OSSOMANCER is merely the messenger for the next stage of universalist esotericism and/or paganism. Up to this point, Western esotericism was a primarily literary movement in the efforts to syncretize all knowledge; most contributions were read or written. However, a primary purpose of OSSOMANCER is to make legitimate contributions to esoteric philosophy through metal music. I believe this process to be an evolution for mysticism, but simultaneously a restoration-- metal is a contemporary esoteric phenomenon, but disseminating information, philosophy, and tradition through verbalization and music is quite ancient. Admittedly, I do not think OSSOMANCER the first in this endeavor, but I believe OSSOMANCER has much to offer. Really, the scope of gnostic accomplishments that I hope to achieve with this band stretches far beyond the span of my lifetime.
2.You have your first full length coming out during the middle of September, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?
In the same manner that OSSOMANCER amalgamates philosophical ideas, OSSOMANCER draws from a wide array of musical styles, as well (both within the realm of metal and outside of it). The composition process for this aural grimoire began primarily with guitar (occasionally bass guitar) with the generalized conceptual idea for each song in mind during the writing process. I specifically chose a guitar scale that did not denote specific traditional or cultural associations (i.e. the songs about ancient Egypt do not use a Middle-Eastern-style scale). Rather, the guitar scale was calculatedly chosen in order to aid the listener toward realizing the more comprehensive aspects of the album. FUTHARK upheld this principle with his drum arrangements, as well.
3.Your lyrics deal with a lot of Western Occult and Esoteric themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this subject and practices?
In actuality, I do not think the word “interest” as the best means to describe OSSOMANCER's connection to occultism/esotericism. I think “interest” would imply that we are merely hobbyists using these themes as some sort of lyrical gimmick. Rather, occultism/esotericism/paganism for OSSOMANCER is inherent; the elements that constitute esotericism are at the core of our ontological understanding of existence (and non-existence).
In turn, OSSOMANCER is a platform for us to focus on what is most important to our worldview: mythology, magick, and mysticism. I believe these to be the three most important tools to the magician: mythology is the lexicon of symbols, language, and scenarios which leads to wisdom. Magick is the deliberate application of the will. Mysticism is the noetic connection to the divine (perhaps for the attainment of universal knowledge).
Upon delving into the lyric(k)al content of the album, one will notice that these three principles are at the album's foundation. An academicpurpose of this work is to explore the universality of god/goddess archetypes/aspects and the dynamic humanism and syncretism within in the art of divination. I believe all human traditions and/or mythological symbols to be embedded in the same universal mystic principles, so a goal for this album is to explore those correspondences. Considering that this is the band's first album, it is sensible that this album is based on the first principle of esotericism— the initiation with the divine through will or becoming “the magician.” Thus, the album is a guide, or grimoire, to allow listeners and/or readers to relate to one or more systems of symbolism (mythology), divination (magick), and transcendent wisdom (mysticism) in order to become initiates of esotericism.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ossomancer'?
Ossomancy is the practice of divination with bones. Therefore, an “Ossomancer” is a bone magician or one who chooses bones as a divinatory medium. In my research, I have found bone divination to be a recurring and most ancient practice, and one that I find relatable and practical in my own work. I chose it as the name for the band because of its ancient and universal quality, which once again, finely represents the band's ever-eternal quest to find correspondences between arcane ideological systems.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?
First and foremost, I would like to thank Curry Ross for the amazing piece of fine art which perfectly encapsulates the essence of OSSOMANCER and Artes Magickae. Though I have a ready explanation for all of the embedded mystical symbolism integrated into the piece, I feel that I should refrain from doing so. Rather, in this case, I would like the listener to listen to the album, follow along with the lyric(k)s, and then do the research necessary to realize the purpose behind the artwork's symbolism.
6.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding the line up or do you prefer to remain a duo?
For the creation process, I prefer to limit involvement to just the two of us (with the exception of guests). I may or may not attempt to assemble a live lineup in the near future. There is a very particular loneliness in the pagan mind...
7.On the album you also brought in Prosciptor McGovern of Absu, can you tell us a little bit more about his contribution to the recording?
