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Destinity: How to make it to your 9th album. Life lessons and band wisdom.

Today on Metal Digest we have the French Melodic Death Metal outfit, Destinity! Formed in 1996, since then they have released an extensive catalog spanning eight albums all varied within Extreme Metal ranging from Symphonic Black Metal to now Melodic Death Metal. On October 15th, 2021 they will unveil their ninth offering, ‘In Continuum’ I recently was granted the opportunity to have this interview in which you are about to read, so to the die-hard fans, I hope the conversation ahead satisfies your appetite until the wait is over for ‘In Continuum’, to new-comers may the interview entice you to add this band to your playlist rotation.

Hello and welcome to Metal Digest! Thank you for gracing us and giving us the opportunity to have this interview, its one that brought a lot of excitement on my end during the preparation phase. So, how have you been during this pandemic…I do hope well? Also, you all will be unveiling your ninth album on October 15th, 2021, titled ‘In Continuum’ (congrats on the feat)…I assume the record was written during COVID? So how was the experience been recording during a pandemic? Could you summarize the process to the readers, as I am sure they are eager to know!

Seb VS (lead guitar): Thanks for having us Justin! Well yes, since Covid forced us away from the stage for a year and a half all of a sudden, we had time to finish writing the album and record it! So we recorded drums last year with our sound tech Olivier Didillon in his own studio and captured the most authentic-sounding drums we could. Then we tracked bass and guitar DIs and vocals in our own home studio and sent everything to Jonas Kjellgren (Black Lounge studio in Sweden, ref: Sabaton, Scar Symmetry, Sonic Syndicate, In Mourning…) so that he could work his magic. He did a totally mind-blowing job mixing and mastering the album and we are very proud of the outcome of this latest recording.

The artwork for ‘In Continuum’ was designed by Francesco De Luca, and in my opinion I personally think it’s the best cover art in your discography (I mean this not as an insult) as I love the fact that it can blend into any interpretation and has a certain mystique about it, so my next question is why the choice of Francesco and what does the artwork symbolize towards the overall album?

Mick (vocals): Thanks for the compliment! I also agree that the artwork is killer. We were looking for something dark, mystical, and original and when we came across Francesco’s work we knew that it would click just right. The mystical elements in the background and the hourglass convey the main lyrical themes of the album which is “time”, handled differently in each song. Sometimes it’s about the past years that we’ve experienced, people passing away, but also the future that’s ahead of us. And here the crow-man seems almost fragile the way he’s drawn, almost ephemeral, which gives a sense of unease or melancholy, like if he was traveling through these different times and being shaped by it line by line.

From the singles you have released for ‘In Continuum’ the production chosen amplifies the ambience in my opinion reminding me of Insomnium’s ‘Shadow of the Dying Sun’ in terms of the crisp quality, was this a natural decision to have the sound resonate with a more atmospheric tinge as opposed to ‘Resolve the Crimson’ which had that old school Melodic Death Metal mix?

Seb: Yes it was definitely a conscious decision on our part! Coming back after so many years we decided that this time we wanted to “take a risk” and try something new in terms of sound. We were always very happy with our past collaborations with Jacob Hansen because he’s simply an awesome dude and of course an amazing producer and we were always satisfied with his great work. Just this time we were aiming for a really “dynamic” mix with more of an acoustic sound to fit the many ambient parts of the songs. Since these elements were quite new to our music we had to think of a proper way to make them sound as good as possible. So listening to many bands we stumbled upon Jonas Kjellgren’s work and we thought “This is what we need”. Turns out it was really what we needed!

From reading the lyrics for the single, ‘Reject the Deceit’ it seems to revolve around inner turmoil and conflict within, so from your perspective what was the mindset and inspiration behind the creation of these lyrics on the album as a whole, is there a central concept which resides within ‘In Continuum’ or does the lyrical content vary in each song?

Mick: The main lyrical concept of the album is time, which can seem quite vast, but more specifically time that has passed for us these last years, the shit we’ve been through personally and as a band, people we’ve lost. But it also focuses on a more positive vision like looking towards the future with a renewed strength which is really where we’re at right now. It’s like a way to see the negativity of the last years in a different light, and it turns out becoming positive. And then you can grow, gain more maturity with this newfound experience.

Correct me if I wrong here, but the band became inactive around 2014, but re-surfaced in 2018, would you care to elaborate on what exactly motivated you to ‘get the band back together’, was there a new found spark or element that was discovered? Also with this new era as well as new album of Destinity, how does it compare to the older era? I am very much interested in hearing about the older days versus this new ‘version’ of the band!

Seb: Yeah that’s right we disappeared for a while! Actually, after releasing ”Resolve In Crimson” we toured a lot to support the album and at some point we realized that just we needed to take a break. So we finally found time to concentrate on other musical projects and we got to play other music than Destinity, which is something that we hadn’t done since the band’s creation in 1996 you know (laughs).

After a few years doing something different we met up again with the plan of doing only one exclusive show, like a reunion show, and finally we ended up playing more than 15 gigs in Europe with an invitation at Hellfest open air 2019 which was far more than we had expected. We were actually surprised to see how many people out there wanted to see us come back! After that everything started again naturally in the band…actually even better, because these last years have given us some time to grow. We’re a lot more focused now than we used to be. Musically things are more detailed, sharper, and we know each other so well that we can trust each other’s judgments and decisions. It’s definitely easier today than 9 years ago!

