Summon: How did the band get started?
Band: Morte and Thomas (Cyranowski) got together during their erudite years in college and began collaborating on some dark melodies. From there, Morte reached out into the world to select the right people to fit the apocalyptic tales he needed to tell. Over time, the pieces began to fall into place.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Morte: Metal derived from a number of influences and intended with an apocalyptic or otherwise catastrophic feel.
Lilith: There’s a wide variety of elements; we’ve been compared to so many different bands; the most often being Opeth and Cradle of Filth. We have even played acoustic versions of some of our songs for special occasions, and that’s gone over very well, too.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Prometheus: It’s been very good from what I’ve seen. People seem to really dig what we’re doing, and in the end that’s all that really matters to me. As long as we can keep our fans happy and excited for what we do, I’m a happy person.
Lilith: No matter what type of bill we’ve been on, or what city we’ve played in, we always leave with fans. We’ve been signing our CD’s at shows for new fans since Night 1. We’ve even played shows with hip hop acts and gained fans, somehow. We put on an intensely energetic show whether there are 10 people in the audience, or 10,000. On occasions where we’ve factored BDSM elements into our live show, that generally leaves a lasting impression on people, as many of them have never seen such things.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Morte: As the gospel of the end times is spread, we sow the seeds of sorrow within mortal hearts.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
Lilith Astaroth – Screams of Torture
Morte McAdaver – Thunderous Tones and Orchestral Depravities
Prometheus B. Subrick – Percussive Nightmares
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Band: Morte McAdaver writes the majority of the music that includes guitar, keyboard, and bass. He plans out drum parts, but those are ultimately written by the drummer himself (Prometheus wrote his parts on Nemesis Engine). Morte writes most of the lyrics, save for two songs on Nemesis Engine: the title track, and Divine Submission, which were penned by Lilith Astaroth. Other parts on songs have been written by Thomas Cyranowski (keys) and Pete Gelles (bass).
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Morte: From my overactive and grim imagination.
Lilith: Based on real-life experiences, or often drawing inspiration from RPG games, as I love the fantasy element in them. I enjoy visiting museums and often become inspired by ancient objects, as well.
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
Morte: The philosophy of LaVey’s Satanism has been inspirational to me on a personal, “self-help” kind of way. Concepts pertaining to the occult have always been extremely fascinating to me, but only in the sense that it gets my imagination all riled up and coming up with ideas. Spiritually, I am an atheist, and I believe only in my own strengths and the power of artistic expression through music and other forms.
Lilith: As an angry kid in high school I discovered LaVey, and his works deeply resonated with me at the time. They helped me feel secure within myself, which was crucial at that point in my life, as I grew up with almost no friends and being an outsider (small town, I was the only “weird” one who dressed in black and listened to heavy music). I’ll always hold on to some of these ideals, but I have never been religious. Spiritual, perhaps, but not religious. As for occultism… I’ve been accused of being a “cult leader” myself, so I guess that’s all I’ll say about that. *laughs*
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Band: Our first release was a double-disc album entitled collectively, “The Extinction Prophecies” – Disc 1: ‘Dread Sylvan Summonings’ – Disc 2: ‘Descent of the Scarab Prophet’. Our sophomore release, “Nemesis Engine”.
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Morte: Nemesis Engine was intended to have a more “old school metal” feel. The songs are often fun to play live, and have veered away from Morte’s usual social commentary and focused more on just telling a Lich Queen’s story whilst presenting undead concepts that Morte thought would be awesome. (His recommendations include Arcana of the Lich Queen, Scourge of the Hierophant, Corpse Colossus, and Stygian Athenaeum.)
Prometheus: The Nemesis Engine album is a natural evolution from where “Descent of the Scarab Prophet” left off. It’s more extreme, faster, and just generally a more aggressive outing than either disc of “The Extinction Prophecies”. I think me joining the band in 2012 definitely helped push our music into that more extreme direction, as I’m a much more extreme drummer than the guys who played in the band before me. The song “Arcana (of the Lich Queen)” is a perfect example of the direction we took with the new album; fast, full of blast beats, but still very melodic and catchy at the same time.
