Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Primeval Doctrine from Unholy Raavancult: Funeral In Heaven (Sri Lanka): An Interview with Frontman Chathuranga Fonseka

Recently, Putrid Ascendancy spoke to Chathuranga Fonseka, The frontman of Sri Lankan dark congregation named 'Funeral In Heaven'. For followers of underground extreme music, FIH  have already secured a cult status and have preserved the ancient arcane values of Sri Lankan occult art and mysticism through their transcendental music or art whatever you call it! 
So here it is, a  brief conversation with Brother Chathuranga Foneseka. Enjoy!  

P.A: We have come across other interviews of Funeral In Heaven where we got introduced to the term of 'Hela metal', Could you please elaborate the concept behind it?

Chathuranga: Hela Metal can be described as a rejection of every other “label” which will be used to describe our music. I guess this was inevitable considering there really doesn't exist a label per se out there which would in a couple of words, describe our output. I guess this is the equivalent to Norway’s Immortal proclaiming to perform “Holocaust Metal” back in the day.

P.A: What Funeral In Heaven Plays is unique in every bits and parts.. now considering that you hail from Sri Lanka, An ancient terrain that has a distinct cultural elements, myths and legends and also that your country has witnessed scores of atrocities and violence, how did that all help evolve your music?

Chathuranga: Gratitude for the compliment comrade. I’d say that a certain part of evolving comes with the technology too, considering the time we live in and available facilities when it comes to this sort of thing in our part of the world. We have always wanted to experiment and delve into Indian and Sri lankan classical music and achieve a certain “quality” of production (and by quality I do not mean “polished/ over produced shit”) and I’d say that we’re still not there yet. Maybe in the future.
Everything you mentioned above including the biggest input being, life in Sri Lanka has inspired us and will continue to do so. We’re completely disgusted with how domestic issues are being handled, I understand that corruption is as much of a problem to you as it is to everyone else, but things here are just fucking absurd. Everything from our current cultural and societal hierarchy, governing bodies to religious institutions is absolutely corrupted beyond belief. On the other hand we have the fucking media parasites who spend most of their time “protesting” against something they deserved in the first place, to have even a faint idea about the concept of responsible journalism, or to see the damage which is occurring due to their extensive exaggeration and bombarding of worthless information and the promotion of pathetic and baseless trends. International politicians and media institutions such as Jayalalitha Jayaram and the worthless piece of shit Hilary Clinton and her fucking “government”, the cunts at Channel 4, BBC share the biggest part of the blame for fueling an imaginary war between races. Sri Lankan society is conservative to dangerous extents and most of the time completely oblivious as to the domestic issues concerning the country until its concerned publicly and commercially, where as then, suddenly everyone's a patriot.  All of these fucking scum should be wiped off the face of the earth. 

P.A: what are the lyrical themes, mainly?

Chathuranga: Ancient Sri Lankan demonology, history, war.

P.A: Many People here are not aware of the Sri Lankan Metal Scene. Could you kindly enlighten us on the scene? Since when did it start out and what were the bands that were influential in establishing the movement?

Chathuranga: The “scene” started out back in the late 80’s where we had great bands such as Sage Merlyn and Rattlesnake performing rock music. And now we have some great bands, comrades and veterans of the Metal scene such as Whirlwind, Paranoid Earthling, Siblings of Hatred, Forlorn Hope, Old Castles Massacre, Fallen Grace. And the “newer” bands we support such as Hollow, Ablaze, P.A.C., Dhishti, Pariah Demise, etc.   


P.A: How Funeral In Heaven was formed? tell us about the initial days, member changes and the obstacles you guys faced, if any!

Chathuranga: Being from where we are, I’d say we had more than our usual share of “obstacles” More of it, back in the day than the present. Everything from uncommitted members to the risks of playing Black Metal in Sri Lanka. The risks are present than ever considering the conservative politically driven environments which are surrounding us.


P.A: what's been your main influences as a band??

