S= Our Existence Is Punishment>>VIKTOR TAUSZIK>>Our Existence Is Punishment
G= Our Existence Is Punishment>>NORBERT CZETVITZ>>Our Existence Is Punishment - HUGÓ KÖVES
B= FERENC GÁL
D= Atropos, Our Existence Is Punishment, In Season>>SZABOLCS FEKETE>>Our Existence Is Punishment, In Season
The band operated as Dark Clouds for some ten years before becoming Nadir in 2004 and issuing a demo called Tenacity a year later. The socially conscious Norbert Czetvitz was the founder. The We, The Scum Of The Earth demo of 2006 followed. Those Who Bought The Rain was a 2008 demo. Eco-Ethic, The Underground Heroes and Exitus were next. The band and compatriots Drow had a split release in 2014. Yet another demo, Ventum Iam Ad Finem Est, followed. The group issued its first album The Sixth Extinction in 2017. The Sixth Extinction was also the title for the closing track of Ventum Iam Ad Finem Est. NGC and Grimm cooperated on this record. Nonetheless the band reverted to demo land with 2018’s Honour The Cavalry. This release came on the band’s 25th anniversary.
Three of the members spend time in the industrial-tinged Our Existence Is Punishment.
NADIR – THE SIXTH EXTINCTION – GRIMM/SATANATH
It is odd calling singer Viktor Tauszik, guitarists Hugó Köves and Norbert Czetvitz, bassist Ferenc Gál and drummer Szabolcs Fekete death metallers. The quintet that together is the Hungary-based Nadir is a progressive unit that cares about its fellow man, the planet and the fauna and flora that give it life. This is progressive metal at its best, albeit with the power and brutality of a typical death metal band. The band’s latest full-length is called The Sixth Extinction and issued courtesy of Grimm/Satanath. The cruelty of the music and the relevance of the lyric made that record Metallian’s Album of The Month. Ali “The Metallian” got Viktor on the horn and the result of the conversation is below. – 02.12.2019.
METALLIAN: Viktor, it is opportune to be speaking with you. Here is the shocker: Nadir has been at it for 25 years and is still as underground as it gets. Can you speak to this? Given the music on The Sixth Extinction it is not due to a lack of quality in the music.
VIKTOR: Obviously, just like any other act that’s starting up and as a young band we had a world domination plan. Our releases were internationally distributed in the early years and we got to play both club and festival shows abroad, mainly in the neighbouring countries. Later on, we either released our stuff independently or worked with underground labels that offered great international distribution. Yet, as we grew older, most of us settled down, our drummer even lives abroad in France, near to the border with Switzerland, which makes perfect sense since he works in Geneva with his family, and so we are only able to play live sporadically. Yet, at least, we never stopped creating and we even issued an EP last year to celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary. It is entitled Honour The Cavalry. It’s only available online though.
METALLIAN: Take us back. Why did the act change its monicker and what is the connotation behind the name Nadir?
VIKTOR: Back in the early 2000s, we got to the point where our original name, Dark Clouds, didn’t fit to our music anymore as we gradually went from Tiamat, as the old name would suggest, Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride-inspired doom/death metal to a more up-tempo and straightforward kind of metal. Nadir was the title of our first full-length album so we thought choosing this as our new name would clearly show continuity. The original meaning of the word ‘nadir’ is the point on the celestial sphere directly below an observer – the opposite of zenith – but it also depicts the lowest or most unsuccessful point in a situation, like the state of the greatest depression.
METALLIAN: Let's pick up on the lyrical aspect of the band. This seems integral to the act. Firstly, is this correct? Secondly, can you address the themes and why they are important to the band?
VIKTOR: Yes, it’s absolutely correct. Our lyrics mainly deal with specific social issues and on the last few albums we moved towards environmental stuff, mainly animal cruelty-related things. We talk about different problems and lately we’ve been doing it more specifically and in a more direct way than ever. So, we think it would be OK to say that these lyrics, going way beyond the phenomena and the problems themselves, reflect a certain way of thinking and acting – that is: a mentality and a lifestyle. These lyrical themes are really important for us because they’re all vital issues that are part of our lives and anyone can – in fact, should – relate to. We’re all animal lovers and have pets at home most of which were rescued from local animal shelters. So, one of the aspects to our lyrics would be to treat animals more carefully, showing more humanity towards them.
