Exclusive Interview: Renunciation talk “Autelmorte”!

Russian Death Metal enthusiasts Renunciation, a collection of musicians with many works under their belts have been making noises and receiving critical acclaim since 2019 with debut EP “The Terminal Archetype”. Their return with “Autelmorte” has been several years in the making but in order to surpass greatness one must first travel the seven seas in search of inspiration. We had the pleasure of a conversation with bassist  Vadim Kotov, a man known for his role in Humaniac and the conversation went something like this…

You’ve been around since 2019 but what makes a collection of seasoned musicians known for their work in the likes of Dusk Chapel, Entrenchment, Grailight, Enemy Crucifixion, Humaniac, Arhideus, Blackthorn, Firiath and Instorm decided to forge a new band in Renunciation in the fires of Valhalla? “I (Vadim Kotov, bassist, who will sometimes immodestly speak in first person) had some troubles in personal life in 2018-2019 and felt a need to channel this experience in a creative way and just start something new. My main project at that time was in a kind of stasis, so I decided to found another band. At first I intended to make Renunciation an electronic(!) music project, but you can’t get away from yourself: metalhead is a diagnosis, so all electronic song sketches soon became metal and I started to search for band members. As you can see, there were those who liked the new project and joined me”

Given the well received nature of your 2020 debut EP “The Terminal Archetype“, how important was it to strike the right balance with Autelmorte“? We’ve called your sound Technical Progressive Blackened Death Metal, however that doesn’t really seem to do you justice! “Of course it was very important, especially since we had experience on how to make unbalanced music. Musically Renunciation is close to Humaniac, a band led by brothers Vadim and Alexey Kotov. Looking back at Humaniac old records, we must confess that sometimes we went too far in blending different genres and made quite bulky music. This understanding came over the years and of course we realize that there will be a lot to improve in the future too. It is also important to say that there was no original intention to mix some genres in a certain proportion, understanding the necessary balance always came in the process”

What is it that pushes you to write such intricate and complex Metal? There are times on “Autelmorte” where the mind is blown; not just with how you envisaged the music but with also with how you subsequently managed to match that vision with the performance “You must have an inner need for widening the borders and creating something beyond ordinary: there are many talented musicians that feel comfortable strictly within classic genres and prefer just to copy (albeit in high quality). Another secret is that music is composed almost entirely in GuitarPro, so technical difficulties and lack of skills don’t hold you back. Of course, this approach needs strong theoretical background and experience and also confidence that your stuff is playable and recordable. We met all the requirements: thousands of hours not only practicing but also studying music theory and analyzing our favourite music instead of playing Dota was worth it”

Lyrically the album matches the music stride for stride with a vast array of concepts from ancient Greek mythology, principles of natural cycles and of psychological development and theoretical physics all appearing. Have you ever had any disagreements or re-writes of lyrics? Do you think you may have a concept album in you in the future? “Frankly speaking, we don’t care about lyrics too much, it is always secondary to music. At the same time, our perfectionism and that feeling of balance made us write something more intellectual than texts about rotting entrails or sodomized nuns. We are not the dumbest guys and have something to say. And such guys can always agree on what topics not to touch for the sake of a common cause, although the band members have different views on many things. As regards concepts: it’s more natural for us to write lyrics about ideas than feelings or to be storytellers, so composing a concept album would be a challenge. But we don’t plan something like that in the future. I personally think that only some of the well-known concept albums are really successful. To do such one you need to be at the level of Dream Theater, we are still far from it”

In the album there are also cinematic moments which are stunning, which begs the question; if you were offered the opportunity to score a film soundtrack, whose work would you like to take on? “Thanks, nice to hear, especially since we deliberately refused to use synthesizers and orchestral arrangements (except one moment in the first song). It would be interesting to write a soundtrack to a sci-fi movie (preferably ‘realistic’ one, like Interstellar), I think, that’s where you can show yourself in all your glory. Epic fantasy or horror movies are also cool but it would be a challenge to make the soundtrack suitable and non-cliched at the same time”

What’s next for Renunciation? “Previously Renunciation was more a side project, but I hope that now it becomes a full-fledged band. We have composed 2 new songs and plan to release an album (or at least an EP) in 2 years and begin playing live (we need to find a second guitarist for it). Also, we surely need more promotional material, especially music videos. Anyway, we won’t stop with Autelmorte”

Autelmorte” by Renunciation is out now and available over at bandcamp.

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