Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Aornos Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the musical project these days?
The brand new EP, Alea Iacta Est just came out recently, by HOD presents. So far it is only available in a digital format, but shortly it will be on the market as CD, though in a limited number only and of course it will be possible to order it. Besides two new songs (Alea Iacta Est, From The Nameless’ Pit) there are five covers (CARCHAROTH - Eredendő Bűn?, MORBID ANGEL - Eyes to see, Ears to hear, BONANZA BANZAI - A Halál dalol, SEAR BLISS - Far above the Trees, LAND OF CHARON - Az Első, az Utolsó, és az Egyetlen). Soon an AORNOS - DE PROFUNDIS (a Hungarian black metal formation) cassette split material will be out by Fekete Terror Productions. An own track (Into The Night), a new version of a song from the LP Orior (Gelum), and an ARCTURUS cover (To thou dwellest in the Night) are all on the tape. Subsequently, the works for the second LP are ongoing. Seven tracks are done. Only the song tracks need to be recorded for three of them, and then we can consider the musical aspect of it to be fairly complete. I think no more than one new song is possible at this point. Of course, the seven pieces contain the new songs out on the EP and the split (Alea Iacta Est, From The Nameless’ Pit, Into The Night). A while ago a couple of bands suggested that we make joined split materials, but I don’t want to scatter the songs of the 2nd LP bit by bit. But of course I am quite open to having further split material, and if such new tracks are born, I will be happy to have such possibilities.

2. So far this year you have released both a full length and an ep. How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
I’ve been polishing, forming the tracks of the introductory Orior LP for a very long time. They include some of my early ideas, when I had trouble even with playing the instrument, but it also contains themes from last year. The point is that the whole music went through a filtering even in its smallest details, and I only kept those element which really seemed to be worthwhile. The LP took a very long time to complete, and it was mainly due to technical reason; the recording was done in a home studio, not in a professional one, with the help of a sound engineer and a producer. The entire recording has been repeated many times. It was totally up to me to find out and work out everything, and in the case of such complex music this can give you really stressful moments... But the lessons learned at the Orior debut album came handy when creating the new tracks; I was able to work much more swiftly now, in the entire procedure. The line of sight for my own songs, the EP bears the same characteristics as Orior: many layered, fairly brutal, but still atmospheric, spiritual, cosmic black metal, not taking any trips into the realm of other, different styles. No mainstream post-hybrid-dissonant elements, only black metal. The opening Alea Iacta Est is a brand new song, an apocalyptic disaster, with misanthropic references in the Hungarian lyrics. Maybe it’s worth noting that in this song there is a part that takes on the crazy 300 BPM pace. This is where I fully gave up looking for suitable drummers. It would have been completely hopeless for this rhythm, but this way I took maximum advantage of the fact that I didn’t have to compromise...The second own song is From The Nameless’ Pit, which is the slowest AORNOS track so far (except for the short song Portentum from the 1st LP); even at the fastest part, it is only speeds up to a nodding mid-pace. The cosmic mythology of Lovecraft, the master of horror influenced the lyrics, but it also has other meanings...I have wanted to have a very sinister slow flow for a long time, for instance as a contrast to the tempest of the previous Alea Iacta Est. It has a curiosity; the role of the guitar solo is filled by a bass harmony, and in the faster parts a church organ is hear, in a discreet way. When talking about the covers, it was not my intention to bring tracks from strictly black or death metal areas. I wanted to choose songs that are important for me for some reason, and on which I can work well. This is how the songs on the EP were originally chosen; a synthesizer pops song (BONANZA BANZAI) and a cult-dark track (LAND OF CHARON). But of course it was an important aspect that the dark tone was a characteristic of the originals...

3. You consider your music 'noetic black metal’. Can you tell us a little bit more about this term?
In AORNOS, something deep, substantive, the dark and dramatic reflection of Existence is portrayed, but it doesn’t end in whining, decadent, suicidal introversion or hate-anger stewing in one’s own juices. This rather represents a contemplative, prominent viewpoint that openly sacrifices for wanting the power… It’s a journey deep into the vortex, but in a way where we dominate the Chaos and not the Chaos is the one, who dominates... at least that’s the aim. I think the lyrics help to understand what it is all about.

4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?
What are the lyrics about? Well… about the Existence itself. From a dark aspect, of course. Beyond the mainstream, the clichés, the fake-evil, the fake-„true” black metal, infantile Satanism, the surface.

5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Aornos'?
Formerly (around in: 1998), I wanted to use the Avernus name, but then I heard that there is a band by this name. In those years, without the Internet, these things were harder to find out. Then I wanted the Atritas and later the Arbitrium, but by using the Internet I saw that bands with these names already exist. Finally I chose the name AORNOS, which is the Greek equivalent of the Latin Avernus. Literally it means: “birdless”. Aornos is a lake which exhales sulphurous fumes, therefore the birds couldn’t fly over it; the drifting hell-fumes killed them. By the way, that is a real place, it exists; metaphorically it is the entrance to the Underworld.

