Mortuus Sum

 
Their sound is pure unapologetic Black Metal inspired by the likes of Darkthrone, Bathory, Mayhem, Dark Funeral... But unlike most Black Metal bands which have themes of Norse mythology and well of course Satanism interlaced throughout their sound. Mortuus Sum stays close to their roots and mostly draws inspiration from their Ancient Greek Heritage and Greek Mythology. The band was originally founded under the name of Panzerfaust but was soon laid to rest due to the members having other commitments.  In 2007 Mortuus Sum was resurrected and became the solo project of Yngve until 2010. The band went through a dramatic lineup changes throughout 2012, which ultimately pushed Yngve to make the decision to keep Mortuus Sum as a studio band. This year saw the band re-release, Promo 2011, in digital format along with a split EP with Nattergal entitled ‘Buried and Doomed in Misery’ which was released in digital format. The one thing that really made Mortuus Sum stand out for me was their approach to music “NO POLITICS!  NO PROPAGANDA! JUST PURE BLACK METAL!”  Written Blood’s Loki caught up with Yngve to get the skinny on what Mortuus Sum stands for and what fans can expect  in the coming year... 
 
 
 
 
 
The name Mortuus Sum (I am dead) is of Latin decent. What’s the meaning behind the name for the band?
 
I chose the name because back then that was the way I was feeling. Mortuus Sum was the perfect name, to describe what was going on with my life and surroundings.
 
 
 
Originally Mortuus Sum was founded (2002) under a different name, Panzerfaust. From what I’ve read Panzerfaust disbanded a year later. Five years later Mortuus Sum was birthed. Why the long pause in between?

Panzerfaust split up, because Auren went to Sweden permanently and I joined the army. After that, there wasn’t any interest by me to do something about it, even though I was playing death and black metal with various bands. In 2007, I decided that the band was no longer to be dead… Pretty ironic with the band’s name isn’t it? 
 
 
 
How do you feel Mortuus Sum has progressed musically since its rebirth back in 2007?

The progress is huge! I am a better drummer and a better composer and it will be heard in the second full length, when the time comes.
 
In 2011 Mortuus Sum went from a solo project to a full blown band, how was the transaction? (Going from working relatively alone to collaborating with fellow musicians) It was a decision that was taken overnight. I left the band I was playing and I decided to focus on my project. I wanted to have something of my own and not depend on other’s songs anymore. Of course I am playing in bands that are not “mine”, but the overall atmosphere in itself is very family like, so it’s ok. Playing with other musicians is something that is completely natural and nice. No problem with that!
 
 
 

Now the band has undergone a few of a lineup change, how do you feel about the current lineup? 
 
The best lineup ever! Even though we are a studio band, the cooperation between us is perfect! Everything is going very well. The current lineup is:
Astraeos – Vocals
Yngve – Guitars, Drums
Jim Havok – Bass
Banshee - Lyrics
 
 
 
Listening to Mortuus Sum I can definitely hear the band paying homage to old school Black Metal. What has been some of the main influences for you?

My main influences are coming from Norwegian black metal, but from Hellenic black metal also (not so much though). The first bands that I have ever listened to, were Thou Art Lord, Necromantia, Mayhem and Darkthrone, even though that the Norwegian bands, contributed to my song writing style. The first full length will be a homage to Norway and with that album, I will end a chapter, that’s very important for the band, because during that period (2007-2011) Mortuus Sum, became what they are today. A new era will begin from there on…
 


There is a new album on the horizon for Mortuus Sum come 2014. From what I’ve read the album will be released on tape. That’s really something else, how did the idea of releasing on tape come about?

I am a vinyl and tape maniac! When the guy from the label told me that he wants to release a tape, I was like thrilled! It’s a huge thing for me to release my first full length with the band on tape! Kvlt and grim….
 
 
 
What can fans expect from the new album?
 
Everyone who likes Mortuus Sum will be very satisfied from the first album. What they have heard up to now, is a perfect example for what they should expect!
 
 
 
The no politics, no propaganda, just pure Black Metal! Is something I can definitely relate to. There is way too much politics and propaganda floating around the metal scene.  Nowadays is seems to be more about social status than anything else, there aren’t enough true supporters.  What are your views on state of the metal scene?