The musickal and lyrickal theurgy of ABSU and Proscriptor’s other works is a fundamental influence for OSSOMANCER’s esoteric ideological principles, musickal compositions, and lucubrations. It was necessary to that he appear as a guest on the album, as his lyrickal and musickal works have long edified my comprehension of the occult. Whereas a number of bands/artists write about the occult, Proscriptor in contrast contributes to it; by ciphering his lyrickal works, one will find theorems and deductions which actually move esotericism forward, much akin to what would be read in an A∴A∴ publication from the early 20th century.
Because Proscriptor acts as mentor to OSSOMANCER, he was chosen to channel Hermes Trismegistus on the track “Chiromancy.” The track's lyrickal content is an exchange between Tat and Hermes, wherein Hermes educates Tat on the properties and purpose of astrological divination. Once again, because Proscriptor is a teacher to OSSOMANCER, it makes sense that he actually carry out the role in “Chiromancy.”
On “Pyromancy,” the lyrickal content revolves around Ancient Egyptian mythology and cosmology. Proscriptor's lyrickal passage in “Pyromancy” discusses the Nu, Apep, and the other serpentine beasts that arise from the Nu in order to combat Re who keeps the darkness at bay. I understand this aspect of Egyptian mythology to be an equivalent to the Absu, Tiamat, the dragons within the Absu, and the struggle between existence and chaotic non-being in the mythologies of the Fertile Crescent. The intention was that Proscriptor's delivery of these verses would highlight that correlation.
8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
To be honest, I'm not so sure. The album has not been released just yet, but the preview tracks have generally received positive feedback.
9.What is going on with the other musical projects these days that the band members are a part of?
There is a lot in the works, currently. The advent of Ossomancer has led many to assume that my other band Sacerdos is dead, but in actuality, I have a full-length album prepared for the recording process. Both Futhark and myself play in Lavender Town, a false-nostalgia-driven Doom band led by William White, which is in the writing process for a full-length album. I just recently started practicing to play as a session guitarist for Stygian Obsession which will have some live appearances in the near future.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The next OSSOMANCER album is already three songs into the writing process. I'd rather not reveal too much, but I can say that I am making a conscious effort in the songs' compositions to try new things and push the envelope of what I can play and how we're conceived.
Because the first album is centered around The Magus, the next will symbolically represent the High Priestess... Artes Magickae hones in on the will and initiating with the divine. The next, in contrast, will be more about the results of those proceedings...
11.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?
The complete comprehensive list for this would be incredibly long, but here is what I can offer for the purposes of this interview...
Some of my favorite bands include, but are not limited to: Absu, Immortal, Bathory, Nile, Abbath, Rimfrost, Craft, Melechesh, GWAR, Rammstein, Dimmu Borgir, Sodom, Byfrost, Witchery, Toxic Holocaust, Darkthrone, Belenos, Sephiroth, Enslaved, Matt Uelmen, Havukruunu, Emperor, Judas Iscariot, Leviathan, Destruction, Kreator, Behemoth, Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, Desiderii Marginis, and really, there's just too many! We live in an age of rapid consumption of media, and I have more favorite bands than I have time to listen to! Not to mention, much of the influence on OSSOMANCER comes from other sources, too, such as books, movies, and video games.
Because many of the bands above have come out with an album over the last year, I have been spinning a lot of new releases (it's a great year for metal this year!):
Abbath – Outstrider
At Dusk – Condemned
Darkthrone – Old Star
Malfet – The Snaking Path
Murk Rider – Exile of Shadows
Rammstein – Rammstein
Starless Domain – EOS
Destruction – Born to Perish
Possessed – Revelations of Oblivion
Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind
Rotting Christ – The Heretics
Crescent – The Order of Amenti
Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods
I am very much looking forward to new releases from Nile, Rimfrost, Toxic Holocaust, Mayhem, and if we get lucky, Absu!
12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very much for the interview! This is an important one, as it's the first-ever interview for OSSOMANCER!
Ah Netjeru setau em ua-a en neb heh!