Babylon Whores interview from Qvadrivivm #5 (2008)

The Terminally Whored

Interview: Kuronen

there are never too many decent bands around to interview, we might as well start here. Not unlike numerous other entourages in this issue, Babylon Whores, Helsinki Finland death rockers extraordinaire, are currently resting in a parallel time-space-continuum that spells meth (מת) until proven otherwise.

Reading thoughts that were pushed out many moons ago should not frighten you, should it?

You are not a whore for time, are you?

So rewind. Prior to absorbing heavy untranslated German philosophy en masse, selling shirts for Nightwish at their US tour and translating artefacts of American pop culture of the more dodgy order, Ike Vil had some interesting points to make. This story concerns some of them, and while doing so, dries you up with a run of quasi-muso talk about Death of the West and other topics about as eternal. It is certainly something to stir your mind from the stupor, if only for a short while. So Ilkka, get ready to speak up.

First of all, the question that is perhaps the most basic of all: is Death of the West a hit?

“No. Neither is it a stab; maybe it’s a… slag.”

Whatever it is, it’s a slow album. You’ve grown old.

“Was noticed too. Roses and bitterness; tributes to old age. Too bad these stupid CD’s can’t be played on 45. As always, these things are part of a process that we only have limited control of.”

I’ve always liked to associate Babylon Whores with all kinds of stone materials—is this advisable or inadvisable? Exactly how durable are you?

“Always preferred Simon Magus over Simon Petrus. Sown in the wind, lost among ruins; the bad seed. Of Babylon Whores and its works, the parts thereof that are connected to tradition and transcendence will continue to live in one form or another, and be told again in another time and place. That which does not weather the storm will be washed away. Maybe that is good and proper. Favorite rock formations include gravestones, cairns and weathered statues.”

What of the acoustics and the tree of silence?

“Our old guitarist Ewo got really mad at me when I suddenly felt the essence, meaning and nature of a tree revealed to me and told him all about it; too much about it. As for its implications in this context, it could perhaps be said that this tree was made up of used toilet rolls that we painted green. Yet occasionally strange fruit appeared on its branches. Though many things could be done about it, the main and sole purpose in itself is to have the tree stand between the sky and the ground (roots down), something which we partly succeeded in.

“As conductors go, acoustics unfortunately too often takes a second priority in a long list of logistical requests at the end of a wrong rail-width railway. Natural resonance conquered by heavy metal. As always, I would want to explore other avenues so much.”

I suppose that’s so much. Do you think the level of far-fetchedness in the analogy between the golem as a robot and Death of the West as a constituent of the modern world correlates much?

“I guess not. In the wintertime of the west, the robot will care little of what is written on its forehead, its truth and death maybe spelled in the on/off switch. Quite a few things on the album monger some revolt against the modern world in between their lines, if you want to look into it that way. Then again it’s nothing new under the sun, and I should think it quite easy to submerge into the meaningful harmony of the Cycle, content in the safe passage of its eternal return. I do hope that not much of it is limited to its own isolated discourse. There has been a definite and growing ambition for the mentioned transcendence in what I write (since Cold Heaven I guess) to make it all worthwhile, especially as the albums seem to sell iron records in Shamballah.”

Listener-based interpretation is not a question of interpretation but a weak endeavour to propose vague answers. What absolute facts can you share about Death of the West?

“I do object to the nature of the question. Detached and dissected, maybe I could be pushed to acknowledge Cloakina as the goddess of the night stool and sewer, and thus a patroness of a branch of alchemy called black for a reason. Maybe she watches over Babylon Whores, too. Hell, everybody pays homage to her daily if their system runs smoothly. As for the physical conditions during the recording, I want most everything changed the next time.”

Two days ago perkele denoted the god of thunder in Lithuanian, yesterday it was an anti-god and today it’s a plain swear word. Have we lost something along the way?

“Yesterday’s gods sadly almost never fail to become the demons of today. And the trivialities of the day after. But when it comes to those words, they’re maybe not the most important things that have been robbed from us as pillars of a meaningful existence. People still do see black and white, though the ethics and belief systems governing that vision have basically no color at all anymore.”

It is said that one is at leisure when one invests time in signs or literature. How does one potentially feel when investing time in the absorption of Babylon Whores?

“I do disagree with the former; idleness is the father of greatness as the ancients knew, our time is unfortunately spent running after secondary, no, tertiary, bullshit to an extent yet unparalleled in history, leaving no time for contemplation at all. I do not know about the mental postures of the listeners; I do wish them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in any case.”

Are things easy or hard in Babylon?

“This one is easy; and to instantly contradict I really do think that nothing is easy.”

How thick a skin does a Babylon Whore need to have?

“Sloped form reduces the need of armor thickness. Everything is real, but not very much is true.”

IF THERE’S one thing that has reared its three-fold head in the last couple of years, it has to be environmentalism. But let’s talk about globalisation, the preceding sociopolitical contagion, which is also something Death of the West is indirectly connected to. The following is largely based upon some arguments put forth by an article entitled “Lisää globalisaatiota!” (“More Globalisation!” written by Paul Lillrank) that appeared in the local paper Aamulehti in November 2000. I asked Ike what kind of regards Christabel or Lucibel might send to Mr Lillrank.

“Well. Maybe it all boils down to us apparently having a profoundly different point of view—he talks about globalization from the viewpoint of economy. Quite a lot of people see it that way; as if culture is a manifestation of economy, and not the other way around. If they wouldn’t, I guess there wouldn’t be any talk about globalization in the first place.

“Let’s see. First it was local. There used to be a family, a fratria, a clan, a war party, and ultimately a state of sorts. They were bound together by two things, blood and soil, the organic principles of life around which a mystique revolved in religious forms. The kings were the trees between earth and heaven; their sole purpose was to be a bond and pawn of their own blood and soil to the heavens, and it all went hierarchically downwards. From today’s point of view it was static, static as in a cycle, where the meanings were logical echoes of a universal logic that was echoed throughout the seasons of life and beyond it. The world of peasant, soldier, noble and priest; plough forged to sword forged to plough. It has been called the silver age by the ancients.

“With technological development and the division of labor, that order was gradually replaced. The peasants left the country and came to the cities, and changing their loyalties of blood and soil to that of money became the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The economic meanings replace the mystical; blood turns to money, communal to individual, loyalty to contract, duty to self-fulfilment, sacred to profane, spiritual to material. Art no longer imitates life by representing ideals, but turns to an industry of popular culture that imitates life that tries to imitate the popular culture, or alternatively, wallows in the nihilism of the ugly (‘real art’). I can also see why few claim that it’s also solar become lunar and male become female.

“With the promise of infinite upward social mobility and the accompanying thrills in a world broken loose from its anchors, money is spent and made to produce and seek self-gratification, which actually enables a whole new playground and new toys to live your life by. “I want to be everywhere, with everybody, all of the time.” For the last thirty or forty years, people have been trying to study the alienation that comes with it. These times, I believe, have been called Kali-Yuga or Wolf Age. How come the slave is not happy when he is freed, o Horatio? Maybe the next logical step in the evolution is that corporations replace states. Maybe war, too, is finally abolished, for I guess that not very many people are willing to die for, say, Nokia. Suppose they gave a war and nobody came!

“Ultimately, it is a funny thing that the age of individuality greatly advocated by the American consumer culture seems to be actually responsible for the eventual liquidation of all cultural individualism. It is actually quite Oedipal; western culture goes west, returns home, kills own father and marries mom.

