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Blaze Of Perdition's Pawel Marzec: "This idea of being torn between the opposites and playing with our own sanity, realizing one's madness and accepting it, is certainly present in my lyrics…"

Interview with Pawel Marzec aka Sonneillon from Blaze Of Perdition
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 31 January 2020, 12:59 AM

Changing environment, yet still clasping on the human condition. Add to it a different approach towards religious beliefs and idioms, and you have yourself a thought pattern that is to be argued, to be referred as provocative. It is possible that in order to touch the heart of a listener, is also to challenge, to have him question his known facts and go beyond to explore the horizon. Blaze Of Perdition took a bewildered journey with their new “The Harrowing of Hearts”. Steinmetal had at talk with Pawel Marzec, also known as Sonneillon, about the philosophical nature of the new album, expanding borders with music and more…  

Greetings Pawel, it is a pleasure to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine. I trust that you have been, or about to, rather busy with ongoings with Blaze Of Perdition right?

Yes, there are so many interviews I already stopped counting. Something quite new for me, but I don't complain. The album’s release is coming closer, there are big plans for live activity, everything’s looking good so far.

With the release of the band’s new album, “The Harrowing of Hearts”, there was another great event for the band’s flourishing career, and that is signing with Metal Blade Records. I guess it was a right time to leave the local Agonia Records and to turn your gaze elsewhere? How did the connection between the band and Metal Blade Records first came to be?

Metal Blade reached out to us. Our deal with Agonia was already over after two albums and we were thinking what’s next - to sign a new one with them or look somewhere else. Metal Blade showed up just in time and their offer was superior, so it was an obvious choice.

How do you find the promotional process of “The Harrowing of Hearts”? Do you feel a massive expectation to what you guys are about to offer in this release?

As I said there are quite a lot interviews to answer, so I guess the promotions is going the way it should, but I’m not that focused on people’s expectations to be honest. People may or may not expect whatever they like, but it’s our own ideas, plans and goals that come first and that’s what we focus on. I’m pretty sure it will be a divisive album, it already is, judging from the reactions I’m aware of, but it’s alright in my book. Any surprise is better than no surprise at all if we talk about music.

On paper, Blaze Of Perdition is a Black Metal band, yet I have always find you guys eclectic, not really putting your weight anywhere in order to explore. “The Harrowing of Hearts”, after suffocating it so many times, is quite the spiritual entity. With the band dealing with various cryptic themes, what and on which kind of themes does this album deal with?

My lyrics revolve around the dark side of our nature - personal as well as a collective one - and our struggle to maintain the inner balance. I merge my personal experiences and thoughts with more general views on life, death and humanity and form some sort of commentary on the world around us and on the one within.

What does the highly interesting title, “The Harrowing of Hearts”, stand for? What does it mean to your personally?

It's a reworked version of the Christian concept, "The Harrowing of Hell”, which is Christ's descent into Hell between the time of his death and resurrection. Inspired by some of Mr. Jungs' thoughts, heart works here as a symbol of our inner world, hidden and unconscious desires, repressed thoughts, passions and the centre of the shadow side of our personalities. The "Harrowing of Hearts" is a symbolical journey inward, to the core of our minds and our personal inferno in attempt to come to terms with it.

Do the themes throughout the album have a certain connection to events, perhaps personal experiences, in real life?

Some of them do, some of them are more generally inspired by my reflections on life, death and everything that surrounds me.

As mentioned earlier, I capture Blaze Of Perdition to be an eclectic band, a kind of musical essence that isn’t fearful of experiencing and I might even indulge with experimenting. How would you describe the musical progress of the band with “The Harrowing of Hearts”? Is this effort to be considered as how you pushed yourselves to the limit?

I don't know if we have already reached our limits or not, hard to say at the moment to be honest. With each album we do something a little bit different, try new things and find new ways to complement the core of our music. I don't know if I'd call us eclectic, but we surely look for different kinds of expression to keep things satisfying and engaging for us. Our music became more multi-layered with time, but that's a natural effect of infusing it with so many different influences.

Which elements within your music were garnered with a much suited attention in comparison to others that have been a part of you in the past? Would you say that aspects of your past visions were subdued on this release in favour of a newer, fresher perception?

