Okay…I know what at least some you loyal Vault Hunters are probably thinking: ‘Oh look – he’s talking about yet another Portuguese black metal band. What are the odds? *eye roll emoji*’
I don’t really cover that much Portuguese black metal, do I? And so what if I do? There are a metric fuckton (real measurement) of killer black metal bands coming out of Portugal right now. There are a good number of not particularly new ones releasing outstanding music as well. Case in point: Lisbon-based Cinzas. Born from the ashes of mid-aughts band D.O.R. (Death Overcomes Reality), Cinzas sees lone member Mortiferus picking up where that band left off. In fact, the five songs on Demo I were all written and recorded back in the early 2010s, when D.O.R. was still active, and stylistically have a lot in common with the material on Universal Absence, D.O.R.’s 2008 split with Elysian Blaze and Lyrinx: grim, minimalist, dark, and freezing cold.
Demo I is available today on extremely limited edition cassette – 66 copies, and I’ve already ordered mine – from Purodium Rekords. Grab yours here before they’re gone forever, and then check out both our exclusive stream of the demo in its entirety and my conversation with Mortiferus below.
Indy Metal Vault: So first off, thanks for the interview. I’ve been listening to Demo I a lot over the last week or so while preparing to write these questions, and I can’t help but be blown away by how timeless it sounds. I know the songs on it were written and recorded between 2012-15, but they could just have easily been from the mid-90s or written last week. No frills, no bullshit – just true black fucking metal. What made you decide that this was the right time to finally release them?
Mortiferus: I always had the desire to release Cinzas in a physical format, and the opportunity revealed itself from Purodium Rekords.
The songs were in stasis for too long, almost forgotten. Could I have released them sooner? Probably, I could have done so, but back in 2010-2012, I recorded them myself and then showed the songs to those closest to me. Then I made a critical error a couple years back by creating a Bandcamp page, and the songs leaked all over the place. I closed the page and retired Cinzas once again to the shadows, away from this world.
IMV: Based on the promo notes, it sounds like the songs on Demo I were originally intended for a D.O.R. full-length that never happened, so you recorded them under the name Cinzas instead. Stylistically, they are similar to the D.O.R. tracks on the 2008 Universal Absence spilt, which as of right now is the last thing D.O.R. has released. Why was that full-length abandoned? And what is the current status of D.O.R.? Metal Archives has you listed as “unknown.”
M: The songs were originally recorded in the same period as the songs presented on the split. On the demo, some tracks were re-recorded and others are simply the original recording.
I didn’t abandon the idea of a full-length. Instead, I realized that the feeling that I committed myself to D.O.R. was no more. When recording, I felt something was changing and decided not to release a full-length under D.O.R.’s name.
Cinzas is the remains of D.O.R., reborn with a new feeling and with a different view of everything. By saying this, I can state that D.O.R. is no more.
IMV: So as I mentioned earlier, Cinzas really has that timeless black metal sound, which was borne of the harsh Norwegian winters: raw, dark, and freezing cold. That being said, you’re from Portugal – the climate there is warm and temperate pretty much year round, correct? Since you don’t have to endure those sorts of winters, how do you get into the right frame of mind to write in that ‘grim and frostbitten’ black metal style? Or do you not think climate really has anything to do with it?
M: Nonsense. Climate has nothing to do with it. It depends on our beliefs and the will to create. European countries in the north have a different climate, less daylight time, a colder environment… Of course, most black metal bands incorporate the harsh winter “grim and frostbitten” weather as part of their music and lyrics. But that doesn’t mean that the southern countries shouldn’t play black metal because of the weather!
IMV: I’m not sure how willing you’ll be to answer this, but I’ll ask it anyway. Your songs all have Roman numerals for titles, and (as with most black metal) your vocals are low in the mix and not really understandable. What are your lyrical themes? Are they in a similar sort of Satan, hate, and pain vein as the D.O.R. material, or are you doing something different here.
M: I choose not to name the songs on the demo because I see the songs as chapters in Cinzas’s new path. In the future, I may start putting names on the songs.
Cinzas’s lyrical themes are about Death, Satanism, the Darkness that exists inside in every one of us, Apocalyptic dreams and visions, social degradation and anti-religion.
IMV: I’m familiar with a couple of bands that Purodium Rekords has worked with (Ordem Satânica, Wømb), but they’re a pretty small label – fewer than thirty releases in almost twenty years. How did you end up getting together with them for Demo I’s release? And is it just going to be the 66 cassettes and that’s it? I do notice that Purodium doesn’t do digital releases at all.
M: Purodium Rekords believes that the true essence of black metal most be preserved in the underground and rely only on bands that respect this ideal. I respect Purodium Rekords for the quality of their releases and for maintaining the values and traditions of the True Extreme Metal Underground. So the choice and then the release of Demo Ithrough Purodium Rekords is the obvious and correct decision.
The tape will be limited to 66 copies, no more no less. And yes, Purodium Rekords does not nor ever will release it on digital format.
IMV: What do you think about the current state of Portuguese black metal? There are a lot of newer bands that seem to be carving out a fairly distinctive Portuguese style—bands like Ordem Satânica, Occelensbrigg, Vöemmr, Trono Além Morte, Holocausto Em Chamas, etc.—that’s pretty different than what bands like D.O.R. or Corpus Christii were doing circa 2005, or even Demo I. Do you pay much attention to the underground?
M: Recently, there was a sudden appearance of bands/projects in the Portuguese black metal scene, and it finally is getting the self-respect and strength to grow with a distinct sound and not follow the hypes and trends of mainstream black metal. I can only wish that this feeling doesn’t disappear as suddenly as these bands appeared.
IMV: What’s next for Cinzas? Do you plan to continue releasing music under this name?
M: There will be new Cinzas material in the future.
IMV: Thanks again for being willing to answer a few questions. I like to leave the last word to the artists – anything else you want to add?
M: A word of appreciation to Purodium Rekords, and to all those who believe in the Old Ways of Black Metal.