1. Hey man, thanks for the time. First of all could you introduce everyone to yourself and give a history of how Vials Of Wrath came to be?
Sure. My name is Dempsey “DC” Mills. I’ve been a Christian for about 15 years, and a musician nearly my whole life.
As far as for Vials of Wrath’s history, I can’t let this opportunity pass without sharing what a “journey” it’s been!
In my pre-Christian days, my brother and I started a black/death metal band called Endless Descent. We were heavily influenced by all the satanic junk going on in Norway during the first wave of black metal, as well as the Florida death metal sounds. After a couple of demos, we called it quits as I gave it all up to start serving God. I honestly thought I’d never play any type of metal again.
I stayed away from it for nearly four years. Then I found that Christian metal was gaining acceptance, and bands were becoming bolder and more extreme. Becoming the Archetype, Demon Hunter, Antestor, Admonish and others really opened the doors for me, so I looked for a way to use my “talents” for God in the same way.
Soon, I joined Bloodline Severed as a rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist. We spent a lot of time on the road, and I recorded a 4-song EP with them, but eventually I needed some personal time away and couldn’t keep up with the demands of being in a band full-time. Although I recently rejoined them (Feb. 2011), I once again didn’t think I would be a part of the extreme music scene again – Christian or otherwise.
However, God had other plans and lead me to start a solo project. Inspired by other solo artists/bands such as Burzum, Xasthur and Ihsahn, I began experimenting with home-recording and producing. A short time later, Vials of Wrath was born.
2. What does the name Vials Of Wrath mean?
It’s from Revelation 16. (I’m very much into end-time prophecy and the Book of Revelation.) The verse is: “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.'”
I wanted a name that represented the lyrical aspect I was going to aim for, which is God’s judgement and man’s tendency to do evil. (Plus it just sounded cool and brutal).
3. You have a nice mix of Black Metal and Death Metal. Who are your musical influences?
There are so many, it really is hard to name just a few.
The early Gothenburg sounds of At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity and In Flames. Tons of stuff from Norway. Emperor, old Dimmu Borgir and Satyricon. I pretty much wore out Dissection’s Storm of the Lights Bane when I first heard it back in the day. Hypocrisy used to be a big influence as well (the cross tattoo on my forearm is from their Osculum Obscenum album cover). Then there’s Cradle of Filth, Morbid Angel, Obituary and lots of others. Like I said, there are just so many. It’s a shame most of their lyrics are garbage.
David Whichard (bassist from Bloodline Severed) once said I’m like a walking thesaurus of metal. I’ll take that as a compliment!
4. What are the main lyrical topics that you deal with and what is your main mission with those topics?
Christian music is typically very positive in nature – as it should be. But I want to remind the world (or at least anyone who will listen) that God punishes those who deny Him. He is a God of judgment, vengeance and wrath. There seems to be a loss of reverence and respect for Him. We have lost our holy fear of the Almighty. The Bible is full of examples of His wrath, but the modern church tends to dwell on edification and prosperity only.
5. You have a split album coming out with War Frozen fairly soon. When will that be released and where can people pick that up? Will it be in a limited quantity?
Yeah, I’m really excited about that. It will be available through indie label Unblack Metal Scene at the end of March 2011. I’m not sure how many copies will be made, but they’re also releasing my part of the split as a limited-edition 4-song EP. I can’t thank them enough for showing interest in putting it out there and supporting Vials of Wrath, as well as unblack metal in general. It’s a really cool label.
6. On that split album you have a couple of songs that I just have to ask about. Cold Contempt and From The Dead An Army Risen. What was the inspiration for those songs and what are they about?
Cold Contempt is my personal favorite. It’s some random thoughts I had about what God may think of today’s church – how sin infiltrates it. “Snakes that resemble men dwell among Your children” is a verse that really set the whole song into motion. Instead of realizing and rebuking the sin of the immoral, we’ve allowed the “snakes” to become comfortable – when they should feel “cold contempt.” From The Dead is simply a re-telling of the story of the Valley of Dry Bones from the book of Ezekiel. I imagine that to have been such a powerful, awesome thing to see that I wanted to put it to music.
7. After the split album what is next for Vials Of Wrath? New album?
I’ve set a goal of finishing a full-length to be out this Fall. I hope to release it through Unblack Metal Scene, a few other online Christian metal distributors, and all the major digital outlets (iTunes, Amazon MP3, etc.) How many physical copies depends on how well the split album does, but so far Vials of Wrath has generated lots of interest. Several online radio stations and podcasts have picked up songs, and I’m really stoked about it. I give all the glory to God for any success this project has. I’ve also been asked if Vials of Wrath will perform live. Again, it depends on what God has in store. I’m busy with Bloodline Severed right now, but I’m not going to rule it out if there’s enough demand for it.
8. Thanks again for the time. Do you have any comments for the readers?
Thank you! And thanks to all the fans out there for keeping underground Christian metal alive.
Interview by Larry Versaw