SATURNALIA TEMPLE – Interview with Tommie Eriksson

•June 19, 2014 • Comments Off

Long before the occult themes in rock and metal became a trend, Tommie Eriksson had left a huge mark in the metal scene with his contributions to THERION as well as the semi-hidden treasure named SHADOWSEEDS back in the 90s. Then came SATURNALIA TEMPLE, the vessel though which archetypal doom sounds are being channeled to higher spiritual paths. The Anti-Flesh Nimbus tunes in to their vibrations and summons Golachab along with mr. Eriksson.

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I) How are things with SATURNALIA TEMPLE as we speak, has stability returned to the band after the unexpected loss of Jens?

That was of course a very hard thing to get through. With him, it finally seemed as if we now had the perfect line up for the band. We have had some problems finding the perfect drummer, so when he appeared all things seemed to align. After his demise, we felt very strongly that we would never find another guy like him again, so I decided to become the studio drummer for the band, and then we will have session guys playing with us live. In the US we have Tim Call, who is an amazing guy and a great drummer, and here in Europe we have our friend Kennet drumming live. So, yes, we are now firmly a duo and the new album is about to be recorded. We fight on, through all diversity.

Impossibilum-frontcoverII) How did you come up with the almost drunk main riff of “Golachab”? When I first heard the song, it kind of seemed awkward but I ended up getting addicted to it!

I tend to exit from thoughts when I compose songs, so I have no idea. It arrived, it was powerful and it was recorded. Glad you like it. So do we.

III) What is the story behind the strange yet beautiful choice of EXUMA’s “Dhamballa” for a cover?

I have been a great fan of Tony Mckay “Exuma” for a long time. He was a unique singer and did some really fantastic albums in the early seventies. These days, he is a truly lost gem, and I have been introducing all my friends to his work. I felt we deserved the honour to play one of his songs. And of course there were no pressure, only Nina Simone had covered it before……

IV) Where do you draw inspiration from? I know that you are actively involved with esotericism. Do you transcend into a certain spiritual state during the process of creating music?

Like I said, this is a band that avoids theorizing and intellectualizing around our work. Since I am also a writer of occult and occult fiction, there you can find my intellectual ideas. The arena of music to me is where you let the spirit and soul speak freely and avoid being too smart. I find the logical and intellectual things hamper the energy in music. So, this art is what it is. You won’t get much explaining from me. The power and focus is in the deed itself.

V) When will the era come for weak materialistic robots to fall and the fire to burn us all? I’m asking because, for the time being, we seem to live under severe materialistic dictatorship!

Lyrics are lyrics and I don’t believe in explaining them.

IMG_20140301_183049VI) Although you started SATURNALIA TEMPLE some years before the whole “occult rock” explosion (when suddenly everybody seemed to have found the holy grail by mixing the 70s with mystical verses), you haven’t claimed any throne of this genre, while you could rightfully do so. Instead you insist on walking your own solitary path by cooperating with selective labels like The Ajna Offensive and Nuclear Winter and generally by keeping your distance from publicity’s bright lights. Is that a conscious decision by the band? On the other hand wouldn’t you want to spread your music and messages to broader audiences?

I never wanted this band to be a corporate economical machine, like many bands become. I wanted to have total freedom to work when and where and how I want. I must say everything has proceeded just like I planned and hoped. I find we are big enough now, I work with two good labels, Ajna and Listenable, I have been able to build my own studio and have perfect control of all aspects, I am working with the best artists for design (Ketola, Dennis Dread, Manuel Tinnemans etc). Basically, we never ever sought commercial success at all. We never sent out any review copies (besides the old UR cd-r in 2006), or did press-releases or promotion or anything. Word of mouth and some sparse gigging seems to have taken us where we are. And that is a firm stable ground to stand on. What rises fast, may also fall fast.

VII) I think the last few years have brought closer the audiences of doom and heavy rock bands and with those of more extreme genres like black and death metal. Do you believe this has to do solely with the occult themes which are common in both cases or have people started to remove some “barriers” when listening to music?

Possibly, but I think it’s just common sense since many people who like good metal also like good rock. I mean, genres is mainly for those who like to talk about other people’s music anyway, or for pin-pointing something when trying to sell it. I find both genres and comparisons boring and a short cut to thinking. I love reviews (which we have been happy to get) where the writer actually conjures up interesting and original analyses and themes, talking about the music truly, rather than just babbling about whatever records he listened to yesterday.

ST 2013VIII) Back to SATURNALIA TEMPLE, what made you start this band in the first hand? What kinds of forces needed to be channeled through this musical act?

Long story, but being into rock and metal since the early eighties, following this music as it got harder in thrash and death metal, then playing in different bands on different levels….guess you could say that ST was just a natural reaction to my life in music and Left Hand Path magic.

IX) You generally incorporate various types of effects in your songs. The highlight for me would be that discontinuous riff that runs throughout the whole “Aion Of Drakon” title track. Do you feel these effects add an extra depth to the music?

I notice that people often use the term “effects” when talking about our music. We actually use very little effects compared to many other bands. I only have some delay on the vocals, and sometimes some delay on the guitar, besides a wah for the guitar. That’s it. Though I try to make the production original and interesting, and I think the production is what people mistake for effects. The loose way we play things, and the way we use sounds. So it is more a matter of how we play, and how we produce. Just to stomp on a few boxes would be boring.

X) What does the future hold for the band, are you in the process of writing new material? If yes, does it follow the more rock-oriented direction of “Golachab” or will it return to the lo-fi tones of “Aion Of Drakon” and the previous releases?

Yes, we are in the middle of channeling and recording the new album. I have no idea how it will finally become, which is why I find it stimulating making it. I suppose it will have some links to past works. If I can say something, it is that I feel it may be harder and bleaker and more hypnotic.

XI) Speaking of previous releases is there any chance that the “Ur” demo and the 7’’ will see a repress in the near future?

Yes, that may very well be. The EP had two original songs that have not appeared anywhere else ever, so I think they deserve a re-release. UR as well.

ST 2013XII) From what I understand, you are again activating the LAPIS NIGER experimental project of yours. Is the new material in the veins of “At The Throne Of Melek-Taus” or will there be a new perspective to it?

Yes indeed I have also started my own label and publishing house called Lapis Niger Productions. This will be the outlet of Lapis Niger ritual ambient and my occult books. I have a trilogy of occult fiction coming up in both English and Swedish, and a re-release of the “At The Throne of Melek Taus” album. After that I release a new album with Lapis Niger, and parts of that were composed around the same time as that album, so it may have similarities. But other tracks may be different.

XIII) Will we ever hear anything new from SHADOWSEEDS in the future or my hopes are too high?

Shadowseeds was a purely magical output, based on certain workings. When the time is right, it may happen again. For now, I am finally releasing the last 33 copies of Der Mitternacht Löwe cd, handmade and designed by Timo Ketola. Keep your eyes on http://facebook.com/lapisniger616

XIV) This is all from me, thank you for the conversation and lay down your final words until next time!

Thank you for well-researched questions!

