(In this new interview Comrade Aleks spoke with a member of the Russian acid doom band Megalith Levitation, who just released a split album with Dekonstruktor earlier this month through Aesthetic Death, and are now finishing their second album.)
Megalith Levitation from the heavy industrialized Russian city of Chelyabinsk didn’t waste their time during the Covid quarantine. They’re low and they’re acid, as their doom is hallucinogenic and hypnotizing. Almost accidentally the trio found themselves having enough material for an EP and an LP, and the decision was made to unite in unholy collaboration with their Moscow-based colleagues Dekonstruktor. And so two bands united to commit new acid doom rites and to make close to total entropy by eating the universe alive. No way back, fuck life, they go further.
Megalith Levitation‘s SAA (vocals, guitars) was summoned, we ask, he answers.
Hi SAA! How are you? What’s going on inside the Megalith Levitation cult?
Hi Aleks! Just as always, we’re in the unending artistic process: looking for the atmosphere and vibes in the new sound reality
Aren’t you satisfied with sound reality as it is?
Our artistic inner flame tells our restless mind that this is not the only reality in existence. If one has will and power to be the creator of one’s own reality, it would be unwise not to use that possibility. And this is the case when our “ritualistic ensemble” can bend the artistic space with acoustic messages.
We were talking with you a few months before the Covid situation started, and back then you had finished the debut album Acid Doom Rites. How did you spend your quarantine time?
We spent lockdown in quite a productive way. Just before the restrictions were enforced, we managed to record drums for our second album and headline a gig in the capital city of the Urals region – Ekaterinburg. Probably that was the last open underground gig that happened before the lockdown.
Then during the springtime we carried on recording our second album at our Nameless Temple Studio. Currently the album is being mixed, the working title is Void Psalms, and so far we have not reached out to any record labels for release agreements, so we can’t name any exact dates when it is going to release.
Also we prepared lots of new material, which are going to be used for tracks on our next release — currently we’re practicing these tracks.
First of all, now you have a fresh split-album with Dekonstruktor. How did you initiate this collaboration?
Personally for me Dekonstruktor is one of my favorite bands in the Russian underground since their very first release. Other guys from Megalith Levitation also enjoy their music. Once when Mitya (Dekonstruktor’s drummer) was visiting Chelyabinsk during a work trip we invited him to visit our rehearsal. This was our first meeting in person.
In February 2019 we had a gig together in Ekaterinburg and that when we offered to work together and make a split album.
I guess Dekonstruktor is one of those damn rare bands here with a sharp focus and the will to keep on playing their stuff. Maybe you have other examples of really dedicated Russian doom bands?
I personally like every single release of Dekonstruktor and that is something really rare, when all the records hit the spot. Lord of Doubts was also a very good band, and I would also like to mention Thy Grave and Krasnodar-based projects Omega Void and Hexendrone and also Kamni with their A.T.O.M EP and Illegal Ones. These are far from all the bands, but just the first that come to mind, it’s not really traditional doom, but still.
Do you feel both bands are on he same wavelength? How would you describe this common ground you share with Dekonstruktor?
From our perspective, both bands are on the same wave, we’re delighted with the result of our collaboration, and our listeners have noticed that this particular split album doesn’t sound like a generic split album, where bands just put the tracks that didn’t fit anywhere else. It feels like a wholesome album both in terms of track atmosphere and sound design. Mixing and mastering was done by Dekonstruktor’s bass player – Memphis. He also mixed our Acid Doom Rites album.
How did you get a deal with Aesthetic Death records? Do you feel that Megalith Levitation’s appearance on such a label helps to find more followers already?
Mitya was in touch with Stu (Aesthetic Death records founder) in regards to Mitya’s records label Pestis Insaniae long before we started looking for a label to release the split album.
We sent our split album promo to a couple other record labels aside from Aesthetic Death, but we stopped sending promos very soon as Stu provided very positive feedback for the promo we sent to him.
We hope that this release will bring us more followers. The record label is already distributing materials to magazines and reviewers. Hopefully the results will be fruitful.
What about these two new tracks? Are they leftovers from the debut album session or did you record this material after?
No, these tracks were not leftovers. Before we recorded Acid Doom Rites, we had a clear understanding that these four tracks exactly in this order are the finished work.
Initially the tracks for the split album were planned for a second album, but at some point we realized that they needed to be released separately. If they would not have been released as part of a split album, it would have been an EP.
How do you see the principal differences between the Acid Doom Rites songs and these new tracks?
It’s hard to judge from the inside. One can say that this is a logical continuation of the first album with some reimagining. One thing that remains unchanged is that just like Acid Doom Rites this album should be taken in as a whole, and with a certain mindset you can transcend into becoming part of this musical stream and feel the same vibrations we embedded in this music when making it.
You say the new Megalith Levitation album is already recorded. Did you take into account your experience of recording Acid Doom Rites during this session? How did you spend it?
Of course, our previous creative and recording experience was very useful. The band became more together in technical aspects, and the internal alchemy between the band players became more cohesive. Additionally, we were not limited in terms of studio time and we had the opportunity to experiment with various hardware and instruments. As I have mentioned earlier, we recorded everything except for drum tracks in our own studio. But that doesn’t mean we were relaxing during record sessions. Our goal was to capture a specific vibe that we felt in each track, so we were working hard to make it true.
What kind of atmosphere did you feel was fitting for second album? How much of Acid Doom Rites (in a wider sense) went into it?
Initially our goal was to convey a mystical and meditative side of the sound, and with each track we were trying to develop on that and reflect its many faces. We think that we were able to portray that atmosphere in a wider sense than on Acid Doom Rites.
Can you compare the new material with songs you did for the debut?
The new tracks are more thought-through in terms of composition and heavier and more psychedelic. This time the album is shorter than the debut – approximately 53 minutes. When we finished working on the last track, we had a feeling of work done and that the tracks had been arranged in the correct order to ensure a sonic trip into the void for our adepts to journey
As I understand there’s not any concert activity in your region yet. Will you stream Megalith Levitation sessions live?
Yes, concert activity is minimal or non-existent right now. Live-streams became a trend, but we didn’t want to follow this trend. During that time we were working on recording and making new tracks, and playing a gig, even a streamed one, means practicing older songs and we didn’t have enough time nor A wish on our hands for that. Moreover, THE lack of tangible feedback from people dispels all the magic of live ritualS.
Are you satisfied with the direction the band moves in? How do you feel about the terminal point of your destination?
If we were satisfied, we would have stopped at some point. So far, we’re journeying in an unknown and unending way past the conscious and perception horizons.