Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Altars play death metal. The band’s debut full-length studio CD is titled Paramnesia, which can be acquired either as a CD through Nuclear Winter Records or on vinyl through Blood Harvest. Take Five spoke to the band, the results of which are chronicled below.
Tell me about the meaning behind your band’s name and describe your musical approach.
Altars: “It’s a simple yet powerful word, one that provokes connotations that a group of words may not. People may take from it what they will and form their own ideas, and similarly our musical approach follows a similar mantra. Our musical approach is simply to translate our own abstract thoughts into music, hopefully allowing the listener to, in turn, transpose these thoughts into their own.”
Tell me about your latest full-length studio CD, Paramnesia. What can listeners expect to hear?
Altars: “Paramnesia is a fairly varied record in the sense that the music fluctuates regularly on a dynamic level. Whilst tracks may stand alone, as a whole it was written—and intended—to be heard as so.
“The music on Paramnesia is deeply steeped in our old-school death metal roots, but very much speaks the word of the current era, stepping a line between the past, present, and future. For those who prefer to listen, just head over to www.altarsdeath.bandcamp.com to stream tracks.”
Tell me about the three-part composition subtitled “Paramnesia.” What inspired such an epic composition? What inspired the lyrics?
Altars: “The album itself splits conceptually into three pieces representing life, death, and rebirth. The three parts of the title track describe the ‘rebirthing.’ It is an extremely dark concept so both musically and lyrically; we tried to capture this as best we could. The lyrics naturally become quite forceful in ‘Ouroboros (Paramnesia, Part III),’ as the cyclical process and ‘unending’ of the rebirth becomes clear.”
What goes through your mind seconds before you begin to perform live, as you are standing there with the lights out?
Altars: “I try my best to relax and find some sort of clear headspace before playing, I normally go find a quiet spot to sit down beforehand, and once we are ready to play, I can channel my energy into playing with organic aggression and feeling.”
What was it that first attracted you to the world of extreme music?
Altars: “First, being exposed to Slayer growing up, I became a lot more interested in darker music. In high school I would trade tapes with a friend, sharing and checking out all things new and old as I discovered my way around the history and current death/doom/black scenes. I started going to a lot of local extreme metal gigs and checking out local bands—I was entranced by it all. I think the clincher was getting to see the likes of Hate Eternal live. At the time international acts didn’t really tour Australia, and this was the first of a wave of bigger international bands to grace our stages.”