interview: Dawid Krosnia
‘Life occurs in elliptical pathways. Yet regrets are needless. We are carved by our decisions and our flaws. What we think, speak, know, will and dare is stigmatizing us. Learn to cope with it.’
photo: Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult (Necrovision period)
The Goat Tavern: Hi Velnias, How are you? It’s been very quiet in regards to Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult in recent years. No EPs, splits or news about the new album? What have you all been up to?
Velnias: All that we as individuals cherish should benefit from our absolute focus. Half-heartedness is a compromise and thus not expedient. This fundamental law gets decrepit on a daily basis by the ordinary everyday life. Creativity and spiritual flight is put in chains by these forced upon social interactions. Even possessing the knowledge about these perils of lethargy doesn’t prevent the enlightened mind to keep its guard up all the time. All that thrives and flourishes must wither at some time. Withering and lethargy are both synonyms in the equation of renewal and transformation. Rephrased into a straight forward meaning… our attention had to be placed on rather mundane issues for some time. As we were not able to focus one hundred percent on D.N. Slaughtercult, the progress was rather slow concerning a new release.
There is a big celebration coming your way next year. 20 years of D.N. Slaughtercult experience. It’s quite an achievement, so well done guys! How are you planning to celebrate such occasion? Any special re-releases or maybe a good quality live DVD as a present to your fans?
Twenty years it has been indeed. It is an odd feeling reflecting all these years. Celebrations bring forth a somewhat nasty habit. It is definitely an achievement to have the same individuals close to you for such a long time – Onielar and I have been there since day one, Horrn has been with us for fifteen years – on the other hand it makes one ponder not just about the past but also about what lies ahead. Although we should resolve our personality and rid ourselves of times enslavement it is not an easy task to accomplish. Shouldn’t we celebrate every moment anew? Lo and behold, the obedient one does it with joy unto him who is called the prime mover, the thrice great godhead of youth. Physical monuments crumble to dust with respect to the great grandeur. The sovereign resides with the innermost sanctuary. Neither the finest marble nor bediamonded jewelry does justice to its glory. Yet from the source of purity shineth a light saturating even the soil of oblivion. Those fallen in disgrace may skin the husks to glimpse the faintest ray cast down by the stellar furnace. Shall we raise the chalice to catch these sapphirine driplets? Oh, certainly we will as it reflects twenty years of praising spiritual liberation. We shall see if anyone else will be able to partake.
photo: Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult (Hora Nocturna period)
Looking back at your career, you must have had ups and downs. Is there anything you would change or do differently? Can you tell me about the worst and the best thing that ever happened to D.N. Slaughtercult?
Life occurs in elliptical pathways. Yet regrets are needless. We are carved by our decisions and our flaws. What we think, speak, know, will and dare is stigmatizing us. Learn to cope with it. This sphere of suffering will most likely not attend with a merciful fate. Its visage is twisted and torn. It is writhing in disgust. No man and no woman who sits at the table of kings shall succumb. They are the nobles who clearly state – ‘this grave is thine and yonder mine’. Ups and downs are something very normal, yet, we can learn to walk the heavens and the hells. Memorable moments are definitely caused by ‘fan’ reactions and resonances at live performances. When we started out back in 1997 we definitely never expected that many years later someone from North America would ring our doorbell in a small German village just to say ‘hi, I like your band’. So many years back we wouldn’t dare to think that one day someone from India would come over to the Netherlands to one of our shows to experience D.N. Slaughtercult live. We never thought about appearing on international stages in general – by now it has been in seventeen different countries. Obviously, all of the sudden, people get a chance to meet us, obviously some have been looking forward to it very much – what else could explain tears of joy? For an artist this is very soothing, yet, for an introverted being it is awkward. Art is a double-edged blade. All it needs is a simple turn, a twist of fate, and the ‘up’ becomes a ‘down’. It is a blessing and a curse at the same time.
People and their ideas as well as ideologies alter over the years. Can you tell me about the origin of your band name? What it meant to your back then and what it means now? What is the message behind your music and lyrics? Did the message and ideology change with time?
You’re definitely right that in due time all of us will start looking at the world from different angles and viewpoints. That’s certainly not surprising at all. Self-reflection and self-analysis is a regular process that every seeking individual goes through. The thought behind the lengthy name of D. N. Slaughtercult was to create something unique. Something not taken from another band’s lyrics or some authors written works. Not so much a straight forward term, but more of a concept. A union of different aspects all mold together to form a greater whole. This meaning has stayed the same. It will not change as it has been a product of our stable and solidified characters. During our early years the driving force put more emphasis on unorganized hatred and chaos. It was an all guns blazing approach. The fundaments have stayed throughout all these years. Aging has the welcome side effect of gaining experience and therefore to some extend also wisdom. The essence of our message has always been to follow the individual path of enlightenment. The choice is ours, we can sojourn upon paved roads, we can walk upon tread out paths or we can fight our way through thorny thickets as side these tread out paths. Choosing any of the regular paths means following in another person’s footsteps. At most these footprints can signal the right direction, but they can definitely not replace utter conviction. Faith turns to conviction and knowledge only through self-made experiences. Spiritual liberation has been the essence since day one.
