I’m a metalhead for 30 years, but the Christian metal bands from Russia that I know of, I can count on 1 hand. Last year I discovered The Blessed (Cradle of God) – A young and interesting melodic death metal band, formed in Novomoskovsk in 2012. Late last year they released their debut album “Remember”. In the interview below, they speak about history, future plans, favorite album/food, key principles/phylosophies, their debut album and much more:
TMR: Hi guys, this is The Metal Resource from Holland, how are things in Russia?
Sad ( guitar): Hello, in Russia everything is as usual
Thunder ( bass): Hi
Stone (guitar): It’s spring here
Dark (drums): good
Cross ( vocal): Hi to metalheads from Russia
TMR: How did you get into metal?
Sad: I didn’t get into it. It gets into me.
Thunder: When I was 12, my company of friends was hanging around the local punk band, at that time they didn’t have a bass player so I was offered to try this role.
Stone: Bean with grunge, then gradually came to music that is heavier.
Dark: It’s simple. The elder brother had formed the band and I sat in front of drums and began booming)
Cross: I heard KISS and Accept in 1987, these bands have changed me
TMR: What is your musical background ?
Thunder: No, the guitarist taught me to play, and he was studying to play the piano
Stone: Yes, at musical college
TMR: Tell us the brief history of The Blessed
Cross: The Blessed was born in 2012 in Novomoskovsk. I am the founder and the author of idea. Since the foundation of the band, it took us 2 years to make material for the debut album.
Release of single Children of God was in April 2014. In January 2015 there was EP, which consists of 2 songs Children of God and Arise from the Dead ( the 1st and the 9th (the last) in debut full-release album). In June 2015 the band changed its name to The BLESSED. Release of album was in December the 12th, 2016.
TMR: Why the name The Blessed ? Is there a story behind it
Cross: This story is long) the name The BLESSED in Russian speaking language means a deviation man. And in general meaning – the man who is not from this planet. As every creative person, we live in this world, but at the same time we live in a world of music. That’s why we have other philosophical values. The lyrics from the album is dealt with eternal struggle between flesh and soul. That’s why the name The Blessed suits us very much.
TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in The Blessed ? … how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics?
Stone: Inner feeling
Dark: We compose the music together and Cross writes the lyrics
Cross: Guys bring interesting «phrases» or complete backing tracks and the we «cook» together ). Now we work on new material and our main composers are Stone and Thunder. I do the lyrics.
TMR: What are some key principles or phylosophies that you hold onto as foundational stones as who you are as a person?
Sad: I am a simple man with normal human principles
Thunder: I am lazy, apathetic, until the deal goes to music. I think I am called a hedonist
Stone: Live and self-delelope
Dark: family, work, creativity
Cross: Jesus Christ is my monolith. I am a simple man. I am fond of heavy metal! And it’s already a diagnosis!
TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of The Blessed?
Sad: Small gig at ROKOT studio in front of 30 people. And I think every moment is good in his own way.
Thunder: The Contrast between The Blessed and the other bands. In the other bands music was an interesting hobby. And here music is a serious work, the work on yourself first of all.
Stone: It’s music
Dark: I remember the moment when I first came int the band. It was a bit uncomfortable, thou I knew every guy here before.
Cross: There are lots of them I remember, because I’m the founder of the band.
TMR: And the worst thing were ?
Sad: No, I don’t remember
Thunder: Shame is the feeling that I have never felt in the frames of The Blessed
Stone: Bad sound system are the worst moments
Dark: I on’t catch ‘em. Everything is cool
Cross: Yes they were, but these moments were dealt with the band and improved the band, direct or indirect.
TMR: What is your favorite drink and food ?
Sad: Coffee and everything that is good cooked
Thunder: Among strong drinks – Beer In food and meals I’m completely modest
Stone: Shaurma and beer
Dark: Chips and beer
Cross: Pasta, meat, Boiled squid salad, coffee, beer. In general, like Sad said, I like everything that is good cooked.
TMR: So what makes you laugh?
Sad: A good humor
Thunder: The conviction of others that music is just fun and not laborious, sometimes hard work.
Dark: Humor and my cat
TMR: What is your biggest fear ?
Thunder: All problems are solved, That’s why I can’t answer
Dark: Come to the rehearsal and begin to play clavecin
Cross: The fear of God!
TMR: What is your favorite album top 5 of all time?
Sad: I can’t name 5, there are much more you can ever imagine
Thunder: black sabbath-black sabbath, death- Symbolic, Dismember- Indecent & Obscene, fleshgod apocalypse- king, sleep- dopesmoker
Cross: Since 1987 there were many albums but the deep dive into heavy metal was with Ассерт, U.D.O, Iron Maiden, Manowar, AC/DC, Scorpions, Running Wild, Helloween, Metallica, Sodom, Kreator, Slayer, Cannibal corpse, Napalm death, Hypocrisy, Death, Dismember, Cradle of filth, Primal fear… and many other cool stuff. Modern – Batushka, Mgla!
TMR: What are some of the things you like to do away from the band?
