Discovery – ZIVATAR #11 (04.20.) /ENG/

This time you can get to know ZIVATAR, a band from Heves County (Hungary), playing doom metal spiced with industrial elements, interpreted by the singer (Attila Petheő)! We will talk about defining bands, the meaning of songs and the future goals of the band! Let’s see what’s going on in Gyöngyös!


Genre: Death Doom Metal

Current line-up:

  • Attila Petheő – vocals, guitar
  • Tamás Deák – drums
  • Zoltán Bartók – bass guitar
  • Róbert Csárádi – guitar
The Sixth Chamber (Album) - 2015
When Leaves Fall and Cold Winds Come (Album) - 2018
Demons from the Deep (Album) - 2019
Godless Constructions (Single) - 2022

Where did the name ZIVATAR come from? Why doom metal? What themes inspire the songs? You can get answers to these and many other questions in our interview! Let’s get started!

How would you describe yourselves in a few words? (T.)

An enthusiastic metal band full of ambition and creativity. In terms of style, death doom metal with a bit of an industrial flavour. The full line-up was established in 2017, previously it was a one-man project. It wasn’t easy to bring the members together but we’re now fully bonded thanks to a lot of hard work and the bonding power of live shows. I hope the group stays together for a long time.

Where did the name ZIVATAR (Thunderstorm) come from? Whose idea was it?

I was thinking about the name a lot at that time, it was just one idea among many and I stuck with it. At the beginning, when I started working on the project around 2012, I didn’t have a full line-up in mind, and I was actually thinking about instrumental music, so it didn’t matter if I chose a Hungarian or an English or another language name. I imagined it to be a kind of ambient doom metal that would be both dark and refreshing, like a summer storm, a shower… or a cold thunderstorm. I was aware that there was a band with the same name but as they are in a completely different style I didn’t mind, nor did I mind that people might make fun of it, which is something we can’t avoid, we joke about our own names and sometimes other bands’ names, just between ourselves of course.

What bands or musicians have inspired you?

Some of my favourites are early Fear Factory, early My Dying Bride, Anathema, Katatonia, Theatre of Tragedy. Early albums from all of them. I like and listen to many other bands as well as many other styles, heavy, death, black, jazz, I couldn’t list all my favourites. Ambient music, film scores, etc. Let’s just say that what inspires me to write my own songs is not necessarily related to what I listen to. Of course I have an idea of the direction I want to take my music in, different elements and song structures from different music give me ideas to create new formulas from. Sometimes I think in a traditional structure, but mostly I like to explore new things, even surprise myself because I don’t like boring, repetitive schemes. This is also true for melodies, riffs or the structure of the whole song. If I’m in the mood, I’ll do a simple three-minute song, but then I’ll definitely come up with something epic for seven or eight minutes. The thing that’s really important is the mood the music gives you. If the listener occasionally shivers or gets goosebumps on their arms, then you’ve achieved your goal.

Do you have a personal favourite of your songs that have been released so far? If so, why would you choose it?

I think I can speak for the rest of us when I say that the track we like the most right now is the new single Power Of The Will. It’s our darkest and heaviest song so far. Of course, there are a few other favourites that are just as dark and heavy, such as Seven and ‘While She Lies…‘ from ‘When Leaves Fall…‘ (also known as Weep You No More to fans). Apart from these, almost all of them are favourites, except for a few more monotonous songs like Cold or Dark Pictures. I like all of them, the others prefer the more varied songs.

Which is the most influential album of your life?

From ourselves or from others?:D From our side, I would say the first two ZIVATAR are the most defining, with our third album we moved away from doom a bit and towards more traditional grinding metal, but it was meant to be, there was a reason. On the new single there’s a very chunky track that’s a straight up industrial banger, but the rest of the songs are more looking back to our previous records and also incorporating elements that we haven’t done before, so it’s going to be a bit forward thinking.
From other bands for me, Fear Factory – Demanufacture and My Dying Bride – Turn Loose The Swans/Like Gods Of The Sun were defining albums for a long time and still are to this day but of course I’ve been exposed to a lot of great music from metal here and beyond since then, I don’t even want to try to go into it more.

What is your song Godless Constructions about?