SPEYER GREY MASS – Memories

•May 25, 2014 • Comments Off

Date: March 14 & 15, 2014

Location: Halle 101, Speyer, Germany

This text took some time to be completed, so it’s mostly about a memory journal of the short trip to beautiful Speyer on the bank of Rhein. There, in Halle 101 one of the strongest line-ups of the broader blackmetal underground coexisted for 2 days and nights, with NIGHTBRINGER from the US of course being probably the main attraction since bands from the other side of the Atlantic do not visit us very often. But let the memories slowly unfold…

Grey Mass Poster

Friday, March 14th:

NawaharjanAfter a few real weizen biers (and not the soap-waters that are exported to Greece) in the hotel, we arrive at the club, wait a few minutes in the entrance queue and upon entering, Berliners NAWAHARJAN are about to open the celebrations for the dark side. Without having heard anything about them before, they functioned appropriately as an introduction to the two-day ritual with occult atmosphere, relatively good sound and a contrabass (I think) decorating their raw tracks. But the first great shock came with Irkallian OracleIRKALLIAN ORACLE. It’s not that I had no clue about them and had the vinyl already ordered, but the fact that their live performance would become a life experience was beyond imagination. Of course Carl Tiburtius (or ar-Ra’d al-Iblis – see also MATRICIDE, NIGHTBRINGER, ACRIMONIOUS) is no random artist and here he sculpted low-tempo esoteric death metal, causing a swirling in the air and absorbing those that that chose to be in tune with his sounds. The special percussion used to accompany his abysmal hymns left us by the end of the set to try and figure out what we had exactly experienced.

RavencultThankfully, the small break helped us reorganize our minds as RAVENCULT who would follow, had no intention to joke. Without any corpsepaints (as always), without any distinguishable arrangements on stage but with a megaton force, they gave nothing less than a blackthrashing orgy spat out of hell, just to make our necks violently unscrewed. Although the demos and “Despise…” are perfect releases too, personally I cannot possibly resist the mania caused by the Ofermodrabid tracks from “Morbid Blood”. All the energy collected during IRKALLIAN’s set, was here unleashed towards all directions. In that manner, the time of OFERMOD’s performance was mostly used to regain powers than to consciously watch what Michayah had to manifest. Although I am opposed to the opinion that their releases follow a declining course, as I find “Thaumiel” excellent for the purposes it serves, on stage they seemed a bit “confused”, while the second guitar was choking the sound coming out of the speaker rather than giving an extra dimension to the tracks.

DiabolicumTheir compatriots DIABOLICUM that followed, were a good memory injection in order for us to remember the late ‘90s/early ‘00s era, when the industrial sound had made its raid into blackmetal. And contrary to some “purist” beliefs, this idiom had given certain gems back in those times, but faded out quickly. In any case, the Swedes gave a respected live show, yet without driving many people crazy. Anyhow, I was gathering my physical and mental powers for yet another ritual by AcherontasACHERONTAS, the seventh one among my personal concert experiences. And what a road they have walked during all these years until the recent “Amenti” masterpiece. So it was in Speyer after all where I was destined to undergo the most intense experience by them, despite all the adversities with electric power suddenly cut amidst the staggering “Legacy Of Tiamat”. But they did not give up for any reason; they left for a while, regrouped and came back to finish it in the proper way which was a glorious ending of their performance, which also included special vocal appearances from ar-Ra’d al-Iblis and Scorpios. Blackmetal is fortunate and honored that such bands, devoted to their vision, continue with their ways and reach their goals, despite any difficulties they may encounter.

ArchgoatWith the first day of the festival coming to an end, the time of the great ARCHGOAT was here. The European equivalent to BLACK WITCHERY (or probably the other way round since the Fins are present for more than two decades) in terms of volume a power-trio can produce, tore Halle 101 down showing no mercy and without any compromises. Bestial black/death sonic wall, rhythm section pounding right upon our chests and hymns in the likes of “Penis Perversor” raping our ears! After the Finnish attack, the club was emptied in a disappointing was. Or not? The scenery of the 50 of us Nefandusremaining on spot, waiting for the NEFANDUS show combined the pure paranoia possessing Belfagor, synthesized one of the most special live situations I have attended. The maniac Swede gave an act of madness, during which he would throw things to the crowd, fall down on the floor, produced some of the most insane shrieks and generally the feeling was that anything could happen causing a note of fear on the whole situation. Although “Your God Is A Ghost” EP was in no way equal to the grandness of the transcendental “Death, Holy Death” album, this experience in Speyer was truly unique and probably the ideal closing of Grey Mass’s first night.

 

Saturday, March 15th:

Fides InversaAfter the last moment cancellation by VERBUM VERUS (a shame because I wanted to watch them again after last September in Holland) the evening started with Italians FIDES INVERSA. Without being bad or anything, I cannot say that their blackmetal, based on the Swedish forms of ONDSKAPT etc., won my attention in great degree. On the other hand, Temple Of BaalTEMPLE OF BAAL with their crushing style were much more riveting, although some problems with sound would not allow them to unfold in perfection the virtues of French blackmetal they represent. However, the first great thrills of the night were true upon the start of SVARTIDAUÐI’s Icelandic invasion. I dare to say that as we speak, they are one of the most quickly upcoming forces of this Svartidaudisubgenre; especially after “Those Who Crawl…” demo back in 2010 and onwards they have rapidly accelerated and are ready for take-off. It’s not only the realization that they have achieved to create a distinct personal sound (something apparent in “Flesh Cathedral” and the upcoming “Synthesis Of Whore And The Beast” EP) by mixing the orthodox approach by DSO with the most interesting parts of the post-metal idiom), but also the fact they when they perform on stage, it’s done with such intensity that an aura of horror emerges in the air.

PseudogodPSEUDOGOD that followed were definitely better than the last time I’d seen them in Berlin (NWN! Fest 2012). Solid death metal with a blackened atmosphere, however we were still living into the abyss created by SVARTIDAUÐI earlier. Dutch Funeral WindsFUNERAL WINDS brought an old school Norwegian aura to the festival, with their DARKTHRONE-meets-GORGOROTH compositions, however they seem to be too much of a cliché. It’s OK though because the relaxing during their set would prove overly beneficial. The reason is that One Tail, One HeadONE TAIL, ONE HEAD contrast to their not so strong performance last year in Prague Death Mass I had attended, this time were de-va-sta-ting! Their passionate black’n’roll whose roots go back to the 80s, to BATHORY, CELTIC FROST, but also to VENOM and SODOM and MOTORHEAD (and and and…) gift to our ears and a channel of energy release as frontman Luctus draws us to a satanic, dionysian feast by the end of which we simply gather our pieces.

