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When we received the first album of Stoic Dissention, we at doom-metal.com have had the feeling we were witnessing the birth of some great band. Time to meet singer Zachary Ryan Salmans; he kindly answered our questions.

Interview with Stoic Dissention.
1. Hi Zachary, before we go further into this, would you mind giving Doom-Metal.com readers the story behind Stoic Dissention? Most members of Stoic Dissention have played/play in various bands be it Black Metal, Death Metal or some more folkish progressive Doom band. Is Stoic Dissention just the result of a few good friends willing to play together or a is it more than some other "side" project for you all?

Stoic Dissention's creation came about with the end of our bass player Dave and my band Acheronian Dirge. We felt we still had something left unsaid musically and wanted to bring it to voice. Through luck we came across Isaac and Kelly at a local show Kelly's other band was playing and started talking. We found we had common tastes for what we wished to express musically and decided to pursue it. From there Isaac's roommate Peter joined us on drums and thus we had a full line-up. As far as a side-project it started out that way for some of us but I believe the band has stepped up to be a second full time act for them.

2. ’Senium’ is a hell of a record and we at Doom-Metal.com have really had the feeling that we witnessed the birth of some great band. In my review I was writing you were the perfect match between Ahab's grandeur, Asunder's beautifully bleak landscapes and the raw side of Obskure Torture. Would you agree with this? What were the band's main influences when composing?

We really appreciate the support and consideration. We felt it an honour to be placed in the same field with such get and amazing musicians. It's not everyday one's art get compared to one's sources of inspiration. Musically we draw from a varying array from many genre's. From Black bands like Deathspell Omega to Doom Metal acts like Esoteric to Cathedral. I personally draw a lot of inspiration emotionally from Gorecki's 3rd Symphony and bands like Death in June and Dead Can Dance as well. Music is a vast wellspring and we draw from all its resources. I also think we draw from other sources like literature to cinema, drugs alcohol etc etc. Basically life in general.

3. Why resort to the Black Metal vocals when most Extreme Doom bands usually have the low guttural growls typical of Death Metal? Was that more of an artistic choice to be "different" or do you feel that BM vocals carry something than DM wouldn't?

I felt they fit the music better. I love "Death Metal" growls but I personally feel they don't display as many emotions as "Black Metal" vocals do. The screams help display a more maniacal essence that helps make the atmosphere more dire. I do use growls occasionally when I feel its good for the part lyrically and musically. For example if I am singing about despair I generally will use the screams because the feeling it invokes, whereas if I feel the lyrics evoke a more powerful notion I will go with the growls. A lot of it has to do with the riff as well. We want it all to complement each other with what we are doing so that holds sway as well.

4. While most people will certainly appreciate the quality of the music featured on 'Senium', I got very curious as to the contents of the lyrics. With a cover that somehow evoked Winter's 'Into Darkness' and the band's name which has some political thing to it, would you mind describing what you guys write about and what's the intent behind the band's name?

Stoic Dissention to me is about denying the passive attributes that the masses adhere. Its allowing oneself to be as they truly are without the constraints and dogmas of modern society. Lyrically the album has many themes, usually dark and brooding topics. For example 'The Arcane Rites' is about apotheosis through suicide. Out of the four songs lyrically 'The Thought of Them' is probably the lighter of the songs lyrically. I was into a phase where I was reading a lot of Robert E. Howard's Conan books and based it loosely of a chapter from one of them. Basically it is about being drugged and paralyzed yet conscious and the turmoil of being powerless to execute revenge. An Ubiquitous Coming deals with Astral Projection as a source to escape the mundane. They're very eclectic topics almost akin to old 50's horror and bizarre comics or Lovecraftian in a way.

5. People outside the US, or maybe even within, might view Colorado, your home state, as some place covered under snow most of the year with some cool ski resorts. People usually associate "Metal" with states such as New York, Texas, Florida or California, so what's it like in Colorado, any good bands/events you want to mention? Or is it so bleak it's inspiring?

I wish it was a perpetual autumn or winter here but alas it is not. We are starting to have an amazing scene here now actually. Some very notable bands like The Flight of Sleipnir, Royal Talons, Low Gravity, Velnias, Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire and The Xiphoid Process are from here and we have an awesome underground promotions company named Obsidian Fog Production. I think people will soon be realizing Colorado is making a niche in the scene. Also myself and Obsidian Fog are setting up The Denver Doomfest, an all doom festival here. This year we'll be showcasing some of Colorado's finest acts. Also as a shameless plug I must mention my band mates other bands Ancient Slime, Centimani and Kastigation.

6. Senium has only been released this year in April (correct me if I'm wrong) and you guys self-released it. How would you consider it? A demo or something you'd like a label to re-release to get a proper distribution? Are there any talks about it? You could sure use some well-deserved publicity. Also what can we expect next from the band?

I consider it a demo/ E.P. and would like to have it re-released later on down the road. As far as label consideration we haven't had any contact yet, but we are still a rather young band. Hopefully we'll have label support relatively soon as it could open a lot of doors for us. Our next work is a conceptual piece containing 3 tracks telling the story of a man dealing with losing everything he hold dear including his faith. Its similar in the aspect of writing but we'll be experimenting with some funeral doom elements. We're almost done writing it and hope to be in the studio before the year's end.

7. Now a question I usually like to ask. Musicians that play Metal sometimes do not listen to Metal or get stuck in adolescent stupor not looking any further than late 80s early 90s. How do you fit in there? Anything in music, Metal or not, you were recently impressed with?

The last album I was completely amazed with was 'Dawnbearer' by Hexvessel. Its a psychedelic post folk band fronted by Kvohst of Dodheimsgard. Metal wise I was extremely impressed by the new Loss album. Those guys definitely know how to play some desolate Doom Metal. The new Yob was very good as well. I am looking forward to the new Esoteric when it finally comes out. The last Pantheist album was really well done also. Anymore it gets harder and hard to impress me unfortunately. After playing music for so long I have become desensitized to the mass of music that has come out as of late. I also find myself branching out into music I grew up with like opera and classical.

8. Zachary, time to end this, thank you for your time but most of all for the music which we really appreciated at Doom-Metal.com. If you want to say a few last words, thank you and hellos, here's your chance! And I hope to hear more from Stoic Dissention in a very near future! Cheers!

I'd like to thank you for your time and this opportunity. Also I'd like to thank all the people at Doom-metal.com and our friends fans and people we've drunk with. You guys keep this scene alive and prolific. Also a very special thank you to the guys in The Flight of Sleipnir for helping us out with everything. And as I stated before We should be in the studio soon with new material

Visit the Stoic Dissention bandpage.

Interviewed on 2011-08-27 by Frédéric Cerfvol.
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