Thunder: Generally mmorpg and serials
Stone: cycling. I’m waiting for summer
Dark: Drinking espresso in a languid evening
Cross: I’m constantly thinking about the band and I’m seldom out of band’s frames
TMR: Speaking of recording, your new album “Remember” has been released on Dec. 12nd what can you tell us about the album [such as the recording process, the songs/lyrics, record label etc.
Сross: We did the recording in a strange way. It was a hard work. We rented the room, prepared it acoustically, bought condenser microphones of a good quality, we were given the opportunity to take them in credit for a year, because in our region there is a production plant of “Octava», they are known to the whole world! I very much thank these people for such equipment and the provision of such conditions. We brought equipment, drums, guitar stacks, etc.
We started rehearsals and work on the material. At the same time, the recording was tested on different groups from different cities and towns. In total, 4 full-length albums of bands from different styles, directions and approximately 40 separate tracks for other performers were recorded! We recorded our material at the end of 2013. Only “real” instruments were recorded, without reamping and drum machines), removed the sound from the speakers and drums, which we are playing to this day). The basis of this album is the harshest rhythm section, rather than melodism. Mixing and mastering we also did by ourselves! It happened that we created a recording studio first), then we made an album! It was the coolest experience from zero point! This is an interesting process! Honestly, the album is a kind of pride, everything is done by own hands! Appeal to critics – Know that we do not care about your opinion! A real metalhead will in any case appreciate our work, because it’s real!
The lyrics of the album “Remember” is a Christian scripture – New Testament. Metal music has always been a protest against religions, wars, governments. Many bands are now singing about Satan and depravity, because it’s fashionable. But I am a metalhead of the old formation and my task is to continue to protest! Therefore, I used the verses of the book without my conclusions, in order to pass on to the metalhead brothers a piece of this scripture. Someone will read all of them exactly and want to read the book and see a completely different Word, and not the one that people try to implement all sorts of pseudo Christian-Satanic confessions). We do not belong to any communities except heavy metal! We are stray metal musicians). We are the publishers of our album. Because the amount of real labels is very low and it’s very difficult to get on them (to conclude some kind of pseudo contract with some incomprehensible “type labels, which are the usual tiny distro”, there is no sense, we will find money ourselves to release the physical copies). We are looking for contacts and negotiations for distribution. This is a short information, because we can tell a lot). We are insane) and this was reflected in the name of the band).
Cross: Art is important uniquely. In our album, the cover displays the themes of the lyrics. Russian artist Vladimir Prokofiev drew it, according to the apocryphal texts, Peter’s revelations. The booklet also consists of Vladimir’s art with his vision of lyrics. He’s a cool master!
The album is available only in a digipack, 6 pages, with an enclosed booklet of 20 pages with texts and arts.
TMR: How do you promote your band (and shows)
Cross: The promo is primitive now – Internet and gig posters.
TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please
Cross: In our district, of course, there are cover bands, rock bands, but with heavy metal it’s too heavy
TMR: How do you prepare for a show?
Sad: Active rehearsals, change clothes and boom!
Thunder: For me the show is a quality performance of the material, so my preparation is a constant improvement of the skills of my instrument
Stone: Rehearsing intensely.
Dark: frequent rehearsals, growth and skill pumping
Cross: I prepare myself mentally, in advance. First of all, I study the details of the sound, then I think about some theatrical elements of the performance.
TMR: What is your favorite concert that you saw and what made it so good?
Thunder: Gorgoroth in Krakow 2004. Total insane
Stone: Marduk in Yaroslavl 2016, we were a supporting band. Perfect sound
Dark: I went to see Immure and it was epic, audience was booming!
Cross: The main thing for me is sound and there were lots of good gigs
TMR: What is the most embarrassing music on your phone or in your collection and how do you justify it to others?
Sad: Different and I don’t justify it and listen by myself
Thunder: It depends. From stoner to grindcore
Stone: Different,depends on mood and I don’t justify it.
Cross: Lost of music, 98% is metal. justify it to people in different ways and situations.
TMR: If you could pick a band to tour with, who would it be? And where would the tour go?
Sad: Any band in heavy style. Around the world
Thunder: It’s difficult to answer
Stone: I don’t think about it
Dark: The Blessed around the world
Cross: Tour will be for sure. In Russia first. Don’t think about the band.
TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked?
Thunder: How much do you earn as a musician?
Stone: Am not asked silly questions still
Dark: Do you really have such a surname?
Cross: There are no silly questions
TMR: What are the biggest obstacles for bands/musicians ?
Dark: Eternal lack of money for stuff
Cross: Laziness, unbelief
TMR: As a band today, what do you think is the biggest challenge you face A:
Cross: Gigs as usual
TMR: Any plans for the near future ?
Dark: Recording of the new album and many gigs
Cross: Prepare the new album, would like to release it in 2018.
TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview. We wish The Blessed all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last ? [any final statement ?
Thunder: See you
Stone: Good Luck
Dark: You’re welcome
Cross: Thank you. Good luck. Metal is forever!
Video for: Full concert Blackened life Novomoskovsk (03/08/16)