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Friday, August 11, 2017

Sacerdos Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the musical project these days?

As of this summer, Sacerdos has reached an entire decade of existence. By passing that threshold, I can assure all that Sacerdos will remain and has more material to release. Releases will come slowly but surely.

2.How would you describe the musical style of the most recent material?

The attempt to harness the music and translate it into words and/or labels would be detrimental to the experience. One should listen to the song to tap into the "musical style" because its very design is to be an emprise undertaken by the listener.

3.Your lyrics have really went deep into Occultism, Mythology, Philosophy and History, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest and studies in these topics?

Every Sacerdos release is a presentation of what we are studying or have learned. Sacerdos has always strove for a dynamic progression of ideas, studies, and knowledge. In our case, as is the case of many, our ever-constant thirst for knowledge has resulted in a quest for gnosis which can ultimately be found through the study of occultism, mythology, philosophy, and history. Arguably, Sacerdos has a unique history itself; we flushed ourselves of modern societal standards by embracing a nihilist stance which left us as empty shells only to be refilled later with a more pagan approach to existence. Some may call it hypocritical and/or contradictory, but I argue that erasing all modern preconceptions with nihilism only made us more malleable for different ideas later. I would delve more into my personal reconciliation with universalist paganism, but I am saving that for a book that I hope to release later.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Sacerdos'?

"Sacerdos" simply means "priest" or "the priest" in Latin. When Sacerdos first formed, our primary inspiration for creating music was tied to California's colonial history, when Spanish missions were founded to convert Native Americans to Catholicism and assimilate them into Spanish culture. Though California's missionary history is now a tourist attraction and is whitewashed for the sake of the tourism industry, it in actuality is a very dark narrative. In a way, we wanted an ironic use of the word "priest" to describe our black metal band, which obviously stands as the exact antithesis to Spanish Catholicism. As we've moved toward more thoughtful motives, the name has remained a fitting one as we have become our own priesthood based on occult gnosis. For example, one track on Vibromancy is entitled "Illumined Priesthood of Unveiling," which demonstrates the recurring theme of priesthood but in a different context.

5.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, do you feel this gives you more room to be creative with your musical style?

Yes. Sacerdos is very introspective and has never reconciled well with the intrusion of other people or musical ideas.

6.Recently you where a part of a split with 'At Dusk', how would you compare your musical style to theirs?

U.S.B.M. is often criticized by Europeans for not being imbued with enough culture. I strongly argue otherwise. In actuality, American culture is so transparently fake, antagonistic, greedy, unintelligent, self-centered, and worthless that it makes for great black metal in its angriest and/or most depressive forms. In turn, culture in the United States fuels black metal here and all black metal is some attempt to break from cultural boundaries. This process happens in many different ways: some abandon American morals and laws completely through nihilist black metal (Judas Iscariot, Leviathan, Krieg), some choose the occult to build their own identity in the face of American culture (Absu, Vrolok, Esoterica), some directly attack the American status-quo with Satanism (Von, Kult ov Azazel), and some find solace in nature as an escape from Americanism (Wolves in the Throne Room, Nechochwen, Ashbringer). Regardless of the theme chosen, they all represent the desire to break from American culture and uphold a cultural identity that transcends the American norm. I feel that this aspect is different from other countries, such as Norway, where Norwegian culture and history (like Vikings, the T.N.B.M. movement, writing albums about towns like Bergen, etc.) are embraced. There is a certain form of rebellion and anti-American romanticism to be found in American black metal.

So in turn, to answer the root question, I think the musical style of At Dusk and Sacerdos is different, but in actuality, the root drive to make music remains the same. Though we express ourselves in varying ways, Sacerdos has a distinct connection to At Dusk as we come from a similar background and with the same disenchantment for contemporary society. At Dusk chooses to manifest in its own unique form, whereas Sacerdos presents itself in a completely separate manner, but in actuality, the essence and the core of the musical prowess are the same.

7.Are you happy with the support 'Pacific Threnodies' have given you on the split?

Yes. The label has the potential to become a brilliant collective for like-minded esoteric musicians; something that our area (the Central Coast of California) really needs.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?

With a few exceptions, most of the time I am not really sure. Once again, Sacerdos is a very introspective and underground musical project, so in turn I think those who listen to our music and take it seriously are very few. In actuality, we make the music more so for ourselves than anyone else, but we do very much appreciate our few fans and good feedback we've received over the last ten years.

9.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

I am currently working on a full-length that will hopefully be completed by the end of the year. Because Brutus is not involved on this release, I am working out whether or not it should be released as another Sacerdos album or under a new project title. I am a bit torn on this aspect, as it doesn't feel right to release a Sacerdos album without Brutus yet with a new drummer, but the music is clearly a direct continuation of the Sacerdos legacy. More news regarding this release will come soon.

10.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?

There are too many to name, and our tastes, influences, and favorites have evolved over the years. Most recently I have been listening to a slew of Absu, Immortal, Rimfrost, Abbath, Bathory, and German thrash bands like Destruction, Kreator, and Sodom. I think these influences will shine through on the upcoming release.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

There's no real reason anyone should know me personally. I will let the music do the speaking.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Nerutet nebt aatet khaa kha em ba en resh khebesu mit en resh!

Frater Cassius of Sacerdos

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