The Blood of Life – An Interview with Helgafell

“At a time where cultural, historical and environmental values and heritage are often forgotten or ignored, the attempt must be made to resew what has been disregarded…”

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I’ve spoken of this before, but once again: it’s not hard to tell when a project has integrity. You can just feel when the artist responsible for it believes in their message. Listening through ‘Landvaettir’, the debut atmospheric/pagan black metal album by Helgafell and sole work of UK man Feigsfar, you can hear in each note and every word that he has poured his heart and soul into his creation. The Pagan atmospheres and themes are sincere and give extra depth to its resonance; this man is living what he speaks of and it informs his art in a beautiful and compelling way. This IS the man and his beliefs. This is his life.

Originally released digitally back in March, it’s not hard to recognize the strength, quality and potential of this debut once you hear it and one who immediately did was Mark at the great Fólkvangr Records, who is now bestowing upon it the lavish tape treatment it deserves and aiding in spreading the word of Helgafell to the masses. The tape drops tomorrow (in a limit of 50, so sign up for an email notification here if you don’t want to miss out), and ahead of its release we were fortunate enough to grab a few words with Feigsfar, the man behind it all. Read on below.

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Greetings Feigsfar! I hope you are well, thanks for taking the time to speak to us. Your debut album ‘Landvaettir’ was released digitally a couple of months ago now. Are you happy with the album and how it has been received?

– Hello, thanks for your questions, I am glad to hear you enjoyed the album. I am happy with the feedback I have received overall. It’s been a long time coming for me to finally release an album of my music after playing for around 10 years, so it’s a good feeling. I am hoping to have used this first release as a primary stepping stone towards getting my foot in the door as a Black Metal musician and musician in general. I have learnt my way along throughout the writing and recording process, as well as the communicative nature of having a solo project. YouTube channels such as Atmospheric Black Metal Albums, Metal Vault, Pagan Music Albums and Symphonic Black Metal Albums have all released my album on their channels, so I have been pleasantly surprised. I have received a lot of support so far and I look forward to working on more music for the future.

Helgafell is solely your work, and sounds remarkably accomplished for a debut. Can you shine a little light upon your musical beginnings and the origins of the project for us?

– My musical beginnings were primarily drums and guitar as a young teenager, which then evolved into any instrument I could get my hands on that I liked the sound of. Going from more mainstream metal, I quickly found my way into Death Metal and Black Metal as a mid/late teen. Since then, at the age of 24, I have stuck to enjoying those genres as well as Jazz, Blues, Classical and especially Folk!

The origins of Helgafell started in about mid 2017 when I decided to do a Black Metal project based on important issues I hold dear and around a solid theme. I created the project from within the spare room of my flat and therefore in the comfort of my own environment, where I felt I was able to comfortably express what I wanted to convey in the music. The primary goal for this first release was to create an atmospheric Black Metal sound with themes based around Heathenism, Nature, Environmentalism, Heritage and Autonomy.

Given that you alone play all instruments on the album, what is your composition process like? When do you know it’s time to work on Helgafell?

– My composition process always starts with me humming a riff in my head that I come up with when I’m at work, or out on a walk in the woods. It seems to happen easier away from home than at home. I think for me, being out of the house allows my mind to think more freely and come up with something I can take back to my writing and recording area. The composing itself is always done firstly on Guitar Pro 5, as I think it is a fantastic platform to write down the skeleton of your songs to refer back to and add to. Actual recording on DAWs (I use Cubase), isn’t done until the actual recording process later on.

Personally, my favourite thing about the album is your use of deep, affecting melody such as the plaintive single notes featuring in the first section of opener ‘The Envious Deed’ and then recurring throughout. This may sound a little odd but I find it pulls similar strings within me as older doom like early Katatonia or Paradise Lost. That feeling draped elegantly throughout your stunning and robust pagan black metal is simply wonderful, packing a huge, emotional yearning for times gone by and places not yet reached. It’s clear this is a very personal album; what do you yourself take from it or feel when you listen back to it?

– A lot of compliments there, thank you! I like to think I have released somewhat of a unique album, with influences of more than just a few bands in there. One of the main things I take from the album when listening back is the reoccurring melodic parts as my intention was to add thin, treble-based layers of melody that stuck out in the mix and gave a nice contrast to the rest of the heavier, distorted sound.

Ryo of Pure Wrath did a fantastic job of the mixing and mastering as well, and that’s also something I always remember whenever I put the album on.

You can also tell the lyrics are deeply intertwined with/expressive of your own beliefs and philosophies; reverent tales of Norse mythology like ‘Discovery and Sacrifice’ which speaks of Odin‘s discovery of the Runes and the god “sacrificing himself to himself”. How important is Norse Mythology and the old ways to you, and how do they feature in your life?

– As a Pagan, (and Norse Paganism being of a big thing for me) I have always gained inspiration from the philosophies, teachings, and ways that that specific branch of Paganism offers.

Aspects such as the Nine Noble Virtues and the Havamal stanzas are things I always relate back to in life to gain a better understanding of how to approach situations and better myself in life.

I will always believe that there is a lot that Europeans can learn from the old ways that can help to benefit them as individuals and others around them, as well as helping them to improve the areas around them and to ensure sustainability and resourcefulness within the things they do. My passion for Norse Mythology and beliefs are one of the concepts that made it significantly easier for me to write about naturally.

On the other hand, you also have tracks like the disturbing ‘Lifeblood’. In particular, can you tell us a little about the themes this song touches on and your thoughts on this?

– I consider Lifeblood to be the most ‘Black Metal’ song of the album, and it definitely the most raw. The theme for this song is based around humanity draining Earth’s resources, so I thought the title to be fitting as well as the relentlessness of the riffs to bode well with the overall emotions of the song. The actions of humanity have for a long time been an emotional thorn in my side, as I have found the stubborn ignorance of many people to be mentally draining as well as somewhat hopeless. I intended to express this within this song and I hope it came across!

Correct me if I’m wrong but the name “Helgafell” refers to the holy mountain in Iceland of the same name, where it is said not only Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir’s grave is located but also the gateway to the afterlife, and if you pilgrimage to the top without looking back, will have three wishes granted. Why did this particular mountain speak to you so? Have you ever visited, or are you planning to make the pilgrimage?

– The mountain of Helgafell was a location that stuck out to me; from the beliefs, to the location, to the aesthetics. It is a location I intend to one day visit and indeed make the same pilgrimage to! It’s not the biggest mountain, and it’s not in the most beautiful, forest-filled landscape, but the simplicity of it and the integrity of the beliefs based around it (as well as the name of course) was more than enough for me to want to name this project after it in its honour! (I was happy to see it wasn’t taken either!)

After being self-released digitally last year, Fólkvangr Records is giving ‘Landvaettir’ the beautiful cassette treatment it deserves. To paraphrase a quote I have seen from label owner Mark, your album “pretty much sums up” what he’s trying to do with the label both “musically and aesthetically”. How do you feel about that, and what has it been like working with Mark and Fólkvangr?

– Mark has been fantastic with his show of enthusiasm, honour and support towards my project. I was delighted to see the artists involved in his previous releases and was more than happy to work with him. He doesn’t ask for money and puts a lot of time and effort into his work, and I feel that shows. I’m thoroughly looking forward to the tape release and to add Helgafell to his list of artists.

I was honoured when he spoke of my project fitting into his plethora of artists and his vision so well. I can only say thank you to him for his support thus far!

The album has undergone a cover art change for the physical release. Both are fantastic, can you tell us a little about both the original Fran Shum artwork and the new, more classically styled cover?

– I have previously worked with Fran on a death metal project a few years ago. She had drawn up and nearly finished a fantastic, gory impalement-filled piece which unfortunately wasn’t used, due to me and the vocalist falling out! Since then, I made it a primary goal to have her art work on at least one of my releases. She is young, and naturally gifted as an artist with a sub-conscious flare-filled vision. Her artwork I felt worked very well for the mp3 and hopefully CD release. For the tapes, Mark was going with a general artistic theme specific to the couple of tapes coming out at the time, and we conversed about using different art for the cassette version. After pondering for a while, I decided that it was common for many bands to have at least 2 different art works for various formats of release, and the art he chose I felt was simple yet darkly elegant and aesthetically worked much better for the size of a cassette.

In my research for this piece, I stumbled across your sizeable Bandcamp collection. There are some solid gems in there; are there any recent releases in particular we should check out that have either inspired or affected you in any way, through the creation of ‘Landvaettir’ or otherwise?

– I have many fantastic albums that I have purchased through Bandcamp which have in some way influenced me in the creation of my debut album, as well as in the present and I’m sure future.

Just to name a few: Rur – ‘Rur‘, Blencathra – ‘These Bones Became The Roots of The Forest‘, Beorn’s Hall – ‘Mountain Hymns‘, Ildra – ‘Edelland‘, Pure Wrath/Onirism Split – ‘Endless Journey‘, Hermóđr – ‘The Howling Mountains‘, Grimoire – ‘L’aorasie des spectres reveurs‘.

Lastly, aside from being an excellent album in its own right, listening through ‘Landvaettir’ you can’t help but feel that this is only the beginning. What comes next for Helgafell? Are there plans for a follow up record?

– In terms of a follow up, I am hoping to get the bulk of an EP recorded for the remainder of this year, as well as perhaps a split written with Blencathra. We’ll have to wait and see! Ideas are always flowing, so that’s always good.

Once again, sincerest thanks for your time Feigsfar, it’s been a pleasure. Any final words?

Thank you for the interview, as well as yours and everyone else’s continuing support!

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Purchase Helgafell‘s ‘Landvaettir’ on cassette from Fólkvangr Records here and a digital copy from their own Bandcamp here.

Support Helgafell:

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Like Black Metal Daily on Facebook for more kvlt sounds and tonal blasphemy.

Email: blackmetaldaily@outlook.com

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Fear & Loathing in Traralgon East – An Interview with Vahrzaw

“Old, bitter, late to parties and with one foot in an early grave…”

…So says the press release for ‘Husk’, the latest and third full-length album overall from Aussie bastards Vahrzaw. Some bands might be a little put out by that description, but Vahrzaw are not your average band: They’ve just celebrated their 26th year of existence, play the type of ripping riff-loaded old-school atomic black death that could level a small town, and do not give one single fuck what you or anyone else thinks. Consisting of esteemed axe wielder Scott Williams (ex-Elegeion, ex-Army Corpse), throatsman/bass general George Van Doorn and master skin pulveriser Brandon Gawith (Eskhaton, Hobbs Angel of Death), I had the dubious fortune of getting all three members to sit down at the same time to talk shit about… Well, everything really. The result is something… Special? Read on below to see for yourself. It may be my favourite thing published on BMD yet.

“Tired of trends and half-hearted ‘extreme metal’? Want ugly music, for ugly people, by ugly people? Then dive into the 36 throttling minutes that is ‘Husk’ and hail the legacy that is VAHRZAW!”

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Hails Vahrzaw! Hope you’re all well. Your new third full-length ‘Husk’ is finally out through Sweden’s Blood Harvest Records. How does it feel that this thing is finally seeing some air?

GVD: It feels like that time we broke down on our tour of Antarctica and had to “keep warm”; something’s not quite right.

SW: Definitely won’t fall for that again. Well, I think relieved is the word I would use. Should’ve been out last year. It’s been complete since August 2017. I’m not too sure what the delay has been. You can tell where we are on their totem pole of significance.

BG: Get fucked.

The first two teaser tracks were great, black death assaults both heavily riff-driven and old school as fuck. A natural follow on from the excellent ‘Twin Suns and Wolves Tongues‘, and possibly even more violent. For those yet to hear the whole thing: is this what they can expect from the rest of the album, or is it packed with ballads and yearning emotional atmospheres?

GVD: Thanks. It’s all about the riffs these days. We’re the John West of Blackened Death Metal – it’s the riffs Vahrzaw rejects that makes Vahrzaw the best. Sadly, there are no ballads. I keep saying “If Primordial got away with doing a god-awful ballad in 1993, then we can do one now. It’s 2018! People are open-minded.” But, Scott refuses.

