Death Metal Underground

Interview with Vulk of Wormreich

by Aaron Lynn
May 14, 2014 –

vulk-wormreichWormreich is a black metal band dwelling within the heart of the bible belt. The best way to describe their style would be Casus Luciferi-era Watain with some symphonic elements and an almost Swans-like sense of horror and uneasiness. The vocalist/guitarist, Vulk, agreed to answer a few questions.

Wormreich is an interesting band name. What does Wormreich signify?

Wormreich is a name that I’ve wanted to use for many years. Not only does it sound powerful and twisted, but there is also a deeper meaning behind it. The worm is a creature perceived by many as ugly, vile, and disgusting. It feeds on decay, and as such it is often associated with death. The worm to me is also a representation of Satan, or at least certain aspects of Satan, because the worm is seen as a resilient, omnipresent force that cannot be destroyed or eradicated. There are also the obvious parallels between the worm and the serpent, which is, of course, another representation of Satan. The German word ‘Reich’ roughly translates to ‘kingdom’ or ‘domain’. So there you have a kingdom of worms, the domain of Satan. At a superficial level, the name also sounds very sharp and biting.

What came first in your life: Black metal or Satanism? Did your Satanism inspire you to pursue black metal, vice-versa?

My interest in metal in general led to a passive interest in Satanism. As a young kid, albums by Slayer and Iron Maiden’s The Number of the Beast fired my imagination and filled my head with images of hellfire and brimstone. It wasn’t until I had discovered Black Metal in my mid-teens that Satanism became a driving force in my life. The lyrics of bands like Dissection and Demoncy were early inspirations for exploring Occult and Satanic literature and philosophy. Since those times, I have expanded my knowledge and developed my own interpretations of Satanism/Luciferianism, the fruits of which are present in Wormreich’s lyrics.

I detect a much more sinister and horror-inspired sound with Wormreich than any other black metal band around today, like the haunting nature of early Swans material or dark ambient. Did you consciously draw influence from any of these?

I wouldn’t call it a conscious decision to incorporate these elements into our work. While I myself am a huge Swans fan, I can’t say that they’ve had a direct impact on our sound. More specifically, ambient/atmospheric black metal works by artists like Blut aus Nord, Lunar Aurora, Nortt, Drudkh, early Kataxu, Summoning, and even early Manes are huge inspirations to us, both individually and collectively. For Wormreich, atmosphere is just as important as violence and intensity. We simply want to create the type of black metal that we like to hear. Musically, nothing is more paramount to us than being able to fully enjoy our work.

Theistic Satanists tend to have a general disdain for the LaVeyan ideology of Satanism. Is it partly due to the humanistic tendencies of the Church of Satan? What’s your view on this?

I don’t view LaVeyan Satanism with the same level of disdain and hostility as many Theistic Satanists tend to. I believe that LaVey’s works are interesting and do serve a purpose, though a dilettantish one. That said, I also view the Church of Satan as a silly organization of glorified atheists who care more about shock value than actual substance, the product of a generation preoccupied with pissing off mommy and daddy.

What can be expected for the future of Wormreich?

We are in the process of working on a split with the Malaysian band Neftaraka, as well as our next full-length, III: Vril, which will also be released via Moribund. We are also in talks to have our debut album, Edictvm DCLXVI, reissued later in the year. We have several US festival dates booked this year, with more in the works. We hope to begin touring the States soon, and we will actively begin to pursue European ventures as well. There are also some other very big and exciting things in the works, but nothing confirmed as of yet, so I cannot go into any details.

Final words?

Only that we greatly appreciate the interview and support. Hails!

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13 comments

  • Nito

    Any chance of a write up on stuff like Swans? Even if it’s a harsh review, it’d be cool to see stuff like Throbbing Gristle or Boyd Rice analyzed here. At least more interesting than talking about Teitanblood/Behemoth/Dead Congregation/(random “OSDM” band here).

    1. Nito

      Also want to mention I’m in full agreement with this:

      “I believe that LaVey’s works are interesting and do serve a purpose, though a dilettantish one. That said, I also view the Church of Satan as a silly organization of glorified atheists who care more about shock value than actual substance, the product of a generation preoccupied with pissing off mommy and daddy.”

      1. Nito

        Is there a particular point in history where Swans turned to crap? I have the Cop album, but I was listening to Swans material on youtube and a lot of it sounded like they sold out into tame, sugary pop music with the novelty of appearing outside the box (“deep” lyrics and image I mean).

        1. Aaron Lynn

          “Children of God” through “The Great Annihilator” seem to fit with what you described. However, their next album “Soundtracks to the Blind”, while not as punishing and relentless as early Swans, it captures that haunting atmosphere and sounds like David Lynch films in musical form.

          1. puzzled

            I agree with this to a point. They sounded like nothing else for a really long time, and I personally think that, after their extraordinarily brutal and interesting early phase, they had their finest hour with the White Light from the Mouth of Infinity, Love of Life and Omniscience (live) albums. That might just be personal bias though, I was discovering them as those albums were coming out in the early 90s. Up to and including these albums, they were absolutely remarkable, although we can ignore Burning World, which was their Cold Lake.

            I think Great Anihilator was a very sobering experience for any long term Swans fan: it sounded like normal alt rock, it was depressing as hell in a really bad way. And then they just started making shapeless messes. I only found isolated bits and pieces to interest me in SftB or that weird EP, Die Tür ist zu.

            The Children of God album is more like a clash between old Swans and what Michael Gira and Jarboe had been/were doing with their World of Skin project, much more haunting, less confrontational music. It’s a nice album but not one I’ve returned to much since the mid 90s.

            The first phase is definitely the one they’ll be remembered for, Cop, Filth, Greed, Holy Money. Making music that oppressive and keeping it fascinating and rewarding is a mighty achievement.

          2. Nito

            Hmmm… I listened to a good deal of Swans material before the ‘reunion’ period and I feel that they had their day and then became full of themselves. Their albums feel more like collections of odds and ends than a “complete package” (stuff made with a concept or feel in mind I suppose, like Cop). An innovator nonetheless.

  • Count Ringworm

    LaVey was just a hedonist with a spooky twist. Not a terrible writer, mind you, but philosophically unoriginal.

    Satanism in either flavor is stupid and shallow.

  • EDS

    Vulk conducts himself with maturity and is well spoken. I’m tired of seeing interviews where the band members last words are something to the effect of….

    “Thanx and HAILZ from the sundering depths of the infernal blasphemous caverns of rotting virgins and always support TRVE KVLT black and war fueled hate metal! Death the Christian scum RRRAAAWWRRRR!!!!! “”

  • GEOPRESERVATIONIST

    This atonal black metal style has been overdone for over a decade now. This band is just a xerox copy of other bands like Arkhon Infaustus/Aosoth (which was b-level at best). Black metal hamsters create Ricoh black metal.

    1. duder

      “We simply want to create the type of black metal that we like to hear.” – I guess that didn’t make it obvious enough to you that this band isn’t out to reinvent the genre, genius.