lauantai 24. joulukuuta 2011
Necros Christos - From the Kingly Womba
Deadlines and zines don’t really match, and occasionally it’s the same with deadlines and (death) metal albums. While the second Necros Christos album doesn’t compare to Sadistic Intent’s debut album, it did arrive one and a half years behind its original release date of 9/9/09. For me, the album itself was a slight disappointment with perhaps too many slow songs for my taste. At any rate, 73 minutes of doomy death metal is quite a dose to take.
I thought today was the most fitting day to publish a Necros Christos interview, so here you go.
"From the Kingly Womba"
An interview with Mors Dalos Ra of Necros Christos.
Originally published in Imperiumi.net, March 2011.
Salâm! Even though Triune Impurity Rites was not your normal debut album that is merely a compilation of older demo-era songs, it did include several songs from your demos. How much different was the writing process now that you could start from a clean table?
- Salam Antti. Actually, the plan was to use at least one old song for Doom of the Occult as well which would have been Baptized by the black Urine of the Deceased. I had come up with a totally new arrangement, but luckily, we decided to go for new tracks only. Most of the album material came as a constant flow over the past years, so it would have been an unacceptable interruption to use older songs this time though.
I reckon the first release date for Doom of the Occult was set for 9/9/09, which would've been a great date symbolically, but in the end we didn't get the new album until more than a year later. Now that the album is done, however, what is the topmost feeling after a consuming process? Relief?
- Yes indeed, relief and feeling totally exhausted. The recording sessions seemed to have no fucking end and as soon as we had finished a song, another important detail emerged. ”Shit, we have to do this as well...”, ”Fuck, the bell is missing here and we still need the organ introduction for the choir...” etc., etc. Honestly, I had even more ideas in mind as for example a sitar which should do some fill-ins in Pyramid of Shakti Love, but we had to get the record out as we were far beyond our deadline and working under pressure just forced us to focus on the most important details instead of getting lost in our own inspirations and visions.
As much as I think Doom of the Occult is an improvement on Triune Impurity Rites as a whole, at first I was slightly disappointed that stylistically it was pretty much the same as the debut. On further listening it reveals some intricate stylistic differences, such as the slightly slower tempo in the songs, certain arrangements and the somewhat different (and in my opinion better and more profound) gates and temples. But in the very least the albums are constructed in a similar way, nine ”proper” songs, 23 tracks overall. How would you comment on the biggest differences between the two albums?
- Oh, honestly, I think that even Metal-wise, it differs a lot from TIR. We adapted more techniques as power chords and palm mute riffs which simply cannot be found on TIR where we used tons of single note riffs mostly. Also, nearly every song from our first album was in the same key to reach this mantra-like flow. On DOTO, we changed keys all the time and build far greater, monumental arrangements while not getting back to the same song structure all the time. Overall, the concept is even more over the top than that of TIR.
- The new record is built over the 9-branched candelabrum the Jews use for Chanukka, although the content on Doom... should not be linked with that special event in Jewish history. The candelabrum works as an architectonic form of getting the mass together with every Metal song representing one of the 9 flames of Necros Christos dominum. Hearing those flames means bringing this entity to rise from its shadowed tomb and soon the world shall know what Doom of the Occult is all about ...
And as a continuation to the previous question: unlike for most bands, the shape and form of the album – the way it's constructed and built – seems to be of great significance to Necros Christos. I'm assuming you've built the album like this to serve a spiritual function, but how important actually is this form for you?
- As you can imagine, it’s all and everything. Necros Christos never was meant to release ordinary (Death) Metal albums only, even our demos were different from what the standard listener was used to be...
Necros Christos songs and the album concepts (the form!) are very carefully arranged, which is pretty rare for a death metal band. In fact, I think it borders on feeling controlled in some respects. Nasko of Teitanblood had this to say about the need for control or the lack thereof in death metal: ”The idea of controlled Death Metal sounds like a gentle and affectionate Rapist.” Would you say Necros Christos is controlled in any sense of the word?
- It’s both, controlled in music, arrangement and structure, uncontrolled it its spiritual path and what powers it invokes...
As different Necros Christos and Teitanblood are, you also share some common ground, in my opinion. However, one aspect that makes you very different is the aspect of musicianship and professionalism. We know that you, among other things, teach guitar. I guess it’s obvious how the gates and temples are affected by your theoretical knowledge and experience of different sorts of music, but how are the death metal songs affected by it? Have you ever considered that knowledge a limitation when composing such instinctual music as death metal?
- None of the songs nor the gates had been affected by my theoretical knowledge. I never would compose like ”Oh, the verse is in b flat so the bridge must rise to the dominat being in F” or things like that, everything appears as a constant flow of melodies, harmonies, and riffs. Teitanblood and Necros Christos indeed share a lot of things spiritually as Nasko belongs to my closest friends since the very early years of NC.