SW: Ballads are for poser wimps and symphonic power metal fans… who are poser wimps too. Yeah, I think this one is more focused in its aggression. It has to supersede the preceding record. I’m not a big fan of emotional atmospheric-type black metal… or emotions in general, which can be difficult in this age when everyone is a fucking sook.

BG: Get fucked.

Press play on ‘Fiends in the Ether’ for example and you’re immediately struck by how good it sounds while it rips your face off. Where was the album produced, are you personally happy with the sound?

GVD: The album was recorded in a studio in Gippsland (i.e., Spectrum Studios) and mixed in our Producer’s studio. I like how it sounds (e.g., it’s heavy and clear given everything that’s going on), but I was fighting off a lung infection during recording so there are vocal parts that I’m not overly impressed by.

SW: Yeah, it’s good. We run on a very tight budget so we don’t have the luxury of time. It is what it is. The pre-conceived notions I had before recording are forgotten. The guitars are nice and clear without drowning anything out. There’s one shit note bend… but fuck it eh. We’ve been working with Wayne and Brett at Spectrum for over a decade now. They’ve run a live music TV show out of the same studio the last few years.

BG: Get fucked.

What was the writing and recording process like? Has it changed a great deal from the early material, or even from ‘Twin Suns…’?

GVD: Writing takes a lot longer these days. We used to just throw riffs together, but we don’t do that anymore. Lyrics are the same. I wasn’t too concerned in the early days, but now my goal is to try to write better songs than on the previous release. Scott writes most of the music so he can describe his process.

SW: We’re better in the studio. We rehearse everything to perfect prior to it. A budget forces that line of attack. Writing… it’s a longer process. I try to weed out overly long parts (*coughs* Enslaved) or excess rubbish. Make the tracks more concise and punchy. Long songs are boring. Look at Iron Maiden… they have an 18min song about hot air balloons for fucks sake. Hot air balloons!! Most of the riffs are written with a looper these days, which makes arranging more interesting as I can split parts up and write new parts for parts that where once part of the parts I originally split. But in essence, it’s still me and a guitar sitting in my lounge writing riffs, exactly like the ’90s. I get a lot of ideas on the road in the middle of the night and I’m usually writing something down after work at 2am.

BG: Getting fucked up.

Taking into account a couple of line-up shuffles and name changes in the early days and then a few years hiatus, you fellas have been at it for over 25 years now. When you were fresh faced young ruffians, did you ever think you’d be still doing this decades later?

GVD: No.

SW: 26 now since forming. I think 19 active… and no.

BG: I wasn’t even a sperm cell.

You guys must have some stories after so long in the game. What’s the craziest thing you’ve had happen or seen in your past quarter century of raising hell?

GVD: I once saw a YouTube video of a rabbit fighting a snake. It was pretty crazy.

SW: I saw a giant seagull murder a pigeon in Venice… right there in front of me. That was as intense as the gelato I was eating at the time. We once hired a girl to dress as a cat and piss into… no, wait, that was Mötley Crüe. In all honesty, I’m quite reclusive and we don’t tour or play live often so there isn’t much to tell. I hate travelling.

BG: Seeing some dude slice his arms with a hunting knife then snorting speed from it.

I’ve heard whispered talk that you’re actually a band of intellectuals. Can you confirm or deny these rumours?

GVD: I can confirm that we deny these slanderous allegations.

SW: If ‘intellectual’ means watching Netflix and not regular shitty poor-person TV, then yes.

BG: Get fucked.

I believe your previous drummer Ben was also legally blind, which I find amazing. Did this present any particular challenges at any point?

GVD: He was legally blind, but he had an eye-transplant. An anonymous gorilla that was put down for inappropriately touching a zoo guest donated its eyes. As for challenges, it was always risky letting him drive to gigs while Scott and I got drunk in the back of the car.

SW: Fucking hell. Risky alright. It was a calculated risk though, being intellectuals and all that. The potential factors at play were discussed beforehand. What a whimsical hellride.
…and yes, moving that drum kit around was a real fucker.

BG: I’m blind all the time, does that count?

Ben was replaced in 2012 by Gawith. Did he have to go through any hazing rituals or perform any feats of strength to make the cut?

GVD: The standard. Take the drumstick up to the logo. Note: it’s been brought to my attention that some people may not know what this means. In the olden days, some young ladies wanted to get backstage to meet their favourite band member (it happens all the time at BM gigs). To do so, the road crew would politely ask these young women to insert a drumstick into a particular orifice. If the woman could take the drumstick to the logo, she got to go backstage. So, I’m saying that Brandon had to insert a drumstick into an orifice to get into the band. Explaining jokes makes them less funny, which (dangerously) assumes this joke WAS funny.

SW: I’d never heard that. “Can you make your mouth into a perfect circle” was the line I used… well would have… if metal had groupies and I wasn’t also a blithering idiot. Brandon is a gun on the kit. Kills it. He’s doing the last Hobbs shows soon and has a new album out with Eskhaton too. Ben is now a lawyer, the true dark side.

Who is the main lyricist in the band and where do they draw inspiration from, particularly for the themes present on ‘Husk’? And fuck it, I have to ask: Is ‘The Epitaph of Garmonbozia (Part I & II)’ a Twin Peaks reference?

GVD: I am. I wouldn’t trust the other two to write a review of a Grug book, let alone lyrics that I want to sing. I used to sing about Satan, ghosts, forests (i.e., very stock-standard BM topics), but now my lyrics can be about anything. If I think an idea is good, I’ll explore it. Husk has songs about TV shows, books, religion, personal struggles, historical figures, and cancer. As for Epitaph, the short answer is “yes”. It’s a reference to Twin Peaks. That was Nick’s idea. I thought it was clever.

SW: I’m not sure anyone would get the Grug reference anymore. I no longer write any lyrics. I was never any good at it.

GVD: Did you just call me old? I’ll get Antifa to boycott your shows… wait… that won’t work out well for me.

‘Epitaph…’ also features Nick from the excellent Greytomb lending his wretched screams to proceedings. How did you snag his services?

GVD: I’ve wanted to collaborate with someone outside the band (i.e., try something different) for a while now. We’d done a gig with Greytomb and we know Jack (guitars). So, I approached Nick. He was interested and so we bounced ideas/lyrics around until we were both happy.

BG: Get fucked.

GVD: Insightful. I’d almost forgotten you were here.

Speaking of vox, Van Doorn, you have some pretty versatile throatwork going on. Are there any vocalists in particular you’ve been inspired by over the years?

GVD: Maniac and Attila from Mayhem and Hat and Pest from Gorgoroth are favourites in BM. Old Chris Barnes is a favourite DM singer.

SW: Is he really? I didn’t know that. Barnes went to shit. He’s bloody awful. I think our older stuff had a real Sorhin/Setherial/Burzum-type vibe to the vocals. All the early ’90s demo days.

BG: The actors from 2 girls 1 cup.

GVD: Actors?! You’re setting a low bar for the use of that term. And yes Scott, Chris on Tomb is awesome. As for our older stuff, I (repeatedly) had people tell me I sounded like Jeff Walker (Carcass).

That cover artwork is great too, an evocative piece by Luciana Nedelea that matches what I’ve heard of the music perfectly. How did the collaboration come about? Were you fans of her work before you made contact?

SW: That was my doing. I had spotted her work online through various pages and checked her out. She does quite varied kinds of art so I picked an example and forwarded the basic concept that we fleshed out. It’s quite different from the original idea (a real emaciated human figure in the darkness) but I really love it. She’s since done work for Dark Funeral & The Satanic Temple plus countless others and it’s all quality stuff. Recommended. It was also a continuation of no digital art as it reeks now. Looks dated already. The booklet art is all original pieces from Jon Ernst too, a fellow Aussie.

The label press release states “VAHRZAW have really had enough of the bullshit associated with producing albums, and even EPs. Thus, ‘Husk’ will likely be the band’s final recording”. This can’t be true. Is Vahrzaw done, are you hanging up your boots?

GVD: No. The label asked us to write that just as we were wrapping up recording. We’re not major fans of each other after recording; there’s something about 5 guys being trapped in a small room for weeks on end that puts us on edge. As such, that write up reflects our animosity. We’re actually working on new material now… but that’s another story.

SW: The studio doesn’t bother me. It’s the fucking emails everywhere to do art and layouts for the various formats and label chat and mixing and organising time. It’s an arduous bore, especially if the communication is vastly one-sided.
That blurb pretty much sums it up… there was another one sent later that was ‘highly intellectual’ but they went with the humorous one, so fuck it.

The CD is currently out through Blood Harvest Records in the EU/worldwide, while you’ve just received your copies for all the slavering Australian maniacs. How has it been working with Blood Harvest? Any news on the vinyl version?

GVD: My mum always said “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. I don’t have anything nice to say.

SW: Vinyl for HUSK and TWIN SUNS is on the cards to the tune of 300 copies each but I’ve heard nothing about it. The layouts were completed along with the album last August, so who knows. The album was actually written for vinyl, 4 tracks and a short clean outro per side.

All the pressing plants are backed up from big labels cashing in on the vinyl trend with the 500th press of a Bowie record & other assorted shit we don’t need more of. I think there’s a picture disc of two Fawlty Towers episodes at this years record store day. Who the fuck would buy that?!

Hopefully ours is out soon but I doubt it seeing as it took 9 months to print the CD. Ask Blood Harvest.

‘Husk’ isn’t the only fresh chunk of Vahrzaw that’s been excreted of late: Your ’96 demo ‘Black Resplendent Waters‘ has copped a well-deserved tape re-release through Swedish/German label Cirsium Kollektivet, complete with an art upgrade from the great Jeroen Van Valkenburg. Are you pleased with how this turned out? What’s it like having the old recordings in the spotlight again?

GVD: I haven’t seen it yet.

SW: Looks great. Jeroen is a legend. You are partly to blame for the re-release as I found the label through this very page and just asked if they’d be interested. Turns out it was a “yes”. He was fantastic to work with. Got the job done quick. As for old tracks back in physical form…*shrugs*.

Time for some opinions. The band was formed in the thick of Black Metal’s arguably best and most fertile period. What do you think of the Black Metal “scene” these days, and how do you see that things have changed? Is it for the better?

GVD: Honestly, I don’t have much interest in the scene. On the odd occasion we play a gig or catch up with friends from the 90s, it seems to me that the scene in Australia cycles. As an example, when we first started out, everyone had to be ‘tougher’ than everyone (e.g., we’re the most extreme BM band ever). Then people chilled the fuck out. Then the pissing contest is back and people think they’re impressing people by claiming to be extreme. Dull!

SW: There’s too many bands all doing the same concepts as 25 years ago minus the mystique and originality. But that’s music. New ingredients get introduced to an older formula. Slight changes over time. Is the scene any better? No idea. It’s certainly more saturated though. Doesn’t seem to bother anyone, people are happy with regurgitated death and black metal. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, I guess. There’s still an abundance of theatricality and lame lyrics which is always good for a laugh. Besides those ‘anti-fascist’ dickheads trying to ruin a few shows with threats of violence, y’know, like a fascist group would, I think the scene is relatively sane. I’m not sure anyone cares what a 41yo male thinks anyway…they should though because we’re clearly the better generation.

BG: Most BM bands in Aust are hipsters or play shit raw BM in the style of shitty Darkthrone. Hail to those who venture into the more extreme and violent side of BM.

SW: Old Darkthrone is fucking ace.

With the advancement of home/portable recording technology and software, it’s increasingly easy to churn out albums in your bedroom, or even on your phone. As a result, there are more projects out there than ever. What do you guys think of this phenomenon?

GVD: I think we’d be hypocrites to criticise people for recording in their bedroom. Back when we had absolutely no money, we used to record demos onto a tape recorder. Now we have slightly more than $0, we’d prefer to record in a studio. But, other people can do whatever they want. I don’t have the energy to care.