METALLIAN: Speaking of which, as much as the band is aware and intellectual, it seems from the outside Hungary is one of the most retarded and retrogarde countries in Europe. This is symptomatic given the fascist nature of the Hungarian government. Is this impression correct and is the government representative of its people?
VIKTOR: Well, if you really want anyone to represent you then you have to elect your trustworthy and legitimate leader on the local level first. Then those leaders will elect their trustworthy and legitimate leaders on the regional level, etcetera., so the hierarchical pyramid will be built from below and not from above. Otherwise, your local candidate might as well be a criminal, people will still give their votes to him just because he represents this or that party. Now, ever since the system allows us to vote, all we get is a government that’s supposed to represent its nation but in truth it only represents its voters, either biased or misled, while a lot of other people are totally unhappy with it. Only the political orientation seems to change from time to time.
Nonetheless, if you come to Hungary, you can meet many people who are not only aware, intellectual and incredibly smart but also super friendly. It’s true that you can also meet some arrogant, narrow-minded retards here but there are people like that everywhere in the world so it’s not even worth mentioning. And, from the human aspect, it’s not politics or politicians that are going to decide any crucial issue in the years to come (much as they would like to think they are) but the relation we maintain to each other as people. Being realistic, though, you obviously can’t expect any radical changes in the near future. One can only hope that the future generations will gradually become less reliant on the regime many people tend to idealize today. Socialist/ liberal or reactionary, doesn’t really make much difference because it’s all just make-believe and pretence and all those people in power actually do is live off us shamelessly. And, more important than that, they all largely contribute to the destruction of the environment, taking more and more away from nature. This, basically, takes us back to the previous question. That’s the aspect of all political issues that really makes us worried, not what some maniacs with power in their hands say and do in a given moment. Their prosperity and even their mere existence is such a joke in the grand scheme of things if you think of the history of mankind and Earth’s time. In fact, mankind as a whole is just a small, tiny piece of Earth’s time... So we do have our opinion on politics as private people but we prefer not to touch on that topic in details as a band, unless it’s from the environmental point of view. One issue that we welcome, although not directly involving politics, is a recent increase in severity of the related national legislation following some grave cases of cruelty to animals as a result of massive protests. This is also a great example of using (social) media in a positive way. We are very vocal about it both as performers and private persons and we sure hope people will have more to say about it.
METALLIAN: Let us change gears. Musically, the band harbours elements of Bolt Thrower, Asphyx and Obituary. How do you see this?
VIKTOR: That’s exactly right and you can also add bands like Crowbar, Merauder or Entombed to the list. We even used to play Both Thrower, Obituary, Entombed and Merauder covers live many years ago. That being said, we always stayed true to our initial influences and you can hear some of that on The Sixth Extinction album, more than on its predecessors.
METALLIAN: Amazingly, the band is not a young one. Should you not have already wimped out?
VIKTOR: No, definitely not. In fact, most members of Nadir are actively involved in several other bands and projects which can all be described as underground and extreme music. Our Existence Is Punishment, with Norbert, Viktor, Szabolcs and our former bass player in its ranks, tends to integrate industrial elements in doom metal, Enter The Void, with Viktor as vocalist teaming up with other renowned Hungarian underground metal musicians, is more Neurosis influenced, Ghostchant, with Norbert as guitarist and songwriter, mixes extreme metal with hardcore, while Step On It, with Ferenc on bass, defines itself as an ‘allschool’ hardcore/thrash/grindcore band. So it seems like the older we get the more creative we get. It’s true that we listen to all kind of music including softer, more melodic stuff but this is what we enjoy playing the most. On the other hand, all the bands and projects we’re part of are based on friendship. It happened that some of these acts played together in the course on the same event but, more important than that, each of these is based on the idea to create something in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and to have fun all along. With all the stress and other kind of bullshit we have to deal with practically every day, this even feels like a therapy that’s completely painless. That’s the reason why we still enjoy it so much and that’s exactly what the song New Found Revelations, from the Honour The Cavalry EP, is about. With Nadir, we got to play with amazing replacement drummers when Szabolcs, who also mixed and co-produced our latest couple of releases by the way, couldn’t make it back to Hungary for several shows and we got along great with some of those guys for a while but honestly, it never felt like the real Nadir without Szabolcs.
