AETERNUS, the pioneers of Norwegian so called dark metal have a brand new record out. And, indeed ”…and the Seventh His Soul Detesteth” brings back the atmosphere of older times when this band was on highly rated. And, after so many years AETERNUS are back with very brutal and dark sound, to conquer once more the throne of dark metal !
Please could you write for the very beginning of the interview few words about Aeternus’s new issue ”…and the Seventh His Soul Detesteth” and present album to readers of Metal Sound Magazine?
Hi there. Yes, this is our seventh album now. Released on Dark Essence Records, like our previous album, ”Hexaeon”. It holds 10 tracks of Dark Metal. Slowly conjured over 6-7 years time and thoroughly recorded and produced by us and Bjшrnar E. Nilsen here in Bergen Norway at Conclave & Earshot studios. It has been 6-7 years since our ”Hexaeon” came out so it’s surely time to wave the Aeterus flag again.
Could you compare your latest issue ”…and the Seventh His Soul Detesteth” with your previous releases? It seems that the brand new album stands between old style of Aeternus and some newer records. What’s your opinion about that?
Yes you’re right. However, some riffs just turned out being coincidently similar to old stuff while other riffs was purposefully made to re-visit old atmospheres and emotions from the old days. It wasn’t important to us in any way, just something that felt right and good you know?! The songs on this album, at least some, has been re-written, fixed, modified, altered, polished, MANY times before being rehearsed for recordings. I have never spent so much time on making songs for Aeternus with the band, ever. It was an awesome, slow, thorough and solid journey. The result is what we have out now. Yes, elements from perhaps all albums can be found on this new one as well as new elements for sure, stuff one hasn’t heard before from Aeternus.
What could you say us about the lyrical background and the cover artwork done for the new issue? What would you like to express with the cover and the lyrics?
For the first time, Aeternus has a lyrical concept. On earlier albums we’ve written about lots of different things. Mythology, what lies in the darkened corner of our minds and often our hatred towards religion. Aeternus is not a satanical band, we’re not into any of that shit. However, the existence of religion is provoking enough for Aeternus to have written many songs about what we feel about it all. ”…and the Seventh his Soul Detesteth” is a very anti Christian/religious album. Just not based on any form of ”Our ways” where we suggest ppl to think as we do. Our previous bassist, Vgandr (Helheim – Taake), is one hell of a writer. Always loved his lyrics so we let him at the time sit down and write all lyrics for the whole album as he said he had thorough ideas and so forth. It turned out really great. He quit the band however, but has explained to us what stands behind the words in each song on this album. I find it important to share it and explain it so here it is:
THERE WILL BE NONE This is pure hate towards all religions that infect our land with their disgusting words. We experienced it here 2000 years ago, and the preachings now continue under a different name, but under the same religious heritage of Abraham. If I could choose and play God for one day there would be none left of this old/modern plague. And the Seventh his soul Detesteth Obviously this trackґs about the seven deadly or cardinal sins as believed by the Roman Catholic church. They were used in times to educate and instruct christians concerning fallen humanityґs tendency to sin, but also, as far as I see it, seven vices that every human being goes through in life. The difference is to do it without regret than opposed the opposite. Furthermore I thought that it would be the perfect title for the album as itґs Aeternus seventh one and it also gives a link to the 2nd album titlewise.
Spurcitias In every deep religious person and its actions and beliefsystem(s) there’s a filth that canґt be washed off. Ruin and Resurrect Our beliefs of our forefathers has been lost for ages and ruined and trampled upon by the worlds monotheistic religions. It’s a longing that may hurt to the core. Hurt the sense of individuality and self-preserverance. I donґt talk about a spesific old religion, but merely the cultural heritage of Indo-Europe. Cryptic written lyric, but that’s what I do.
The Confusion of Tongues This is by far the lyric that needs the longest interpretation. Man built the tower of Babel to get closer to the sky. The tower represent the singular language and when man understood each other through this. This meant that they could as a unity compete with God and question his autorithy. But as with every dictator this wasn’t greeted lightly, so God came down and scattered man across the earth dividing the language into many, hence the confusion of tongues, so that man couldn’t understand each other and so the construction of the tower ceased. This left God with man as his slaves and his oppression towards humanity could flourish in its most demeaning manners. Hubris (pride, arrogance) is a negative charged word as it stands for self awareness. It says that itґs a loss of reality. I mean it’s a conscience of reality and a word man should sought to obtain, but God will not alow this as he donґt want man to rebel against him as Lucifer did when he questioned Gods authority. .