SW: I have so many tracks by so many bands on my PC… I hear a bit of music and think “What a magnificent riff, who is this band?”…so I check it out and it’s us! Haha! Happens a lot. The PC recording gear is fantastic now, so why not do it at home if you can?! A bit more effort than a TDK 60 and one mic and running off 50 tapes one at a time on high-speed dubbing… but far less KVLT.

Off the top of your head: the best black metal band currently active, and the band you think should give up and pack it in?

GVD: Mayhem. Behemoth are good too (but probably more Blackened DM). Darkthrone should give up. So should Satyricon. Rubbish albums are destroying their legacies. Note: Please send all hate mail to Scott.

SW: Best… don’t know. I like elements of a lot of bands but most black metal is pretty boring. I will say that 95% of it (black and death metal) shouldn’t ever be pressed to vinyl. It’s A-grade horseshit. There ARE really good creative ones with unreal musicians though. A few bands spinning of late (of various genres) are Deitus, Void Omnia, Belus, Virus, Tchornobog, Beastmilk, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin/AFX, Frank Zappa, Rope Sect, Extortion, Discharge… all good stuff. Band to call it a day. Satyricon… awful. Such disappointing output since Rebel. Not black metal, but I’m glad Slayer are packing it in.

BG: Dead Congregation, unrelenting sonic power. Bands that should pack it in are all the shit bands with beards and flannies!

GVD: What’s wrong with beards?

SW: He can’t grow one yet.

And finally, school the kids: What is true black metal?

GVD: Ha. Trve BM bands will probably claim we’re not trve BM. So, I’m not sure my opinion is worth listening to.

SW: Don’t know. The opposite of what is trendy?! I think it’s moved on from the misanthropic nihilism and existentialism to some degree… but maybe that’s the crux of the genre in its true form?! They certainly aren’t stabbing people anymore. It could also be leather, spikes, and beer. A guy once told me he couldn’t listen to us because “we didn’t hate jews, Australia was a jew cesspool and black metal is ‘white’ music”. We probably play exactly the type of music we play to stick it to cunts like that. The opposite of what people like or the music that they want me to play. But… I’m 41, I honestly don’t give a shit.

BG: Anything that is new and creative and sounds tough! Not the Norwegian rip-offs and clones!

Cheers gents, sincerest thanks for taking the time to speak to us and suffering through yet another bloody interview. Any last words?

GVD: Thanks for the interview. Buy our album you cheap fucks. And to all the zines out there, you’re not getting free copies. And no, we won’t pay 120 Euros to appear in your piece of shit zine. Lots of love. George.

SW: What he said… plus, you can grab the HUSK album (on CD or digital) plus any older recordings straight off our bandcamp or message us on Facebook. Vinyl should be out later in the year. Should. Hassle the label about it. Thanks Aaron. Keep your eyes peeled for giant murderous seagulls.
PS: …and a big ‘get fucked cunt’ to the pleb that runs Third Eye Cinema.

BG: GET ETERNALLY FUCKED.

~

Purchase Vahrzaw‘s ‘Husk’ on CD from Blood Harvest Records here and the label Bandcamp here, and grab a copy direct from the band with a bonus 25th anniversary guitar pick here.

Support VAHRZAW:

~

Like Black Metal Daily on Facebook for more kvlt sounds and tonal blasphemy.

Email: blackmetaldaily@outlook.com

Ab Absurdo (In Sterquilinus Invenitur) – An Interview with Wolok

Slowly we ruin and spoil what we designed

Surely we wreck and crush the flesh of our flesh

Grind the bones of our bones

Dissolve the spirit of our spirit

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Warning: Wolok do not create music for the weak at heart. Their albums are not safe places. The turgid madness and gibbering insanity within can only be described as an assault on the mind, not through intensity but through channeling the surreal, absurd and hideous; challenging and in opposition of everything.

I discovered this for the very first time when their latest symphony of sickness was heaved splattering upon my doorstep towards the end of last year. One listen to their side of split with Rotting Heaven ‘The Anatomy of Madness’ and I was hooked; spiralling down the wretched vortex of their discography until I wasn’t even sure what was real anymore. To help make sense of it all I asked main vessel and conduit for their discordant delights Eymeric Germain, holed up in his native habitat of Luxembourg, if he could provide any further insight. Having given grotesque birth to the project back in 2003 alongside vocalist LucLhükkmer’thz” Mertz plus being wholly responsible for the name Wolok when he utilised a moment of trance-like automatic writing to scrawl the word in logo format; who better to attempt to explain the lunacy? Thankfully, he obliged, the resulting conversation both restoring some semblance of my sanity and simultaneously making it much, much worse.

It should go without saying that I’m now a huge fan of their work and cannot recommend it highly enough to fans of the unconventional and downright disturbing; so without further unnecessary or woefully inadequate words, prepare as best you can and read on below to tumble scrabbling and flailing into the seething black hole that is Wolok.

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Hello Eymeric! Sincerest thanks for speaking with us. So, for some unfortunate reason I’d never heard the sweet sounds of WOLOK before last year’s split with ROTTING HEAVEN, ‘The Anatomy of Madness’. I’ve since traversed the warped, evil landscapes of your discography and aside from absolutely loving it, I have to ask… What the hell is going on in your heads?

– Your words of support and wisdom suit us right to the heart. It is always rewarding to know we can still thrill new fans with our music, even somewhat belatedly. As you traversed the evil landscapes of our discography and now know every single note of each song, I guess you noticed there is indeed a whirlwind of mess and noise spiralling in our heads. I cannot speak for the other two members in the band, but in my case, being the project’s mastermind, I go into a trance-like state when I lock myself in the room and compose. Writing music for WOLOK is like to be blind for a few hours. It is like I cut myself off from the world and explore unconscious territories, reaching the inner spheres of chaos and savagery. I am a very calm, poised and serene person in everyday life, but when I go into that trance-like WOLOK shit, I get caught up in subconscious fear, anger, sorrow, anxiety, extravagance, lunacy and absurdity. Hence the bizarre tunes.

Being a little abstract: what would you say WOLOK is, what is its purpose, and how did it come to exist? Is it the same beast as it was fifteen years ago?

– My only purpose with WOLOK is to basically express my creativity, my vision of dismal music, my own interpretation of dark arts and, of course, to give free rein to my bleakest urges. WOLOK is not a band per se; it is more a collective studio project. Obviously, our artistic approach has progressed over time, but you will always have that twisted governing principle on all releases. Whatever the release, you should be immediately able to say “yes of course, this is WOLOK”. Musically, WOLOK is unpredictable. ‘Universal Void‘ (2003) was a primitive and crude black hole, ‘Servum Pecus‘ (2006) and ‘Caput Mortuum‘ (2009) were convoluted, tortuous efforts… while our most recent works (‘The Silver Cord‘ EP in 2013 and ‘The Anatomy Of Madness‘ split album in 2017) head more towards blackened doom territories. The beast has evolved over the years but the ugliness is intact.

Much of your work often sounds like a variety of deteriorating mental and physical deformities given audio form. What is your writing process like? Do you have any premeditated idea or purpose in mind when you begin to write, or is it more of a cathartic channeling of whatever demented energies need to escape at the time?

– The way I write music is not standard. It is mainly based on improvisation. The blackness springing from the strings is spontaneous and uncontrolled. I actually always worked like that. Typically, I will spend three or four full days writing and recording music, partially or completely cut off from the outside world. Then Cypher will take the lead to arrange and enhance the whole magma, just before Luc pukes the words of madness. Then it can happen I do not play any instrument anymore for one or two years… until the next ritual.

As opposed to the usual satanic or occult themes, in both sound and word your overall body of work almost seems a wild, nihilistic and negative celebration of chaos, absurdity and utter hatred. Would you say this resembles your personal philosophies and thoughts on humanity?

– I am someone discreet and down-to-earth. But the lyrics reflect really personal views on the meaning of life. There is a strong parallel between the absurdity of existence and our meandering, sinuous tunes. I am not willing to elaborate a bit more on that, since my lyrics are entirely open to self interpretation.

Heading back to the 2017 split with ROTTING HEAVEN: that was fucking mental and probably bears the least resemblance to “standard” black metal of anything you’ve done so far, which is saying something. How did it come about? Were you happy with it?

– Definitely more than satisfied. That split album is fantastic and sounds exactly the way I wanted to, exploring the richness of Black Arts through different prisms. I agree that our approach gets some distance from usual Black Metal as you say, but this is just WOLOK’s own interpretation of Black Metal. It is deviant. Hard to predict. Out of control. Unreliable. The three songs are so different from each other; I think we have now reached a multifaceted depth. ‘The Murky Waters Of Life’ sounds, as its name suggests… fucking murky. The song’s structure is so turbid and disconcerting. Then ‘Tremors’ will lead you into the oblivion of dementia, with a grandiose doom finale. ‘Skull Gnawer’ will eventually destabilize everyone with a basic, repetitive and unusually melodic construction, opening the gates of hope and transcendence.

I believe the split was mixed and mastered in 2015. Why the two year delay before release? Pressing plant woes?

– There were no pressing plant issues. Death Knell Productions is a really small underground entity and they offer quality releases with an admirable passion. Their dedication is boundless but those dudes also have regular life and jobs and shit, and of course they cannot always stick to their initial reverse scheduling plan. The delay was considerable, but who cares…

You’ve worked with a few labels throughout the life of the band, but the last couple of releases have been through Death Knell Productions. How has it been working with them?

– As mentioned above, they’re a small Russian structure devoted to underground black filth. I got in touch with Shamil back in 2013 and we quickly clinched a deal to release ‘The Silver Cord’ EP on Death Knell Productions. Their back catalogue is utterly brilliant and I robustly recommend you to check VTTA, ROTTING HEAVEN, HUMAN SERPENT, DRAUG and THE PALE HAND.

Do you listen to many artists that you consider truly experimental, avant-garde or just plain boundary pushing, and have any influenced WOLOK at all?

– I listen to so many musical genres. I’m open to any kind of music, provided that it tugs at my heartstrings. But when it comes to experimental & avant-garde music, the artistic palette is infinite. I mean, what does “experimental” signify? What does “avant-garde” signify? The definition is complex as it gathers countless artistic flairs. My favourite bands are VIRUS, ULVER, ZEAL & ARDOR, SHINING (from Norway – not the Swedish pricks), KING CRIMSON, OXYPLEGATZ, HAIL SPIRIT NOIR, ARCTURUS, ORANSSI PAZUZU, JAMBINAI and incalculable others. I could drop names for hours. But I think there is no interaction between those reverenced influences and WOLOK as I do not pretend to equal the talent of those artists.

This is going back a few years, but I learned while researching this piece that you used to run Foedus Aeternus, the French ‘zine, label and distro. Why did you close that down? Would you do something like that again?

– We simply decided to stop all activities under Foedus Aeternus (magazine / label / distro) for personal reasons: lack of time, progressive dedication loss, etc. I have really good memories from that period and would definitely like to do something like that again if I was able to. I mean if I had free time again.

As far as I am aware, WOLOK has never been a live entity. What would it take for you to go down that route?

– WOLOK has never been a live entity. WOLOK will never be a live entity. We all live far from each other and never rehearse. We all have time-consuming jobs, we all have children, etc. Playing live as a band requires rigour… precision… sacrifices… blood! Just to show you we are definitely an atypical band: Luc (vocals) has never met Cypher (drums & arrangements) in person.

What’s next for WOLOK? And, if you’d be so kind as to throw a bone to all the fans of your twisted black vomit: any news on another full-length yet?

A new full-length album, ‘Fading Mirth And Dry Heaves’, is indeed in progress. It is composed of five new eccentric songs. At the time of writing this, Luc is recording all vocals parts. I am quite confident our fans will be discountenanced again. I wish the album could be released by the end of the year or early next year. Annihilation soon.

