“BLACK METAL IS ABOUT SPIRITUAL LIBERATION FROM THE SHACKLES OF THE DEMIURGE” – SEMJAZA (THY DARKENED SHADE)
Profusing promethean fire, channelling chaos and advocating adversary in His name, inimitable initiates Thy Darkened Shade deliver epic, elevated third full-length ‘Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya’ hot on the heightened hooves of stellar four-way collaboration ‘SamaeLilith: A Conjunction of the Fireborn’. A fiery force imbued with infectious enthusiasm for the underground, creator- and celebrant-in-chief Semjaza discusses the cursed geneses and essence of these liberating works; his predilection for the split-release format; twisting rituals to serve the Left Hand Path deities; living, breathing and dying for Black Metal; staying true to the genre’s roots and essential core values whilst integrating innovation and expansion; and returning to the void following the complete dissolution of the universe.
‘SamaeLilith: A Conjunction Of The Fireborn’ is an immense and immersive body of work that takes the idea of a Black Metal split / collaborative LP to a whole new level in terms of ambition, scale and execution. Clearly, this was a massive undertaking from all the stakeholders … you must be extremely pleased with the final result?
“We see our split releases exactly as we see our full-length albums, there is absolutely no difference for us. For those who worship the underground, whose ears are letting the sinister arts be heard, whose black flames are ready to burn them, we basically have released three completely different split releases containing the same quality hymns as our released albums. We always offer the same high-quality hymns to the gods of the dark and we seek the ultimate expression of our higher selves during the creation of our releases.
“It is actually one of the aims of Thy Darkened Shade to change how people view split albums and we are doing so at the time we are speaking about it. This is a call to the true bands: do more split albums as killer as your main releases, and let the scene return to the underground way of doing things. I have more than enough comments from people like you telling me how they were inspired by listening to our music and our split albums. Hail to all those who take time to inhale the sinister prana and get inflamed by Holy Lucifer’s fire!
“We also know that it is very untrendy to do split releases, the labels have a very hard time selling them. The more untrendy it gets and the less it sells, the more we have to and must do them. We will forever honour the underground and we will never forget the impact some split releases had on us when we were growing up. Hail the old school ways in mindset and spirit, individual art, individual vision, and the sound that worships the true source! Fuck the system, the trends, and what sells, we do as we please, and we listen only to our true selves, no one else.
“We even have unreleased, fully pre-produced albums (not only one or two) that we keep in our cave and we will not release those since the hymns served their purpose of spiritual reflection. We might choose some tracks from there but, as they are, we will never release them. And I assure you, those albums are of 100% TDS quality. Black Metal is about spiritual liberation from the shackles of the demiurge. Reflection and manifestation of the higher self, that’s what is the most important aspect, at least for us.
“And to fully answer your question: yes, I am fully inspired by the results of all of our releases.
“I am proud of the latest four-way split too and I am listening to it and taking inspiration from it from time to time. Absorbing the visions we had, re-opening these acausal gates and staring into the spheres that the artwork re-invoked. However, for us to arrive at that point, a lot of sacrifices had to be made, including ego sacrifices. Let’s proclaim the death of any Abelic impulses!”
The fact that each band contributes almost an album’s worth of high-quality, original material speaks volumes for your commitment to the ‘SamaeLilith…’ project. There’s no filler and everybody brought their ‘A’ game. How impressed are you by the work of your co-conspirators Amestigon, Inconcessus Lux Lucis and Shaarimoth, and how honoured is Thy Darkened Shade to share this creation with them?
“I am honoured, and that’s why I asked those bands to participate in this split collaboration – because I adored them to begin with. The releases of the aforementioned bands were playing non-stop and they are some of the best black / death bands nowadays dedicated to the true origins and initial concepts of this genre. That’s why I decided that we should do something very unique together. It also amazes me how different each one of us is while having a sinister aura that connects us all in a very arcane way.
“Within the split release, you can find different sounds from maniacal possessed thrash metal to the most abyssal Black Metal, black doom metal, dark ritualistic ambient, true heavy metal, evil death metal, death thrash, neofolk, darkwave neoclassical and everything that I forgot to add. Let me know of any release nowadays that successfully unites all these genres I just mentioned under the banner of black magic metal. I am a total music maniac, listening to loads of music every day and I never heard anything close to what we all offered there.
