Tag Archives: black metal

Formorket Interview August 2017 AB

formorket logo

Formorket features for the very first (and also the last) time in the Scrolls Of Darmoth pages. S, the band’s mastermind will guide us on a small journey through time, revealing some of the band’s secrets ( and not only). Here we go:

1. First of all, tell me please what has been going on in the Formorket camp recently, because in the past years you have been quite silent. What can you tell us about the newly released second album?

S: It is just a while ago when things started to built up again from their pieces. We were never an active band and we never acted like that. Formorket was always a particular representation of things we were inspired by in Black Metal. Its presence is also quite unexpected at this time of flight. We experienced a lot during these cursed years but there was no real reason to step out of the motionless shape. This band was settled in the shadows. Our semi-nonexistence was overwhelming for me but we felt things must be declared crystal clear. Once we decided that we will kill our past we also sorted out that it will be done as a self definition of a lifeless form. As a final wish we wanted to focus our blackened spirits and return back to the roots.
This was the one and only inspiration for the last album of Formorket as we were so devoted by starting our own fires. It was spontaneous and raw at each level of degrees. Following our inside phantoms there was everything settled as well as our hungry passion to the early days of Black Metal. We’ve written all music and lyrics in July 2017 and immediately after this intense songwriting timeframe we were already in the studio to record the album on its entire. There was no time to linger. On-demand and inspired decisions lead by the inner flames did their sinister job during the minimalistic postprocessing period as well. Everything heard and seen are formed by our hands. And as there are no words left, we are eagerly wait our final hours…

2. On the 18th of August, you will participate at the 9th edition of the now famous Inner Awakening Festival, which will be held in Budapest. As far as I know, you haven’t played live in ages. What does this performance mean to you and how do you approach it?

S: Our last appearance on stage and in all forms will be at the ninth Inner Awakening Festival. The circle will be broken that night when we poison the waters live as a final wish. It is going to be the third gig during the fourteen years. In 2016 when our end was already carved into stones we returned back and with an ex temporal lineup we marched the night with Age of Agony.
The most important for us is to destroy our surface to the public and do the opposite in our inverse shape. This show will be the crown of our Death, and our words will be the prayer at the dying flesh of the band. On stage for that hour we will dance with the shadows at the most complete cast and this will lead us through the dreadful hour. It means everything and nothing at the same time.

3. Formorket is not the typical metal band which rehearses, signs a contract with a label, releases an album or a single, goes on a tour and then repeats the cycle over and over again.
Instead you took the other approach: the minimalistic “hiding in the shadows” of your own peace (piece) of mind. Has this way of doing things your way been a fruitful one? Are you happy with how the band evolved in these 14 of activity?

S: Formorket shall be considered as a regressive band so to say. It has its own inevitable walk back in the time for its reason. Therefore it couldn’t be that type of bands since its very early days. We moved when we wanted to and we all kept our past in the mist as you said. Looking back to Black Metal as a primary influence was always the same thing that it was then and now for me in heart. It was always a regression, our monument to a movement of something magical, unseen and untold. Being initiated into the black metal was the entry point of this band. There is no joy or will to success but the unfolding darkest threads are. I can’t imagine this to happen otherwise.
Our fourteen years on the scene was more like a constant inactivity. We appeared when it was time and returned almost immediately. Waves emerged at the most suitable momentum, and these were ours. Now our returning to this while is more intense than ever and we celebrate Death with this until it takes. Our world under the banner of falling will collapse so soon.

4. Many may wonder why, after such a long pause (10 years after your 1st full length and 7 from the Ep), you have decided to release one more album and then call it quits in a grandiose way, on stage at Inner Awakening. What was the main reason behind this decision and how hard was it for you to take it? After all, you have invested a lot of blood and sweat into this band and the disbanding announcement came out quite unexpectedly.