And lastly… Someone asks you to show them the definitive WOLOK track. What do you do?

– Tough question, but I think I would pick an insidious song called ‘Bitter Swill’ from the upcoming album. I think it perfectly depicts the essence of the contemporary WOLOK. You will understand what I mean when you listen to that song in a couple of months.

Sincerest thanks once again for your time and allowing us a glimpse into the madness. Any final words?

– Massive thanks for your support Aaron. Our devious cacophony will make your readers weaker everyday if they dare to dig our discography on our Bandcamp page: www.wolok.bandcamp.com.

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Purchase Wolok‘s ‘The Anatomy of Madness’ split with Rotting Heaven on CD from Death Knell Productions here.

Support WOLOK:

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The End of All Pain – A Short Interview With Inner Suffering

You may recall Ukrainian one man depressive ambient project Inner Suffering from back in Bandcamp Misanthropy Volume 15. Well, since that last feature on the mesmerising shot of audio lithium that was ‘It’s All The Same In The End’, the prolific SadVoice has given painful birth to three more albums. One of which, February’s ‘Slow Dance on the Ashes of Failure’ (just released on CD through Share Your Pain Records) is especially notable for one particular reason: It marks what I believe to be the first time he has collaborated with another like-minded soul for his art. Furthermore, that soul is none other than Kimberlee (ex-vocalist of US cosmic black metal duo Synodic), who originally brought the project to my attention and who provided some words about it in the previous feature.

Reaching out to the reclusive SadVoice, I wondered what it was like to finally allow someone else to be part of his creation?

“Usually I’m glad that I work alone, but sometimes I wish there was someone to help me create things, because doing everything yourself could be exhausting,” he said. “Lack of ideas and such. Working with Kimberlee was very nice and easy, despite the distance and no idea of what this album would be.”

I bet. Kimberlee features on ‘Into Submission’, ‘Unhealthy Obsession Part 1’ and ‘Just A Memory’. Could a little light could be shed on the creative process between you both?

“I had only the name of an album and a couple of untitled instrumental tracks. Each of us wrote the lyrics on our own, without trying to combine and make it like one story or something, without concept, everything was personal. Well, she shared her lyrics in the process of writing, but I had no ideas at all. My lyrics came up suddenly. It all ended up like a story anyway. Like a dialog between us, even if we wrote about our own things, and I find it absolutely amazing. So yeah, our collaboration was definitely a good experience.”

Sounds like it.

“And by the way; there’s a plan to make a new project, where we will be working together.”

Excellent news, I’ll keep an ear out. Even from a very first listen, you can tell Inner Suffering is an intensely personal project. What does the project mean to its creator?

“A kind of therapy, maybe, I don’t know. Something like letting out the negativity to feel better, but it doesn’t work really, it only becomes captured in the music and I sometimes come back to it, so basically it never goes away, only stacks (actually it stacks even without music, lol). Can’t say I feel any good after finishing an album, but I enjoy the process of making them.”

Speaking of feelings, what do you hope for the listener to take away from the experience?

“I never really cared about how people would react, since it’s kind of a personal thing, but I always wanted to share feelings, spread the inner pain, to make music that will make you feel bad/sad/depressed if you want, but it won’t let you go. Something that you really enjoy listening to, but it makes you feel down. Paradox. Nice if someone could interpret it in his own way.” I definitely get that. “Also, I do it because I can’t do anything else in life.”

And you do it well, 31 releases and counting. Are you constantly creating? Why is this so?

“I just have too much free time. Too much time to keep drowning in thoughts about different things bothering me, like there’s no rest from this crap. Endless cycle of my negative mind that keeps me down. So I keep creating stuff, even when I don’t want to, because I see there’s too much already and it doesn’t feel right, but I have to. I simply can’t stop. Well, actually I may stop now for a bit, because I have no ideas at all. Anyway, time will tell.”

As it turns out, he wasn’t kidding about that last part. Since speaking to me he has released one more EP, entitled ‘Always Wrong’, described it on his Bandcamp page as “NOT black metal” and said this about it:

“This might be the end of this project, like no joke. I’m out of inspiration for anything, feeling terrible in general and my laptop is dying. So eksdee… I wish I was dying.”

If this does prove to be the twilight of the project, at least we’re left with a sizeable body of masterfully morose and beautifully flawed work to comfort us through despairing nights. Available for name-your-price download from Bandcamp, is it all really about to end? As the man himself says: Time will tell.

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Pick up ‘Slow Dance on the Ashes of Failure’ at name-your-price download from the Inner Suffering Bandcamp above, or on CD from Share Your Pain Records here.

Support Inner Suffering:

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The Nurturing Soil – An Interview With Beorn’s Hall

There’s a lot to be said for the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, and the same holds true for an album. When you first lay eyes on ‘Estuary’, the second full-length offering from US folk black metal warriors Beorn’s Hall, you may be forgiven for initially and inadvertedly being a little over-presumptuous: With the glorious painted cover art and weapons-laden logo vaguely reminiscent of Caladan Brood plus a Tolkien inspired project name to boot, thinking you were going to be in for a typically grandiose and bombastic slab of epic black metal is not an entirely outlandish conclusion to have arrived at.

Until, that is, you push play and the duo of Vulcan and Rognvaldr draw you into their richly textured world. Friends for life but formed as Beorn’s Hall in 2016 to create music inspired by their home of New Hampshire, the pair do paint with an “epic” base but utilise a palette and techniques that encompass much more. Irresistible shades of Bathory and stirring traditional metal/rock strains are prevalent throughout a great album that you’ll increasingly find packed with enjoyable surprises, and that’s also one of its major strengths: it is a great album. Each track serves as another unique step on the journey, a veritable cornucopia of styles and tones all tied together with consummate skill as a coherent whole, a melting pot of everything from Candlemass worship to the introspective Americana of ‘I Know You, Rider’.

Eschewing an overly polished production for a more authentic sound, there’s a raw, immediate life to proceedings. This thing sounds amazing, visceral yet austere all at once. The sound distorts at times but that only makes it better and comes across as the offspring of your favourite ’70s recordings and the kvltest of delicious lo-fi ’90s black and death atmospheres. I couldn’t get enough of it, so when the opportunity arose to ask a few questions of the gentlemen behind it all I had no real option but to jump at the chance.

Releasing this very day through the excellent Fólkvangr Records and Naturmacht Productions, there are no gilded thrones or fantastic beasts to be found here. This is real pagan life: spirit and survival, revelry and battle, blood and soil. So, check out the official clip for the title track ‘Estuary’, filmed in the misty marshes of New Hampshire and hands down my favourite track on the album with its irrepressible earworm riff and incredible energy; then read on as we speak to Vulcan and Rognvaldr about all things Beorn’s Hall. Hails.

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Greetings Vulcan and Rognvaldr, sincerest thanks for speaking with us! I hope you are both well. Your excellent second album ‘Estuary’ is coming soon through Naturmacht Productions and Fólkvangr Records. Are you happy with it overall, and in your words, what can people expect to hear from it?

VULCAN: Hello! Thanks for taking the time to interview us. We are very happy with this album, we feel it’s an improvement from ‘Mountain Hymns’ in every way.

ROGNVALDR: We went for a bit of a different production as you can tell. On ‘Mountain Hymns’ we did things very naturally, the drums and rhythm guitar were recorded live and we used a totally flat EQ on the whole album. I’m very pleased with how things came out this time. I was listening to a lot of
viking-era Bathory while writing the riffs, so people can expect a bigger more epic sound. We just wanted to create something more dynamic.

The album is heavily inspired by where you hail from: “The True Vinland” (the area of coastal North America explored by Norse Vikings), New Hampshire. For those of us who have never had the pleasure of visiting, what is it like over there and why is it such a source of inspiration to you?

V: I’ve always loved living in New Hampshire. We grew up in an area where the mountains and the ocean are about an hour drive from one another so it’s easy to find so much inspiration for this style of music, it is pretty natural.

R: Cheap booze and smokes, low taxes. What’s not to love?

The project was only formed in 2016, relatively recently considering you have your second full-length ready to go. How did you guys first meet and why did you decide to start Beorn’s Hall?

R: We actually met at age 3 in play school. We started playing death metal and grindcore together in 2003 but always talked about starting a black metal band. We both became very busy musically after high school so it wasn’t in the cards until 2016.

The album is gloriously adorned with a stunning Albert Bierstadt painting, whereas I believe the debut album’s cover art was painted by one of you. Both covers are spectacular, but why the decision to go with this particular piece of art this time?

V: That particular piece is something we discussed using as an album cover for years and we felt like we created something that would be fitting for it.

R: This painting just rules all around! It is just too awesome not to use. It is true I do oil paintings of this nature as well and painted the ‘Hymns’ cover. However, I am nowhere near this level. Maybe in a few more years I will be. It’s pretty funny that a lot of people think these paintings take eons to create but they only take a little less than an hour. If you watch Bill Alexander paint, he does the whole thing in about half an hour.

I love the sound overall, but especially the absolutely killer drums. Apparently you use a rather special kit, can you tell us a little about that? Were any other noteworthy instruments or recording techniques used on the album?

V: Yes! I have a 1970’s chrome over wood Slingerland kit that we used on this album. Nothing records quite like it. We figured an old school drum set should be used to record something so heavily influenced by the old school.

R: The bass was run clean which we believe sits better in the mix for the style. The guitar rhythms were dual tracked with a 57 offset on the speaker cone and a condenser about 6ft away at ear level for the atmosphere. The D’Angelico 12 string was run direct in with condenser off the sound hole. Keys were done on an early 90s shit Casio that runs on D batteries. Actually the same set of batteries from ‘Mountain Hymns’ last year haha.

Like your debut album ‘Mountain Hymns’, the whole thing could have been created in and ripped straight from the ’90s. Where was the album produced, did you guys take care of it all yourselves?

R: The album was recorded here at our studio “The Hall”. Vulcan and I have been in the recording game for 15 years now. Ever since we started making music together we have shared the same mindset which is, “Why pay someone else? We can do a great job by ourselves.” We know exactly what it should sound like. It would be a huge pain in the ass and waste of time to have someone else try to do it. We’ve spent the past 2 years building The Hall into a professional recording space. We’ve actually recorded a bunch of other bands too and offer our services to anyone. Just no shitty deathcore.

What was the writing process like this time around? Do you find each other easy to work with?

R: We’ve known each other for a long time and get along like brothers. 99% of the time we get along great and once in a while we want to strangle each other, just a little bit haha. Musically speaking, we are both on the same page and we both have the same idea for Beorn’s Hall. There is actually little communication about the music, Vulcan just knows what kind of drums would work over the riffs. Sometimes Vulcan will tell me “Get drunker, you need to channel your inner Fenriz for this vocal!” So I will. Sometimes I tell him “play this part a bit slower, like an evil Phil Rudd” and he will.

V: Typically we start with a base song that Rognvaldr has crafted,we’ll demo out the guitars and drums and then just go from there. Years of playing together has made for an extremely streamlined and easy writing process.

This will be your second release on Naturmacht Productions, and the first where Fólkvangr Records is involved. What are your thoughts on both labels, are you happy with the support?

V: Both labels have been absolute pleasures to work with. We owe a great deal of gratitude to Robert from Naturmacht as he was and still is a crucial element for this band and its beginnings. Folkvangr is great as well, I’m blown away by what Mark has accomplished in just a year. Needless to say we plan on sticking with these guys for the foreseeable future.

R: Robert from Naturmacht is the coolest guy. We seem to understand each other very well! He does an amazing job with the label and will even help us with designs when we become frustrated with things like artwork and layouts. Folkvanger has treated us very well too! Mark seems like a super cool guy and someone we would hang out and spin records with. It’s really nice to have someone who is committed to releasing cassettes only. I love cassettes and am looking forward to holding a copy of Estuary!

Listening through the myriad of different styles on the album, you guys clearly don’t listen to just black metal. Which audial delights have tickled your eardrums of late, and was there anything in particular that influenced you during the writing of ‘Estuary’?

