As humanity endures a painful and protracted rebirth, the second Cultum Interitum full-length, ‘Veneration Of The New Dawn’, is as poignant as it is poisonous. E, the permanent driving force behind this powerful Polish pact, discusses mankind’s predilection for self-destruction; confronting fears and finding one’s own path amid the perpetual cycle of life and death; parting ways with old acquaintances; and a new dawn bringing eternal night for the chosen.
Trumpets sound, heralding the downfall of Western civilisation and the dawning of Satan’s reign on earth. The end is nigh. We probably deserve no better. As a species, despite having benefited from the gift of evolution, mankind has failed. If anything, we appear to be regressing. We are a hollow, pathetic, destructive race not worthy of redemption. With the day of reckoning looming ever closer, should we embrace and celebrate the inevitable fall of mankind and whatever rebirth that might bring?
“Mankind is already consumed by the madness of self-destruction. Destruction of nature, pollution of earth with all the toxic shit, eating food that is full of chemicals, being controlled in every fucking move by police, authorities, hearing all this shitty propaganda in mass media which completely poisons brains with the amount of information they share. The only way that mankind could be reborn is through destruction. You have to destroy something old to build something new.”
Constantly seeking understanding and validation, humans tend to overestimate our importance in the greater scheme of things (notwithstanding the probability that there is no greater scheme!). The assumption that we have a place and purpose here is based on arrogance, ego and self-delusion. Would our journey be easier if we accepted from the beginning that we are nothing and serve no purpose? That existence is futile?
“I think every one of us should find the purpose of our lives. If you come up with a statement that everything is futile and there is no point to life, or live with the assumption that we are nothing, then I think it is better that such a persona lives in isolation and doesn’t share such mind-weakening theories. It is enough that more and more people endure big mental problems because of their financial issues, their family problems, societal pressures or other individual matters. Every person has their own path of life, its purpose and many other things. Sooner or later everyone should find the purpose of life.”
The cycle of life and death is the most obvious example of nature taking its course (“creation and destruction, rise and decay”.) Birth is a random fluke and death is the destination that marks the end of every journey. Humans are afflicted with an irrational fear of death … a fear of the unknown. But is it the abhorrence of life we should fear most as it will inevitably bring misery and decay, while “the Great God named Death” offers oblivion, peace and a glorious end to the struggle?
“For me personally, death is not just the moment of end. Like you pointed out earlier, it is part of the cycle of life and death. It is something that is 100% certain in our lives, while other things are not. You are born in your mother’s womb and you are sooner or later absorbed by the soil into Mother Gaia’s womb.
“This abhorrence of life is often a primary reason why many people block themselves from progressing as human beings and facing difficulties in their lives. In my opinion, this vision of death that will sooner or later appear in your life should motivate you to take action right now. You should always try to overcome your fears and doubts because, if you don’t confront them, you might never know about the results.
“I think you should live your life in that way so that when your final day comes and your breath is starting to slow down you should have as few regrets as possible because you had tried everything to make your life better. Better to leave this world as an experienced person, a strong entity, and not like a worm who was full of doubts and fears during life and forfeited many perspectives and opportunities because of constant fear. Achieve something, make some travels through your life, just do anything to become better in at least one aspect.
“What ‘the Great God named Death’ offers is also a very individual thing for every person. Whether it is your own oblivion, peace or glorious end of struggle, it really depends on the situation of each person. If, for example, you are in very bad health and you are 100% dependent upon other people and there is very little chance that you will get better, then in that case death will be your salvation. I could go on and on about death but I think it would be too long a monologue from my side.”
At this moment in time, judgement day draws ever closer. Profound change hangs in the foul air and mankind is on the precipice, about to be plunged into darkness. We have arrived at a watershed moment in history and – for better or for worse – a new era will soon begin. Against this backdrop of upheaval, turmoil, fear and loathing, the title of the new Cultum Interitum full-length, ‘Veneration Of The New Dawn’, is particularly poignant. “A New Dawn bringing eternal night for the chosen ones, corpse by corpse drowning in the Void, ritual cleansing fire.” What is the new dawn to which you refer and why is it to be venerated?
“I always say that each entity should interpret Cultum Interitum’s music on its own. This includes lyrics, track titles and the whole concept behind the album. Both ‘Poison Of Being’ and ‘Veneration Of The New Dawn’ have a general storyline and include many of my personal visions as well. This is something really personal and I do not like to share such stuff. Everyone has access to our lyrics and is free to make their own interpretation as to what is the overall concept behind the album.”
Like ‘Poison Of Being’, ‘Veneration Of The New Dawn’ was recorded by the duo of E (vocals / song writing) and K.M. (guitar / bass / drums). The latter, who also mixed and mastered the new album, has since left the fold. It appears that you worked very closely together as a duo, with a special kind of alchemy? What led to you parting ways and can you provide some details on the current alignment? I understand it’s not technically a new line-up as the members have been on board for quite some time already?
