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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Living Altar Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
First of all, thank you for the interview. Living Altar is a band from Lithuania that plays Deadly Black Metal. It used to consist of three members in a power trio format, but now remains as a studio project. Living Altar methodically investigates various psychic phenomena, myths and esoterica. Was this little enough?

2.So far you have released a demo, EP and also have been a part of a split, how would you describe the musical sound that has been presented on those  recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
The music (or at least what I want it to be) is harsh Black Metal that constantly pushes forward and manages a healthy sense of dynamics. The most prominent difference between the demo and the EP is that the latter is much better produced, recorded, and mixed/mastered. Also, the music feels more complete and purposeful whereas each song delivers a listener to some destination. Meanwhile the demo, since it was recorded live in a studio (1 song - 1 take), is more raw and somewhat more wild. Split/compilation consisted of one track, which was present on the EP, but had a bit more raw mix.

3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored with your music so far?
I think that the title of the EP, namely "Scythes Towards Psyche", should evoke a vision of our topics. Central to the lyrics is the connection between the physical and immaterial that is human. From the EP's point of view, this connection is based in the neural system of a person, while "the other side" is crawling with unseen phenomena. Concepts of archetype, egregore, cognition, (sub-)consciousness, time and cosmology (note the three levels of existence loosely described here) are central to the mythology of Living Altar, whereas physics, other natural sciences and scientific method itself are hopeless in explaining this phenomenon. So, in some sense it is Lovecraftian as well.

4.The band has been around since 2011 but waited until 2015 to release any music, can you tell us a little bit more about the earlier years?
Early years were plagued with line-up problems and, until we got together with a proper drummer Jonas (late 2013), little progress was made. Yes, the songs were written prior to that, but it was the appearance of the drummer who gave the real kick to the band's progress. Then we managed to have a rather tight live and recording line-up, which has done the recordings and gigs. The demo was recorded in mid-2014, but the actual release was postponed due to various things.

5.Your music is very heavily rooted in the bestial and war metal style that seems to have been making a huge comeback in the last few months, what do you feel you have to offer to the genre that no band before you has done so far?
Do you really think that this war metal is making a comeback? To me it seems that the spring has been drained and only a small number of bands is actually providing interesting and relevant releases. Of course, there are some bands here-and-there, but I wouldn't call this a 'huge comeback'. Now do we have anything that no band before us has done? I don't think we are in a position to discuss this, since, you know, every band since Black Sabbath has only been doing more of the same. Yet, I can tell that you won't find this usual shallow and ironic gas-mask, goat-fuck, Mary-rape, aesthetics or ideals that plagues raw BM. These are the things that have always put me off this scene.

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Living Altar'?
There is no real answer to this. This phrase was just stuck in my head for a few days. Of course, later I wanted to give this name a myth or meaning (and actually did it), but in the end this should remain open for interpretation.

7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the cover artwork presented on the new ep?
Cover artwork was done by Asteraz ( hisper/) and turned out really well. Firstly, it must be mentioned that it was created to reflect the title of the EP, which is "Scythes Towards Psyche", which explains a lot. Also, the placement of a quasar over a supposed location of the pineal gland hints of the collapse of macrocosmos and microcosmos (or vice versa) in a very limited (yet infinitely big) volume. That's one side of the paradox that is being discussed in the EP as well as one possible interpretation of Living Altar. There are some components that emphasize some particular details of the whole concept, but they should not shadow the main concept.

8.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance? Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
The number of live performances was very limited and the last one happened more than three years ago, so it's pointless to talk about this now.

9.In 2017 you where a part of a split, can you tell us a little bit more about the bands that you had shared this recording with?
The split was titled "Nekrokatarsis" and this is a name of a rather small circle of people that are behind "Armageddon Descends" festival hosted Vilnius. Nekrokatarsis has been active since late 2012 and did five editions of "Armageddon Descends" as well as a number of different gigs. But "Nekrokatarsis" could also be interpreted as an artistic concept, egregore or anything else. So this split was a collaboration between the 6 bands (4 metal and 2 electronic projects) that are directly involved or close to the "Nekrokatarsis". The bands gave their interpretation of the concept. It is a very conceptual work and, even the bands are very different in their musical output, a very strong common thread runs through the release. releases

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of war, black and death metal?
Given that the release is quite new and rather underground, not many opinions were gathered. Of course, there were some default reviews by webzines, but I have to see a good, insightful and contemplative review yet. The most common epithets I've noticed are "harsh, brutal, organic, punishing", which is not far from the truth (or what I perceive the music to be).

11.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The music is being created, but it's too soon to speculate if this will materialize as a full-length or any other format. Future sound of Living Altar will be even more focused and brutal, yet more thoughtful and elaborated. The essence of the band's music, the 'occultum lapidem', is going to be buried behind layers and layers of paradox, so that it would unfold only to the ones actually listening.

12.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 mention. I am a fan of music and my influences range from classic and underground metal to electronic (industrial, contemporary EBM) and classical music (romantic period) to a lot of different things.
Nowadays I was listening to a lot of Inquisition! Also, among a lot of other bands, Primitive Man, Revenge, new Demonmancy masterpiece, Boards of Canada and Tangerine Dream and releases of Stroboscopic Artefacts label were prominent in my playlist.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts.
Thank you for your interest and interview. If anything that was written here made sense, you should go ahead and listen to this: https:// infernaprofundusrecords. towards-psyche

purchase album here:

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