe on the next album? Hahahaha.

TO: What was the recording process for the album? Where was it recorded?

Ilemauzar: The recording took quite a while. We have to fly our asses to Jakarta for the recording and process took quite a while. First wave of recordings were all scrapped due to the fact that we used a wrong sound. We redo all the guitar tracks and vocal tracks in Jakarta (Noise Lab) the second time. Bass tracks were scrapped off and re-recorded in Perth. Drums were recorded in Perth as well. Mixing and mastering were all done in Perth (SixSquared Studio).

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Ilemauzar: Metal: Emperor, Lord Belial, Behemoth, Belphegor, Throne of Ahaz, Zyklon, Mork Gryning, Dark Tranquility, Insomnium, Dark Funeral and too many to mention.

Non–Metal: Don’t think there is any.

Acts that inspired me of late probably will be Lord Belial from Sweden. Been listening to them since the 90s but recently just can’t get enough of them and hoping for a new album.

TO: WORMROT and RUDRA are a couple of the well known bands from Singapore. What are your thoughts on metal scene in Singapore?

Ilemauzar: Metal scene in Singapore is really small. Probably less than a thousand real metal heads. The country is infested with hipsters wannabes. However, metal managed to survive in Singapore since the 80s with bands like Impiety are still actively touring and releasing albums. I believe one day, the scene will definitely thrive.

TO: You have toured around South East Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong. What has been your favourite city/country to perform in so far?

Ilemauzar: Surakarta, Indonesia will be one of my favorite place to perform. Crazy crowd and passionate metalheads. Hong Kong will be next, not a huge crowd but their passion never lose out to any other region. However, will always choose to go there during winter to escape the heat in Singapore.

TO: What are your plans for this year? Do you have any shows/tour planned? When can we expect a new album from Ilemauzar?

Ilemauzar: 2017 will be a quiet year for us. We’ll not be touring much this year to concentrate on the next album. We might just do 1 or 2 festival shows around the region and a couple of supporting shows for touring bands from US/EU. We’re hoping to release the next album in early 2018 with Transcending Obscurity Asia.

TO: Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

Ilemauzar: Thank you for the interview. Keep the flames of metal burning! Horns up! \m/

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