I have said it a million times and I will say again and again. The Hellenic black metal scene is full of GREAT and AWESOME bands, but everyone is backstabbing the other! At some point, I did it myself and won’t deny it. We have to stay together and be strong. We have a great scene and we have to make it to the top!!!! As far as the political stuff, I cannot get it. When Amon Amarth, Unleashed and so many other bands in Norway and Sweden are writing lyrics of their mythology, their Gods, their ancestry, everyone is like “THEY ARE GODS!!! THEY KICK ASS!!!!”…. Here in Hellas, when a black or death metal band writes lyrics for the Hellenic mythology and Gods, everyone labels the band as NS and the band members as fascists! Well, FUCK YOU! We are proud to be descendants of the ancient Hellenic Gods and we are going to write it in our lyrics if we like! No one can do anything about it! This has to stop!
 
 

Black Metal has a lot of preconceived views attached to it. Like Satanism, Occultism, Church burning and animal sacrifices. What is true Black Metal in your opinion?
 
Black metal is a way of living in general. From there on, anyone can take it as he likes. Me, I am a thrash/black metal guy with what it brings along. I like Satanism and Occultism, but I’m neither a Satanist, nor an Occultist myself. In Christfuck (the one man band that I created), I write lyrics about blasphemy, anti-Christianity etc. I’m not a Satanist, but I am strictly ant-Christian, so it feels right!!!

 
 
What does the future hold for Mortuus Sum?
 
The future will bring our first full length album (spring of 2014) and then on to the second one. I already have 2 songs ready and I have a lot of ideas more!
 
 
 
Any famous last words?
 
Just play music for yourself first of all and satisfy your inner hunger for it. Do what it pleases you and after that, what the people wants! If it’s ok with you, will be ok for everyone! Never compromise and never betray your beliefs for anyone and for nothing!
Thank you very much for this interview. 
 
With honor,
Yngve
 
 

 
 
 
The Links:
 https://www.facebook.com/MortuusSum
http://www.reverbnation.com/mortuussum
https://twitter.com/MortuusSum
http://www.youtube.com/user/MortuusSumBand
Also check out all our releases for free downloads and purchases here: http://mortuussum.bandcamp.com   
Thousand Ravens

 Originating from France, Thousand Ravens has been bringing us the unique mix of hard rock and heavy metal since 2011. Written Blood’s Loki had the chance to interview Shob(bass/vocals) on the bands new release Hole  and what the future holds for them….     The band has just recently released a new EP titled Hole.  How did you approach this EP in terms of writing and recording? Actually, we recorded it in March 2012, 12 songs in total at Kalaghan studio (Vence, FR). We chose a fat sound to fit with our universe, and we already knew Charles "Kallaghan" for several years. This is our first record with him. We decided, in regards to the situation of disc sales, to split the record in three EPs, which allowed us to keep releasing new material. The EP (Hole)  which is released now is the second one. The first one was called "sacred flame" and was released six months ago. We hope the next one will come out around September 14. About the writing, Nico (guitar player) and I compose the music together and then I write all the lyrics myself. Nico by the way is a good friend and collaborator of a great Australian rock metal band called "Twelve foot ninja"!! At the end of this, Simon, rearrange the drums parts in his own way.   I was lucky enough to get my hands on the EP itself and have a listen, I was hooked instantly. Your sound has a really defined groove element to it.  Was this something that was premeditated or just something that happened during recording? The thing is that we all are professional musicians. It means we all play in other bands as well, in other styles, such as jazz, funk, progressive rock etc... in which the "groove" side is sometimes more obvious than in traditional metal music. So, we all developed that "groove" thing which is really important for us. We really like mixing different styles of music, that's why you can hear it. The next EP will probably have more "funky" parts. We are proud of that cause it brings, i think, a real variance compared with other "metal" bands we often play with. Hole (EP) has a pretty interesting album cover, what’s the idea behind the headless gentleman that’s gracing it? First, we thank again Ibi Lab and Sebastien Labrunie for his amazing work on it. Everyone can make his own interpretation of that picture. The guy is reading a newspaper, but he has no head. It could mean that we are literally drowned under billions of information, news, fake or not, and we don't always pick the right from the wrong in all of that. We just eat what they give us, without thinking any more. We act like robots, THEY finally made us act like robots, and we are comfortable with it. Sad but true....                Is there a predominant theme to the EP (Hole)? I like writing lyrics as a story. It's always like a short tale, because our music inspires me through pictures, a bit like movie slide. I have to say that those stories are not really happy.... But somewhere, there's always a sort of "optimistic" touch in it, beyond all that darkness.   We still have a couple more months left before this year bites the dust. Do you guys have any goals set for this year? Yeah, actually it’s 11 months but anyway, haha Touring the most we can and share our productions to the world, as usual!   I want just want to take the time to thank you/ you guys for taking the time to do this interview. And as is customary, do you have any final last words?  Don't go out without your head!  Thank you,  Shob for Thousand Ravens   https://www.facebook.com/thousandravens http://www.reverbnation.com/thousandravens    ...