“Add on all these: Vamperess’s spiritual artwork that left me totally mesmerised and in awe. Victor’s [from Woodshed Studio] sound was totally killer and exactly as I wanted it to be. TT’s maniacally detailed and superior sound work and dedication to the real cause of BM that always inspires. And of course, the support and the physical release of World Terror Committee Productions that nailed all the aspects we wanted – and I am forever honoured.”
How much discussions and communications were there between the four hordes and, after the initial brief was ironed out, to what extent was each of you left to your own devices to work in isolation? Was there an almost unspoken understanding, where you surrendered to the darkness and let things take their natural, intuitive – perhaps telepathic or possessed – course?
“There were some general music discussions and a lot of communication concerning the magical direction of the album but there was also a lot of trust. We all trusted each other that we would offer something unique. From the very beginning, the deities that we wanted to focus on (and the concept centred around them) was something extremely crucial for the whole creation. However, there were a lot of synchronicities showing us the way, showing what has to be done, and confirming that we go towards the needed direction.
“Not much discussion happened concerning the music, just some general guidelines and exchanging of ideas. I have a hard time boycotting any kind of sinister channelling by putting mundane thoughts and rules in it. I say fuck the rules; the only rule for me is that there is none; liberate the mind and the spirit will come forth! Speaking now for myself, I absolutely adore expressing the otherworldly through channelling and total exhaustion. Namely to compose and construct tons of tracks and lyrical ideas. Then from that expression choose the best hymns / lyrics that manifest through our psyches. So yes, for sure, this is possessed music and art in general, we have a very similar approach to artwork and drawings. I’ve chosen these tracks very carefully from the tons of tracks I already had for TDS that served the spiritual purpose of this split. Channelling is the only way; to let the ego fade into the waters of Chaos, and return from Chaos along with His triumph.
“Of course, being proficient in instruments, composition and vocals creates even better channelling. Having achieved unconscious competence is very important before channelling, so we always put in some crazy hours of practising before recording or composing anything. In order to have that natural flow when doing so and recording the best possessed one-takes that actually are killer playing-wise as well. As always, we put our hearts into this release and I am sure we all did. I never release anything if I am not as close to being as satisfied as possible and the split was no exception. I always know when the release is ready, there is a certain feeling and visions in dreams. Due to my highly demanding everyday schedule, I had to sleep very few hours during the night to finalise the TDS part of the four-way split release. That’s always the case, so sleep deprivation actually added to the successful creation of the release and the possessed unconscious outcome for TDS’s part. I am sure if you ask the other bands as well, they will all confirm: we are all surrendered to the darkness of our psyches, always and forever.”
Your enthusiasm for the old school ways and dedication to the true spirit of the underground is infectious. How much damage has the arrival of the internet age done to the Black Metal underground? Digital files, streaming services and abominations like YouTube have made music incredibly accessible and attention spans have decreased. Was it better in the old days or are there pros and cons to everything?
“For the underground as a whole, it caused huge harm since a lot of people entered the scene (much more than before). Some of them even formed bands and are trying to change what this spiritual artform is about. Those people have no clue about BM and their mindset is the totally opposite to the very strong values that this movement has and will always have to offer (in order to be called as such). They should name their genre ‘whatever metal’ instead and everything will be okay. What puzzles me is that people who claim to listen to or play this holy artform, at the same time hate the revolutionary aspects of it.
“BM was / is a real threat to any kind of slavery (the safe enslaved values of humanity and the false gods that they worship). Archetypically speaking, this is a movement against the slavery of god. Therefore, against any kind of anti-spiritual oppression. BM was and is the glorification of the rebellious spirit of Lucifer; without His spirit there is no BM.
“How do people speak about societal values, or even their harmed feelings, their love of nature, or glorify demiurgic gods that praise oppression and the fake light (not the light of Lucifer, which is the darkness of Satan) and call their music BLACK Metal? Nothing is dark or black about these topics. Remember when, for instance, Emperor were praising the dark nature of Norway on their masterpiece track ‘Into the Infinity of Thoughts’: ‘As the darkness creeps over the Northern mountains of Norway and the silence reaches the woods, I awake and rise’. Nature mysticism was also a huge part of the scene back then, it was always through a Satanic perspective. See also: ‘Inno A Satana’: ‘Forever wilt I bleed for Thee. Forever wilt I praise Thy dreaded name. Forever wilt I serve Thee. Thou shalt forever prevail.’
