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Interviews, Video Premiere

THIS IS ARMAGEDDON!: Norwegian Legends SATYRICON Unleash "To Your Brethren In The Dark" Video; Exclusive Q&A With Drummer Frost

Posted by on October 19, 2017 at 10:09 am

Never has a form of music united (and divided) people such as black metal. Never has a form of music tapped into the deepest, darkest recesses of human emotion. Apart from classical, black metal might be the truest expression of the human psyche: a literal soundtrack to the human problem – ingesting (and then digesting) all the hatred, nihilism, and anti-human behavior of our species. At the forefront of it all is True Norwegian Black Metal. A quarter-century on since a group of impassioned, intrepid youths blazed a path of musical extremity and ingenuity across the northern sky, this music continues to enthrall old and new alike.

In an effort to celebrate Norway's past (and present) efforts, we are pleased to bring you a brand new Nordic-themed column, fittingly titled This Is Armageddon! As a semi-regular column, we will strive to bring you interesting and informative content from those who live and breathe this music. From historical accounts, news, reviews, premieres – all the way to opinion pieces from the artists themselves – we will attempt to uncover why True Norwegian Black Metal is as relevant today as the day it was birthed from the icy, frigid waters of the Nordic fjords.

In this very special inaugural edition of This Is Armageddon!, we celebrate the launch with an exclusive video premiere from Norwegian black metal legends, Satyricon. Culled from their brand new album, Deep Calleth Upon Deep, the video for the track "To Your Brethren In The Dark" is an artistic journey into beautifully crepuscular realms, as frontman Satyr goes on to explain…

"I wanted it to be a director's interpretation of the song rather than a band performance type of thing. Seeing what we do through the eyes of another artist is always interesting to me and just like the song, the video has become a little bit of a journey on its own.

This song is definitely one of the flagship tracks on the record. This is about emotion, our nature, the spirits, the autumn, the somber and rainy days, those who we've lost and the ones who we've not met yet. You could say it is a tribute to the sorrow in man and to the drama of the nature we surround ourselves with. A song for the dark towers of the past and those who will rise in the future. Pass the torch to your brethren in the dark."

If this weren't enough to whet your blackened Nordic metal appetites, we also recently spoke to long-time sticksman, Frost. In an exclusive Q&A, we pick the man's brain on Deep Calleth Upon Deep, the album's controversial artwork, the creative process, and the mainstream acceptance of Norwegian black metal by those who once reviled it, among other things…

On the connection between Satyricon and Norway…

I imagine that Satyricon's music could not have been created anywhere else but in Norway or at least not by someone without some strong connection to this country. Old Norwegian folk music, Norwegian mentality, impressions from Norwegian nature, history and culture – it all flows through what we do. Since Deep Calleth Upon Deep sounds so organic and vivid, that connection becomes particularly apparent.

On the connection between Deep Calleth Upon Deep and the cover art that features a piece from fellow Nordic vituoso, Edvard Munch…

The drawing by Edvard Munch is an expressful and ingenious piece of art, and it beautifully reflects the music (and also the lyrics) of the album. Simple and direct in a way, but also elegant, profound, intriguing and uncanny. Dramatic, existential and soulful. In every way, it makes up for a powerful combination of visual and musical art. Rather than speaking of some overall ideology I feel it more right to speak of an overall mindset.

On the creative process for Deep Calleth Upon Deep

We think of the entire album as a collection of songs that are all spawned from the deeper recesses of our being, and that speaks to the deeper strata of the listener's mind. That is the way that it is composed, arranged, rehearsed, performed and produced – there is intention and spirit in every passage and every detail. It is definitely an album that requires attention in order to be fully grasped.

On the perceived limitations of black metal…

Since the very beginning, we have always sought to be our own leading star rather than trying to go where others have gone before us. We have been led by creativity and innovation and a sincere musical passion, and shunned conservative conventions. These principles and ideas have served us well and have made it possible for us to grow with our own project and renew ourselves numerous times.

On the influence of their early work as it relates to contemporary Satyricon…

The spirit that existed in Satyricon in the very early days has always been alive in the band and still is expressed in various forms. It takes skill and understanding to be able to make transparent and direct music really shine, and I believe that experience and many years of musical development has simply made us better at making and performing themes or songs of that sort.

On the gradual acceptance of black metal by the Norwegian mainstream…

I believe it is mainly about the mountain coming to Muhammed rather than Muhammed coming to the mountain. The sheer and genuine musical qualities of the better bands of the genre have eventually turned out to have the potency to convince people of various backgrounds and inclinations which have in turn learnt to appreciate or at least get curious about this extreme and weird kind of music.

Photo Credit: Marius Viken

 

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