If you’re one of those people who rock up to gigs early to listen to, and support, the local acts opening up the show, then this is one interview (and one band) you’re definitely going to want to check out. Ballarat’s own Requiem aren’t just making waves in the Australian Metal scene, they’re causing tidal waves of brutal destruction! With the upcoming release of their latest album, “And The Earth Grew Dark” we caught up with front man Zacharie Dunks to talk about who Requiem are, their stance on the Australian Metal scene, and everything pertaining to their upcoming album!
Requiem are comprised of band members Zacharie Dunks (vocals/guitar), Aaryn Dunks (drums), Jye Mathews (secondary guitar), and Tom Hainsworth (bass).
If you’re unfamiliar with who Requiem might be, Dunks gave an insightful look as to not only who the band are, but the influences that drive them both collectively, and singularly. He explained, “We are a 4 piece extreme metal band hailing from Ballarat, Vic. Our core sound is comprised of a fusion of black, thrash and death metal, with a little bit of everything else thrown in to spice it up. 2018 marks our 6th year as a band, and in that time we’ve toured relentlessly throughout Australia, released a demo, an EP, and now finally an album. Some bands release multiple albums in that period of time, but we’ve always been a slow burn kind of band. We never rush anything and always take plenty of time with all the minor details.” He continued, “For me personally, in the early days it was bands like Trivium and Machine Head that influenced me. Now it’s evolved to the point where I’m influenced by just about anything that’s interesting and different. Bands like Dissection, Watain and Black Breath all played a big part as a blueprint of sorts for the album, but there’s far too many to nail it down to just a few bands. I think as a band, we’ve always been influenced by a lot of dual guitar attack acts like (Judas) Priest or (Iron) Maiden. Something about having 2 guitars smashing out harmonies and melodies while the bass and drums form the backbone has been very crucial to our songwriting.”
The Australian Metal scene is one that has boasted continuous growth, and elite talent. Dunks spoke about what it’s like to grind away within the scene, and trying to push your way through bands standing before them to rise to the top. He explained, “Grinding is certainly the right word. Although I feel like our journey has been quite a bit different from a lot of other bands. Being from the country and starting out in a town called Ararat, there were no other metal bands (or bands at all really), and we were met with huge support from the community. We’d drive over 200km to play some shitty dive bar in Melbourne to f**k all people, but we loved it. A grind for sure, but never a dull moment.”
Attention thereafter turned to that of the latest album they’ve just finished working on, ‘And The Earth Grew Dark. Kicking things off, Dunks opened up about how long Requiem had spent on the process of putting it all together. He explained, “We started work on the album straight after the release of our 2015 EP ‘Damnation’, so it’s been about 2 years in the making. Like I mentioned earlier, we never rush things, and our debut album was not going to be an exception. In this time, we also parted ways with founding guitarist/vocalist Angus McMillan and bassist Gerard May. This was a big changing point for the band, and we went from being 4 mates playing metal together to a serious force to be reckoned with. We welcomed in new guitarist Mathews who I must say is an incredibly important part of the band now, and has a lot of songwriting credits on the album.”
He followed up by discussion their processes in producing an album, as well as what inspired them to bring ‘And The Earth Grew Dark’ to life. He explained, “After releasing Damnation, the most natural thing for us to do was start work on an album. It was really exciting for us, because having an album’s worth of material to write, we were finally able to start working on 8 minute songs and experimenting with things we hadn’t been able to do yet. We really wanted to push our sound further than we thought possible.” He continued, “Most of the time I’ll take a skeleton of a song to the band, make sure everyone likes it, and we’ll go from there to flesh it out and turn it into a full track. This time it was a bit different though. We knew from the start we wanted 8 solid tracks, and being a concept album, we wanted each song to explore different sounds and sensibilities.”
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. However before finishing up, Dunks gave some insight into what the future holds for Requiem moving forward. He explained, “After releasing the album, we’ll embark on an Australian tour to support it. We’ve got some great shows lined up and I’m really excited to hit the road again. There’s some tentative plans to head overseas towards the end of the year too. We’ve already started writing again for the next release, but I’d give it another year or so before we truly sink into making another album. But we definitely plan on keeping extremely busy and pushing this album as far as it will go!”
Get your hands on a copy of And The Earth Grew Dark HERE!