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Friday, November 8, 2019

THE AXEMEN SERIES : KVN / Sathamel


Sathamel began life in the north of England in 2013, going by the name Sheol for the first year of their existence. That was their first rebirth, when they donned the mantle of Sathamel and the creative magic began to flow. Furious rehearsal and writing sessions soon became relentless gigging as the band took their wickedly intense black/death metal to the stages of England throughout 2014, appearing at festivals and all-day events, headlining in their own right and even reaching the final of that year’s Metal 2 The Masses event. With each show the band grew tighter as a musical unit, their songs becoming darker, deadlier and more powerfully defined and as 2015 dawned they were ready to release their first, self titled EP.
Sathamel was a remarkable recording debut, featuring five superbly crafted tracks of intimidating darkness and a magnificent orchestral intro piece. Terrorizer magazine promptly branded Sathamel a band to watch and the track ‘Venus, Morning Star’ appeared on the magazine’s Fear Candy cover mount CD. The band never broke their stride and continued playing more and more shows, preaching their gospel of fire and blood to all who would listen. The shows became markedly more prestigious with the release of the Sathamel EP, the band hitting London with black metal legends Hecate Enthroned, appearing at the infamous Blackwood Gathering (where a limited edition live cassette was recorded, Live At Blackwood) and rounding off a successful year by supporting Belphegor, Hate, Vital Remains and Ethereal.  
Throughout 2016 Sathamel began working on material for their full length debut album and the gigging continued apace, with headline shows being slotted in between appearances with major acts like Fleshgod Apocalypse and Melechesh. The Sathamel war machine rolled on into 2017, the pace relentless, but behind the scenes internal issues drove guitarist KVN and vocalist Kruk to take decisive action. Material written for the debut album was discarded and the line-up disbanded. The canons of destruction fell silent and Sathamel stepped back into the shadows for two years...yet in the darkness, work never stopped.
Sathamel’s return may have seemed improbable to outsiders, but KVN and Kruk always kept the black flame of Sathamel alive. In May of 2019 they returned in a blaze of unexpected fury across the skies of northern England. With new members Cygnus, Reykr and Nadir joining them in their shield wall KVN and Kruk were ready to march again. Sathamel were reborn once more and their debut album was ready to be unveiled! First single, ‘Whispers Of A Husk’, was a staggering opening salvo that showed that the new Sathamel were not only a match for their previous incarnation, they were equipped to utterly decimate all that they had created before. The album, which was unleashed on May 17th, was called Horror Vacui, meaning fear of emptiness, a reference to the void that KVN and Kruk had found in their lives while the Sathamel beast was slumbering. Recorded at Ritual Sound studios with trusted producer Samuel Turbitt, who also recorded the band’s first EP, Horror Vacui sounded absolutely monstrous and the song writing had reached peaks previously unimaginable for the band. Songs like ‘Raise Flame From Ash’ and ‘Of Spilled Wine And Broken Glass’ being breathtaking in their intensity. The album cover was as black as a starless, midnight sky, adorned only with the new Sathamel logo in gleaming, imperial gold. The new logo was created for the band by Raoul Mazzero, better known as View From The Coffin, who has designed for the likes of Crumbsuckers, Cryptic Slaughter and Deathrite.
Their rebirth complete, Sathamel next looked to form a new alliance that could take their devilish crusade to the next level of domination. They looked and they found Imperative PR waiting, armed and ready. Now nothing will stand in their way.
1.Tell us your name and the band you play for

KVN, my band is Sathamel

2.Who made you want to pick up the guitar

From a young age there was an acoustic guitar in my parent's home unplayed. around 13/14 my uncle introduced me to iron maiden where I began more of an interest in the instrument and started the process of learning around that time.

3.Are you self taught or did you take lessons?

I had a few lessons in the beginning, maybe around 6 months worth where my guitar teacher would visit my parents, not long after that my teacher moved away leaving me to teach myself from then on. Regrettably, I didn't take the instrument too seriously at this stage until actually being in a band.

