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Black Metal

Water the crops with blood: an Interview with PERIODEATER

AA: Congratulations, Summoner of Blood, on your first full-length release, how does it feel to have established this footing in the black metal underground?

SB: Hails and Thanks! It’s fucking glorious and triumphant to put it lightly. Like dropping a big red turd in a shallow black pond.   

AA: Worth More Than Your Life conforms to few ideals with respect to what most consider black metal yet is undoubtedly a black metal record. Do you consider Periodeater to be part of a particular subgenre (i.e. raw black metal, atmospheric black metal, etc.), or do you tend to reject such labels and allow witnesses to infer their own classifications?

SB: In many ways, we have rejected the false revolution of traditional black metal and ascribe solely to the sect of RED METAL.

AA: You’ve hinted at the origins of the name Periodeater being in reference to periods of time being consumed. Is this the primary meaning and if so, by whom are these eras being consumed?

SB: The space between all things. That which came before and what will always follow. A materialist might call it entropy, decay, death, the spiritualist might call it the void. These things are not to be demonized but recognized as the unfolding of things. All hail the impermanence of things. This is the force behind revolution, upheaval, change. That being said, the thing devouring our era right now is late-stage capitalist imperialism, which must be crushed.

AA: Worth More Than Your Life brews an incredibly sinister atmosphere from the opening track, with samples of rolling tanks, chambering rifles, and gunfire dashed across an already grim soundscape. Were these a core element of the original songwriting or were they more an outcome of the recording and mixing process?

SB: The atmosphere attempts to reflect what is welling up in the hearts and heads of the lifeforms living under the boot of the world as it is. “An energy field of latent violence…” All of these feelings preceded the songwriting as a ritualistic focus, partially to channel feelings of political rage and violence that, in their original form, were of no use to the movement.

AA: While on the subject of songwriting, let’s discuss the unique style of Worth More Than Your Life. Few tracks follow a “traditional” black metal formula i.e. blast beats, tremolos, clear riffing, etc. The drumming is particularly fluid and dynamic, the vocal reverb sounds like echoes in a canyon, and the guitars flood the sound space with a wall of suspense. Who, if any, are your artistic influences? Are there any bands that you feel have most closely inspired your unique style?

SB: As much as we might owe the forebears of this musical sound, we’re mostly inspired by this haunting fire in our blood that echoes an incessant need to hail the void, materialize revolution through sonic warfare, and offer respite to the battle-worn comrades.

AA: The overwhelming theme of the album is indigenous sovereignty and the crushing of the empires which “smashed our altars/killed our gods” and the work is dedicated to Coatlicue, the Aztec earth deity. One of the bandcamp tags is “communist black metal” and the opening track “Void Cult Tank Division” mentioned “the powder kegs of industry.” How did objectives of indigenous liberation and anti-capitalism affect your mentality when composing Worth More Than Your Life and how will they impact future material for Periodeater? Have they been your sole inspiration, or are they one of many thematic influences (and if the latter, what other thematic influences spur you)?

SB: The foreboding doom that awaits our world could only ever be thwarted through anti-capitalist indigenous liberation. There are many fronts to that battle and we intend to explore everything from the blood to be spilled in the future and the crops we’ll water with it, to the coagulation of movements that will accomplish it.

AA: What do you hope to inspire in your listeners with such powerful political and cultural messages?

SB: A sense of urgency about what must be done and how ritualistically and zealously it must be approached. It is not about a singular grand upheaval or moment in history but the ways we fight every day.

AA: Finally, what are your future plans, if any, for Periodeater? Since the release of “Worth More Than Your Life,” you’ve released “Lengthening of Days” a cover of a People’s Temple song. Is another full length in the works? Are there any artists with whom you would like to collaborate?

SB: There is material for another full length. We want to find a way to offer our supporters some tools to fight off the burnout, perhaps something to teach them to shoot, or how to focus, or how to grow corn. We’d love to collaborate with Yaotl Mictlan, or Gravel, or anyone who is interested in what we mentioned above!

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