S: The sequence of milestones we march through are heavily bundled together. When we confirmed our last rite we also felt that it shouldn’t be a nostalgic and calm return but condign to what we did and so actual. It was yet untold and we had no space to really underline we want to express with our devotion. How else could it happen? We are deliberately destroying ourselves on stage as well as channeling a nameless power from an unknown source which consumes us. The only difference finally is that it is going to be unhealed.
I’ve never counted the effort I spent on anything. When a certain decision is made, I hardly look back, I am too headstrong to appeal. Instead of seeing me personally falling ill I poison myself!!! It is not a point how much did it cost, it is unimportant how many hours did it take because Death does not count these either! Nonexistence always engaged us so well and finally we are complete to step far beyond the thresholds…

5. Besides Formorket, you and Ga’eheln are active in another great band, Svoid, which even if has its roots in black metal, has a quite different approach than Formorket. How did you cope with this duality, this difference between the 2 bands and the 2 genres they play? But is it about genres and styles, or about the inner fire which is strong enough to burn with multiple flames?

S: Even they have strong similarities we always had a completely different space in our heart to approach them individually. Both have an extrinsic platform, certain levels of freedom and core, the essence itself. When Svoid was expanded from the roots of Formorket, the main reason to differentiate them was the known boundaries of its progression. And this is how they oppose. The limitless, timeless floating is exactly the negated I always wanted to express with Formorket.
All factors and concepts of the spirit and how we interpret these all meet at a point, but how particularly we experience them and transform into something we’ve built are really different things. Therefore the separation itself is not an issue at all. I have only one inner fire that will set me as a person free from everything surrounding me. Both bands are perfect examples at a point. At the very end they are inevitable sources of searching which is aimless without finding.

6. The Formorket sophomore album has an aura of the glorious past around it. A past which is terribly missed by some, mimicked by others, but nevertheless invoked quite seldom when it comes to black metal. Your decision to disband Formorket and the feeling of old this new album has go hand in hand? Is this your tribute to some great times which will never happen again?

S: Formorket was always in respect of a dark past which changed this world. I feel very strongly about what was it all about. Overall it was a short time frame and also a delicate substance which reached its Death fast. There is no need to achieve this. Increasing its depth is no longer possible. With Formorket we raised a cenotaph for the early age of Black Metal. This is a howl to the great and primordial times. As you already pointed out, we lit the torches of Formorket so rarely. It was almost eons ago when “Cult of Generis” was released and a return into the haze followed its path. How others phrase Black Metal has nothing to do with my motivation, but upholding this level of isolation must be considered as declaration as well. Outfit-only approach, patterns, entertainment and fashion estranges me so well and instead of taking part of it I set back. It’s a pathway towards liberation at so many levels and there is no need to be affected by anyone else from the outside world which is false.

7. Listening to the 7 tracks, I couldn’t help to notice the raw, but good sound which emanates all along the 30 minutes. How were you able to invoke so many ghosts from the past on such a short notice?

S: I felt so close to this album and its songwriting phase from the very beginning. It was spontaneous and just in time. When I started to play some riffs it was already a result and the essence of all of my meditations and certain foundations I am into for so many years in mind and spirit. First it was a walk into something invisible as we never did anything similar before in terms of creative process. It was expanding firmly and the only thing we did is to follow its extent. The songs and their structure outlined based on our inspirations during these rehearsals so we were able to draw the context and its boundary for every single track well and detailed. It was a creative flow but it doesn’t mean that it is the same every time we set up like this. Sometimes I feel empty but at its purity it is so heartening to experience.

8. I was blown by the production this album has. While still “primitive and pagan”, you somehow managed to capture your very soul into this record, making the songs very organic and very much alive. How on earth could that happen and what special tricks did you use, if any? Was it magic?

S: From the first second we knew already how it should sound like. We used our instruments, infrastructure and knowledge for everything we did on this record. We also went back so much in time during the recording process. For me using tools only which are available is literally overwhelming. There was no trick at all when we shaped the sound, it was relied more on what we did and knew already about it by heart. The production, mixing and mastering was also something we were responsible for, which simplified our assignment so much. We kept everything closest to the core intentionally. We are both creative elements and working together is built on a clear understanding of each other for a long time.

9. Once the festival is over, Formorket will cease to be. Is it hard to think at it that way, or you’re satisfied with what happened during this period of 14 years?

