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…
:: 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.
IV) 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.
VII) 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.
XI) 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.