Some albums are, despite the creator’s intentions, simply background music. Others demand a little more involvement, they may grab you in a certain way. Then there are those rare, dark gems that speak to your very soul; from the moment you push play you become lost to this plane of existence. As you sit and listen it transcends mere attention and you become unwittingly and totally immersed in the experience; transported into the tapestry woven by the songs, another time and place. Relatively speaking there are only a handful of artists in the history of Black Metal that can or have achieved this effect. You know them. Now, with his stunning latest release ‘Forestpaths’, the enigmatic Severoth may just be added to those esteemed ranks.
Surpassing his first two already excellent releases under this project with ease, the Ukrainian maestro has crafted something truly breathtaking. You may recall that BMD recently shared a track from this new album; however, a release this beautiful deserves a much deeper look. Read on as we sit down with the man behind it all to glean further insight into its etherial, windswept mysteries and the mind of its creator.
Greetings Severoth, sincerest thanks for taking the time to speak to us. How are you, how is life?
– Hi! I’m ok. Thanks!
Your third full-length with the project ‘Severoth’ has recently been completed, ‘Forestpaths’. I dare say it’s a masterpiece. How do you feel about the album?
– I think I have achieved all goals that I wanted. Many days and nights were spent to build it. I like this album very much. It has part of my soul.
‘Forestpaths’ is again released through Werewolf Promotion, as with your other albums. They have some excellent releases, but what draws you in particular to keep working with them?
– We have strong partnership from 2009 or 2010, since he released first demo tape of Endless Battle. WP is great, dedicated and reliable guy, who understands this type of music.
One of the incredible things about your music is its ability to take you far away. To make you forget everything; you’re in another world while you listen, the world of the music. Is this intentional? When you write are you consciously trying to transport the listener, or is that phenomenon merely a result of you conveying the music and feelings in your head?
– I always do all music for myself at first place. I just build song, and then arrange it. When I feel some mood of riff, or hear melody in my head trying to “catch” it. I spend much time working with “atmosphere” of album, but I don’t create particular mood in purpose, I just transport my minds and feeling of this world in musical form.
The themes of Severoth are deeply rooted in nature. What is it that makes the natural world such an inspiration to you, and to black metal in general?
– When night falls, she cloaks the world in impenetrable Darkness… A chill rises from the soil and contaminates the air. Suddenly… Life has new meaning.
Why did you adopt the name Severoth, and what significance does it hold for you?
– It was when I was 16 or 17 years old. “Sever” is North in several languages so basically it’s made up word, but for me it’s like my second name already. For now it contains all specters of emotions that my albums can give.
You have a strong creative partnership with your wife: she is a great artist in her own right and has provided the incredible artwork for your projects. Do you feel it has been of greater benefit to work with someone so close to you, as she would know you and your music so well?
– Yes, no one will describe my music in visual form better than UD. I just got lucky here… She is great artist. And also I can minimize influence on me and my music from other people. And this is important.
You have several other projects: Morok, Galdur and you also play drums in Endless Battle. What is your creative process like? Do you sit down to work on one project specifically, or does the art just flow across multiple projects when inspiration strikes?
– When I compose some riff or melody I already feel for what project it will be, so I record all this small parts and sort it for every project. When I feel that I have enough material – I start to work with and album concept and ignore all other projects until I finish album. Usually at first I build demo and then listen it for some time and throw away half of material…
Severoth’s music invokes strong feelings of solitude. Would you consider yourself a naturally solitary person?
– Yes. I don’t like cities and people. I’m trying to avoid it as much as possible. Grim silence of mountains or whisper of winds in the forest is definitely for me.
You’re a talented multi instrumentalist and play everything on your solo projects. Do you find it easier to write the parts for some instruments than others?
– Some instruments just made composing process easier or more interesting. I think that around 70% of material I compose on guitar and rest on keyboards.
When did you first pick up an instrument and what inspired you to start playing?
– My father was a drummer, so I grew up in musical atmosphere of Hard Rock/Glam. First were drums when I was a kid and then synth in around 17 years old.
I’ve noticed you had a great track included on ‘A Tribute To Summoning’, but you have now decided Severoth will no longer contribute to compilations or tributes. Is there a specific reason behind this?
– Yes, I participated in this tribute with both Galdur and Severoth. It was fun at first but then I just realized that I don’t very like to do cover songs. And also this compilation thing is not for me – too many bands and all with different atmosphere and level of quality. I think for me is better to do full albums where I can do whatever I want.
Is there any possibility of Severoth ever becoming a live entity, or will it forever remain a studio project only?
– Never say never. But for now I don’t have such plans.
What is in your future plans, will we be expecting more Severoth?
– For now I completed album of my new project BEZMIR and it will be released in summer, also I have many material for GALDUR and MOROK. So maybe something from that will be ready this year. For Severoth – It was pretty huge work and I need to rest from it. I think that those 3 albums of Severoth have many common things and they can be called a trilogy. So next album is new beginning that requires different approach. We will see.
And finally: What do you believe is the true spirit of black metal?
– For me it’s way of life. You just feel it or not.
Thanks again for speaking with us. I wish you all the best. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
– Be yourselves.
Purchase/stream Severoth’s stunning new album from Bandcamp here.
Purchase physical copies of ‘Forestpaths’ from Werewolf Promotion here.
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