SargeistIn total contrast with the above situation, SARGEIST did not seem to be on form that evening. The sound was terrible, and this probably annoyed Shatraug and the others to a level that resulted in a typical and thus disappointing set. However, it was now time for the event’s main attraction and this is no other than the entrance of NIGHTBRINGER on stage, whose magnificent “Hierophany Of The NightbringerOpen Grave” (along with the fine split releases with ACHERONTAS and DØDSENGEL) influenced –in my opinion– a huge part of today’s blackmetal with the strong presence of lead guitars guiding the songs to unknown paths. An impressive scenery was being assembled in front of us, worthy of the ideological and philosophical approach of the Americans and as soon as the ritual begun we found ourselves bathed in red lighting on another dimension where the illusion of time is almost eliminated; a truly one-of-a-kind experience that demanded our full attention in order to Mglakeep up with the constant changes of rhythms and states of mind. By the end of their show, physical and mental fatigue was creating a huge discomfort to me but there was no chance of course to miss even a second of the performance of mighty MGLA, the band which gives a true substance to words such as “passion” and “faith”. This time the shock wasn’t equal to that in Prague, the sound definitely didn’t do justice to them and they seemed somewhat tired, maybe because they were on the end of the tour with SVARTIDAUÐI and ONE TAIL, ONE HEAD. Even so, with the familiar blue illumination of the stage, the Polish looked almost invincible in what they do, which is nothing less than the real essence of blackmetal itself.

As their set was ending, exhaustion was more than remorseless while on the following morning, the equally tiring trip back home awaited us. Give these facts, the return to the hotel for a few hours of rest became a necessity. I apologize to SEKTARISM and OSCULUM INFAME and look forward to a future meeting between us. Apart from that, the feeling of fullness we acquired from this two-day quest on Speyer and the Grey Mass festival was more than present. Auf wiedersehen to everyone…

CLANDESTINE BLAZE – Interview with Mikko Aspa

•May 18, 2014 • Comments Off

It is no secret that CLANDESTINE BLAZE is one of the major forces that have inspired me over the years to get involved with this music. No big words, no fancy pictures, but when the record spins in the stereo a whole world (in fact the true, horrific image of the world we live in) unfolds through its lyrical and musical concepts. The Anti-flesh Nimbus is honored to host a great conversation with Mikko Aspa, one of the most important voices of blackmetal (an not only that) of all times.   

Clandestine Blaze

I) Greetings mr. Aspa. More than 15 years have passed from the beginning of the CLANDESTINE BLAZE entity. What drove you to start this project among a then decaying blackmetal scene?

I think Black Metal at that point was not only decaying. In fact, one could say in many ways it was blossoming again. Perhaps in mainstream or semi-mainstream settings, commercial or soulless black metal was at rise, yet in Finland amongst other countries, you could see dozens and dozens of new unsigned bands capturing new spirit and new approach in many ways. Exciting things was happening.

Also one could remember that information would travel quite slowly. News of things that happened already some years ago, would reach finally isolated persons who operate in dark underground.

Despite the peak of Norwegian black metal might have passed, there was new levels of extreme forces rising. I was not at all impressed by standard heavy metal sound quality and fashionable promotional photos of big bands. I was much more drawn towards such atrocities like “Vampires Of Black Imperial Blood” (1995), “March To The Black Holocaust” (1995), “Thy Dying Light” (1996), “Following The Voice Of Blood” (1997), “Black Hateful Metal” (1997), and so on… And one could mention around same time as CLANDESTINE BLAZE (before or after) was rising hordes as WARLOGHE, PEST, UNCREATIONS DAWN, BLOODHAMMER, NIGHTSIDE, HELWETTI, and countless others, I could care less if mainstream of metal was “decaying”, as new hungry forces were gathering strength in shadows. I was not part of metal mainstream, nor I feel I’m part of it now. Back then it felt like interesting things was about to happen, and looking back now, I feel there was. Lots of albums what may not be regarded as classics by global metal media, but certainly things that took black metal further from what it had been.

Harmony Of StruggleII) We are now almost a year past the latest release of yours. Do you feel that “Harnony Of Struggle” has fulfilled your goals and intentions, if any, behind it?

Intention was to make good album, and I think that’s what it is. I had no goals for any kind of clear reactions, media attention, or sales. Like usual, it just came out. No promotion, no merchandice and no goals for touring or huge sales. Album came out as I wanted, and it remains to be seen whether other people feel strongly about it like I do. Of course I would appreciate situation where lyrical approach would influence people, but I don’t think such things can be measured or observed.

III) What sort of harmony lies within struggle? Do you have the belief that eternal conflict of all kinds is the major force behind evolution?

Yes. I don’t think its matter of belief, rather than pure fact. Harmony is exposed when you zoom out from petty issues of miserable humane obstacles (what appear to be “non-harmonic”), to cold view from distance. While most of humanistic worldviews tend to tremble in horror, it is really the struggle what makes man the man he is. Un-named forces that truely creates man, does it through scorn and misery. And that force is worth to worship, if something is.

IV) What is the process of songwriting for CLANDESTINE BLAZE? I am asking because, in the last two albums especially, there is the feeling of a certain flow and continuity between tracks. As if one song evolves into the next one. It is like the whole album was written on one take.

In these cases, it is not only the composition of each individual track that matters, but very careful attention to wholeness what works as album. Transition of mood from track to another and through entire playtime of c. 20+20 minutes (LP) must flow well.

It is not only matter of good riffs or good songs, but in some occasions even intentionally “bad” song might be necessary. This was especially true in “Falling Monuments”, where songs that are not good as music, were required to suit the feel of lyrics and purpose of album.

It is also notable that “Harmony Of Struggle” includes some conceptual choices, as albums progresses to operate purely in simple harmony (musically). Latter part of album goes in harmony of one single tone. Material of these albums have been composed over long period of time. Starting right after previous album was finished, till last moments when recording of album started. But as mentioned, arrangement of final album was done carefully, taking into consideration atmosphere what was aimed to be reached.

M. AspaV) I think that “Harmony…” turned out more aggressive than its predecessor. Were you pissed off about certain people or situations during the last few years?

Perhaps, but I don’t intend to involve mundane feelings into creation of timeless works. It’s most of all that “Falling Monuments” deals with melancholy that man faces in front of inevitable, while “Harmony Of Struggle” dives into hostile world of accepting it, and worshipping it. This has to be audible in music as well or otherwise it would be incompetent expression.

VI) Lyrically, you differ both from the traditional Satan-worshipping themes of the early 90s as well as from the recent occult manifestations coming from numerous bands. Instead you prefer to write about human weakness, torment and decay. Why do such situations attract you?

When repeating certain common phrases or dealing with seemingly purely aesthetic elements of occultism, one often may feel question: What does this mean and why it should matter? If one would assume you’d worship satan, and repeat lyrical passages about worshipping satan, it will still often make one wonder: So?

Even if lyrics I write may not be always bluntly clear (often they are), they are very concrete. It’s words that are said for other reason than filling vocalists needs.

Main difference to me seems to be that vast majority of those who deal with spiritual matters, follow idea that the spirit, divinity and “knowledge” are somewhere out there and all they can do is get glimpse of something from beyond. But they like to keep “reality” and the other side separate. I believe in necessity of abandoning this, as it compares merely on illusions of paradice. Always reason for passivity or compromise, someone waiting and waiting for something to happen next. Even if supposedly being able to gain brief glimpses of the other side, remaining unable to bring anything here.

I’d be interested how faith transforms ones perception, action and general worldview. I’m interested in how ones faith or belief is manifested HERE.

cb-fall-monumVII) What is the concept behind the “Harmony…” cover artwork? Will we ever see a non-black/white cover on a CLANDESTINE BLAZE record (apart from the original edition of the first full-length of-course)?

