Polish black metallers Blaze of Perdition have just released their debut album for mighty Metal Blade, this opus entitled The Harrowing Of Hearts represents another step in their ever moving evolution. Their singer Sonneillon is here to tell us all we needed to know about it…
Greetings Sonneillon and welcome to the pages of Metal Sound! How are you doing these days, my friend?
S: I’m fine thanks. Chilling when I’m not working and answering to interviews one after another.
Of course the main reason for this conversation is your 5th album entitled The Harrowing Of Hearts, the fore bearer of new era for Blaze of Perdition so to speak. Do you feel that this is your ultimate work for now or maybe announcement of things to come in the future?
S: The album is what we wanted to achieve at this particular moment. I wouldn’t say it’s our ultimate work of all time, because first of all – it’s too early to tell and I also believe we still have a lot to say in terms of our musical future. So, better to call it another chapter of our endeavors and an opening for something new.
The Harrowing Of Hearts fully realized what 2017’s Conscious Darkness has vaguely promised in my opinion – intertwining gothic rock influences into your black metal style. Would you say that on previous album you were not that brave or you were just searching for the expression that came up front now?
S: I don’t really think it’s a matter of courage. I’d call it a natural progress, a process of change. We prefer going with the flow and avoiding making a revolution for the sake of revolution if you know what I mean. I like it when art evolves by itself and isn’t forced and that I think is the way we work in BoP. We hint something on one album and expand (or not) on it later.
Please tell us what made you go this route, and when you became acquainted with glorious gothic rock movement? What are your personal favorites from that era?
S: We wanted to pull different strings, change the way we express ourselves to avoid stagnation as long as we can. After four albums it wasn’t easy, but it’s always exciting to try new things out. Some of us are fans of all those classic bands like FOTN, Killing Joke, The Cure, Siekiera, Sisters of Mercy etc. as well as more underground efforts like Horror Vacui, Spectres. I recently discovered Molchat Doma and it’s pretty cool too.
You are no stranger to cover songs but Fields of the Nephilim track is really something else for Blaze of Perdition. How this track was chosen and what personal meaning does it hold to you?
S: We were planning to record this cover for years already, but never actually had the courage. When Metal Blade told us they want to release a single EP, we thought it might be the right time to finally do it and so we did. It’s probably the most famous song of one of the most classic bands in the genre, so it might not be the most original of choices, but I love the song fiercely.
On the other hand, your black metal core remains untouched in my opinion despite changes you have injected into your sound. We have seen black metal being mixed with all sorts of subgenres over the years, what is in your opinion the main ingredient that keeps this genre prevalent in your craft?
S: I think it’s the emotional content that keeps black metal, well, black. Call it Devil, Darkness or whatever you like, this emotional and spiritual obscurity and hidden face of our souls and nature is what keeps the fire burning where it should, no matter if you choose to write a song or album that’s less extreme and not necessarily by the book.
Front cover holds a lot of symbols as I am aware so please try to explain them to all of our readers, since this is certainly not just another picture thrown together just for the sake of it.
S: It’s directly inspired by one of the paintings of Christ as “Fons Vitae” and to put it as simple as I can, it shows a person torn between the opposites of human nature. Between light and darkness, flesh and spirit, high and low and so on.
The Harrowing Of Hearts is metaphor to Christ’s harrowing of Hell, his post mortal descent. As I know, Mr Jung’s thoughts had some role in album’s lyrics so please try to represent main ideas of The Harrowing Of Hearts to us…
S: A journey inwards in search for self-discovery and effort to evolve internally as human being through facing the darkest corners of our souls, repressed thoughts and coming to terms with them. Basically a part of the psychological process of individuation.
We all know that Near Death Revelations was highly personal album which stems from your accident while on tour, how much is The Harrowing Of Hearts a personal affair reflecting things that happened to you directly?
S: All three after-accident albums are very personal, but they were written in different points of my life, or our lives, so they are slightly different in emotional content and the way it’s expressed. NDR was a direct reference to what happened in 2013 and some lyrics do refer to that, taking such topics as meaning of our existence and our place in the universe with fierce emotions. Conscious Darkness brought more evolved, stoic and mature take on the subject, with some wounds already healed and rabid emotions transformed into more meditative way of expression. The Harrowing of Hearts continues reflecting on our nature, but intimacy of my thoughts is more covert and there’s even some kind of social commentary hidden between the verses.
I just have to ask you about the experiences from recently finished Void Dancers tour with incredibly strong line up, and even one off gig with almighty Hellhammer.
S: I don’t tour with the band due to my health condition, so can’t really tell you too much from my perspective, but the guys came back pretty much satisfied. I performed only during the last show in Warsaw, the one you mentioned – supporting Tom G. Warrior’s Triumph of Death. Great experience to be sure, even though my back is not fit for such trips. Definitely worth the pain.
While we are at it, what lies in the near future for Blaze of Perdition, are some tours already planned? Maybe even some smaller releases like EPs or splits in the works?
S: There are two or three tours in plans at the moment, but nothing official and confirmed as of yet, so I can’t share the details. No studio releases for now, we focus mainly on promoting the new album and making our name grow as much as it can.
- Answers by Sonneillon
- Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic