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Master Alafern (Quintessence Mystica)

Interview with Master Alafern from Quintessence Mystica
by Ilias Halastanis at 20 March 2011, 8:43 PM

QUINTESSENCE MYSTICA is a project founded in the summer of 2008 in Ukraine. The base for this project builds on Master Alafern who has made himself already a name as violinist, guitarist, bassist, arranger and composer through different bands. Material for the debut album "The 5th Harmonic of Death" was written within two weeks after the foundation of the band. In the end of 2009, the project signed a contract with Schwarzdorn Productions (Germany) for this album to be released at the beginning of 2011. The CD booklet artwork was created by an Russian artist named as Mstibog. Let's see what Master Alafern had to say about the project.

QUINTESSENCE MYSTICA is a new band and you've recently released your debut full length album, "The 5th Harmonic of Death". So what comes next? Do you have any plans?

We definitely have some plans! Currently we are finishing up the recording of our second album “Duality”, and I hope that soon we’ll be able to show metal fans our new release. What next? We shall see…

What is the reason you prefer black metal?

To be honest, the choice of this “style” was an intuitive one for us. This means that we did not starting out by saying, “We must play Black Metal”, it simply happened like that. As a matter of fact Black Metal is a natural choice if one would like to express certain ideas through metal, namely looking from another perspective onto the quintessence of matter, or using musical expression to gain insight into the dark side of the world. Nevertheless there are also elements of other metal styles in our music.

Usually the bands have something to do in general about Satanism, you don’t. What is your opinion about that?

Our opinion is that Satanism, as presented by most Black Metal bands, has become more of a product of religion and show business which has nothing to do with the dark side of the Cosmos. On the other hand, there is the idea (apparently promoted by the church) which equates Satanism with occultism, Hermeticism, magic and ancient cults of dark gods etc. which are in fact the things we are concerned with. We are interested in the pure evil of the occult heathen tradition and that’s why we want nothing to do with Christian nighttime horror stories.

How did you came up with your band's name? Did you have something particular in mind?

We found a name for the project when the material for the first album was more or less formed.  It simply reflects the idea behind this project. QUINTESSENCE MYSTICA is a mysticism of dark energies. The base for the name is idea of “quinta”: five elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Spirit, the keystone which rules and drives them all.

What is your opinion in the combination of black metal and melody?

It’s a matter of personal taste – some like it, some don’t. I would say that in general Black Metal is quite melodic in itself, even in its most aggressive forms. This melodiousness is due to the sound of the guitar and the special way of playing when “the strings are singing” and the drums/basses blow like a hurricane in the head of the listener. It creates quite a melodic atmosphere. Thus, melodic Black Metal is quite painless (assuming everything was done properly of course!) to implement.

Which aspects of musical culture -and lifestyle in general- under and above ground you think are influenced by Black Metal. What do you think about it: was it a good thing of the Black Metal culture or should we have avoided it?

I think that Black Metal stimulates people to think freely and to understand life conceptually as a whole. As for the second question: what’s done is done, it’s impossible to change anything so there is no reason to discuss it.

How does it feel to play in a black metal band?

It is goddamn amusing, very much interesting and fascinating! And if this process is accompanied by 1-2 bottles of Vodka this becomes totally fantastic!

What is your opinion about the black metal audience and the people of the scene in particular?

Black Metal listeners are the same as all other people, with all the human passions and weaknesses; “Human, all too human”. I am far removed from the demagogy that this audience is more educated, smart or whatever. Although I would be happy to see this happen someday…

Above all genres of Black Metal what is the specific one you follow, and from which ones you believe you are influenced by?

I would say that questions of style must be addressed to critics, musicologists and journalists. We just do our honest (and Black, heh heh) job. And believe me that we do not care at all about which particular style we are following. We are influenced by classical music and metal in general, and regarding Black Metal influences I can name Burzum and Darkthrone.

If someone asks you why you prefer black metal, what would be your answer?

Because Black Metal is freedom!!!

How does it feel to be in a band with only two members?

It’s simply great! Nobody disturbs and it’s always possible to come to an agreement.

Which are your major sources of inspiration and your subject concerning your band and why?

Our main source of inspiration is of course women! And the main “subject of investigation” is “the Genie in the tankard”… I think further explanations are pointless…

Finally, what would you suggest to the Black Metal fans?

“Drink and the devil had done for the rest…
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"


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Edited 06 December 2022

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