Chathuranga: Everything from Sri Lankan history, demonology, musicians, rituals, literature to philosophers have influenced the output, but the most important factor would be life in Sri Lankan HELL.

P.A: Now another question that really comes into my mind whenever I refer to the name Funeral In Heaven.. as far as i summed up it has a metaphorical meaning behind it. so can you please tell us why did you decide to name the band as Funeral In Heaven?

Chathuranga: We came up with the name to represent the current situation our lives as observatory members of this narrow minded society who have managed since of the past few decades to drive Sri Lankan culture to the ground. Heaven as it represents our ideals, exists here on earth, as does hell, depictions vary of course. This element fused with the dim landscape which fluctuates before our own eyes, the demise of our once protected and preserved culture, hence a death, a funeral. Maybe this depicts a transcending, a transmigration of sorts perhaps. Most people confused this with devil worship as it depicts itself to souls which lack simple comprehension as mere “devil worship”.


P.A: The inclusion of unusual instruments like Violin or Tabla certainly elevates the music to a surreal dimension! We also found out that band members worship Hindustani and Sri Lankan classical music! And that reflects in the music.

Chathuranga: Gratitude. We are glad it performed the mutual magick as it did with us in the process of creation. Yes. Actually, our members Kasun and Dineth hold degrees in Thabla and Indian classical music. They both hold “vishaaradha” titles, I do not know if this term is the same in your land as its used here. We have wanted to do this since the inception but we have at that time have never met anyone who was into both types of music. The purpose of some of our EP’s (or to be released) was to expose the “classical” side of the project, which explains why there are no “slow” tempo songs in our live performances. We have had I think a couple of ritual performances where Funeral In Heaven did ONLY these classical performances, acoustic, which was for a very small, exclusive crowd. What we aim to do is produce a sort of hybrid, a separate branch, or path which leads into complete illumination of self and mind over matter. We do this however with complete caution, as certain barriers cannot and should not be crossed as the result would be a generated insult and abuse towards the arts sacred basic foundations.

P.A: You have released two Ep's entitled as" Daiwaye Haaskam Saha Paralowa Sapatha" and "Shaanthikarma" which have been received very well.. and I must congratulate you for your unique effort which has made all of us very eager to expect a full length. so considering this fact we would love to know that whether a full length is on the cards or not?

Chathuranga: Gratitude again good sir. And yes of course, the full length is finally in the works. We just finished recordings for our upcoming LP with Plecto Aliquem Capite, titled “Astral Mantras of Dyslexia” which will include 7 tracks and will be released on Germany’s Dunkelheit Productionen, and we have moved onto the recording of a 11 track full length. It has been too long, more than how much it usually takes to record a debut, but with the equipment here or the lack of it, the lack of engineers or the tech support and most importantly the financial aspect, it was inevitable. If all goes smooth, recordings for this release should be finished before a couple of months of the ending of the current year.


P.A: You guys have played in many countries notable among them In League With The Legion Of Death (Thailand) so can you share some memorable experiences and not so memorable experiences with us?

Chathuranga: The Siamese cult was fucking insane. We met some true fucking metal maniaks in this journey! Combining that with Thai herbs, alcohol, food and the ladies lead to severe alcohol poisoning and a great fucking time, which we manage to remember in between flashes of time. The Deccan ritual, was commendable as well, due to the fact that we again met with some maniaks and finally after years on end, congregated with our warriors from Antim Graham!


PA: FIH toured in India twice. Hows the experience altogether? What do you really think of Indian Metal Scene?