“One always has to be careful when talking about blood and soil, for those things were for obvious reasons implicitly demonized after the Second World War. The cowboys and Indians are dead, long live the cowboys and Indians—it is ironic that the people most visibly demonstrating against globalization also seem to have an anti-nationalistic agenda to them, and very often they also seem to sport the ideas derived from a Marxist-materialist economical theory; their opposition to globalization seems to be crystallized in their hate of the big companies as the capitalist exploitators. What’s sung in the International is just the other side of the coin; in this context, the choice between ‘globalization’ as multi-corporational economic liberalism or equalitarian-humanist leftism is not really bigger than that of choosing between a Big Mac and a Whopper.

“Maybe the times that saw Lucibel venerated in Lanquedoc were a bit simpler in their aspirations. I do admire all these people, like the one happy liberalist above, who have achieved the wisdom to pass judgement on the affairs of our brothers and sisters in faraway lands from a global viewpoint. These kinds of people are in dire need, for in current democracy everybody believes that somebody else will take care of it. Blood of the kings, maybe.”


The Only Band in the World: A Motörhand of Preference

Since there is a gig and interview coming and a Motörbinge (twenty-one albums, each listened to thrice, final chronological round with headphones, lyric sheets and massive volume in tow) going, here's a personal guide to the best and then the rest.

I Ace of Spades 1980 *****
II Motörhead 1977 *****
—ONE TO PRAISE: Motörhead ONE TO DROP: City Kids
III Another Perfect Day 1983 ****½
—ONE TO PRAISE: Shine ONE TO DROP: Tales of Glory
IV Overkill 1979 ****½
—ONE TO PRAISE: No Class ONE TO DROP: Metropolis
V Orgasmatron 1986 ****½
—ONE TO PRAISE: Built for Speed ONE TO DROP: Doctor Rock
VI Iron Fist 1982 ****½
—ONE TO PRAISE: Loser ONE TO DROP: I’m the Doctor
VII Rock 'n' Roll 1987 ****
VIII Bastards 1993 ****
—ONE TO PRAISE: Burner ONE TO DROP: I’m Your Man
IX March ör Die 1992 ****
—ONE TO PRAISE: March ör Die ONE TO DROP: Jack the Ripper
X Sacrifice 1995 ****
—ONE TO PRAISE: Sacrifice ONE TO DROP: Don’t Waste Your Time
XI Overnight Sensation 1996 ****
—ONE TO PRAISE: I Don’t Believe a Word ONE TO DROP: Them Not Me
XII Motörizer 2008 ****
—ONE TO PRAISE: Rock Out ONE TO DROP: The Thousand Names of God
XIII Bomber 1979 ****
—ONE TO PRAISE: Sweet Revenge ONE TO DROP: All the Aces
XIV Inferno 2004 ****
XV We Are Motörhead 2000 ***½
—ONE TO PRAISE: Wake the Dead ONE TO DROP: God Save the Queen
XVI Kiss of Death 2006 ***½
—ONE TO PRAISE: Sword of Glory ONE TO DROP: Christine
XVII Snake Bite Love 1998 ***½
—ONE TO PRAISE: Dead and Gone ONE TO DROP Dogs of War
XVIII Hammered 2002 ***
—ONE TO PRAISE: Red Raw ONE TO DROP: Shut Your Mouth
XIXThe Wörld Is Yours 2010 ***
—ONE TO PRAISE: Brotherhood of Man ONE TO DROP: Outlaw
XX 1916 1991 ***
—ONE TO PRAISE: Shut You Down ONE TO DROP: Angel City
XXI On Parole 1979 ***
—ONE TO PRAISE: Lost Johnny ONE TO DROP: On Parole


Ataraxia interview from Qvadrivivm #4 (2001)

Bittersweet Storytellers Originating Art for the Cause of Art

Interview: Arkadin

The first rays of sunshine are seen peaking through the clouds on the distant horizon as an ancient ship comes ashore on the Mediterranean.  From its domain, come forth a band of travelers, dressed in medieval garb, singing, dancing… suddenly a profound sensation of peace and timeless happiness penetrates my mind as I begin to absorb their music. I sense that very little matters now. I let my pain aside. I let away my cold thoughts.  For the enchanted world of Ataraxia I had found. This autumn I had the fortune to have a discussion with the charming Francesca Nicoli before the release of their next ambitious album, Suenos. Follow me as I learn more of the secrets of these storytellers…

How have the members of Ataraxia met? What sort of relationship do the current participants have with each other today?

Francesca: “I met Vittorio (guitars) many years ago in a country house where the actual Ataraxia was born. He was there with two other guys and he had just begun playing guitar.  I felt very impressed.  Now I know how important it has been to meet such a valuable person. Our actor-dancer, Lorenzo, met Giovanni (keys and piano) in London in a youth hostel. Luckily, he lived just seventy kilometres far from us in Italy and we were looking for a keyboard player.  This acquaintance has meant ten years of fulfilling friendship and musical development.  After so many years of music, meetings, voyages, common experiences, we have learnt to tolerate defects, moods, bizarre behaviour and tastes of each of us and we have learnt a lot from the others. We have enlarged our interests, we have opened our horizons but especially we have become a bit less misogynistic than before.”

Does anyone in the band have any classical training, a formal understanding of theory?  The rich level of melody and tone in the music seems to signify this. What are some of the backgrounds, musically, of the musicians in Ataraxia?  Has each one of you always played such species of classically influenced music?

Francesca: “Giovanni has studied piano for about eight years and played organ in churches for quite a long time. Then he became fed up with that music, people, atmospheres, environment, and finally became himself. He broke with the past keeping always in mind his musical roots: deconstruction and construction.

“Vittorio is a very solitary guy. When he was a child he was ashamed of listening to music.  He just heard thousand of times Beethoven and Mozart but he hasn’t a classical training.  He is a self-taught classic guitarist and this is surprising knowing the skill he owns and the quality of his compositions.
“I’m a self-taught singer, too. When I was a child I spent a year in a music school to learn violin and three years of organ but I was very young and I forgot everything.  I didn’t like impositions, the cold and aseptic atmospheres of my piano lessons, the fact that theory and technique were the only fundamental things while the exploitation and encouraging of creativity was banned.  When I was 16, I began singing in an electronic wave band and I had the chance to overcome my fears, limitations and frustrations.  I began singing…”

The band has been featured on a diverse range of labels; some that specialise in metal music, others that specialise in ambient/noise, and others that feature gothic music primarily… Do you feel any kinship to these other styles of music?  Why do you think you have chosen the style of music you play over any others?

Francesca: “We are three persons with different musical backgrounds. Vittorio has always loved ambient experimental music (Tangerine Dream, Oldfield, the first Pink Floyd, Vangelis), I come from the dark wave world even if I have always loved ethnic music and especially medieval music, Giovanni has always listened to pop and wave music of the 80s. Labels came by chance, I mean, we haven’t chosen that particular label for its genre, more often they have chosen Ataraxia apart from Cold Meat Industry contacted by us some years ago because we appreciated their way of working.  The style of our music?  A patchwork of our cultural roots (Celtic, Latin, Greek), interests, the studies we did (historical, classical anthropological), the way we have grown and how nature has decided to utilize us to express its own language. We simply play driven by instinct.”

