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Interview

ANTIMO BUONANNO: Mexico’s living legend – From gore-soaked maniac to blackened warrior from Hell

There are few names in the pantheon of Mexican heavy metal history as important as that of Antimo Buonnano. From being a catalyst in the Mexican death metal sound,  to an international tenure in the legendary IMPIETY, to finally settling in to a project where he finds contentment, Antimo’s career spans 25 years without having ever once compromised the integrity with which he has managed his work and musical output.

For many of us, the first discovery of Antimo’s music was through the gory cult video for DISGORGE’s Rancid Bowel Sarcoma, for others it was on Impiety’s insurmountably sinister Paramount Evil album, and for others yet it will be through this interview.

Without further adieu and in his own words: ergo sum Antimo Buonanno.

I think the first thing we’d like to know is what the Mexican scene was like in the mid-90s when you started DISGORGE? Was there a prevalent culture for extreme death metal?

When we started as Disgorge the more prevalent scene where we lived focused more on melodic kind of styles of death, doom, and black. So the kind of metal we were playing was not very easy to listen to or understand. There were no extreme death or goregrind bands in México at the time, but of course worldwide speaking there were plenty of them.

Because of that were the early shows poorly attended?

Yes, indeed! We were playing mostly with bands of those above mentioned genres and people didn’t get it and didn’t get into it. But we were playing in lots of places at that time in México and Central América, like Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panamá….

I don’t think the average North American or European metal head has a strong mental image of what mid the mid-90s Guatemalan or Panamanian metal show would have looked like. Did you find what you were looking for in those places?

I’m talking about ’96 to ’98 and I assure you that they were wild! It was a strong and huge metal scene in those days. [Disgorge] played in El Salvador’s capital in front of more than a thousand people in a crowded arena! Fuckin’ crazy!

What do you think happened that caused a decline to the Central American scene? Nowadays, Mexico has a great scene, and South America too, but you never hear about the scene in Central America. Is it simply the lack of access?

I don’t understand why so much, but there are a few good bands to mention from there. I guess recently the most worth mentioning I could say is Costa Rica, but for sure Honduras and El Salvador have good bands. But maybe it’s like always – good bands are everywhere …

Talk to us about that insane Rancid Bowel Sarcoma video from back in the day, hermano. It’s one of the most intense live music videos ever made!!!

This was a compilation video tape (VHS) also including the audio version of the filming on CD, released by the now extinct OZ Productions. The original idea came from them and from some tours we did at that time back then. The Tourmentour 98/99 and the Devastation Tour 99/00/01 were done with those bands included in that VHS and some others.

That show was filmed at the “Cathedral of Metal” in Mexico, at the Adolfo Lopez Mateos Arena in the suburbs of Mexico City. For that time in México that was a huge production to make in those days! A very good experience to remember. All the bands played full 40 minute sets, but only 15-20 minutes each was filmed. The bands included were: Buried Dreams, Shamash, Dies Irae (all on the Oz Prods rooster), and Disgorge.

Now around the time of this infamous music video, you started DEMONIZED. What was the impetus to start that band and have another death metal band? Did it have anything to do with wanting to make music dedicated to Satan, rather than gore?

Yes that was indeed it! Your thoughts are right, hermano. We were especially in need of making this kind of music – fast, evil and poisonous! Being in Disgorge, I had issues with my band mates at that time because I couldn’t write those kinds of riffs in the band, so that’s why in those days around 99/2000 I started to make that music [with Demonized]. We just only released a rehearsal demo, a split, and a full length album. Maybe in the future I can take the path again of the Luciferian music!

Around the same time of DEMONIZED, Singaporean legend Shyaithan recruited you for guitars in the legendary IMPIETY. How does a Singaporean warlord end up recruiting Mexican soldiers for his war party?

Yes he came down to make the records and [prepare] the tours, and then he returned to Singapore. The lineup was effective live!

We got to South East Asia with Impiety at the end of 2004 to tour into 2005. It was a very amazing and great experience to be touring there personally! To play in front of the Bangkok River. To smoke pot under the Petronas towers when in almost all [South East Asia] it is forbidden with death penalty to consume weed or any type of drugs. In Jakarta it was really amazing to ring in the new year while we were playing, and yell happy new year announcing “Torment in Fire”!!


