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DECAPITATED The Man From The Mantra

Decapitated
Decapitated

Blood Mantra, the sixth studio album from Polish death metallers Decapitated, sees the band using their love of touring as a source of inspiration. JESSICA WILLOUGHBY chats to founder Waclaw ‘Vogg’ Kieltyka ahead of their double headliner show with Suffocation on Sunday, May 10, at the Rosemount Hotel.

Everybody loves a story of triumph – of people beating the odds to succeed in the face of adversity.

Decapitated certainly fall into this category. Getting together in their early teens, this fresh-faced Polish death metal outfit released their first demo when their youngest member was just 12 years old in 1997. After their debut album, Winds Of Creation, surfaced just three years later – it was easy to see this was a band on the rise.

But their time together was tragically cut short. In 2007, while on the road touring, their bus was involved in a serious accident in Gomel, near the Russian border. Drummer and founder Witold ‘Vitk’ Kieltyka died shortly after, with vocalist Adrian ‘Covan’ Kowanek still suffering from his injuries to this day.

Two years later, Vitek’s brother and guitarist Waclaw ‘Vogg’ Kieltyka decided to keep the memory of his lost sibling alive and push forward with the band. Although this was back in 2009 and many years have passed since this pivotal point, Vogg’s enthusiasm for creating music with Decapitated is now stronger than ever.

Blood Mantra, their sixth studio album, is testament to this. Released in September last year, it sees the band taking what they had learnt from recent tours to write a record that would serve them well in a live setting.

“I think this album draws from the experiences we’ve had over the last year,” Vogg tells X-Press. “We’ve toured with such great bands, like Lamb Of God and Meshuggah, in huge venues in the US and Europe. It was a big lesson for us in how to create songs that will sound great on big stages. It’s totally different playing for 3,000 people, than it is for 200-300 people.

“We love to play this new stuff because it’s fresh for us and it simply sounds the best live. I think Blood Mantra is the best live sounding album in our career. Seeing the reaction on the recent US and Polish tours – the people really like these new songs.”

But that wasn’t the only change that came along on this album. Not only are the band recording differently now, they are also embracing different composition styles. But change was bound to come with the addition of two new members, drummer Michal Lyseijko and bassist Pawel Pasek.

“We’ve definitely changed a lot,” Vogg says. “Every personal change in the band has hugely improved the sound of the band. Michal has got great character – he’s got great song from the hands. His style of playing fits so well for the style of music I create right now – he’s perfect for Decapitated. We have a really good time with the new line-up, I have to say.

“I’ve also changed the way I compose material. For the first time, I make everything in my home studio and I do pre-production there. This helps me to check if it’s sounding good or not. We made the songs different this time. We’re a more mature band and more mature musicians. All these experiences make this final result for Blood Mantra.”

Despite this album only being out for a mere few months, Vogg is already penning riffs for Decapitated’s next opus. “I don’t want to waste time and wait until next year to start,” he says. “I want to keep it going. It’s a really good time for the band right now. Blood Mantra has had such a great response from the people. We want to continue that. Don’t want to make too much break. It doesn’t work well for me if I take one or two years just playing shows. I don’t want to lose any more time.”