Continuing our interview with underground modern black metal band Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult…
You argue that black metal should be satanic. Leaving aside meaning of this word for now, you are inspired by Scandinavian originators who indeed had satanic qualities, but at the time, Norwegian bands with “brains to prioritize” also had an important additional inspiration, namely intrinsic, primal dark nationalism. We can however safely say that this is also one aspect that Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult didn’t carry over from its predecessors. Do you consider that element to be a mistake or a wrong direction which should be rectified and fade away with time?
It is pointless to argue what black metal is, what it was, what it should be and what it certainly should not be. What is true and what is not. In case of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult we have found our definition of it. It was definitely inspired by Scandinavian Black Metal. As you noticed we didn’t approve of it entirely. Intrinsically motivated convictions are amongst the strongest. None but the originator may call it false or mistake. Yet, as the adopting person you have to refine any incoming thoughts. Prior to entering the inner sanctum everything unclean must be removed. Back in the nineties black metal was a revelation to us and many others. The difference has been the aforementioned cleaning process. Inspiration doesn’t mean following in blind obedience. It means dismantling the origin to its very core. From there we must reassemble it by using our own tools and parts. Thus, it is rebuilt into something new and rather individual. Having rectified some elements doesn’t necessarily mean that they were a mistake or a step in the wrong direction. All it simply means is that there was no need for it during reformation.
Satanism is one thing whose interpretation differs substantially even between its proponents. Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult certainly isn’t a satanic band in the most usual, basic sense. What does the figure of Satan means to you then? Do you find any importance in it and is it in any way useful or meaningful at this point? To what idea satanism is really corresponding to?
It is exactly due to those greatly differing interpretations that the label Occultist is preferred over Satanist. One of the dumbest interpretations has been the depiction as being a “dog” serving the grand master “Satan.” We must do what he commands, without asking questions. Actually, this depiction is a good one because it leads to another thought. Would you prefer to be the dog gnawing on leftovers or the king sitting at the table of the grand banquet? What does really matter? Isn’t everything the dog, the king and the banquet permeated by the same one thing? By no thing? Hasn’t it been transmuted from the undefined to a singularity, to a duality and eventually brought to matter? Alas, call it Satan, call it Jesus, call it what you may. The Occultist will strip the personification and explore its utter nature in order to understand. It is like barking up a tree, it might be the wrong one. Unless you understand that this barking is only possible due to the tree. So, shouldn’t we understand the tree? That is the true importance.
Besides metal you are mostly interested in classical music, neo-folk and ambient. Is there something similar in the essence of these, any kind of special relation between them and the music of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult or metal in general?
The choice of music depends on the time and mood. For instance, answering interview questions needs background music that does not demand attention. Soundscapes that help the mind to drift off into thoughts. Ritual, dark drone and similar ambient is predestined for such a task. Such soundscapes are also preferred to undertake meditative like journeys. Of course, there is a special relation between these types of music. They are all capable of arousing the mind. They have the power to alter the mood. They can lift you up into loftiness and they can drag you down into the deepest darkest chasms of negativity. That what is arousing our mind will find a way into Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult.
The band’s conviction during live rituals creates some really powerful emanations. They seem to establish a sort of communion with the audience, as if the band invited to participate for a moment in mysterium of its music and its inner life in a more direct way. You once said that the blood is spilled during them as a symbolic waste of the essence of life. Is it still its sole purpose, given the evolution of the band? Is it also meant to show antihumanist disdain for the audience, or to speculate wildly, when taking into account feminine element represented by Onielar (the band’s guitarist and vocalist), perhaps to protect it, or mark it in yet some other way? What is the meaning of live rituals for the band itself and in relation to the audience?
Perhaps the purpose of using blood differs from person to person, so I’d prefer to reflect my own personal interpretation on this matter. There’s something fascinating about blood. It is the fuel that propels our earthly shells, our mortal vessel. It is vital to the human matter to exist. It is a blessing and curse at the same time. Anyhow, as a zestful, meaning spirited, bodily fluid it is capable of acting as a catalyst. Moving to more abstract layer, basically this means, that anything with a strong aura will have an effect on its surroundings. This also explains affection and aversion on first sight between otherwise strangers. For a moment, let us consider the aura to be a pulsating, extension of our body. Although on a different plain and in a different way it is capable of appealing to of our senses. Pulsating means that this body is able to expand and contract depending on the current state of mind. Obviously during sleep and meditation it will surpass the state it is in while doing senseless, no-brain activities. Another approach to expand would be saturation. Provide enough nourishment to any body and it will prosper. Zestful fluids are such a nourishment. Now working our way back to live performances, which are indeed comparable to a communion in religious terms. Any concert should be an elevating experience for all those involved. Elevating means it must be an out of ordinary daily life experience. The aforementioned catalyst acts as a trigger. Due to its nature it is conducive to reach a trance like state. In addition it prolongs this excursion. It is a continuous ebb and flow of energy between the partakers.