Also when we flew from Thailand to Singapore at the same time as the tsunami of the 2004 (when sadly we lost Miezko Talarzyk from Nasum!). The whole tour was full of good and intense memories personally speaking, and I hope to someday return to that amazing and wonderful continent! I want to eternally thank Shyaithan for giving us the opportunity to be part of the Mighty Impiety!! Gracias a ti hermano mio!! In dark allegiance forever my brother!

Did playing in Impiety influence your direction with HACAVITZ? Did playing that militiaristic Morbid Angel, Angelcorpse, Impiety sound have a direct impact on you?

We were playing the same kind of blackened death metal around that time! So it was very easy to make music along with Shyaithan, as he already really liked the music we made with RAVAGER and Hacavitz. But Hacavitz definitely turned our path to a blackened way indeed…

So that just about brings us right up to present day. Hacavitz underwent a big shift in sound with the release of Darkness Beyond. What caused such a drastic sonic upheaval?

We drastically changed the lineup, brother. It was only me left over with all new members, and actually since “Meztli Obscura” we wanted to take a more blackened path. And so we made it with “Darkness Beyond” with the inclusion of Ivan Ochoa and César Sanchez. Finally we reached the obscure task for the band. We are so happy that we could make it!

So on that note, what types of themes are you confronting with these last two Hacavitz records?

Human nature, nature in all its forms, misanthropy, the metaphoric processes of day and night, the evil nature of the night and the moon, birth and death, and many themes based on our pre-Hispanic roots, my brother!

It definitely feels like the band is finally making music its really happy with. Would you play any of the old death metal material live?

We want to start playing them live again! Actually there are two songs from the 1st two albums we are rehearsing now: “Tinieblas” from Katun and “Mixtla Miquixtli” from the Venganza album. These two mentioned have a darkened black/death approach to match actual style of the band, but also we will plan to work more on the death metal type of songs in the band.

Recently the band seems to have had good luck with Canadian adventures, doing a mini tour in Mexico with Auroch in December, playing Covenant Festival Vancouver in June, and an upcoming appearance at Quebec Deathfest. What territories that you have yet to conquer are you excited for?

These appearances and opportunities that Covenant has given to us have been so amazing!! We are so grateful and you guys know that at any time you have a home and a place to tour in México! We are so ready now to hit Montreal in October for our next time, and also I hope we can still work in some more time with Covenant and Auroch, too!

Ok weon, the final words are yours! What do you want to tell the readers?

Immense and Infinite thanks to all in Covenant Fest’s organization (You, Shawn, Mayo, Ana, Emily, Alistair, and everyone involved into this great organization and festival!), to all in Auroch, and all the great and cool bands we got to hang out with on those amazing days! All the best to you brother and to The Covenant Fest a long life!! Thanks to the entire great crowd in Vancouver who supported us!


HACAVITZ

VOMIT RECORDS

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Covenant Records Premiere

TEMPLE OF ABANDONMENT stream their new monolithic demo of suffocating funeral death doom

If you can get a breath of air long enough during the impenetrably suffocating atmosphere created by Vancouver BC’s TEMPLE OF ABANDONMENT to say the name of their brand new demo then count yourself lucky. The periphrasal title “Chasm of the Horned Pantheon: Through Your Death, They Live” already sets the stage for such horrifying and depraved imagery before even a note of music is heard. A journey of ferocity and fear is about to begin …

Initially the menacing cruelty attacks from every angle as we are met with bursts of death metal fury. This is no slow plod to the gallows. This is no painful wade through a roiling bog. Those will come later – There is plenty of time for agony after you’ve been pounded into dust. Only after a relentless knife-slashing of dual solo frenzy are we afforded some solace of suicidal serenity. Wails of pure sorrow and despair greet the unfortunate listener as the next formless void of “Crypt Born (Tenebris Devorantis part II)” opens at the song’s mid point. Finally we’re left with only a twitching, plinking guitar perceptible in the distance to match the fragility of the mortal coil. This is real suffering put to audio and it is almost unbearable … until the merciless execution returns to snap your neck with riffs summoned from the death doom mire.

And that’s where the death-march descent into the abyss of the “Black Ibex” begins. A chanting ritual to summon the pitch crepuscularities that linger beyond our perceptions. Don’t be fooled. This is not tranquility, but a moment to inhale and give in to the crushing melancholy of self-destructive leads, wretched torturing reflection, and ultimate submission to the void. At last, the ritual is complete and there is blood everywhere …

There is death doom and there is funeral doom, but rarely has such a perfect unholy union of sound been conjured into existence as it has on this so-called demo tape. Temple of Abandonment has superseded most peers in relentless execution and atmospheric immersion. Featuring stalwarts of extreme music from such forces as CHAPEL, NECROHOLOCAUST, DEATH WINDS, and AHNA, there is a multi-layered texture to the music that evokes truly unexpected twists and turns throughout.  A maturity achieved by most bands deep into their career is on display here, and ostensibly this is just the beginning. Tread lightly, as this tape should come with a warning label ‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here’…


COVENANT RECORDS is honoured to release TEMPLE OF ABANDONMENT’s “Chasm of the Horned Pantheon: Through Your Death, They Live” CVNNT-002 into the wild, as our inaugural first release. Interested parties are urged to contact covenantfestival@gmail.com for wholesale access to this hideous juggernaut of a tape.

Recorded by B. Decorby
Mixed by Kris Stanley
Artwork by Anne O’Neill

Categories
Premiere

SATURN’S CROSS reveals new darkwave epic from upcoming 4-way Covenant pact split release

It is at this interstice that we are proud to unveil the first glimpse at the strangest of all beasts to arise from the Covenant birthing pools- “Of Four Exhumations – A Covenant Collaboration”, due out soon on Mexico’s DUMAH Records (also responsible for the forthcoming Aos Si full length, from which we shared the music video for “Oratio Draconis”). This four-headed work features coinciding pieces from artists within our inner circle, dark ambient mastermind RANDAL COLLIER-FORD, darkwave anomaly SATURN’S CROSS, ritual industrial monk PERENNIAL NORTH, and otherworldly newage stalwart CUILLEN.

As a first look, we have chosen to debut the Saturn’s Cross piece Living Death (Protege Of The Last Medici). In an 8 minute epic blending big, dark synths, hypnotizing percussion, and unsettling vocals, Saturn’s Cross has created something that intertwines industrial and darkwave, with haunting dark ambient and eerie R&B stylings. Here lies an ode to the arte magical and a work of activating dormant potentiality.

Expect this galvanizing split release to be available in the early fall, and expect a seminal treatise on birth, death, and finally rebirth.

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Interview

SANGRE DE MUERDAGO exists between worlds and speaks with the poetry of a collective folklore

Pablo Ursusson is the creative heart of SANGRE DE MUERDAGO, a folk group birthed out of the mysterious romance inherent to his native Galicia, a remote region on the northwestern edge of Spain. Over the years, rotating backing lineups have revolved around him through the band’s album cycles, but Pablo has always remained a calm centre, providing confident voice, gentle guitar, and dancing hurdy-gurdy. The band has steadily grown with each release, touring Europe, North America, and recently even Asia. They’ve recently returned to North America shores for the third time, and are playing a string of dates up and down the west coast.

Ian Campbell (CROOKED MOUTH, HARROW) travelled to Vancouver, BC, to play as a backing member of NIGHT PROFOUND at a concert featuring Sangre De Muerdago, and Oakland California’s LATONA ODOLA. Before the music began, Ian and Pablo sat in the green room talking about folk music, the particularities of Galician music and soon paused so Ian could record it as an interview on behalf of the Covenant group. What followed was talk of language, poetry, DIY ethic, and mistletoe.

We pick up the conversation here:

Ian: We just spoke a bit about Sangre De Muerdago being recognized more abroad before you were accepted at home in Galicia. I’ve watched the band grow, starting off in the neofolk scene, releasing your first album via Brave Mysteries on cassette, and now you’ve grown to the point of touring in Asia. It seems like the band has graduated from its small beginnings into almost a sort of world music group. What are your thoughts on that?