14Feb
Woods Of Desolation

Woods Of Desolation has to be one of Australia's best hidden gems. Founded by D. way back in 2005 "as a means of much deeper personal expression/unburdening through music." WOD has an ever evolving sound that changes with each record. I caught up with D to give us  a bit of insight on the new record As The Stars                    Woods Of desolation will be releasing a new album(As The Stars) on the 14th of February this year (2014). Could you tell us little bit about the new album? The album is the first new recording to surface from Woods of Desolation in 3 years. This release also features brand new guest musicians, including Vlad (Drudkh/Old Silver Key) which was quite an honour and privilege. It was pleasing to see it all come together and finally see it released. Is there a specific reason for choosing that date for the release? I don’t think so. The date was chosen by Northern Silence Productions for their latest batch of releases. How did you go about approaching this album in terms of writing and recording? The new album is a culmination of approximately 3 years of writing for various different projects/idea’s, however when 2013 came around I made the decision to simply record the best of these songs for a WOD album and direct my focus there. Before recording commenced I already knew what I wanted to do with this album, and I think I managed to fulfil the idea in my head – at least as best as one possibly can. Is there a predominant theme thought your music?  Yes. Whilst I dislike the term “concept album”, there is a definite concurrent theme running through “As The Stars”, this being; the separation of body and spirit, and the question of the soul’s potential immortality. The album was essentially used as a means to collect my own thoughts on what could be possible in regards to the subject. I don’t know if I really got any closer to answers, but it certainly helped develop my thought processes. Do you have a song that you are most proud of? I don’t know if I really have a specific song that I’m most proud of, but I’m pleased with all the songs on “As The Stars”. I think I came pretty close to achieving what I wanted to do with them. Where do you see Woods of Desolation going in the future? I don’t really make plans for Woods of Desolation; it has always been about letting inspiration take hold whenever it occurs. On a side note, I understand that there was someone that got a hold of an illegal copy of As The Stars and they are selling it through a well-known digital distributer? Yes, well this was very disappointing and frustrating to say the least. It is a sad state of affairs when a band can have their music stolen by some criminal then uploaded and sold for a profit. This absolute lack of respect and sheer audacity is disgusting really. It’s just disappointing that fans got tricked into buying a poor quality fake version, not to mention the fact people were reviewing this version believing it to be accurately representative of the new album. Has anything been done to stop the guy selling the illegal copies? Of course. The matter is under investigation as I type this. I just want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Do you have any famous last word? Thank you for the interview and interest in Woods of Desolation. Those interested in keeping up to date with my work, or checking out my releases can do so via the following avenues: https://www.facebook.com/woodsofdesolationofficial and https://woodsofdesolation.bandcamp.com/  ...