I don't really know to be honest. We always try to put as much attention as we can to every element of the whole work. It's not an easy task and involves a lot of trial and error, but if we talk about leaving something behind in favour of different ideas, I think it's quite obvious that we went even further from the rigid foundations of black metal to adorn our music with something from outside the genre, something less obvious and sometimes quite surprising for a band like us.

With “The Harrowing of Hearts” being a turf bearing a measure of mood swings, and thought provoking ideals, were there feeling of near madness, especially while integrating such a musical behemoth with the lyrical content?

Madness is actually one of the topics of the album and "With Madman's Faith” title isn't a coincidence. This idea of being torn between the opposites and playing with our own sanity, realizing one's madness and accepting it, is certainly present in my lyrics, so we can say it was very much present, yes, even if not quite intentionally.

How would you describe the songwriting process of “The Harrowing of Hearts”? Would you say there were conflicts or perhaps unsolved dilemmas right before turning your attention to recording?

There’s always some sort of tension and it was probably the most discussed album we have ever recorded, but most of it was related to mixing process, with us brainstorming over the sound of particular elements and trying to reach a satisfying compromise between our personal tastes.

I could only guess that you aren’t the religious type, and with a song such as “What Christ Has Kept Apart”, there is a fine line of criticism perhaps? What can you tell about the philosophical vision of this tune?

It’s taken from Mr. Jung’s work. Full quote goes as follows: “I hold together what Christ has kept apart in himself and through his example in others, since the more the one half of my being strives toward the good, the more the other half journeys to Hell”. It’s all about uniting the conflicting powers within us and understanding the duality of our nature by embracing and coming to terms with both sides of it.

Musically, this song is one of the pinnacles of the release, in particular its melodic creativity, is this kind of melodic flavour to be expected further forward from the band?

We don't write the new music yet, so I can't really tell you what's next, but personally I'm a big fan of atmospheric, haunting and eerie melodies, so I certainly hope so. There's something really attractive to me in merging a beautiful melody with oppressive atmosphere.

We talked about a musical provocation and there is “The Great Seducer”, which is both a thunderstorm and a soothing brush of cold air. What can you tell about the creation of this track? Would you say that it was a challenge well deserved?

I'm not the music author, so I might not be the best guy to tell you if it was a challenge, but it's certainly one of the most evocative and poignant songs on the album. It combines so many different ways of expression it's constantly surprising throughout the whole thing, while being a pretty long one. I think it's one of the best BoP songs, gathering together some of the most important parts of our music. It also includes one of my favourite moments of the whole album.

Which of the album’s tracks made an impact on you to the verge that it was hard for you to shake it off not simply sitting down and thinking about it?

"Suffering Made Bliss", "The Great Seducer" and probably "Transmutation of Sins". But I would probably list other ones the other day, so you know, it's constantly changing.

The decision to cover Fields of the Nephilim’s “Moonchild” was the right call, especially after the end result. Were there other songs that were considered to be covered? What grasped you in “Moonchild” that made you wish to create your own version of it?

This cover was in our plans for many years and we decided to do it after Metal Blade told us they were going to release a single EP. It was a suitable idea to fill the B-side with a cover of such a classic. I don’t think we were planning to do other songs, we are not that huge fans of covers actually, but this one is special.

Looking upon the Metal market nowadays, which is pretty demanding, how do you see such a release as “The Harrowing of Hearts” in such a vast sea? Even though no one would admit that there a competition, what do you think makes “The Harrowing of Hearts” an album that would shake foundations?

That's not up to me to tell. I did my job, the rest remains in the album itself and people who might or might not find it interesting enough to give it enough attention. It's an entity of its own now. What I can tell is that it's an album made with whole lot of ambition, emotions and honesty from us.

What do you think are the challenges of Blaze Of Perdition in the next couple of years?

Hopefully to grow bigger and better and continue releasing albums that make us proud.

What are your plans forward to support “The Harrowing of Hearts” in 2020?

There are many live shows in plans, but I can’t share anything before it gets official.

Pawel, I wish to thank you for this interview. You have me intrigued and I will be looking forward for the next release.

Thank you!



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Edited 25 September 2022

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