Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes) is thus far the black metal album I’ve turned to the most often in 2016. A raging and inspired burst of rapid oxidation , new anthems like the brooding forward march of “Rebels In Disguise” or the ferocious refusal of “Satanists Out Of Cosmic Jail” ensure this is a win for Agonia Records and metal fans in general, as well as anyone drawn to find comfort cloaking themselves in shadow. This French project may be triumphantly pushing to the forefront the more BM side of things (after the southern and stoner swagger of the last record), but there is a coherent darkness and yearning that bleeds through all the records going back to the beginning.
But now, it is time for Sundown.
Read the interview BELOW
What happened between your last excellent record and the newest to sort of prompt a firmer move towards enhancing the black metal elements to the utmost forefront?
What if I was to say that it just felt right to do so? Sometimes, at least artistically speaking, things don’t always need a reason to happen. I would definitely call this a “natural” move, that’s how it felt for me. Maybe if I was being completely honest I would confess that I’ve been seeing dark these past couple of years but not like it could influence that much on the composition though. I was craving sharing that darkness to everyone around, not just for the sake of a vulgar display of negativity but because I wanted to share my experience of it. How it really feels to belong to the nightside forces, and most importantly what it really means. I guess you might feel a little bit of contradiction here between the fact that I came to this naturally and how I needed to express some things, but it makes sense to me that my guitar is by extension the best expression means of my inner voice.
So, Infestvvs…you did all the music and recording of this release? Is this the first time? I enjoyed the previous record greatly and think I gave it 5/5 stars, but while I have heard earlier works I was not sure if the band has always operated this way. Are “The Innominati” now going to be a sort of revolving cast of characters for live shows?
I was always the only compositor but I don’t have anything against a little contribution here and there. I can’t say that I took care of absolutely 100% of everything but yes it is me for the most part, sometimes more than others. Glorior Belli is a one-man project in the studio but when we play live I am surrounded by fellow Luciferian silhouettes, some of them might trade their unholy hoods when needed.
Sometimes, depending in sleep deprivation, I’ll ask bands philosophical questions. Your newest music seems to sort of defy easy handles, however. The songs kind of darkly illumine their own path. Do you feel explanation is good or kind of ruins the process of experiencing a record?
It is really important for me that people understand the lyrics and feel the development of the story, as my ultimate goal is to give them the opportunity to forge the weapons of their own liberation, yet my words will confuse the weaker minds just like the fire of Lucifer can both illuminate and destroy. “Sundown” is pure unfathomed darkness forhostile souls, who want to break free from this cosmic prison.
“Rebels In Disguise” really breaks things up with that crushing bass groove. GB seem less inclined with fitting in to the styles around them regionally or internationally and more so finding your own way. What inspired this track? Just wanting a “slower/heavier” one?
I did not necessarily want to achieve anything in particular at the beginning with that song, but to be completely honest with you, I had in mind some sort of black metal version of Alice In Chains here. That idea is crazy enough to be legit, and of course it means that I’m not entirely done experimenting. I remember having doubts about including this song on the record, because it’s sort of out of place, but in the end I considered it to have merited its part.
Totally. The production here is very crisp and professional sounding yet still sounds very intense. The vocals are raw and have real bark to every growl. The guitars cut but are still aggressive and the drums really attack. Were you trying to show that BM can still be recorded well and maintain a primal power without being the early 90′s raw style as much?
I have been working in my own studio for the past two Glorior Belli albums, and I can’t say that it was always satisfying with time. To the point where I can only hear now the things I would have changed rather than focusing on the music. That was until “Sundown”. I’m really proud and satisfied of its sound. I have reached a new level of understanding in mixing and mastering and it’s a great feeling to not only be able to create great music but making personal achievements a swell on the side. I wanted to put the bass and drums on the spot. Bass being my favorite instrument as always, and drums because I had to make it up to them for all the times they sucked in the past
And the cover art? It is very evocative, sort of delicate yet sublimely dark.A very talented artist.
The first thing you’ll probably notice are the woman’s tits. Don’t you tell me otherwise. Then, once you get past this feeling, the bigger picture appears progressively. She’s some kind of goddess right? She must be, she is floating around in the night sky. Her veil seems to reveal all kinds of demons and anxious looking characters. And they are all coming down on a very peaceful village, announcing the beginning of the kingdom of the night. Add to that the album title” THE FLOCK THAT WELCOMES SUNDOWN” and I think it’s pretty clear what this is about.
“Thrall Of Illusions” might be my favorite track, though I also really love the opening drums of “Lies – Strangled Skies”. There is a deep sense of rebelling against the sort of veils of distraction in the world or people barking orders. These types ruin freedom in a life that already has enough bondage simply to stay alive. Is there ever true autonomy without starving the self? Oops, got philosophical again.
Ha.You should really get some sleep man… I’m glad you enjoyed this track, it’s really special to me as well. I guess I could elaborate with – How do you keep going when you have for over a decade realized that the whole Creation thing is a cosmic prison and the world around you your personal cell. What motivated those thoughts isn’t enough for you anymore, and waking up everyday to the fact that you must go on with your life no matter what hurts your guts. Then your real sentence begins. You opened your eyes only to find out that they have been forced closed for your entire existence. You start getting used to your prison habits and you hate yourself for that. You walk around in your cage, until ultimately you develop a taste for freedom again. The need to escape occupies all your thoughts and you know you must forge your own weapons if you want to get out.
It seems this album must’ve been tracked at night to sort of pull from the darkness, but after “Sundown” did your neighbors call the police when they heard this type of music and screaming?
It’s during daytime that I found myself craving for the night the most. I did track down “Sundown” at night eventually, and it sure as hell did resonate through not only walls but eventually greater planes of existence, cutting like a knife through the bars of my cell.
Lastly, the “Flock That Welcomes” term, do you believe in the essential isolation of BM like some metalheads or is there better strength in numbers? Perhaps this question is far too general.
The term “flock” itself has a religious undertone, it’s a group of people who share a common belief. There is a greater strength in numbers, so long as those numbers are being kept under control. I have started lately to regroup with fans or people who reached out to me somehow and feel the same way and share the same philosophy. Whether we do sports, discuss, fight, get drunk, it doesn’t matter, “we are the fists in the face of god”. thank you.I was just complaining about doing interviews before this one. I really enjoyed the questions, I think I didn’t mind going into philosophical topics, at least flirting with them anyway, so thank you.