Travel fast, oh snake hiss
Like matter in the strings of time
Reach the mind of the indomitable hearts
Awaken in dreams of mine
Do you hear the call? A beckoning, whispered from the darkness. Bewitching, ensnaring vibrations on the air, carrying a sound like none other. You tremble as it reaches your ears; a black incantation, stimulating your senses to see beyond all mortal limitations. Just what is this that summons thee so? That, my friend, could only be the new and enigmatic solo entity THE HOLY FLESH and its mesmerizing debut full-length album, Emissary & Vessel.
Now, you may have caught a tantalizing glimpse of the spell cast by this truly astonishing debut album back in late December / early January on the artist’s Bandcamp, before it vanished as quickly and mysteriously as it came. Well, it turns out it disappeared for a reason, and now in a swirl of slowly drifting sulphur it rematerialises – in the form of both our full-stream here today and a deservedly stunning tape release via cult label Caligari Records.
Is it black metal? Yes, and… not as you know it. This is something else. Uncompromising in vision and wholly unique, these eight tracks of black rock lysergia act as a conduit for forces beyond comprehension and move like a sorcerous snake unfurling, swaying and hypnotizing you with its gaze; dangerous and seemingly ready to strike at any time, yet equally just as likely to impart ancient arcane wisdoms to you from behind the shaded veils of the time of no time.
It’s an almost indescribably affecting album and one that’s made quite a stir in its short existence thus far, but we don’t just have the full-stream for your consideration today – Black Metal Daily also proudly presents the very first known interview conducted with the shadowed and nameless being behind its creation, who allows us invaluable insights into the esoteric intricacies, influences and mystical workings that form the core of the project.
So come, reap. Absorb the bounty of this hidden knowlege. Let this intoxicating mix of jangling dissonant resonance and languid, venomous psychedelia enflame your spirit; for its power over you only grows stronger with every listen. Hear, read, immerse thyself… and let The Holy Flesh consume.
Pre-orders available now for March 27th release. Hails.
Greetings, The Holy Flesh. It’s an honour to speak with you today for the full-stream of your incredible debut album, Emissary and Vessel. Now, I’ve not seen an interview with you yet so I’d like to delve a little into the project itself first, if I may. Where and when did The Holy Flesh originate, and what is its purpose in this world?
– First of all, thank you for this opportunity and yes, this is the first interview and so the first chance to shed some light onto this project. I can’t really put my finger on the precise moment this all came about; it was 2017 and I was originally writing with a much different approach for another project. I found myself in the position where The Holy Flesh completely took over the whole creative process and I began writing track after track, ending up not evening knowing whether I was going in the right direction.
It came out gradually and yet with its very own force, I had to just let it do its course.
What gave me confidence in the honesty of this music during the writing process was the complete lack of stylistic boundaries, something I had never experienced before. I let inspiration come from the meaning and not the purpose for the first time.
The Holy Flesh is a curious and powerful moniker in itself. To what does it refer or allude? Does it perchance have anything to do with the “Holy Flesh” religious movement within the Seventh-day Adventist Church?
– Not at all. I have been asked this question on social platforms before and I would like to make clear that there is nothing remotely linked to The Holy Flesh.
It’s far more simple than that – does “as holy flesh and sulphur clash” ring a bell?
The Devil’s Blood have been a great source of inspiration both musically and personally; I wanted to keep reminding myself where all this (partially) started from, with the clear idea in mind that inspiration and looking up to someone does not translate into a copy and paste job. I hope this comes across when listening to the album.
The lyrics seem to speak of rejection and renewal; what is the message the album is bringing to us?
– The whole writing process of Emissary and Vessel has been a rejection and renewal task.
With regards to the lyrics, they have been written by someone really close to me who took part in the whole recording process and was able to put into words something that I wanted to deliver through my music. When it comes to the message I want to deliver, I guess I shouldn’t be trying to explain this. I’d like to think that whoever has been already listening to the record has been able to gain something from it, not just in terms of ambience or background noise while doing something else.
