Vomitile is an act which has been active on the small Mediterranean island of Cyprus since 2007. In 2012, the death metallers released their debut full-length Igniting Chaos (reviewed here) via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions and now the band is ready to unleash their sophomore release, Mastering the Art of Killing, via their local record label, Pitch Black Records. The album shows a lot of improvement in terms of sound and production but also song writing. The music on this full-length is now closer to what the band sounds like in concert and, therefore, the sound that the majority of Cypriots – me included – know them for. I’m talking about their powerful live shows. Thankfully, now after seven years, the band can finally export those live shows onto continental Europe when they will be touring with the legendary Master in October.
This band is close to many Cypriots. They have made their name by playing regular shows and being constantly active in the metal scene. However, now is the time that the world recognises them for what they stand for and with an album like Mastering the Art of Killing, they are ready to conquer. Check out an exclusive premiere of the track “Nekropound” from that album as well as a chat with bassist/vocalist, Khatch Yildizian, ahead of the release next week and the band’s European tour which starts on 2nd October.
Dom: How are you doing? A lot of things seem to be happening over at the Vomitile camp?
Khatch: All good here Dom, cheers. We’ve been quite busy the past months with local gigs and preparation for the release of our new album and of course rehearsing nonstop for the upcoming European tour with the mighty Master and our brothers Acid Death.
Dom: You are releasing your new album on 3rd October via Pitch Black Records. Are you happy with the end result?
Khatch: Yes, we are very satisfied I must say. There’s always room for improvement but given the circumstances and all we are very happy with the end result.
Dom: I find the sound/production of this new album much more satisfactory and easier to listen to than your previous album (Igniting Chaos). Did you approach the album in a different way?
Khatch: Yes you can say that, we just improved some errors we had from the recordings of the previous album and not only that, we also approached the mix in a more focused and determined way. We knew how we wanted the album to sound like, and since we had previous experience with the studio as well as a demo track of “Immense Catastrophe” everything was clearer and thus we had a much greater result on this album.
Dom: What is the “Mastering the Art of Killing” all about lyrically?
Khatch: I think it’s obvious given the album title that it does mainly focus on death, however, it is not in the typical serial killer approach. It focuses more on a gore through war theme, that being post-war trauma, during war etc. You can also get the vibe that it’s just a raw killing spree hehe.
Dom: Who designed the album artwork?
Khatch: The artwork was done by Arturo Vargas from Zombiefication (Mexico) who is close friends with our drummer Hugo. We had seen his work that he does for his own band and we were amazed, so we decided for him to handle the whole artwork along with the layout and all. We are definitely satisfied 100 %.
Dom: You also released a music video to the song “Born to Kill”. What is the song about?
Khatch: To be honest with you, the inspiration came from a famous action/war movie (no, it’s not Full Metal Jacket). Basically, it is about a soldier who comes back from the Vietnam War and due to post-war trauma becomes criminally insane. What follows are his sadistic killings and once you read the lyrics you might even recognise which movie I am referring to.
Dom: With the new album you changed two things; the record label (from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions to Pitch Black Records) and the mastering (from Hertz Studios to Stage One Studios). Why the change and how is it working with all these people?
Khatch: Why we changed both was because with a new album we wanted a fresh new start as well. Firstly, Phivos from Pitch Black Records is a local and simply we can give him a call or meet up and do what needs to be done without these emails and all. That’s a major advantage for us. Also, he has been doing a great job with the local scene/bands so we feel that being in his label’s roster we are a part of a unified export by a local metal head that happens to have a record label and believes in the local scene. That’s another important factor for us!
Again, with the mastering we felt that we wanted a change, mostly because the overall production of the new album was different from the previous one, and since Andy from Stage One Studio has recorded and produced many of the bands we listen to and love the sound, we decided to approach him and thankfully we are very satisfied with the end result.
Dom: Another big change in the band is that you have taken over vocal duties. I can hear that this was not a bad decision and you are doing a great job. Was it difficult adjusting to double duties? Why has Yiannis left the band?
Khatch: It was indeed difficult, I am still adjusting to the double duties actually even after almost 2 years. We definitely made the right decision, although I was very sceptical and hesitant in the beginning.
Now with Yiannis, he had other priorities going on at the time and he just was not into it anymore, at least not as much as we were and still are, so it was a very natural and friendly separation. He still remains a very good friend of the band and he continues supporting and helping us.
Dom: You are going on tour with Master in October. This will be your first such big tour across Europe. Are you looking forward to it? How do you imagine it to look and feel like?
Khatch: Definitely we’re looking forward to it because this is what we’ve been working for the past couple of years. The rehearsing has become more intense and of course we are looking to get the best out of it. Now, concerning what the tour will be and feel like, I can only answer that when we come back and be able to give you a full report hehe.
Dom: For those who haven’t seen you perform, what should they expect from your performance?
Khatch: DEATH FUCKING METAL!!! That’s all!
Dom: In recent years, you shared stages with a few renowned and respected bands like Vader and Obituary. What was it like and what are your fondest memories?
Khatch: Having the opportunity to play with those legends was great, not only because new audiences saw us but also we ourselves are fans of those bands and sharing the stage with them is a huge honour for us! My fondest memory will always be when we joined Vader on stage with my brother George and Andreas (Blynd) to play a Slayer cover of “Raining Blood” with them. Surely that will stay with me forever!
Khatch: It’s a tough business to get into, that I can say with ease. To be able to “survive” you need determination, time and unfortunately… MONEY. These are the things that can keep you going these days with the industry being so demanding. Disappointment and shock is a constant factor yes, but that shouldn’t stand in the band’s way. I am sure the best from shocking emails and replies is yet to come!!
Dom: How is the metal scene in Cyprus holding up?
Khatch: Much better without doubt, there’s a more evident unity and output beyond the Cypriot border, however, the common issues in the scene such as venues, sound, studios etc sadly still remain.
Dom: What’s Power of the Night like? How has it changed from the time it started out?
Khatch: Unquestionably, it’s the only open air metal festival in Cyprus where not only bands from abroad headline the show but the promoters and organizers of the fest give a lot of emphasis to the local bands. For me that is very important and I greatly respect their effort! The main concept of the festival has staid the same (heavy metal headlining acts) however it’s been a couple of years that the fest features all types of metal genres, ranging from even hard rock to the most extreme which until now it was us and Infected Syren from last year’s edition. Power of the Night is not your typical open air metal festival that’s for sure; it has its own character which I believe whoever has attended will definitely agree!
Dom: What’s next for Vomitile after you come back from tour?
Khatch: Nothing has been booked or planned yet however we will try and start working on our 3rd album as soon as we come back to Cyprus and possibly book another tour.
Catch Vomitile live with Master in October:
Th. 02.10. Berlin (Ger) – Blackland
Fr. 03.10. Tilburg (Nl) – Little Devil
Sa. 04.10. La Louviere (B) – La Taverne du Theatre
Su. 05.10. Paris (Fr) – Le Klub
Mo. 06.10. Nantes (Fr) – Le Ferrailleur
Tu. 07.10. France – tba
We. 08.10. Pratteln (Ch) – Z 7
Th. 09.10. Essen (Ger) – Turock
Fr. 10.10. Rostock (Ger) – Alte Zuckerfabrik
Sa. 11.10. Weißenfels (Ger) – Schlosskeller
Khatch Yildizian – Bass & Vocals
Panos Larkou – Guitars
George Yildizian – Guitars
Hugo Olivos – Drums