Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Interview: Dargor

From Krosno, Poland, founded by Michał Kustra, Dargor plays melodic, atmospheric but still aggressive black metal. After they released their debut album “Descent Into Chaos”, Michał was more than willing to share Dargor’s story.

Hi, how are you? 
Hello, I am great! Thanks. I hope you’re fine as well!

On May 6th, you released your 2nd EP “Descent into Chaos”. This time, seven songs, two are covers. How are you satisfied with the final work?
I am very satisfied with our latest release. We gave 100% of ourselves. I think it’s the best we could do at the current moment. The record contains good compositions, it sounds very nice and it’s well-executed. Of course, many things can be improved in future. We already work on the next album and we try to make them better.

I think “Descent into Chaos” is more melodic and catchy while the previous one, “Hellfire” was a bit raw. Is there any song you think is the holder of the album?
I think that “Abysses” represents our new album the best. It’s the most melodic and catchy song. It also incorporates many different elements. It shows our band from a few different perspectives.

Both EPs included the Samael′s cover “Crown”. Does that mean Samael might be your main influence?
Samael is one of my favorite bands. I had all of their original cassettes and I knew all the lyrics. For sure, Samael influenced our style a lot. They also inspired me to pick up the guitar and start to do harsh vocals.

Besides Samael, you did a cover of Satyricon. Tell me, which phase of the band you prefer?
I prefer the newer Satyricon. There’s something original and interesting in this approach to black metal. The songs are simple but they have a great groove and atmosphere. I’d love to be at the concert and headbang to this kind of music.

Speaking of lyrical themes, you are focused on the dark side of human nature. You are writing about mental pain, so I would like to know do you write from experience or from interest in psychology and similar disciplines.
I think both. I am interested in mechanisms that happen inside our minds. What are the rules and what are the causes of some extreme emotions and behaviors. Also, I’ve experienced some darker thoughts myself in the past. I wanted to express them throughout the music and lyrics.

Dargor is supposed to be a one man project focused on guest appearances. What made you change your decision and how did one man project grow to the band?
I’ve received the live show proposition. It was a good concert with Furia and Warmia in Rock Klub Iron, Krosno. I just thought that it would be great to transform the project into a regular band. I contacted some of my old friends. They wanted to join me and that’s how everything started.

I mentioned guest appearances. In the future, with whom would you like to work with the most?
I plan to incorporate more guest performances on the next record. I’d like to invite some additional vocalists, a violinist and maybe even a real choir. Of course, everything just to make the additional background. Our general style and direction won’t change too much. Dawid Warchoł who plays the keyboard and had a guest performance on the previous album became our regular band member. He will surely appear on the next record. I also hope to continue cooperation with Jaromir Przewoźnik who played the classic guitar.

You are playing black metal; I would add emotional black metal. Which is the main emotion which permeates the album?
I think, there are mainly two. The sadness and anger.

Also, I would say that you have found the perfect balance between aggression and melancholy. In which state of mind you are creating your music?
I often start to make a new song or lyrics when I feel bad. Usually, when the process goes on and I work on details I am happy like a little kid.

How did the recording process look since corona changed pretty much everything?
I think that when it comes to recording, very little has changed during the pandemic. It was quite a usual session. We were able to work in the studio normally. I think, corona affected mostly performing live.

I have no idea which restrictions you have in Poland, but did it affect the band and how much?
We weren’t able to play any live shows. Moreover, we had to take some breaks. A few of our members had Covid and we had to wait until their quarantines were over. Luckily, we managed to release the album and we already work on the second one.

Recently, Dargor released triple video for the songs “Abysses”, “Bloodthirst” and “Awaken”, before that Satyricon′s cover “The Wolfpack”. Besides working on videos, how do you plan to promote this EP?
For now, we promote our music mainly on the Internet. We send our records to zines, magazines and groups. I hope we’ll be able to organize and play some live shows soon. It would increase the promotion for sure.

For Abysses you said you said: “Beware not to end in the self-made hell. Turn around when there’s still time.” So, have you ever experienced self/made hell?
Luckily not. I mostly mean the extreme cases here. I was only somewhere at the beginning of that process. I think a lot of us were. We saw the preview of how could it be. The further you go, the worse it is. It’s also harder to turn back.

Tell us something more about the “Bloodthirst”.
The lyrics of “Bloodthirst” are inspired by some serial killers. People who hit the absolute bottom. Ones who find the illusion of satisfaction and fulfillment only in spreading death and destruction. They want everyone else to suffer and take revenge on the entire world. I think it’s an extreme case of which can happen to a person who lacks love and positivity in his life.

For “Awaken” you said it has a hidden message. Which is…
Instead of falling into despair and complaining you can get yourself together. Take some action and control. Do things you want to achieve and be happy. Fight and die with the sword in your hand.

