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The Magus (Necromantia)

Interview with The Magus from Necromantia
by Yiannis Doukas at 14 December 2007, 6:23 PM

Without any doubt, NECROMANTIA has been a cult status in the Black Metal scene and if you wonder why, I can easily write several reasons; starting from the strange sound that have, the resolution of 8–string bass replacement in the position of rhythm guitars 'till the unique Satanic feeling that surrounds their songs. Metal Temple lights the candles and starts the ceremony…

Hello Magus, how are you? It’s been seven years since IV:Malice was released and I draw the conclusion that you record something when you really want to, isn’t it right? What forced you to give birth to Sound Of Lucifer Storming Heaven?

There were major issues of work and personal matters that needed my attention, so there was not free time to dedicate to the writing of an album. For us, an album is a very serious and tiring process. We must have our full attention to it. So last year things were easier and we found some time to concentrate on an album. We always wanted to record again….the band never stopped…

Did the songwriting start immediately after the previous album or not? Are you composing continually or one day you feel that it is time to release something and you are working upon this project?

Songwritting started in spring 2007. When we take the decision to record an album, then we start writing. We have no leftover tracks or songs from the past. We only compose what is necessary. It is not easy to complete a NECROMANTIA song it takes a lot of instinct, thinking and intuition…

Can you give us some information about the producing progress of your last album? Where did you record it? The whole production was done by yourselves? Who is behind the artwork? Also, how did you come in contact with the Dockyard1 label? Did they approach you or vice versa?

The drums were recorded at Fotis’ studio and the rest at our own home one. Recorded and produced exclusively by us. After all these years we know what we want and how to get it. Furthermore, recording at your own studio gives you the luxury of unlimited studio time. It is the first time we do it like this and we are very satisfied by the result. We were talking with a lot of labels and the Dockyard 1 offer was quite good…

In the Sound Of Lucifer Storming Heaven we have the re–appearance of real drums? Why in this album and not in the previous one? Did it have to do with the more ’epic metal’ aura? Are you satisfied with the drumming?

It just happened. I talked with Fotis Benardo (SEPTIC FLESH drummer) about it and he was 100% for it! I am extremely satisfied by his drumming. I consider Fotis one of the best European drummers in metal music.

It’s obvious once again, the classical reference in your music. From the Wagner riff in the self–titled track ’till the violin keys in Eibon.  In some moments Eibon reminded me of the Necromantik soundtrack, do you see any connection?

Nope because I have not heard the Necromantik soundtrack, but it might be possible…We love classical music, therefore you will always find classical parts in our music…it is natural for us…this time they were orchestrated by the Classical Music Rule.

Do you feel there are any similarities between Metal and this kind of music? Who are your favourite composers? Would you like to work more with this style, for example doing a complete classical music song, or an adequate cover in any of the (already done) songs of NECROMANTIA?

Metal creates strong images and emotions, classical music does the same. This is their similarity…we are thinking of doing maybe a symphonic version of some tracks of the album with classical instruments only. We shall see…

I have the feel that in most of your compositions the music follows the lyrics. Is it true? Is this the way you compose, first the basic lyrical theme and then you are dressing it with the analogous music?

Exactly! The lyrics define the whole atmosphere of the song…the mood…the direction. When we have the lyrics we start dressing them along with music. The lyrics are VERY important for us compared to other bands.

One of the best moments in the album is Architecture Of Exquisite Madness, not only for the perfect music but also for the excellent vocals. What is it all about? Before entering the studio are you trying to be in the right mood for performing or you see it as an acting of some different personalities?

I do act when I sing! And in this album I did it the most. All the vocals are done by me, so I had to switch to different personas according to the song. I am really satisfied by my vocals this time! A bottle of brandy helped a lot though! The song is based in a Lovecraft-ian idea of disturbing architecture. There are very violent constructions out there with a really evil feeling…they are used as gateways to other worlds vice versa…

Can you tell us more about the thematic concept for each of your new songs? Also Knights Of The Black And White Eagle, what are thy exactly guarding? Is there any connection with Templars? The atmosphere in this song is full ’Epic’ true Heavy Metal, with the bass solo reminding me of MANOWAR or AXEHAMMER! I guess you are full into old–school heavy, eh?

It is truly about the Templar knights. I have a special interest in them since I am a Templar myself (of the British Commandery). The Templars were much more than simple, brave Christian warriors. They were guardians and treasurers of the whole Western Occultism agenda. They knew a lot, they talked less. Plus they were really fearsome and brave knights….They were the terror of the Middle East….Anyway I can go for hours about it so I stop… Of course we love old school Metal! This was the music that we grew up with! When we were 10-12 years old there was no Thrash, Death or Black!