“Back in the ‘90s, no matter what else they were writing about, it was always through a Satanic perspective. Otherwise they weren’t calling their music BM but Viking Metal or something else. Of course, this movement started from the first wave of BM. Who calls ‘Twilight of the Gods’ a Black Metal album? It is basically a masterpiece but it is a Pagan / Epic / Viking Metal album. On the other hand, ‘Under the Sign of the Black Mark’, for instance, is a total Black Metal masterpiece. Musically a band might be good or bad or killer – that’s not the point here. I listen to a lot of other genres apart from BM as well, but let’s just draw a line about what this holy genre is all about.
“In addition to these, after the internet, people don’t have to do any work in order to learn about the genre. Everything is right there on the internet for them to discover and still they are very ungrateful for it and still they are clueless. They are badmouthing people who built this scene with blood and sacrifices (even sacrificing themselves) in order to appear smarter or to follow what society believes as acceptable.
“Many people of the scene lived and died for what they believed in. Even unknown listeners were bleeding for the Devil and the BM arts and were ready to die and kill for it, this was a real Witches’ Sabbat! Those who are moaning like little babies have probably only fought to have their mother’s money in their pockets. Back in my days, one had to really search in order to find true bands. One had to show a real interest in order to dig into the jewels of the underground and actually live it, not only listen to it. Nowadays everything can be downloaded with just a keyboard click and most of the people fight an illusionary fight through the internet, not in real life.
“I lived before the age of the internet and within me, the obscure apocryphal BM passion is still 131% intact. For instance, I get totally enthusiastic when I find any release that rules. I am basically a music maniac, not only a BM maniac. I listen to everything as long as I like it. Back in the age of no internet, I also bought some shitty music because first of all, I was very young and secondly, I wasn’t able to listen to it beforehand. I had to make mistakes but that’s how I learned. Since the arrival of the internet, for me, it is just easier to listen to even more music and since I deeply appreciate it, I buy most of the releases that I like and skip those that I don’t. And I assure you my mindset about BM became even more serious and solemn than when I was younger.
“I do miss from the ‘90s that no one had to negotiate that BM is apocryphal, Satanic music with a serious ideological concept. Enslaved weren’t calling their music Black Metal but Viking Metal because they didn’t have an apocryphal, Satanic concept, Immortal as well, were calling their music Blashyrkh Metal or something. I really appreciate that since they understood the fundamental concept of BM, people need to learn the difference and know the history of this genre. There is nothing wrong with other genres, and some releases are killer as I said. I am just tired of people calling their music BM without being BM. Also, the obscure aura around tape trading and the zines dedicated to the Left Hand Path and the cause of BM is something that needs to be re-created. Let us return back to the shadows!
“Keep notice I think I started listening to this type of extreme metal music around ‘94, and at that early age I was just understanding that this music is about awe and fear, I wasn’t able to understand much back then but still it conveyed a serious danger. Something that needs to be recreated as well, BM cannot be safe. Classic metal was even before that and it wasn’t safe either, especially in the environment I was living in. I was just really a little kid when I first read about the rebellious spirit of BM and it marked me forever. The first extreme metal gig I went to was in 1995 at Heraklion Crete, a band that I totally disliked how they became. If only I was into the movement before the death of Euronymous. I would have really loved to have been in the BM movement during those glorious years for sure … I wish BM stayed in the shadows.”
True fanatics of underground music fully understand that supporting and appreciating the value of Black Metal as art goes way beyond listening to a low-quality stream on their phone whilst updating their social media profile. The double-vinyl edition of ‘SamaeLilith: A Conjunction Of The Fireborn’ is a great example of how much can be gained from investing in physical releases. There is so much going on – gatefold jacket, inner sleeves, an insert for each band, printed lyrics, stunning artwork – and it works on four of the five senses. Those who can afford it and are prepared to invest time into it will be richly rewarded. Offering both a visual and sonic experience, is the glorious 2LP the ultimate expression of this masterpiece?
