1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
SERPENTS OATH is a new creature comprised of three adepts of Belgium’s extreme metal scene. As soon as we met up and started creating together, we realized that we were establishing a very different entity. Hence the decision was made to leave the past behind and give birth to this new Beast and start afresh. It felt very liberating creating from scratch and give shape to this form.
The vision behind the band is one of transformation. This shines through first and foremost in the lyrics and is carried through in the cover art and other visuals. The transformation is that of an individual striving to become transhuman with the ultimate goal of beating even Death. This is the ultimate rebellion as even Death is not accepted as a given.
2.You have your first album coming out in December, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?
When the 3 of us starting creating this infernal music together, there was no set direction it would have to take, apart from it being Black Metal. The songs we felt that pushed us as individuals and as a unit were allowed to make the cut. Our debut album ‘Nihil’ hence has its own relentless and unforgiving version of nihilistic black metal. Expect no remorse from this opus, only crushing riffs, pounding drums and terrorizing screams pushing the limits of a music genre already marked by chaos and death.
3.A lot of your lyrics cover Luciferian, Occultism and Left hand Path themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the dark arts?
The involvement in the Dark Arts has been just as long as my involvement in extreme metal music. Over decades I have walked on my own individual path and that obviously has formed me as a person. Hence it feels only natural to use that in my lyrics as it is deeply personal. Most of the lyrics have double layers which will only be recognized fully by certain initiates however if it stimulates someone to dig deeper, all the better. I approach the Dark Arts in a very practical manner and use it in my everyday life. The aim is for my work on the Nightside to leave footprints in the Day. To summarize this in a couple of lines isn’t possible but suffice to say: test everything, believe nothing!
This is also represented in the title as “Nihil” is not a representation of Nihilism and thus that life is meaningless. Rather it represents the rejection of blind belief and strives to eradicate that and base everything on one’s own experience.
4.What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music?
The central subject is that of rebellion, but a rebellion with a cause: transformation. Hence the rebellion with the aim of transformation is staggered into stages:
to not physically die
To not need a physical form
To go into cryostasis until science has advanced enough to achieve the first point
Symbolically it is made clear in the Band’s logo, where the Serpents form the basis of life (the dragon that is visible even in a DNA strand, the building block of all life). Those Serpents also represent the connection with the source within oneself.
The Skull of Ur represents that transformation as well:
Skull as a symbol of Death (where Death doesn’t have to be the end of life, rather a symbol of change, as it does in Tarot)
The Skull is changed and although it has a solid foundation in Dayside (large basis of the pyramid, it strives for connecting with the Source (the tip of of the Pyramid)
Thus making sure the individual transforms (represented by the rays emitting from the skull).
the 3 points / serpents represent past, present and future and the 3 Members that make up Serpents Oath
The hexagram on the forehead of the Skull symbolizes the band itself, as it represents that a band is more than the sum of its components and becomes its own entity. That entity is created by the members that feed into it, represented here by their Zodiac signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini)
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Serpents Oath'?
It refers to the Oath of Fealty to the Undead Gods that guide us on the path to find our inner Serpent. The Serpent stands for the Inner Most Self that resides behind the eyes. This is also visualized in the band logo as explained above.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?
The vision of rebellion is represented in the cover art as well. It shows the UR rebellion, Lucifer that leads the War in Heaven. Only this time the outcome is different and the rebellion succeeds, visualized by Lucifer casting out the Arch Angel Michael and therefore the ultimate victory of free will. Our idea was beautifully executed by Nestor Avalos who is a master of making these complex ideas come to life.
7.Has the band done any live shows or open to the idea?
We definitely intend to do live shows. Obviously the current pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works. For our live shows we plan to add another guitarist and bass player for a live line up so we can bring the songs as they are intended to be.
8.The new album is coming out on 'Soulseller Records', how did you get in contact with this label?
After recording our album we contacted several labels to see who would be interested. In the end we were honored to team up with Soulseller Records and join the home for bands like Gorgoroth and Svarttjern. Beyond that when we looked at the passion and respect they put into re-releases like Ancient Rites and Rotting Christ, we knew this would be the right label to work with. Since then this impression has only been reaffirmed and it feels really good to work with such a professional team that respects our artistic vision and gives us the freedom to take everything we do to the next level.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
So far (as we have only just released the first single) the reactions have been extremely positive. The lyric video for the first song has been watched over 13K times in its first week, so that is massive for a new band. It is clear that we are bringing something that fans were looking for.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We will continue to create as we have done so far: making music that appeals to us in the first instance. We feel confident in what the first album brings and will build upon that, perhaps adding a level of rawness for the future.
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?
As the three of us have been metal fans for decades and making music for almost as long, the underlying influence might be vast and not just expressed in a couple of bands. We continue to explore to try and find bands that grab your attention at the first listen but often find ourselves returning back to some of the older releases. For me personally that would be Watain “Sworn to the Dark”, Taake with “Doedskvad” and Archgoat “The Light-Devouring Darkness”.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
It has been a long journey getting to this point and we are proud to finally be able to share our album with the world on the 4th December. Thanks for the interview and giving us the chance to share our Vision with others. For the readers, be sure to check out the songs that are already out and prepare to be bound by the Serpents Oath!