Jul 172023

(Today we have a discussion among two Russians, our interviewer Comrade Aleks and the frontman of the death metal torturers Cenobite, whose newest album was unshackled in late May.)

I interviewed Kostek Dolganov, who performs bass and vocals in the Russian old-school death metal band Cenobite, just two years ago. Despite all odds the band and their label Svanrenne Music prepared a new full-length album which naturally surpassed the debut Dark Dimension we discussed the last time.

Fans of savage and violent death metal rooted in the legacy of Obituary, Entombed, Autopsy and Asphyx will like their stuff, so let’s take a look at what the label tells about the album:

Torment Your Flesh and Explore the Limits of Experience is the wheel of suffering, tightly fitted with chains to a bent figure, creates the impression of inevitability, fate, overcoming. The band continues the tradition of the debut album, composing the worst anthems of old school death metal, sustained in the mystical atmosphere of a frightening empty basement of cold torture. Where chains ring, bones rattle, drafts blow, and martyrs are awaiting their fate in mud and blood… in anticipation of the torment of the flesh and exploration of the limits of terrible experience”.

It sounds a bit blurred, so let’s investigate a bit more about Torment Your Flesh and Explore the Limits of Experience with Cenobite’s chief.


Hi Kostek! How are you doing? What’s going on in Cenobite’s chambers?

Greetings! We are taking a short break at the moment. A little summer break to let new ideas mature and accumulate.


Three years passed since the release of Dark Dimension, a lot shit happened in our country, so how stressful was this period for the band? Did you think to stop it?

Yes, there is a lot of pressure on people. One of us broke-down and ran. But the rest did not have a hint of a desire to stop activities. Art is our antidote to all the poison that they try to stuff us with. Now we are full of strength and desire to continue.



How did these events inflict on your communication with foreign colleagues or followers?

We haven’t spoken to anyone, so nothing has changed for us. Foreign sales haven’t changed much either. People everywhere understand everything and try not to mix art with the dirt called politics. And we remove those who do this from our environment.


What motivated you to continue composing and performing your stuff?

I don’t need any motivation yet. I just love it and I’m interested in building new worlds with music and evoking emotions. This is a limitless field for experiments and trying everything – a human life is not enough.



Do you try new things in recording the new stuff?

Certainly! Material is accumulating, ideas are accumulating, new horizons are being explored!


Your new album Torment Your Flesh and Explore the Limits of Experience was released in May. Do you already get some critiques and praise?

Not yet, and it doesn’t matter to us, all this. An independent artist can afford to do whatever he wants without expecting praise or criticism.



So aren’t you proud of the job you did and don’t you want to show it to the world?

I am very pleased with the work done, and since the album is released on the label and all digital platforms, the world will see it. It’s just that critics are in no hurry to write reviews. They didn’t order it. 🙂


Can you tell if Dark Dimension brought you some recognition and feedback? Do you feel that people really dig Cenobite’s torturing death metal?

Let’s just say – we do not do anything that could bring us fame and recognition. In any kind of art, one is known in whom a lot of money has been invested and we will not tell fairy tales about “hard work” and “talent”. But we have dedicated fans. People go to concerts and thank us for our work.


How do you like the reboot of the Hellraiser franchise? I watched the new film directed by David Bruckner literally a week ago, and it’s not bad, even though the protagonist is quite annoying.

Of course, I watched it almost immediately after it came out and I didn’t like it. The story seems to be tolerable, but the characters are flat and so stupid and idiotic that it hurts. Direction is weak. Cenobites – hack-work. I liked only a few frames from the entire film – the appearance of Leviathan and the mechanism pulling veins and veins. In short – a tik-tok video filmed by Californian hipsters.



Okay, then can you name some new horror movies which impress you? 

Alas, nothing comes to mind.

Good movies are Silent Hill, The Lighthouse, Annihilation, Pandorum. Well, it’s not pure horror.


The new songs’ titles prove that you rely on Clive Barker’s legacy still. How much of Hellraiser is in Cenobite’s new material actually?

One way or another, the plots of all the songs are in the Hellraiser universe. In the new album we talk about how life destroys life. This is Leviathan’s masterful plan.


Where did you record Torment Your Flesh and Explore the Limits of Experience? How was everything organized this time?

All the work was done in my studio. Just completed and immediately recorded. We worked slowly. Demo material rehearsed. Recorded drums. Then we worked on arrangements for guitars and bass. When all this was ready, I recorded the vocals. Then there was a very long period of searching for sound, adding noise and ambient elements. In parallel, we came up with a visual design. Mixing and cover did not just come. For a long time we could not find “the one”. Probably a year has gone only to this stage. But the search was worth it. Now we are very satisfied with the work done and we believe that we did not spend the time in vain.



And what’s the story behind the artwork? Is it a photo? 

Yes, this is a photo. Photo of an adherent of the cult of wounds and cuts, flesh-grubbers, explorers of the frontiers of knowledge. In the planned videos there will be a deeper disclosure of the image.


Also you mentioned that you searched a lot for the right sound. What kind of sound did you needed?

This material sounds damn powerful and solid; sound-wise it’s sheer killer! Aesthetically beautiful in its ugliness. Disgusting, but attractive. The sound must absolutely match the aesthetics in which we create our world.



What are your plans for the rest of 2023?

Now we are collecting ideas for a couple of video clips and are planning a small tour. All this is planned for this year. Well, then let’s start with new songs. So stay tuned, it will be interesting.


Videos? Are you going to perform some acts of self-mutilation or something? 

 I think no. I want a deeper and more complex message.


Okay, thanks for the interview and good luck with the promotion of Torment Your Flesh and Explore the Limits of Experience. Did we forget something?

Thank you for your attention and support!



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