Antica Memoria di Dis was recorded the same year as the first album and EP, 2017. It was the Darvaza gas crater, constantly lit, its ash falling to make the soil fertile. The material could easily have all come out the same year, or at least sooner than now, but as I searched for avenues to release the first album, I continuously reflected on this fresh material and how it sounded, the directions it took – and did not take. Despite some alterations in the way the costume was sewn, it continued to look the same. Yes, it decorates the same corpse, but releasing a body of work that relies on the same sound, tropes, approaches, genres, and influences is for other artists, not this. Entropy Created Consciousness continues forward up the river despite towing the heavy anchors of the past along. So, having reconsidered Antica multiple times since it was written over the course of a few months in 2017, it felt like too much of the same silt covered the riverbed, and its identity was too caught up in the ancient. Appealing to a sound as it already existed made it still, one-dimensional, unbreathing, unrealized; the river had to be dredged. Because the release order is important, Innocence and Experience had to come out first, essentially unchanged from its original inception despite my ongoing reassessment of the other new soil being tilled – it relied too heavily on the initial work by using more Blake lyrics and similar production. Antica finally finished its metamorphosis earlier this year.
2.In October you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
First, the EP is the antecedent: riffs changed musculature, The Archivist made his first contribution of Moog, and the maelstrom churned toward new paths. Vocally, it acts as an addendum to Impressions of the Morning Star, yet the sonicscape yearns to devour new tastes: it is unified, masculine ligatures covering harmonious contours of feminine forms. Once it was written, the new shapes that formed were leaner, less frenzied, with different influences coming to the fore: Pale Folklore crawled from the forest, Blood Fire Death from the river, Engram from the moon (through the Moonlight Gate), Boris from the smoke. The Archivist contributed noise atop dense clouds I had already painted on the grey. Later, as this double EP evolved, new atmospheres became required to illustrate and elaborate on the story of the Inferno: industrial sturm und drang aided the drums by QD to emphasize with truss abrasions and broken glass; sections that had been black metal became gothic silhouettes reaching across cathedral spires. Every corner has something new attempted. It does not stay still.
3.The lyrics on the new album are based upon the writings of Dane, can you tell us a little bit more about his interest in his work?
Dante is, of course, nothing new for the genre, just as Blake was not either. The setting created by the music was no longer Blakian, though; where elegance and decorum once stood, a fierce brute had merely left shreds. There are some elegant glimpses that break up the scrapes of teeth against bone, but overall, Antica is relentless, churning a cauldron of knives. It seemed appropriate to descend toward the frozen lake with Dante and Virgil in turn. There is a particularly human viciousness in the Inferno hitherto unexplored by the Blake works I used: punishment, sin, regret, politics, the methodology by which history masticates philosophy and intention. And so the study of Paradise Lost and Heart of Darkness also ensued in the swirling mass – after all, who are Marlow and Kurtz but Dante and Satan? For that matter, is Dante’s journey really just experiencing, then transcending, sin and his own nature toward the heavenly divine? This is the end of the same river, smelling of slow death, malaria, nightmares.
4.The lyrics on the new album where based upon the writings of William Blake, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in his work and are there any other authors that you plan on exploring on future releases?
Impressions of the Morning Star (and Innocence and Experience) is an examination of a variety of Blake’s writings focusing on a single through-line in his work: his many allusions to, and stand-ins for, Satan. Are the dark Satanic mills really just the industrial revolution in Albion, the pleasant pastures just the Felpham countryside, building Jerusalem just bringing Christianity to the great unwashed whose backs are turned, as the hymns would have you understand? Who is Urizen really, and why did Blake create his own mythology when all deities reside in the human breast? Is it holy Biblical principles that stand when the doors of perception are cleansed? The album and EP use his work to present a statement underlying everything he has left us, clearing away the soil to reveal the coffin replete with ash beneath. As for the future, the next release again examines a specific work, but not by Dante or Blake. All will be revealed in time.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
An elaborate art package was idealized by me and materialized by QD, who also played drums on this release before I mangled and contorted them. He has a gift in both respects, and his design sense is essential to this presentation. Because Antica Memoria di Dis is two separate but related EPs, they are presented separately, yet aesthetically have a clear, singular identity; two halves. Thus, all physical packages will proffer them together, wrapped in a slipcase with the identity of one per side. The booklet included with all releases (including digital) has its own cover optimized for each, but these are not the total visual identity of the work. A vinyl package would be its own elaboration unique to the format, should interest to release that be asserted in the future – it remains embodied in cassette and digital at the moment. This aesthetic explores Dante’s journey from the forest dark to the aperture of the stars and all of the challenges between in a fever dream of forms ghastly and alluring; that is, of course, if Dante ever left the forest at all.