Pablo: I’ve listened to folk music my whole life, and once we got to record the first demo and then the first album, that’s when I got to know that there’s a neofolk scene. I didn’t know about it before, and we definitely don’t come from there. I know that part of our audience is from there, I’ve got to know very beautiful people in that scene too and we’ve made friends with a few very interesting bands. But, the general feeling of our band is being in a sort of no-man’s land, belonging to no scene at all, but at the same time, belonging a little bit to all of them. Our audience is always super diverse and there are people from many different musical backgrounds. Even the musicians who play in Sangre have many musical backgrounds, so it is a nice mixture.

We never had any target. I think when your band plays a specific genre or you are deep into a scene you have things to target. Probably you want your album reviewed in this or that magazine, released on this or that label, or to play at certain places. But, we’ve released albums with such a diverse spectrum of labels, we are signed to nobody, we have a couple of offers on the table from bigger labels, but we like the motion things are going and we are happy. We get to record, play around the world on different continents. Last year we went to Asia, which was a total surprise, but of course we’d do it! I’d say our aspiration is simply to play music and go around the world with it.

Ian: I’ve been amazed watching you guys grow and seeing the things you’ve been able to do with very little outside support. I always wonder “how do they do that?” but it’s just organic, I suppose.

Pablo: Yeah, I’ve been playing music for many, many years in many, many bands, from punk to everything else, and always with a very strong DIY spirit just because we wanted to do things on our own. And, somehow with Sangre it just worked the same way. We just do as much as we can ourselves, and, slowly, things just happen. The band recorded the demo 11 years ago already, which is quite a long time. I’ve never had a band that’s survived this long, or got to release 4 albums. I think the maximum with my other bands has been 2! Then we’ve always moved on to something else. But Sangre became some kind of life-commitment many years ago and I think we’re just not the kind of people who like to sit down and wait for things to happen. We like the make the things happen. If no one is knocking at our door, we open the door and go out. The first time we came to North America nobody knew us.


Absolutely nobody, I’m pretty sure! But, we got invited to the Stella Natura festival, and that was a good excuse to book three weeks of concerts around the west coast of the United States and I did it all myself. I just made contacts, wrote people, and made it happen.

Ian: Before I started recording this conversation we were talking a bit about your homeland of Galicia and Galician folk music. I was wondering about the language itself. Is it a dialect of Spanish?

Pablo: No, not at all, it’s a language of its own. It is one of the four official languages of Spain.

Ian: I’ve heard that under the Franco regime that languages like Basque were actually banned from being spoken-?

Pablo: So it was with Galician as well. The language was very damaged during the dictatorship. Brutally damaged. All the teachers from Galicia were sent to other parts of Spain to teach in Spanish and Castellano. And then they would bring teachers from the south and other parts of the country to teach the Galician kids in Castellano. And all the smaller languages spoken in other areas like Basque, Catalan, or Galician, suffered a lot.

Ian: Folk music and language are very obviously tied together, and it’s interesting to me to see how folk music has been tied in many places to a sort of cultural rebirth, for example the Irish incorporating a lot of Gaelic into their music as a sort of remembering of who they are. I feel like Sangre might be taking part in that sort of phenomena for the Galician language.

Pablo: My reason to speak and sing in Galician is that to sing this music that I write from the depths of my heart, this is the deepest way I can find to feel it is singing Galician. I don’t think I would feel the same way about the songs if I were to sing them in English, or Spanish, for example.

Ian: You’ve had a few songs in English over the years, though.

Pablo: Yes! Only 2. “Haunted Glow,” from the demo [and re-recorded on Deixademe Morrer no Bosque]. That was a song written by Jorge, who was a founding member of the band, who passed away in 2009. He wrote that song, and he wrote it in English. We don’t have to force things to be in a certain way. Same as it happened with the other song, “Paths of Mannaz.” It just happened that I wrote those lyrics one day, not necessarily thinking that it was going to be a Sangre song. Those lyrics came to me in English. I’ve spoken English for many years, my wife is German, we speak a lot of English. It became my main language for a long time. So those lyrics just came naturally in that language and I didn’t want to force them or translate them. And I liked the piece and thought it would be good for Sangre even though it was written in English. No other reason than that.

Ian: So it could potentially happen again in the future?

Pablo: Absolutely! It hasn’t happened since then, but of course it could. Sometimes I even think of writing a song in German because I’ve lived in Germany for six and a half years. But, when we talk about it, it always winds up as more of some kind of a joke!