REAP WHAT YOU SAW This is mere mind transcending and about seeing things for more than it may appear at first glimpse. Itґs almost buddhistic in a way where the mind and soul become energy and youґre one with all there is. This obtained through total liberation of the self.
SALIGIA This is a speech to man that are bound to the Roman catholic religion, but just as much to all religions that force dogmatism down peoples throaths . It’s about to liberate oneself and free oneself from the claws of mind slavery. Lucifer for me represents the liberator of oppression and a sign of liberation. His light the expanding wisdom in each individual. To free oneself not all deeds carry the face of kindness and the seven sins, superbia (lust), avaritia (gluttony), luxuria (greed), invidia (sloth), gula (wrath), ira (envy), acedia (pride) are all natural feelings/actions every human goes through at some point in life, and one shouldnґt be ashamed of this but rather aknowledge them for what they are and accept it. Saligia is the mnemonic of the first letter in the Latin words for the seven sins.
THE HAND THAT SEVERS THE BONDS OF CREATION When God is worshipped according to his true Judeo-christian face, man is no more than the destroyer of life as there are no concept left of the free will. Then we’re all puppets to a vengeful God. So to end everything is the only egoistic choice one has left. Without creation and life thereґs nothing to rule.
The spirit of Illumination Kill yourself for Lucifer and become light. The flesh ain’t real, nor this world. So give yourself to the light that once gave man a glimpse of freedom.
How would you like to label the music now of Aeternus? The band was always being known as Dark Metal group that has created its own style (later becoming more Death Metal focused).
I never felt I focused a lot more on Death Metal elements after “Ascension of Terror”. However, by coincidence there were a lot to find of it on ”A Darker Monument” than what I actually wanted. Guess it just turned out different than what I wanted even though I liked what I had, we knew we had made good Aeternus songs of course, but yeah….”A Darker Monument” got a lot of them elements too… To me those two albums are the only Aeternus albums where the Death Metal elements are very present. Aeternus plays Dark Metal!! People can call what they want, this is what we call it and the reason is simple: A way to define our music more than other ways is to classify it as Dark Music or Darkened Music. That’s what it is, pure fucking Darkness. …and what is this darkness? Emotions, defined by us and molded into music or songs.
Aside of usually Death metal riffing you have also added some acoustic elements as well which could remain us on Aeternus most powerful works as ”…and so the Night Become”. Would you like now to more focus on the old sound of the band?
I have honestly very few thorough ideas for new material so I can’t really tell you at this point what the hell we’re doing next. I like the sound of acoustic guitars and I like the variation it can give and so forth so that one will get that again? Yes, maybe … but like on this new one here, we’ll be careful so we don’t overdo it.
There was a huge pause in your career between 2006 to 2013, the silence that finally is break with the brand new record. So, why did you make such a pause? Any particular musical or creative-like issue?
Yes that and some line-up changes. I simply needed time to get into it all again after my first drummer quit. I always respected him quitting, but I kinda hit the wall after that for a long time. When I started to loosen up I was veeeeery thorough and slow and I kept criticizing my own shit all the time while making new shit so it took years. We just took out time .. that’s all.
What is the next step when it comes to Aeternus? Are you planning with the band to have some live performances or even a tour with some other bands as well? Will you also play some older stuff on your upcoming concerts?
Yes we hope to do a bunch of live gigs now before we start making new shit. Yes of course we’ll play old stuff.
Many people consider Aeternus as one very interesting and influential band especially when it comes to your releases from 90s. As a matter of fact you were a part of Norwegian scene but, yet on the other hand, you’re also different from other bands as well. What is your statement about that?
Hmmm, ”Were” a part of the Norse scene? We’re still in Fucking Norway so we’re STILL a part of that scene. We never left it in my eyes, we just shut the hell up for a long time. You think we’re different from other Norwegian bands? Good, I thank you and tip my hat at you gratefully for that compliment!
Do you have any favorite album when it comes to Aeternus and if you do which release it will be?
I’ve often answered ”Shadows of Old” on this question cuz some very positive changes were successfully made on that album. So, ”Shadows of Old”! Thanks for support and for the interview!
Answers by Ares
Interview was done by Marko Miranovic