What does a usual Ataraxia live performance consist of?  What have been some of your most favoured performances over the years?  What would the ideal Ataraxia performance, from the milieu to the audience receptivity itself, be like, if you may imagine?
Francesca: “Ancient stones and the water of the sea speak to us.  For this reason our best performances or experiences are held in ancient buildings or near the sea in order to hear their silent voices… A concert is a sort of theatrical drama. In places where ancient stones and architectures give us great inspiration we can finally express ourselves without any boundaries. We wish for the calmness of a monastery, the perfumes of a garden, the solitude and nobleness of a manor, the charm and nostalgia of an old theatre. The magic created by concerts is the great exchange of energy among us and the listeners; the currents inside human beings and under the earth start flowing so that we can explore and travel with our listeners in primeval kingdoms… If the sound of the instruments is natural, acoustic, unplugged, this faerie world is even more glistening.  We had many favoured performances all over the years - in the ancient Roman theatre of Segobriga - Spain, in many castles all over Italy, in a Renaissance ‘villa’ near Florence, in Volkerschlacktdenkmal in Leipzig…”

I understand several films have been recorded, live concerts and such. Are you satisfied with the outcome?

Francesca: “Of course, even if these videos (self produced and filmed) + live (box set video + CD recorded in Lisbon and released by the Portuguese label Symbiose) have been released in limited editions. Two of us feel a great passion and are capable of utilizing cameras and editing videos.  These videos have been filmed in particularly interesting architectural spots. We are really keen on this activity. Our songs are deeply married to images.”

In light of the band’s interest in history, what are some problems that you deduce in modern society as contrasted with earlier civilisations?  Conversely, what are some problems of earlier civilisation that you feel has been rectified in the present?  Do the members of Ataraxia feel a certain yearning for the past and regret for its loss, or do you prefer to, as they say, ‘live in the present’?

Francesca: “We are persons, musicians, spending our lives in the last years of the second millennium when great scientific and technologic discoveries have been done and when communication and exchange of news is becoming faster and faster; but at the same time we are in touch with history, ancient things, houses, customs, traditions. We are walking along a path that has been found many centuries ago.  While walking we look straight ahead of us.  We never forget our origins and with this awareness we afford the future.  Our aim is not to lose anything the past gave us as a gift, to remember who we were, what we are, who we will be. Ancient spirits are still speaking. The ‘relationship’ with our time is based on the voyage; we are not so different from the many voyagers of ancient times like Marco Polo or Vasco da Gama.  The time-space co-ordinates have changed, speed and superficiality have shortened the stages.  Of course, we have been forced by our times to be more superficial of our ancestors, now the knowledge of ourselves through the sensible world costs great fatigue and self-denial.

“As it was in the past, we feel to be a land of meeting and struggle, people who bring the signs of cheering discoveries and hard battles.”

Do you think that all of the world’s cultures one day may be unified into one diverse whole, that mankind will eventually rub away the borders of culture, under the banner of a collective Humanity?  This is surely happening already, to some degree, with increased communication, international space programs, the United Nations, the birth of the Internet, etc.  What is your view on such a transition, homogenised or not?

Francesca: “If only I could I would like to get in touch with any single European idiom and then with other languages far from our roots. In every language is hidden a treasure, a secret, a revelation. Trying to understand a country, to portray it means also to submit to the fascination of its language and this can be done also on simple basis of its musicality, the flowing of the sound.

“Art may be global and international but it’s absolutely necessary to let emerge the differences between each land, culture, history, and tradition.  Only the differences permit us be free to choose, interpret, be surprised, appreciate. Just differences create culture, love for art, inspiration. We are pilgrims of the ‘world of sounds’ because we love to visit other places in order to find what is not possible to find here and to bring over there a piece of our culture.”

Croce, the Italian idealist philosopher, had once said that “Unless a capacity for thinking be accompanied by a capacity for action, a superior mind exists in torture.” May one suppose that the art of Ataraxia, from the perspective of the artist, is a way of evading such a torture?

Francesca: “As we usually say, “we are exploring the garden of Psyche and Desire.” We have experimented with what you call ‘torture’ in the past and from time to time we’re still experimenting with it.  Anyway, music is our way to enjoy life. Creation is the way to express the divine part of the human being. We are a sort of channel that can vibrate expressing, translating the energy around us.”

As we are on topic, Benedetto Croce also argued that music is the manifestation of a pure intuition. His aesthetic theory was based on the belief that art, as a form of creativity, is a more revealing criterion than the sciences and that beauty in art depends on the successful translation of a fundamental perception in the mind of the artist. Can such a method be applied towards your own endeavour, your own way of writing music?

Francesca: “We are simply bittersweet storytellers who originate art for the cause of art.”

Does anyone in Ataraxia paint or write outside of musical composition? What visual artists hold your interest? What extraordinary writers have shaped or broadened your perspectives?

Francesca: “Of course, our actor/dancer is a painter, too.  Some of us are really keen on photography and some years ago I was used to writing short stories and collections of thoughts. The questions you did would need a very long answer with a longer list of names and we don’t like to sum-up the opera of an artist in such a short space and in a sort of encyclopaedic way. In all our releases are perceivable the figurative and literary influences that have distinguished all the stages of our life; the Italian Renaissance painters like Piero della Francesca, Paolo Uccello, Arcimboldo, the Pre-Raphaelitism English current with artists like Dante Gabriele Rossetti, Morris, Waterhouse. We love poets like Sappho, Anacreaonte, Alceo, Ibico, and also the contemporary Odisseo Elkis. We appreciate a lot the French maudits and the Italian Ungaretti and Mara Paltrinieri.  Many currents of writers, but especially the ones who go far from a current inventing something new, courageously and intelligently. For this reason I want to remember Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, U. Eco, Conrad, Ungaretti, Neruda…”

Looking back now upon the previous releases of the band, what would you argue were your most favoured moments?  What experiences would you change - strictly musically speaking - if you had the power today?

Francesca: “Our artistic work has been a progressive self-confidence and knowledge of ourselves.  Pindaric flights and our limits have come to surface. The fact of having better or worst moments was not perceivable ‘from the inside’. Every step, every new live performance, every concept or new album was a personal growth. I can’t say I would change something of our past - musically speaking. Everything has been useful to get here, to be here after so many years of struggle, passion and difficulties.  Anyway, a very good moment in which we had at last the opportunity to pick up the fruits of our work has been the live tour of 1999. We visited in Spain, Greece, England, Germany, Holland, France and of course Italy.  A great collection of remembrances.  Something of an inestimable value that has enriched us.

“On a discographical side we have been working in studio from three months to release our new album that’s written, recorded, engineered and mastered by us. A really hard work, endless efforts, sleepless nights, bitter struggles in order to obtain a precious piece of humanity and art that we hope will be renown, felt and loved.”

What is the next step now in the history of this ever-active group? If we assent that the present is shaped by the future, what possibilities may this glorious present contain?

Francesca: “For the very first time an Ataraxia album won’t be based on a concept or theme, its aim is letting listeners free to wonder and voyage with our minds wherever they wish. The word ‘Suenos’ has a special onomatopoeic sound: it reminds of the freedom and lunatic essence of the dream, the premonition, the flight and the return. ‘Suenos’ reminds also of the idea of ‘sound’ and ‘sign’.  Suenos is an album that can’t be described through words because its words are its notes. It will be sung in the Spanish language but also in contemporary and ancient French, Provencal, English and Italian. It will be divided up into three parts of four songs each: Sandy dunes (The Orient and the Mediterranean: marches, solemn airs and a gothic flamenco); Ego Promitto Domino (far coming Middle Ages: songs of the crusades, farewell and merry-making); L‘ame d’eau (underwater flowing of the soul: notes of water, nostalgia and silence).

“Many new instruments have been played such as chitarra battente (a medieval guitar), clarinet, traverse flute, percussion, tamburo a spicchi (medieval drum), together with our usual classic and acoustic guitars, keyboards and flutes. Six of the twelve songs will be sung by many vocalists - all the band members, especially the Medieval and symphonic pieces of music. The third part, more intimate and watery, will be completely dedicated to the female voice.