“I adore physical releases, for different reasons, I adore each format. I like getting immersed into the vinyl editions but I also like how I can take CD versions of albums and read the lyrics anywhere. I have the same feelings for the latest split release. I hope soon we will have a tape version of it as well! I buy all three formats myself. We offer the same passion for all the different editions, therefore, really I can’t choose which one I prefer. I also listen to digital editions and lately sometimes I even rarely buy digital editions for supporting the artists directly but nothing comes close to the physical formats obviously.”
Masterfully profane – summoning Lilith, Samael and Leviathan – the fourth and final Thy Darkened Shade invocation on ‘SamaeLilith…’, ‘Return of the Ancient Ones’, reeks of pure blasphemous intent. Is this the very essence of the ‘channelling’ you referred to earlier? Are you imploring these ancient entities to take shape in the material or metaphysical realm? To impose their might, power and wisdom upon mankind? Is this a call for darkness … or enlightenment?
“Channelling for me is putting myself into a trance through ritual practice and creating art (not only art) in that state. When doing so, I have no predetermined mundane thoughts in my head, just a magical intention. I channel music, lyrics and artwork ideas nonstop in honour of a deity, or a qlipha or a sigil created for higher magical purposes.
“It is, therefore, a process of creating music from the unconscious instead of the conscious. After this work is done, I choose the best hymns I channel out of the void, in order to make albums that have a magical and musical sense in this world. Since I started composing in this state my inspiration has been flowing nonstop, making tons of different styles of music and various albums that are unreleased. The ritual hymn you are referring to was also created through channelling. All the tracks I released for this band were created in that state, as soon as I learnt how to do music in that state, I released the first album of TDS.
“These ancient entities can be called upon and can fill the human body with their energy, achieving very tangible results in this plane as well. I speak through experience, they can take shape in both the material and the metaphysical realms at the same time: as above, so below, as within, so without. It is a call for enlightenment to some and darkness to others.
“‘Return to the Ancient Ones’ is a sinister ritual work we did as the Order of Promethean Fyre, about which I don’t want to share any more information now.”
The eagerly-awaited third Thy Darkened Shade full-length, ‘Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya’, will manifest in the formative days of a cursed new calendar year. Presumably there is a strong conceptual knot binding the new album with its predecessor? In what way does this forthcoming spiritual upheaval derive from the same chaotic seed as the original 2014 masterpiece of transcendental Black Metal, ‘Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet’? And how does it differ?
“Thanks for the words! BM as a genre derives from the seed that all our albums are originating from and that’s the force of the union between our father and our mother. HSL! All our albums will come forth from the same force and since within Chaos, all the possibilities arise, the music of ‘Mahapralaya’ is very different from ‘Khem Sedjet’.
“The aim of this band is first and foremost spiritual and is linked with my spiritual quest in this life and the beyond. This is one of the reasons that I create albums that I will never release publicly. They served their spiritual purposes, but some of the albums I create are becoming available to the public. Silence is a virtue that is extremely important in such works, therefore the higher magical theistic intentions should be kept hidden. I will leave this to the listener to find out in which ways those two albums differ both musically and spiritually. I should add that adversarial energy has been found in all religions of humanity and that’s the basic concept of all the ‘Liber Lvcifer’ albums. It’s an ultimate flaw in understanding to think that the adversarial Left Hand Path energy (similar to Lucifer’s or Lilith’s) can only be found through Christian tradition. We search for the manifestation of both the deities through all the ages.”
You have described ‘Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya’ as the most-difficult-to-make TDS album to date. What manner of hardships and adversity did you encounter / endure along the way to realising your ambitions for this release? Did you ever feel like giving up or do you subscribe to the ‘adversary only makes me stronger’ school of thought?
“Too many, some very personal, to be shared here. To give you a clue, there were always some obstacles around the album – from the day we started creating it to the last day of finishing everything. During the time we finalised it, there was this plague called covid all around the world, and a huge wildfire started in Greece. Really suitable chaotic times for an album like this. It felt like something wasn’t allowing the album to be fully finished. I am so glad the album is done and finalised the way we needed it. Giving up is never an option but a few people involved with the album thought of actually giving up and gave up. I have a very strict vision of how I want the albums to be; few people are able to grasp it and even those who grasp it can’t really follow my vision at all times. I also never compromise this vision for anyone or anything, so I can’t finish an album before it is done as I want it to be.”
