After stumbling upon this ripping independently released album from Polish death metal band Dormant Ordeal back in late June, I felt compelled to get a review out as quickly as possible to spread the word. Over the last few months we’ve seen it turning up in a number of places, even claiming a spot in the hallowed 6-disc changer of the one and only Jimmy McNulty! Recently, I was fortunate enough to have the chance to get some insight into the album, the band’s history, and the Polish metal scene from their guitarist Maciek.
Hi, who are we speaking to here?
Hello, my name’s Maciek and I’m a guitar player in Dormant. Thanks for having us here.
How long have you been playing together as a band? Were you all friends before forming the band?
Radek Kowal, founder of Dormant Ordeal, started to form the band at the beginning of 2008. I joined shortly afterwards, a few months later we found our vocalist (Maciej Proficz) and somewhere around March 2009 the band was joined by Kacper Działdowski, our bass player. I think Radek might knew Kacper somehow, since they grew up in the same hometown, but other than that, we met in the band. Obviously, there were other people coming in and out of the band in its early stages, but once it clicked there was no point of looking further. There was a time when someone made a joke that this is probably the last Dormant’s line-up ever, but after all those years that seems like a pretty accurate statement altogether.
I hear a resemblance to your venerated countrymen Decapitated in your sound, who would you say are your biggest influences as a band?
I wouldn’t say I’m that inspired by Decapitated these days, they seem to be quite different band now, though I really dig Organic Hallucinosis, what an awesome album from start to finish. I’d say that considering each and all preferences, Hate Eternal might be the biggest influence behind our music, but to be honest, we listen to so many other bands and artists, coming from all kinds of genres, it’d take some time to name them all.
One thing that caught a lot of people’s eye was your excellent album cover. Can you tell us a little about it? Who created it? Was it made specifically for this album?
That’s right, that cover’s praised everytime the album gets a mention somewhere. It was made by a Polish artist, Kuba Sokolski. He’s a pretty busy guy, it seems every month there’s at least one album being released with his artwork on the front, but he managed to find some time for us and it really paid off. This concept of a blindfolded king approached by lions was based on an idea I came up with while working on album’s title and lyrics.
What about the album’s title, We Had It Coming, can you tell us what this is alluding to? Is there an over-arching theme or concept to the album?
It’s not a concept album per se, there’s more than one story behind these songs, but it’s safe to say lyrics on the album might be summed up with that phrase without taking away their integrity. They focus on making decisions, our responses to them and what’s most important – facing their consequences. When you look at us as a species, nations or even just a society, you’ll see we keep pushing the boundaries at all costs and break down more and more doors that let all kinds of dragons and snakes get through unnoticed. And when that proud blind king finally falls over, that’s when all those creatures come into play. One step too far and he’s gone. He just should know better, he had it coming for ages.
Interesting, was the album center-piece “Derangement Zone” originally composed as a single song, or did you find that the two tracks worked well together after writing them and decided to combine?
When I began working on “Derangement Zone”, I actually started with the second part and as I progressed with riffs and lyrics ideas, I’ve felt that this could easily evolve into something bigger. It was meant to be composed in two pieces, with some linking hooks here and there, but with slightly different approach to the lyrical content. Generally speaking, it’s about searching for the truth you’re eventually not ready to acquire, that shatters your entire core to the ground and sends you to that dark area where people’s not supposed to stay on their own. In that context, part one is about being locked in, while part two is filled with frustration and struggle of getting out of there.
It seems every year there is at least one Eastern European band who reach international acclaim with a stellar album. Is the Polish metal scene as healthy as the rest of the world seem to assume?
It for sure is quite big and active scene, no doubt about that, but I’m afraid I might be a little off the grid to give an accurate answer to that question. For the time being, it’s thriving with that post-black trend which I’m not that fond of, to be honest. Yes, it is interesting to hear what Mgła has to say, but it looks that many bands want to tell the same story, too. Genre is alright, it has its quality, but in the long haul it just lacks that “violence” element I’m looking for in metal.
What are some of the things you guys are interested in outside of music?
Combining interests and hobbies of all people involved in Dormant, I’d say books, movies, books, travels, computers, technology, programming, exercises, running, cycling, instruments, music gear, politics… In no particular order. We’re pretty normal people with normal interests, I guess.
Above Aurora’s debut from earlier this year was also quite an impressive album, are there any other local bands you think we should know about?
Honestly, I wasn’t aware of Above Aurora’s existence until that moment, funny thing considering they’re from Poland too. Not exactly my cup of tea, but sounds interesting nonetheless. What I could recommend to you might not be what I actually listen to right now, however, I suppose some of these bands may draw your attention since they’re pretty good on what they’re doing: Outre, Redemptor, Ragehammer, Banisher, Fleshworld, Obscure Sphinx to name a few.
Cool! I enjoyed Outre’s album from last year, and I know there’s strong support for Ragehammer and Banisher around the TovH. Haven’t heard of Redemptor or Fleshworld though, I’ll have to check them out. Based on the quality of your music and production I was quite surprised to find out that Dormant Ordeal were independent. Are you still unsigned? Do you aspire to get label support one day?
We’re unsigned from the day one. With each release we tried to spark some interest, but not many labels seemed to care, to be honest, and there really was no point in postponing the release. Ironically, I can relate to that, as we might seem a little difficult to promote, after all we use blast beats to punch faces, not to tickle them as many prefer these days. I’ve seen bands that quit right after recording their debut album just because they couldn’t find a label for it – I think it’s really weak. At least put the damn thing online. What’s the worst that could happen? Someone might like it? Isn’t it what they were hoping for in the first place? Don’t get me wrong, it’d be interesting to sign a deal one day, but not just any deal. We’re not that desperate.
What’s next for the band? Any tour plans?
Actually, we were supposed to take part in a short tour to promote the album, but reality forced us to call it off due to job obligations. There are no other tour plans at the moment, it’s pretty difficult to plan in advance in our case. On the other hand, we do meet in our practice room every few days, I also try to keep myself busy at home with new riffs and song ideas, we’ll see where it gets us.
Thanks for the interview guys, we appreciate the support we’re getting from Toilet Ov Hell. I’m a fan of the site myself, it’s full of engaging content and awesome community. Keep it up, cheers!
After that insight into the band and their music, we think you should head over to Dormant Ordeal’s Facebook page and say thanks from the Toilet ov Hell! Also, just a reminder that both their albums are available in a package deal for about $5 on CD (here) or name your price on bandcamp.