“We hope to complete it for the end of October (2000) in order to have it released at the beginning of the next year.

“Ataraxia graciously thanks all the patient readers.”

With our chat come to an abrupt end, I bid farewell to Francesca, as the dancers convene again towards the inside of the ancient ship.  Ropes are untied and with a start, it slowly takes sail once more and advances on its voyage back along the cold waters of the Mediterranean depths.  Smaller and smaller, as it is engulfed in the mists of morning, the crew progresses across the waves.  And then, there is nothing visible but a speck along the sharp edge of the horizon.  Soon enough, this, too, finally disappears. And all we are left with is a memory… a memory, and a promise of wonderful things to come…


Mayhem interview from Qvadrivivm #5 (2008)

Smokescreens & R-complexes

Interview: Kuronen

blasphemer’s days in Mayhem are over. You probably know about his nascent complexes concerning the imposing figure of Euronymous. You probably know the constant bickering about what went wrong with Chimera. You probably also know about the issue of Blasphemer, Hellhammer and drum triggers. You probably know about the levels of alcohol and narcotic consumption in the band. You probably know that, somehow, all the negativity and hate was not only chatter. You probably know about Blasphemer’s thrive for reputation and recognition in the genre of black metal, which he deems is stale to its deepest undercurrents. You probably know about Ava Inferi (or maybe not). So, what’s there to be surprised about in this departure? Nothing, as you probably know.

Ordo ad Chao is not without its high points, the massive “Illuminate Eluminate” being one, the impressively ambiguous structuring another. Let’s give its creator a chance for a quick prologue.

“I put the goals very high,” Blasphemer declares. “It was for me in a way a new situation. This time I wanted to focus on making the grimmest black metal album ever released, hehe. I wanted to go where no one had gone. I wanted to almost cross the barrier of life and death in the music. I wanted it to be black magic in tones. I wanted it to be totally depressive and very bleak but still very powerful. And I wanted to knock down De Mysteriis off the shelf once and for all because in my opinion that album is overrated. Listen to this, listen to me, what the fuck! There’s no doubt this album is the darkest we’ve ever recorded.”

Then, let him who is in the wild bunch no more introduce the main character of this interview, the most important Mayhem member at present.

“Attila carries his state of mind [into the songs]. He’s some kind of portal, if you know what I mean. He’s opening his throat and the lungs represent the sound of negativity and darkness. Maybe not negativity especially, but at least something very deep. It’s profound stuff, like something from the other side. His mouth is opening up, it’s like a demonic, shamanistic thing. I think his depth and vocal variety is defining the album. The point is that he’s a very eager character. He puts one hundred percent of himself into it. That was very pleasant for me to find out because usually it was only me who put one hundred percent into it. As I said, Necro is the businessman, he doesn’t really do anything. Hellhammer only plays the drums. Come on, he plays in twenty bands—you know what I mean. Attila is more like me. I reckon a part of me is in him and that’s why we fitted ourselves so well on the album. He’s burning for this thing. He knows that when there’s no way back, there’s no way back. You have to go all the way through it. I think that’s also in a way representing this album. It’s a lot of hours of talking, discussing different elements we should approach with this song or how the album should stand by itself. That was something very new to me. Maniac never did that because he’s more introverted. I guess I was too at the time when I did Chimera, Grand Declaration of War and even Wolf’s Lair Abyss but I’m not that introverted anymore. Sometimes talking to Maniac was like saying keywords to each other. This time the discussion was a lot more open, a bit more focused and conscious,” Blasphemer sizzles.

Open is certainly a word that describes Attila’s speaking tactics to the point. Throw the man a subject to converse and he will tear it open, spill out the intestines and be careful enough to wrap it up with a conclusion. This obviously ends in hours’ worth of material, only some of which can be presented here. Attila doesn’t make much of Rune’s ill feelings on his fellow band members. According to him, these kind of vehement sentiments are no speciality feats of Blasphemer’s.

“Hahahahahaha!” comes the unconcealed fit of laughter from the singer. “Oh yeah, he’s a very negative person. Actually, I like that. To me it’s great fun to talk to him—usually! The point is that this band is more than 20 years old. Even Blasphemer’s been there for more than a decade. I was in the band only then and now for two years, so I see these tendencies. But you know what? It’s four completely different and extremely crazy artists. It would be a great surprise if there would be no arguments. We are famous of that: we don’t care, we argue each other. Look at what happened in 1993. People were not arguing but killing each other. We are on the edge! We are fucking pushing the limits out there. It’s bringing us effects. Like I’ve been trying to explain, we’re almost bleeding when we come out of the studio. I think it’s much better to stand up and fight or shout at each other every day—we don’t do that but let’s put it in an extreme way—it’s still better to speak out the problems into the eye of the other than to hold it in and one day go and stab someone in the back. If you’re playing this kind of music on this level, you will see that it’s not a joke anymore. We are really playing on the edge of some kind of madness. We are trying to control ourselves. It’s healthy that we have these arguments. Then the band can still keep on and go ahead. If you put things into corners, Necro is more involved with the business than Rune or me. I don’t enjoy my time when I have to deal with people about business. I enjoy it when I have to compose. It’s impossible that everybody would be composing. All in all, people have great respect for each other. And also: if you don’t care, you don’t argue. It’s because you have something to do with that person. That’s why you care. You want to prove your truth. Otherwise you would just say ‘fuck off!’. So far we haven’t done physical fights. Maybe the guys did before, I heard some things… I’m doing my best also do balance this thing, sometimes sitting in the middle of the bullshit the guys created for themselves. I can actually understand everybody’s point sometimes. Everybody’s got something right there and something that is also a mistake. It has to be spoken out, that’s for sure.

“We are a black metal band so it’s not a surprise that some people get drunk or fucked up sometimes. Since I have been back in the band I have recognised this myself. In any band I’ve been before I’ve been one of the worst persons from this point of view. When I entered Mayhem, I suddenly turned into a good boy. That was kind of funny, but actually I think that it’s definitely a part of this that we are sometimes fucked up and a really heavily partying band. On the other hand, I think we’ve got really focused in the last year. When we were in the studio last summer there was this extreme marathon rehearsal. We rehearsed two weeks every day. In the end when we entered the studio we said that it was not an easy thing we’re heading for and it’s going to be a great job. When we started to play the songs, the music started to effect us. All this negativity. Sometimes there was complete silence in the car when we went back from the rehearsals. We wanted to express this very negative, ugly and decaying aspect of our music. When we entered the studio we decided it was the best thing that we don’t drink at all and focus on the album. We kept it pretty much sober. It was the only way. The recording of the album took like two weeks, at least the instrument part. Then there was the mixing and everything. We kept an extreme focus. We were almost bleeding when we came back from the studio. It’s kind of heavy but I think it also has to be. When you go into the studio you have to show up in front of yourself something that you have not shown before and show that you are stronger than before. Just to make a weak of replica of something made before, that makes no sense to me.”

“i was asked to join Mayhem in 1991, or that was the first time that I heard from Euronymous. He reached me somehow in Hungary,” begins Csihar. No matter which way you look at it, it it nigh on impossible to avert from comparing the two Mayhems the former Tormentor vocalist has participated in. As things tend to go, with the evaluation of the bands come notions concerning differences in milieu and time. First, let’s look back into the year the Gulf War started, Helmut Kohl became the first Chancellor of Germany, and one Hungarian joined a pack of ravenous Norwegians.

“It was pretty much like a miracle. I just got a letter from Euronymous one day. It took me two years before I was standing in front of the microphone. They had already composed some songs back then. That time the scene was a small underground one even in Norway. Obviously things were growing and happening, actually going into a big fucking chaos. It was not like today when whenever you tour in Europe and there are people showing up at your shows. It was not even possible to tour back then. Everone was poor and could not survive well from the music. It’s definitely better than in those years.

