Ed’s Band Of The Day: Sabazius

By on 17 November 2011

NAME : Sabazius
THEY ARE : Extreme doom, as in really slow
FROM: Brighton, UK
FOR FANS OF: Khanate, Asva, Burning Witch
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Eighty Days and Four’ EP (Black Winter 2010)
CHECK OUT: ‘Her Crimson Lotus Feet’, ‘Shyama’, ‘DCLXVI’
WHERE TO FIND THEM: Facebook, MySpace, Last.Fm

Sabazius’ Facebook page proudly boasts that they “make other funeral doom bands sound like Pig Destroyer.” They take the speed down a few notches from even Khanate’s level; the band’s masterwork so far is ‘Devotional Songs’, an album featuring four tracks, two of which are the same drone used as an intro and outro, and the other two are over an hour long, each. [Hence no clips in this piece.] ‘Funeral doom’ isn’t doing the band justice though; rather than just playing super slow in the manner of Skepticism, each Sabazius track goes through shifts of mood, featuring choral-style vocals, haunting guitar echoes, spoken-word passages, drones and even the odd shift into blastbeats. We caught up with half of the band, bass player/vocalist Steve Patton (Nev Taylor playing guitar and drums) to talk free downloads, playing live and plans.

What motivates you to write songs that are SO long?

“With the band we were involved in before Sabazius, Coelacanth, the three of us would just jam and record what we were doing. The guitarist Tatu Pier moved back to South Africa, so we began Sabazius. During some of the jams we’d play one riff for twenty minutes or so as it gets quite hypnotic and trancelike. Listening back to the tapes, Nev and I liked that about the music and we decided to continue that, but try to do more with the idea. The first song we wrote, ‘Terror Is Thy Name’, is 30 minutes long, and the rest just followed from there.”

‘Devotional Songs’ is so long that it seems to work best as a digital file, physical formats can’t hold it! On top of that you’ve been upfront about giving music away for free. Is Internet technology something you particularly try to embrace, or is it just the easiest way to achieve what you’re trying to do?

“It’s a bit of both. Whilst we do longer songs than most bands, we do still try to ensure that songs will fit onto a CD if that’s what people want to do with them. Having said that, ‘Devotional…’ was also intended to work as one piece – without it being a digital file that would be impossible. We have tried to utilise the Internet as it makes things easy for us, but also because it gives us a lot more freedom. A record label is a business, and they want to sell records to make money. Both our albums are over two hours in length, which isn’t really commercially a good idea for a band. We’re a pretty niche band and won’t ever shift lots of records, so we decided to just put it out there for free; it’s not like we’re going to make any money from it anyway!”

Have you ever played live? Would it be logistically possible?

“No, we’ve not played live yet. Very early on we decided we didn’t want to play live to small pub audiences who weren’t interested in what we’re doing. We would consider playing live if we were offered something we thought was worth our time, but we’ve not really discussed how we’d do it as the opportunity hasn’t arisen yet. It’d be more likely that we’d do a one-off performance piece, rather than simply playing one of our songs as they are on record.”

What’s next for Sabazius?

“We’ll be releasing a split EP with Hesper Payne soon, which will be a limited edition CD as well as a download. We have two ‘mini albums’ which we completed a few years ago and just need to record the vocals for, and we’ve written nearly two hours of music for the third full-length. At the minute the new album is our focus, and it’s looking like it’ll hopefully be a bigger endeavour than ‘Devotional Songs’ was. We might manage to finish and release that this year, otherwise it’ll be out in 2012.”



About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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