Wasn’t “Falling Monuments” color cover? Certainly single tone, but still. I have no plans for future regarding covers, but generally I prefer b&w as opposed of color.

Concept of “Harmony Of Struggle” cover is simply to depict many of the elements included in lyrics of album, in slightly Bosch-esque manner. One can find small details with clear or symbolic meaning. I wanted to avoid all too obvious snakes and chalices things what nowadays serve often mere decorative purpose.

Original sketch was done by myself and final design and actual painting by J.Siikala. He has painted several Northern Heritage album covers and talented painter able to bring something personal to work he does.

VIII) As of today, where does CLANDESTINE BLAZE stand in a western world where the cultural dictatorship of the social media has given a stand on everyone to publicly express his opinion on everything, whether he has any knowledge for the subject or not?

As a band or artistic outlet, Clandestine Blaze doesn’t have any “stand” on such matters. If you ask me personally, it is of course great sign of cultural regression. While many westerners live in excess of information and possibilities, what they end up doing is the celebration of least demanding and least relevant things. When most popular media and even social interaction is celebration of meaninglessness and pettiness and underlined stupidity, what can you say? However, I think this dark age of small men will eventually change.

M. AspaIX) Has anything changed regarding your intentions to do a live show? Maybe a special one-off appearance in a festival like Black Flames Of Blasphemy?

I may have mentioned we did rehearse for potential live show already half dozen years ago, but it was decided to not be done. Since then, I have occasionally mentioned that it may happen if reasons are right and situation seems correct. However, I don’t feel comfortable about festival settings or touring for Clandestine Blaze. But I’m also equally repulsed by idea of “special set”, as I believe most of Black Metal live shows suffer from that exact reason. Bands that are not really live bands, go on stage to do something what isn’t natural for them. Much better are bands who simply play like in old days. Live gigs done in small venues, because they are actual band that rehearses and is alive.

X) Apart from CLANDESTINE BLAZE and other music projects, you run the Northern Heritage label. What is the philosophy behind its releases? Also, contrary to the main current, why do you avoid special editions with limitations, color vinyls and such stuff?

I believe Black Metal, as it appeals to me, is force against modern world. Even if being seemingly young style of music, often performed with most recent musical technology, in its heart, there is other kind of flame. I believe economy should be in service of culture and spirit, not the other way round. This applies to world as whole, but also black metal. When labels treat black metal as consumer product and method of abusing the most horrid consumer impulses, it appears to be just like any other business out there.

I certainly admire so called artists editions, where something personal, possibly handmade, is included. Version that adds even spiritual value to item itself. Be it artwork, additional texts, more personalized packaging, etc. If what you get is different color plastic or cover art blown up to size of big poster, what’s that for?

Northern Heritage philosophy is to be at service of specific culture and ideal. As label, I release bands who appeal to me and who I often personally am connected to. As a distributor, I try to offer vast selection of material that includes tons of bands where is absolutely zero financial reason to sell. But only to cultivate dark underground. I firmly believe in cultural war, and while jaded bystanders giggle about meaninglessness of one more crappy raw BM tape, I firmly believe otherwise.

XI) Is there any chance for a new STABAT MATER recording to emerge in the near future?

Depends what means “near future”? Material is under preparation, but one never knows when or if it will eventually happen. It may be next week, it may be in 5 years or never.

XII) What are your main influences, both musically and ideologically, what shaped you as the person you are?

I’m too enthusiastic to be follower of one or few things. It’s question that can’t be really replied. I feel it’s more question of zeitgeist than specific individual examples.

XIII) Aside from what you choose to release through Northern Heritage, do you keep up with today’s black metal or music in general? Any new acts from Finland worth listening to?

I listen hours of material each day. Not necessarily black metal, but other kinds of obscurities. I keep up what happens in Finnish Black Metal scene, but I feel that a lot of motivations in metal scene are contaminated by modern world. There is a lot of decent stuff to listen to, but certainly black metal would need to be more than that.

XIV) Thank you for the conversation. The final words are yours.

Thanks for interview.

 

 

DEAD CONGREGATION “Promulgation Of The Fall”

•May 10, 2014 • Comments Off

Release Date: May, 2014

Label: Martyrdoom Productions/Profound Lore/Norma Evangelium Diaboli

Promulgation Of The FallIt’s been six years since that night when I stepped into Sin City club to watch my beloved PRIMORDIAL and the shock from the juggernaut sound coming out of the speakers as I entered the basement is still fresh in memory. Yes, DEAD CONGREGATION, with “Graves Of The Archangels” having just been released at the time, were opening their set and this was my first contact with them.  During this six-year period, the bonds between me and this sonic monster gradually developed and became strengthened, trips abroad were planned in order to watch them playing live and the waiting for the successor of one of the most important records for 00s death metal became more and more intensive.

So be it! As soon as the first two drum hits are heard in the opening track “Only Ashes Remain” and the first wave of mud is unleashed, it is obvious that no compromises are welcome here. Two minutes pass and the phrase “yes, this is the death metal we adore” floats in mind. But no, this not just it, this is much more, as unexpected, twisted guitar leads continuously paint the songs in colors that reek of grave odors. This is the pattern of “Promulgation Of The Fall”, which means… there is no pattern! Crawling, pitch-black funeral doom passages (how haunting are the title-track and mid-part of “Serpentskin”!) follow raw gallops of the guitars and blastbeats alternate with some of the most substantial solos we have recently heard among metal as a whole. Without noticing it, a quarter is almost gone and one realizes that in fact the first three tracks is essentially a unity, a FULL story. Murk, gloom, abyss…

When expectations for the creation of someone you admire, are not only fulfilled but surpassed in such a degree where you feel somewhat guilty for not doing justice to the band by underestimating what they can achieve, then it’s needless to say much. And what can anyone say about this masterpiece? Argue about the record being simultaneously old-school (in the purest of manners) and yet truly progressive with the constant changes of emotions and moods it encloses? Mention details such as that short techno-thrash riff somewhere around the 20th second of “Immaculate Poison” or describe the delirium arising from the orgiastic sequence of solos at its end? I believe it’s enough to point out the conclusion drawn around the end of “Schisma”, an OPUS that has come to battle head-to-head with the out-of-reach “Teeth Into Red” and during the seven minutes it lasts, simply… everything happens! And the conclusion is that while everything in here is familiar, nothing is the same because this is true Evolution. And I think there is no better symbolism for the above than the fact that while the fantastic cover art is drawn by a new artist (A. Lertas), Timo Ketola is still here, this time contributing to the (either way amazing) lyrics with those of “Nigredo” where my favorite quote of this album exists -“Ocean swallows ocean…”.

Those of you who love DEATH metal for the right reasons (that is because you find something special in this transcendental word and its transformation to sound) don’t need me or anyone to tell you that this subgenre has just acquired a new and everlasting gem. The only thing I can add is that if the successor to “Promulgation Of The Fall” is of such magnitude, then I accept to wait another six years for it. And then yet another six; just to complete the triad of the Sacred Number in order for the time to come when He will descend to Earth and sit on His throne…

INTERVIEW – SERPENT NOIR

•April 20, 2014 • Comments Off

The Drakon roars but most cannot hear Him. An effort has to be made in order to reach such higher levels and SERPENT NOIR, the recent force from the Hellenic underground blackmetal, are an outstanding example of devotion to these aspects. Let them guide you in your quest but remember… NOTHING can be accomplished when the Mind is not strong enough! The conversation with Yannis aims to reveal some more details…

Serpent Noir

I) Hail SERPENT NOIR! Give us a short chronicle of the events that led to the revelation which came through the “Sanguis XI” EP back in 2010. If I am not mistaken, much of the material was written way before its release.