Taking a trek back into the past, if we look at an album like, ‘Under the Smell of Chaos’ (2002) which presented a Symphonic Black Metal flavor ( akin to early Dimmu Borgir and Emperor) where an album like ‘Resolve in Crimson’ is draped in a Melodic Death Metal skin, to the present 2021 singles like ‘Shadows ‘and ‘Reject the Deceit’ where the songs feels like a fusion of all past elements (Symphonic/Melodic/Black/Death), so my question stems into different parts, firstly could you explain the stylistic change in extreme genres throughout the band’s career? Following up with the song ‘Reject the Deceit’ while having its veins rooted in different extremities of Metal, there seemed to be a progressive side to it, was this intentional when going into the song writing process?

Mick: The band started with Symphonic Black Metal back in 1996 simply because that was the main influence we had back then! We would listen to a lot of Dimmu, Cradle of Filth, …etc so that’s what the first albums sounded like. Then in 2005 the band started lurking into the Trash Death territory, again because that was what we liked to listen to in those days. Things kept evolving with time into Death Melo while always keeping our former influences since we always kept orchestrations, many blast beats parts and high-pitched screams here and there. And now with “In Continuum” our tastes have evolved further with a more progressive approach and more ambient parts in the songs. None of this is really calculated, we really just like to write music that we like and that we want to hear, so naturally, our influences of the moment always seep into our writing. We’re actually glad that people like what we like to compose! With hindsight, writing what you like actually helps you enjoy what you’re doing and be excited to release a killer album and play it live around the world! It helps us keep our ideas fresh and interesting.

You recently did covers of both ‘Needled 24/7’ (Children of Bodom) and ‘Eraser’ (Hypocrisy), if I may add, you did these songs the justice it deserved while adding your own flair, so that brings me to the next question, what were the bands you looked up to that made you want to go along this journey? Also do you still have certain bands/artists that fuel that inspirational part of you?

Seb: Thanks for the compliment! I’ll answer first for the Bodom cover: I was hugely influenced by COB mainly because of Alexi’s playing which I found quite insane growing up. It was the perfect mix of metal shred with a rock & roll attitude that I wanted for my own style as a guitarist, so I learned many songs from the first 5 Bodom albums, Hate Crew Deathroll being my favorite. After Alexi’s passing, I found an old DVD of instructional videos he made and I started learning the stuff again and damn some stuff was hard!! So I practiced Needled 24/7 for a few weeks and busted my ass off to make it sound as near perfect as I could, my humble “homage” to what Alexi brought me as a guitarist.

Mick: As for Hypocrisy’s “Eraser”, that’s my all time favorite band, clear and simple. Peter Tätgren is my main vocal influence and I’m lucky enough to have met him a few times on tour. So that was my way of having fun during the boredom of Covid while saying “thanks” to the band that has influenced me so much.

As for other bands, there are many others to name! Maybe we can find some time in the future to cover some for you! Any requests?

Let the fans comment below their requests! The label, ‘Crimson Productions’, if am not mistaken here is a joint collaboration which also includes members of Destinity? How did this venture all come about? Also is there any future plans for the label which involves other re-issues or other bands?

Mick: At first, I set up Crimson Production only to control the digital rights of our music and to have a way to offer nice products and merch to our fans. After more than 2 decades of touring, releasing albums and experiencing different kinds of deals and aspects of the music industry, I felt I was now ready for more freedom and  to reduce the distance between the band and our fans. With that in mind we had the chance to sign a worldwide distribution contract with Season of mist which made the whole process doable. It’s a lot of work but what is certain is that each fan is 100% sure to give his/her money to the band. For me it was obvious to become my own boss one day or another but for that you need experience and that has been gathered throughout the years. Next, our projects are to sign bands that we believe in with an up-to-date promotional strategy and pretty advantageous deals for the artists. We are creating a kind of cooperation between bands to try to shorten the path between bands and fans. The musical world has really changed these last years and we’re trying to adapt as fast as we can to the way the music industry works today.

When looking through your catalogue I realized it was rather difficult to hear or find any traces of your first two albums, ‘Wepts from the Sky’ (1999) and ‘Supreme Domination’s Art’ (2001), especially on Bandcamp. Is there a particular reason why these two albums are excluded and are there any plans in the works to re-issue them?

Mick: We’ve been asked that many times. Actually we deliberately exclude them since we don’t find them to be relevant to what we are doing now. It was such a long time ago that we don’t feel we’re the same band! And the sound is pretty terrible to be honest. But if you search the web closely enough there are some copies out there somewhere (laughs)!

Throughout this journey you have persevered in that you were able to re-emerge to unleash your ninth album, a feat that is rather commendable, so along this adventure, were there any lessons learned in which you could impart to younger musicians as well as anyone in general?

Seb: Do what you love and live it, breathe it, eat it, and give it your 100% every day. It’s not always easy but it’s always worth the effort. And remember to enjoy the ride!

Mick: Learn from the mistakes of the past and realize what really counts in life: family, friends, and never let that go. We never would have thought to be here now when we started back when we were 16 years old so it’s pretty crazy! But even if we’re proud of what we achieved we know that the best is still to come. Perseverance definitely helps.

In ending with this interview, I would like to express my thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, I personally would like to wish you a most successful launch of your album! So I shall leave the final words for you, anything you would like to say to your fans as well as the readers of Metal Digest?

Seb: thank you Justin for this very interesting and in-depth interview, it was a pleasure!

Mick: Thanks to all readers of Metal Digest! I want to thank all our fans out there, it’s thanks to you that we are coming back! Lend an ear to « IN CONTINUUM »! It was written with the deepest part of our souls, we hope you enjoy it… See you on the road soon and stay healthy!

Come on in!

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