Forged of darkness by a mysterious collective in the deepest caverns of the Spanish black metal underground, AWAKETH summon nought but your death – and by your death I mean a withering assailment by visceral, haunted black metal from the most ancient woodlands and sulfurous bowels of hell, reeking of blood sacrifice and primitive, brutal magicks.
True cultists will feel the energies invoked as though the last quarter century never happened. Indeed, to these men, it may as well not have. The press release states that “AWAKETH is an entity formed against nowadays black metal’s relativism and open-minded “scene”, and that is a mission statement that they have taken very fucking seriously. Their corrosive, old-school violence is a true delight to listen to – if “delight” is even the correct word, because nothing in the conjurations of AWAKETH is positive in any way, shape or form. The torrent of negativity is relentless and uncaring; the listener assaulted with pure hatred all recorded in an undisclosed location in the penetrating depths of the Galizian forest. Yes – these are special energies indeed.
Last year saw the unfettering (and subsequent sell-out) of the initial two AWAKETH demos offered on tape format, by In Pulverem Mortis and Tour de Garde, respectively. If you missed them, fear not because the unflinching propagators of underground malignance Harvest Of Death / Signal Rex knew that these works of stygian art demanded further circulation and attention – ergo, we are proud and privileged to present you with the full stream of the simply and aptly entitled Awaketh, a remastered compilation of both demos with the addition of fresh tracks ‘Nocturnal Lust’ and ‘Burning Golgotha’ recorded exclusively for this lavish vinyl edition.
So listen below and read on for an interview conducted with one of the shadowed beings behind the attack, then be sure to order your copy when it becomes available on June 11th. Reawaken to the sheer force of pure black metal… the way it was, and always has been.
BMD – Greetings Awaketh, it’s an honour to speak with you today for the release of your self-titled remastered demo compilation, via the great Signal Rex. First, for those unaware – it is noted that Awaketh is against nowadays black metal’s relativism and open-minded “scene”. Are you in active opposition? Would you see black metal undergo a regression, to return to what it once was?
AWAKETH – It’s not about going back, return, or blah blah blah, it’s about playing Black Metal as it was originally conceived. Black metal must be dirty and violent, and it stops being Black Metal when it loses those elements, it’s that simple. Under these principles Awaketh was founded, pure and raw Black Metal with a production in accordance with that darkness and cruelty. Nowadays it seems that Black Metal has stopped being dangerous and has become something accessible to the public, somehow we want to put violence and aggression again on the table, principles on which the tradition of this style is based.
Whilst I have been following what you do, as yet, I have no idea who you are – you have remained anonymous. Who is behind these diabolical conjurations? Is remaining in the shadows important to you? Will the veil of secrecy one day be lifted?
– Awaketh is not a normal band, we cannot really consider it as such, but rather an entity in which different individuals take part when they are called to arms clandestinely. There are not frequent rehearsals, an established line-up, or regular work. It just happens when it has to. It is important that people who participate in this project stay on the sidelines, simply because it is not necessary, it does not contribute anything. People who have worked with Awaketh in one way or another participate in other bands on the Spanish black and death metal scene, but nothing more needs to be said. They are just weapons under the discipline of darkness and chaos.
I’m especially interested in your creative process – all songs here were recorded “through a primitive process somewhere in the Galizian forests”. This sounds like a genuine version of the rumours that surrounded Ulver‘s Nattens Madrigal. What is the summoning of an Awaketh recording like?
– The creation process of these demos was totally explosive and spontaneous. The idea was to build something dark, evil and fierce, so it was clear that the sound must be primitive. That does not mean that it is badly played or made to camouflage the limitations of the performers, it was simply clear that the composition and recording process itself had to be special. In these recordings you can perceive something magical and evil, and it has a lot to do with the production in which there are uncontrolled frequencies and sounds that bring that mystical element to this recording. The essence of the atmosphere we lived during those days can be perceived and felt, there is something perverse that seems to emanate from those demos.
The sessions in which these songs were created were very intense, since there was the idea that it had to be as impulsive, primeval and straight as possible, and in order to achieve it the whole process had to be fast. It was important that the production defines the very essence of the music, just like that Ulver album, but that it wasn’t uncontrolled noise either. It is clear that it is not suitable for everyone, in fact, it is a good filter for weak ears.
Would you say that being immersed in the forest is completely necessary to achieve the desired mindset to produce your art? From where do you derive inspiration to create?
– We understand the forest as a place of death, not as an idealized place full of shitty trolls. Anyone who has spent several days on the mountain knows that it is a place where one can die, a wicked and sinister place, and that is the part of the forest that has influenced us. Death lurks in the corrupted soil and one can inhale his last breath in that place.
What sort of gear do you use? Do you record directly to tape?
– We can only say that it was recorded in single tracks, with the most basic resources (in a totally intentional way) and looking for a certain spontaneity. It was a primitive, basic and intuitive process.
The tracks from the second demo somehow seem to be even harder, darker, more wretched and more destructive than the first demo – whilst also showing slightly increased nuance. With Awaketh being firmly entrenched in the most primitive old school sound, is “progression” something you think of at all when recording new material?
– No, there is no intention to progress or evolve. We are deeply conservative and uncompromising. In fact, there is usually no prior intention when composing begins, we simply let Awaketh mark the way forward. There is usually a certain point of improvisation when composing, so we leave “progression” to others.
The two newly recorded tracks ‘Nocturnal Lust’ and ‘Blood Golgotha’ are the filthiest of all, and might even be the best Awaketh material yet. Could you tell us a little about these tracks and their inclusion on this compilation? Will they remain exclusive to this coming LP, and are they a good sign of what to expect from you in future?
– Both songs were composed once Harvest of Death wanted to release this material. Each song tries to recreate the essence of each of the demos, it is raw, dark and evil material. We thought it would be interesting to include two more songs so that somehow there would be some extra element in this edition. Both demos were released in tape format before by two different labels, In Pulverem Mortis and Tour de Garde, so we thought that would be nice to include an extra element.
The songs are also not trying to create a musical line for the future, they were simply composed like that. In future works the music will continue to be furious, sinister and unsuitable for delicate ears. There is no intention to change the essence of Awaketh, neither in the musical nor in the production.
Another thing Awaketh seems in fierce opposition to is abrahamic religion. Would you consider yourselves Satanists, or are you of another spiritual persuasion?
– Awaketh is an entity that praises the figure of Lucifer on the decomposed body of the Hebrew bastard.
Witnessing this carnage you summon in a live setting would be immense. Will Awaketh ever be a live entity?
– It would be tricky as the lineup is not stable, but there is nothing that can be ruled out about Awaketh. In any case, it would be an event that would have to meet certain characteristics to ensure the proper atmosphere. We don’t like to breathe the same air as that of people who are not one hundred percent with the essence of Awaketh. Time will tell.
And finally – after this compilation, what lies on the horizon for Awaketh? These demos are fucking excellent (especially in remastered form), and I’m definitely keen to see what you can do in a longer form recording – are you intending to release a full-length album sometime soon?
– The future of Awaketh is somewhat uncertain since there is no traditional band activity, so it is difficult to anticipate actions. Awaketh will appear and disappear when the forces that surround him decide, but new expressions of darkness will take hold for sure. There is some material already composed and surely there will be new releases. A full album is an option, but other “small” editions will come first. In any case, there is no pressure whatsoever, it will just happen if it must, but there is an intention of keeping the beast alive.
Sincerest thanks for your time once again. Total support, cannot wait for more Awaketh. Any final words or wisdom for us all?
– If it can bleed, it must bleed; if it breathe, it will die.
Awaketh releases June 11th via Signal Rex.
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