I think the Finnish CORPSESSED monster does not need to be introduced, everyone who is interested in the dark Death Metal has already had to meet this name. The only position that has changed from the debut is a bass player where M. Pöllä was replaced by Tuomas Kulmala, formerly playing eg. in Lie In Ruins. They somewhat improved the sound of the new "Impetus of Death" album to make it more forceful and cohesive. Finland has always been a guarantee of unconventional melody, attitude, unexpected rhythm changes and CORPSESSED does not lag behind, just on the contrary, they bring a fresh portion of corpse dose that will make its morbid work in the veins. Every track can effectively and inevitably break your bones exactly as it did in the '90s. Matti Mäkelä (guit, backing vox) answered the questions.
Since your debut it is more than four years. How changed your lyrics? Are they still equally Lovecraftian?
MM: The Lovecraftian heritage will always be there in the background of our lyrics – or at least the ones I write (there are 4 different members who wrote the lyrics this time), more in the aspect of cosmicism as a worldview and the use of obscure language.
Where the previous album “Abysmal Thresholds” had direct references, on the new album “Impetus of Death” there are however none. The stories the songs tell are all of different topics, some reflecting more our own thoughts and experiences veiled in a more obscure, metaphorical or fantastical context, and some stories of pure escapism and some are attempts at depicting events experienced in dreams and so forth.
Lovecraft is however the author that has affected and inspired me the most in my life, so it will always linger there in some sense in the lyrics of whatever I write.
The cover of the second album has an original theme with a horrible atmosphere. What does the creature express?
MM: The artwork is painted by the Swedish artist/musician Mattias Frisk, and the vision is all his – based on the demos of the album tracks we gave him to listen to and draw inspiration from. The creature is a harvester, carrying the dead on his back, sailing the endless plains of dust. Let’s leave it there without any further explanations and let everyone find their own meanings in the small details of the piece, just the like the artist himself intended.
Seems like the cover has also split people’s opinions quite radically, they either adore it or despise it. Good.
A person spends for a life about 20 to 25 years of sleep. Do you think this time could also be used for something productive as composing music? Some scientists have invented their inventions during sleep.
MM: I do hear music in my dreams but trying to play it in awake state is most of the times impossible. The engrams of dreams however linger on and from time to time you try to recapture some of the feel or essence of the piece you heard in your dream, sometimes even melodies. Snippets of these end up in my songs, and playing music has always been sort of “channeling” to me, tapping into that original idea you hear somewhere deep inside your head.
With lyrics it’s a bit easier to write things from your dreams, as depicting these experiences with words do not have to follow that exact narrative unlike music and can be more formless.
The motion center stops in the brain during sleep so that the person does not move or talk in bed. However sometimes occurs a disorder when a person wakes up in the night, but the motion center does not turn on, so a sleep paralysis occurs. It's an awful situation, but it would be worse if the brain could never turn on the motion center. One would always lie awake and motionless. Do you think it would be a good theme for a lyric?
MM: I have experienced sleep paralysis, which is one of the most frightening experiences in my life. This has happened only once during a period some years ago when I was foolishly messing with the spiritual world and witchcraft… It’s a long story and talking about it might paint me as a madman, and I also realize everything of this story can be explained with psychology, science, trauma and the fact that the amount of power you yourself give unto these events/concepts, the more powerful and real they are to you, but none of this takes away what and how terrifying the experience was to me. Anyway, since you asked, here goes…
A presence (would not call it a ghost, but something more demonic as this was confirmed to me later by a witch) latched itself/herself (the presence was definitely feminine) to me for a rather long time after a foolishly held séance trying to communicate with the spiritworld, funnily enough on a Halloween night when they say the veil is the most thinnest. I must admit I did not take the experience very seriously at first, but the impact on me was rather shattering and nerve wrecking. What started as me asking questions from the entity, which spoke to me through a medium, turned quickly into IT demanding things from me - Things left undone and what needed to be completed.
After the séance session, the presence never left and started demanding my attention in days to come by first manifesting herself as moving shadows, then in dreams and finally in a full sleep paralysis state. The white shrouded female presence had been there in the background of my life already and following me for years it seemed, but that foolishly conducted séance to communicate with it opened a channel which allowed it to pour into my life, with quite destructive results.
The sleep paralysis event itself was the entity making her presence once again known. This happened when I was in Yerevan/Armenia, December of that same year. During one night, the bedsheets seemed to tighten around me as I was lying on the bed, woken from a dream but unable to move anything except my eyes. Something started seeping into the room, and I heard the laughter of children around me, and the presence started to slowly drip through the ceiling (for the lack of better words) and hovered above me, talking or screaming to me. I also remember looking at the open door to my left, which now resembled more a black monolith, or an entrance to an abyss sucking all the air into it, and everything around me was chaotic, suffocating and frightening.
I managed to eventually fight myself out of the state by the sheer power of my will alone, and everything disappeared and I regained control of my body again, but left in a shaken and confused state.