S: It is a declaration already. The last chapter we are out with reflects that and it is marvelous to capture in mind. I am not sure whether I can describe it that much as I feel like. What we did so far are manifested through us as artists and our various interpretation is going to lead us far beyond. For this we are ready and what we have already behind the surface shall and will be kept apart from Formorket. It is singularity.

10. In the late 90’s and the early 2000’s, the black metal scene was saturated with new bands which tried to copy the ones before them. Many of the old bands were trying to reinvent themselves, some succeeded, some didn’t. Then came the “religious black metal” phase, which reignited the old flame and from there on, to this day, the scene has been invaded by a myriad of occult bands and musicians, one more “evil and satanic” than the other. Don’t get me wrong, among this huge number of copycat bands, there are still some, both old and new, who really make a difference. But as a musician who has been a part of this scene for quite a long time, how do you see what’s going on these days, do you feel you can still identify yourself with this movement, or the magic has been dead for quite some time now?

S: I relate myself so much to the aspiration I feel about the magic of Black Metal. It is a major influence, an attitude if you like. But the relentlessness I am using as a key motivator is not something which is unique in this genre. Each time and age had and still have their own venom and potential to stay and keep outside. Marching by my lurking will is more important than the templates that the scene means today. It suits more to destroy everything at its top. I am not in charge, I have nothing to match with. I have more to tell through this link we established than through under the weight of other pressures from the outer space. It is very simple and straightforward which has nothing to do with me in the scene. Instead of probing I break down the chains and secure the point of entry and no return on all degrees. This is how it becomes no holds barred.

We have reached the end of the journey, both with this interview and with Formorket. I want to thank you for your time and for the willingness to share your thoughts with me. I really hope that the last chapter of Formorket will be memorable. As always, as a guest, you have the last words:

S: Oppose to go on wild as this world turns out of itself.

Sun of the Sleepless – To the Elements album review – August 2017 AB

“Hunter of silence
Awakened…
Wary thine eye
In the dark”.

sun of the sleepless

Who would have thought that in 2017 Ulf Theodor Schwadorf will bring Sun of the Sleepless back from the dark slumber in which it fell in 2004 and will return with their first full length in 18 years of bizarre existence? I was more than hyped when I saw that on the 21 st of July the band has released via Lupus LoungeTo The Elements“, a collection of 7 songs which bear the trade mark of their talented creator.

What we have here is a black metal album dedicated to nature and the creatures that inhabit it. With 2 exceptions, The Burden and the interlude Forest Crown, the rest of the songs are long, atmospheric and harsh. The overall atmosphere reminds me a lot of the lost, forgotten sad spirit of the nineties, when bands like Ulver (early period), Forgotten Woods, Burzum, Emperor and Darkthrone created their masterpieces which are so influential even to this day.

This album starts with a cover of a Lorenna McKennitt song, The Burden, which, after 3 minutes quickly gives in to Motions, revealing the true nature of the beast.
To the Elements is a superbly crafted album, highly atmospheric and very gloomy. If you are expecting influences from the other bands Schwadorf plays in, well, they are there, but do not interfere with the general concept of the album at all.

The third track, The Owl, (the only one which has a video so far) starts with its acoustic slow intro and soft spoken voices, erupting minutes later into a frenzy of riffs and blast beats. As the name implies, the song is dedicated to this mystical and often cursed bird, one of the best predators which ever lived in the animal kingdom.
Schwadorf‘s voice fits perfectly the atmosphere, his grave, harsh tone providing the songs a much deserved weight. He’s backed up by some majestic choirs, while all the blast beats and the icy riffs tear through the acoustic veil like a sharp blade.

sun of the sleepless to the elements

The 4th track, Where in my Childhood Lived a Witch is amazing and if I didn’t like the whole album as much as I do, I would have considered it my favorite song. Perhaps the longest track of the album, with over 8 minutes, this song is the scariest for sure. It starts off in a mid paced rhythm, with great double bass drumming and shredding riffs. In the background some keyboards add a frightening echo to the story. After you think you got used to the song, it suddenly changes rhythm and goes into a cavalcade of riffs and blast beats which last till the end. A powerful song, which is a gem even when it’s played live. This continuous balance between the atmospheric and the violent parts of the songs is what makes To the Elements such an outstanding album.

