1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the solo project?
First, for those that have never head of me before, hi ! My name is Baurus, I'm the creator of Archvile King, a french Black Metal solo project. It's been my desire for a long time, to start a Metal project, but because of how dear it was to me I always felt very hesitant. I felt like everything had to be just right, every detail had to be micro-managed to absolute perfection. After giving it a little thought and seeing all those 'almost perfect' music files rotting in my hard drive, I thought 'fuck it' and just started working on the EP. It didn't have to be perfect, the sound mix didn't have to be just right, it just had to be out there, for people to listen to, for me to enjoy !
I'm about to release 'À La Ruine', my first full-length album, and I'm very excited !
2.You have your first full length and a split coming out early this year, musically how do they differ from your 2020 ep?
The split with Simulacre is actually a re-distribution of my EP, but the album is indeed very different. My EP was a raw Thrash-Black record, with barely any concept or lore behind it. For 'À La Ruine' I wanted it to make sense, both musically and thematically. So I started writing a story that further expanded on the lore set by « The Feast of the Worm King » from the EP. All the tracks from the album derive from this story, and blend into the same mythos, the same themes, the same lore.
Musically, I wanted to try myself at something darker than just Thrash, and lean further towards Black Metal. There's more tremolo picking, more complex chords, more blast beat, and I think I managed to hone my singing skills to sound the way I want them too. I switched the lyrics to french as well, to feel more comfortable with my writing . I needed something more organic too, and so I picked up a bass so I could actually add a bit of texture to it. All in all, I think the album will differ a lot from the EP, and I hope people will like listening to it as much as I loved making it !
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?
The first EP had one track on it that I really enjoyed writing, « The Feast of the Worm King ». The idea of this old undead living in a castle by himself, having to resort to kidnap and enslave people for eternity so he doesn't feel as lonely felt like a really compelling story, and I decided to expand on it. The album tells the story of the Worm King, his conquests, his castle, his followers, his army, the demise of his enemies. With it, I try to paint a picture of a desolate and ruined land, of its rotting inhabitants, and of a sour king, who lives an undead life of regret and loneliness.
The themes in À La Ruine are all tied to this, how something as great as conquests and kingdoms can fall to desolation,
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Archvile King'?
I'm a huge fan of the 1993 videogame Doom. In it, there's an enemy called the Archvile. He looks creepy, his screams sound weird, he raises the deads, and can melt your face off effortlessly. I love everything about him. The word in itself, archvile, sounds really cool and can have a lot of meaning. The Archvile King could be the most rotten, the most vile, the most revolting person right on top of the power pyramid, and there's not much room there. To me, the Archvile King is a horrible disfigured undead who's power and longevity make him a sour, lonely, and desperate man (just like the King of Worms!).
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the full length?
The artwork was made by P.M. Loveland, an amazing writer and artist. I found one of his paintings years ago and was fascinated by the texture, the colors used, the lack of details, the haunting aspect of it. It reminded me of mud, of rotting wood, and old stones, which was perfect for what I envisioned. The cover represents the King of Worms, at the time of his conquests, leading his armies of undeads to victory and centuries of reign. The back represents everything that remains from his victories, the ruins, the desolation, the futility of it. All the other art in the booklet are tied to songs from the album, too, expanding the lore visually even further.
6.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
I would love to work with other musicians. The solo aspect is easier to manage, but I think working with others can lead to very interesting sounds, and can warp your perception of your own music in unique ways. I've worked in solo for the first two albums mainly because I wanted to be at the helm of every creative decision, and at the foundation of 'my sound'. I don't think I have a hard time working with other people, but for the first EP, I had to be hands-on with every aspect of it, from the cover, to the mixing, to the production itself. As if I had to be the one laying the foundations of Archvile King by myself, before entrusting pieces of it to other people. I'm also a very shy person by nature, which doesn't really help !
7.You have a split coming out with 'Simulacre', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?
I didn't know the boys until Les Acteurs de L'Ombre approached me for the split record. I think they're great musicians, their music is compelling, their riffs are awesome, and their tone is great. They're totally in control of what they do, and they have talent, and it shows. I'm both honored and humbled to be sharing a split with them, and I hope people will enjoy listening to us ! Our styles are radically different (especially because my half of the split comes from my first EP), but I think it can lead to a very unique blend !
8.Your newer music is going to be released by 'Les Acteurs de L'Ombre Productions', are you happy with the support the label has given you so far?
When I started working on my EP, I thought about asking labels for the release. LADLO was my absolute first choice. They have worked and been working with fantastic artists, they've distributed amazing music (which I was already a huge fan of), and I never thought my little productions would be enough to impress such a prestigious name. I was awestruck when we started working together for my full-length album ! It has been an absolute pleasure, they're passionate, professional, very easy to talk to, it's like working with friends, and I really enjoy that.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
I think I've seen mostly positive reactions to the first two singles from 'À La Ruine', comparing my music to bands I look up to, which is most of the time pretty flattering. I've seen people also say things along the lines of « french Black Metal never disappoints » which is very humbling and I hope I'll do french Black Metal proud with it !
10.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
I'd like to find people to share my music with, I'd like to do a bit of scene and play live in front of audiences, with artists I trust supporting me. I'd also like to incorporate more instruments in my composition, medieval ones for example. I want people to listen to my music and dive head first into the lore and the stories I deliver to them, and expand them even more ! Maybe write a novel ? Maybe a musical ? Maybe a TV series on HBO Max ? You never know.
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?
I've been inspired by a lot of different bands, and lot of different genres too, but I think the most notable would be Bathory (for their exquisite sound, especially on their 1984 album), Dark Funeral (with The Secrets of the Black Arts, I love their melodies and the vocals from it), and Mgła (I admire their melodies, their riffs, and the amazing drum parts from Darkside!). I want to cite Darkenhöld, Aorlhac and Véhémence as well, which fascinated me with their imagery, and their themes !
But the funny thing is that Black Metal represents a tiny part of the music I usually listen to. Most of my playlists are filled to the brim with Funk, Drum'n'Bass, Electro, Jazz, Classical music, Technical Death. I think burying yourself in one genre is the best way to never come up with anything new, and it actually stops you from enjoying things you loved about it in the first place !
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
It's been a pleasure answering to this little interview, and I hope people will look forward to listening to À La Ruine ! Thank you, Occult !
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