“Spiritually, I remember the expectations were high about the Mysteriis album. It was almost like this time: everybody was waiting for the album and there were all these surroundings. When we did the rehearsals I did it almost like Pelle did. I had a more naturally black metal sound, like a scream. When we entered the studio I thought that I’d show the guys I can sing like this too. I had this vision. Euronymous and all the others were so happy [with it] that in the end I sang almost the whole album with this dark voice, heh. That was pretty much what was challenging in those years. I was also surprised that these guys liked to do that. They liked challenges and new things. I was thinking, ‘Let’s see what people will think about this later’. In the beginning a lot of people were confused a bit about the vocals. It was such a new aspect. Later they got used to it, it was almost like belonging to that album. We challenged things and I think that the Mysteriis album was kind of ahead of its time. It was really like a cool composition and a cool thing. When I heard the demo tapes of the first songs from that album I was pretty excited. I thought it was a bran new thing, a new aspect of playing extreme metal, with these open chords and everything.

“The recording was almost like now. It took me—we recorded only vocals at the time—like two and a half days. This time it was almost the same: two and a half, maybe three days for the vocals. This time we were a bit more free in the studio. We were in the middle of nowhere, isolated completely from the world. In 1993 we were in Bergen, in a city. But still, I made some atmosphere, like a dark room, for me to do the vocals. Now it was not necessary because we were so isolated. It was always in this atmosphere and milieu.

“We were definitely younger and less experienced persons. So we had naturally more of this expression of extremity. You are young, you have to show this riot and express yourself. We don’t need to express it that much anymore. If I look at the persons, firstly Euronymous was a great guitarist who had great ideas and philosophies. People consider him an evil person. I see him evil from an artistic point of view, like all of us have these strange ideas. But he was great, at least to me. But I know Blasphemer much better by now. With Rune, I think he is such a great guitarist and composer. I love his riffs and unique way of playing. I can definitely compare him to Euronymous from this point. I think he is at least as great a composer as Euronymous was. You cannot really mix up Blasphemer’s riffs with other guitarists. Euronymous was a bit more philosophical. He was more into the expression of words and organising. He liked to keep contact with people. From this point of view Blasphemer is a great opposition. He’s more into himself. He’s not the guy who will write you a letter in the evening. He has other things to do. But if you look into this guy’s eyes, that must be enough. I hope you will not write this, but I think he is probably the craziest guitarist I’ve ever met. He is fucking insane and fucking talented. He focuses extremely much on riffs, pickings and rhythms. At the same time he is very high on some natural adrenaline. He’s always on the top. This is maybe how I can compare the two guitarists. I think Blasphemer wants to put everything into the music instead of writing letters and stuff like that. He’s more into his own words. I think everybody should respect him. He’s now been the guitarist of Mayhem for longer than Euronymous was. When you have to replace a guitarist with a name like Euronymous and you are 5-6 years younger, it definitely requires people to hear 3-4 times more stuff from the new guy to think maybe he is as good as the guy before, haha. You can’t imagine how big a pressure it was on his shoulders. He was maybe 19-20 when he joined Mayhem. I think it was also good for him because when you look at how he can play the guitar now, it’s very beautiful.

“If I should compare Necro and Varg, it’s again huge differences. There are also some similarities. I had good relations with Varg. He was supposed to release something from me. In my eyes he was maybe one of the most intelligent musicians I met. He had this great intelligence and IQ level. He was like 19 and he was talking like someone from the literature department of a university. He was a really cool guy. He was with Mayhem, but I think he had his own world with Burzum. It seemed like a cool idea to join the Mayhem forces. He could still keep Burzum on. I think Necro IS Mayhem. He formed the band with Euronymous. He has nothing else to really do in the music. He put me into Mayhem. His soul and body are 100 percent Mayhem compared to Varg, who put his effort for sure into it but I don’t think he was 100 percent into the band, especially not when he started to have disagreements with Euronymous. He started to keep things back. Necro is the one who is always trying to push things ahead. He feels that he is Mayhem and obviously he is the guy who started the band more than 20 years ago. Both are good players on their instruments. Necro likes to take care of the business thing and all these organisations that no one in the band likes to take care of. It’s great that they can take out his share.

“Everyone has a job in the band in a way. Rune and me have to do the arty-farty side, hehe! We create the album and lyrics and final things. Hellhammer is just like a ground for everything. He is fixing the rehearsals, setting up the instruments and of course making a basement with his playing of excellent drumming. Necro is taking care of the business but he’s not composing. Even Hellhammer doesn’t compose. They may have some ideas when we’re putting together the songs. In this way they get involved. But basically it’s Blasphemer who writes all the music in the band.

“When I met the guys I just jumped out of the train in Oslo and I saw Euronymous. He was a bit hilariously small! I thought this would be a big guy. There was also Varg who had this chain mail shirt to protect from stabbing. I said, ‘Wow!’ Then we entered the car of Varg. He had this old red Volkswagen Golf. He put on some music when we were driving. Guess what, he put on some techno music. I was like ‘Wow, I like it!’ Heheh! Because I came from Plasma Pool. But it was a bit more commercial thing. Later I understood that he did it only to piss off Euronymous. He knew that he hates it. I thought it was a bit funny. I have to add that Euronymous was a big fan of electronic music as well but he hated techno. He liked this old Tangerine Dream thing and side projects of all those members like Klaus Schultze.

“It was funny too when I arrived to the place where Euronymous had these great red curtains and it looked like a gothic room. Very bizarre. Back then they had lots of magazines already talking about the church burnings and other fucked up things. I saw pictures of people with exploded skulls and burned down churches. I saw people who had committed suicide or murdered homosexuals. The first night I was thinking, ‘Holy shit, where the fuck am I?’ Something a bit more rough or rude than I expected! Okay, we played some shit with Tormentor, the first years it was really like running blood on our gigs because lack of security and stuff like that. It was still a surprise to me that these guys had something really fucked up going on. At the same time, in two or three days, I was almost in the focus and people came to me talking bullshit about each other behind their backs. I was saying to myself, ‘Wow, that is interesting, too’.

“I went to the Helvete shop that was already fucked by some Christians, something like ‘Jesus leads’ was written there but it sounded like ‘Jesus leader’. Shit, they fucked up even that thing. It was less funny maybe when we took the car from Bergen to Oslo. Euronymous was driving and he used his father’s car, or he lent us his father’s car. We went to the Grieghallen studio in Bergen and there was this parking place in front of the studio. We left the car there and when we came out at the end of the day the car was not there. The car was stolen. It was not so funny but it was pretty fucked up. The police found it later. I don’t know what happened but it was really fucking bizarre too.”

the consciously minded black metal inquisitors of the 1990s and 2000s habitually have one primary line of questioning in their heads when scheming metaphorical job interviews or auditions for a black metal figure or band. That query is worth all the glamour and glitz of Mephistopheles and it is spelt out as follows: Do You/Does Your Band Believe in Satan? What Does Satan Represent to You? Fail to answer this in a correct manner and you are in for some serious fisting, particularly if new to the genre. Satan is an unquestionably interesting figure, and to put this question to an old-time character as eclectic as Attila Csihar makes some sense.

The singer retorts with a comment that has corollary concerns with Gorgoroth’s worry over the meaning of the word Satan being lost under so many reinterpretations.