To calm down the pace a bit after such an intense tempo, Forest Crown is used as a small comforting interlude, with its acoustic guitars and warm vocals. You can actually imagine the vast forest, softly speaking to you when the wind blows through its trees. A beautiful song, smartly inserted at the right time between the longer songs.

The next two tracks, In the Realm of the Bark and Phoenix Rise are the perfect choice to end this beautiful album. The melancholic choirs on Phoenix Rising are beautiful and whenever I play that song I have the impression I am flying over the vast forest.

Overall, what Schwadorf did with To the Elements was basically to create a collection of hymns in which the nature, the old legends and the mystical animals play the main role. A piece of modern art which celebrates both the past and the present and teaches us to cherish and preserve what we still have, until it’s too late.

To the Elements is definitely one of the best and most beautiful albums of this year, a jewel of black metal crafted in the depth of the woods.
This album also proves that you don’t have to be overtly satanic to release a good black metal album in 2017. All you need is the “soul” and the inspiration, the rest will come by default. To match with the music, the band came up with a brilliant album cover which links this new album with the glorious past of the 1990’s.

The version I reviewed here is the limited black LP (350 copies), which comes on a heavy 180g vinyl, with a special vinyl mastering. The gatefold is simple but efficient, leaving the music to speak for itself.Grab your own copy before it’s too late, this album is a must have for all those who appreciated the spirit of the 1990’s and the “romantic” side of black metal.

Also, if you want to witness how Sun of the Sleepless sounds live, you can watch the full concert the band played at the Prophecy Fest earlier this year. This second ever performance is really impressive and there were many songs from To the Elements which were played that night,together with some old tracks from the past.
Total score: 10 owls out of 10

Sun of the Sleepless line up:

Schwadorf – all instruments

To the Elements track list:

1. The Burden
2. Motions
3. The Owl
4. Where in My Childhood Lived a Witch
5. Forest Crown
6. The Realm of the Bark
7. Phoenix Rise

Band contact and merchandise:

https://www.facebook.com/sunofthesleepless
http://en.prophecy.de/artists/sun-of-the-sleepless/
https://sun-of-the-sleepless.bandcamp.com/

Formorket album release and last concert ever.

10 years after the release of their full length, “Into the Frozen Shadows“, the Hungarian black metal band Formorket is back from its dead silent slumber, this time with 2 huge announcements:
The release of their sophomore, self titled album and their participation to the Inner Awakening Festival which will take place on the 18th and 19th of August in Budapest. (https://www.facebook.com/events/172732716489009/)

Besides the fact that their set list will include both some of the new songs, as well as some tracks from their previous works, this appearance will also mean the death of the band as we know it, because after 14 years of walking on this cursed path, the 2 main members, S and Ga’eheln have decided to put Formorket to sleep. For good.

So no gimmicks, no changing of minds for the sake of old times, this is indeed the last time you’ll have the chance to see Formorket at work, on stage. And what a better opportunity than to be a part of this very interesting black metal festival, which has already reached its 9th edition.

The “Formorket” album will come out in 2 extremely limited versions, on tape and cd, that is. There will be no repress of this material, so be ready to grab your copy as soon as possible.

For further details, you can access this page: http://formorket.spiritside.info

As a preview, until the physical versions will be released, you can check out the album on YouTube here.

Osculum Infame – “Axis of Blood” review June 2017 AB

France has always been a serious provider of good quality extreme metal bands and during the years more and more bands formed to spread the gospel of the lord. Osculum Infame makes no exception, since this band is one of the veterans of the French black metal scene, its roots going back to 1993, the golden age of black metal, just before things started to fall apart.

Osculum Infame logo

In 24 years of activity under the banner of darkness, Osculum Infame have managed to release only 2 full length albums (along several EP’s and compilations), the famous Dor-nu-Fauglith released in 1997 (which became one of the milestones of the French black metal albums, both hated and revered at the same time), and Axis of Blood, the first album celebrating their return after the sleep of death between 2002-2008.