You have very nuanced beliefs which over years evolved from naturalistic, almost impulsive hatred into more enlightened and methodical approach. Why do you choose to still embrace mostly one side (evil, death, nihilism, anti-humanism, etc.), when you are clearly treading more holistic path? To what ends anti-christian thought should be spread and why this task is it still relevant in our time?
Excellent perception. Indeed, throughout the years Slaughtercult has moved away from blatant hatred. It is shifting more to a hidden knowledge that is openly expressed. Having an affection for the darker side doesn’t limit it to just that. You see, by exploring death we are also exploring live. Simply because death and life describe a transmutation from one to the other. So, by referring to death it would easily be possible to describe live. The unaware reader would associate the text with death and nothing else. The enlightened and aware person reads in between the lines. The latter one understands the concept, thus, unearthing a deeper meaning. In the same sense antichristian thoughts can be used to express something different. Successful communication is a matter of finding a common language. By mobilizing and stimulating the mind we can reach a point where it goes beyond mere words. A word, a number, a symbol, they all represent a minimalist approach to explain a greater meaning. This greater meaning is the essence. The essence that is definitely worth spreading. The envelope used for delivery is secondary.
What do you consider to be the biggest flaw or weakness in the modern world? Is there something that seems to be especially attached to our time?
One of the biggest flaws is that humans take themselves too seriously and consider themselves too important in comparison to the cosmic tides of the great cycle. The majority of mankind represents the sand in between the spokes of the great wheel of life. Sand that is slowing it down and wearing it out. Modern live turns more and more into a highly personalized and pseudo individual misery. All problems and conflicts on earth emerge from such inferior thoughts. It is time that every specimen of this oh so superior race realizes that we are cancerous, ignorant and in terms of the cosmic scale insignificant. The crown that has been bestowed upon mankind can easily be taken away and passed on to the next aspiring and promising race.
Are the references to a seeming worship of power in metal only metaphorical, or are they an unconscious call to rise up and wreak some havoc in a decadent era?
Music is meant to stir up emotions. Even the shallowest music is able to do so. Extreme content usually calls for an extreme sound. Every music genre represents a specific time or movement of that time. It is associated with a specific event or time span. This doesn’t mean that a subgenre applies to the same association. It just might as well head in a different direction. Anyhow, as previously explained music is a very powerful language. It has the capability to alter our mood, our thinking, our current state of mind. Therefore, the artist has no real influence of what the original message will cause. The original meaning will be heard and interpreted on a different level based on others experience, way of life, thought patterns and so on. Art is able to stimulate our unconsciousness. There is no way to predict what the outcome of its reverberation will be. That is a mystery of its own. Could it result in an uproar and cause havoc? Definitely yes — even on such a small level as the human psyche.
If music is a mean of communication, then what are you personally aiming or hoping for through your art, even when taking into account all of the limitations you have described. Do you consider it be a spiritual or cultural offensive propaganda, or rather a field for inward improvement and expression of personal beliefs. What is the first and foremost idea which you want to communicate to the listener and in what way, in a very particular case of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, a listener actually forms a part of the equation?
As explained there is not a single truth. There are many individual truths. However, truth may not be called truth until it has been stripped-down to its essence. Everything unclean must be scraped off. Through refinement the biased becomes the unbiased and therefore knowledge. Knowledge is truth. Through the years the works of Slaughtercult have turned more and more into very personal beliefs. Thus, they are all aiming at inward improvement and understanding. It is not to be mistaken as propaganda or preaching dumb sheep from the pulpit. Therefore, one of the foremost ideas is certainly the one of the stellar furnace. In the broadest sense we are descendants of former stars. That itself is already mind blowing!
See also Part I of this interview…