Mahapralaya refers to the Great Dissolution, or destruction of the universe. Do you believe we currently exist in Kali Yuga times and that a day of reckoning is approaching for mankind? Are we talking about an end of times or a rebirth – creation through destruction? Through your music are you striving to offer a vehicle to transcend the churning chaos of the cosmic plane?
“I wouldn’t pretend that I know something that I don’t, but one thing is sure: this world is going down in flames. I choose the title Mahāpralaya for many reasons, I will just mention a few, I will leave everything else to the listener who wants to go much deeper.
“First of all, as you said, Mahāpralaya refers to the Great Dissolution as mentioned in the Śivapurāṇa. I believe in total freedom of the spirit from any mundane restriction. Mahapralaya is when everything returns back to the void, the complete dissolution of the universe. As Deathspell Omega said: ‘O Satan, I acknowledge you as the great destroyer of the universe’. When pure darkness reigns, therefore, it signifies total freedom in the real sense of the word to me.
“I have philosophised it from every possible spiritual angle within the Order of Promethean Fyre. If the cosmos reaches the night, it is possible, of course, that a new Mahākalpa appears and a new Promethean earth appears in which all false idols are nothing but ashes and Promethean values reign supreme. However, even if a new Promethean earth will commence, the final destination of my spiritual path shall always be the immortality of the black flame.
“The questions that we aim to answer are: how the adversarial energy of Lucifer manifests over the periods of time and what we learn through that as Luciferians?
“The aim of ‘Liber Lvcifer’ is first and foremost to understand the manifestations of the archetypical true God within all religions, within all cults, within this world and without.
“I have been influenced by various magical currents throughout my life and practise it for real since ages, but I blindly follow no current. As a Luciferian, I have to follow my higher self impulses exclusively! I can safely say that I arrived at Prometheanism, which is inspired by the inner everlasting flame, through practice and struggle. From my own angle Prometheanism=Luciferianism. It is of course an understanding that comes through a strictly Left Hand Path practice. For me, it was always great to study a ritual from any source and twist it to serve the Left Hand Path deities for adversarial intentions and aims. So I have also read and practised completely opposite sources of what I believe in, in order to dissolve them, and I actually got really inspired from that.
“Of course, the title of the new album is also a metaphor, as you say: in order to create something new, you have to destroy the old. And that can apply to everything.
“Last but not least, the title is a hail to Jon Nödtveidt and his strength to understand, reflect and offer everything to the God that I worship.”
Sonically, the new album is something of a paradox. An inextinguishable flame of independence, defiance and devotion burns on ‘Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya’, which maintains a very rare and decidedly unique sense of spiritual elevation throughout its epic 64-minute duration. This is about as far removed from conventional, formulaic, run-of-the-mill or by-the-numbers Black Metal as we could imagine. Your dedication to the core values of Black Metal is beyond question, but in casting these spells it sounds like Thy Darkened Shade has somehow transcended the genre and is now a law unto itself?
“We are glad to follow the traditions while expanding the genre at the same time, we are a BM band exclusively! That means and presupposes having a personal sound / vision while having an individual apocryphal / Satanic / occult concept and respecting those who built the scene with blood and sacrifices.
“We therefore contribute to the genre and do not rehash old ideas. Rehashing old ideas or stating that we play old school BM while copying other people’s achievements is totally new school. Speaking about random topics while calling our music BM is new school as well. We play old school traditional BM with the real meaning of the word. We totally acknowledge our roots of ‘80s Metal and ‘80s BM as well. There was a certain trend from people ignoring the roots of BM. We worship the genre as a whole (and know it as closely as humanly possible). I always buy BM records and listen to them with the same passion (if not with a more fiery one) as when I was a little kid. For us, the first wave of BM is as important as the second wave or any wave that contributes to this holy art and we acknowledge them all.