R: Well metal music did come from hard rock so it’s only natural for us to pick up things from bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, maybe even some NWOBHM and early speed metal. I like a lot of Allman Brothers and Dead too, so sometimes those mixolydian and major key modes come out which isn’t a bad thing. However, it must be done correctly or else you get this really weak Disneyland sounding black metal which I can’t get into. I think we achieved a really unique jam style segment on the end of “Dark Wood-Black Marsh”; it’s powerful yet a bit uplifting thanks to some Mixo modes. Hail Tony Iommi, Hail Dickey Betts!

V: Between the two us we have a large range of stuff we listen to but we tend to be a bit selective as to what to draw from for Beorn’s Hall. I feel when a band tries to represent every influence of every member it tends to become unfocused. We take our ‘extra’ influences from neo-folk, traditional metal, 70’s hard/progressive rock and blues.

The title track is such a stormer I almost threw myself out of the car when I heard it for the first time. From the incredibly physical riff that grips you full force, to the switch up into blistering black metal and that perfectly timed sword unsheathing… Magic. During the creative process, did you feel that magic and think “we’re on to something here”?

V: Thanks for the kind words. It’s my personal favorite song on the album. When I first heard Rognvaldr play that main riff I knew it was a choice slab of Candlemass-y goodness (we both fucking love Candlemass).

R: I am glad you like this song but please do not throw yourself from a moving vehicle! We would prefer you throw an enemy from the vehicle instead. Anyway, that main riff is a tribute to all my favorite riffs. Think of the riffs from Autopsy – Torn from the Womb, Candlemass – Well of Souls, Isengard – Naglfar etc… I thought “Beorn needs a riff like these” These are the best types of riffs, mid-paced fist bangers that are evil as hell. The end of the song is inspired by bands like Blasphemy or Swallowed from Finland, maybe some old Beherit and things like that.

The final album track ‘Roads Go On Forever’ begins perfectly with a recitation of a great poem by Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken“. An interesting inclusion, are either of you big poetry buffs?

R: We just thought it was cool as Robert Frost is a New Hampshire native. His poetry is incredible and heavily inspired by New Hampshire so it works perfectly.

V: It was kind of a last minute idea that worked very well.

Over the years, themes of history and heritage have been a great wellspring of inspiration for Black Metal. What are your thoughts on why they suit the style so well?

V: Black Metal has always evoked a certain old and dreary feeling to me as with many other lovers of the genre. History itself is for the most part very dark and depressing, so the two just go hand in hand.

I’ve seen you use the NHBM tag: New Hampshire Black Metal. What is the black metal scene like in New Hampshire? Any other great NHBM bands we should pay attention to?

R: The NHBM scene is great and the reason we use this label is because we are all friends that support each others bands and projects. The scene is strong and we have so many great bands. Its a small state with a lot of talented people. Here’s some bands we recommend from our great state: Malacath, Ancestral Shadows, Hraesvelgr, Northern. Actually Northern just wrapped up their new recording with us at The Hall Studios. “Desolate Ways to Ultima Thule” is set for release by Moribund Records sometime in March!

V: Kind of off topic but there are also some great death metal bands around here as well such as: Solium Fatalis, Excrecor, Angel Morgue and more!

Have you ever played any live shows with this project, and if not, is it something you’d ever be interested in?

R: We get asked this a lot. Sorry, Beorn’s Hall will never play live unless we get $10,000 haha.

V: And a trip to Europe! 🙂

And finally: What does the future hold for Beorn’s Hall? Have you started writing for the third album yet?

V: We plan on releasing one full album a year and to do some splits and other small releases in between those as well.

R: The future holds one solid pagan BM release per year. We have a blast doing Beorn’s Hall! As far as writing goes, I am always writing. I am always inspired and I am glad to have a drummer and vocalist who works as efficiently as I do. People think I am rushing but I’m not. I just like to work fast.

Thanks again for your time! Looking forward to the full release. Anything else you’d like to add?

R and V: Thanks for the interview! Cheers!

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Purchase ‘Estuary’ on CD and vinyl from Naturmacht Productions here, and on cassette from Fólkvangr Records here.

Support Beorn’s Hall:

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The Sacred and the Profane – An Interview With Graveir

Graveir‘s black star is on the rise. Fresh off the back of contributing to one of the greatest splits of 2017, the Australian horde of Gloom, Alone, Emaciated, XI and Pandora have announced a new EP about to seep out and spread its insidious influence across the earth: the mighty ‘Cenotaph’.

It’s available for pre-order as we speak and I’ll be taking a more in-depth look into its wretched majesty when the time arises, but for now we can feast our ears upon the stellar teaser track ‘New Gods (Drowning the Sun)’. The horrifyingly dissonant guitars and depraved multi-pronged vocal assault contained within head up what I believe to be their strongest recorded work to date; and I’m extremely pleased to say I was fortunate enough to sit down with throatsman Gloom to discuss the track, the EP itself and all things Graveir. So have a listen at the link below, and read on.

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Greetings Gloom, sincerest thanks for speaking to us. First up, a little history: What inspired the creation of Graveir, and what is its purpose?

– The genesis of Graveir really started in 2009 as a vehicle for me to write the kind of music I was interested in. It’s not for everyone so I’d found myself playing in things more out of friendship. There was always compromise rather than a full creative expression. There was no real timeline on it, just a collection of riffs which ended up being the genesis of the songs on the demo.

I think it was around 2012 I met XI and found we were pretty much on the same wavelength. Being a particularly driven individual, once I showed him what I had been working on that was enough to set things on the path. Pretty quickly we’d demoed the songs. Admittedly these were pretty rudimentary given my lack of technical ability and preparation at the time but these helped us to form the remainder of the lineup in late 2013. I am pleased to say it has progressed from those humble beginnings much further than I would ever have expected.

As for its purpose, I am generally interested in the interplay between the sacred and the profane so sonically I wanted something that had a definite sense of melody but also felt slightly unsettling at the same time. At least to my ears, t’s the friction between the two that helps create the atmosphere in our music.

You have a new EP on the way, titled ‘Cenotaph’. How do you feel about it, did everything turn out exactly as planned? What was the creative process like?

– I think we will never be 100% satisfied with anything, no matter how good it is. This is healthy as prevents stagnation but it becomes important to know when to let something go and release it. People will ultimately make of it what they will. I am comfortable with the release – which is as close to happy as you should ever realistically be.

The recording was definitely a positive experience. We recorded locally so there wasn’t any time pressures and all of our equipment was available to us. Ean Redman, who recorded and mixed the album is someone we know on a personal level so the recording environment was very good. Tonally I think we got some good sounds from the instruments.

The writing process itself is fairly painless, new material comes easily to us. As for how it comes together, someone will demo guitars and guide drums for a song and send it around for initial opinions and if it is received well we take it to rehearsal and adjust it until we have a finished version and I’ll add lyrics to it from there.

The dictionary defines a ‘Cenotaph’ as: “a monument, sometimes in the form of a tomb, to a person or group of persons buried elsewhere”. Why did you select this as the title?

– It came from the lyrics for New Gods (Drowning the Sun) and seemed fitting for the overall tone of the album and the artwork. In a more literal sense it does serve as somewhat of a monument between where we have come from and to where things are heading.

The first teaser track is the aforementioned ‘New Gods (Drowning the Sun)’ and in my opinion is another huge step forward from everything you’ve done before, oozing with a bleak and unsettling menace. Can you describe the themes and intentions behind the track?

– Definitely – the lyrics centre around the cycle of domination and violence that come with change. More specifically changing of religion within a society. What we often refer to as mythology is really an insulting way of denigrating what was previously the dominant religion of a society i.e. “That was all make believe, what I am telling you now is the one and only truth.”. The song describes the building of the new order over the bones of the old through bloodshed.

Listening through from your last full-length ‘Iconostasis‘ and the great 2017 split with Mar Mortuum you can really hear the refinement of certain aspects of your sound, such as the development of a mutidimensional vocal assault that proves to be devastatingly effective. What would you say the biggest progression or development has been for Graveir since ‘Iconostasis’?

– There are three key things I’d point to as having the biggest impact on our sound to date.

The first thing that happened is that after the demo I was able to share more of the songwriting duties and this has continued to increase over time. We try to make sure everyone has had some songwriting contribution on all our releases but the composition of this has shifted. For example on Iconostasis if one of us wrote a song we would normally write both guitar parts before sending it to everyone. Now we will often write one guitar track then send it to either Alone or Emaciation to complete which often adds a different perspective to things.

The second thing is improving as musicians over time. This has enabled us to stretch our songwriting and technical abilities. Listening to a demo from 2009 versus today this becomes very apparent. This one is especially true for me.

Finally, Emaciation adding additional vocals has really helped add some additional depth into the songs both live and on the newer material.

There will also be a track on the EP titled ‘Dyatlov’. I’m curious, because if I’m correct this is something that has always fascinated me: Would this be referring to the Dyatlov Pass Incident? If so, can you tell us a little about why you chose to write about it?

– You are correct, it is referring to the events that occurred in Dyatlov Pass. The title was initially just a working title, which will often change once I actually start writing lyrics. However after doing a bit more reading and research I found it a particularly fascinating topic.

What makes the Dyatlov Pass Incident a compelling case may be more to do with the level of development of forensic science as well as the propensity for secrecy on the part of the Soviet government.

If I had to take my best guess I think it was something of a military nature, perhaps air mines or some other weapon capable of generating significant concussive force. The interest for me lyrically was the thought of the isolation and the unforeseen terror that would have followed.

The EP will be adorned with evocative cover artwork by incredible occult artist Norot Art. How did this come about, were you big fans of his work? How does the resulting image tie in with the themes of the EP?

– Essentially just by being fans of his artwork. From there we made contact and he agreed to do the artwork. He has done a stellar job and we are extremely happy with the end result. Our approach when contacting artists is to give them a listen to the songs, lyrics and titles to enable them to draw out what resonates with them and draw something based off that. We give little to no instruction or guidance beyond that. So, given that it draws from the source material I think it fits the overarching themes on the EP (which are essentially meditations on the nature of death, suffering and change) quite well.

‘Cenotaph’ will see the continuation of your recent partnership with the great underground Australian label Impure Sounds. How has it been to work with them?

– No complaints whatsoever. Graveir isn’t a money-making venture so any notions to that effect are easily dispensed of so long as you aren’t being exploited. What then becomes important is finding someone who will show as much care for the release as we have in making it and that on a personal level we are dealing with people we respect, like and trust.

We know the EP is in good hands so it is a largely stress-free process for us. Impure Sounds don’t run a massive release schedule so can give each release they put out care and attention it deserves. We have nothing but positive things to say about the label and would gladly work with them again.

I know you’ve been playing a few live shows of late, have you aired any of the new material and was it received well?

– This is always a balancing act as you don’t want to play all the new songs months ahead of the EP release otherwise there isn’t all that much excitement around the new material for the audience. Recent shows we’ve done one or two songs just to test them out in a live setting and to add a something unexpected to the setlist.

We did do a set of the EP material late last year at an event hosted by our friends the Brewditos. Given the excellent quality of the beer on offer and their support over the past few years we thought we should repay the favour with something special. Hard to say how much of it was the beer but the reception was very positive.

For the uninitiated, what can one expect from a Graveir live ritual?

– Great question – I think you can expect to hear a close representation of what is on the recordings. For the most part we don’t record anything we can’t re-create live and we avoid using anything overly processed so I think this translates well in the live setting only with a bit more of a feral energy to it. Outside of that you should expect a sufficiently bleak atmosphere.

Australia has a killer black metal scene. Are there any sorely underrated Australian bands that you believe deserve more widespread attention?

– Completely agree with that sentiment. I think there are some bands that are getting some well-deserved recognition at the moment such as Départe and Greytomb which I hope continues as they have both produced some excellent releases.

