Last weekend, when the 11 killed the 10, Svoid performed another show in the series which occurred since their rebirth. Even if the setting and the company were a bit peculiar (the other 2 bands present on the bill came from a totally different musical background), it was still a very good opportunity for them to share their cursed crafts with the more or less unsuspecting audience.
The night was going to be a special one for the band, and that was quite obvious from the determination and the looks the quartet adopted before entering the stage.
Yes, I said a quartet because this time Svoid were joined by T on the bass, who relieved S from his bass guitar duties, allowing him to concentrate on channeling the gods of void by only using his vocals.
I did not catch much of the first band who opened the night, Dark Tears From Space, but what I could tell after listening to a song was that their Nightwish-like approach did not suit my tastes at all, so I decided to hydrate myself with some Hungarian beverages instead.
If the alchemical process of turning metal into gold could be applied in music, then Svoid would be the perfect example for this occult experiment.
After releasing 2 full lengths and 2 EPs while deeply rooted in black metal in particular and extreme metal in general, the hungry wolves from Svoid decided some months ago to change the settings completely and distance themselves from the “extreme” scene which they have been part of for quite some time.
This change resulted in a series of events which occurred in their hometown of Budapest, shows which revealed the other side, still dark though, of their craft.
6 years ago, the Hungarian entity called Svoid appeared from the mists of Null for the first time. Its sharp toothed mouth gnawed slowly on the pillars of knowledge and death, releasing from the hungry void 5 darkened hymns.
Ars Kha was unleashed as an independent release hence its limited availability on the market. Those of you who are reading this and wonder where you can buy the physical copy from, I’m afraid I have to disappoint you by telling you this material has been sold out for quite a long time now. The only possible place to buy this black masterpiece is the band’s official Bandcamp page, where you can purchase the digital copy for less than 3 Euros. Hopefully that someday in the near future this debut record will see again the light of night in another form, because it really deserves a true re-release.
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.
As I already mentioned it in the previous Pagan Megalithreview, before recording the second album in 2010, the band decided to sleep the sleep of death for an unlimited period of time. In 2016 they awakened from their silent slumber and their long awaited album “Viharjárás” (Stormburst) was finally released. In February 2017 Neverheard Distro released it on tape as well. What better way to listen to this opus than on tape?
Recorded in the same successful formula than “Ólomharangok” (Leadenbells), (AE and Tuhlv), this sophomore album sees Pagan Megalith taking their music a step further on the evolution scale. Gone is the Gorgoroth vibe which dominated the previous album, instead their compositions are imbued with a more personal and sorrowful feeling.
The speed has maybe decreased a bit, replacing the previous groovy attitude with more elaborate compositions full of hate and disgust but overall, the whole dominant feeling is one of nihilism and hate. Again, don’t expect an album full of ballads and odes to love. No, no, no. There’s plenty of blast bea(s)ts on this album, but the drumming has shifted towards a certain nostalgia instead of a simple aggressive style. Continue reading Pagan Megalith – Viharjárás – Neverheard Distro 2016 AB→
Pagan Megalith is a not a new band, but if we think that in 13 years of activity (with 6 years of hiatus) they have released only 2 albums, we might consider them a young band. But what makes this group really special are the skills and the musicianship of its members. On one hand we have Ga’eheln, (best known for his involvement in multiple Hungarian bands, like Svoid etc) on guitars and vocals, and on the other there’s AE on drums. The union of these 2 fine musicians has resulted in “Ólomharangok“, their debut album, which was spawned between 2008-2009 and released on tape 1 year later. The same year, just before recording their second full length, the band decided to put an end to its short existence and withdrew into the dark which it came from.
What we deal here with is pure Gorgoroth worship but done in the best way possible. Not only this album is not a mere copycat or a tribute band, but Pagan Megalith has put its own soul into this music, adding some really interesting passages like acoustic intros or slow, atmospheric parts. But don’t get me wrong, there are no lullabies on this album so expect plenty of double bass drums, insane blast beats and great cold, icy guitar riffs (just listen to the track “Sziklavér“) and you’ll feel like having taken a ride back to 1993.
The energy which emanates from these tracks is contagious and you just want to headbang like a maniac while the music is infecting your ears. It’s a very addictive listen and I strongly recommend it to those who are still very nostalgic about those great times when black metal was really evil, simple and to the point.
The production is flawless allowing the songs to flow in a very organic way, from start to finish. Pagan Megalith have created with “Ólomharangok” a magnificent tribute album to the golden, romantic period of black metal but they have given it a personal and quite modern touch.
The drums are excellent, imposing the rhythm all along the album, shifting from a black’n roll, groovy sound to raw black metal. Ga’eheln‘s voice is perfect for this album, his raw, scrappy vocals perfectly connecting the dots.
Overall this album is a must for every nostalgic of the great 1990’s times and a very good quintessence of the first 3 Gorgoroth albums, but with a personal feeling.
The lyrics are in Hungarian but that’s not a problem since this melodic language can be quite interesting when it comes to black metal.
The digital limited edition which can be found here features a Behemoth cover from the band’s “And the Forests Dream Eternally” EP. This groovy, Bathory inspired track is the perfect way to conclude an album which pays so much respect to the glorious dark past.
AaaaaRrrrrrggggghhhh!!! Pure Evil and Hate!!!!!
Pagan Megalith – “Ólomharangok” track list:
1. Őszi áradatba pusztul
2. Révület jövel
3. Torzult Nap
6. Az idő vasfoga
8. A gyilokjáróból
9. Nincs út közöttünk
10. Alkonyatba tűnök
11. Pure Evil and Hate (Behemoth cover – Bonus track available only on the deluxe digital version).