“If you take notice of the bands that were called BM in the ‘90s (the ‘80s as well), all were actually:
1. Satanic / Abyssic / Apocryphal / Occult
2. Original (obviously, all of them had their influences)
“In fact, when I compose and listen to something that sounds too close to some other band, I don’t use it. In order to release a track with TDS I need it to be as excellent as possible, this was always the case. We also incorporate influences that stem from non musical sources (spirituality, for instance). This makes TDS sound even more personal. The musical influences are coming through the TDS filter, in the same way that all the classic bands did. These musical influences also could be: everything Metal, classical music, neoclassical or dark folk, dark (ritualistic) ambient, darkwave, dungeon synth, prog rock, even jazz in the way I compose bass lines and actually many more genres. We incorporate a vast amount of musical and non musical influences and make them our own while also staring into the abyss to receive unconscious inspiration.”
Rather than being limited to predictable Black Metal shrieks and screeches, you adopt a more adventurous approach to your vocal delivery, with a rich and varied arrangement of oftentimes-ceremonial textures and styles adding depth and vitality to ‘Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya’. This affords the whole experience a more ethereal, malevolent and Black-Mass-like atmosphere. ‘Into Eerie Catacombs’ provides a perfect example of this, with an impressive multitude of contrasting vocal tones unleashed (must be seven or eight styles in there and I even thought I detected a trace of throat singing!). Whatever about having the range to deliver all these different voices, does it add a whole layer of extra complexity to writing and arranging the songs / anti-hymns? Do the vocals nod at your influences and pay homage to the might and majesty of traditional Heavy / Black Metal? Or is it something more spontaneous and subconscious that just comes naturally to you?
“If someone listens to all our albums (and even the splits, I should add) they all incorporate different vocal styles (as well as obviously different music styles). And even though the album is called ‘Mahapralaya- Liber Lvcifer II’, this is a totally different manifestation from the void. We hate stagnation and doing the same album twice isn’t our thing either. We always do many vocal takes and choose the best, the most possessed of them all.
“I will add some comments about all the albums, this will help to understand ‘Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya’’s approach even more.
“‘Eternvs Mos, Nex Ritvs’: A heavy mixture of Black / Thrash elements in terms of voices (and riffing). We also added our traditional chantings but done in a very obscure way. I don’t think anyone did it exactly like that before in a BM perspective. Here, the vocals of the A were highlighting and extending the atmosphere of each and every riff. In a way, we also paid our tribute to a more traditional Black Metal vocal style, but not solely. Some early Gorgoroth influence (Hat) comes to mind, too.
“‘Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet’: A sermon-like death / black voice the A utilised to summon a holy, ritualistic / prayer-like essence. A voice that is commanding and trance-like. At the same time, we extended the use of our now traditional chantings (our guest clean singer Herc did a lot of those and we highlighted a lot of them as well). On this album we also used a more hymnic, cleaner singing approach than before. In general, we used vocals that pierce the unconscious in many ways.
“‘Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya’: Here the concept was a total possessed performance on all the harsh singing and totally hymnic for the clean vocals. And of course, we used plenty of vocal styles and did numerous takes for each track to choose the ones that fit best. It was both conscious and unconscious since we were always recording until total exhaustion, we recorded around 200 takes of vocals or more. So it was fully conscious since we knew exactly what we were doing but unconscious at the same time since we knew it so well that we didn’t have to consciously think about it, we just channelled evil. In a way that’s a perfect way to charge sigils as well; through total exhaustion the energy release is much greater.
“And yes, there are more hymnic vocals perfectly done by our guest clean singer (Herc) but the more traditional Metal clean singing – the let’s say Quorthon meets King Diamond meets myself – was done by me. While for the harsh vocals I shared my vocal styles with the main singer of TDS: the A. I am proud to say that our collaboration with the A is a flawless experience since he always understands and gets fully inspired by what TDS needs.”
It was interesting to hear you declare yourself as ‘a music maniac, not only a BM maniac’. There’s an uncanny, infectious sense of musicality and memorability inherent in ‘Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya’ that leads me to believe it could potentially appeal to a wider audience than just Black Metal enthusiasts. Would you welcome this extended listenership (those who don’t habitually listen to Black Metal) or should Thy Darkened Shade’s art be consumed exclusively within strictly Black Metal parameters by true adepts / devotees of the dark arts?
