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Vampiric black metal, not really original nowadays but GEMATRIA can be said original in the local Singapore/Malaysian metal scene, music-wise or from their image (from the picture in the demo cover). Because of this and also the interesting debut demo, interview have been sent and shortly-answered by them. Just read what they say...

 

How were you today ? I must say that "Memoirs", GEMATRIA's latest demo is a good release, musically and also the cover sleeve. What do you guys feel after the released of "Memoirs" ?

We felt relieved and hope that our hard works will satisfies the needs of listeners.

GEMATRIA... the name is quite new to Malaysian or maybe to Singaporean scene. Could you please tell us more about the band; history, line-up, etc...

We started up with Cruzier,Zyratul,Sorath and me in mid '96, playing old school black metal and managed to record an unreleased demo called 'In Restless Ecstasy.' In early '98, we recruit Ybraghan on keyboards and produced 'Memoirs'.

I thought GEMATRIA came from the words GEMA SATRIA. Cruzier said the taken from kabbalism (a spiritual language used by kabbalist). Why 'GEMATRIA' ? Are you guys into kabbalism ?

Yes.

"Memoirs" is the re-released of "In Restless Ectasy", a demo which was never released. Is there any differences between the songs in those two demos ? Any changes made ?

In the demo 'In Restless Ecstasy', we played black metal with old school touches whereas in 'Memoirs', with the presence of the synths,we explore more ideas and experimented on atmospheric stuffs.

"In Restless Ectasy" was never released because of Dzool (Azzak Studio) was keen to sign GEMATRIA. What kind of deal are you talking about ? Is "Memoirs" was financially support by Dzool ?

Actually, the demo has no deals with anything or anyone.It is unreleased because we, ourselves thought that the demo is not up to our expectations due to some problems.In terms of financials, we manage the burden ourselves.

Judging from the sound of the demo, AZZAK STUDIO might be a good recording studio and Dzool also did a good job in engineering and mixing "Memoirs". How long does GEMATRIA took to record this demo and the cost ?

It took one month and we have gone beyond the budget.

Could you please talk more about the tracks in "Memoirs" so that the readers can get a clue about "Memoirs", a short review might be great (the songs as well as the lyrics behind the songs).

It is like a tale,told by an old man. Firstly, the awakening...with thunders and chantings, then the war, in the aftermath...a dark romance between vampires and mortal beings.

Ibrighan, Zyratul, Cruzier Ralkzul, Sorath... what do you think of them personally ? Is this line-up was the same line-up since beginning of GEMATRIA ? There's also a female vocal on the demo. Who is she ?

Yes. The female vocalist is our close friend named Emma.

Can you describe the music that GEMATRIA now play and why do you play it ? The usage of keyboard, female vocals and adding some melodic riffs in black metal nowdays are remarked as 'commercial black metal', what you say about that ?

Gematria plays black metal in a theatrical way, with agression blessed by angelic hymns. As for the next question, it depends on how the promotions being dealed by the record labels. If we were to compile all the black metal bands in the world, can we judge all of them? Can we make sure that 90% of them plays pure agression without melody?

From where did GEMATRIA get your musical inspiration ?

It came naturally...some via orchestra and classical music.

Have you ever think of GEMATRIA singing in your native language ?

Yes, probably in our next release.

Talking about Singapore black metal scene, the name like AS SAHAR, IMPIETY will automatically pop up from Malaysian fans mind. What do you think of them as well as other old name like VRYKOLAKAS, ABHORER, ITNOS etc ? Have you heard about the rumours and fight between the two aformentioned bands ?

We respect them as the pioneers of the scene and as for the rumours...we have heard about it but we're not taking sides.

...and some new breed of S'pore black metal bands is now carving its name in the scene like ILEMAUZAR, ETERNAL THRONE, HAIL and REQUIEM (well...these bands are project band of the old timer AS SAHAR members, can it be considered as new ?) and also GEMATRIA. Do I forgot any bands ? What do you think of S'pore black metal scene ?

The scene is progressing...slowly.

What is you view of today's black metal scene ? Nazi-black metal ?

It depends on individuals...

Ever contact any black metal bands from other S.E.A. countries ?

Most of them are from Malaysia and Singapore itself.

Is there any new songs ? What are differences between the new composed song and the one in "Memoirs" ?

The upcoming songs will be more agressive.

What can we expect from GEMATRIA in the near future ? Any merchandises for sale ? What about the compilation that you mentioned in Dark Legions 'zine ? Could you tell us a bit of this comp. ?

We have planned on merchandising...and you'll expect better sound qualities in the next release.The compilation is not a success due to some problems.

The new IMPIETY CD seriously kick ass ! Have you heard it ? What are your current playlist ?

Emperor, Marduk, Gorgoroth, Langsuir, Abhorer and As Sahar.

By the way, what do you (and the rest of the band) do beside GEMATRIA ?

The last gig was a great satisfaction to us.

Thanks for your time. End this interview the way you like...

Malays are the rightful heirs of Eastern Black Metal dynasty!!!

GEMATRIA
BLK 620 Yishun Ring,
Road #02-3208, 
SINGAPORE 760620.