Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
The band was formed in 1995 in Rakvere (Virumaa, Estonia) but now we rehearse in Tallinn. At the beginning, the band was supposed to carry the name Ancestral Damnation, and the music to be raw black metal. During the first rehearsals in March 1995, some epic elements were added to the black metal core of the music. I was also a fan of heavy and thrash metal and these influences are noticeable. The initial line-up was me (vocal and guitar), A.X (drums) and Massacra (bass). Soon Draconic(synth) and Lembetu (guitar) joined us. A.X and Massacra are not active musicians any more. Lembetu later performed his own band Loits, which became quite successful. The current line-up are: Ank - vocal, guitar (since 1995), Draconic - guitar-synth (since 1996), Benton - guitar (since 1999), Brutalis – bass (since 2009) and Melu - drums (since 1997). Draconic also runs Estonian most important metal-club Tapper and organizes Estonian biggest metal festival Hard Rock Laager every summer in Vana-Vigala. Until now we have released five full-length albums and given about a hundred gigs.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
It is pagan/black metal with influences of heavy metal and thrash metal. At the beginning, we were more influenced by other bands, especially those of the Scandinavian pagan and black metal scene. Later we became more focused on our own ideas, but were still inspired by several great metal bands: Bathory, Black Sabbath, Burzum, Rotting Christ, Darkthrone, Root, Running Wild, Kreator, Celtic Frost, Accept, U.D.O. , W.A.S.P. , etc. I also admire several Estonian musicians like Tõnis Mägi, Gunnar Graps, J.M.K.E, Shower.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
Our music is a unique mix of black, heavy and thrash metal with some epic features. Every song is made with soul and heart. Being inspired by respect to nature, one´s individuality and right to personal freedom, our texts somewhat call to reconsider the values dominant in our society. Lyrics are in Estonian but translations to English are available on the CD booklet and in Youtube. It took 7 years to compile the latest album “Ülestõus” (2014) but I am really satisfied with the result. “Ülestõus” was also nominated in the category of the best metal album at the Estonian Music Awards 2015.
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
Until now we have released five full-length albums. We are well known to the Estonian metal scene but not outside our homeland. The promotion of “Ülestõus” will be more intensive and we hope to become recognized in other countries. Of course, it will not be easy for hobby musicians like us. We just started cooperation with Metalmessage from Germany for promotion work. The new album “Ülestõus” is natural development after that, more mature and self-confident but still fresh. It has a variety between aggressiveness and melody better than ever before. Our lyrics are mainly in Estonian, only the album “Primeval Force” (2005) was an experiment in English. With the previous album “Iidsetel sünkjatel radadel” (2007) we finally found or refound our real sound and identidy. It gathered several nice reviews and attentions to us. Our first full-length album “Raev” (1998) is musically more raw but still melodic style of black metal. It contains our greatest hit in our homeland “Merekurat” (“The Sea Devil”). “Tumedate tunnete kütkeis” (2001) is our most heavy metal influenced album, we will re-release this album next year.
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
We have given about a hundred gigs. Most of them have taken place in Estonia but we have also had gigs in other Baltic States, Finland, Norway and Ukraine. The stage has been shared with bands like Paradise Lost, Hypocrisy, Katatonia, Rotting Christ, Ensiferum, Arkona, Skyforger, Ancient Rites, Susperia etc. We are very interested in lives, especially outside Estonia.
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
We really appreciate cooperation for more promotion. We are in search for a label to licence „Ülestõus”, copyright belongs to my company Vaarang Records. We are also looking for distributors outside Estonia. Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org or by Facebook: www.facebook.com/Tharaphita.
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
We have started making new songs. Hopefully we can release the next album in 2016. We would like to play outside Estonia. Invite us if you are a gig organizer!
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
In this spring and summer we will have some gigs in Estonia. Listen our songs in Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/tharaphita, order our stuff from our webstore: www.tharaphita.ee, visit the shop of our distributor Nailboard Records: http://www.nailboard.org/ or download the latest album „Ülestõus” via CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/tharaphita.