Lilith: In this album, I really explored my vocal range to it’s greatest depths and tried things that I’d been wanting to do back when we started recording “The Extinction Prophecies”, but was incapable of back then. I’m proud of the growth that’s taken place in the last 4 years, and even surprised myself a few times, with how deep my voice has gotten, yet being able to hit those high soprano notes that were previously impossible. As we continue to work together, we’ve decided to continue exploring melodic vocals, and I’m pretty excited to discover what else I can do with my voice. I am proud of everyone’s work on this album, and the fans have been mirroring this enthusiasm and encouraging us to keep pushing us in this direction. (it should say ‘pushing in this direction’ instead of pushing us in this direction)
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Band: Morte and Prometheus also currently play in Blacksoul Seraphim. Lilith’s other projects are more involved with film and acting work, although she did form a melodic metal band in 2012 with former guitarist Chris Adamcek, called Akashic Shadow, who played one show with punk rock band The Murder Junkies before eventually dissolving.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Morte: Amorphis, Opeth, Theatre of Tragedy, Draconian, Bad Religion, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Dead Silent Slumber, Darzamat, and Einherjer, just to name a few.
Lilith: I grew up in the 90’s, and sadly, had no exposure to death or black metal growing up because there were absolutely no metal kids in my town. I didn’t have internet back then either, so I was left with only what was accessible at the time… my most powerful influences growing up were bands like Metallica, Pantera, Slayer, Deftones. These are the bands who inspired my vocal style, especially Pantera. Later on I would discover bands all over the map, like Children of Bodom, Emperor, In Flames, Cradle of Filth, Type O Negative, Opeth, Amon Amarth, though I wish I’d had more exposure to metal in my youth – there’s so much out there, and I have much less free time than I did as a kid to find and listen to it all.
Prometheus: If I list my influences as bands here then it’ll just be the same answer as the next question, so I’ll name the drummers that have influenced me instead. My top five favorite/influential drummers of all time are Derek Roddy, Gene Hoglan, Dave Lombardo, Mike Portnoy, and Lars Ulrich. All five guys have influenced me to such a great degree that I absolutely would not be the drummer I am today if I hadn’t discovered these guys and all the music they’ve done.
Summon: Which current bands?
Prometheus: Death, Cannibal Corpse, Opeth, Metallica, Slayer, Cradle of Filth. and Dream Theater immediately come to mind. Much like my list of drummers, these bands have influenced me so much that it’s hard for me to think of how I would be as a musician and a person had they not come into my lives. Devin Townsend’s numerous projects also scream “Holy shit, I NEED this!” to me, but especially his work with Strapping Young Lad and the “Deconstruction” album from his Devin Townsend Project. There’s a melodeath band from Sweden (where else?) called In Mourning that I’ve recently got into that’s very, very good as well. There’s a song they have called “A Vow to Conquer the Ocean” that I’ve had on rotation non-stop for like the last month. On the (slightly) less extreme side of things, I’m really digging Satan’s Host. I discovered them around the start of the year, and if the fact that they mix black metal and power metal wasn’t crazy enough, the fact that they do it so unbelievably well is, well, unbelievable.
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Morte: We present a dark and imposing atmosphere. We use theatrics, walk off introductions, and basically do what we can to be a fun and creepy experience for the hapless audience.
Prometheus: We’re pretty active, but not as much as a band like Dillinger Escape Plan is (but really, can anybody be as impressively manic as they are?). We headbang and move around the stage, but we don’t hop around like hyperactive rabbits like some bands do. That just doesn’t have a place in what we do. Imagine if Morte just started mosh stomping around like Scott Ian. It wouldn’t work. Haha.
Lilith: We like to be theatrical sometimes, sometimes not. We sometimes enjoy shocking people with BDSM play and whipping slaves on My cross. But the truth is, we don’t need those things to be entertaining live; we just enjoy doing them now and then. Makeup and wardrobe are fun to play with, but at the end of the day all we need is the raw energy we all feel. I’ve done shows in complete Lich Queen regalia, head to toe in latex, while the guys are wearing corpse paint or gas masks, but just as often, I’ve done shows with no makeup and wearing cargo shorts. Sometimes all of that crazy shit gets in the way when you’re trying to get your point across. Sometimes it’s pure fucking awesome, especially during times like our Halloween Tour. It all depends on the show, I guess. We certainly put the corpse paint on thick when we played with Watain in NY. But if it’s a local show, we tend to keep it more to raw energy; Massholes are very fickle with who they support and don’t support in the local scene, and they tend not to like theatrics and makeup because they’re “too cool” to like it, so we tend to save that for people who will enjoy it as much as we do, in other parts of the country.
