I would definitely being lying if I wrote I wasn't very impressed by Despoilment of Origin from UK deathers Sarpanitum. Their debut was recently released via the relatively new label Galactic Records. The band have already made quite a name for themselves on the UK underground scene and Despoilment of Origin most certainly only fortify that. I could not pass on the opportunity to get a chat with bassist/vocalist Andy Techakosit about the album, the reactions, the music and the inspiration as well as a ton of other things.

Andy Techakosit interviewed by PSL

Besides Despoilment of Origin you have a couple of demos in the backpack, but as I understand you've already established quite a name for yourselves in the underground. How have you achieved this so quickly?
We have always enjoyed playing in a live setting and I think due to being thrown into the proverbial deep end in terms of gigging from quite early on, we were able to get the band's name around the UK metal scene relatively early on. The period between 2005-2006 saw us offered gigs next to signed bands solely from word of mouth and were even just grateful to be regarded highly enough by some of our peers to share the stage with some great bands without a full-length or even any other release circulating properly.

The reactions to Despoilment of Origin, how have they been so far and is there anything that has surprised you?
The majority of reactions to the album have been very positive so far, with many drawing comparisons to the likes of Immolation, Mithras, Nile amongst other bands we regard highly as musicians and fans of the genre. We're extremely happy how well the album has been received and hope that with the release of the album 2007 will be a good year for the Sarpanitum.

Bands like Nile and Mithras in particular seem to have inspired you, but what other bands has been an inspiration? Please elaborate on your influences.
Throw in the likes of Immolation and Hate Eternal and I think you have there a selection of bands that represent a segment of death metal which inspires us greatly when writing for Sarpanitum. Besides death and black metal we have influences ranging from ambient and atmospheric bands such as Dead Can Dance and Elend to an array film soundtracks to music which may not even have a place in generic death metal.

Just like Nile and Mithras you put a great deal of effort into adding ambience to the music. Could you say something about what it is that appeals to you creating music like this?
What I love about those bands and the ones mentioned earlier is the 'big' soundscapes and intensity which they manage to convey in their music; it's not simply about how tasteless you can make your lyrics or how technical you can make your music. As fans of this type of music I see it as the only way in which we would ever write for Sarpanitum, whether in the vein of the material on Despoilment of Origin or progressing into more experimental areas we will always strive to write something unique and thought capturing for ourselves as fans of death metal.

Another thing that is very noticeable is that there are actually quite a few solos on the album. These add tremendously to the mood of the songs as well. Do you think solos are an important part of making a song interesting?
Thanks, I think solos and leads are definitely something that we've always believed added character to songs as long as done tastefully. We've tried to mix it up on the album and not finding ourselves with a mandatory solo in each song, rather using lead passages just like any other passage in a song. Our lead guitarist Tom Hyde has definitely added a new dimension to the band's sound since joining the band in 2004, one which we now depend on in our writing style.

You've reused some of the songs from your demos. How different are the songs on Despoilment of Origin from the original versions?
I would say that the songs that featured on the Despoilment of Origin demo are definitely below par to the album versions by a long way; not only on performance but structurally and lyrically. We definitely felt the full-length was a huge step up from our previous offerings.

Are there any topics in particular that inspires you lyrically? It appears as if you stay away from the common death metal topics.
I would say ancient mythology plays a big part in the lyrics I write, for the album we focused on Mesopotamia and most predominantly the mythology surrounding the goddess Sarpanitum. Saying that I can safely say we're not restricting ourselves to anything in particular on the lyrical front, and have already been experimenting lyrically with other mythological endeavours, differing in both time and geographic periods. The follow-up will certainly not be simply Despoilment of Origin II.

Leon Macey from Mithras has recorded parts of the album as well as remixed and mastered the effort. Has this put its prints on the sound in any way?
Leon's definitely done a great job on the album pulling it up to standard; he's not only watermarked the guitar and drum sound with the big dynamics used in his previous work but at the same time kept the raw and savage element which we very much wanted to retain.

Did you achieve the sound you were aiming for when entering the studio?
Not initially no, we had a few people try their hand at mixing and mastering the CD but weren't happy until we received the final mix. It is amazing how an album can change so radically in terms of sound in the final stages of producing an album.

I'm pretty much unfamiliar with Galactic Records. They are not the most known label around so what made you ink a deal with them?

You're right in the fact that Galactic are a relatively new label, however due to problems with previous labels we were very excited to work with the label after hearing their plans for the growth of the band and label alike. We wanted to work with people who shared the same goals as ourselves so it was a fairly straightforward decision at the end of the day.

You've had quite a few people come and go. Are you confident that the line-up you have today is stable?
Well, it always seems like bands are always confident that their current line-up is their strongest regardless, however in all honestly I really do think we have finally found the right balance with members. I've known Tom for many years now and he is a strong creative force; Sean has gelled into the band extremely well since his arrival and we couldn't imagine anyone else on the Sarpanitum drum throne. And finally Mark Broster is our new guitar player, who happens to be Sean's younger brother, and is a talented player whose ideas will go along way in forging the band's sound.

Do you plan to tour in support of the album or are you just going to play some local gigs?
We don't have any comprehensive tours lined up presently, but we'll be playing some high profile gigs in order to reach as many people as possible and promote our new album.

How is the UK death metal scene doing nowadays? - It appears as if it's still mostly bands like Bolt Thrower, Benediction, Napalm Death and Gorerotted that are visible!
The UK is finding itself in a bit of a resurgence in regards to death metal; there is a big underground scene which is comprised of a large selection of gore metal, as well as being home to some very good dark death metal with the likes of Mithras continuing to push the envelope with their unique style of extreme metal.

Anything you'd like to add to conclude this interview?
Yes, thanks for taking the time to conduct this interview and supporting Sarpanitum. And for all of those interested, Despoilment of Origin is available from all good stores worldwide and online now. Cheers.

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