With an almost completely different line-up, (Deviant von Blakk remaining the only original member since the band’s beginnings), Osculum Infame has released the Axis of Blood on the French label Battlesk’rs in 2015. Since this album is going to be re-released at the end of this month, on the 30th of June (the original first press CD limited to 500 copies is almost sold out), I decided to honor this great release by writing some words about it.

Continue reading Osculum Infame – “Axis of Blood” review June 2017 AB

Scáth Na Déithe Interview – February 2017 AB

Quite a long time has passed since the last feature was published in Scrolls of Darmoth. Many events took place, some of them of great importance on a political level (at least for some of my fellow Romanians) and the others which were strictly related to my personal life. Overall, these events prevented me to write/create anything. In other words I lost the inspiration for a while. There’s no point of writing something just for the sake of it, when all you have in your mind are empty spaces.

I had this interview in mind after writing the review for the album “Pledge Nothing but Flesh“, but I could not compose the questions anymore. So I decided to wait and let things fall back into their own pieces again and last week the muse came back with the stolen inspiration. I was finally able to send the questions over to the Irish band Scáth Na Déithe, who, through the voice of Cathal Hughes, was very kind to answer them.

I thank them for the interview and I urge you to listen to the album first, then read the interview. You’ll learn many interesting things about this band and the country it comes from. Crack open a cold one and enjoy the reading.

scath-na-deithe logo
scath-na-deithe logo

Hi Cathal, apologies for the lateness of this interview. I wish it were ready sooner, but independent issues prevented me from finishing the questions in due time. First of all, thank you for accepting this interview for Scrolls of Darmoth and second, congratulations for the impressive album that is ‘Pledge Nothing but Flesh’, which was released one month ago. Let’s roll!

SoD: I have to ask this question, as I am extremely curious. What does Scath Na Deithe mean in the Irish language and who exactly are you guys? Please introduce the band a bit to our readers.

CH: Scáth Na Déithe roughly translates into English as ‘The Shadow of the Gods’. We wanted a name that would reflect our intent to take a large influence from Irish folklore and traditions. There are two of us in the band, myself Cathal Hughes and Stephen Todd. I live in a small village in the north of Dublin called Rush and Stephen is from Co. Tyrone.

SoD: Scath Na Deithe is a young band, but the music on your releases begs to differ. Did you guys spend your “apprenticeship” in other bands, or this is your first and most serious project you have been involved in?

CH: We have both been involved in numerous projects; we came to know each other through playing shows together in different bands. We have both released music with other projects in the past so we have had a lot of experience in writing and recording music, but this is the first band were we have created music together.

SoD: Until now you have released a demo tape (“The Horrors of Old” in 2015) and the first full length, “Pledge Nothing but Flesh”, which came out in January 2017. Both releases are DYI, independent. Why is that? Is it easier that way or it’s difficult to find a decent label willing to support a young band these days?

CH: The EP was released independently because it was the very first material we were releasing so we were planning on attracting the attention of labels with that release. We had some offers for cassette releases but they ended up falling through, so we self-released a limited cassette edition of the EP last year. We tried to gather some label interest for the release of “Pledge Nothing but Flesh” but we didn’t receive any offers that were well suited to us. We have since confirmed that a cassette version of “Pledge Nothing but Flesh” will be released this March on Metal Defiance Productions. We purposely take an extremely DIY approach to the recording and mixing of our albums. We do this because I really feel that we require a very specific type of production to reinforce the feel and aesthetic of our music.

SoD: Your music is not something which I can call happy nor very easy to listen to. On both your releases you have created a suffocating, sinister and addictive atmosphere which the listener can easily be sucked into, if not careful. Where does your inspiration come from? Is it something related to the famous bleak Irish weather, is it the world you live in or it’s just you, as persons?

CH: It comes from many places, but yes for sure the darkness of the Irish weather and the landscape we live in have a huge impact on the music we write. The main source of inspiration for the actual music itself is very hard to pin down, I would say I am moved to write music by books I read, the images or feelings they can evoke, more so than by listening to music. Of course listening to extreme forms of metal have a direct impact on what we write, but rather than being able to list off a few bands that we are trying to emulate, it is very much the mindset that listening to extreme metal pulls you into that inspires me to write.