METALLIAN: Let us get specific. What is the song Mountains Mourn about? The vocals take on a different style here. Can you speak to them?
VIKTOR: This song is about the way the chestnut blight devastated the chestnut tree forests of the Appalachian Mountains in the USA during the first decades of the twentieth century, after a parasitic fungus of chestnut trees from South East Asia was accidentally introduced to North America. As for the vocal style, we always try to figure out what fits best to the given track and its lyrics which may vary by song of course. Sometimes it sounds more like death metal, sometimes there is a hardcore feel to it and so on. We really love to experiment with that.
METALLIAN: Has anyone in the band studied botany?
VIKTOR: No, not really. We have studied many things from philology and linguistics to history and even chemistry and pharmaceutics but not botany. We haven’t studied zoology either, but we wrote a song about an amazing species of animals named Hyrcanian, also known as Turanian or Caspian tiger, assessed as extinct in 2003. There are many brilliant studies and articles in most disciplines that are accessible to everybody nowadays.
METALLIAN: It feels like a funeral or a eulogy given how mankind is responsible for the disappearance such noble species. Can you walk the readers through Ice Age In The Immediate Future? What was the intention, what is the story and do we listen and enjoy or is there a call to action?
VIKTOR: Ice Age... encompasses practically all characteristics of Nadir’s music. Arctic is a Tiamat inspired atmospheric instrumental track, To Leave It All Behind is depressive doom/death metal and A Matter Of Survival is an aggressive and fast-paced song. The trilogy is inspired by a brilliant Hungarian dramatic piece from the 19th century, namely The Tragedy Of Man by Imre Madách who lived from 1823 to 1864. This is our interpretation of the scene from this play where the protagonists find themselves in the future towards the end of their journey through time and history of mankind: the Earth is now frozen and unfit for living on, only a handful of humans remain and all they do is kill each other over a few seals that survived the overhunting. So there is a call to action here, if you like. We are trying to promote a more conscious way of living, paying more attention to our immediate environment and surroundings.
METALLIAN: What is the connection between the latest album and the final track on Ventum Iam Ad Finem Est?
VIKTOR: First of all, both of these records are concept albums. Ventum Iam Ad Finem Est is basically the story of mankind and its relation to nature, starting from the balance and harmony of ancient times. Obviously the whole thing gradually deteriorated and by the end of the album, we reach the phase of the sixth great wave of extinction of species on Earth. It is already happening, actually. So, on The Sixth Extinction record, we picked up where we left off at the end of Ventum.., but it’s not another historical overview. Instead, we decided to analyze this series of events from different aspects, citing pollution overfishing, overhunting and destruction of the environment as its main features and causes.
METALLIAN: What does your analysis show definitively?
VIKTOR: Unlike the previous five waves, this sixth one is mainly caused by mankind. That’s the basic idea of the Ventum... album’s closing track that’s been set forth in detail throughout The Sixth Extinction. The final conclusion is developed in Les Ruines (‘Ruins’) which is based on the words of French philosopher Constantin François de Chassebœuf, comte de Volney who lived from 1757 to 1820 where we urge the listeners, quoting the author directly, to ask themselves whether all the devastation that’s going on in the world has been done by God or mankind. And we don’t leave the question open. As our approach and overall attitude would suggest, we take the view that it’s all caused by careless, irresponsible, unreasonable human beings. Whatever we do against nature, it’s inevitable that nature will react. The planet will survive and life will go on without us humans too. New species will emerge that are able to adjust themselves to the new circumstances of life. Atmosphere-wise, the track is the musical underlining of this sphere of thought.
METALLIAN: Viktor, thanks to your band-mates and yourself for the music and enlightening lyrics and thoughts. To close, as you and everyone else knows, Metallian is the most relevant and elite outlet on the planet. Can you explain in your words what an honour it is to be featured in Metallian and be awarded the Album Of The Month award?
VIKTOR: We truly feel honoured. We greatly appreciate any album review and interview opportunity from any music magazine or other outlet. This award, however, really made us feel like the most relevant band on the planet, at least one of them. So we are very thankful for that. And we hope at least a few people will take some time to check out our message besides the music. We really should value our environment more and take much better care of it. Like Mahatma Ghandi said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Well said and well quoted. More information on the band can be found at https://nadirhun.bandcamp.com and at http://www.nadir-official.com.
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