10Feb
Frostagrath

Frostagrath is the Depressive Black Metal project of Lord Mist. The Cairo based musician founded Frostagrath in 2011. The band is currently working on its second full length which is due for release later this year. Frostagrath’s sound is raw, melancholic and very atmospheric. Written Blood’s Loki caught up with Lord Mist to get the skinny on all things Frostagrath and what fans can expect from the new album…     Why the name Frostagrath? Frostagrath is a combination between the word “Frost” and “Grath”. I Wanted a name that defines the music and the lyrics so I thought about “ Frost” then ,since I am a huge fan for “Nargaroth , Gorgoroth” I thought to add another syllable as a dedication for both of the two bands.   Would you mind giving the readers a brief history lesson on Frostagrath? Frostagrath originally is a one man band from Egypt. It was founded by me (Lord Mist) in the middle of 2011, and then I released a two track demo, A Depiction Of Melancholic Reality, after one year from the foundation date via Depressive Illusions Records. Then Mohamed Azzam who is my cousin joined me in Frostagrath, he did additional mixing and mastering for the full-length, A Journey Of Infinite Sorrow.  In 2013 I released the first full-length, A Journey Of Infinite Sorrow, digitally via Visionaries Records. It was later released physically on limited copies via Rigorism Production in the same year. Later on, I wanted to dedicate a track for all the fans and the people who supported me, therefore I released a single track for free download entitled, Into A Dimensional Timeless Void. Meanwhile, I was working on the split with the Sri-Lankan solo project Viragha. The split contains 4 tracks, two by each band entitled, Dust Shall Remain, it was released via Rigorism Production limited to 100 copies in July 2013. A Journey Of Infinite Sorrow was re-released via No Remorse Records in august of this year on CD.   Currently, I am working on the second full-length, Extinguishing The Flame Of Life,  it will be released by the end of this year or at the beginning of 2014 I think.    Frostagrath has a decent discography, is there a release you are most proud of? The release that I am most proud of is the split, Dust Shall Remain, because I really worked hard on this one but it’s totally worth it. As far as I know, I am the first solo depressive black metal band from Egypt. So for me, it’s amazing that I was able to do a split with such a respected project like Viragha.     Why the decision to re-release A Journey Of Infinite Sorrow? Well, I have been thinking about that a lot lately , then I found out that Rigorism Production have the last copies now and they printed it on CD-R. I thought it will be better to release it on CD also. Therefore I decided to re-release it via No Remorse Records.   Frostagrath also has an upcoming release, Extinguishing The Flame Of Life. What can fans expect from the new album, in terms of sound and atmosphere? Musically, Extinguishing The Flame Of Life, will be very different from any of Frostagrath’s release so far, I avoided the Low-Fi, making the guitar notes more listenable. I also added more keys, to deeper the atmosphere. The vocals also sound different, more tormented and more melancholic as if it’s coming from far away … As for the lyrics, it’s delved deeper into haltered towards humanity and life. The lyrics in the full-length are ascending like a guide that takes the listener into a deeper and deeper state of mind full of misanthrope, anti-life. Guiding the listener to a path of no light, changing one’s view of life, proving that our world is really a black hole we are drowning in it yet we can’t get out. Till you arrive into the last track, And Finally, The Death Caverns Will Carry Out My Soul, and as the title says after it you will just rest in peace.The purpose behind this release is simply drain the life from the self slowly via the music and the lyrics, you will feel this when you listen to it. It will be something you don’t want to miss …   Is there a date set for the release of, Extinguishing The Flame Of Life, as of yet? So far, all I can say that It will be released by the end of this year or at the beginning of 2014.     Your sound has been described as True Depressive Black Metal.  Musically speaking where do you gather inspiration from? How does it shape the overall sound and atmosphere of Frostagrath?   I get inspiration from my life, I write what I really feel. I just let the music flood from my soul to the notes. My music reflects what’s inside of my mind, my inner self.  But musically I get inspired a lot when I listen to bands like Austere, Xasthur, Nyktalgia, Anti, Drudkh and Nargaroth they influence me a lot to compose music.   I don’t like getting political but, how are things going in Egypt at the moment? At the moment, there is a lot of conflict happening between the protests against the ex-president Mohamed Morsi and those who oppose. Besides, the world media is trying to transfer a bad image of the Armed Forces here which is totally wrong. There is lots of tension over here, but I think we just need some time to make things right in Egypt. It’s just a matter of time that’s all.   Most people ignore the African continent when it comes to metal, but yet we have a lot to offer. Why do you think is that? And are there any local bands that we should keep an eye out for? That’s true actually, I think that because when it comes to the Middle East people just think that we are all terrorists and that Metal is not our thing, it’s not our native music. Actually, most of the Middle Eastern governments think of us as Satanists, Atheists and Anti-Religion people. They try to oppress us, like if we are a plague or something. Therefore I think that it’s our governments fault in the first place. There are a lot of bands you should check out Bilocate, Chalice Of Doom, Kimaera, Forgive Me. As for the local bands I recommend: Destiny In Chains, Sinprophecy and Grave. I had the vocalist Sayed Ragai of Sinprophecy as a guest vocalist for the track, Existence, from the upcoming full-length …     What does the future hold for Frostagrath? I Think Frostagrath will have a bright future. I am working really hard so I think it will be a good one. I have a lot of things going on my mind right now, so it will be really great, especially for the fact that I channel all my emotions into the music and the lyrics for Frostagrath.   Any famous last words? Thank you for your awesome interview. It was a great honor for me to be in this one. I really enjoyed it so much. As for all the fans out there, stay tuned for the upcoming release.  You really don’t want to miss on this one; it will be something that will blow your mind! “Let Depression And Darkness Enlighten Our Shattered Path!" The Links: http://www.youtube.com/user/frostagrath  https://www.facebook.com/FrostAgratH    ...

28Sep