Bestial Invasion is a technical thrash metal band from Ukraine, active since 2014. Lucas Biela (LB) interviewed them for ISKC Radio Group.
1/ LB: Bestial Invasion, isn’t that the title of a Destruction song? I think I just found the origin of the name 🙂
Serg «Metal Priest» (bass in the band): Hi! That’s right! When we started in 2014 we planned to play simple thrash, that’s why we chose this name for the band. Now maybe it doesn’t fit the band’s style, but it can’t be changed.
2/ LB: I discovered you through another great suggestion of my good friend Deadale (of instrumental band Etrange fame). I was immediately hooked by the music, since it reminded me of the most famous names in tech/prog thrash and tech/prog death (I’ll let you name them later). How do you explain that with 4 full-length albums bearing all the ingredients of the best in tech thrash, Bestial Invasion didn’t make a name yet, even in metal circles?
Serg: Thanks for the compliment! The problem is that we are an Eastern European project and we play an old-fashioned style, which not many people are interested in now, and there is also a huge problem with the label, which size would not be able to promote us at a high level. Our music and production is world-class, but the media component is small… Maybe with the years it will change somehow…
3/ LB: Could you tell us a bit how things started for Bestial Invasion?
Serg: Bestial Invasion was formed in 2014 in Sumy, Ukraine by me after my scandalous departure from Violent Omen. Initially, band wanted to play old-school thrash metal, but later evolved into more technical direction (Toxik, Coroner, Atheist, Watchtower, Realm, Destruction)
4/ LB: Do you all share the same passion for tech-oriented metal, and are you influenced by the same bands, or does everyone have his own influences? What are the bands that inspire you the most? And I know it’s not easy, but how would you describe your music?
Serg: For the last couple of years, it’s like we haven’t been paying attention. There used to be guidelines, but since the ‘Monomania’ album we just started composing without any frameworks, because we don’t need other bands for new material, we can compose ourselves without any outside influences. That’s what a lot of bands come to after they release a couple of albums!
5/ LB: On your first album, you had an incredible cast of guests (members of legendary bands like Watchtower, Carrion, Anacrusis, Raven, Destruction…)? Given that you were debuting and were virtually unknown, how did you manage to get them participate in your project?
Serg: I knew these people before and had worked with some of them in the last group, so there was no problem. They are my favorite musicians and I keep friendly relations with them!
6/ LB: Your music is incredibly addictive. It’s ambitious, fun, and energetic. You managed to draw the best of your influences to deliver songs that are both intricate and dynamic, thus keeping the listener’s attention. It requires a lot of experience to master one’s instrument the way you do, as well as such sophisticated composition. Where did you get this experience from: other bands? Classical training?
Serg: Our music requires good skills and that’s a fact! That’s why I have such talented musicians in my band. Half of the band has a music degree, but I personally don’t. I started to study bass guitar very late, so I had to study a lot, as well as analyze the parts of my favorite bass guitarists, to find my style.
7/ LB: Your second album (‘Contra Omnes’, 2017), contains reworked versions of the 3 songs of your excellent EP (‘Trilogy: Prisoners of Miserable Fate’, 2016). Why did you decide to rework these songs, is that linked to the production or is there another reason?
Serg: Because the songs are very good, also we changed the lineup on the album and we added more guests to these tracks. Some tracks were reworked in a new way. I think it turned out cool!
8/ LB: Your new album (‘Divine Comedy: Inferno’, 2021) is quite ambitious, as it’s a musical companion to the poetry of Dante. It’s a great album, fair to the great poetry of the italian author, and once again humour, technique and energy meet for a very entertaining moment. Dante’s ‘Inferno’ is often covered in music. Could you tell us more about this new album? Additional question: I know it’s pure coincidence, but are you aware that guitarist Justin Zych (Zephaniah, Viking, Valhalla…) released an album around Dante’s ‘Inferno’ just one month prior to yours, roughly in a similar musical direction, and also with some special guests to support the concept.
Serg: To make a long story short, I had the idea of making a concept album for a long time and I happened to come across the documentary “Divine Comedy”. I thought it would be a cool idea for our new album and that we would be able to portray it in our new songs in a killer way. Every song is a circle of hell! I think it’s powerful and atmospheric! I don’t know who Justin Zych (Zephaniah, Viking, Valhalla…) is and what kind of band he is, so I was not aware that they also named their album
9/ LB: One thing that strikes when one checks the background of your new drummer, Andrey Ischenko, is the list of some 80 + bands he is/was involved in. Is he the drummer that everyone wants to get for sessions in Ukraine? In any case, he does a great job with you on ‘Divine Comedy: Inferno’, and again, I cannot recommend enough this new effort of yours, it’s like a staple for anyone new to tech thrash.
Serg: He’s not our new drummer, he’s been with us since 2019 and has already recorded two albums with us. He’s actually russian and lives in Moscow. He is a professional and experienced musician who is very much in demand everywhere, because he does his work very quality and fast! A dream for any band! He also plays with me in another band called Grace Disgraced, there is also our second guitarist Alexander Klaptsov. If you want, you should listen to him! Great Technical Death!
10/ LB: For anyone who would like to buy your music, where can they buy it. Do you send physical copies? For people outside Europe, are there specific constraints?
Serg: Of course! Our album is out on CD and vinyl is planned for next year! Most often our products are ordered from Europe, because we have the biggest fan base there! But at the same time our new album is bought all over the world!
To order the album:
11/ LB: Is there anything you want to add?
Serg: Thank you for your interest in our group, it was a pleasure to talk to you! Good luck and prosperity to your portal!
Full ‘Divine Comedy: Inferno’ album on youtube: