“The Alchemist’s Vision” is the culmination of three years of writing, touring, lineup changes and all manners of creative expansions and disruptions. The 2017 split was a premonition of this; an introduction to what would eventually become this release. Here you have the most succinct tangible representation of the band as it currently exists.
2.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer release and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
Black Vice has evolved quite rapidly since inception. What once began as an experiment in musical performance has become something much more focused. This is evident on The Alchemist’s Vision - in both concept and arrangement - as the songwriting is cleaner and more mature while maintaining the raw elements that have always been present. Thematically the album explores the creation of human consciousness in a linear format: from beginning to the inevitable end. During the writing process these elements were purposefully incorporated into each song and the order in which they appear on the record is the order in which they were conceived.
3.You also have some lyrics that touch on occult and anti cosmic themes on the albums, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the dark arts?
What lies behind the veil of perception is the essence of all things. Through a collective synchronicity (be it music, performance, ritual, meditation, what have you) we can attempt manipulation and, hopefully, a greater understanding of not only what guides our own consciousness but the nature of that experience in itself. I would not call this a “dark art”, although there is indeed darkness to be found if one goes looking in that direction.
4.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
We actually struggled to find the right artistic representation that would correctly portray the overall feel and message of this album. In the past we have commissioned pieces from artists who not only understood the music but also the underlying concept - Give Up did a fantastic job on “Rituals of the Anti-Cosmic Doctrine”, and Unknown Relic knew immediately what we were asking for on the split with Haunter, so the challenge was to find someone who could offer the same quality and understanding of the material, which was not an easy task. Ultimately we decided on Necfrost, as he was not only interested in the project but seemed to fundamentally understand how to convey the subject in a unique and visually pleasing way.
5.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Bringing The Alchemist’s Vision to stage is something we would like to make happen in the near future. That said, the circumstances that surround those opportunities are making things difficult for everyone at the moment, so we will have to wait to see how developments unfold. Black Vice is always interested in bringing a live performance to those interested.
6.One of the band members also runs 'Red River Family Records', what are some of the releases you have planned for 2020 so far?
That would be Tyrant. Having a close relationship with Red River Family Records has been incredible, not only for Black Vice but for underground music fans all over the world. He does a lot of work and is very passionate about that scene, and it shows. Those interested in such should be keeping an eye on the website and purchasing tapes and records from the online store, as the majority of those releases have been quite good.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Black Vice performances are always unique, and over the years they have gotten to be more intimate and engaging. In the early iterations of the band, we would incorporate meditative practices and ethereal soundscapes using a variety of instruments and methods in an effort to elevate the self into a psychoactive state. A few years ago we moved away from that and decided on a more ceremonial approach in dress and stage design. The avian skull mask is an effort to remove the human aspect from the band and to give the performance a somewhat unnerving atmosphere that is fitting for the music.
8.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
That is yet to be seen. As the path unveils itself we are powerless to do anything but follow.