Chathuranga: We performed a ritual in New Delhi for a not so Black Metal audience, and of course Deccan Festival in Hyrderabad. Delhi had a great weather as we embarked on the invasion last December, but the same cannot be said about the recent journey, as we had to come to Chennai first before landing in Hyderabad, and we spent almost 14 hours in the hot streets of Chennai, getting kicked out of malls, looking for beverages, herbs, payphones, alcohol to cure our much despised hangover and contact the promoters, and where in the process we got involved and entangled into a situation which most probably had the potential of ending up with someone getting stabbed or shot, with some LTTE supporters at a dingy bar in Chennai. Fucking cunts. And I’d rather not speak about the promoters for this event as I have nothing pleasant to express about them at the moment. We are however grateful to our Indian regiment who purchased our merch, spoke, greeted and supported us on this tour. Reuben and IIIrd Sovereign, Parash and AG, the gents from Flaming Skull, Rafal, Seth and everyone from Decapitated, Nervecell, it was a pleasure to have met all of you.

PA: Any personal favourites when it comes to any Indian band that you think have fair potential for success(if any)?

Chathuranga: Leaving aside acts such as Dying Embrace from Bangalore who have already reached cult status (666 fucking beers Vikram!), we like the music of Amogh Symphony, Devoid and IIIrd Sovereign and are in dire need to check out hymns by Dhwesha and Aghor Andhakar.

P.A: We featured your single called "Malediction Of Veracity" in our compilation of Putrid Ascendancy along with other Indian Act and Barzak(now Orator) of Bangladesh, and I must confess the song took almost every listener breathe away, its beautiful and ethereal. The Juxtaposition of soothing serenity and grittiness was commendable. What inspired you to create music like this?

 Chathuranga: The song was based on a suicide bombing which took place in the central main train station in Colombo a few years back where a LTTE cadre blew herself up in a platform taking a few civilians and most importantly 12 members of a college baseball team with her. One of the members of this 12 member group had ties to us. We just got disgusted how the international community and the fucking media was taking advantage of this situation as if it was some opportunity they saw which had potential for exploitation to aid their senseless needs for greed. We wanted to take our classical side into more darker atmospheres, Kasun and Dineth, who played Violin and Thabla, took lead with Joseph who composed the guitars and Malediction was born. Malediction was initially a 1.30min “introductory” track from our demo CD from 2006. We’ve always viewed it as a shame as it had much potential for expansion, which we later did for the DHSPS release on LOD Records.

P.A: We have always have this fixation when it comes to asking other individuals about their top 5 albums of all time. so do us this favor by letting us know about your personal favorites!

Chathuranga: Arrgh very tough question comrade! I will ease myself with this question by answering with my CURRENT top 5 which I have been delving into as of late.
  1. INQUISITION – Ominous Doctrines.... 2011
  2. HOLOCAUST – Heavy Metal Mania EP 1980
  3. REVENGE – Infiltrate.Downfall.Death 2008
  4. BLOOD REVOLT – Indoctrine 2010
  5. TSJUDER – Desert Northern Hell  2004                                                                                                                                           
P.A: Last but no the least since what is your opinion about Black Metal in general and are there any bands that you really dig among the newer ones?

Chathuranga: Apart from the fact that I see some unique projects experimenting with innovation and great newer acts who are resurrecting the ancient cult of the past, I don't see much happening. I’d rather stick to the clasSICKs and maybe discover a great unit or two a year. Among my newer discoveries are Necros Christos, Blood Revolt, Nyogthaeblisz, Metalucifer etc.


P.A: Chathurnga, we brothers at Putrid Ascendancy want to thank you for your precious time and support! We really wish you and Funeral In Heaven all the best for its future endeavour.. Hails!

Chathuranga: Much gratitude for taking the time and intrest to do so comrade! BLESSINGS FROM THE ANCIENT RAAVAN CULT! JAI RAAVANPUTHRA

Funeral In Heaven
Sri Lanka 
Genre -  Blasphemous Hela Metal/Black Metal

A.A.M.C.U.F. - Chants
K.N. - Skins/Violin
A.D.F. - Bass
N.Yakka - Guitars
A.Perera - Guitars
D.W - Thabla/Yak Bera


Putrid Ascendancy wants to express its gratitude to Brother Chathuranga for the interview. If you have a band, and you want to feature it on our blog, do mail us at
Join us on facebook:- 

No comments:

Post a Comment