Summon: Have you guys played in another country?
Lilith: Not yet. It’s a goal. Montreal is only 5 1/2 hours away… would love to play there, though Canada just changed their rules on traveling musicians, so that could be more difficult than originally thought. I’d also love to play in my home country of Italy one day. I feel we would be well received in other countries… probably even more so than the US.
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?
Lilith: It depends on how well the events are promoted – but we’ve always got a crowd. It’s been years since we’ve showed up somewhere that only had a handful of people in attendance. The biggest show we did last year was FREAKFEST 3 in Providence, an outdoor show, to about 350 people. Our biggest this year will be at an outdoor Boston festival, which will probably be more like 3,500 people.. New Englanders… we hope to see you at the 25th annual MASSCANN Freedom Rally!!!
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Prometheus: The crowd gets into our material just as well as they do anybody else’s. I think it’s a bit easier for people to get into our music live than other extreme music since we’ve still got catchy choruses and clean vocals and easily memorable melodies and whatnot. It’s still mosh-able music, but we don’t put our focus solely on trying to create that kind of a feeling, ya know? We try and take the listener through various moods, varying peaks and valleys, etc. That’s where a lot of the Opeth influence comes out in our music; we do it less haphazardly than some of Opeth’s stuff (particularly their older stuff, which, as cool as Orchid and Morningrise are, feels very segmented and less like cohesive pieces), but that same kind of feel is there with us as well.
Lilith: Crowd response has always been amazing, except for a couple of shows that we played in our home state of MA back when we were first starting, that will forever stick out in my mind. As I mentioned, metal fans in MA are a bit strange. They tend to be elitist, some of them are even stuck up, which makes absolutely no sense to me – this is metal… I personally see no need for snobbery in this already small community. If anything, we should stick together and fucking support each other! But, we have played a couple of shows in MA where the audience stood there with their arms crossed trying to decide whether they liked us or not, probably because we were wearing makeup. One of these shows I felt like pulling an Axl Rose and leaving stage because we’re up there working our asses off to put on a good show and getting absolutely nothing from the audience. No movement, hardly any applause. Nothing. It was so fucking strange. By the end of it, we appeared to win some of them over, but in general, we dislike playing in Massachusetts because of shit like that. Massachusetts is the ONLY state we’ve played in where people have acted that way. Everywhere else has been amazing. We have had a handful of amazing shows in MA too, but not nearly as many as in places like Manchester, NH, or Providence, RI for example.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
Morte: Local black metal has been sounding pretty good to me, lately. I’m in touch with several fellows who do some fine work. Death metal is less my thing, so I can’t speak to how good or terrible it’s been.
Lilith: It’s alright I suppose; it could be a lot better. I think New England probably has the strongest scene right now. We’ve made friends with and have shared the stage with some very talented local bands.
Prometheus: There are some excellent bands to be found, but you just hafta look in the right places for them. Right here in New England there are some excellent bands. Abnormality, Obsidian Tongue, Blood Stone Sacrifice, Lightsbane, Graveside Service, Nocuous, I could go on all day. California and Arizona have really good scenes too; two of my favorite current bands, Cattle Decapitation and Lago, came out of those states respectively. In the United States, we have our own brands of black and death metal that are, at times, completely different from how Europe does them, so I think that gives this country a great little subset of extreme metal that’s all to our own. That being said, there are a LOT of really shitty, awful bands glutting the various local scenes, often in the form of death core, metal core, and various other “cores” that have little in the way of actual extremity (or metal, for that matter) and just prefer to chug endlessly and rip off At The Gates and Meshuggah. Like I said in a previous interview, you’ve gotta dig your way through the shit to find the diamonds, and that statement works for any type of music, not just metal.
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Morte: Words cannot express how much I wish I could experience some of those scenes instead of the stagnant vortex of feces that the American metal scene is.
Lilith: I second this statement. I feel that in European countries, music and the arts as a whole, not just metal music, are far more appreciated and respected than here in the US. The US leaves MUCH to be desired, and it is a goal of mine to one day experience metal in other countries, and to play metal in other countries, as well.
