Incarnate Deity !
Proof that extreme metal is truly global and has no limits, hailing from
Randburg, in the Gauteng Province of South Africa, Incarnate deity is a one person Symphonic black/ death metal project courtesy of Zerachiel, who does not only perform and arrange everything but could also be one of the busiest people in metal.
What inspired you to start a one person project?
This is not my first project and you'll see in later answers that I actually play in a lot of "secular" bands. I have no problems with artists of different beliefs getting together and making great music. Doing something on my own allows me full control of the music and lyrical themes. (I use the term secular here loosely as I don't like separating bands into different categories based on beliefs).
Did you play in any bands at any point, and is it easier/harder doing it all yourself?
When I first started learning guitar and bass and started teaching myself harsh vocals I really wanted to start a Christian metal band. At that stage, I could not find anyone good enough who shared my beliefs. In fairness, I may have not known where to look. When I was invited to join Surdus, I took the opportunity to learn and grow and I still love playing in that band. I've matured enough in my faith and my views to be able to play different types of music and I love performing live in the following bands:
Surdus (symphonic death metal) - guitars, clean vocals and backing harsh vocals
Omentum (comedic death metal) - bass, lead harsh vocals
Forsaking Fate (thrashy melodic death metal) - bass, backing harsh vocals
And more recently, I joined progressive death metal band, Nerve Zero, as their lead vocalist and front man.
I also have the following studio projects:
Abhorrent Anomaly (technical death metal) - vocals, composition
Hilliker (hillbilly slam/horror death metal) - everything
Source Control (synthwave/darksynth) - guitars, composition
It does allow you to express yourself freely?
I've always been allowed to express myself freely. In every band I've ever been in.
What is the goal of Incarnate Deity?
I wanted to produce a high quality album that can reach as many people as possible.
The overall concept of your debut Theodicy? Is a concept album?
Theodicy deals with harsh realities of life and how one can reconcile the evil in the world with a loving God. It has songs that deal with hypocrites, depression and songs like "Plaguebearer" that takes bible stories and shows the brutal side of them.
When can we expect it?
I'm going to say late 2020. I really want to release the album via a label so that it has a much larger reach. So I'm busy in discussions but I don't have a concrete date set yet.
Is the tag of Symphonic black metal appropriate for your sound?
I think so. I mean there are elements of death metal in my vocal style but there are bands that are classified as black metal that incorporate death vocals.
One thing I'll never do is embrace the genre Unblack metal or White metal. I prefer classification based on sound and not lyric content.
The comparisons to Dimmu Borgir and Septic Flesh put you at odds with your beliefs. Does it bother you at all or is it a welcome comparison?
I don't think Dimmu Borgir or Septicflesh are against my beliefs. Their lyrical content is more fantastical in nature. My main music inspiration is Carach Angren and their lyrical themes are horror based. Like a good book or a movie, I see no problem with the content. I think if lyrical content can shake your faith then there's a problem with your faith and not the lyrical content.
I welcome the comparison because of the production values. There is a lot of music out there and a lot of it is raw. I just like well-produced metal.
Can you ever envisage Incarnate Deity as a live prospect?
I doubt it. Getting a live band up to scratch to be able to perform music tightly is a costly exercise - with gear and rehearsal space and then transport etc. It would really need to make financial sense to do so. And I'd rather use that investment to release more music.
Does your location in South Africa influence your music?
I don't think so. I think it influences the amount of music I make and the amount of projects I'm involved in. I think it's tough to go far here as touring is expensive, our minimal number of fans (I'm grateful to everyone that is a fan of the music that I'm involved in) and also the "gatekeepers" who constantly decide that the same bands are the best. Hence why I do so much.
How is the extreme metal scene in South Africa?
It's quite big hey. We have amazing black metal acts like Spectral Realm and Theatre Runs Red. There are some awesome death metal bands like The Fallen Prophets and Monolith. And we have slam like Vulvodynia, ROFR and Displeased Disfigurement. And then there are all the bands I'm in. Shameless plug. hahaha
What inspires you? What sort of music, books or art?
Musically, I enjoy a lot of metal, from Doom to Tech-Death.
I enjoy horror - movies, books and video games.
I'm also inspired by video games and their lore. I'm actual a video game developer by profession.
Life and hardships inspire me as well.
Your thoughts on the state of black metal as it stands today?
I think gone are the days of low fidelity black metal where everything sounded like it was recorded in a cave. I also think a lot of black metal bands have abandoned the idea that Satanism makes them cool and have moved onto more mature content, like horror or fantasy. I really enjoy my symphonic black metal.
The environment around you and the world, have we learned the mistakes of our past or are condemned to repeat them... again?
Humanity is dumb hahaha. We might not repeat our mistakes exactly, but we'll probably make worst ones.
Your top 6 favourite albums of all time.
That is probably the hardest question you could have asked me.
These are not necessarily my favourite now but have influenced me the most.
1. System Of A Down - Toxicity
2. Trivium - Ascendancy
3. Becoming The Archetype - Dichotomy
4. Impending Doom - Baptized In Filth
5. Carach Angren - Death Came Through A Phantom Ship
6. Septicflesh - Codex Omega
Any last words thoughts for the future?
If the Incarnate Deity album can help one person out of despair then mission accomplished. Thanks so much for the interview. This was really fun.