Looking at D.N. Slaughtercult’s all five full-length releases, which one of them is the closest to your heart and why? Can you pick one or if you can’t do that, can you tell me about how much work goes into writing process and production of the final product? Does everyone contribute equally?
Memories, both pleasant and unpleasant, are connected to each and every release. Speaking solely from the artist’s point of view, Necrovision is the one closest to the heart. It is the latest release and therefore closest to the current state of mind. The writing process is a continuous process. Whenever there is a creative output these ideas are kept in mind. That’s why our albums always contain ideas gathered over a long time period. Necrovision dates back four years already, so you have an idea how long the writing process takes. We’re not forcing anything. Our salvation doesn’t depend on releasing an album. All members have the right to contribute material – music and lyrical content. To which extend is irrelevant our works are released under the banner of D. N. Slaughtercult.
Could you spill some beans on what we can expect from the new release in future? How far are you into the writing process? Do you have a title yet? Anything, please?
There is not much to say about a new release. Some of the material we are currently rehearsing dates back to the time of Necrovison as well as its predecessor, Saldorian Spell, whilst other material is more up to date. There is no album and no song titles yet. Music wise it will definitely remain one hundred percent D. N. Slaughtercult. In the past we’ve made no attempts to reinvent black metal, well, and we’ll certainly not try do it with the next album. We’re deeply rooted within the traditional old school black metal. This seal is placed on all our releases – if former releases were to your liking upcoming ones won’t be disappointing either.
Follow the Calls for Battle (2001)
Nocturnal March (2004)
Hora Nocturna (2006)
Saldorian Spell (2009)
I’ve noticed a change in your artwork covers. The latest record, Necrovision differs in what you have presented previously. Personally, what I like about, for example Nocturnal March or Hora Nocturna covers is that they tell a story, you can look at them and relate to your music too. They’re very black metal looking. Why such change? Can you tell us more about the artists behind the all artwork covers please?
All covers have one thing in common. They offer a high level of detail. Perhaps Necrovision does it on a more subtle level, but it is still capable of ‘telling a story’ – if you’re willing to listen. In the past we’ve used and altered works of renown artists such as Gustav Dore and Albrecht Dürer. Relying on medieval artwork that has not been used by other bands before doesn’t really make it easy. Finding a suitable image got more and more complicated. It felt right to use something of our own after the release of Saldorian Spell in 2009. The change to necrocosmic imagery has been inspired by Eliphas Levi, which was put in the hands of and worked out by a talented female artist. She seems to be Urfaust’s court artist so perhaps you have already seen more of her creations. Conjure the information service of your choice and look for Thorny Thoughts Artwork.
Recently, Onielar joined the Bethlehem, Horrn is playing in a death metal band called Pavor, any reason why yourself or Adversarius have no other bands to play in? Is D.N. Slaughtercult giving you enough satisfaction as musicians? I’m sure you’ve had some great offers to play in other famous German bands. Will Onielar’s duties in Bethlehem have an effect on the future of D.N. Slaughtercult?
Pavor is an inactive band. Their last album, and probably also their last rehearsal and live performance, dates back to 2003. Horrn has been keeping his solo project Beyond North alive since 1991. However, he keeps it the lowest possible underground level – which means passing out personal copies to a very limited amount of people. Bethlehem’s mastermind Bartsch is a very close and personal friend of ours. As once again he was in need of a new line-up and felt the desire to return to the good old days of Bethlehem with raw vocals Onielar agreed to surpass the guest vocal level which she had done on one of Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia bonus tracks. For now her ‘job’ is done and the sole musical activity is D. N. Slaughtercult. So, what about Adversarius and myself? Apparently, we are lame and ungifted musicians as nobody wants us in their band or projects. Darn. No seriously, D. N. Slaughtercult is a full-time job and absolutely satisfactory. Adversarius has been active with several bands in the past. He has been with us as his single musical responsible for several years already. There won’t be anything aside us or after us.
photo: Julien Etienne Photographe
You don’t seem to be playing live a lot. D. N. Slaughtercult has got a massive following around the world. Do you get many offers to join big tour packages or play major festivals? Is it out of your choice as a band that you only want to play on selected dates? I know that you’ve played in the UK for the first earlier this year, how was it? Will ever come back to play on the British soil?
We are preferring quality not quantity. We have moved beyond the point of accepting just every offer. Why are the same bands always touring and playing every year at every major event? What do you think? Because they are so fucking special and unique? The music business is a foul reeking swamp, the small insight we got is already enough to know how it works behind the scenes. It is best not to see too much of it. Art should be put in the foreground, not its shallow consumption and mass processing. That’s one of the reasons why we’re limiting ourselves to selected dates. By the way, we have not performed in the UK for the first time this year. Our first trip dates back to 2006. Our British debut has been in London at the Ruskin Arms. So, the odds speak in favor of us. We should be back in ten years.
All good things have to come to an end. Thanks for taking your time to answer some questions for us. The Goat Tavern team wishes you another two decades of a successful career. Do you have any last words to your British fans?
Everything comes to an end, yet the end is not more than a tipping point. It resembles transformation. Beginning and ending is the same. With that in mind one final paraphrase to ponder about – today’s cherished wisdom is tomorrow’s folly.
Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult live at Brutal Assault 2016
Copyright: Dawid Krosnia / The Goat Tavern