SoD: Besides the 2 instrumentals, the 4 songs on “Pledge Nothing but Flesh” are very long, lasting more than 10 minutes each. I don’t think that their length is an enemy here, because the despair which permeates from those tracks cannot be unfolded in just a few minutes. Was this something you planned from the beginning, or it just happened in the process of writing and then you decided to go with the flow, so to speak?

CH: From the start our goal for this album was to have long track lengths for the exact reason you mention, the type of atmosphere and emotions we are trying to convey can’t be properly expressed in shorter songs. I treat the arrangement of a song like a story, it should rise and fall, take you on a journey through different emotions. Our vision for how the album should progress was clear while it was being written, it is an album of two halves, the first half is meant to convey pure rage and aggression, and the second half to be more somber and reflective. The second instrumental track is there to give contrast to the harsh tracks that go before, to give the listener a brief departure from the weight of the oppressive atmosphere of the music, and to lead you into the second half of the album.

scath-na-deithe-the horrors of old

SoD: While the vocals have a very death metal vibe, the riffs and the drumming combine genres, reminding me of Dead Congregation mixed with Ataraxie and with a serious touch of black metal. What music are you guys listening to, when not involved in Scath Na Deithe? Do you listen to (extreme) metal at all?

CH: I am a huge fan of Dead Congregation so thank you for the comparison. Yes, we mostly listen to extreme metal, lately I have been listening to the “Hero” album by Bolzer, Kyrpts, Imha Tarikat, the new Teitanblood EP, The Ruins of Beverast and the latest Blaze of Perdition album. We both listen to a lot of the same bands when it comes to extreme forms of metal.

SoD: The fact that this album has been mastered in the famous Necromorbus Studios (Watain, Armagedda, Funeral Mist and many other great bands) could have enhanced the sinister atmosphere contained on this record?

CH: Absolutely, Tore did an amazing job mastering the album and got us the exact result we had hoped for. He has done great work for so many amazing bands so we were very excited to have him master our album. It was his work for Tribulation that attracted our attention initially.

SoD: While reading the lyrics from “Pledge Nothing but Flesh”, I could not help to notice the topics have nothing to do with the occult, devil worship and other subjects one can find in so many songs/albums these days. Instead, they are more anti life, so to speak, like each of the 4 tracks is a hymn to death and what lies beyond. Why did you choose this lyrical approach and who’s in charge with writing the lyrics and the music?

CH: I write the music and lyrics, which are greatly inspired by Irish folk stories and traditions, but rather than simply recount what happens in these tales I want to channel the emotions they convey or the lessons they teach, and apply their imagery to create a world of our own within the lyrics. For example, the song ‘This Unrecognized Disease’ is inspired by the true story of a woman called Bridget Cleary, who is often referred to as the last witch to be burned in Ireland, but the term ‘witch’ is a misleading take on what happened to her. Her tragic story is entwined with the Irish fairy traditions, and the very real fear and superstition that people in Ireland held about the fairies. I won’t go into the details of what happened to her here, but I would really encourage people to research her story themselves. For the lyrics inspired by this story I wanted to imagine the overwhelming fear and isolation she must have felt in her final days of life, and try to convey these emotions in the lyrics.

SoD: In the past years, the Irish scene has seen quite a revival, when it comes to extreme metal bands. (Zom, Vircolac, Coscradh, Malthusian, just to mention a few). Where do you see Scath Na Deithe in this picture? Do you feel like you belong?

CH: The Irish scene has seen an explosion of bands making a name for themselves, both at home and internationally. It’s not really up to us if people decide to hold our music in the same regard as those bands, but I hope that we will carve out our own place among the well regarded Irish extreme metal acts. As it stands currently for such a small country and small metal scene all the bands really do have their own distinct sound and approach to their craft, and I do feel that we can make that same claim about ourselves, in that sense I would say we belong.

SoD: Last year, you were supposed to play at the Dark Arts Festival, but eventually that did not happen, as I have mistakenly mentioned in the review I wrote for “Pledge Nothing but Flesh” (apologies for that misleading info). Do you have a live line-up, can we expect some concerts or even a small tour in the future, in support of the new album? Or you are not that much into touring and you just want to keep it as simple as possible, with only a couple of local shows?

