-Gnosis was formed in 2013 following the split-up of Devastator (Fl), with the main idea of playing old school Hellenic Black/Death Metal while integrating our own ideas and influences into the genre. We have released two albums so far “The Third Eye Gate” by NUCLEAR WAR NOW! and “The Offering of Seven” by Terror From Hell Records (Italy).
2.In September you had released a new album, what are some of the things you feel you have done different musically with this recording that you were not able to do on your previous release?
-With this release we paid more attention to the melodic side of our work, even though it is quite a straightforward record each instrument plays the main role at some point during the album. At the same time, heavier use of keyboards is incorporated to create a more mystic atmosphere to go along the dense ambient created my the drums, bass, and guitar. You could summarize this by saying the Hellenic influences are heavier in ‘The Offering of Seven’, bands such as Varathron, Thou Art Lord, Rotting Christ, Mortuary Drape, Tiamat, and Mystifier are great influences on us and we didn’t mean to conceal it at all.
3.All of the music is very heavily rooted in the 90's, do you feel that modern black and death metal is missing a lot of the dark atmosphere of the older bands?
- I believe that a lot of times this ‘dark atmosphere’ is tied to the fact that back then there was very limited access to recording equipment, proper gear, studios, and professionals engineers producing these bands and records that later became iconic through the years. To this you can also add the living circumstances in different parts of the world, South America being an example, early 90s were brutal times in many places and definitely this has an impact on the artists/bands in one way or the other. But this wasn’t always the case, early death metal in America is a great example of darkness and evil while carrying a good production value to it. Nowadays there are a lot of great bands that are keeping the essence of the old school bands, but as many of the older bands they are not the most popular or more accessible bands. These are bands that are more underground with a rawer sound whose releases have not yet been massively available. But to answer your question… Yes, I believe that a good portion of modern black and death metal is missing a lot of the dark essence of the older bands, recording is easier and practically accessible to anybody, the music itself, its techniques, and recording/production process have “evolved” for a clearer and more polished sound, and to me, it can potentially affect negatively the sound if the intention is to have darker one.
4.Your lyrics go very deep into the occult, dark magick and mythology, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the esoteric arts?
-Our lyrics in ‘The Offering of Seven” are based mostly on our quest to commune with that which is beyond human reach, I wrote them with a heavy influence on Sumerian rituals and summoning. While listening to Metal, especially occult Metal, the listener gets exposed to different beliefs and mythologies. Some of those resonate with the listener, in my case it has been ancient Sumerian mythology. Which is why I find so shameful the destruction of sites and statues that originate from this era, by extreme religious groups.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Gnosis'?
- Gnosis is the Greek word for knowledge. More specifically, in the Hellenistic era, it was associated with hidden, or occult, knowledge and cults, which is a huge inspiration for, and influence on, us. For a deeper meaning, I'll allude to the lyrics of Gnosis, a piece from our debut album.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?
- For the artwork we wanted an illustration that kept with imagery of the first album. The enlightenment of the mind beyond the physical, and beyond good and Evil, to a place of self-discovery. The Third Eye it’s a great representation of this quest and one we strongly believe it ties with the music.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
-We have been lucky to share the stage with great bands such as Varathron, Masacre (Col), Abigail, Terrorizer, Profanatica, Uada, Imperial Triumphant, Koroidia, Caveman Cult, Kult Ov Azazel, amongst many others. Currently our performance starts with an intro playing in the background, and after a minute of it we go straight into the setlist with no dialogues of any kind in between songs. We discharge our energy through the instruments and we play them hard. There is quite a magic on stage hearing the songs coming out from the monitors and amps. We immerse ourselves in the music and hope for the audience to do the same.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
- We have been doing local shows and promoting the album on the local scene. We would love to play festivals or other cities like we have in the past. Because of life circumstances touring is not something we can do at the moment, but maybe one day.
9.On the new album you had also done a 'Running Wild' cover, what was the decision behind doing your own version of one of their songs?
- Running wild’s first two albums are a great inspiration and Heavy Metal masterpieces. We decided to make this cover to pay our respects to one of our favorite bands and genre as we are big followers of the traditional heavy metal sound.
10.The new album was released on 'Terror From Hell Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
-Terror From Hell is an Italian label, that from the beginning believed in the band and the ideas we had. It has been a great experience working with Stefano and their team, they have exceeded our plans and expectations for the album and we are proud to have released this album with them.
11.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
The reaction has been good, it is quite interesting reading people’s thoughts and opinions on the album. Fans of the Hellenic Scene have been very receptive to it and have given it great reviews while fans of a more modernized style of Black Metal whether faster or a more refined sound have been more critical of it. Our sound is not for everyone and it seems to appeal to fans of a darker era in Metal.
12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
- We hope to keep the same line, while evolving musically. We are currently working on two splits with two bands that will be announced as soon as we close in on the details. We are constantly working on new music and new ideas while keeping true to the idea behind Gnosis to create solid Black/Death Metal.
13.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?
- As I mentioned both the Hellenic and extreme South American scenes are sounds that we draw heavily upon, but also the Italian scene with their darker gloomy sounds.
-Currently I have been listening to the new Varathron “Patriarchs of Evil”, Funeral Storm, the Greek scene is having a lot great bands coming out playing the old style of black metal of Varathron and old Rotting Christ. Other bands I am listening to are Moenen of Xezbeth, Faustcoven, and Evoken… recommended for fans of both Black and Doom genres.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
-Thanks for the interview we appreciate all opportunities to spread our music to all fans of the old school metal scene. Keep your ears open for some upcoming Gnosis releases.