What comes first in mind when someone says Tolkien Metal? My first impressions are cheesy bands like Battlelore, or Black Metal bands like Summonning or Burzum. Well, now we have Khazaddum. Tolkien powered Death Metal. AND IT´S GOOD!
Who are you and what do you do in your band?
I am Luka Djordjevic, the vocalist and lyricist for Khazaddum. Alex writes and plays guitar. Pete does drums. Tony is our newly acquired bassist, and Pat helped record the EP on guitar and has played several live shows with us as well.
When/where was your band formed?
Khazaddum was first established in 2014 as a recording project in Milwaukee, WI, USA. After the EP, In Dwarven Halls was recorded. The project took a hiatus till 2015. In 2015 we decided to solidify a live lineup and release the cd.
Why did you choose to play Death Metal?
I personally grew up on the stuff. American and European death metal heavily influenced my musical preferences. The Floridian scene in the 90 was certainly a centerpiece in my development as an artist. As far as Khazaddum, we thought the themes and stories that we wanted to portray through our music had never been told using this style. Furthermore, sonically, we found it to be the most representative of the fury and brutality within. All of us were, and some are, in death metal bands, both currently and well before Khazaddum. I think our influences are evident enough in the music.
How do you compose your music? Does only one guy do everything or does everyone contribute?
Alex our guitarists writes all the songs. He then gives them to Pete who adds drums, and finally, I write the lyrics. Every part of the process is collaborative to some degree, but that’s usually the order. Sometimes I have themes in mind before hearing the music, and other times I devise a story after being inspired by the song.
Tell us about your lyrics, writing, inspiration etc.
All of our themes and lyrics are directly inspired by the immortal works of J.R.R. Tolkien. From the onset of this band, it was conceptualized as a death metal vehicle that delivers these immense tales to the listeners in a pulverizing fashion. The three track EP really centers on two stories. The first two tracks, The Grey Thus Commands, and Durin’s Bane, focus on the meeting between Gandalf and the Balrog Durin’s Bane on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm from each view point respectively. The third track, Thorin Oakenshield, tells the tragic tale of the Dwarven king. Musically, we try to carry on the rich traditions of the genre defining juggernauts such as Nile, Morbid Angel, and Behemoth, without succumbing to some of the pitfalls that are evident in a large number of the our modern day death metal contemporaries.
In Dwarven Halls is your first release. Tell us about it and what can we expect from you next?
In Dwarven Halls was a good starting point in the sense that it was a glimpse into the world we’re trying to create. But three songs isn’t really enough to show the full range of what we’re trying to achieve both musically and in storytelling. The next release that we’re almost done writing will be a full length album. I think that there is a wider range of concepts and a greater amount of tempo and sonic variation in the songs that will comprise this next effort. You can still expect our signature hybrid, brutality and melody laden songwriting.
How do you see the state of Death Metal music these days in your country and in general?
In general, death metal is not progressing at the pace that it once was in my opinion. I find it that many modern bands lack passion and direction within this genre. The old guard is still going strong, and bands like Nile, Deicide, Immolation and Behemoth are still on top of their game and writing awesome music. As far as “newer” bands that have made an impact on me, I would highly recommend Dead Congregation, House Of Atreus, Perdition Temple, Alters, Phobocosm, and Sulphur Aeon to name a few.
What are your long term plans as a band? What do you want to achieve?
We want to write good meaningful albums and tour in order to support them as well as bring our music to as many people as possible. We are almost done writing a full length and plan on going into the studio in early summer. Apart from that we have some larger shows lined up and are looking into booking a tour in either late 2016 or early 2017. Hopefully there will be a European tour sometime down the road. That is a long term goal.
Name an other Death Metal band from your country that everyone should hear.
Perdition Temple is a “newer” band founded by members of Angelcorpse, Immolation, and Black Witchery who write riff oriented shredding death that is absolutely devastating. The Tempter’s Victorious is their 2015 release and is highly recommended for fans of 90’s era death metal mastery.
Every aspect of this band is geared toward celebrating the works of our modern day Homer, J.R.R. Tolkien, through our brand of death metal brutality. We try to exalt his immortal works though every aspect of our craft. From the music, to the lyrics, to the painstakingly crafted visual art. While it’s no secret that Tolkien’s universe has inspired countless bands, they usually fall within either the black metal, or power metal spectrum. We believe that this sound best encapsulates the stories we’re telling from middle earth. Hails from Dwarven Halls!