“There were a few reasons why we parted ways, but I do not want to get into those details as the matter is just between me and K.M. What I can tell is that one of the reasons was that we had completely different expectations from each other and each of us saw the future of the band in a completely different way. I guess when the ‘alchemy’ is heading into a bad direction and you no longer see the same path for your music, it is better to finish something. In that situation it was the ending of our collaboration.
“You are right, technically they are not new members. They just haven’t contributed either on ‘Poison Of Being’ or ‘Veneration Of The New Dawn’, as it was decided that even though K.M. is no longer part of the band we should close the chapter of unfinished material that had been started while he still was the member of Cultum Interitum.”
Although K.M. was clearly a key contributor to the already-established Cultum Interitum sound, are you confident that you can move forward along the same path to ruin previously travelled? I believe you have further releases in the poisonous pipeline – a third album already gone to press and a fourth being recorded as we speak. What can we expect from those? Will they deliver the same levels of contemptuous annihilation evident on the first two records or are there going to be any shifts in your sound / approach?
“What I can say for sure is that the band will continue regardless of whether it is K.M. on board or someone else. K.M. has made a great impact on the band’s sound and our collaboration has resulted in the process of creating such music. Both of us were responsible for these materials so in my opinion there is no need to ‘glorify’ one of us in this matter.
“When it comes to the forthcoming material, it is pointless to make same-sounding releases. I do not want to unveil too much about the next releases for now. In my honest opinion, it is pointless that I judge my own upcoming releases. It is other people who should say what they think about the material once they have had the possibility of listening to it.”
A couple of very interesting guests lend their vocal cords to ‘Veneration Of The New Dawn’, cursing two of the malevolent manifestations. Could you provide some details on the identity of these acolytes? Why did you decide to welcome this depraved duo into the cult?
“First of all, I had the idea of including some other vocal styles than mine – something that provides a different energy in certain moments. N (Summon) had already presented his vocals on the first album and I really liked that collaboration so I thought ‘why not ask him one more time?’ The other guest vocalist is the person involved in Austre. We were supposed to be collaborating for another project but it did not work out. I like the way he performs the higher vocals and, at that time, I needed something like this so this is why I chose him.”
Your lyrics strike a perfect balance between abstraction and directness. They are suitably nihilistic and apocalyptic, conjuring images of death, destruction and utter annihilation. ‘Veneration VI’ brings the album to a particularly powerful and poignant climax, the lyrics comprising four succinct and pertinent lines, capturing the hopelessness and preordained nature of the journey from cradle to grave:
“Womb – the beginning of the cycle
Existence – the path to ruin
Fall – the last light’s consumption
Death – the greatest culmination of my achievements”
In a way, do these lyrics encapsulate perfectly the Cultum Interitum message?
“In some way, yes. Generally, Cultum Interitum is not a band that is focussed on total death worship lyrics; there is also a more classic Black Metal lyrical formula relating to blasphemy, anti judeo-christianity and maybe an occasional occult reference (although we are not an occult Black Metal band). From the very beginning, I wanted to use such a name for the band that is correlating very well with the lyrics (in that case death, annihilation and blasphemy). When it comes to lyrics, I always write them when I am strongly in a negative mood. I think that for Cultum Interitum it is compulsory to write and compose music in that negative aura. I can not imagine working in a different way. I always say that the band should have that essence, spirit and for this band the essence is coming from that creation process in a certain aura.”
Your haunting debut album, ‘Poison Of Being’, is an uncompromising exercise in death worship, rejecting life and also rejecting religion, it seems to me. Are you surprised that – despite the lack of any shred of evidence to support such wild superstitions – there are still billions of people who believe in and idolise some form of Abrahamic god? Or does this again just highlight the weak, indoctrinated and fanatical nature of man?
“People follow the masses. It’s no secret that people are afraid to use their brains and ask questions, not only in the matter of religion. I guess the image of Paradise and Hell with an old man sitting on the throne judging their lives is some kind of simple explanation for them as to how they should act in their lives. From another perspective, history shows what the true nature of this big superstition called Christianity is – conquering other lands, killing ‘heathens’ to spread the word of their ‘God’ … sure, it really is a religion of peace and love…”
It’s been three years since Cultum Interitum performed a live ceremony. Is this something you are hoping to get back to in the future, albeit with the world currently living through volatile and uncertain times? Are gigs an important part of the band’s vision going forward or is this something you can exist without?
“For now, shows are hugely uncertain. Bands are postponing tours, single concerts are being cancelled, etc. At this point, I do not see any purpose to playing live. For me, it is more important to release two old materials first and finish the recording process of our fourth album. Then we can think about returning to live activities. Gigs are important for Cultum Interitum. Sooner or later, we shall perform more concerts.”