I promise this is the last Teitanblood reference ... I think one important thing that Necros Christos shares with TTNBLD is the way your song titles and lyrics have a sort of two-way appeal. Songs like Necromantique Nun or Impure Burials Prevail, for example, can appeal on a more primitive/carnal (or tangible/concrete) level but they also reveal something deeper. It's hard to explain, but I hope you understand what I'm getting at. Would you say it is important for you to show both sides to what you do: the theory and the practice?
- I know exactly what you mean when talking about a rather profound lyric and then using a title as Necromantique Nun. But we should not forget that this is Heavy Metal my friend and no matter how well thought-out or intellectual the lyric would be, those songs are meant to be played live and should be remembered. A more or less simple title can be way more effective and intoxicating as opposed to using the highest English grammar... At least this is my opinion.
I guess you were one of the influential bands when it comes to calling live gigs as ”rituals.” Suffice to say, this term is being used very lightly in the metal context these days. How would you define magic and ritual in the context of Necros Christos? And has the meaning of those two changed during the existence of NC?
- No, no changes at all. Our magic is based and rooted in our music. Our sermons are the rituals of past, present and future who give birth to the grand Necros Christos.
I was intrigued by the magical garbs you sported at your Helsinki show last year. They made me think of the East, the Orient, Voodoo... All sorts of things that aren't Western. In fact, as effective as the reverend outfits from a couple of year ago were, I get to think that these new ones suit the big picture of Necros Christos better. They somehow reflect the growth and conceptual development that you've made from Triune Impurity Rites to Doom of the Occult. How would you comment?
- Precisely Antti, and thanks a lot for noticing. My own ritual garment for example is originally from Turkey and I was blown away when I found it. Regarding the big Middle Eastern influence the album has, it for sure goes hand in hand with the music. By the way, I doubt there are many people as you who seem to like those garments, I can imagine that this is another thing (alongside all the acoustic music we deliver) that is way too much for the ordinary Death Metal disciple to take, haha.
This development sees Necros Christos to certain extent abandon Biblical references (the more obvious references anyway – Christ is barely mentioned, for example!) and push the necromantic aspect more to the front. That's a very basic (perhaps somewhat base) summary of how I see the lyrical development from TIR to DotO. Earlier in the interview we discussed the biggest musical differences between TIR and DotO, but how would you characterise the differences in the conceptual/lyrical approach between the two albums?
- Interesting question, although the biblical references are still there when talking about Necromantique Nun and Invoked from Carrion Slumber. Both deal with the dark tale of the witch of En-Dor (1. Samuel 28, 7–13), who seemed to haunt tombs and summoned up the dead in ancient Palestine. May you read:
“Then said Saul unto his servants, seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at En-Dor … and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night ...Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? … and she cried with a loud voice … And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? ... I saw Gods ascending out of the earth.”
- Regarding the middle flame, the titles says it all I guess with Doom of Kali Ma, Pyramid of Shakti Love and Flame of Master Shiva. This massive opus even features more Indian words than English due to the incredible help with translation of Kunal Choksi from Diabolical Conquest India. The last four tracks of the record deal with ancient Egypt, its rites of death and the secret mysteries of the Pharaonic soul.
Alright, then a totally different kind of question: a year or two ago there were some talks about releasing the Necros Christos demos on vinyl. Is this still a work in progress or have you abandoned the idea entirely?
- I see no need to do so. We have just released a fantastic album, who needs the old demos anyway?
And then the last epic question is about .... death. A quote from a TIR review (in Oaken Throne 'zine #6) reads: ”Rather than inspiring a frenzied state, however, TIR's ritual libation slowly hypnotizes the listener with seductive, sometimes gruesome, but utterly intoxicating funerary notes. Here, death is not the violent and murderous end described by so many DM bands, but a prolonged transitional state: death as dormancy, quietus.” (I get what the reviewer is saying, though, as this reminds me of some of the riffs in Invoked from Carrion Slumber, for example.) As I was reading that the other day, I got to thinking about what CCOTN from Grave Miasma said about death: ”There is more spirit and life in the remains of a mummified corpse than any modern interpretation of living.” So what is death, is it eternal sleep/dormancy, just a transition or something else?
- In my own complex tangle of belief, death functions as an inversed birth. A gate to a state of amorphous dwelling far beyond the spiritual laws of this world. Death is not the end, it’s the beginning of something man is unable to explain. Let me quote Schwaller de Lubicz here: ”Death is a return to the causal state.” (from ”The Egyptian Miracle”) Beyond the unholy grave is where we all go...
Alright, that's all my questions. Thank you very much for your time and effort!
- Thanks a lot Antti and all hails to Finland.
The grand Necros Christos bestoweth its blessings unto you,
mors dalos ra