That’s right; the tracks from “Sanguis XI” (with the exception of “Ritualis Draconis” which was added a bit later) were ready from mid-2006. I had from early on some pieces ready (“Midnight Consciousness”, “The Disputers” and some parts from “Sorath Invocation”) for recording, which we tried at the studio with Kostas – Archfiend Devilpig (drums and vocals at the time). During the process, “Eleventh Blood” was also revealed to us and the need to create a regular studio band arose. We decided to record the material and there came Dimitris Lagios who played the drums in “Sanguis XI”. After shattering events the recordings of the EP were finally completed.

Sanguis XIII) How did cooperation with Mika Belfagor (OFERMOD/NEFANDUS) occur? I believe you agree that his drum performance has given an evident uniqueness to the tracks. Just as Kostas’ (EMBRACE OF THORNS) vocals similarly do of course…

Mika has a special way of playing which matched at once with SERPENT NOIR. His themes give an intense feeling to the tracks. The good thing is that the drum parts he’s recorded for the full-length that is now in the process of creation are much different from those in “Seeing Through The Shadow Consciousness”, which were more aggressive while the new ones are more atmospheric. I like that differentiation a lot…

Regarding how the cooperation occurred, to put it simply, with Mika we got to know each other because of common interests on themes concerning the awakening of consciousness and the perception of reality. For that reason, he wanted to release “Sanguis XI” through his own label Left Light Emanations (which had also released the NEFANDUS “Death Holy Death” album). Eventually this did not happen for several reasons.

At the time I was working on the tracks from “Seeing Through…” when Dimitris Lagios announced us that he could not continue with SERPENT NOIR (eventually he remained part of the band, undertaking other duties). As you can understand we were without a drummer in a crucial point of the band’s life, having a full-length album ready yet with no drummer to record. I had nothing to lose and knowing that Mika was very keen on SERPENT NOIR I proposed him to take place behind the drum-kit, something he gladly accepted.

For Kostas what can I say? For me he is the best in what he does and truly important for our sound. Without him, SERPENT NOIR would sound much different for sure.

III) UndLive @ Occult Black/Death Ritual, Athens - November 2013er what circumstances do you compose and record. I get the impression that your tracks do not arise from a random idea but that there is some driving force behind each particular conception. All compositions are products of years of personal pursuit regarding awakening of the consciousness and reality control. Along with these comes the need to create: the need to express the subconscious and the unconscious through the changes that occur in the conscious mind when it acquires greater access to the former. Creation (in our case music and lyric writing) serves to maintain a kind of inner balance. Now in more “practical” terms, I write lyrics and compose all music, doing a demo version of each track and then I listen to the opinions of the other guys for specific music details giving the songs their final form.

IV) In your songs you use extensive ritual parts with non expected samples like the fantastic “crawling”/”screeching” which can be heard in “Black Sphere”. How do these parts evolve, are they already in your mind when writing the material or they arise during recording sessions?

Crawling, huh? You are very close! Specific details you hear in various ritual parts of our music were already in our minds while some others occur when recording.

V) “Dragon Egregore” is something like a tribute to the great CELTIC FROST as I observe it and the energy flowing through it (even more in its live version) is huge. Can we hope to similar musical paths from you in the future? Or you intend to continue in the more complex style of “Shadow As A Portal” (from the split with ANDRAMELECH.

I wouldn’t say that it is a tribute to another band but to the egrḗgoros of the Red Dragon –the most important symbol behind our philosophy and the motivating force of SERPENT NOIR. Although influences from CELTIC FROST as well as “Lepaca Kliffoth”-era THERION are noticeable, the purpose for the fact that “Dragon Egregore” sounds like that (let’s call it “gig-friendly black’n’roll”) has mainly to do with energy. To explain a bit further, my aim is the listener to come to an intense mood, having the Drakon’s egrḗgoros in his mind, praising him with one way or the other; to receive but mostly to give out energy… Finally, I should not forget to mention that I like this style, so it is also a matter of personal taste in addition to the above.

This style is a characteristic of our music, (you must have observed similar parts throughout “Seeing Through…” i.e. “Black Sphere”, “Shifting To Shadow Consciousness” etc, but in “Sanguis XI” as well) so it will be present in the new record too. “Shadow As A Portal” was a special occasion, I do not think there will be anything like it in the upcoming full-length although you will find some similarities with the second part (“Actio”) of that song.

Seeing Through The Shadow ConsciousnessVI) I know that you face your art as a wholeness that encloses music, lyrics and other artwok. For the latter, until know you have cooperated with various artists in each release. Personally I find Timo Ketola’s cover for “Seeing Through…” an amazing piece of work and I cannot hide I enjoyed the fact that the CD booklet unfolds to a larger sheet, bringing memories from the 90s when many CD booklets had a similar design. How do you choose which artist(s) will take care of the visual works in each of your releases?

Exactly, music, lyrics and artwork complement each other. Timo did an exceptional job!  Of course it took him a bit more than expected to complete the artwork and layout; only… two years! This is why the record was released in 2012 while being ready from 2010. And those were only for the CD version! I know Timo personally for many years and I knew that, as a great artist -and person too- who knew well what we were seeking, he would be the most suitable to take over the visual part of our first full-length. The unfolding of the booklet was purely his idea.

Common perception on aspects that constitute a way of life for us is the basis upon which we choose the artist that will undertake artwork of our releases. We are not interested in most new artists who are good in drawing “monsters” and “daemons” –some popular themes of today–, unless we have to come to them as a last resort in which case we will guide them 100%. There are some exceptions however. In the new record, we will cooperate with an excellent new artist from Sweden, who hasn’t spent himself in doing artwork for bands (with the exception of his own releases which are irrelevant with metal music).

VII) Having recorded all of your works in the domestic Eleventh Tower Studios, how do you rate the situation regarding recording/production conditions in our country? I am asking mainly because SERPENT NOIR productions are among the best ones that have come out from Greece. Maybe after all it has to do with the devotion from the musicians and the producer/sound engineer in order for the final outcome to be what the band originally intended?  

Thank you for your good words. Special mention must be done to Haris Vouyiatzis, the owner of Eleventh Tower Studios (and also guitarist at EMBRACE OF THORNS and recently the permanent bassist for us) and also to Dimitris Lagios (ex drummer and current all-around member). The secrets behind our productions are: a) we always ask for something different and special regarding our sound and b) there are people –especially the guys I just mentioned– who really care for SERPENT NOIR although they know it is clearly my personal means of inspiration and expression. Even if the TOP-CLASS technical equipment might not exist (although they are very good), the guys will do anything for in order to end up with the best outcome possible. So yes, I believe that in the end it is a matter of devotion by the musicians and producer.

