KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: some music is hard to discover unless you’re looking in the right places. For Black Metal, mystery can be an endearing aesthetic; and such is the case with Scathanna Wept. Although the project only registered on our seismometer recently with the release of Archaic Tempest, its latest full-length album, it released two EPs and a full-length album in 2017 alone!
We tracked down the creative source. Daniel Botha is more talkative than one might anticipate, considering the band’s relatively low-key public profile.
“I’m not active on social media. This is a bit of a contradiction though; I truly enjoy interacting with people who like what is created, but I am not the type of guy who will sit on social media. In my view I have better things to do with that time, like writing more material.” ~ Daniel Botha (composer/instrumentalist/vocalist, Scathanna Wept)
And so we learn more about this material. The project moves deeper into explorations of atmospheric Black Metal with Archaic Tempest than with earlier material. Daniel describes his musical journey as being a fairly dynamic thing, although a leaning towards the dark side is clear from the earliest demo release. We asked him to discuss this.
“To me, the sound is very spur of the moment and most deeply connected to the emotion I feel at that time and place. I have tried to put it in a music box and say yeah it sounds like this band or that band, but then I write the next track and it sounds completely different than the previous one. And I understand some will not like it and some may, but it at the end of the day it was created with a part of me in it.” ~ Daniel Botha
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Seeking the Source
In terms of creative – and dare we say, emotional – inspiration, Daniel shares more with us through his music than listeners might know. As a young teen, his father was killed in a car accident; which he relates to as murder owing to the circumstances as involving a drunk driver. The song ‘Still Waters’ on the previous album, Die Dood Onder Ede, deals with this more directly.
“As you can imagine this will fuck up any kid mentally. My way to cope with the situation was turning to metal for closure. I guess it made me feel like the pain at the time was not just my own. So lets fast forward to 2006 when I got my first guitar. Since then it has always been a vision of releasing an album, be it by myself or with a band.” ~ Daniel Botha
Scathanna Wept is primarily a one-man project, although includes some collaborative effort. Whilst self-produced by Daniel, other artists who remain equally as reserved contributed as listed: Guest vocals by Tahazu and Skyggefigurrer; all instruments by Belzebut on ‘Murderous Mind’ and Vanna Morgue on ‘Shadow Damaged’; drumming and synth by Decarabia on ‘Heathen Lands’, and; album artwork by Tahazu.