CH: We have never ruled out live shows and we had a full line-up prepared for that show but we were unable to play due to the same reason we are not able to commit to live shows at present; it is simply work commitments that are getting in the way, which unfortunately can’t be helped.

SoD: The cover of “Pledge Nothing but Flesh” was done by Luciana Nedelea (Luciana Nedelea Art) and it turned out amazingly great. I think that drawing suits the whole concept of the album extremely well. How did you get in touch with Luciana, after all?

scath-na-deithe-pledge-nothing-but-flesh
scath-na-deithe-pledge-nothing-but-flesh

CH: I had seen some of her art being shared on social media and had been an admirer of her work for some time. We contacted her directly and explained the general concept behind each song and sent her over all the lyrics, that was the only direction we gave her. We wanted to see what the reading the lyrics would inspire her to create and were blown away from the very first idea she sent back to us. She really understood what we were trying to create through our music and was able to represent it perfectly in her art. She is truly an amazing artist, an absolute professional to work with, and we cannot recommend her highly enough.

SoD: Officially Scath Na Deithe is a duo. How hard or how easy is for you guys to write, record and play the music in this format? Have you considered adding another member to the ranks, or you’re happy with the way things are going right now?

CH: Writing the songs comes relatively easy to us, considering their length. We usually focus on one song per rehearsal and at the end of that rehearsal record ourselves playing the song start to finish so when we came back to rehearse a song before recording it for the album we would be certain of what we had decided on playing. We had a potential bass player but he was unable to commit so we decided to go ahead as a duo, for recording this isn’t an issue for us.

SoD: There is a strange noise which connects the first track, the instrumental “Si Gaoithe”, to the final part of “Search Unending”, the last song on the album. I am almost sure I can hear someone’s footsteps slowly walking, but where exactly, I don’t know. I find this idea of linking the 1st and last song very original and interesting, it’s like an ouroboros is connecting the dots on this album and completes the circle. Was that something intentional, or it’s only my imagination playing tricks on me?

CH: Yes, you are correct, we wanted the album’s end to be linked back to the beginning, completing the journey. The sound is actually supposed to represent someone working in a field. The title ‘Sí Gaoithe’ translates as ‘fairy wind’. I should probably clarify that the Irish fairies are nothing like the nice, kindly creatures that the word is usually associated with, the word fairy was placed by English speakers on what the Irish called the Sídhe. They are extremely dangerous and had inhabited Ireland long before people had, until they were forced to live beneath the earth. The tradition of the fairy wind is that people who would stay out late working their fields would be swept up in a great wind and carried away to the other world were the Sídhe lived and a changeling would be left in their place to torment their family. As I mentioned before, these superstitions were taken very seriously in rural Ireland and there are many recorded cases of people, both adults and children, being killed because they were believed to be a fairy who took the place of a real person. So the sound you are asking about is there to represent someone out working alone who is swept up by this fairy wind and taken through the journey of the album before returning to were they had begun.

SoD: It seems we have already reached the end of this interview. I want to thank you again for your time and as usual, my guests have the last words. Feel free to add whatever you like. Cheers!!

CH: Thank you for taking the time to compose these questions and a massive thank you to anyone who has listened to our music or supported us in any way. Sláinte!

To find out more about the band and their releases, visit their Bandcamp and Facebook pages.

Liber Null Interview January 2017 AB

I like to discover new bands which really have that special something, like essence or personality. And if they add something of their own to the music, well, that works for the better. This is what happened with Liber Null, a new band which I discovered last year, after they released their first full length “I – The Serpent” through the French label Osmose Productions. I liked that album instantly, because of the atmosphere and the power contained on those 6 songs. (listen to the title track and you’ll be amazed).

I was very curious to find out more about this new band so I asked Psaalm (vocals) and Ades (guitars and bass) if they wanted to answer some of my questions. Below is the result, which sheds a bit of light in this darkness that is Liber Null. Enjoy!

