Interviews About Albums: Besna - Zverstvá (2022)

In this new interview, we sat down with the Slovakian Post-Metal/Black Metal/Post-Rock/Death Metal band Besna to ask some questions about his new album "Zverstvá"

1. What can you say about this new album?

Zverstvá is the debut full-length album of Besna, clocking at about 42 minutes of melodic and perhaps slightly proggy side of post-black metal. Think prog less in terms of odd time signatures and more in terms of lengthier chorus-less song structures. We’ve poured our hearts (and time, and sanity) into it, so we’re stoked it seems to work not just for the four of us, but for some of the other people as well. Really, we’re just trying to create more of the kind of music we love and would like to listen to ourselves, while also trying to make it stand out as our own. So hey, if it sounds up the reader's alley, we’d be thankful if you gave us a shot.

2. What is the meaning of the album name?

Loosely translated as “Atrocities”, the title track talks of the totalitarian past of our country, which is, sadly, 33 years later being remembered by some as a mythical fairytale land, where nothing bad ever happened to good people. The theme of atrocities committed by humankind, whether against itself or the planet as a whole is one that resonates throughout the album.

3. Which one is the composer of the album?

Many of the initial ideas and melodies are brought in by our guitarist, but there’s not a track on the album where all of us wouldn’t contribute by the time it was finished.

4. If you had to pick one song, which one would you pick?

Revúca (“Wailing”) - a song about our human hubris in the face of the universe's indifference. The song’s lyrics also tackle the problem of the climate crisis using an anthropomorphic metaphor of a burning planet. Musically, Revúca works great during our live shows with thick verse riffs and a heavy section at the end.

5. Is there a special message in this album? If there is what it is?

If we were to find an overarching theme in the songs presented, it would probably be people’s inability to reflect upon themselves, whether when dealing with the crimes of our past or when planning for the future.

6. Are there some lyrics that you'd love to share?

Using a (perhaps coarse) English translation from Spev Drozda (“Song of the Mockingbird”): Helpless in the face of a calamity is mankind's hubris A lost colossus, a ritual, the roar of a thousand drums Every voice of reason is drowned Proudly standing in mud, trying to impress The deaf darkness before it engulfs you Before time mends what you’ve done Before time heals all of her wounds

7. Which inspirations have been important for this album? Like musically or friends, family, someone you'd love to thank specially?

There’s definitely some Opeth and Gojira worship going on. But musically it likely follows the albums we were into when writing the material - the latest from Harakiri for the Sky, Alcest, The Ocean and Swallow the Sun to name a few. Huge thanks goes to Jakub Tirco who did the mix and master, and of whose solo work we’re big fans as well. Last but not least we want to specially thank Jakub Hríbik from Pulp Studio in Bratislava who not only recorded all the tracks with a big sense for detail but also created the whole idea of what the album should sound like. He has also recommended Jakub Tirco for mixing which eventually turned out to be a perfect fit.

8. Something to add?

Thanks to everyone who supports us in any way. We truly appreciate it and it gives us power to move forward. Love music, love coffee, Lovecraft.

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