Prometheus: Europe has some amazing extreme bands too. British black metal is, like American black metal, a completely different beast from any other type of black metal out there. It tends to be very drab and gothic, like they’re perpetually stuck in 1996, only here it’s a good thing. Just listen to Cradle of Filth, Hecate Enthroned, or December Moon. Sometimes you can find amazing metal in the most unlikely places too. For example, there are these two bands from Russia and Poland respectively called Walknut and Wędrujący Wiatr. They each only have one album, and Walknut’s been pretty much disbanded since theirs came out, but they’re two of the finest examples of atmospheric black metal I’ve heard this side of Hvis Lyset Tar Oss by Burzum. Polish death metal basically just speaks for itself. Everyone’s heard Behemoth and Vader, and the metal world is better for their continued existence. I recommend Hate from Poland too. They’re like a mix of the previous two bands, and their more recent material is just so freakin’ good that I can’t believe it. Morte can lend credence to this too, as he’s the one that introduced Hate to me.
Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
Morte: Inquisition, Insomnium, Agrimonia, Secrets of the Sky, and A Forest of Stars.
Lilith: I haven’t been listening to a lot of new music, as not much has made an impression on me lately.. a lot of it starts to sound the same. One band who did impress me recently though was Nocuous, whom we played out in Worcester with last September, and are playing with again in the same venue this upcoming September, so go check them out. I did enjoy the recent Fleshgod Apocalypse album. And, although they aren’t death or black metal, I’ve been cranking Wintersun pretty loud, really want to see those guys next time they come here. Morte also recently introduced me to Darzamat, and I’m really enjoying them. In fact… I’m fairly certain they will be a major influence for us on future work….
Prometheus: The post-reunion material by Septicflesh has been outstanding. I haven’t heard their newest album yet (and really the pre-release songs didn’t impress me all that much), but they created two of my favorite songs ever in Sangreal and Pyramid God from Communion and The Great Mass respectively. I honestly hope that that’s the kind of direction Sorrowseed goes in whenever we make new material; dark, epic, brutal metal but with orchestras and a massive blanket of melody cast over the proceedings. I’ve already mentioned In Mourning, Cattle Decapitation, Walknut, and Wędrujący Wiatr, as all four of them have become recognized only in the past decade or so (can that be considered new?). I’d be absolutely remiss if I didn’t mention Alcest and Deafheaven. The former kickstarted this whole “post-black metal” or “blackened shoegaze” thing that’s been going on, and the latter perfected it to the point that I really don’t think any other band can come close to how amazingly they did it. They’ve been a big influence on Morte and I’s other band Blacksoul Seraphim, as can be heard in our newer material we’ve been releasing since last year. Our friends in Dethlehem and MindMaze out in Pennsylvania have been making some awesome stuff too. I actually contributed vocals to Dethlehem’s new album, which they’re mixing as we speak. MindMaze we’ve done a bunch of shows with, but always down there (lazy bums they are for not driving up here. Haha). I’d love to bring both of them up here to do like a three extremes kind of show. MindMaze would be the straight up traditional/power metal band, Dethlehem would mix melodic and extreme with a tilt towards the former, and we’d be the more straight up extreme metal band of the bunch. That’s something I hope to cross off my bucket list some day.
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
Lilith: We have no immediate plans to rush into a new album – we rushed the last one a little bit and right now have been only discussing in which direction we’d like to go in. I’ve been writing lyrics off and on when inspiration strikes, but for right now we’re focused on playing shows and finishing up our new music video for Stygian Athenaeum!
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
Morte: We will one day all perish and return to the dust of a dying Earth.
Prometheus: Playing more shows, making more music, and drinking more *insert copyrighted alcoholic beverage of choice here*.
Lilith: Continuing to spread our dark visions across the lands… and making more friends and allies along the way. Keep up with us at the following urls: www.sorrowseed.com – www.facebook.com/Sorrowseed – www.Twitter.com/Sorrowseed – www.Reverbnation.com/Sorrowseed – you can join our mailing list through our Reverbnation page. Thank you to all of our fans for all of your ongoing support. And to all of our haters, thank you – for you add the fuel to our fire, too. Ave!
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