Everything is open to interpretation and I am not able to tell people what to look for when listening to The Holy Flesh. If I had to, it would mean they should be listening to something else.
With its sinuous, winding and psychedelic occult atmospheres the album is an almost spiritual experience; I’d imagine its creation was quite interesting. What was the writing and recording process like, not only in practical terms, but for you personally?
– I was not aiming for a huge response but to define a style and go towards a specific direction. I often find myself recording too many tracks and none of them fully satisfy me or make me feel as I entirely translated what I had in mind. I felt that the lyrics helped a lot to lead the way for the whole album and gave it an integrity I personally admire. Writing, recording and mixing the whole thing has been a strenuous experience that I keep promising myself never to repeat; and yet I still can’t wait to do all over again with the next record.
Whilst indeed sharing certain similarities with other artists, I can’t say I’ve heard anything exactly like Emissary and Vessel. What do you feel has provided inspiration for these compositions?
– Most people believe that inspiration is something that you magically get as soon as you are in the right context or circumstances: on the peak of a mountain or self isolating for months. Not everyone is that lucky, I guess! I live in a big and chaotic city, see hundreds of people everyday, find myself in situations I wouldn’t really want to be in if I had a choice.
What the world came to, how little we are worth to each other, the selfishness with how we push through this misery, that’s what inspires me.
Look at what we have now and aim for the complete nullification of it all, it could only get better.
Stepping away from the album, briefly – I know nothing about you, the mysterious entity behind it all. I’m not sure what sort of response I’ll get here, but: who are you?
– I am not at the stage where I wish to put my ego before what inspired this album and its composition. It will come up in due time. For now, I am just someone who enjoys what he does, I’d rather have music speaking on my behalf and taking over my identity than the other way around.
Given the occult/spiritualist/even anti-cosmic resonance emitted by Emissary and Vessel, I’m curious as to how much of this is drawn from your personal life. Would you consider yourself a follower of any particular occult path?
– Not exactly. I have a fervid interest in occult philosophy and anything related to chaos magick but I don’t see myself as a follower of any specific path. In my opinion, to be a follower of anyone or anything, you need to blindly trust someone else’s views and principles and shape your life around them. We have the great luck of having access to thousands of books or any other source of information at any time of the day and night, we should be able to form an opinion about the world we live in and act accordingly. And yet we choose to go by what someone else says because it entails less thinking, less risks, less uncertainty. That’s when we end up losing our own identity in exchange for a “safe place” with the rest of the herd. People need to wander more, find themselves in the middle of nowhere at some point in life, as I am sure we all did, and start tracing their path from there.
The album was originally released digitally, is now being released on cassette under the banner of Caligari Records, and I believe an LP edition has just been announced to arrive at some point in the latter half of the year. How did this come about so soon? Have you been surprised by the great response to the record?
– It all happened by chance. And pure luck! I am not the best at promoting my own work and it’s probably quite clear at this point of the interview so I was not bracing for any sort of deal with a label anytime soon. It honours me having had such an enthusiastic response from Caligari in a short space of time.
Whilst the atmospheric tapestry the record carefully weaves and sets aflame is nothing short of incredible, I can’t help but think it would be equally as powerful to hear the material in a live setting. Are there any potential The Holy Flesh live shows on the horizon?
– I am a solo musician and, for the time being, the idea of playing live is a bit remote given that I am quite short of hands! I am not ruling out the possibility of a live show but I will consider the option once and if I manage to find like minded people to play with. I believe this sort of thing occurs naturally once there’s a demand for it. So I guess we shall see how it plays out.
And finally, seeing as we are premiering Emissary and Vessel here today, I shall ask your opinion of it. Do you have any favored moments or passages, or is there any particular aspect of it that you are particularly pleased with?
– The final part of Emissary II, as the night OPENS.
Sincerest thanks for your time, The Holy Flesh. Any last words or wisdom to impart to us all?
– Make sure to support as many physical releases as you can from the artists you admire and keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming tape from Caligari Records and the following LP version coming from Dybbuk Productions. Spread the word!
Emissary & Vessel will be available 27th March via Caligari Records.
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