6.You are listed as being from an unknown location,are you planing on revealing where the project is based in the future?
Identity is the work. That people so strongly desire a face or a name for artists, though created by the human condition, is (nevertheless) detrimental to art. Consider how much art exists purely as a pernicious inflation and exacerbation of ego; how required it is for the artist to say “I say” and “you do” so that the listener can take on the shape of a piece of art, or feel it describes them, or think it encases their experience as endowed by another. Enough of this exists already, which is why the populace continues discovering and espousing ancient works from entirely differing contexts just as often as they do contemporary objects reflecting their identity and convictions. Do Blake and Dante consider, even explore this human abstract? I would not disagree if your answer were affirmative. But are they bound by it?
7.The new album is going to be self released but you have worked with a label in the past, are you open to working with a new label again in the future?
Label architecture is a thing of wonder and also horror. Some are run in earnest, of course: the honest attraction to endeavors and conjuring of objets d’art. But it is also a business, and in the small corner on this map where Entropy Created Consciousness resides, economics are void. Two contrary states existing in a single moment, like a desperate Keats poem. I remain open to this aged, creaking architecture because I must be, and am thankful people like Folkvangr and Throne Records have been interested at all – they are excellent at what they do.
8.You record most of the music by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
Several other people have contributed to Antica Memoria di Dis as mentioned: beyond The Archivist and QD, Juiblex lends his throat-ripping howls in choice moments that needed emphasis. They all have something unique to offer in a voice that complements my own. Others that meet this criteria will be involved in the future.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and doom metal?
I do not concern myself with these things. Others can count numbers, appeal to algorithms, and rummage through the rubbish bins of opinion where reason, taste, and comprehension are exterminated like pests. The statement remains – regardless of responses to it.
10.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
The next release hones in on drone and noise to demonstrate its wretched work, though black and doom metal still have their place in choice moments of depravity. It is also more collaborative than the discography so far. Future works remain in the primordial liquid state, waiting with an infinite patience to assemble themselves and present me the mold into which they wish to be poured. The mills grind slowly but never halt.
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?
Influence is carried on winds of myriad origins. Beyond the acts aforementioned and the obvious classics, Antica Memoria di Dis is fed by much of the current crop in black metal: Almyrkvi, Blaze of Perdition, Zhrine, Schammasch, Au-Dessus, Venenum, Wode, Sinmara, The Ruins of Beverast, Lluvia, Aosoth, Jordablod, Fen, Dynfari, Battle Dagorath, Abkehr, Auðn. We live in a renaissance of the genre. Perhaps the most obvious influence in that sphere, however, is Blut Aus Nord; the relentlessness, the ever-changing palette, the total lack of limitation. Only Ulver rivals their sheer commitment to the true spirit of black metal: fearless vision. So many acts hide behind and attempt to use political and ideological divides to cry for attention, as if peddling their sketchbook t-shirts to bootlickers is evidence of commitment to a vocation. Meanwhile, at the eye of the black metal storm, there is no ideology, no politics, no devotion: just all possibilities simultaneously reaching out in every direction as branches from a single trunk. It is not for one group of people posing in KISS costumes to play their Darkthrone covers. The mark of the mind untrained is considering its own processes valid for all, its own judgements for absolute truth.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Black metal is an empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. There is no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. The long stretches of the waterway run on, deserted, into the gloom of overshadowed distances; you lose your way here as you would in a desert, until you think yourself bewitched and cut off forever from everything you had known once – somewhere – far away in another existence. There are moments when one's past is conjured within, but it ventures forth in the shape of an unrestful and noisy dream, remembered with wonder amongst the overwhelming realities of this aberrant void of water and silence. And this stillness of life does not resemble peace: it is the stillness of an implacable force brooding over an inscrutable intention. It both is and is not the same river upon every step. It regards you with a vengeful aspect.
ENTROPY CREATED CONSCIOUSNESS