Dies Irae: A Journey Through Vast and Complex Darkness

One of the most compelling dark metal bands emerging out of Mexico, Dies Irae has made a grand return to once again spread their wondrously intriguing music to the masses.   Secrets Veils Of Passage is their underground masterwork after years of silence, and is well worth seeking out.  Stunning and captivating, repeated listening is not only required but essentially rewarding.  We check in with one of the founding members of Dies Iraes to explore their vast and complex world of somber metallic desolation.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Dies Irae, and how long the band has been together.
Hello, thanks for the interview, I am DAH founding member of the band.  I’m the singer and the rhythm guitar player.  Dies Irae had two eras, the first started in 1995 until 2001 and then the new era began in 2009

Where are you based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Ok .. we are from Mexico, we have an active metal scene, but we haven´t much support. Is hard to have a group and dedicate to the music without depending on anything else, there are many bands but few are those that have been recognized.
Of course I can recommend some Mexican bands… in particular I like the work of Agony Lords, Cenotaph and The Chasm who have pioneered the genre in Mexico. Today I like to listen to Majestic Downfall, Zombification and Blood Rain, who is releasing his first album.  But they are good friends of mine and I like the style fresh.

After a nearly 10 year hiatus, what made you decide that now was the time to resurrect Dies Irae?
Well, in 2001 when the band decided to separate, the idea was not to stay away so long, the idea was just to make a break for everyone to complete their school and personal commitments, but years passed and the group was growing further. 10 years later I started to write some songs with Fernz, the sound of each of them seemed to me increasingly like Dies Irae. Suddenly the idea of reviving the group came to my mind, and that is why Dies Irae is back.

Is there any story or concept behind the Secret Veils Of Passion title?
The last album is a very personal, very intimate, has much to what has happened in our lives, every song talk about something that has been part of us. When HG Daniel joined the project and began to develop the art he had the idea of the name because he thought that every song reveals some kind of secret. The sound and feeling of the album is very emotional and passionate for us and so was that we adopt that name for the new album. Ten songs for ten delicate secrets as veils of passion.

Select any two songs from the new album and what inspired the lyrical content.
The two most personal songs are TO and FIGHT, both talk about the internal struggle of a human being.  Life offers many things to everyone, suddenly you got everything, and suddenly you have nothing, but every time something new comes, but comes without warning, and that’s the point of which I speak on both songs.

Is The Ill Over Death still going and how does that band differ from Dies Irae? Would both bands ever want to perform live together on the same bill?
We have plans to record a new The ill over death album next year. The two bands are very different .. in TIOD music is more direct and heavier, is a boost of energy while Dies Irae is much more emotional, much more personal, experimental .. so .. that’s the difference between the two bands.
I think it would be impossible to present the two bands together, because TIOD is just a side project, now will have some guest musicians in the drums and bass guitars for the new album and would be difficult to make live shows because they live in places far from my city.

How did you wind up on Chaos Records?
We heard of Chaos Records through my friend Jacobo C. (Majestic Downfall and Zombification) we saw that the label was working very well and that made me interested in finding any negotiation with them. After that I had contact with Victor H. (the owner) and things were easy. I think both sides are very happy to work together.

When you look back on the older Dies Irae recordings, what do you think of them now? And do you still keep in touch with Oz Records?
Listening to previous recordings makes me feel nostalgic.  I remember many things that happened in those days, there was very good things with the former members who are still friends of mine but now hardly met.
I was listening to Ab Imo Pectore recently, I think it was a great EP even when the quality of the recording and interpretation of the music was of very poor quality.
I love Ab Imo Pectore and Etherial. Naive was an album that changed much of my original idea, has songs that I like to listen but I look better at the first two.
After Naïve, the contact was lost with Oz for some time, but now we talk frequently and things are good between us.

What could one expect from a live Dies Irae show?
We are working on the show now.. Will be difficult for us because it is the first time we’ll play without drums and bass .. these two instruments and ambient sounds are programmed on the album and we want the same for the live shows. But well, away from these technical details, I think the audience will hear a much more mature band, I think the show will be very emotional and intense, and we want to have much more personal contact with the fans.

Has Dies Irae ever played in the Los Angeles area or plan to do so in the future?
No, we never played in the United States, would be very exciting for me, I hope good things with the album and if given the opportunity to go there, we would be really happy to do.

Who did the haunting cover art for Secret Veils Of Passion and how much input did you have on it?
The cover art was designed by Daniel HG, from many years he has worked with the band on visual concepts, but now he’s formally inside the band .. Actually the whole concept was developed by him, I really contributed just a little bit in the art, only with some suggestions on the layout and details..

What’s up for Dies Irae in the New Year?
Next year we will begin to make live performances, some songs started to flow in our minds, so we will begin to record a new album probably in the early months of the year. I’m re-recording also the Ab Imo Pectore EP with many changes in the music, and I hope to see that realized the next year too.

Any messages for fans here in the States?
Well .. I am very happy to answer this interview for the people in the United States.  I have never been in your country but I hope to be soon over there.  I am also very happy and grateful to receive this support and promote our new album this way.  So .. I want to thank all the north American fans for all your support and for re-opening their ears to our music. Thank you very much and i hope to see all of you there soon.

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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