Yeah, it’s the chunky song I was talking about before. There’s not much to decipher here. The essence of it is told in a nutshell, a mechanical listing of all the sins humans commit against humanity and their environment. The deeper message is really how man enslaves his fellow man, how he uses his intellectual superiority to oppress others and in the process causes enormous damage to others and the planet. Which of course calls this intellectual superiority into question from a moral point of view. One may be educated and intelligent, but if this is combined with egoism and arrogance, contemptuously exploiting the ignorant for their own interests, then we cannot really talk about intellectual superiority, or even about anything else.
There are leaders and there are those who follow them, that’s fine, hierarchy is a natural ordering principle. It’s just that this hierarchy was once overturned, deliberately overturned. They are not led by those who should be, not by the principles they should be. People who shouldn’t have been in charge have been put in charge and they’re doing everything to keep it that way, they don’t care about people, god or nature. They follow not the divine, not the human, but something else. That’s why the song is called Godless Constructions, referring to the fact that the whole society we live in is an artificial creation that has to be destroyed, and this is where some Unabomber parallels come into play in the song, but I leave that to the listeners.

What was or is the biggest challenge in making the Sacrifice EP?

It wasn’t really a challenge. The songs were already done in late 2019, we just had to record them. As it turns out, there is a professional studio here in Gyöngyös (GreenMouse Recording Studio) where we were able to record. The material was mixed and mastered by István Márta who sometimes helps out at Supersize. I am totally satisfied, it sounds exactly as I dreamed it would. It’s the best quality material we’ve had so far, we’ve tried and we’re trying to raise the bar for ourselves. The next step is to make a high quality video, it’s going to be a real challenge because we haven’t had a professional video with the band yet. In my view, it’s not enough to just throw the money together and “buy” a video from a production crew. We also have to put our maximum effort into it to get the end result that we had in mind.
We still have to do a session shoot and put together the artwork for the material to make it a complete whole. This is also a challenge of sorts if we are to offer something new and qualitative in this area, stepping out of the usual patterns.

What themes do you take inspiration from for your songs?

Most of the songs have a spiritual connection, except when we are working on love poems by English poets. 😀
Mostly the theme is the aspiration and journey of the human soul to higher realms.
The theme of reflection on this, the various methods and obstacles and problems that make it possible. More the dark side of it as it is not a painless process, in fact. The song Power Of The Will, for example, is about how to bring out the darkness that has accumulated in our own minds and souls over the years and use it to develop ourselves, to take control of our own minds, our own nature – or even the minds of others;).
The song The Ghost dissects a specific psychological problematic, namely how an entity created by thought energies turns against its creator, and how and at what cost such a demon can be brought back under our control. It’s a happy and uplifting theme, just right for such dark and gloomy music. The moment when a mental crisis or struggle is finally resolved, it’s really cathartic and uplifting.

Why did you choose the genre of doom metal? How did you become addicted to it?

I faced the darker side of life, and the very dark corners of it, quite early on in my childhood. In the beginning you try to escape from the dark and gloomy things, looking for comfort and happiness, but of course you make a lot of mistakes that only create more misery for yourself and others. Then you either go through it and create a kind of comfortable puddle of what you might call a happy life and ignore the dark things in life, as most people do, or you stop and face that darkness and, realising it, reverse the process that has caused you and others suffering. To me, it’s the analogy of doom metal. For me it’s not a mad slaughter or brutal grinding, but rather a gradual, slow, introspective process where one can examine the feeling or thought in detail, deeply feeling the neuroses that arise. Of course, this is just my own reasoning. Others may have a different way of deciphering their own mysteries.

Do you prefer recording or performing?

Definitely performing. In the studio, the songs are already done, it’s work. The concert is the acid test. Every single time. It’s the personal contact with the audience, when we give the hard work of four people face to face. If we manage to convey the essence and mood of our music and people embrace it, that’s the reward.

What are your main goals for the coming years?

As I mentioned before, we want to put a quality album on the table with artwork, photos, video – even though it will be “only” an EP with three songs plus a nice intro. Once that’s done, we will present the songs live. Our plan is to sign with an international label or promoter, but it’s not easy, you can’t force it (of course there is the money, you can buy a label as well as views and likes). The time will come for that too. Until then, we’re performing, writing new songs, working on the next material, which will be a full length album.

Lastly: Where and when can they see you guys next?

Next time we’ll be playing at the Undead Festival in Budapest on May 7th, and then a week later we’ll be in Szeged for the Dark Spring Nights festival.
I highly recommend both events to everyone as there will be some great bands playing, it’s worth taking advantage of every opportunity while you can because you never know what the future will bring in these chaotic times.

Thank you very much for the interview! See you soon!

If you are fascinated by ZIVATAR and would like to learn more about their work, or perhaps visit one of their concerts, you can find everything at the links below!


by: Traidusk & Wolfy

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