On the other side of the equation there are some excellent bands who I think are due a bit more than they might currently have. Ignis Gehenna, Convulsing, Siberian Hell Sounds, Norse, Bleakwood, Snorri, Ploughshare, Mar Mortuum, Host and Dødknell have all put out great releases in the past year or two. I’d also be interested in a follow up from Dead River Runs Dry as I thoroughly enjoyed the first album. I will miss Funeral Moon who were great and were over all too soon.

When can we expect the full EP to drop? Will it be on vinyl, CD, cassette?

– Release date will be April 20th and will be vinyl and digital only at this stage. CDs may come later but I think it depends on the level of interest.

Sincerest thanks for your time, Gloom. Very keen to hear the rest of the EP. Any last words?

– Thank you for the well-thought out questions, it has been a pleasure answering them. I hope I have answered them sufficiently. I will be interested to hear what you think of the rest of the EP once it is out.

~

Pre-order ‘Cenotaph’ on vinyl or digital from Impure Sounds here.

Support Graveir:

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Pray For Chaos – An Interview with Solfernus

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.

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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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Purchase ‘Neoantichrist’ digitally and on CD from Satanath Records HERE, on iTunes HERE, on Google Play HERE or listen on Spotify HERE.

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Support SOLFERNUS:

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Light Fell Silent – An Interview with DSKNT

– time shifts and stretching tensor operators –

– isotropic radiation of remnants & white noises –

– transform & disassemble –

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In this age of immediacy an artist still managing to stay cloaked in an aura of mystery is a fascinating thing; and enigmatic act DSKNT has been absolutely and effortlessly swathed in it. Originally formed in 2013 but laying seemingly dormant since, over the last six months scattered and intricately titled tracks began creeping out that sounded like the inexorable, grinding machinations of a machine neither organic nor lifeless yet working feverishly to deconstruct reality in suffocating horror; however all available information about these creations amounted to a few cryptic statements, a Swiss location and some personnel rumours. Even a label press release stated that they were “unable to confirm any other details regarding the nature and identity of the project”. 

That is, until now. 

After following the project with interest and devouring every mind-bending composition that slithered as nameless black lava reaching quivering and crystalline from the void, I reached out to make contact; thankfully the man behind it all agreed to lift the veil ever-so-slightly.

So with the debut album ‘PhSPHR Entropy’ finally released on Sentient Ruin LaboratoriesClavis SecretorvmBabylon Doom Cult Records and easily one of the most intriguing, synapse-crushing releases of the year; submit to its irresistible pull via the full stream linked below and read on as we speak with mastermind ASKNT.

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Greetings, and sincerest thanks for taking the time to answer these questions and allow us a brief glimpse into the world of DSKNT. Not much is known about you, so this is very much appreciated. Firstly: What exactly is DSKNT, and where did it come from?

– DSKNT is the audial subdivision of DSKNT Industry, a project linking the perception and inspiration I have in order to create music/noise. The DSKNT terminology was extracted shortly after I created DSKNT Industry which is the entity used as medium to transform ideas in music. In fact, and to be compendious, DSKNT is the project and DSKNT Industry its source, its incubator and its global envelop.

Your debut creation, PhSPHR Entropy, is about to be released. What is the intention with this album, and the meaning/significance of PhSPHR Entropy as a title?

– The main purpose of the release, as idea, is to create and perform a hermetic conceptual cross between the factual implication as well as the uttermost discernible climax of certain specific aspects of the physics with the ineluctable, complete nullification of all. This fact is only hidden under their expressions in term of mathematical formula. Initial commitments of the lyrics were drawn in this way. Generate an audial unsafe place, a wall of distortions of the senses, kind of an unacceptable noise. The cover of PhSPHR Entropy is intended to extend the concept of the whole concept of the release. Something very sober and static in parallel to the music. Musically, there are two epochs of composition mixed together, but not distinguishable. In terms of lyrics: « You are not important ». Nothing is. It’s only a human issue to apprehend scales.

PhSPHR Entropy as title and mark of the album has a double significance. Referring clearly to physic and intrinsic natural concepts, first, the Entropy can be used as a kind of measure of disorder or randomness of an isolated system. Mainly, we don’t know enough parameters to understand the system globally. On the other hand, Entropy un-uniformity was the beginning. This measure will denote the end too. 

Why PhSPHR? Well, PhSPHR is glowing in the dark under certain conditions. The PhSPHR ions are highly reactive and have a high level of possible oxidation, it’s leading to a very high potential of Entropy in addition to being essential for the human being as for the DNA. The two terms together specify the internal metastability as well as the external instability of the All. PhSPHR Entropy speaks in terms of disorder and chaos, directly opposed to the equilibrium. It’s chaos, not the “Chaos”. Underlying chaos.

From where did you derive inspiration for the sonic chaos and themes depicted on the album?

– DSKNT inspiration comes from many sides. But it’s mainly driven by my apprehension of the vacuum or simpler of time. Since the disorder is the only leading and underlying principle of all, the sonic chaos, as you call it, comes from of this sensibility to it or probably of the DSKNT internal interests in disorder, sort of a blasting maelstrom. On the other hand, the true chaos will come. Just let it come with the time and its distortions, bends. That’s only a cosmological issue for this global extinction and prevailing void.

DSKNT seems to aim at defying all normal musical and sound convention. Were there any unusual techniques or instrumentation involved in the assembly of PhSPHR Entropy?

– I don’t know exactly what you mean by unusual techniques since each recordings phase could be very different from the others, and highly variable among bands. I can say that’s it’s a specific and inherent goal of DSKNT works to achieve such weird sounding. The recording process for a so-called one-man band is relatively different of a band formed by several people, as anyone may understand. Advantage for DSKNT, the music creation process doesn’t imply the inconvenient of making compromises on ideas or music, which could lead to the dilution of the goal to achieve. But the process is probably more iterative and incremental, it takes time. Each track of PhSPHR Entropy has many sub-versions and it’s always a real dilemma when you should set a final version.

On the other hand, I’m currently developing other techniques for the next tracks and releases, in order to enlarge this abrasive, dizzying, destructive and disassembled style more globally. By techniques I mean, create the own DSKNT hardware disto/fuzz effects and reverbs and other things that could lead to a more unique sounding, or just for DSKNT’s own experiments. As featured in PhSPHR Entropy, Kr. Vy. Rites, I would say that any medium could be used in the future to create this little unsafe suffocating place in music. As well as pure noise elements. My retrospective point of view, the guitar riffing is responsible for most of this entropy, disorder and/or unconventional mesmerizing sounding. But for me, it’s an initial step, I expect more.

Do you align yourself with any movements, styles or genres, or is DSKNT something that is intended to stand on its own?

– That’s a problematic question since, as you have noticed, the medium used to express this Entropy is what is mainly characterized as Black Metal. DSKNT themes and the way of doing have nothing to do with the traditional Black Metal themes, especially with new wave of occult themes and bands and the coupled evil imagery. To be under influence, it’s quite obvious (naive people don’t think probably so, but be honest), “Stand on its own” can only be a background idea, but it remains a view of mind.

The composition part wasn’t and isn’t aligned on a specific style, and will never. I can take “Resurgence of Primordial Void Aperture” versus “Kr. Vy. Rites” and its next “Kr. Vy. Portals” as examples. There is no specific solution or formula in DSKNT music. 

Everything is subject to change or evolve as well as the DSKNT’s music medium. But I have to say that there is a certain quantity of projects which are creating a very particular style, atmosphere and by the way, a very specific signature in their music. I speak of acts such PORTAL, or of the CHAOS ECHOES approach, HAUS ARAFNA raw sounds treatments. DSKNT can’t directly be categorized as Black Metal nor Death Metal, it’s both and none. And you can probably find most likely an assembly of elements of particular styles.

I’ve heard whisper that this madness is the product of one man, asknt. Is this true? How many souls took part in its creation, and what roles did they play?

– You are right. The complete instrumentation and lyrics is asknt’s part of the work. Besides, the vocalist of ANTIVERSUM (on Invictus Productions) has performed the whole vocals/noises parts on PhSPHR Entropy. His skills are very valuable to transmit the DSKNT intents since he understands the concept completely and participates to its sublimation. For the next works, DSKNT certainly will use the same “setup”. 

I can’t conclude this topic without talking about the highly important participation of Antïgraphics for the cover and layout, which has given the visual interaction with the background ubiquity of the variating Entropy that this release is intended to transmit.

The album was produced and recorded at DSKNT Industry, of which DSKNT is noted as a Noise Shaped Subdivision. What is DSKNT Industry and is DSKNT its only creation? 

– DSKNT Industry is both a recording studio, an experimental laboratory and rehearsal place. DSKNT Industry has recorded and engineered some other acts such as AB OCCULTO demos, both NECROSEMEN EP’s, AION’s album “Verses of Perdition” and some other projects, internal or external experiments. DSKNT instrumentations comes and were recorded in this place except the vocal parts which were recording at OSA Crypt in Zürich. I take the opportunity to thank them again.

PhSPHR Entropy is being unleashed in collaboration with Clavis Secretorvm, Sentient Ruin Industries in the US and Babylon Doom Cult Records for Europe. Are you pleased with the assistance received from these sources?

– The assistance during the whole process was perfect. The different proposals were totally in the DSKNT’s approach. All the people involved in background for the release were very collaborative and proactive. On the other hand, I was surprised of such support from the labels, since it wasn’t so for older works I’ve tried to release some years ago.

The DSKNT sigil and cover of the album was created by Antï Graphic Art. How were they to collaborate with? Were these formed from their interpretation of your work or were they under direction?

– Again, I have to say that DSKNT has nothing to do with human considerations like occult or esoteric concepts, neither other human centred preoccupations or interests. I would say “sigil” isn’t the appropriate and suitable terminology. 

Concerning the cover, Antïgraphics immediately understood the whole concept. I gave him some global guide lines and the complete and finished lyrics but, in fact and at the end, he was completely free. As far I remember, his creations are very inspired and lead to high-quality artworks with a very personal signature.

Are there plans for DSKNT to become a live entity in future, or is it by nature something that should be heard but not seen?

– As you already noticed, there was only few information about the project, about who does what in the project etc. DSKNT can’t treat abstract themes, mainly not related human scaled themes and become a live act, that’s completely antithetical. Furthermore, the live aspect would totally degrade the intention behind this project. According to my own beliefs, the DSKNT music isn’t suitable at all for live performances.

Are there any further forthcoming emanations from DSKNT apparent?

– DSKNT is now working on the new basis which will compose the material of the next album and a forthcoming split EP at some moment during the next year. A new attempt in adding opaque and oppressive atmospheres.

In the beginning of the next year, Sentient Ruin will release PhSPHR Entropy on vinyl.

Sincerest thanks for shining some light into the void that is DSKNT. Do you have any final messages?

– Thanks to you for the questions.

Light fell silent, few seconds before Eternity.

DSKNT – 04XII17

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Purchase/pre-order PhSPHR Entropy digitally from Bandcamp HERE, on CD from Clavis Secretorvm HERE, on vinyl from Babylon Doom Cult Records HERE and on cassette or vinyl from Sentient Ruin Laboratories HERE.

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The Journey is the Destination – An Interview with MRTVI

“BAND DISCLAIMER: Negative Atonal Dissonance is not an album. It is a statement, a philosophy, an experiment; a rejection and reaction to the current trends within the mainstream and underground alike. Extreme metal has painted itself into a corner. Production values that serve no other purpose other than to sound recognisable and palatable. Arrangements, rhythms and harmonies that are more concerned with being identifiable and ‘viable’ than with originality. In an infinite universe, music is endless; a spectrum of emotion, of atmosphere, a vibrational connection running through and joining all frequencies; a spiritual, meditative practice, a dream and a nightmare connecting the creation with the creative force…”

Astute followers of Black Metal Daily may recall a while back I sung the praises of Serbian/UK experimentalist MRTVI, calling full-length ‘Negative Atonal Dissonance’ “…less ‘music’ than it is an attempt to shatter the space-time continuum”. In a fortunate and happy coincidence, I ran into the multi-instrumentalist mastermind behind it all Damjan Stefanovic in a diseased back alley somewhere in the dark shadows of the Internet (alright, it was a Facebook group comment thread. Same thing) and as it turns out he’s a super cool, down-to-earth guy with a diverse musical background and an intense passion for what he does. The result is one of the most in depth interviews we’ve had on these pages, about everything from recording techniques to the future of music… Not to mention his plans to change the fabric of music itself.

