Sinister: Catechon formed in 2013 by the hand of Morgue (voice) and Dawn (former guitarist). Line-up would become stable only by the end of the same year with Jackal (bass) and me (drums). After recording the demo ‘Il richiamo di Orfeo’, distinguished by a mixed style Black Metal, Dawn left the band, and Dusk takes his place. After recording the new split with Infernal Angels and Ad Noctem Funeriis (which includes two new songs and the remake of the first demo track), Dusk left and the new guitarist, Mourner, joins in. In these four years Catechon played in 22 gigs along various bands of different levels and had to reprint the demo three times.
Morgue: I'm the only founder who's still around and I'm very proud of it. It's difficult to find musicians with the right attitude and skills to play Black Metal around here, this is why we had so many line up changes. This, and my authoritarian-ish personality, which keeps on causing some quarrel within the band. I'm very proud of our results though, since the band is growing musically and “spiritually”.
So far you have released a demo and a split, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on those recordings?
Sinister: The demo ‘Il Richiamo di Orfeo’, as we said previously, is distinguished by tracks which take inspiration from a diverse array of Black Metal styles. There was no intention to imitate the style of some bigger and more famous band, the songs were recorded exactly how they were composed in the first place, and in a live recording session. The songs to include in the split ‘Italian Black Metal Assault’, on the other hand, were picked for their raw and violent feeling: it's easy to find Blackened Death influences in ‘Legacy of Cain’, while ‘Succube’ borrows some element from the most Punk-ish Black Metal, and finally the third track is a remake from the demo.
Morgue: I hate limiting creativity, so Catechon will probably remain a multifarious and chaotic entity, without ever getting stuck on fixed standards; but if I must point out a common theme between the demo and the split album, then it's the reference to those who came before us. I have the deepest respect for the creators of the black flame, and I'll never stop listening the classics with their atavic darkness, although I'm open to experiments.
What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Morgue: I don't follow a fixed pattern, I take inspiration both from everyday reality which disgusts me more each passing day, and from personal studies and experiences. A good portion of the lyrics I write involve a mix of philosophy, mysticism and occultism.
What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Catechon'?
Morgue: The name Catechon is borrowed from the second letter of St. Paul to Thessalonians, a text we also quote in latin in one of our songs in the split album. The literal meaning is “that which holds” and it stands for the last bond to break before the coming of the Antichrist and the end of the world, which however could be happening already (the “Mysterium Iniquitatis”). The exact meaning is still a matter of debate among scholars, some say it's the Roman Empire, others claim a symbolic meaning in connection with human nature. What inspired me in choosing this name was Deathspell Omega's EP ‘Chaining of the Kathecon’ (the usage of K is due to Greek spelling) and a book on the topic by the Italian philosopher Massimo Cacciari.
What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Sinister: We have a handful of shows we remember more fondly among all the ones we played in:
- 13th of March 2015, in Padova with Common Grave, Helegion and Nocturnal Depression
- 5th of September 2015 in Marcerata (Howling at the Moon 2) with Goat Vomit Noise, Black Faith, Sedna, Selvans, Oltretomba, Ad Noctem Funeriis, Infernal Angels e Handful of Hate
- 9th of October 2015 in Venice with Dispersion, Brunndl, Enisum e Mortifera
- 27th of February 2016 in Verona (Verona Nera act 5) with Blaze of Sorrow and Vanhelga
- 7th of January 2017 in Verona (Verona Nera act 10) with Afraid of Destiny and Vanhelga
Our shows are often enriched with designs and rituals prepared specifically for the event, so no Catechon show is the same as the previous.
Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Recently you were part of a split with Infernal Angels and Ad Noctem Funeriis, what are your thoughts on the other bands that are presented on the recording?
Sinister: We played with Infernal Angels and Ad Noctem Funeriis in Macerata in 2015 and there was an immediate and spontaneous synergy. Those two bands, despite being seasoned veterans of our genre, never tried to show themselves as “Kings of Black Metal”, something which is sadly common in Italy these days, and their music is terrific. We liked them, and they liked us, so the idea of the split was born.
Beyond the mutual esteem, I must say that personally, I consider Ad Noctem Funeriis the best italian band in terms of “pure” Black Metal.
The split was released on 'Adimere Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Sinister: Adimere Records is a label managed by the guitarist of my second band, Afraid of Destiny. After we discarded some labels which didn't think we deserved a reply, Adimere Records offered its help in producing the split.
On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Sinister: We're not that known around the world, so that's kind of a difficult question to answer. After all, we published just a demo and a split album. Here in Italy the feedback is generally positive, considering the fact that here, in Northern Italy, Black Metal is hardly seen anywhere in its live form.
Morgue: I agree, to me ‘Verona Nera’ events, in which I had the honor to take part sometimes, represent a safe haven in a simply desolating panorama.
What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Sinister: Afraid of Destiny (the Depressive Black Metal band formed by me, Mourner (aka M.S.) and Adimere) has a good feedback abroad. Our new full length has been released by a medium sized label, and we got a good number of positive reviews. We see ourselves as a slap in the face of Black Metal purists in Italy. Solitude Project (my Depressive Metal project) is currently in stand-by, but the first full length is completely ready, as far as composition is concerned.
Mourner: As Sinister already said I’m playing guitar in Afraid of Destiny although I’m mainly a live member as of now. I will be giving my insight, help during the production and possibly write something for the future releases but my main focus stands on Catechon.
Jackal: Outside of Black Metal, I'm working on a Funeral Doom project, A View From Nihil, whose first release will be out in September, with a mix of Funeral Doom and Drone.
When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Sinister: We're working on our first full length right now, and we hope to release it within one or two years. We're not gonna reveal how it will sound, but we can just say that it will be extremely different from our usual Raw Black Metal style.
Morgue: It will be a kick in the ass to everything that now represents a trend in Italian Black Metal.
What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Sinister: Personally I have no influences on my drumming style. I listen to so many very diverse bands, I couldn't make a unitary play style out of them. My ultimate goal is to have my very own style.
Lately I've been listening to a lot of Depressive Black Metal, but normally I listen to anything that succeeds on stimulating my emotions.
Morgue: Regarding vocal technique, my models are Attila Csihar and Meyhna'ch. Right now I'm savouring once more a lot of second wave albums along with the reading of ‘Black Metal Compendium’, a really well written book recently published in Italy which, in my opinion, perfectly pictures the true essence of Black Metal through a series of high quality reviews.
Mourner: My guitar playing is heavily influenced by modern Metal music, I love the new horizons that many bands have uncovered in the latest years and I personally think that some of those concepts can be applied to Black Metal as well. In my opinion Black Metal is lacking some kind of new element to find the spotlight once again. Of course the styles I’m talking about have nothing to do with Black Metal and as such many might label me as some kind of “poser” or “betrayer” but honestly I could care less, if listening to a Progressive Metal band or even electronic music can help me garner new ideas for Catechon’s music I don’t see the problem as long as I adapt those ideas toward a Black Metal aesthetic. Having said that don’t expect my songwriting to be following any kind of standard procedure, if it sounds good it’s good, that’s my motto.
Does Occultism play any role in your music?
Sinister: Of course.
Morgue: Absolutely, but we're still at the beginning of a long journey, a research that has somewhat yet to begin.
Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Sinister: Black Metal can be considered dead only if the public keeps listening to bands who are only on YouTube, born and dead on the internet, and keeps avoiding live concerts. True Black Metal is outside the social networks, it's on the stage and in our souls.