To conclude the story, I was later on in life able to shake this spirit off of me after other encounters, but that is another story (and more related to my other band Tyranny and the album “Aeons in Tectonic Interment”) I might tell somewhere else.
So, would this be a good theme for lyrics? Hell yes it would be, and I’ve been struggling to write this whole story in an appropriate manner for years – and eventually this will manifest itself in some project, yet undecided. Hints of this can already be found here and there.
In order for a man to dream, the body needs to produce a special chemical DMT. Of course, there is also synthetic form as a hallucinating drug. Do you think there may be any truth in the fact that a man can only see a small part of the reality in a common state of mind and just hallucinogens can open the gate of the whole, much wider reality?
MM: I absolutely think this way. We are bound to our five senses and are able to only experience the world in 3 dimensions, when in fact by science we know there are more dimensions than that, and the world is a lot stranger and complex than we can ever perceive. Much (or most) is left outside of what we can even experience. Hallucinogens can open some of these portals, but can in many cases only show you the lower astral – It opens your eyes to see that there is more, but also leaves out much of the spectrum.
What we see are just the shadows of the real world, to put it like Platon. Humans are also capable of much more than we actually realize. Sometimes some ravishing experiences are needed to lunge you into new reflections and perspectives, awakening usually is painful and confusing.
Do you think dreams or hallucinations are just nonsense, random images, or do they come from deep chasms of subconsciousness, or even further, from other worlds?
MM: It depends. It’s easy to get lost in your own subconsciousness and just marvel at the otherworldly sights and vivid images without receiving any deeper meaning from them… as it is with everything in this life. Then yes, it can be just nonsense.
Not every LSD, magic mushroom or DMT trip is a moment of enlightenment, or a person who is into hard abuse of psychedelics nothing more than a junkie, instead a prophet full of wisdom.
But you can open different doors and locks within yourself and your mind by diving deeper into your subconscious and get new revelations about yourself. It is first about letting go, but then also comes control instead of self-indulgence, which is key.
With music and dreams, listening to your intuition and subconsciousness are key elements for me when composing and the only way to go, trying to tap into those other worlds (that you hear) within yourself.
Do you have any favorite occult writers who inspired you to write lyrics?
MM: Not really… I read rather sporadically, and it could be whatever, no favorites. I wouldn’t single out any writer as the lyrics are written on whatever subject interests me at that given time, and can be inspired by anything, really.
Lately I’ve been tipping my toes into the texts of Blavatsky and Steiner, trying to grasp even some of their lessons in Theosophy. Steiners "How to Know Higher Worlds", and the concept of the 8th sphere from the Steiner lessons, and how it compares to our modern world, the false (or the hijacked) evolution of transhumanism and AI, and his concept of Ahriman have been running in my head for some time now.
One I could mention as well, would be Castaneda whose books had an impact on me many years ago, and the term “Impetus of Death” is a concept similar to the one found in his writings (or the teachings of Don Juan Matus).
Most people have changed over the years. Have you also changed in something regarding your second album? What aspects are most important to you from a musical point of view? Do you think "Impetus of Death" needs a certain surrounding to understand it?
MM: Many things have changed in my persona during these years, and I have grown a lot – or at least I would like to believe so.
On a musical standpoint however, the change is subtle. I still draw inspiration from the very same things as I have from the beginning. The idea of what this band is supposed to be, is still very much the same as from our first EP. I hope my skills as a composer have however developed more, so that I am able to write more interesting, captivating and coherent songs that serve the basic original ideas in a better way.
To each their own, on how they want to experience their music, but for me - to truly grasp an album - try to be in an unhurried mindset, and give the album multiple spins to grasp what is going on in the songs. At least from what I have heard from multiple people, our new album is a "grower" which reveals new things to the listener with each spin, so there you go.
Do you think it's better to record an album in the rehearsal room than in the studio?
MM: Sound quality and production-wise a proper studio would probably give us way better results, but then again Corpsessed has always had that moldy and rotting home-recording style quality to it - to better or for worse.
Recording music is one of the things that enjoy the most about being in a band, and working on the sounds, and trying to improve myself on it. It's a passion. I do acknowledge that my skills and equipment is still very much lacking in some aspects, but we make do with what we have.
I also enjoy immensely the time-constraint free environment recording by yourself gives you, the ability to work with your own pace with no-one breathing down your neck, and we are also very aware of what kind of a sound we are after - so doing it in a DIY fashion has been our way to go since the beginning.
People have naturally death associated with something negative, but would you prove to imagine the mankind would invent a drug against mortality? Would it be better or worse?
MM: A world without Death sounds like an abhorrent vision.
Death is the force that gives our existence meaning and a timeline, lunges us into new perspectives and is the source of strength to fight and persevere.
Death is a natural part of life, it should be revered but not worshiped. Use it as a mentor, but not as a master.