Les Litanies De Satan is also present here. You chose the Huysmans poet to cover now, but the ghost of Baudelaire is present in all his glory. Why this choice? Can you also tell me your feelings about the poem of Baudelaire? Do you see Satan as the prototype of the rebellion? I think this poem is like an ode to rebellion and the freedom of the mind allegorical settled in Satan’s personality. Do you see it that way?

Huysmans was a dedicated fan of Baudelaire so I thought that would fit exactly in what I was thinking to do. So I blended with my own ideas and the song was born. Satan is the eternal rebel. He is anti-oppression, anti-authority….but if he comes to power he will not be a gentle master. Just yes, but cruel…Of course we are talking about symbolism here…The song is actually about that…freedom in all forms and honesty!

Let’s go for a while on a journey to the past. Your first group was NECROMANCY isn’t it? Except the Visions Of Lunacy have you recorded anything else? Can you give more details about this band? What was your music style?

It was a Death/Thrash band, yes…It was not my first Metal band…my first Metal band was called ROT; Thrash metal. I left NECROMANCY in a very bad mood after the first demo so I do not give a fuck about them! May they rot in Hell! I think they made another demo afterwards and they stopped! No more needed about this band!

When was exactly the formation of NECROMANTIA? Did the band began after the starting of friendship with Baron Blood or have you started before? Did it was the first recording the De Magia Veterum song? What memories are coming first when you recalling these days?

Late 1989… I knew Baron Blood before and we shared similar likings in music and ideas so we decide to express them in a musical form. The Promo Tape 1990 was recorded in one night from 6 in the afternoon until 5 in the morning! LIVE! We did some overdubs afterwards but it was mainly done live! I really love this feeling when were dead-exhausted but really satisfied in the morning! That recording has a lot of mistakes and an average sound but it was genuine. Also the lyrical procedure was really mystical. The lyrics were written in a deserted house, under the candlelight with incense, alcohol etc

You were pure satanic with recordings that Satan would be proud of. What was the concept that was in your head? As you seeing the first two albums now are you satisfied by them? Why in the re-releases of these albums you changed the artworks? I don’t think the new ones are representing the ’inside’ music well.

I think that the re-releases might seem cheap but the images on them are re-presenting the lyrics 100%! Concept…there is no concept…all our lyrics are based on personal experiences or inspirations. The dark side is natural to me so there is no concept…I write from the heart…now if my heart beats in 666 beats per minute that is another story…

Hellish congratulations for the last THOU ART LORD album! Is there any new plan with this band? Is there any possibility for one of your many projects to reincarnate again (N.A.O.S., DIABOLOS RISING, etc)?    

Nope. I do not have time anymore. I made all my experimentation in music…on the other hand, you never know.

Whose idea was the ZERO KAMA ending in the Forest Of N’Gai? Do you like the last ROTTING CHRIST album? How possible is it for a cameo in any new album of them?

I really cannot think if it was my idea or the old bass-player’s Jim (ed .note : Mutilator)…I do not remember…I love the new ROTTING CHRIST album! It is one of the best in their career! Killer! I think that us in 2007, ROTTING CHRIST in 2006 and SEPTIC FLESH in 2008 (they have prepared a giant album) have released our top albums…

Do you believe that Black Metal should have a satanic ideology behind? Can we say that this is his identity or this is not necessary? What are the basic elements for a record to be put into the Black Metal category? Is there any new band that you like a lot and feel that they have Satan inside?

That is what Black Metal is about ….SATANIC….not just anti-religion but….SATANIC…even if it is Heavy Metal or thrash musically, it is still Black Metal! DEATHSPELL OMEGA must be possessed! Magnus band! And AKERCOCKE also…Satan’s gentlemen!

What happened to Black Lotus records? What went wrong? Also, WHY did you stop the Metal Invader magazine? I heard some rumors that the VENOM 90s live was an economic disaster for the magazine with consequence to its death, is it true?

We lost a lot of money. It is very difficult for new bands to sell. They need a lot of money for promotion and advertising….so we lost a lot and we stopped. Yes, the VENOM live was a financial disaster but who gives a fuck? Wa saw VENOM live! We stopped the magazine for various reasons, not financial ones…

As this year is coming to its ending can you write your top albums of 2007? What impressed you most?

As I said the new album of DEATHSPELL OMEGA, the new PRIMORDIAL album and our new album! Ha ha!

Magus, thank you very much. Congratulations for the album, close as you wish.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death!


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