Ian: This question relates a little bit to language too; the name of the band, Sangre De Muerdago, meaning Blood of the Mistletoe. I know about the Mistletoe’s connection to Nordic myth, being the plant that can kill Baldur, the invincible god of light. Is there a mythic connection in Galicia? The name to me can conjure many images, and I’m wondering if there’s a specific one for you.

Pablo: I’d say it is a compound of different things that brought us to that name. We really wanted to have the name of the plant in the band’s name because of all the mythology and also the medicinal side of the plant, the Druidic tradition, and so on. And, also the singularity of the band itself, often in the folklore it is considered a plant in-between worlds, between earth and sky, because of never having roots on the ground, always being a parasite plant living on other plants. It’s been said the mistletoe stands between realms.

Ian: It certainly fits with your idea of not belonging to any one musical world…

Pablo: Somehow, I never thought of that, good point!

The plant appears in many traditions. In the Druidic tradition the mistletoe is one of the most sacred plants. They gather it only with little golden sickles, and it can never touch the ground. It has many different medicinal properties. And also, the druids only gather the mistletoe from oaks, and not when it grows on other trees. They consider the Oak to be the king of the woods, so the mistletoe is the crown of the king. And they are collecting that crown.

When we recorded the demo is when we baptised the band. We had it very clear that we wanted the word Muerdago in the band’s name, and we ended up with Sangre De Muerdago.

Ian: The last thing I wanted to ask you about was the process of adapting poems by national poets. The new album has the song “Longa Noite de Pedra,” which I know is adapted, and you’ve had several other songs that have taken inspiration from Galician poets. This would seem like a very daunting task to me. Do you find it to be difficult?

Pablo: Well, each song has a different story. I’ve adapted 3 poems into our songs. The first one was by a poetess called Rosalía de Castro (Sangre adapted her work into the song “A Xustiza Pola Man” from the Braided Paths split with NOVEMTHREE). She is quite a literary and historical figure in Galicia. She lived in the 1800s and was a one-of-a-kind woman. A very independent, strong writer, and at the same time she had such roots in Galician history and the way in which she describes things.

That poem is really visceral. It is a story of the vengeance of a mother who loses her children because of social injustice. She loses her children because some powerful people kick her and her children from their house and they end up living in the woods and roaming around, and in the wintertime the kids die from hunger and cold. Then the mother takes vengeance. It’s an incredible poem, it gives you goose bumps. I had always wanted to write a song for this poem. And one day it happened.

The story of the second one, “Longa Noite De Pedra,” happened because the poet, Celso Emilio Ferreiro, is just such an incredible writer. He’s one of the main writers you read in school when you’re studying Galician literature, language, history, and such. It happened that a couple of years ago that I came back to one of his books I had read while I was in school. I’ve turned 40 this year, so of course you perceive everything in a very different way. When I read his poetry 30 years later I was very touched and I could somehow relate to him and the way he wrote about the land itself; the woods and the stones, and the collective folklore, and all the myth and mysticism that we all carry in our hearts through growing up in that part of the world. There’s a very specific feeling in the air in Galicia. We have some words that don’t exist in any other language. So there’s that. That thing. He can turn it into visuals in this magisterial way.

Same story with the third one. Manuel Maria is unbelievable. I can picture my Galicia in Maria and Ferreiro’s words very, very strongly. And the stories are very different. Ferreiro’s is a story of suffering and the death of human freedom, and the Maria’s is just the most incredible love poem I’ve ever read.

Actually the song (“O Amor”) is just an extract of the poem. I love those words so much that somehow I wanted to put them into a song. And its not something I force and think “I want to adapt a poem,” it just happens sometimes.

[We hear Latona Odola begin to play inside the venue]

Ian: That seems like a good ending point, I think they’re playing now, should we go watch?

Pablo: I’d love to!


Sangre De Muerdago is touring the world promoting their new album, Noite, which is available on multiple formats, and comes highly recommended.

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Interview

HAASIOPHIS: The main force behind ANTEDILUVIAN exists somewhere between the primordial and the extra-human

In a genre of music oft devoted to spiritual work, it isn’t uncommon to see the names and faces of the band members obscured, or to see the band presented in a way that makes the individual insignificant to the whole. This works as a simple and effective way of keeping the ego at bay, not allowing it to interfere with the deliverance of pure, azothic art.

