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VALARAUKAR is quite new BM band, which was formed in 2018, but in the same year they managed to record the first "Harnessing of Hostile Forces" demo. This year, however, they hit with their "Demonian Abyssal Visions" debut directly through Iron Bonehead Productions. Scotland is not a country where many well-known bands would come from, but VALARAUKAR shows that something very interesting can also arise there. Only a two-piece band set focuses lyrically on the inner world of demons and visualization. However, they both have experience from previous projects, perhaps therefore they did not need to record many demos. The style of Vagath singing is not typically Black Metal, but rather directed to the waters of Tom G. Warrior with the reverb of the past. If we add the influence of old Norwegian bands to it, we get a mix of first and second BM waves. Despite the minimalist melody, their production has the necessary dark atmosphere, high density, energy and power. As Vagath revealed, in this interview he had to redefine the overall concept of the band, which certainly benefited both sides. So let's go to Scotland, more specifically to Edinburgh.

Greetings. Valaraukar is still quite a new band from Scotland. Why did you choose just Black Metal? Do you see the most possibilities in it?
Greetings! My own personal shift towards playing black metal was inevitable it would seem. It is very immersive, it's dark, it's raw and it suits my mindset. It has both aggression and atmospherics to explore or utilise.

Do you perceive the band as a separate entity that lives its own life? What direction should it take?
It's an extension of myself rather than something separate, Valaraukar and myself are both enriched by the band's existence. It's deeply personal and ingrained.
The direction is instinctive, rather than considered. The material is very subconsciously driven, there's something at work that I can't describe too specifically. I'm content with that, I don't need to understand it fully as I have absolute faith in it. The process is described in the lyrics quite a bit, albeit in abstract, poetic or fantastical ways.

How are you satisfied with Black Metal as a global genre? Do you think that just good music is enough, or the band must bring strong thoughts through their lyrics and opinions?

I don't always learn what they are singing about so you could potentially have great music and not so great lyrics. I think that in general though, if there's a lack of strong ideas and conviction then that will show. The other thing is that lyrics are often open to interpretation so you might not know if they are being profound or not. It's either going to strike me or it's not. There is enough black metal with substance out there to satisfy me, I don't pay any attention to the ones that don't.

Do you write songs in whole or in parts, which you then stick together? Are you changing them later in the recording studio?
The main focus is letting a song evolve during the writing process rather than sticking parts together. But it's also good to stay open to mixing it up, sometimes a song taking an unexpected turn is the right thing.
The songs don't change much in the studio.

Satanism and occultism do not seem to be your main concept. Are you trying to go further into the greater depths of knowledge?
Not consciously. Something pushes me to create and to express. Whatever it is I am learning, whatever empowerment or subconscious understanding of the world or myself I am gaining, I'm content to let that sink in and not think too much about it. I would say the method for crafting this dark art is refined enough in my mind to allow me to generate real power in the material.

Do you think it is possible to understand subconsciousness? Isn't it dangerous to mess with it since it is some kind of human software?
I don't really try to understand the subconscious, I mine what I can from it. There would seem to be a wealth of power locked up in the human mind, this is a thing that fascinates and drives me.
And yes I think there is darkness and malevolence embedded in the psyche. I've always seen that as a driving force to be channelled, developing that is central to my life.

How can you properly get into the creative mindset? Is it easy for you or does it require a lot of effort? Yet everyone needs a different environment to create. Someone is better off loneliness, another in the collective.
As I say the creative process is laid out in the album's opening track. I don't believe it defines the process adequately but it does provide some kind of translation from the instinctive into words. I think there is a lot more to be said about it and I expect to delve deeper into it in the future.
I have to immerse myself into that indescribable headspace and shut out the real world, I see this as punching into the subconscious, since it's not an easy process and requires some cerebral force. There's a sense of holding off inner demons or malevolence. Then it's all about mining this undefined knowledge, collecting raw material. The last stage is transcending to the higher plane where I can visualise heavily and craft this raw power into something truly formidable.

Do you have a clear concept that you want to stick to, or you are open to anything that may come in your way?
There are different themes on the album. "The Unassailable Throne" is based on the absolute command or supremacy over the entity which is Valaraukar, and the empowerment that brings. "Red Eyes Behold the Heart of Ruin" is based on general chaos and hostility in this imagined realm, a translation of inner demons into vivid scenario.
"Visions of Truth Amidst Black Fume" is very similar to "Red Eyes.." the oldest song on the album.
"Servants of the Nameless" is the only song featuring anything to do with Tolkien. It is from the perspective of one of the Valaraukar themselves, specifically Durin's Bane.

Did poets, writers influence you in writing lyrics when it comes to style? Do you prefer scientific or poetic books?
Books definitely play a part, sci-fi by Asimov and Clarke. Lovecraft, Tolkien.
I try to weave my own poetry into the lyrics, there is a certain focus on archaic dialect (to a degree) which could come from anything older I might have read (it's a long list).
There is a need to balance two things: arranging of words into evocative and expressive passages which should be empowering to say and to hear, and fully retaining the original concept and meaning.

Are you trying to get your listener to another time or dimension with your music? However, BM is mainly about the atmosphere. Did old Heavy Metal affect you?
The object is to immerse and create, hopefully that is evident on the album and provides an immersive experience for the listener. For me that is the case on Demonian Abyssal Visions. In that regard it blows away anything I have done or been involved with in the past. I expect Valaraukar's second album to be stronger still.
It's always been difficult for me to pinpoint which elements of heavy music have most influenced Valaraukar's sound, I don't think about it too much. We've been compared with first wave and second wave black metal, sometimes bands that I haven't listened to all that much. Did old heavy metal affect me....yes! It did and does, it's deeply embedded.

Do you think a person is able to conquer the void?
I assume you're referring to our song "Conquering the Void". That song is a conceptual take on the 1949 short story by sci-fi writer Arthur C Clarke, named "The Wall of Darkness". The "void" in this case refers to that ominous and impenetrable wall that the protagonist attempts to cross, despite rumours of madness or terror.
The lyrics for the song are rooted in the mood and confines of the story, and not intended to be reflective of reality or the nature of the subconscious, as other songs might be. The song uses the story's unseen or unnamed forces as a starting point.

Thanx for interview, you have last words.
Many thanks for the interesting questions, and for your support for Demonian Black Metal!


Vagath                                                       21.7.2019 Storm
Demonian Abyssal Visions