VIII) To insist a bit on the production aspect, I have observed a wave of blackmetal releases lately that have left aside the once established perception about the necessity of chaotic sound, cacophony, “ugliness” etc.  Playing has a clear sound, yet without any discounts in the threatening atmosphere or the effort required from the audience in order to tune in with vibrations produced. Do you believe there has been some shifting in the mentality of the musicians and the fans?

The evolution of technology has played a significant role in this for sure. Better recording equipment makes things almost hard in order to reproduce sound equal to… the old “necrohell” four-channel for example! In addition to that, the fact musicians are now better technically is a reason not wanting to bury the themes they are playing under bad production.

IX) An equivalent “turnaround” can also be seen in the lyrical part; themes like graphic satanic rituals, sacrifices, anti-christian hate and all kinds of negative thoughts and acts have –partly– given their place to more philosophical/occult pursuits and to ritualistic practices that aim to levitate our metaphysical essence thus resulting to a more positive state if we can say so.

I believe it has to do with the era we live in, the era of information (and misinformation –but this is another story). Many people now have access to subjects which were hidden and on the fringes of society during older times. So, it is logical for someone to become involved with something more “fresh” to them since anti-christian hate, for example, is now regarded as cliché. Automatically, this is a reason for a new movement and a new trend to rise.

X) Regarding tLive @ Incubate Festival, Tilburg - September 2013he above however, the occult theme has become partly trend in our days, hasn’t it?

Yes, this is true. But, as a trend, it will soon be over! Only the real thing will continue to exist…

XI) Please share with us, if you want to, a few things about Shadow Consciousness. As you mention in “Black Sphere”:  “…there is a certain state of mind which makes the access to Black Ecstasy possible. This state of mind it is rooted in subconscious, yet it’s comprehended by conscious.”  

“Black Sphere” refers to a method of opening some sort of a Gate through specific techniques of meditation and other practices. If I can say any more on this, it’s that the so-called reptilian brain has an important role here. The lyrics you mentioned refer to a conscious passage into the realms of the subconscious and this is only the beginning…

XII) Who are the Allies from the Black Sun Universe? How can one come in contact with them?

The least I can say about it in terms of this interview is that approximately they are autonomous intellects that “reside” in forgotten and well hidden corners of consciousness (both microcosmically and macrocosmically) beyond time and space. For one to have access to such levels of consciousness is something high above the boundaries of common logic. That’s why a description through words is probably impossible.

However, the lyrics of this specific song, although personal, are very revealing; maybe even more than it should.

Live @ Occult Black/Death Ritual, Athens - November 2013XIII) Let’s move into the subject of live appearances. Until now you have, I would say, three fairly special experiences: The KAWIR (and Metal Defiance) anniversary event, the participation in Incubate festival (in Tilburg, Netherlands along with IMMORTAL, MAYHEM, GEHENNA and many more), as well as the more recent Occult Black/Death Metal Ritual under the care of ACHERONTAS. Would you share with us some special impressions/experiences you acquired in each of these appearances?

All three of them were special experiences. That latter two were under harsh conditions mainly because of sound problems but not only that. Personally, I enjoyed every single moment, by analyzing and living these situations on the spot. I would classify the first two as the most important ones. The first one led us to the decision in making SERPENT NOIR a live-playing group (while at first we were thinking to remain a studio band) and the second one was a reward of our devotion and also recognition of the effort we made in creating“Seeing Through The Shadow Consciousness”.

XIV) What can we expect from SERPENT NOIR in the future? I know you are in the process of creating new material; so, if you are willing to, please reveal to us the basic pylons of it. If it’s similar to the style of “Dreaming Ibligs” which we heard in the Occult Black/Death Ritual, then we are already talking about one of the most expected records of this year.

Indeed we are in the process of preproduction for our second full-length. Arguably, I consider this upcoming record as the most important release for us. It is an album very emotional, atmospheric, weird and dark but with a fairly different approach in comparison to our previous works. Above all, it is a true product of the Draconian Current. We plunge more than ever into themes, teachings and traditions regarding It. Thus, some very important persons and fraternal friends of ours will take part in this record; Thomas Karlsson (leader of the Dragon Rouge Order and a very remarkable writer), who will be responsible for most of the lyrical part; Tommie Eriksson (musician, known from his works with SATURNALIA TEMPLE, SHADOWSEEDS and previously THERION); and finally Christofer Johnsson himself, whose music in THERION is a great influence and always a Reminder for me.

Up to a point at least, it will sound close to “Dreaming Iblis” as well as the second part of “Shadow As A Portal” from our latest release. But we take things beyond that…

Gateways To The NightsideXV) As we come to an end, could you please describe us your music background. What drew you into metal, what attracted you to the dark passages of black? Which records won your attention lately and what other forms of music keep you charmed?

It was mainly the atmospheric sound of the 90s that became my first contact with metal since I grew up in this decade. The combination of melody and intense atmosphere won me. Then I found older and more classic –yet extreme in their ways– bands (such as CELTIC FROST and MERCYFUL FATE) and from there I moved to gothic rock. The first black metal record (of course I will not enter the process to analyze whether it was pure blackmetal or not) that I came across was “The Pagan Prosperity” by OLD MAN’S CHILD –which I must say I still find wonderful.

In general, what drew me in black metal and still does are the strong atmosphere as well as the potential for experimentation it provides.

I wouldn’t say I am the most informed listener or that I watch the scene closely but some records that got my attention lately are “Sunyata” of our friends ACRIMONIOUS, the outstanding “Three Transcendental Keys” from THRONE OF KATARSIS and “Anti-cosmic Tyranny” from AMSG. I get a special feeling of charm from ritual electronic music, dark trance, ambient while I watch very closely the Japanese early 70s to early 80s scene which is a personal favorite.

XVI) Thank you very much for the communication but most of all for the music! You can close with any words you find suitable…

I thank you very much for the most interesting interview I have ever answered to. Accept my appreciation for your interest in SERPENT NOIR.

Serpent Noir @ Facebook

Serpent Noir @ MySpace

 

INTERVIEW – DAEMON WORSHIP PRODUCTIONS

•March 23, 2014 • Comments Off

If blackmetal is to be more than a metal subgenre, then it needs to be channeled through the suitable vessels. Labels that care for sales and income are not welcome here. What we need is individuals or small groups of people who embrace a certain ideology and seek to spread it to the right ears and, above all, to the eligible minds. Daemon Worship Productions is a fine example of the few labels that truly seek to walk this path and now talks to Anti-Flesh Nimbus about its philosophy…

DWP

:: Spawned from the womb of Death to spread the Word of His glory ::

I) What led to the foundation of the label? Is there a certain goal to fulfill through its releases?

The label was named & initiated by another person. I was there from the very beginning, but I wasn’t the one who created it. I didn’t take active role in the label until 1,5 years into the label’s creation and only about 2 years after the label was founded I took the label’s course in my hands. What led to it is a very complex question. We wanted to release esoterically-charged Occult and Devil-worshipping music, which was our life for years by then. We had contacts, we had ideas, we had plans. Alas, it both went according to the original idea and in my opinion also overgrew it.

A certain goal – well, yes. I have a vision in my head according to which the label is developing now. I have no desire to run a standard “underground” label, nor I know how to do that – therefore I do everything my way.

