Solfernus are back. Not only with their first album in twelve years, but also back from last rearing their devilish heads in our Sathanas Records label spotlight a few weeks ago. I enjoyed the Czech black thrash horde’s brand of melodic and diabolical aggression while creating that article, so when I got the opportunity to interview Igor Hubík (also of a little band you may have heard of called Root) about their ripping latest album ‘Neoantichrist’, I jumped at the chance to delve into the mind behind the mayhem.
From the nuclear-bomb energy of tracks like ‘Between Two Deaths’ to the anthemic storytelling vibe of ‘Once Upon A Time In The East’, the album is a stirring listen; so check out the tracks scattered throughout and buckle in as Black Metal legend Igor takes us through all things Solfernus and more.
Hello Igor! Sincerest thanks for speaking with us. First up, a question I’m sure you’ve been asked many times: it’s been twelve years since the last Solfernus offering… What took so long?
– Yeah, nobody asks the music thing as the first question but twelve years long pause between albums. Let’s fix it little bit. SOLFERNUS was active another three seasons after the debut album’s release. We played shows and made two videoclips, answered some interviews, appeared also in music TV channel… We started to work on the second album in 2008 but never finished it because of our own inability. Our drummer left the band etc… I wrote this new album during 2015 so the whole break between albums is pretty long but between band’s activities shorter but you’re right, still long too 😉
The album is titled ‘Neoantichrist’. It’s probably not a reference to the new coming of Solfernus, returned to destroy Christianity and bring hell on Earth, but it may very well be! What is the meaning behind the title?
– This title, or lets say a word composition, is such a hint at mainstream medias. So many people are able to follow and mainly repeat stupid thoughts and words which they read in newspaper or watch in TV, actually online too. Media is a new and dangerous gun for human being. We still hear and read also a “labeling” of people by journalists or politics and these idiots scream out perhaps every day these words with added “neo”. So we can learn from the press that there exist neomarxists, neoliberals, neonazis, neobolsheviks… Guess what?! So we have “Neoantichrist”! This lyrics is describing my view of actual downtowns’ consuming life absolutely dependent on medias, commercials, false celebrities but also hundreds years innocent people following tendency – a religion.
The release as a whole is quite dynamic and multifaceted, with many different tempos and atmospheres swirling throughout. Who handled songwriting duties this time around?
– I wrote all songs and lyrics and can say that it’s really inspiring and thrilling process. I wrote several songs in the past but usually not lyrics. That’s why I decided to make it with this album. We worked quite hard on vocals and you can hear the pronunciation of each single word or a type which is not a rule in this genre.
The album explores many themes and has some great lyrics, but I’d like to ask about one track in particular: What’s the story behind ‘Once Upon A Time In The East’, does it reference a particular event?
– “Once Upon A Time In The East” is the story about a young German soldier fighting during the World War II at Russian freezing winter battlefield. It is not about a particular event but simply inspired by confessions of those military heroes who survived this horrible insanity. When watching these documentaries, I was always quite shocked not only with unbelievable camera shots but also by old veterans who cried while they were talking about their memories. I must add that this is not so popular and often discussed theme ’cause people sometimes don’t want to see specific facts and parts of mankind’s history.
You’re also in longstanding Black Metal institution Root, who have been at it since way back in 1987. What originally drew you personally to explore the depths of black metal, and do you still feel the same?
– Can’t remember what exactly drew me into this genre but I guess it went step by step, maybe album by album? I still like this kind of art, you can recognize it from “Neoantichrist” songs’ collection and as you have mentioned, also according to my activities in that longstanding Black Metal institution. Anyway, this signification sounds killer man! We must use it for some product’s description 😉
This time around you’ve also brought over Paul from Root on drums, which I would imagine you are very happy with. What was the story behind this?
– I had in mind more drummers for this album because originally these songs should be a part of the brand new nameless project. I asked him as the first one to record drums for a bit wilder music than we play with ROOT. He was very into this stuff and recommended also the Ch-Records Studio for the final record.
While you can still hear some similarities, in comparison to the epic current feel of Root, Solfernus definitely plays with more chaos and aggression, like it wants to kick your fucking ass. Is it easy to put yourself in a different head-space when you write for each project? Do you approach each time you write with clear intent, or does the music just flow naturally and end up how it will?
– Both bands are quite different from each other with regard to the musical direction and lyrics. I miss more catchy and brutal music in ROOT, that’s why SOLFERNUS album was realized. Wanna to create fast, riffing and pulsing sharp compositions with screaming vocals and refrains. ROOT is going by its original way but I want to make songs like “Glorifired” or “My Aurorea” too. The composing of fresh songs goes naturally, no problem 😉
I believe you have recently filmed a video for the song ‘Mistresserpent’. Can you tell us a little about this? When will we get to see it?
– It took two days of filming right shots and we are going to make cuts and some another details this month. I think that the final videoclip could be online in Spring and can promise that you will see also beautiful women in “Mistresserpent”…
The album is out now on Satanath Records; how has it been to work with them?
– Current cooperation between Satanath Records and SOLFERNUS is going well. We are trying to promote “Neoantichrist” album as much as possible and the label did amazing job with CD itself, it looks more than perfect. They have also good digital distribution and the whole album is available through Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp and other important web sites.
Why did you originally decide to form Solfernus, and do those reasons still hold true on this latest release?
– Never thought about “why” man, probably some need to create black metal music along with those comrades who participate in that line-up. It was meant to be a special side project of musicians coming from their bands who joined forces in SOLFERNUS. Now we are just continuing with this art and philosophy on “Neoantichrist” album and I guess you can hear that our direction is still right.
Having completed a new album after so much time passing, how do you feel when listening to the older Solfernus works?
– We can feel that all three SOLFERNUS records are musically and lyrically connected with main points and I must add we still love to listen the very first EP “Diabolic Phenomenon” as well as “Hysteria in Coma” album.
And finally: Is this the full return of Solfernus? What’s next for the band?
– Due to a strange career of the band, we should not promise any concrete plans. There are some ideas which we would like to realize but instead of promises, let’s wait for real acts. The future will show everything else as we know from the past.
Thanks for your time Igor! Any final words?
– Thanx for the opportunity to present SOLFERNUS to the readers of the webzine with such a fantastic name! We live Black Metal Daily!
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