Had I heard Deiphago’s Filipino Antichrist just a bit sooner, it would have come in damn near the top of my “Best Albums of 2009” list. Blurring the line between bestial, chaotic black metal and harsh noise-ridden brutality, the album is a psycho-Satanic cyclone of obliterating distortion, possessed vocals and belligerent drums, laying waste to everything within earshot. Indeed, this is an album that must be heard to be believed, such is the sheer ultraviolence on display throughout the recording. I contacted bassist/vocalist V. 666 for some insight into the creation of the album, and what it means to be a Filipino Antichrist.
Sonic Frontiers: For any readers who might not be familiar, how did Deiphago get started?
V. 666: Deiphago was formed back in 1989 under the name of Satanas to continue the legacy of the 80s black metal gods Venom, Sodom, Hellhammer and Sarcofago. We changed our name to Deifago in 1990 which was due to the influence of Sarcofago and the then mighty Deicide. Our first demo was recorded and released in 1991; we were the first band to use the term Satanic Doom Death Metal. By 1992, influenced by our peers such as Beherit, Impnaz, Blasphemy, Deicide and Morbid Angel we started going into a more black death grind approach and the end result was 1993’s Hail Mary Inanna demo. The years that followed were constant live assaults throughout Manila and the recording of demo 1997 which was a return to Bathory era Blood Fire Death. The band continued to be haunted by drummer problems which started since day one and by the end of 1998 it was decided to put Deiphago in a hiatus! Not Dead but Dreaming!
SF: Deiphago has been around since 1989. To what do you attribute the band’s longevity? What caused the 6 year break from 1998 – 2004?
V666: It has to do with the devotion to the black arts, the propagation of Satan and the destruction of all these false black metal bands! The 6 year break was due to our living conditions in the Philippines. This mundane world had caught up with us and we had to concentrate on our professions to survive.
SF: What is the metal scene like in the Philippines? Do you have many fans locally? How does your location influence/inspire you?
V666: We have introduced death and black metal in our country in the early 90s through our music and my zine. We were the only black metal band at that time in our country, all the other bands were playing life metal. No one would dare touch Satanism. We had our own cult following since then up to now from our unstoppable live onslaughts! There are die hard Deiphago fans that have desecrated their own local graveyards and even taken their own life from our influence. We are the only Christian country in SouthEast Asia and we grew up with their endless lies and hypocrisy. This plus the violence that we encounter on our everyday lives have built us to what we are today! We live and breathe for Satan!
SF: How and where was your new album, Filipino Antichrist, recorded?
V666: It was recorded here in Costa Rica and we used the same studio that we used for the EP – “Satan Cult Baphomet”. Everything was recorded in the ways of analog recording. What you hear on the guitars is the exact sound that comes out from the amplifier. No digital manipulation was done in any of the instruments.
SF: Why did you choose the title Filipino Antichrist? Is this meant to be a description of the band members?
V666: It is to remind everyone that the third prophesized Antichrist would come from Asian lands! Other than that, the title is direct to the point. We in Deiphago are Filipinos and we are Anti Christ!
SF: How would you describe Deiphago’s songwriting process?
V666: All the chaos are composed by Sidapa. I would only come in for the arrangements. When we are done, we would then rehearse with the drummer. Everything is fast paced!
SF: Filipino Antichrist is one of the most bestial, violent albums I’ve ever heard. What inspires such a furious approach to making music?
V666: Satan!!! This album is our “Fuck Off” album to all the bestial pretenders and all the traitors in the scene! Fuck off to the False!
SF: As chaotic and violent as Filipino Antichrist is, the album is also very atmospheric. Is creating a malevolent atmosphere important to the Deiphago sound?
V666: The atmosphere was a result of the chaos and the violence! Our aim is to inject this to our listener!
SF: The album has several mentions of Satan. What does Satan mean to you personally?
V666: He is might
He is power
He is chaos
He is vengeance
He is war
He is death
SF: With that said, what is the song “Subliminal Satan” about?
V666: It was made to inject subliminal messages on the listener. If you listen attentively you will find it.
SF: I’m also curious about “Articles of Death”. What is this song about? Are there any overarching themes that tie all the songs together?
V666: The song Articles of Death was made to honor all Satanic murderers in this world! There is only one theme that ties all the songs together and that is Satan!
SF: What made you decide to cover Sarcofago’s classic “Hate” for the new album?
V666: The HATE!
SF: The new album is Deiphago’s most accomplished work to date. How do you think the band has progressed since Satanik Eon?
V666: We have definitely found our sound on this album. The Deiphago sound and that is Satanic Metal!
SF: What is the creature on the album’s cover? How does it relate to overall theme of the album? How did you get Joe Petagno to create cover art for the LP version?
V666: It is called the ultramar, the coat of arms of Manila, Philippines which was also used on the presidential seal. It was mixed with the beast of the revelation to come up with the Petagno artwork. I contacted Joe way back since we are Motorhead maniacs and we spoke of the possibility of getting him for our second album. When our budget for the artwork got approved by HHR, we started the collaboration on the painting.
SF: How did you get hooked up with Hell’s Headbangers for the release of Fillipino Antichrist?
V666: I was already in contact with Chase even before. I buy all my cds and merch from HHR. Sometime after the release of our EP – Satan Cult Baphomet, we were asked if we could be a part of the upcoming Profanatica tribute. We accepted and soon sent our version of “Heavenly Father”. Our cover version left an impression and soon we were talking about releasing the demo 1993 7” then also the Filipino Antichrist album and signing record deals. HHR is a “no bullshit/ no hype” top underground label in the US right now and we are proud to be in their roster!
SF: It seems like there has been an explosion of bestial black/death metal bands in the past few years. What other band do you consider to be your peers? What bands inspired you to play this style of metal?
V666: The past few years have only brought us false bestial black/death metal bands, who have proven themselves to be “rockstar” poser bands with no intent on spreading Satan whatsoever! They are all a product of hype and bullshit! Their bands will all die in a few years time! The only active bands that I have respect for are Black Witchery and Archgoat! Bands that have inspired us from the start up to now are the 80s hardcore punk bands, Sarcofago, Blasphemy, Beherit, Bestial Warlust and Conqueror!
SF: Do you have any plans to tour for Fillipino Antichrist? Will you ever make it to the US?
V666: We are to headline the “Cathedral of the Black Goat” festival and the upcoming SOTCN but we haven’t confirmed anything yet since we always have problems getting visas to the US.
SF: Do you have any final words/thoughts you’d like to add?
V666: Satanic Salutes to you and all the maniacs that support us!!! Fuck off to all “bestial” overhyped rockstar bands! Fuck off to the False!!!
(originally written for Sonic Frontiers(dot)net)