II) What is the usual process –if any– that leads to cooperating with a band? Are you open in accepting demos/promos or do you prefer to discover them by yourselves.

There is no usual process. Things just happen. I am open to accepting demos / promos & more often I discover things myself. Some people think they know what it takes to fit our roster, but they don’t.

The one thing I wish the “promo submitters” would understand is that I get sometimes 5 promo submissions per day – it is physically impossible to go through all of them without sacrificing time that could be used for other, usually more important things. Moreover, I wouldn’t have time to enjoy the music I like then!

Right now it appears like I won’t be signing anything extra for a while due to time and finances being obviously limited.

III) Where does 2014 find DAEMON WORSHIP PRODUCTIONS? Any plans ready to be shared with those that follow your cult?

Oh, 2014 finds us very busy. Along with a few vinyl pressings of our recent CD releases you are also to expect new SVARTIDAUDI, NEFANDUS and SERPENT NOIR recordings. NIGHTBRINGER will manifest a new album this year as well. A recently announced ISRATHOUM & CHALICE OF BLOOD split release is planned to be unleashed this spring. There are also quite a few things I am not yet ready to reveal, but all will be made public with time.

Nightbringer/DodsengelIV) What level of importance do you give to a band’s ideology/philosophy in order to decide whether or not it fits into the DAEMON WORSHIP legions? During the last few years it seems like a huge explosion of occult/religious currents has occurred among blackmetal and other extreme subgenres.

The ideology is important. The unity of the ideology / philosophy & music is what determines what we release. Black Metal / Death Metal IS NOT JUST MUSIC. It is a message; it’s an a(nti)political rebellion against the status-quo; it’s a vision beyond the walls of the limited and decaying world; it is a vehicle of the Kali Yuga and the Death of the Aeon; it is inner Death and Rebirth into the new Existence. It’s not for white people’s hypothetical survival, but it’s not for interracial friendship either. People who think otherwise can go do whatever, it doesn’t concern me. As far as I am concerned, DWP is a channel of the Adversarial energies. What we release must fit into the concept of our Brotherhood. No exceptions. Sounds vague? Well, I don’t care.

Yes, the scene is indeed full of pretentious pseudointellectual pseudospiritual beings, that think they know something and live their pathetic illusions of grandeur and belonging to something greater than their miserable prison of limited perception and failing logic. Unfortunately some people think that knowing a few obscure words & being able to play a few copy-cat riffs makes you a “Black Metal musician”. I say they can revel in their ignorance as much as they want.

That rant doesn’t concern genuinely dedicated bands obviously, and there are many of them as well, in Greece too! All hails to the brotherhoods of ACRIMONIOUS, EMBRACE OF THORNS, THY DARKENED SHADE and SERPENT NOIR!

In other words:

1. We don’t care if you use drugs or not;
2. We don’t care what political affiliation you have;
3. We don’t care if you want to kill yourself;
4. We don’t care what race or nationality you are;
5. We don’t care what you choose to do in your bed.

Whatever leads you to your own enlightenment is fine. Whichever path you choose is fine, as long as it leads you to your own Revelation. The Lord has many faces and forms and he reveals different things to those who behold his visions. As per Crowley’s words: “Do What Thou Wilt”. You may follow a different current or don’t follow any current at all, choosing to pave your own way (or arrange your own demise) instead – the statement is still valid.

V) Speaking of blackmetal, why does the label focus on this specific form of art? What do you believe is so special about it that has kept the attention of a small yet consistent part of the fans for about 25 years since it emerged?

Black Metal is something I’ve been listening to for years & DWP releases things that I enjoy. Just my personal preferences I guess? I listen to a lot of music of different genres though, so here the point is that it should fit the vision, the concept of the label. By this I also mean that there is some stuff that I wouldn’t release, even though I enjoy it. It’s a bit hard to explain, it’s more of an intuitive process, than a logical. A certain vibe must be present before I consider releasing something.

VI) On the other hand, even blackmetal becomes a trend during certain periods, when people, who during normal circumstances would never even have cared for it, boast on how “good” and “refreshing” the new DEAFHEAVEN or ALTAR OF PLAGUES album is. Where do you stand on that, would you consider it a plague or we should pay no attention and simply let them pass by?

Black Metal as it is looked at from the pan-Metal perspective IS a trend – and I am not interested in THAT Black Metal. I never heard either of the mentioned bands, nor read about them, so I have no idea what they are about. I do however crack a laugh now and then when I hear how another innovative band reinvents the wheel and gets promoted as a new DEATHSPELL OMEGA or WATAIN. You don’t have to be “innovative” to be “honest”. Honesty and transcendence are the two defining characteristics of Black Metal (not mythical “trueness” (bleh), which people tend to hide their inability to create art behind). It is above trends and beyond the classification / rationalization attempts.

STDVII) Back to DAEMON WORSHIP, is there any release (or releases) that you personally hold as special and feel more connected to it? Also which is your favorite DWP album cover (mine has to be SERPENT NOIR’s full length, a Timo Ketola masterpiece)?

I can’t answer to either of these questions. Some are more popular than others, some people are easier to deal with than others, but that’s it. As for the covers – we collaborated and continue to collaborate with several extremely talented artists, such as T. Ketola, M. Tinnemans, A. Held, Sekt Metastazis, Antithesis / Cold Poison, Babalon Graphics…. It’s an honour for us and I believe each of them has his own special style that contributes to the multi-faceted image of DWP.

VIII) How come you focus on CD releases? It looks as if the vinyl gets all the attention these days. Also you do not seem to care much for limited editions and all that stuff. What is wrong with you, where has the TRVE CVLT gone (joking of course)?

Unlike some people, I like CDs. I like LPs. I like tapes. Different releases might demand different formats. Vinyl is the today’s trend. I can’t say anything positive or negative about that. Most limited “die hard” editions belong to the traditional forum discipline of dick-measuring for the “fans” and are a way to make some additional money on 333 different versions for money-motivated labels. I am not interested in that. So what the “TRVE CVLT” is is still a matter of discussion.

IX) Would you consider expanding your interests as a label beyond black/death metal borders? It seems nowadays like an invisible thread is connecting these forms of music with doom/occult rock, dark ambient and neofolk. Is any of that among your immediate or mid-term plans?

We already did. We released SNAKESKIN ANGELS (occult Swedish hard-rock) and SEKTARISM (torturous and ritualistic French doom). I am not tied with genre limits. Let me tell you this. DWP is not an anti-christian label. DWP is not a Black Metal label. It’s not even a music label for me. Yes, it’s a label & it’s connected with music, but such a description is far from complete. The Devil has many faces and describing one doesn’t give you a full picture. Yet it’s His many faces that inspire us.

X) Last year’s split releases between NIGHTBRINGER/DODSENGEL and ANDRAMELECH/SERPENT NOIR were amazing, containing an aura of true collaboration and common goals between the bands in each case. Is there any more similar projects coming from DWP in the near future?