“Of course, I listen to and play a large amount of different musical styles, I adore great music, no matter the genre. Since I decided to release those albums publicly I can’t really choose who will listen to them and who will not, but of course, BM isn’t for just anyone and will stay like that. I am also sure that some will listen to our albums solely for the musical value (even though there will always be an unconscious spiritual influence – music influences the unconscious in plenty of ways). And others will also find the whole TDS experience fully valuable (music, lyrics, the spiritual side, the artwork, etc.). In fact, even from our previous albums, I have had some very interesting conversations with people who don’t listen to BM but still liked our albums, even spiritual conversations, I should add. For me, it is always good to witness a perspective from people who don’t regularly listen to a BM album but still find something valuable in our music and there is always a possibility that something within them will awaken. Who knows if they might become the next Luciferian BM diehards if they get inspired by TDS!”
Reviews of the new album should start appearing any minute now. Requests for interviews – some perhaps with strings attached – will be flooding your Inbox. As one who feels indifference and disdain for certain, let’s say insidious, elements of both the underground and more mainstream media (printed and online), how much are you looking forward to / dreading navigating this seething cesspool of shameless sharks and lecherous leeches once more?
“I never seek to read any reviews for TDS, to be honest with you. I became fed up when I saw random reviews about my favourite bands and I almost stopped reading them after the reviews of our first album since I noticed the pattern is the same. And it is not about reviews being good or bad. In fact, I have read praise and positive reviews that are fully ghastly, comparing us to bands that we have absolutely nothing in common with. Only if people send the reviews to me or if I am tagged through social media will I see them now. What I care about is to see that the reviewer knows the field they are supposed to be speaking of. I have learned in my life not to speak if I don’t know something.
“What disgusts me is that those people create trends and are viewed as experts and even writing awful BM books (that distort the aims of this genre). However, if you speak about any true underground BM scene they are fucking clueless apart from what happens in the mainstream. And of course gaining their ego boost and their five minutes of fame by posing with the well-known people from the scene. These people are harmful to the BM scene and we should be more fierce with how we approach them. Recently I was tagged to one super awful review of our split. These people can’t get that their reviews can only reflect their personal ignorance, I actually laughed while reading it. I am many years into the BM scene, as a listener, as a musician and as a person, I dedicated myself to BM very long ago. I can understand if someone is ignorant from their first sentence.
“As I said recently via our official facebook page: Everyone can have whatever opinion they wish to have, I am not concerned with that at all. I fully believe in individual differences and I am not bothered about the likes or dislikes of other people, this is their business not mine.
“What puzzles me is when people thoughtlessly exploit the power of their public opinion. When reviewers (or interviewers) have the least clue about BM or what we do as a band, or any proper knowledge of the underground movement as a whole but still, they are trying to criticise inefficiently as much as they can. This basically shows their inferiority syndrome since these people rarely can create anything of value so they unconsciously (sometimes even consciously) feel that they have power over artists by just stating a bunch of crap about them and their achievements. I have a serious issue with that in every field. For instance, I dislike people who are doing any work and have very little knowledge about their field. Who is going to go to a doctor who has very little knowledge about his scientific field?
“First, learn the job very well then speak, otherwise don’t speak at all. I have seen ludicrous comments online concerning music and I mean random comments in even well-known channels or zines or of course magazines. I also know for sure these people recruit people who have the least amount of knowledge of our scene. I had recently a very long and interesting talk with a total BM diehard about a certain channel on youtube that does reviews and is full of crap about a lot of WTC bands. He started challenging him online, stating to him truths about various reviews. I like and support that, letting them know they need to be more educated in order for the writings to be taken seriously within the scene of BM.
“Let us return to a more reclusive mindset and those who stay within let them stay for all the right reasons. This is about the whole BM movement. Due to people carelessly running bad online zines, channels, magazines or writing awful books and acting as if they are experts when they are clueless, we have the over-glorification of awful trends and the suppression of innovative underground artists.
“Let our voice be heard like it is the apocalypse.
“Of course, sometimes I do buy killer BM books or receive proper interviews (and read great reviews too) from known or not well known magazines or online zines but it is a rare phenomenon. I do appreciate this when I see it. Like now with your interview, I really liked answering those questions and sharing all these thoughts of mine with those interested in reading them.”
Artwork and photos by Vamperess Imperium, Logo by Christophe Szpajdel