This week we feature yet another black metal band from Down Under, Wardaemonic. Formed in 2005, they have already released 2 full length albums, playing a brand of black metal that is atmospheric yet abrasive and cold. We had the opportunity to talk to Old (vocals) and Regnator (guitars and keyboards) to learn more about their new album, Echoes of Ageless Flames and more…
HMT: Hails Regnator and Old! Thank you for granting us this interview. Before we start off this interview, would it be possible to give us a short introduction or history of the band? We see that a few of you were from the symphonic black metal band Avantgarde.
Regnator: Thanks for the interest and support. Wardaemonic was brought to life by myself after quitting Avantgard late 2004. Later when that outfit split up I recruited Blitz and Maelstrom. Old and Anharat answered the call not long after. It was a quick transition. By mid 2005 the band was spreading evil and blasphemy on stage.
In September the band played alongside black metal legends Mayhem. What was the experience like, and how was the crowd response?
Regnator: We played one ritual with them in our home town. It was truly an experience. Early Wardaemonic music has a strong Mayhem influence. The response was absolutely great.
Old: I am an avid follower of early Mayhem. It was an experience to be had. It was great to meet them and converse.
The band just released Echoes of Ageless Flames earlier this year. How has response been so far?
Regnator: The Australian underground received the album quite well, which is leading to more attention and interest in our art. We’ve recently started a bigger and wider promotion for this album, so we’re expecting results from other parts of the World as well.
I personally have to say that Wardaemonic is one of the few unique bands in black metal that I love that fuses both heavy atmosphere with extremely harsh inhuman vocals. Was there any intention for such an effect to be produced?
Regnator: We intend to fuse the intensity and blasphemy of black metal with other influences to create dynamic, interesting music. Old produces and directs his own vocals, then we just mix them and incorporate them into the music. Vocals play a big part in the atmosphere of the records so the effect is deliberated.
Old: We as individuals come from similar yet quite different musical backgrounds. I feel that this is very prominent when we get together to create our music. Of course we have in our minds what Wardaemonic should sound and feel like, along with our own ideals of music. But yes, we feel this record has the essence we were aiming for and shows that our art has become far more articulate.
|Echoes of Ageless Flames|
How did the band go about writing the music for Echoes of Ageless Flames?
Regnator: It was quite different from the way we wrote ‘Through the Dank Pale Gravelands’. I felt we needed to move forward with this record so I drew a lot of influence from the obscure and occult this time instead of hate and spite that comprised our debut album. We also spent more time arranging the songs which I believe, allowed us to finally find the sound we were looking for.
The lyrics also seem to feature a lot about nature, in addition to the theme of darkness and death. Who is the main songwriter behind the songs, and where are the lyrical inspirations drawn from?
Old: The lyrics on Echoes of Ageless Flames were written by Regnator except Aeons of Perdition which I wrote on one of my trips to Ortnevik, Norway. The Incarnate Ethereal of Nine was done by him and myself.
Regnator: I wrote the Vigil Tenebrae suite based on where we left with ‘Through the Dank Pale Gravelands’. A tale of the spectral, a journey into darkness but adding a stronger anti-Christian approach. The title track is basically death from above, the unknown and the words on ‘Paths to Silence’ are my most personal to date. It is basically a requiem. A departure to absolute nothingness. Nature is also an important topic in our music, we are one with what surrounds us.
Echoes of Ageless Flames contains a 5 part suite – the Vigil Tenebrae. Would it be possible to let listeners of Wardaemonic know more about the concept behind these songs?
Regnator: They were the first to be written for this new album, originally to be a full 25 minute suit but later split into separate parts to give each section a stronger meaning and feeling. It is a conceptual work dealing with the sentry of darkness, a tale of the spectral. It is the second coming and destruction of man.
There is a slight slow down in the pace of the album on the 7th track, The Incarnate Ethereal of Nine – a nice touch indeed and certainly stands out from the rest of the album. What made the band decide to have a track like such in the middle of the album?
Regnator: We are not your orthodox black metal band. We believe our art should offer more than just rehashed European black metal so we explore different musical fields from classical to dark ambience, prog rock and even world music. There is no rule of what can or cannot be done within our musical expression. I wrote the main riff during a rehearsal session and the progression after that was quite natural. Old’s vocals give the song an eerie touch of melancholy.
Old: Within numerology 7 is the most spiritual number. The title also ‘The Incarnate Ethereal of Nine’ is about the elements, spiritual grievance and suicide. Nine meaning the end, completion…my take on nine including death. It just felt right to have this song there.
The album also features a cover of one Dead Can Dance song, specifically Summoning of the Muse. Was there any particular reason behind the choice of the song?
Regnator: We liked the idea of having a cover song on this album. But also something that was unique and special. So Dead Can Dance was the first choice. It was our tribute to them but also the song has that sadness about it, something we thought it would compliment the rest of our songs. It was a nice way to close the album.
Old: The song Summoning of the Muse is from my favorite DCD album ‘Within the Realm of a Dying Sun’. It was an honor to sing this.
In addition, Wardaemonic was also one of the bands included in an Ulver tribute in 2008. What are the band’s influences?
Regnator: Yes, we got asked a few years back to do a song for this tribute, which I think is great since most bands did their own interpretations of Ulver songs. It’s not the typical boring cover songs record. This album also created awareness about the band, especially in Europe. We used a bit of Ulver influence in our earlier compositions but now we’ve defined our own sound we tend to draw influence from external factors such as literature, paintings and other forms of art and we process it and transform into blasphemy through music.
With music as blasphemous as such, how does Wardaemonic bring out the atmosphere and desecration on stage?
Regnator: Intensity is a keyword in every single one of our performances but we also rely heavily on atmosphere. Wardaemonic is an audial and visual entity. That’s why our shows are so important to us and we present them the best way we can.
Old: Every performance of Wardaemonic is different. I believe music needs to be conveyed to the listener in colossal forms. Music is only one of those mediums. Our live rituals are shrouded with dead trees, animal bones and other props to create an experience.
Wardaemonic will be performing this November in the Black Mass Festival, alongside with bands such as Nazxul. Can fans look forward to anything special in Wardaemonic’s performance this time?
Regnator: We are honored as a band to be performing this show. It has the best the Australian black metal underground has to offer. We will give them intensity, a show to be remembered full of energy and with a unique atmosphere.
Old: This is Wardaemonic’s second appearance in Sydney. Look forward to desecrate and bring pestilence upon this land.
We have come to the end of the interview. The last words are for you, Regnator and Old!
Regnator: Thanks for taking the time to conduct this interview and the interest in this entity that is Wardaemonic. ”With the dying of spirit comes transition. Follow the paths to the eternal stars, to the place of absolute nothingness. Only then, your true inner self will be revealed” Blood & Hate!
Old: Thank you for your support. Intus obscurus ego reperio meus eternus pacis!
Thank you once again for taking the time off for the interview, and we wish you the best in all upcoming endeavours!