If you’re unfamiliar with his work, have a listen to the various audio samples scattered throughout the article. He largely implements improvisation along such lines as Nornahetta for example, but travels to infinitely more disturbing places sonically. The titular final track from ‘Negative Atonal Dissonance’ sounds like time unravelling around you. Even the production values are outside the ‘metal’ norm. The whole thing is an unsettling listen that descends further and further into chaos as it goes along; challenging comfort and the perceived natural flow of the universe, seemingly tearing a black hole in reality as we know it.

It’s an utterly mental release and you can hear a myriad of genres having varying degrees of influence on the sound of it, yet at its heart still beats a seething, horrifying mass of black metal. Not your typical black, however; what’s here is stripped back to beyond the core of it, black metal (or indeed, music itself) at a primal level but then enabled and allowed to flower outwards like a fractal, as it will. Natural, yet totally alien and undeniably panic-inducing. No bullshit, no restrictions, no tropes; you get the feeling we are seeing Damjan at his most pure artistic and creative self. It simply wouldn’t work if he called himself Lord Mordor and wore a cape, and the honest exploration of music for the sake of it is refreshing.

‘Negative Atonal Dissonance’ (and its predecessor, ‘Perpetual Consciousness Nightmare’) is by no means an easy listen and depending on your own pre-existing mental restrictions when it comes to music, there’s a 50-50 chance you’ll think it’s shit. But for those that find pleasure in the avant-garde and the utter disregard of musical ‘boundaries’, it’s an incredibly rewarding release that truly breaks new ground. So read on and listen carefully… You might just expand your boundaries before you come to any conclusions. After all, the journey is the destination.

~

Greetings Damjan! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, I hope you’re well. Your astonishing second MRTVI release “Negative Atonal Dissonance” has been out for almost four months. Now that the dust has settled, how have you found the general reception to the album?

– Thanks for sending me some questions! In general the response has been really positive. There’s been a few negative reviews too, which is interesting. It seems some people get the jazz influence and some think it’s all just noise, which is fair enough. I got a couple ‘this isn’t metal!’’s too, which is always a good thing. I’m aware it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and I don’t really want it to be, I’m trying to go for something different, but it seems like there are people out there who ‘get’ it, so all in all it’s been a positive step. It’s really interesting reading people’s thoughts especially when you’ve never met them and they can say whatever they like. There’s been reviews from all over the globe too, which is really cool. I think the point is to provoke people a bit too, get the listener out of their comfort zone, so I can’t complain. Also, this has been interesting for me because this album was finished a year or so before it was released, so while I’m in a new head-space musically I’m getting jolted back a couple years to the creation of NAD.

The first track “As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh I” is an almost spoken word piece calling the listener’s attention to the lyrics from the get go; the themes of which resonate particularly well with me. How would you describe the lyrical content and how does it relate to your personal philosophies?

– Well to pre-empt a later question, this one, and in general a lot of the MRTVI lyrics, have been the product of automatic or free writing. I like the spontaneity, and it’s kind of like a verbal improvisation in some ways. I try and get some topics or ideas in my mind without thinking about them too specifically and then let the words flow out, but I’ve got to be in the right frame of mind. Lyrics aren’t the easiest thing for me, though this time around I think they came out well. The first track is kind of like a briefing for the soul before birth. A cosmic initiation a friend called it haha. The whole track is supposed to be a development on the standard atmospheric opening every bm album seems to have, which is why I made it quite long, and it builds to a crescendo. I wanted it to sound like there’s no reference, no gravity, no up or down, or tempo or anything… the melting energy of the ALL before the soul takes its human form.

The album contains a hefty amount of improvisation. I believe you have an interesting way of going about it that separates you from other acts that integrate improv into their art, especially on the mammoth, chaotic maelstrom of a title track which is like nothing else I’ve heard on this earth. Can you tell us a little about the process involved and why you utilise it?

– So I realised a while ago that metallers don’t really improvise. I get that 2 guitars in B played loudly with loads of dist is probably gonna sound terrible, but I wanted to try anyway hahahaha. This was something that I started on this album and have done a few times since (on stuff that was gonna be MRTVI but ended up a little too different to this particular album). So for the title track I recorded a 20 minute drum jam, with only 3 mics (all the drum sounds on this album are with 3 mics, kick snare, and a zoom stereo mic for overheads- which I had to sync up to the other two mics because it records on an SD card). Then I recorded a second one over the top, with the first take in the headphones, but without listening to it beforehand. So with 2 drum tracks, left and right, I recorded 5 guitars, one after another, without listening back to each take. So every take has a layer I’ve only played once before, and the previous layers. Then a bass track and 3 keyboard layers the same way. 

Then when it’s all done you listen back to it. It’s interesting to see where it’s a complete mess and where it comes together almost as if on purpose. The whole thing sort of ebbs and flows together, and after a couple takes I started recognising certain drum fills or sections, so slowly it comes together. After than I went through and put effects all over the place, on every instrument, volume dips and swells, effects coming in and out, phasers and pitchshifters on drums and cymbals has a pretty cool sound to it. Then I free wrote the lyrics and recorded them the day after in one take, improvised. There’s a video of the vocal recording that just went up recently actually: 

Do you find creating in this way more stressful, easier or cathartic than standard composing? Or is it more akin to, say, the phenomenon of automatic writing?

– I don’t find making music stressful. Sometimes it can be hard to make a decision of one part or sound over another, arrangements or song orders, those big picture things can be tough. I like getting lost in that weird in-between dimension where time and space doesn’t exist and it’s all happening in sounds. This improv technique (I dunno if it’s a ‘technique’ exactly, but hey…) is cool because it sort of pulls you in, and with a 20+ minute song with 10 layers that’s a good few hours of being in the zone and oblivious to everything.  It was a specific thing I wanted to try because it was new, and while it has some good results I found after doing a couple other EP’s in the same way that there comes a point where my guitar knowledge isn’t enough and I started repeating some things, so I’ve moved on since then, but I’ll definitely work like that again because if you don’t overdo it you get some really cool sounds, and the process is pretty cathartic when you’re right in there. I’ve also had times where I’m alone recording and I see shapes standing behind me or walking across the room, or sometimes I hear them singing along as if through the ceiling or walls. Sometimes it sounds like a choir and sometimes like disembodied screams. Complete immersion in intangible vibrations hahaha…

You’ve recently made the move from The UK back to your home of Serbia. Has the change in surroundings influenced you creatively in any way?

– Well recording alone in a house in a forest with basically no neighbours is a trip, like I mentioned above… It’s more about just putting myself out of my comfort zone, meeting new people and places. It really puts things into perspective, I’m a lot more sure of what’s important to me and what’s not. What and who I want to spend time and energy with. It forces you to confront things about your personality that you don’t really need to if you’re more settled or comfortable and just going on auto-pilot day in day out in familiarity. I had a lot of good fortune in life (and a lot of bad too…) so I’m just trying to use it to grow and learn and expand, and I think the music and creativity will follow. I’ve managed to create a space to be able to concentrate on music without distractions, I’ve recorded a tonne of new music while being out here in all different styles, which was the aim.  Also all of the MRTVI visuals since the first album have been snapped/filmed in Serbia, while the music for the first two albums was recorded in London, so it’s been a nice mix so far. 

I think there’s probably gonna come a point where the murderous suicidal existential monotonous cacophony will become overbearing again, then I’ll be off to a new place for a couple years 😉 

Negative Atonal Dissonance was released on CD through champions of the underground Transcending Obscurity Records, with a tape edition coming soon through fresh label Tenebrae Sumus Records. How has your experience been with both labels so far?

– Well with Tenebrae Sumus it’s early days, we’re still sorting some details, but it should be a January release. He’s put out some really cool releases so far and pays attention to details like presentation, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ve always wanted to get my music out on all formats. Kunal at Transcending Obscurity is wicked. He totally gets his metal and is honestly really passionate about it which is great. He took a chance on an experimental album so I’ll always be grateful. I’ve chatted to him a bit too, it seems like we’re on the same page about a lot of things which is great. 

The packaging for the CD version is gorgeous, a beautiful physical product in an increasingly digital world. Can you tell us a little about the artwork and photographs used?

– Kunal gets the credit for suggesting the digipack route. I want my artwork to be simple, understated almost, and photographic rather than painted, at least for now… I just don’t want to follow every other band with sacred geometry and pentagram artwork hahaha. The front/back was taken in a doorway in BIGZ which is a giant old building in Belgrade that houses loads of rehearsal and recording studios and probably half the Belgrade music scene. The inside photos are from an old complex on the other side of Belgrade that also has some studios upstairs, but plenty of disused space too. Belgrade is a very photogenic place, every crack in the pavement and graf and alleyway feels like it has a million stories to it. The covers for the first 3 albums are all gonna be linked visually…

This thing also deserves to be on wax. Is there a vinyl release planned?

– Not yet. I’m working on it. Like I said I’d like to get releases on every format but vinyl is expensive and blah blah. I’ve moved beyond those childhood ideas of ‘making it’ and ‘blowing up’ that all the magazines sold us when we were kids. It’s a journey, I’m making music that I care about and building step by step. Vinyl will happen sooner or later… it takes time.

A little history: What was the genesis of the entity known as MRTVI?

– So after a couple year period of little creative output, playing with various bands, various bands breaking up, fizzling out, etc, I wrote 2 songs in a style I hadn’t tried before (the first 2 songs on the first album). Basically it was just a couple songs, but my friends were really supportive and urged me to write more tunes like that. 3 months later the first album was finished. Within a year of writing the first 2 songs, the album was out on tape and disc, getting really positive reviews that I hadn’t expected at all, and the second album was almost finished. 

The atmosphere and general negativity and aesthetic was kind of influenced by an ooooold noise demo of mine that I rediscovered on my computer after years and years, but obviously with a few years more experience and listening to build upon. It had to have that classic European sounding black metal name of course, even though the project doesn’t really fall under the classic BM umbrella in terms of sound. 

It came at a time when I was really disillusioned with music and playing and most everything else in life, a real existential crisis at 22/23, and it helped me figure a few things out and gave me something creative and positive to pour my energy into. MRTVI really is what I want to do, fuck everyone else and their expectations. I’m not making a ‘product’ for someone to ‘market’ in order to have an excuse to tour and take peoples money. I want to break all the rules and then some, I want to make sounds that excite me, I want to push myself, and anyone listening, and see what I can uncover, how deep I can go with it, and if the process and the outcome is inspiring me that’s the most important thing. 

I came across a really cool interview with John Frusciante around that time where he said something like, ‘most people aren’t interested in what they can do for music, they’re interested in what music can do for them.’ I’m doing this for the sake of doing it, and doing it in a way I feel is right. 

And with all this in mind, the positive feedback and support that I’ve received from people all over the world, who I’ve never met, is amazing. It was surprising initially, but validation on an ‘underground’ level has made a lot of fucking bullshit over the last few years super worth it… I’ve gone on a tangent here but fuck it, thanks everyone!!! Hahahahaha

You also run your own label, Life As A Dream Records. What inspired you to start it up, and what is the mission statement of the label, so to speak?

– “We believe true art should be expression first, entertainment second, and a product never.” 