4. Can you read music, Can you read tab?

 
I write tab where possible, as well as recording ideas, as the band base is a good 40 miles from my home it is easier to send written ideas to one another. Sometimes seeing the part written out can inspire as much as playing the instrument, it depends on an individual basis. It also means I can leave a song for a long time before coming back to it and everyone can be up to speed as a reference.

5.Do you feel like you have your own sound / tone ?

 
I think some aspects of my playing are definitely "me" - I don't work towards trying to define my own personal sound but there are certain patterns, nuances or flags that would suggest my playing, not that i consider myself a virtuoso in any way. There is a project I worked on, so far unreleased, that shows off these qualities better, I think anyway. I think it could be down to the orchestration of a song and the layers that create it that defines my "sound".

6.Tell us about your guitar ( brand ,model . year , color )

My current main guitar is a 2015 Pro Series Jackson RRTMG, in of course - black. I bought the guitar second hand from UK black metal band Eastern Front in 2015. It is stock fitted with Active EMGs but I switch those out in favour of passive Bareknuckle Blackhawks. I feel the depth of the Blackhawks is far superior to the EMG's that were fitted, though output (gain) -wise they are almost identical. I also had a rollerball tune-o-matic bridge fitted as i found the string snapping more often at the bridge, this helped to alleviate this issue, without any sharp points on the saddles themselves.
My second guitar, though i haven't really played this one live much is a 2018 Jackson Pro Series RR24 in Charcoal Grey. I prefer the Pro series over X series with the Jacksons simply for the unfinished oiled neck. This guitar I also had fitted with Bareknuckle blackhawks but features a floyd rose tremolo.
 



7.What about pickups? Passive or active ? Tell us about them

I'm not much into the arguments with passive or active, many swear by one or the other. I found a sound i liked with the bareknuckles so why I stuck with those, with our low tuning I felt the natural depth of the pickup was a great addition. I wouldn't mind trying the fishman fluence pickups however, they seem to be all the rage at the moment.

8.Lets get into amplification, Same drill brand , model , speakers etc

For recording I use a kemper, with a tone loosely based on the amp i use live which is the EVH 5150 III 50 watt. I have the matching cab too also. The amp has a perfect level of bite I like to hear. The EVH heads have become an industry standard, they're just a great metal head.

9.Do you have a pedal board? Tell us about that badboy

My pedal board is nothing special, I have an old korg pitchblack tuner, A "boo electronics" TS-9 clone, "made in england" - I use the tubescreamer to help tighten the amp, adding no real gain, but on occasion can use it for a small boost... generally it is left on all the time. and an MXR smart gate for some noise cancelling.

10..Now tell us your Dream Rig in detail…..

Probably I would expand a little on my own sound, adding reverbs and such like. There was a day where having fridge cabinets full of gear would seem cool but since owning a kemper I feel most of these options can be confined to a single bag, though i still prefer to use and feel the power of a valve amp behind me. I would like to explore some of the Fortin equipment, from all I have seen for this style of music Fortin are laser sighted, with everything super tight. It is not that I would like a super sterile sound by any means, but the absolute extremes that can be achieved are very interesting to me.

11.What guitarist can you not stand?

Nobody really springs to mind.

I12. Is tone more important or is technique?

Technique for sure, coming from myself who possesses very little techinical skill, ha. I think that once you can express yourself through your instrument in whatever way that is, tone and things such as this should only be tools to enhance that "voice".

13. Name your top 5 guitarist

I can't really pick a top 5, but 5 Guitarists i admire at the moment and/or have had a large influence on my playing in no particular order are:

Adam "ATF" Sinner - Hate
Kyle Rasmussen - Vitriol
Þórir Garðarsson - Sinmara / Svartidauði
Nergal - Behemoth
Brandon Ellis - The Black Dahlia Murder

14.Who is the most overrated guitarist

Again, nobody springs to mind.

15.Who would you like a one hour private sit down lessons with anyone dead or alive?

Probably any of those five above.





 

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