In short, yes. The ISRATHOUM & CHALICE OF BLOOD split release is coming out in the upcoming months – you might have already seen the magnificently malign cover art, which A. Held rendered for it. There is more in plans still, but you have to wait and see what exactly it will be! I’d say the idea behind DWP involves creating a union of sorts. A lot of the bands we work with share similar opinions on things, while on other details they might differ – and that’s alright! The LHP tolerates different opinions, individuality and creativity, but it also involves being open to art from the outside, so naturally a lot of things are interconnected here.

Ghost GodXI) Which non-DWP album(-s) would you feel should have been released by the label? If I was asked the same question I’d say definitely “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”, it is absolutely on the same wavelength with the vibes I get from DWP!

“Should have been” is an interesting phrase. The phrase implies in this case that the album in question, “DMDS”, should’ve been released via DWP. Which is very humbling to hear, mind you! Yet, without “DMDS” being released 2 decades ago there perhaps wouldn’t have been DWP (and many bands that we are aligned with) in the first place. So in a way it would definitely fit my concept, haha. Needless to say, I hold “DMDS” very highly and consider it one of the most important albums in both Black Metal and Death Metal. But can you imagine it not being released by Deathlike Silence? DODHEIMSGARD not being released via Malicious Records? And DEATHSPELL OMEGA, FUNERAL MIST & WATAIN not being released by NoEvDia? Things are very interlinked and the “should’ve” and “could’ve” scenarios can play many ways. Yet for whatever reason they did happen the way they did. We can change the future, but not the past – we can expand on it or learn from it. I can say that there are quite a few “old” bands that influenced me, with some of them I already cooperate – NEFANDUS and OFERMOD for once. But if I am to choose one whose releases, actions & ethic inspired me the most over all these years it would definitely be ABIGOR.

XII) Since my first encounter with DAEMON WORSHIP was “Sanguis XI” EP from SERPENT NOIR, I think the eleventh question/topic was the perfect closing of this interview. So, all that’s left now is to lay down your final words and prepare us for the holocaust to come!

Things are only going to get worse with time.

http://daemonworship.bandcamp.com/album/ascetic-temples-sacrament-of-death
http://daemonworship.bandcamp.com/album/reality-cleaver
http://daemonworship.bandcamp.com/album/emanation
http://daemonworship.bandcamp.com/album/the-synthesis-of-whore-and-beast


 

HERETIC CULT REDEEMER – Interview with Funus

•March 8, 2014 • Comments Off

The Giant Sun is bleeding and the drops are carving paths to an unknown salvation. HERETIC CULT REDEEMER, since the dawn of the previous year, have embarked upon revealing some of these paths to us and from there it’s up to each individual to make his decision. Funus, already known from his exquisite contribution to early ACRIMONIOUS releases, explains a bit further…

HCR Logo

I) …and suddenly it became HERETIC CULT REDEEMER! What “forces” were in tune in order to form this new entity? How was the specific name chosen?

Good evening Anti-Flesh Nimbus. The birth of HCR was meant to be. Personally I do not believe in luck but in the fact that we magnetize things and situations around us. As for the name, we wanted it to give an idea as to what one will hear in the record and read in the lyrics.

II) You started to make things happen in the beginning of the previous year by distributing a digital promo. What was the reception?

Yes, this is true, and you were one of the recipients. Our goal was to disseminate the band to some respected sites and labels in order to make our existence known. The reception we got was truly very positive towards our material.

HCR - Album CoverIII) How did cooperation with Iron Bonehead occur for the release of your debut full-length EP? Will there also be editions in other formats?

The cooperation occurred in the traditional way: We sent the promo – the label was interested – the LP was released. I.Bh. is a well-respected label as far as we are concerned so had no second thoughts about it. As for other formats, it has just been released on CD by the rising Hellthrasher Productions. So far, we have not been in contact with anyone for a possible tape edition.

IV) The tracks of the full-length are “painted” from the bold presence of the lead guitar, which makes several “disharmonic” maneuvers. Am I right if I say that this element intensifies in a way the narrative aspect of your music?

This is just how it is! The music simply flows from our inner selves. I cannot imagine any other way to describe this narrative aspect as you say it.

V) Although appearing straight-forward at first, the songs unravel various folds during each listening. I believe you have achieved something rare; that is to draw the listener’s attention and slowly initiate them in your universe.

This is exactly what we aimed at through our music. We tried not to write a one-dimensional record. Our goal was for each hearing to be a new experience for the listener.

HCR @ Occult Black/Death RitualVI) Your vocals -I would say- are defined from an otherworldly aura and are in no way the typical screams/growls that one can find in tons along today’s blackmetal. Do you have to transcend to some specific spiritual state in order to perform like that?

For a start, thank you very much. I believe what you mention is obligatory. Spiritual concentration is, for me, the means to connect your material essence with the Divine.

VII) I have to confess that I enjoy in particular the slow parts of your music. In the future will there be more passages like those of the tormenting and ultra-heavy “Oldest Of Times” and “Unknown Salvation”

Slow parts are one of the many realities of HERETIC CULT REDEEMER. For sure there will be similar parts in future releases.

VIII) Let’s switch, for a while, to the lyrical aspect, which I imagive you hold almost as high as the music. What philosophical/occult currents will one encounter in the texts of HERETIC CULT REDEEMER?

The lyrics are mainly influenced from the so-called destructive philosophers, as well as theosophy and the two forms of kabbalism.

IX) As a continuation of the above, please allow me to make a special reference here: “Ochra spirocheti infects the pantheon of heroes / a slap in the face of the poimnion”. Would you like to elaborate some more?

The specific track is called “Concatenation”. It speaks about the marriage of man with the serpent. Ochra spirochete is the cause for syphilis. The sexual act is the mystery through which we infect of awaken our consciousness-soul-self.

X) Equally impressive is the artwork of the LP and of course I am referring to the provocative image of Jesus, in a position that unifies yoga and the “as above so below” sign of the hands, while he is surrounded by two serpents. Is this concept about a perception regarding unification of different paths to higher spiritual states?

Yes, I believe that things around us hold both facets. Each person is forced to find his/her own path be it the left or right one (or both of them), to achieve awakening of the spirit. The fact that we have been born and raised in the western world probably makes western types of such arts more fitting for our perception but this does not forbid any other approach.

HCR @ Occult Black/Death RitualXI) Moving towards the end of this conversation, a few months ago you made your concert debut as a part of the Occult Black/Death Metal Ritual organized under the aegis of ACHERONTAS. What experiences did you gain as a band from that show? I am aware of the sound problems on stage but for us watching from below your performance was great, to the point that it would impossible for someone (not knowing it a priori) to guess that it was the first live appearance of the band.

First of all, we want to thank the coven of ACHERONTAS for putting faith in us. Our experiences were mostly educative. We managed to overcome all this setbacks you mentioned and I want to believe we produced the atmosphere, the power and the energy in the way we intended it to be.

XII) Thank you for the time dedicated to this conversation with Anti-Flesh Nimbus. The final words are yours…

I thank you for the stage you provided us. “I do not follow anyone and I do not want anyone to follow me, what I want if each one to follow their own selves”. The oldest of times shall rise!

Contact & info:
heretic.cult.redeemer@gmail.com

http://hereticcultredeemer.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heretic-Cult-Redeemer/108482089276374
http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Heretic_Cult_Redeemer
http://www.youtube.com/user/HereticCultRedeemer

 
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