In this discussion we choose to focus on Timothy Grieco, known to the masses as Haasiophis, as an individual, due to the rare consistency he has been able to achieve in all aspects of his work. Canada’s perplexing madman is guilty of inflicting music from the likes of ANTEDILUVIAN, REVENGE, AMPHISBAENA, MALSANCTUM, and even more on this sphere, propagating through Serpents Head Reprisal, and creating mindbinding visuals for many artists’ album covers and merchandise. From harrowing visual art, crucial musical contributions in a handful of seminal projects, and a label that has strengthened the work of the kindred, it is abundantly clear that the essence and will of Haasiophis’ projects is directed with rare intent

Read below as we cut through the anonymity and unite the multifaceted figure into one voice.

Antediluvian has been one of the fore-runners of what seems to be a dark death/black metal style resurgence in Canada (and worldwide) since about the mid 2000s. Why did you start the band and what made you want to do this style?

When I started the ANTEDILUVIAN, I was interested in the unique, over the top sound of bands such as BLASPHEMY, CONQUEROR, UNHOLY ARCHANGEL, MYSTIFIER, GOATPENIS, AXIS OF ADVANCE, BEHERIT. They all have their own sound and angle, but seemed to combine the harshest elements of black/death/grind/doom, giving the archaic and obscure feeling to the music formally. This would fit with the areas I was exploring conceptually in my personal practice of worshiping the unknown and my research beyond the edges of the boundaries in human consciousness, history and religious studies. I decided to down-tune my guitar and started rehearsing with MARS SEKHMET, who learned drums just to play this style with me.

Antediluvian has never been terribly concerned with pace or keeping up appearances. At times you have throngs of shows across a bunch of different countries and release albums in close proximity, and then the band will vanish in to the shadows for a few years, only to revived once again with a sudden blast. Can you talk to me about this seemingly spastic balance of inertia and momentum, stasis and change?

We worked steadily from 2005-2012, rehearsing 3-4 times per week and writing 41 songs. The last 3 years of work culminated in two full lengths, three splits, and a slew of live shows. Then the drummer moved to Austria and we took the first and only break we ever had. From there, working oceans apart, we played 10 shows in Europe in 2015, 2 in North America and then decided to focus on writing the third album which is nearing completion. We have also slated a split release which will probably be released this year.

Canada has traditionally had three main birthing pools for extreme metal: Vancouver, Montreal, and Edmonton. Vancouver and Montreal have had their histories clearly examined time and time again. The mystique of Blasphemy and Ross Bay has been explained ad infinitum, and the early days of Cryptopsy/Gorguts/Kataklysm have been closely examined, but Edmonton, however, has remained a little bit more of a mystery to outsiders. As outsiders, but now long-time Edmontoners, perhaps you can elucidate us with a unique perspective. What is the type of energy that flows in such a seemingly dismal place that has lead to the creation of such demented music for such a long time?

I didn’t live in Alberta until 2006… but DISCIPLES OF POWER and a handful of extreme death metal bands were rehearsing and doing shows in the early 90’s. None of the other people in Revenge or Antediluvian are actually Edmonton natives if I recall correctly, but they were living here at that time. It’s cold here with long dark winters, so activities are somewhat limited to indoor stuff for a big part of the year. Due to remote geography the culture is less tainted by mainstream North American suburban trends. Out of this sort of isolated environment, chaotic unhinged acts CREMATION, SACRAMENTARY ABOLISHMENT, DOMINI INFERI and LUST were spawned. All the guys in those bands were tape trading underground maniacs into BLACK METAL and aware of the international scene.

This question is simple, but the answer may prove difficult. You seem to have two main conduits of spiritual work- your music and your art. Plainly, what do you achieve with your art as an outlet that you do not through your music, and what do you achieve through your music that you cannot through your art?

The answer IS simple in the way that music is audio and art is visual. I can’t channel visual thoughts through the music or vice versa. I have always made work in both mediums, and at times the boundaries are blurred and that can be how it gets really interesting. In a word, Synesthesia. It’s not about limitations of either medium, but taking part in the full spectrum of realities that are at one’s disposal. I think both mediums can be seen as a conduit for corrupt spirituality, dumping grounds for shed skins of transformation and receptacles that accept the slew of lies that are the by-product of self actualization.