“If someone asks me about Satan, I have to answer with a question: What do you mean? It means so many things. For sure, I don’t think I’m a Satanist. I can’t follow any fucking stupid religion or leader, even if it is Satan himself. For me it’s a fucking smokescreen. If you ask a Pope or a priest, definitely they will say I am a Satanist because I’m completely denying that I’m a Christian and completely denying Jesus Christ and all the teachings of Christianity. From this point I’m a Satanist. But I don’t sacrifice my kids on the altar of Satan. I don’t know what people think being a Satanist is. If we are philosophising about Satan as Antichrist, that’s healthy. When you think it’s a cool idea to fuck your mother’s head, kill and sacrifice her and put her on this altar of Satan, I think you’re a fucking idiot.”

Yet one has to remember that for most people, even for Anton LaVey, Satan wasn’t a concrete being but more of an idea or a symbol from which to start building some ideology. Originally, Shaitan meant to oppose, not some hideous creature flying over New York.

“Heheheh. That’s the fairytale part, of course. But if I look at this CD case, in my eyes it’s red but maybe in your words it is green. It’s a simple thing. But to talk about the point of God and Satan, it’s almost impossible. They mean such different things to everybody. Since religions were so kind to invent nice creatures like Satan and God and all this bullshit, they now almost exist in this collective form of knowledge. There is a certain force behind them. If people are stupid enough to believe in them of course they can be affected by it. If I look at nature, it is very hard to find any evil out there.”

That’s because there are no morals in nature.

“Exactly! What is evil? If Christians say a wolf is evil because it will eat a lamb… Look at the wolf; it chose the weakest lamb. It will avoid the sick population coming out. I think human is evil. If there is an evil, malevolent thing, it is coming from humans. If you look at the kindergarten, it’s very difficult to find one evil person there. Somehow it’s coming up later. Almost like a manipulation we’ve been taught. It might even be coming from our created information. LaVey was just LaVey, he designed this shit for himself. As soon as he put it on others, it was not right. He created the Church of Satan; he can fuck off with his church.

“Everything out there is pretty chaotic. I think we, the public, are living in such ignorance and under false information that it’s fucking difficult to step forward after a certain level. We can’t have this higher spirit or knowledge, which is probably out there in nature. We have locked ourselves from it. Then it’s just reducing into religions. All this higher knowledge is used by other people just for manipulation. I don’t know if you understand exactly, but that is my fucking point. English is a bit of a limitation.

“Okay, you also asked about who is a Satanist and who is not. If you’re a real Satanist… Pure evil doesn’t exist because if you’re pure evil, you will kill your friends and everyone. The most evil will kill the friends first. That’s evil, that’s pure. It doesn’t exist of course in this form. When you look at the fans, I think they’re just pissed off under religions. It’s a fucking healthy feeling to be released from that. When you listen to black metal and some so called Satanic music and read some Satanic verses, it’s cool because you oppose Christianity and suddenly will recognise that nothing wrong really happened. More than that, you start to feel healthier. You’ve been released by some bullshit that has been invented as a pressure over your head. Even me, I felt I was a Satanist because I was completely pissed off. What the fuck was I told and who are these priests telling me about it? Thousands of years of torturing humans and fucking up the knowledge. They burned you alive. And look at the women and how they’ve been ignored for thousands of years all around the world. I’m pissed off about them being treated like non-humans until the last one hundred years. It’s a fucking shame, this homosexual religion.

“When you realise this, you will turn into a black metal head. But when you start to do rituals or sacrifice animals and do stupid things, then it’s not like that. When you really start to deal with these malevolent kind of energies, it can turn its back on you and fuck you up too. So after a while you have to be a little bit more careful. Spirituality to me means a finer form of energy. We don’t know or at least we haven’t been told much about it. It’s easy to get mad. You can have an experiment that you can’t really return from. You can’t think the same anymore. A definition like Satanist doesn’t exist because it’s too big. You have to say at least from which point of view you mean it.”

in this day and age, most of the radical actions Norwegian black metal conjures seem to happen in Poland. I’m not merely talking about the classic battle lore of dreaded Darken having baths with Aryan maids. 80 litres of sheep’s blood, some nude tarts and “Satanic symbols” did it for Gorgoroth on John Paul II’s hallowed hometurf, whilst Carpathian Forest had their share of controversy with 2004’s extravagant live performance in the same country. A Mayhem gig was cancelled in Poland in the summer of 2006 by the Polish government, supposedly because of the oncoming election in the country. The band answered with a statement in which they dubbed the Polish government “fascist-religious”. It certainly seems no mighty leap Poland has taken from its days as a communist state.

Yet shouldn’t Mayhem in some weird way feel honoured instead of taking the action as an invasion into their freedom of speech as artists? After all, it has always been only the most powerful artistic expression that’s been censored by the state. It is something to ponder, the reasons why so many people think politics is an inapplicable platform in music when music is an excellent means of communication to spread one’s message in the midst of popular culture addicts. The Polish government seem to have been one of the few to notice this.

“It’s because the politicians hate the music for that reason,” Attila deems. “I think it was first in the 1960s when they recognised that there is a big problem here. They saw that hundreds of thousands of people went out to festivals, to Woodstock and I don’t know where. They said, ‘Okay, we refuse to go to work tomorrow. Why the fuck should we? The sun is coming up tomorrow morning too. I don’t care. I can eat a couple of slices of bread, smoke weed, sit here and talk to my friends instead of being a stupid slave.’ Obviously it was not good for the power. Who should pay the taxes? They faced this before the Second World War when they used electric amplification for political propaganda and it worked extremely well. Just look at the shitty Nazis who amassed hundreds of thousands of people just because of the voice. They had never heard it before. No one thought it would come back with music. When the first rock stars were on stage, talking to hundreds of thousands of people, the politicians and the power were freaked out. They started to feel like they were losing power. And politics is about power, that’s so easy. They understood that rock is a very dangerous weapon. They had to fuck it up.

“If you look at today’s commercial music, it’s the most obvious. If you look at the way commercial music changed throughout the years, that’s something. In the beginning it really had a message and then it turned into something that’s almost like an industry. This hip hop talking is just a smokescreen for nothing! It’s just about how you fucked my wife or girlfriend and how can I get more drugs. They talk bullshit—you see words that have no meaning. It’s very strange because in the 60s if you could find some LP and look at the lyrics, the musicians still said something there. Even in the most commercial ones. You can see the effect of the politicians. They try to do everything to keep things back but of course since they came up with this idea of democracy they can’t do everything, so they just try to stop us. When there’s a musician who is suddenly dangerous, they all try to buy it. What you cannot buy you have to take away. Try to fuck it up. I think that’s what happened with us in Poland in a smaller way. But look at this, maybe we’re not so small anymore, heheh! We’ve affected the election of a 20-30 million people European country. But of course it’s brighter than the sun that we never had to do with any politics in Poland.”

Another controversial piece concerning live performances and Attila was the relatively recent Shining extravaganza in Halmstad, Sweden where both Csihar and Maniac, with the aid of king jester Nattefrost, appeared on stage in a show that eye-witnesses said was very confusing and aggressive, involving cloaked men, razors, swastika-carved foreheads, thrashed equipment—and the theme song from Twin Peaks. Let’s hear it from the man himself—how much of it was real and how much was just shocking for shocking’s sake?

“I knew Niclas Kvarforth from Shining for a while and he’s definitely an interesting guy. He’s got some great artistic aspects and we had a certain kind of support towards Shining. He had the same with us. Hellhammer played with Shining and we were always in a kind of contact. We promoted Shining’s gig here in Hungary with my promotion team. So I knew he was a completely weird and strange guy. Not like because he wants to act that way but because it’s somehow coming in a natural way. I kind of respect it. I know how fucked up he is.