But let’s keep it real, it’s a Facebook/YouTube/Bandcamp page at the moment haha. Basically I want it to be a place where I can keep all the work I’m really proud of together, all different styles and sounds, solo and with bands, and a place where friends of mine can put out their music rather than just potentially sticking it on soundcloud or whatever. I’ve uploaded one album every month this year, mainly its been old bands and solo albums and EP’s. I also want to have some sort of visuals for most of the releases, videos, artwork, everything is in house and idiosyncratic to me/the group/the friends involved. 

In some excellent news, you’ve re-issued the first MRTVI album ‘Perpetual Consciousness Nightmare‘ through Life As A Dream… Today! (Pick up a copy from the Bandcamp page HERE.) What was the thought behind re-releasing your first album now?

– So the label who put that album out initially has since folded, and (with the help of a couple good friends) all the stock came into my possession. I’ve been holding onto it, but with the release of the new album I started getting messages asking where can people find the first album, so here it is, direct from the artists so to speak. I put together this video for it over a year ago that I finally got to put out! 

 Another thing I should mention is that the debut album is also getting a Japanese release in January on MAA Productions, which I am so excited about! There’s more info here: http://www.maaprod.org

What do you feel the key differences are between ‘Perpetual Consciousness Nightmare’ and ‘Negative Atonal Dissonance’?

– The first album was catharsis, the second was a slightly more confident experiment building on what came before, and the response to the first album. The production is totally different, the approach to structuring the songs, the overall flow of the albums. The first album is songs developing themes and atmospheres and pushing ideas individually, the second is more of a whole, overall, concept. There’s technically only one pause in the music on NAD, its pretty much 45 mins of solid noise haha. The second album also has a slight, let’s poke em in the eye, see how metal they REALLY are, sort of provocation to it. Alongside the fact I was pretty much listening only to jazz when I made it, the new album is kind of self-reflexive in a way, how far can you step outside of the conventions of metal, or black metal, while remaining rooted in the sound and atmosphere… when does it, or does it at all, stop being ‘metal’. What is metal? To go back to your first question, I think for some people it is a new perspective on metal, and for some its totally not haha. 

I believe the third MRTVI experiment will be actualized very soon, is this correct? You’ve previously mentioned the two albums so far are connected thematically, will this continue with the third? Can you describe how it all flows together?

– Yea so the third album is done. It just needs mastering. I have most of the ideas for the artwork but nothing shot yet. I also have a load of video shot to put together, but I need to shoot looooads more still. The artwork will be linked, and thematically the lyrics are linked. It’s not like a direct reference or whatever, but it’s there. I’ll talk about that more when the time is right. It’s essentially a 3 album concept though. Musically it’s certainly still MRTVI all over, but there’s a few elements that I haven’t played with yet being introduced, mainly hip-hop. Hahaha that’s a joke obviously…. (I’m listening to loads of hip-hop recently though).

I’m fascinated to see where you’re going to take this project, you already dive to depths others wouldn’t. How do you see your sound developing further? Does MRTVI have a foreseeable end, or are there infinite possibilities?

So album 3 is done. Album 4 is all in my head, and, without wanting to sound like a total cunt, it’s gonna be something special. What I’ve got in mind doesn’t exist in the metal world or anywhere from what I’ve heard. That’s gonna be a LOT (A LOT!) of work though, I have 2 demos at the moment, and theyre not even finished. NOBODY out there is doing what I’m imagining but like I said its all empty talk right now… gimme a couple years to get it down… it’ll change the game 100% for sure…

Other than that, and more realistically at the moment, I’m putting together a set and figuring out a way to get playing live as a solo musician. I was on the fence about it for so long, but I came to the realisation if I want to break the rules, being a one man bm band that tours is a pretty good rule to break. I want to travel and play and meet people and getting 4/5/6/7/8/9 people together to go on the road is a major pain more often than not. So booking agents hit me up hahaha. 

How far do you think exploration of sound and music can go? Imagine 300 years in the future. What are we listening to, how are we experiencing it?

– Hahahaha best question ever. I dunno man, either we’ll all be in some Huxley-esque emotionless future or everyone’s gonna be a cyborg capable of everything… Or maybe flying hi-fis blasting out Slayer from the sky..?

I think you’ll have an interesting take on this: What is the essence of Black Metal to you?
– Black and metal are the two essential ingredients. 

I think there’s a lot about black metal that is very punk. It’s gotta be against the establishment. I like the idea of being elitist in the sense of pushing yourself, better yourself, the Nietzschian overman working to improve himself, educate himself, take responsibility for his own actions and development. Unfortunately a lot of people seem to grossly misunderstand what he was saying, and turn it into another form of toxic herd-like group-think… I dunno, I think that kinda contradicts itself by definition. 

It’s gotta be music that you want to listen to, it’s not supposed to be made palatable for everyone. It’s for people who need it in their lives. It’s should be anti-music. There’s a lot of ‘metal’ bands out there now putting pop choruses in their songs, claiming to be pushing boundaries. No, they’re watering it down. It’s supposed to go the other way. Putting blues solos in bm songs and albums… c’mon man, it’s a specific sound for a specific emotion. It’s not accessible chart music. The lo-fi production I think is also an important part of distancing the whole thing from ‘the norm’, it needs to be challenging. 


And finally, because we’re coming to the end of the year and I’m intrigued to know what the mind behind this madness has been listening to: Any 2017 releases of any genre you’d recommend we check out?

– This year I was excited about Dodecahedron’s second album, also the new Blut Aus Nord that just came out. Fulgurum put out a wicked album, kind of like At The Drive In does bm, although that was in ‘16. I’ve been catching up on the 20 or so albums Omar Rodriguez Lopez (The Mars Volta) put out over the last 18 months.  MRTVI label mates Norse, from Australia put out an awesome album, really dark with some tasty riffage. The new Akercocke was interesting. I’ve been privy to the new Voices album (shhhhh!) though that’s out next year. I found a new band, Artificial Brain, they put out an album called ‘Infrared Horizon’ this year which is fucking wicked!!! Really filthy fucking shit hahaha!!  The new Wolves In The Throne Room is cool too, they never did anything for me before but this album is really cool. The new Inferno album was cool too. I can’t think of any more right now. I’ve been listening to all sorts this year. There’s a London band called Corpsing that put out an EP this year that my friend recorded, and that is brutal, they have an amazing drummer in that band. Oh yea I just remembered I rediscovered Mastodon this year, they’ve changed into a band I put on to relax to, after listening to metal all day hahaha. 

Sincerest thanks for your time Damjan, very keen for the next conjuration. Any last words?

– When Beavis and Butthead get asked the same question by some redneck after tripping on cacti in the desert:

Erm… Boobs… Heh huh heh huh.

In all seriousness though, thanks for taking the time to check out my noise and for the support and encouragement! To everyone that’s shared it, got in touch, listened, downloaded, bought, stolen, whatever. I went off on one earlier, those sentiments still stand. Check out http://www.facebook.com/sustainedthroughdeath for more info as and when it comes, be good to each other! 

Also check out https://lifeasadreamrecords.bandcamp.com/music for a load of music in different styles, and for anyone looking for mixing and mastering check out http://www.warlockstudios.co.uk/ he does all my mastering and I’ve worked with him loads over the years, he’s super talented! 

Thanks again!

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Purchase ‘Negative Atonal Dissonance’ on CD and digital from Bandcamp/Transcending Obscurity Records here and keep an eye on Tenebrae Sumus Records for cassette pre-orders here


‘Perpetual Consciousness Nightmare’ available on digital, CD and cassette from the Life As A Dream Bandcamp page here.


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Annunaki Rising – An Interview with Sar Isatum 

Sar Isatum are not messing about. When this preview track by the US trio of JP Dalkhu, Damothi and CC landed in my inbox my eye was immediately caught by their use of Sumerian themes; upon checking out the music itself I was far from disappointed. Great symphonic black does not find its way onto my radar as often as it should these days but the ritualistic drumming leading into a blistering, well produced assault of technical obsidian majesty felt like a clarion-call charge into battle and served well as a savage statement of intent. So, being a fan of both Sumerian mythology and good black metal, I was intrigued enough to investigate further and shoot off a few quick questions before the full-length debut ‘Shurpu’ descends upon the Earth. Luckily, the gentlemen were happy to oblige. Have a listen to the eponymous preview track and opening salvo from the upcoming album below, and read on for a fleeting glimpse into the mythos and minds of Sar Isatum.

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Greetings Sar Isatum, thanks for speaking to us. First, some history: What is Sar Isatum as an entity, where did it come from and what is its purpose?

– Sar Isatum came to be as a musical force with the intent to make an intense and ethereal experience to the listener and an intense live performance and force to be reckoned with within the black metal realm. Our purpose is to personally conquer our musical creation and combine different elements within the genre.

You’re about to unleash your debut intonation upon the earth, ‘Shurpu’. Shurpu means ‘Purification by Fire’; in Sumerian, your emblem Sar Isatum means ‘King of Fire’ and the lyrics are inspired heavily by the Sumerian empire. Can you explain the use of Sumerian mythology behind the album and its importance to you?

– The Sumerian topic has always been interesting and it is a topic that not a lot of black metal bands represent and/or write about. Sumerian metaphysical and spiritual ideas also pre-date Christianity and have a dark occult nature to them, so we gravitate towards that rather than the topics that are overdone in today’s black metal.

There’s some great symbolic cover art from Mindrape Art as well, continuing the apocalyptic fire theme. What was it like to work with him, are you pleased with the result?

– We are highly pleased with what Mark did for our cover, I personally have worked with him for many years with other bands and he always delivers an amazing and fitting art. For this cover I sent him the finished album and explained our lyrical content and what we were looking for; needless to say, he envisioned exactly what we had envisioned ourselves. Mark Cooper is an art genius.

The eponymous preview track ‘Sar Isatum’ sounds like a call to arms. Is there a particular reason you selected this track as an introduction?

– We wanted to capture our listener with the first track to release to the public; a song that best represents the band, album, and the different elements that we apply to our writing.

There’s also what appears to be a demo for another great album track on YouTube, ‘Celestial Diaspora’, which sounds altogether colder. What can we expect to hear from the rest of the album?

– That was the demo track we released when the band was created. The album in itself has variation within the songs, we don’t intent to copy any band and we use our different influences to write music and you will be able to tell in this album. At the same time we are always working on evolving musically and do not intent to always sound a certain way.

The album was produced at Sawn & Quartered studios. How did you find the process, and is the final sound exactly as you envisioned?

– Shane Howard is a professional producer and it was great working with someone that knows exactly what a band wants when he’s presented with the music before the recording process. He was able to capture the sound we wanted for this release and we are planning to work with him once again in the future.

You’ve had some shows recently with the likes of Uada and Inquisition. How has the reception been to the material in a live setting?

– We have been received rather well, we have left a mark in the Denver black metal scene and we have created a great following in the short period of time we have been performing live. We just got picked to play with Belphegor, Cryptopsy, and Hate for a show on November 19th.

What’s the state of the Black Metal scene in Colorado? Are there any other underground artists you believe deserve more attention? 

– It’s a growing scene, a supporting scene and it’s definitely one of the best USBM scenes in the country. There’s many amazing bands in Colorado but the ones right now that deserve the recognition are our friends in Mount Cairn and Crafteon, great bands, go listen to them.

Are you currently shopping the album around to labels? Any word on when we can expect a release?

– We are casually shopping around but as of now we have not found the right deal and label to call home, so it’s looking like we will self release the album. Web release date is set for November 20th and the CD release will be on December 21st.

What lies in the future of Sar Isatum? Have you started writing for the next album, and will the Sumerian inspiration continue through future releases?

– Yes, we have started writing new material and as of now we have not made the decision to only continue with the Sumerian inspiration. We don’t want to limit our music and lyrics to one subject.

And lastly: Do you believe the Annunaki will return?

– I believe it is a possibility; to me, it’s more believable that we were created by an alien species than a bearded God.

Sincerest thanks for your time. Any final words?

Thank you for the interview and check out our pages in Youtube, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Instagram and Facebook.

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Pre-Order the debut album ‘Shurpu’ from the Bandcamp link below.

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