For the better part of the last decade, you have performed live bass for Revenge, and have had embarked on some wild tours that have left a trail of dead and whispers wherever they’ve gone. Can you single out one specific night that you think best exemplifies the essence of BLACK METAL shows of this magnitude?

We have been all over the globe with REVENGE. Brazil and Chile, and Australia were all particularly memorable because of course as it was our first and only time visiting these places, that made the crowds enthusiastic. Nonetheless in my experience the fans are always the harshest and most violent in Poland and Italy. There is also some extra dimension that opens when playing in an open air festival (like Fall of Summer in France or Chaos Descends in Germany). It feels like some genetic memory is awakened when playing outdoors, of some ancient practice since before the dawn of history being relived again and again through the eons.



I liked the last Covenant Festival [III in 2017] in Vancouver because it was the first AMPHISBAENA gig. So because I played with REVENGE there also, I was in the very first and very last band of the entire fest. The crowd was excellent for both sets. That’s a good way to tell it’s a good fest lineup: people were there and engaged from beginning to end. The caliber of bands was well selected, and this was part of the reason for success. Also at Covenant Festival NECROHOLOCAUST played, they were the harshest live band I’ve seen besides REVENGE and BLASPHEMY.

Your performance with Amphisbaena at Covenant Festival III was not only one of the highlights of the festival, but one of the most visually striking things in my recent memory. Let’s talk a little about what that set of lyrics, the band’s ideas and concepts, and that remarkable presentation means for you, and what was the inspiration for you in creating such a “persona”.

The lyrics and music are written by the other members. The concepts expound on left hand path philosophies and arcane concepts that stir the imagination, elicit SELF reflection, and project actualization beyond the mundane. The presentation is an obscure form of theatre meant to stir the subconscious.

The character is a dweller of the threshold of known and unknown and a celebration of transitory impermanence… like a polyp of mould or fungus that appears, and melts back to the void, regardless of acknowledgement or interpretation.. As beautiful an abomination of creation as the ghost of an aborted fetus-child, or the drop of rabid saliva on the tongue of a bat. Its gleaming tatters represent the only constant in the ouroboric self-feeding of what we have come to know in existence: an instantaneous flash of ageless impermanence. The ideas of how to make the physical garb came to me as if I was remembering a dream from the future. (Although the mask I wore at the first gig was forged many years ago…) The way I put my ideologies into practice often involves letting go… as opposed to “trying” to make something. I physically create forms and ideas but must acknowledge I only channel them from beyond the boundaries of the known … the unknown uses me, to take hold in what we perceive as reality.

Serpents Head Reprisal, while exceedingly underground, gave an important launching pad to bands like Radioactive Vomit and Dire Omen. Why did you start the label? How do you choose which bands you want to work with? Is there anything brewing in the cauldron currently?

The label was started because I like doing administrative behind the scenes work. It had to do with going back to the source, instead of just absorbing releases, becoming part of the process of their flowing into existence as well. The bands I release have to stir me ideologically and formally (sound wise). It has to contain integrity on both fronts.  If there is some semblance of ideology but a lack of formal individualism I’m not interested. I see that as grasping at proper theory but with no evidence it’s being put into practice. We have some releases from Canada and New Zealand coming soon among other stuff.

Last, but not least, amongst your recent endeavors was the first, last, and only performance with Conqueror at NWN! Festival. What was it like to be part of such a performance, and to all at once resurrect an ancient body and send it back in to the grave? Is there a difference in the energy playing the Conqueror songs in comparison to the Revenge material?

The performance was monumental. The songs are fairly similar to REVENGE material. The main difference to me was doing the lead vocals. I’m glad I was able to accomplish this and keep the sound as close to the album WAR.CULT.SUPREMACY as possible.


We’ve touched on a multitude of topics, and spoken of a large body of work. You’re an unpredictable man. The last words are yours…
Upcoming:
MALSANCTUM – ST Full Length Album – July 13, 2018
ANTEDILUVIAN – Split EP and 3rd Album – 2018/2019
AMPHISBAENA – Collaboration Album with CROWHURST / New Material
VER SACRUM – Debut Release
+ MORE!!
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