Liber Null appears for the first time in Scrolls of Darmoth and I thank you very much for accepting this interview. Last year you have released your first full length and I’m really curious to find out more about this album and what’s behind the band’s concept. Here we go:

1. Why the need for another black metal group? What has Liber Null to offer in this already saturated extreme musical scene?

Psaalm: We did not think about “offering” and we do not care about the saturation of the scene. Me and Ades have been in contact for several years, I always respected him as a talented guitarist and thought that gathering our common visions of Black Metal could have created something new, something worth the effort. The goal of crafting new art is the “need” you’ve asked about.

2. Liber Null was formed last year and in November you released the first full length via Osmose. This album was a big, pleasant surprise, but it came out of the blue, so to speak. What were your expectations regarding the band and the reception of the album by the media and public, considered you did not follow the “traditional” way of releasing a demo or a 7” EP before the album came out?

Psaalm: Me and Thorns already worked with Osmose Productions with bands such as Frostmoon Eclipse and Fides Inversa. We greatly admire the work of Hervé Herbaut through the years in helping Black Metal to shape itself as we know it today and so, when the album was ready, it was our first choice to propose it to him. Osmose is treating us amazingly, and we look forward to a long collaboration.

Liber Null-logo scrolls of darmoth
Liber Null-logo scrolls of darmoth

3. If the other two band members (Thorns and Psaalm) are already quite known due to their activity in Frostmoon Eclipse and other bands, you seem to be a bit of a mystery. Who exactly is Ades and what is his musical background?

Ades: ah well, I listen to and play music. You would think this is a given, if not an understatement for someone in a band, but you would be surprised at the amount of “musicians” who do very little of that. What I mean is that I listen with keen ears to music as a whole and try to take out of it its brilliance and translate it into what is useful to me. You might find a fantastic sequence or structure in the least expected song categories. I never saw myself as an artist but rather an artisan: I create musical structures which I deem solid and the more the tools I have at my disposal, the more sophisticated the result will be without losing the integrity of the structure itself. To bring this into Liber Null, I have a fluid approach that takes from many genres I appreciate, I strongly believe in challenging the dogma and I try to hint it in the musical message. Obviously, this band is a joint venture of talents and the musical message, whilst still strongly bearing my mark, has to be agreed upon by everyone and thus it falls into a somewhat more rigid grid.

Continue reading Liber Null Interview January 2017 AB

Shaarimoth – Temple of the Adversarial Fire album review – WTC 2017 AB

Eyes wide shut and ears wide open, this is the best way to listen to this album which was spawned in an obscure temple in the Sumerian desert and released by World Terror Committee on January the 13, year of grace 2017. Released 12 years after the band’s first full length, “Current 11“, “Temple of the Adversarial Fire” sees Shaarimoth transformed into a very powerful entity which has used these years of solitude and silence to its best, only to reborn in chaos, stronger than never before.

Gone are the obvious influences from different cult death metal bands and instead, the Norwegian trio has crafted a specific, personal style of playing. Smartly avoiding the trap of other bands which play in a similar way, Shaarimoth reinvented itself with this album in a way which is beyond this worldly realm.
This rebirth, after so many years of dead slumber, makes “Temple of the Adversarial Fire” one of the best death/black metal releases in the past years.

Shaarimoth - Temple of the Adversarial Fire 2017
Shaarimoth – Temple of the Adversarial Fire 2017

This hate manifesto contains 11 tracks stretching a bit over 48 minutes of pure anti-cosmic propaganda. From the very song, “The Hungry Omega“, we realize how monstrous Shaarimoth‘s music has become: fierce, hateful death metal, with some touches of black metal and lots of synths and effects. The tracks flow so naturally one into another that you feel like the whole album was intended to be some sort of ritualistic music put together for a special ceremony. On one hand we have the sheer aggression of death metal, while on the other we have melodic guitar solos, spooky synths and keyboards, clean vocals and even a female voice. These complementary elements provide Shaarimoth‘s music a very original approach and transform (almost) each track into an anthem of hate and disgust towards the holy and pure.

Continue reading Shaarimoth – Temple of the Adversarial Fire album review – WTC 2017 AB