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Track By Tracks: CHESTCRUSH - VDELYGMIA (2021)


1. The Digester:

This instrumental track started like a short intro, but it came out 3 minutes long. It sets the mood for the whole album. I used an actual violin (the neighbors hated me that night) and I tried to play a really cacophonic and spine-chilling melody and it wasn’t that hard because I don’t know how to play the violin.

The name comes from the “digestion” pit (or “digester” for short). It’s a pit underneath every Greek orthodox Christian cemetery. Permanent plots in Greece’s packed cemeteries can cost as much as a small flat so most graves are rented for a three-year period and once that time is up the dead are exhumed and their bones collapsed into a small box to be kept at the cemetery. Those relatives who can't afford the cost of the exhumation or the storage charge for the box of bones will have their loved one's remains thrown in a so-called "digestion" pit with countless others' where they are dissolved with chemicals. In the current economic climate Greeks are struggling to pay for the burial costs and unclaimed bodies are piling up at mortuaries. Greece happens to be one of the few EU countries without a crematorium - each time plans have been made to build one it has been blocked by the Greek Orthodox Church for obvious reasons.

Now imagine yourself in there. I wanted this track to create this atmosphere. It starts like a twisted funeral hymn and gradually ends up full of despair and madness.

2. Different Shepherd Same Sheep:

This is the most “deathgrind” track of the album and the shortest one, it’s straight to the point and it fits well after a long intro like the "Digester".

I think the title is self-explanatory. It’s about this mental state that some people are in that they need to belong to a group, to have a label to identify themselves, and they build their whole personality and life around this, around a manifesto, a leader, and they become “blind followers”. The kind of people whose fanaticism over a certain subject is just a matter of circumstances and coincidence and not based on research and logic, they could have been on the “opposite side” just as easily. Their need to follow and to “belong” is more important than who, or what they follow, or worship. And if this doesn’t work for some reason, they will find someone else to follow and another label to stick on their forehead and identify themselves as this or that.

3. Grudge:

“Grudge” and “Burden” are taken from the demo that was released last year along with two other songs, “Crushed” and “Agonal Breath”. The structure of the demo version is the same but some of the performances are different, and the mix and mastering is different of course. I think “Grudge” is the “catchiest” song of the album. The lyrics for “Burden”, “Grudge” and “Crushed” are one long song about psychological trauma. “Crushed” didn’t make it to the album but I would like to record a longer version of it and maybe use it for the next album.

4. Theocracyst:

“Theocracyst” starts like a melodic death, or black metal song but soon after goes into grindcore territories. The title is a portmanteau word, a combination of two words, “Theocracy” and “Cyst”. Greece is the only country in the EU that is a theocratic state, meaning there is no separation between church and state. The orthodox church has a strong say in politics and a strong hold on the government. There is even a ministry of “education & religion”, everything that is taught in public schools has to be approved by the clergy. If I keep writing about it, this article will be never ending, like church’s scandals.

5. Burden:

“Burden” is the first track I finished writing. At first the main riff was very similar to some Slayer riffs, so I kept changing it and changing it and the result is this. If you listen to the riffs carefully, you’ll probably listen the Slayer influences as well. As I wrote earlier the lyrics are about psychological trauma, mental issues etc.

6. Let Them Crawl:

This track took me ages to finish, and still every time I listen to it I’m thinking that it still needs work, or that I should have used the discordant choir at the start of the track instead of the ending. I can listen to some Morbid Angel influences in this one.

“Let Them Crawl” was originally called “Kneelers” and lyrically is similar to “Different Shepherd…” It’s about another kind of followers, the humble servants who will excessively kiss the ass of their master and delude themselves that they’re in the same class, secretly wanting to stab them in the back, take their place, and be ten times worse.

7. Skullcrush:

This is the slowest and heavier track of the album. The inspiration for this song came from listening to some 7” or EPs on vinyl at 33 speed instead of 45. I wanted to make something that sounds like this, low-pitched, slow and dissonant. The lyrics of this song are about psychological trauma again but they are my least favourite of the album, but they fit well with the riffs.

8. Vothrodoxia:

“Vothrodoxia” is by far the most black metal track of the album. It’s straight black metal riffs but tuned really low. The lyrics are anti-Christian, obviously, and the name of the song is the Greek word «Βοθροδοξία» which is another portmanteau word coming from the words “Vothros” (Βόθρος) which means cesspit, and the word “Orthodoxia” (Ορθοδοξία) which means Orthodoxy and it refers to the Christian Orthodox church. All religions and all the different branches of Christianity are mental cancer, but I have a special place in my heart for hating orthodox Christianity because that’s the one who tried to shove down my throat its toxic shit for the most part of my life (and the one I paid taxes for). On the next album, I might write about Islam. I don’t like repeating myself.

Also, at the beginning of the track, there is a sample taken from the Netflix series “Messiah”. I was surprised to hear a phrase like this in a Netflix movie. I fucking loved this show for this scene alone. Unfortunately, Netflix canceled the show and we won’t see a second season.

9. Vaptizetai O Doulos:

“Vaptizetai O Doulos” (Βαπτίζεται Ο Δούλος) means “baptizing the slave” in Greek, and it’s an extract from the baptism psalm, which I think it’s surprisingly accurate. This track is like a long outro, it’s there to create a certain atmosphere, like the first track. I wanted it to sound like a dark, evil ritual like the …Christening for example.

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