1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Corvus: We are working on our third full-length. This is a (way too) long process, but we are seeing the end of the tunnel as we speak.
2.In February you have a new ep coming out, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Mastema: Initially we felt that these songs were very close to our previous effort Blessed Extinction, and thus too different from what we had in mind for the future. But we also judged them too good to be just thrown away, that’s why we settled for an EP format. Now with some distance, I think the songs actually already represent an evolution from Blessed Extinction, though they were written during the same process you can feel we’re heading toward something else. They are a real ‘transition’ to what we want to do next.
3.This is the first release to come out in 3 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
Corvus: We never stop the madness but decided to stay in the shadows for a while. When you have nothing to say, just stay quiet…
Mastema: We have no agenda, this is in no way a ‘business’ for us, and thankfully we have a record label that thinks the same way. The next step will be a big one, so we don’t want to rush anything. But I can tell you we’re ready to move forward this year…
4.You label your music as 'ritualistic' black metal, can you tell us a little bit more about this term?
Corvus: That label is not that important actually. But when I'm writing/recording music, I'm really in a bizarre yet simple, pure state of mind. Space and time become pointless.
5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Mastema: As I said the next record will be very ambitious. Musically it’s a giant leap forward, as Corvus did a fantastic job. Lyrically it will be a concept album about the second Roman Emperor Tiberius. I do not wish to reveal anything more at this point.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Corvus: As intense and honest as possible. When possible we use videos. I think we did only 6 shows, and the best one was probably in Paris, with Aura Noir, in September 2011. I also enjoyed a gig in Genk, because I liked all the other bands (Code, Glorior Belli, Aosoth, Gorath).
7.Are there any touring or show plans for 2016?
Corvus: One release show in Brussels and one show abroad (it will be announced very soon). Touring will probably never happen. Mastema hates playing live and I don't see the point of playing the same songs every night during 10-15 days. That must be boring.
Mastema: “Hate” is probably too strong of a word. But I agree with Corvus, my main goal is recording the songs we’ve worked so hard on. The whole “behind the scenes” thing is what I enjoy the most, I don’t like moving out of the shadows.
8.The new ep is going to be released on 'Caverna Abismal Records', how would you compare working with this label to the other labels you have worked with so far?
Corvus: I met Nuno from Caverna Abismal in 2014 and I have complete trust in him. He was the very first person who helped the band, back in 2010, when he released the tape edition of the Golgotha EP. That's a thing I'll never forget of course. So I'm more than happy to collaborate again, 5 and a half years later.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of black metal?
Corvus: The EP is not out yet, but the first reviews came out and they are good. We can’t complain, of course, but I don’t care.
9.Are any of the band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these day?
Corvus: Right now, I'm also playing in Monads, Wolvennest, We All Die (Laughing), but also in three other bands which rather keep the identity of its members secret. Wolvennest just released its first full-length. Musically, it's definitely bizarre. You can listen to the whole album on Bandcamp, which is better than any shitty musical description.
Mastema: I think Corvus is trying to settle a new record. He must be in 47 bands by now.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Corvus: Black Metal will still be the core, musically, but I think the structures will become more and more bizarre. I do not want to push too much boundaries, but I would like to have saxophone, fretless bass, bizarre guitar sounds, weird clean vocals. I am now more confident about my guitar skills, and I'm sure it will help the band becoming more interesting, musically speaking.
Mastema: This might sound arrogant, but I really feel the “musical culture” of Corvus and myself is our main quality. The next record will definitely be more adventurous than ever, we will try out lots of new things but there’s never been any doubt. We know when something sounds right, and believe me the new songs are incredible. This must be our best record so far, it’s our goal and we won’t be satisfied with anything less than that.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Corvus: Right now I'm only but listening to Savatage, one of the most underrated bands of all time. Brilliant songwriting, fantastic vocalist(s), incredible guitar player (Criss Oliva).
Mastema: I listen to tons of music, constantly. Right now I listen to stuff like the latest Spektr, Borknagar and Mgla records. Prog rock/metal still does it for me: the last Steven Wilson album is nothing short of brilliant. And then there’s of course the old stuff I enjoy listening for the thousandth time: Metallica, Savatage, Mayhem, Exodus, Immortal, and so many others.
12.How would you describe your views on Occultism?
Corvus: I am nothing. We are nothing. Consequently, my opinion has no value. But still I'll try to explain a part of it. To me occultism is a term that could define the people that refuse dualism as a way to understand the world and the universe we are living in. People who try to THINK and who accept that nobody has an answer, only a possible explanation. You may be right, but just don't think you are. Doubt is, and always will be the key.
13.I have read that the band is inspired by Nietzsche, do you also have an interest in any of the other philosophers?
Mastema: Nietzsche was a big influence during the early days of the band, he’s not anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I still admire his work and I feel close to a vast number of his ideas, but he’s not an influence on our music and lyrics these days. Philosophy as a whole is not much of an influence anymore, actually. History is our main interest right now.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Mastema: I’ve never been as confident as I am for our next album. The people who know what we do will be surprised… in a good way I hope. Brace yourselves.