“He moved to Norway for a while and there was this news spread that he was dead. I’m not sure exactly what happened at that point. But he’s always been doing this weird stuff around his band. He was working in a bar so I had a lot of chances to see him and change some words. He came up with this idea of doing a kind of lost or very crucial Shining gig. He asked me if I could be Ghoul, who was supposed to be the new vocalist after his death. It was more or less that I should represent a part of his ego, almost like a schizo thing, like the evil part of him who’s taking over. He not only told me that he respects me but that I was the only one that came to his mind as the only open extreme metal vocalist who can be part of this kind of acting thing. He was right because I’m the guy who’s interested in any kind of weird or strange experiments. I thought it could be cool to do this acting.

“He had grandiose plans about pyros and a couple of other things. The whole thing looked like a very grandiose gig. I saw that he was really putting an effort there so I said to him, ‘Okay, if you get all this shit together, I don’t want to be the one holding it back. We would just have to find the right time.’ First, he is a very chaotic guy and second, they already had some trouble with the authorities, so he could not have any permission for pyros or any of the shit he was planning to do, like lighting himself up. It’s not a big surprise but that’s what happened anyway. I had promised it already and would not turn back my words. I knew in advance that it would be something very weird. Then I heard that Maniac might take part. I was first on tour with these two guys from SunnO))) and just came there saying that I won’t step back now. Shining had a great line-up and good musicians this time. Half of the thing still went into chaos. Hellhammer’s drums were not arriving and all these fucked up things in the organisation started to turn out. The whole gig was very fucking chaotic. Very few people had come to Halmstad. There were maybe 200 people but 180 of them were from Norway who came there because they had some respect for Niclas, Shining and the guests.

“Niclas could realise only some parts of what he wanted to do but it was still a cool gig. In the beginning I myself was pretty confused; ‘It’s too fucked up, should I do this?’ Then I said myself yes, I have to do this. What is interesting is that whereas you always get the feedback from a show in a few days, this time I felt good a few days after the show although I was at first exhausted. Something great happened there too. Being onstage together with Maniac and Roger was special already and we had a very cool and crazy party after the show. All in all it was great to see a lot of people. I don’t mind and am kind of confident and happy that we did this thing. I haven’t heard from Niclas since then but it’s not a big surprise. I don’t know what happened with Shining after that or whether Niclas is still alive. I hope he is.”

Attila Csihar Speaks, Qvadrivivm #5 (2008)

One Story of Decline – An Ordo ad Chao History

Interview: Kuronen

There are extremely few people in the world of heavy metal prepared—or hell, equipped—to talk about their lyrics. Musicians will either revert to the good old “it’s the riff that matters, chump!” defence or make the most clichéd cop out of all clichéd cop outs by claiming that their lyrics are “open for everyone’s own interpretation”. Often, once these arguments start popping up, you know there is nothing to interpret in said lyrics. Then comes the hope that every such band would opt for the Obituary/Cocteau Twins approach of jotting down and performing indecipherable ‘lyrics’.

Mayhem lyrics have been adept ever since the beginning but during the Maniac era they more often than not lacked that element of chilling mystery that Dead’s pieces had. A partial reason for this may be that the typical black metal lyric and its imagery suffered a huge inflation in the interim. What is certain is that Attila’s lyrics on Ordo ad Chao, a theme album of sorts, offer definite food for the (reptilian) brain. Because of the cryptic wordings it may be arduous to follow the main thread at certain points, but many passages still make for a tremendous effect. The Hungarian howler-writer himself is modest when it comes to his texts.

“Maybe I’m less good with poetry,” Csihar assesses. “I’m a bit more rational and sceptic guy. I like poetry but I feel I’m less good with that thing. When I’m writing lyrics I have ideas and things but I always ask other people who are for instance into English literature what they think of it. To find a nicer word here and there… Maybe I’m a bit too rational and less humanist, with less expression of emotion and abstract visions. I have some of them but I could be a bit better with poetry, heh. I think Maniac was better. Some of his lyrics are fucking killer. I think I’m okay with the philosophical aspect of the songs but I could be a bit better poet, if I could ask for something.”

The justification of publishing the following analysis lies not in thinking that close reading a band’s lyrics is an elemental part of heavy metal investigation. It is, however, noteworthy to look into something that obviously has a wide range of meanings in the mind of its maker. To show that heavy metal rantings are not merely dead words falling on the forehead of the Sabbatic Goat.

At the outset and in general, it can be seen that the lyrics of Ordo ad Chao cover, in a sort of diachronic fashion, the entire history of the world, going full circle from birth to decay, which is surely no small feat to accomplish. It demands a heap of primitive workers, celebrations of the ramifications of the Great Flood on the advancement of civilisation, achromatic manipulation techniques that reach the psychological as well as the societal, vril-forces, watcher visions of madness, chaotic reiterations et cetera. But let’s leave the rest for Attila to divulge.

“Interesting that you recognise this, cool. It was the main, basic line, this decaying thing. It’s really about the things everybody talks about in extreme metal, this negative energy and this negative aspect of nature. We wanted to oppose to those bands that have this rising energy. It gives this majestic feeling. The lyrics were coming to my mind in that way and manifested on different levels on every song. That’s why it’s coming from the outer world through nature, society and religion. It’s different levels. The outer and inner worlds are also different levels. Like body-soul-spirit or something. This triangle is there. Then there’s the frames of the first and the last song. Of course we can go on in detail to every song and how it appears on different levels.

“”A Wise Birthgiver” is from a Sumerian tablet. The Sumerian is one of the most ancient scripts in the world and they found out just recently these so called Sumerian tablets where they’ve been talking about the Annunaki. It is coming from the sky, almost like an alien, descending to the earth. Annunaki are gods who descended from the sky and crossbred with some kind of human beings. Some researchers are thinking it was more like some test-tubing! It’s a pretty interesting theory that’s taken from the tablets. I think it’s the transversion of Zacharias Sitchin who is one of the biggest researchers of the Sumerian tablets. The Annunaki are a malevolent alien force and some researchers believe this could be the missing link. They crossbreed and create a human being from this primitive form. They raise its intelligence but still keep it primitive—create a primitive worker. The yoke is an order you give the workers to do. It’s about creating a slave race that is called mankind. They are the slaves of the gods, of course. The gods at this point are not gods but just some beings that came from the sky.

“There are so many spiritual and new-age movements but in many of these fucked up philosophies they deal with demons and some other beings that we cannot see but who are around us. All these metaphysical creatures. It’s coming from ancient Kabbalah and Rosicrucians to Buddhism and Hinduism and all these fucking religions and philosophies but they are all dealing with this: some creatures from other dimensions feed on our emotions. They create and build the yoke and at the same time create forms of fears and other emotions which could feed these so called extraterrestrial or other-dimensional entities. It could be a big bubble but at least I like the ideas. I’m pretty sceptic but I’m not closed to an idea. Since it’s from thousands and thousands years back and the Sumerian tablets have a lot of other information which is really fucking interesting, it seems it was not a caveman who wrote those tablets but a pretty high intelligent thing behind those, it made sense to use those sentences.

“It’s a sort of artistic vision behind “Wall of Water”. First of all, there are many things into the details. Wall of water is also a wall between the old and the new world. The old civilisation before the flood, presented by the intro and this Annunaki stuff, the origin of the mankind in a way, and the wall of water which symbolises a cataclysm that periodically happens on the earth and seems to wipe out civilisation. Whether it’s good or wrong, I would not say. It sounds a bit heroic there at the end of the song. But if you look at mankind and what it does with nature, here and there we are close to fucking up and burning down nature and some parts of the planet. One day the earth says it’s enough and makes one shake, like in a split second and the whole mankind is away. It’s like having this mosquito that’s starting to be a bit too annoying. Make a little movement and the whole shit is over. You can start again because if you talk about the earth you talk about billions of years. If you talk about mankind you talk about tens of thousands of years. It has many aspects to do with order and chaos. Cataclysm is a great form of chaos. Like I told you it’s taken from these old manuscripts. The traditions or cultures or something like that.