Since we started unveiling this album song by song, what would you say about “Hellfire”?
It’s the first composition I wrote for the project Dargor. I just played its chorus on guitar by the accident. I liked it very much and I thought it would be great to make a simple, dark song out of it. I wanted the lyrics to be aggressive and powerful to fit and emphasize the music.

We have already mentioned two cover songs, so only one has left, “Decay”. What is it about?
This song is about passing by. Everything we know and do will disappear at some point. What will it matter to you just before the end? Nothing will last forever and we’ll all decay.

What is the ultimate message of the album?
Don’t fall into trap of negativity and hate. Turn around while there’s still time. Do what you want and like, love and support each other. Enjoy it all while we still here.

Some might expect you would be influenced by Polish black metal scene, but you are more leaning on Scandinavian scene. Why is Scandinavian scene closer to your heart?
I just like Scandinavian music more naturally. Probably it’s because it’s so melodic and melancholic. It fits my taste and character more.

Back to the EP… You have no label behind; actually you are working for your own label. Do you think that is the best solution at the moment?
Our goal was mainly to release our music and videos on the Internet. Physical CDs are an only additional bonus for us and people who like to collect them. That’s why we only made a limited amount of copies ourselves. Still, nothing is out of the question yet. Maybe we’ll release “Descent Into Chaos” by the label in some bigger amount.

If some big label would be interested in releasing your albums, what is the main condition you would ask for?
The more rights to our music stay with us the better. We don’t want to be dependent on anyone too much.

Cover art is very effective, is there any symbolism behind the fallen angel, music, lyrics, overall album theme?
The fallen angel symbolizes the final stage of descent. Full dedication to darkness and evil. The point from where there is no return.

The word Dargor originates from Persian language and can be translated as in the grave or entombed. On the other hand, the first thing that crossed my mind when I heard Dargor is Rhapsody of Fire and “Dargor, Shadowlord of the Black Mountain”. Tell me, how did you actually name your band?
I didn’t even know it comes from the Persian language. Good to know it doesn’t mean something silly. The “grave” or “entombed” fits the band like us. And yes, your association was good. I took the name just from the lyrics of Rhapsody. It was one of the first metal bands I was into as a teenager. Dargor was my nickname in all local metal bands I played. When I created my project, I just called it Dargor.

I am just guessing that black metal is not your only occupation. So, tell me how and when did you discover metal and which genres or bands are your favorites if we exclude BM?
My older friends and family members were listening to metal when I was in primary school. They showed me some bands and gave me some cassettes and CDs. I just got into this naturally and very quick. When it comes to the other genres, my favorite (except BM) are melodic death metal, doom metal, heavy metal, industrial metal and modern, futuristic metal. My top 10 bands are Samael, Children Of Bodom, Fear Factory, Neurotech, Paradise Lost, Ajattara, Swallow The Sun, Amorphis, Dimmu Borgir and Running Wild.

Tell me something more about your personal music history, any bands before Dargor?
My first band was the heavy/power metal group Arondight heavily inspired by Running Wild. Later, I’ve joined the Scarlet Moon. The symphonic black metal project founded by the current bassist of Dargor, Damian Muszyński. I’ve also played in the female-fronted melodic metal band Krusher. I occasionally performed as a guest in other bands as well. Hard rock P.A.G.E., death metal Hegemony and the gothic metal band Angels Sorrow. I’ve also played in some other small projects which never left the basement.

So far, I guess music is your hobby, your passion… I always like to dig deeper, so can you tell me what do you do for life?
Yes, music is just my passion and hobby. When it comes to a real job, I am a computer programmer. I’ve finished my education in this direction. I create web applications remotely for seven years or so.

Poland has a great metal scene. What is the key to the success of Polish metal bands? Maybe inspiration which comes around every corner (corruption, religion, nationalism, populist politics…)?
I think all our most known bands are not only talented but also very hardworking. Dedicated to what they do and consistent. I suspect it’s the main key to their success. When it comes to inspiration, yes, we have all these things in Poland. A lot of bands like to write about these subjects. Maybe it additionally drives them to create and push them forward.

You are from Krosno, same as Decapitated. How connected the Polish bands really are, do the older bands help and support you young ones?
For now, we and Decapitated are in different weight categories. They’re fully professional and known around the world. We’re just starting and doing it mostly for fun after the regular jobs. Maybe if we develop in future, release some new music and take part in tours, we will have something to talk about.

In the end, so far Dargor had no so many stage experiences. If we ever get back to normal, where would you choose to play the first show? Some small club, festival…
At the start, I would like to play two or three small club shows to warm up and remind ourselves how it is to play the concert. Later, we can think about some bigger performances.

Michał, thank you so much for your time and cooperation. I wish you all the best and hope we will see you on the road soon.
Thank you very much for having us in your magazine! It was a pleasure to be here. Hope to see you soon!