6. On the albums you record everything by yourself but in a different interview you have also mentioned being open to work with other musicians. Are you still open to the idea? I didn’t find the right people yet. This kind of music also makes it harder. I’m done with the compromises. Yes, it’s pretty tough to get this together by myself, but it can be enjoyable. I would still be glad if the right people appeared, but generally it is typical that everyone only thinks of their own “shit” (same as me), and it is especially true to those who otherwise would be suitable.

7. On the full length you had done an Emperor cover. What was the decision behind doing your own version of one of their songs? It was because of EMPEROR that black metal became my favorite style, back whenever. It was mostly due to the album Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk. When listening to that LP, I felt that completeness that I’ve never felt before (or since) when listening to any other dark music... It is simply prevalent. For me, EMPEROR is just as credible in black metal as MORBID ANGEL in death metal. All else can come only after them...so this cover is nothing else but a bow in front of Their Majesty.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
In the greater part of 2015, there was no publishing support behind Orior, so I really had to work a lot on promoting the material, reaching the potential interested parties, and of course this was done only as my time allowed. But in September, the Black Plague Records and the Symbol Of Domination jointly threw the material on the market. Hopefully it will reach more places this way. Overall, the feedback on international level is not bad at all, there are actually a few very praising ones, so the reactions can be said to be fairly good. But of course interest could always be higher, and I would be glad if the rising tendency, typical so far, would continue.

9. Are you currently involved in any other bands or musical projects these days? I play guitar in FROST, one of Hungary’s oldest black metal formations. And just recently I stood in for the guitarist live in the band PARAGON ZERO, and it might happen again. But I mainly focus on AORNOS.

10. Where do you see yourself heading as a musician? Obviously, AORNOS won’t attract as much attention as it might have done 10 to 17 years ago, but in those days it would not have been possible to make the material in this form. There is a lot of music, easy to get lost in the stream, and people don’t listen to music like they used to. They are in a rush and impatient. They listen to music they don’t even know only in passing, and then they move on. But this music is exactly the kind that might be very complex at first (at least if you listen to the entire album at once). It reveals its secret values with time. There are a lot of musical delights hidden, which might only be heard when listening with earphones. In addition - as I said - AORNOS is not that kind of BM that is easy to identify, for example: orthodox, "true", raw, depressive, post, hybrid, folk, symphonic, dissonant or Satanist, etc. black metal ... My biggest dream, of course, is that the AORNOS will gain a certain level of respect around the world in the underground. And we could have concerts in conditions that are not so degrading with the right members. But of course this is largely a financial issue. If you are not a millionaire, forget the truly professional concerts. I mean in this kind of BM that AORNOS represents. I was really shocked when the EMPEROR's first official live material (Emperial Live Ceremony) came out. I was amazed how they could perform the hymns of the album so perfectly, but it had to be the EMPEROR for this…

11. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays? Nowadays there is no music that would affect me so profoundly than there was when the first themes of Orior were born. Sometimes I am really fed up with all the new and newer music out there, especially that I rarely feel that genius that was present in the golden era of the 90s in many elite formations. It still happens sometimes that I feel fired up when reading a review, and I buy the music described in it, whether it is new or unknown to me, but my initial flare up usually subsides in 70 to 80 % of the cases. I have heard too many things already, an as a musician, I expect much more from music than a layman. So I usually listen to a couple of dozens of my evergreen favorite albums, these keep me inspired. It doesn’t mean that there are no good or outstanding BM records in the last 10 to 11 years, which are up to par from all aspects. Such are: INQUISITION - Obscure Verses for the Multiverse, BEHEMOTH - The Satanist, SONIC REIGN - Monument in Black, DARK FORTRESS - Stab Wounds, Séance, Eidolon, CODE - Nouveau Gloaming, STELLAR MASTER ELITE I-III, KEEP OF KALESSIN - Reclaim, Armada, MAYHEM - Chimera, Ordo Ad Chao, WATAIN - Sworn to the Dark, Lawless Darkness, The Wild Hunt, SKALDIC CURSE - World Suicide Machine, and maybe: NACHTMYSTIUM - Assassins, MGLA - With Hearts Toward None, Exercises Futility, MYSPYRMING - Söngvar elds, THY DARKENED SHADE - Liber Lvcifer, AVICHI – Catharsis Absolute…

12. Does occultism play any role in your music?
If we take occultism in its current shallow meaning, AOROS has nothing to do with it. There are no summoning, citing names of demons from the Necronomicon, from the Bible of the Satan, or from any “occult” grimoire or magic book. What is more, most expressions of modern esoterics, new age occult makes me sick. In our current world, even the deep and serious things are handled shabbily, as if the man of present had not grown up to them. Showing off expertise, yakking about them, this is the typical. Clearly, many would like to feel unique, insider...but no, I am not connected to any branches of the occult. But if we take occult in its original form, my music very much contain it. Since I also think that everything is interconnected and affects everything else. I believe that there is a sphere behind the physical world, and that the five senses are not enough to really know reality. There is an area where the clever snake of the mind and logic has to bite into its own tail, and I am attempting to explore it by my music...

13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any additional words or thoughts? As I mentioned, the 2nd LP is under construction, and by my guess, it will shortly see the moonlight...I hope that those who liked Orior will also like this new material that so far has not title yet. Of course, no one has to be afraid of a radical style change. Thank you for your attention and for the interview. All the bests.

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