Usually when you think of Russia you probably automatically think of vodka, president Putin and not of brutal death metal, but that's not fair. There's actually quite an active scene when it comes to the music we all love - death metal. Not too long ago I had the chance to ask Mortalized drummer Vitaliy Baharev some questions about their latest CD Deathville and the Russian scene among other things.

Vitaliy Baharev interviewed by PSL

How has the reactions been Deathville?
The response has been very good. Deathville was a long-awaited release here in Russia. We've gotten some very good ratings in most Russian webzines. We're also pleased with the review on Supreme - seven out of 10 is not bad, so we can't really complain.

I guess it wouldn't be wrong to say you're inspired by Mortician, but what other bands have had an impact on you?
I like Brujeria, Nasum, Napalm Death, Regurgitate, Dead Infection, Cryptopsy, Suffocation, Brodequin and bands similar, but I can't say that these have had much of an impact on our music. We play Mortician styled death metal. In other words death metal with ultra low guttural growls, very low guitars, extremely fast blastbeats. We try to capture the brutal sound that has become a Mortician trademark.

You've include a version of Mortician's "Lords of the Dead" on the CD. Could you say something about why you picked that particular song?
I'd like many Mortician songs, but in my opinion "Lords of the Dead" are their best one. It's my favourite so that's one of the reasons why we decided to do a cover of that song.

Have you reused any demo material on Deathville or is it solely made up of new songs?
Yes, we have reused demo material as well as material from our early split CD on Deathville.

Your music is quite diverse. It's not a total blastbeat contest from start to finish. What is a good goregrind/death metal song in you opinion?
I think a good goregrind/death metal song must be powerful and catchy at the same time. It has to grab you right away. It doesn't hurt either that it's a bit funny too. Humour means a lot. It's all about feeling and mood.

There are a lot of samples from various movies on the CD. What do you think these add to the songs?
I think these add an atmosphere of horror to the songs! Plus the samples help tie the songs together as well as adding further variety.

You're obviously influenced by horror and zombie flicks. Which movies have inspired you the most?
We like a lot of different movies, but Traces of Death, Hellraiser, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead and Candyman have definitely been an inspiration.

The production is fat and powerful. Did you achieve the sound that you were looking for?
Yes we did! We like the sound on Deathville and is very pleased with the result.

You've only released two demos prior to getting a deal with Soulflesh Collector. How did the deal come around?
Soulflesh Collector heard one of our demos and offered to release it. It's on a split-CD with Cadaveric Incubator and Fetal Decay. After that we inked a contract with Soulflesh Collector to release a full-length album.

Since the recording of Deathville you've added Yus to the line-up. Does this affect the sound of Mortalized in any way?
No, it doesn't affect the sound. Mortalized still sound like Mortalized.

Have you begun writing music for the next CD?
Yes, we have slowly begun to write music for the next CD. Now that we have reused most of the songs from the old demos it's so much easier to start writing new music.

I know there are many good death and grindcore bands in Russia, but for some reason they rarely seem to get any attention outside of the Russian federation. Do you have any idea why that is?
In my opinion that's because here in Russia we only have two major festivals of death metal and grindcore. There's Petrogrind in Saint Petersburg and then there's Murder Art which Soulflesh Collector sets up in Moscow. It's different in Europe. There are many festivals there and it's the same in USA. One of my oldest dreams is to play at the Obscene Extreme Festival in the Czech Republic. But to answer your question I guess it all comes down to promotion and lack thereof.

How is the death metal scene in your area and in Russia in general doing?
Like you said before there are many good death metal and grindcore bands here in Russia. The scene is pretty good. I'm happy to work with a label like Soulflesh Collector. I think they do a lot for us and for the death metal scene here in Russia in general.

Anything you wish to add to conclude this interview?
Thanks for the interview. Support death metal and grindcore! Take care and stay brutal!

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