““Great Work of Ages”, if you look behind the words, is about the manipulation of mankind. It definitely has something to do with the conspiracy things. It was interesting to think that there is a malevolent force behind the world. There was a lot of information and arguments about this. You have these secret meetings in which world leader politics come together. What the fuck do they do there and agree on things above some other countries or nations? Talking about global banking systems where some people are pushing a couple of billions every day and taking a little bit of personal wage which is a huge big amount. I could go on and on and on. I’m not the guy who should solve this or fight it but it’s just an interesting theme to touch on. You feel the effect of the achromatic mechanism but you cannot see it. I don’t know how to say it.

“To me it’s kind of interesting if you look at religions that it is almost always the same story: there is a boy born who is coming from some strange birth without parents. Then it grows and has these miracles and then will become the saviour of the world. Then it will be murdered and that murder will be blamed on the humans, other people. It comes from Christianity of course, but it was there before too. It was with Baahl and the one from Mesopotamia, Nimrod. Also, with Krishna it’s the same story. Buddha also has this strange birth, almost the same story. Don’t you think that the same people write the same stories? I mean, c’mon. It’s so fucking ridiculous. It’s so easy to invent this thing and of course it’s very wise people who put it out. It’s a big deal, because then you can control billions of people. That’s something very attractive so it’s worth to put some effort, wisdom and philosophy behind it. But all in all it’s just a manipulation: they talk about gods that were invented. People can’t talk about this shit. There aren’t even any words for it. The definition is almost obviously fucked up. If you call something a god, it’s obviously everything. You can’t name Everything. Then there are different gods and people go out and kill themselves because of them. I don’t say it’s wrong. Maybe it’s good. Then we, who are more intelligent, still remain here. You go out on the battlefield—it looks good on the screen or in the cinema. But if you put yourself there, it’s weeks of raining and you live like an animal. You follow the orders of people you’ve never met before. You don’t know what the fuck is going on all in all. You just go out and kill another guy but you don’t know anything else about him than that you obviously think differently about this so called god. This is so fucking hilarious. It’s one of the most fucked up things on this planet.

“I’m not talking against wisdom but I think we should use wisdom on completely other things than manipulating people. There are two kinds of wisdom: one kind we share with the public and the other wisdom is hidden from the public. If you hide a big part of the wisdom and keep the public in ignorance, you can easily control them and create this fucking bubble of religions. Nature and reality have more aspects than we discover. We don’t know much about the effect of a symbol on the brain. Or how you can feel the presence of somebody else. There are a lot of not just magnetic fields but other fucked up things there. Maybe we have some kind of wisdom about those things but it’s just hidden from the public. Psychology is a big part of this. If you know it, you can easily use it and manipulate the crowd, the masses. Then you just have to turn this wisdom into this fucked up manipulative religion. Of course you share the wisdom but it will already be a defected wisdom. It’s basically just untrue.

“The only difference between “Psychic Horns” and “Deconsecrate” is that “Psychic Horns” talks more about the inner world whereas “Deconsecrate” talks about the outer world. You can see the parallels. There are some parallels on the album, like some themes coming back on different levels.

“Let’s talk about vril-forces. What I know about vril-forces is that it’s an esoteric name and there were some esoteric schools dealing with this. It’s the life force that is contained in the blood. People believing in the vril-force think that you can actually develop it. With these different techniques you can increase it and turn into this super-human. Of course it could be a big fucking smokescreen but I picked it up because I’m working with esoteric topics. It fitted, and it’s interesting how some esoteric people stick to the blood line and how some monarchs do so as well. There could be something there, even if I look at it from a sceptic view. Vril-force is an esoteric definition for this life energy contained by blood.

“The r-complex is another thing. It’s really funny because if you look at the description of the devil and demons and these malevolent creations, most of the time in most of the cultures it’s like a reptile. At least it’s having this reptile kind of skin, tongue, eyes and structures. I think it’s fantastic. If you look at the bones they found on this planet, you can see that there has been some reptile culture here. Okay, we call them the dinos, but anyway, some fucked up reptile beings were here. At least it looks like it. Researchers found out just recently that every human being, you and I and everyone, has this part that is the core of our brain, actually. It’s the same structure as the reptile’s head. That’s the r-complex, this reptilian part of the brain. What I found made some sense to me. Researchers believe that maybe we belong to the dino age. Maybe we are some kind of descendants… Or maybe not, but something happened there because we have this fucking reptile brain. I’m not sure but I think it’s official too. There’s official science and underground science, and official isn’t necessarily right and underground wrong. Everybody has this strange vision of reptile-like demons, that’s what inspired me in this song.

“"Illuminate Eluminate” questions where we have to return, and it is a life-philosophical question for me. Where we came from? Did we come from the monkey, the sky, what happened? This whole thing is symbolically about that. We want to go back where we came from to understand our whole existence. I think it’s a good goal. When people talk about getting out in oriental philosophies they talk about samsara, this circulation of lives and so called reincarnation. People like to escape out of it. I’m trying to get you closer to this.
“When you look at your childhood, the childhood means something like perfection, innocence and absolute happiness. Like an absolute transcendental state of the human. When you look at old people, maybe they experienced more knowledge but definitely it’s a lower stage in my eyes. You are not so happy anymore, you’re just fading away. You go back to the understanding of origin. I’m not sure what the fuck we are. I understand that I have a body. That I am sure of. But if I look at my fingers now, I can move my hand but I have fucking no idea what is going on in my arms. How the fuck can I move my little finger? How the information goes there from my brain? How can they work together so perfectly, these millions of cells, bones and muscles to make this little fucking movement? I have no fucking idea. Or if I feel a pain in my body, I don’t know where it’s coming from. It’s there. So a body is something we have but it is not necessarily us. Then I’d like to question: what the fuck are we and where did we come from? I would like to know and go back there. That’s the message of “Illuminate Eluminate”.

“It’s a certain flow in the lyrics. The thing goes to less and less structured. “Wall of Water” is very material and structured and it goes through this society and conspiracy thing into religion, to a less material thing. It’s towards the abstract. The same thing happens on “Key to the Storms”. It goes into abstract from this understandable and easier “Illuminate Eliminate” song, to “Psychic Horns” and then it arrives at “Key to the Storms”, which is like a key to the madness, maybe. When you are around the edge of madness and start to see these visions, like lions at the gates, the Annunaki and the watcher… The words start to be transparent and you go into madness. You start to recognise that there are these creatures who were transparent before, you flesh them out and see that ooops, there is a fucking demon at the corner. Officially we call it madness, you can call it whatever.

“”Anti” goes into this unstructured chaos and madness. It’s also like a summary of the songs from before. Everything is ending up in “Anti” in a strange mixture. Everything that was said or heard before, it comes back in “Anti” in a chaotic way. All the themes are mixed up now. Into a fucking chaos, like a vortex. At the end of “Anti”, when the final riffs come with this break, that’s the end of the whole shit. Even the vocals turn into completely inhuman techniques which I used there. There are no more words. It’s just the speech of tongues, the last twenty seconds of the album. It’s like pure chaos. Okay, we still play and there is some structure but symbolically it is chaos when you arrive there. It’s the end—of at least the end of this album. That’s it more or less I think.”