French VORKREIST´s third album "Sickness Sovereign" brings to our world nothing but haunting, horror and big dose of dark, original and progressive Black Death Metal on the excellent level with status of the most eerie album of last year! The band is slowly but surely wading through mud underground, this year they have made split EP with SOULSKINNER and we will see what happens next, but one thing is certain, this ghostly carcass is the right band that simply had to appear in our website. Each of their albums was a step forward both for the music, composition, production, or a professional side. Hm, I think the editorial does not need anything else to say, guitarist AK has spoken everything.
Hi VORKREIST, how are you doing these days? Is everything ok in your band?
Things are in perpetual motion. The line up is stable but we have some problems with the release of our last album. So we already left Trendkill to Agonia.
Can you still remember the early VORKEIST days? For example, under what circumstances VORKREIST started and what was the original idea to form the band? Do you think your initial ideas have still remained adhered, or they transformed over time?
Vorkreist was built on the ashes of a old band that most of us were into, at that time. We wanted to make something much more raw and brutal. Of course, and as every forms of creations and birth, you've got some perspectives but you never reach the goal that you had in mind. And it's most of the time for the best. Vorkreist has become an entity in itself that grows and feed itself from ourselves, what we lives, what we gave to it etc. So, yes, Vorkreist still sticks to original idea but made its own path, that we couldn’t' imagine when we conceived the basis. I guess that's the deal with all forms of arts: let what you create be "alive" and follows its own road.
How do you value your debut "Flesh Sabbathical Possesion from today's perspective? To release debut under Xtreem rec. was probably success for you...
Sound is shitty, thanks to the fucked up sound engineer we had at that time, but I still really like the tracks and the feeling expressed in them. Very true, no silly arrangements... just pure death and black metal in your face. I guess we still use some of the ingredients we put in it : the catchy way of making riffs that just want to create a "horns up" attitude. Of course, we are much more subtile, now (in our music and in our lives... But that's the main difference between being 20 and being 30, right?).
Your second album "Sublimation XXIX" also fell on fertile ground, I think you have got a huge underground success. With this album you left Xtreem. Have you signed a contract for two albums only?
Yes, we signed a contract for 2 albums. They were interested in a 3rd one, but the conditions were not that good for us, so we left. Maybe not for the good label, but at that time, our signing on Trendkill sounded right. At least, when we heard all the promises from Virgil... Anyway, that's part of history.
New "Sickness Sovereign" is the best thing you have ever recorded I think. I wrote in the review, it is up to innovative, progressive and original, of course the same could be said of your older works, but the new CD is most noticeable. How can you see it?
The arriving of Saint Vincent certainly created this more significative step between the actual and the previous album. We already wanted to create a blacker atmosphere than before. But its specific way of singing made it even more concrete and deeper. We still use the bases of death and black metal, but it's beyond the simple styles, now, with this mix between screams, growls, clean and tortured vocals.
Of course the new album is crazy also from emotional sides, it gives tremendous respect, I feel as if your music evokes old demonic forces to our reality and celebrating the old forgotten bloody gods. The words I would use in terms of feelings are: scary, abominable, repulsive, insane, bizarre, eerie, deep, impious, deranged, suggestive, cadaveric, anxious, cacophonic… atmosphere radiating from this work is powerful ... where do you take inspiration for this demonic atmosphere?
First of all, thanks for the description. I couldn’t say it better! It's very hard to figure how we create such atmosphere. This is the mystery of composition and creation. Something just go through you, and you feel that you have to express it, in a way or another. What we live, what we think, what we do, what we feel... everything melt to give birth to our music and lyrics. But the phenomenon is not very conscious. It's just happens, and we feel it right to express things this way.
We all lived pretty tough and extreme experiences. I guess all that is reflected in our music. And as our creations are a need, an urge to reject, to puke what lies inside of us, it's just normal that they sound like deep, impious, deranged etc
Interesting are also the structures of your songs, way of composition and of course how well you play. How do you compose your tracks? Are they arising somewhere in the rehearsal when you are all jamming or you bring items individually?
I mainly compose all the music in a lonely process. Adjustments are made in rehearsal, some of the others bring some riffs but we didn't jammed that much for Sickness Sovereign. And all structures are thought before rehearsals. We are already in the composing process of the future album, and I want it more "live", so I'd like to be less involved in the composition process. To have more a feeling of a band.
Not only your music brings so much repulsive feelings of horror, but also vocal is the embodiment of horror of the highest caliber. Vocals sound as if they were recorded at night on some lonely place in the woods outside of civilization. One can feel despair, fear and insanity, actually such original vocals still I have not heard. How does Saint Vincent create his own vocal parts? It sounds really sophisticated. Or is there a piece of improvisation?
Concerning the vocals, Saint Vincent did everything on his own. Drunk and alone in his homestudio. He put himself in a very specific stay of mind, and recorded everything in a few days. Listening the preview takes and rerecording some tracks, but a lot has been creating on the impulse of the moment. That's the reason why our album sounds really organic and has its personality. We really work on structures, so that St Vincent can express his Dionysian vision on solid basis and give all the madness side without everything sounds like a mess.
I like that your music is based mainly on the atmosphere, it's not just a rhythm recording at which the listener can stamp the foot: D. Your music can transfer mind into other worlds, to induce states of anguish. How much are music feelings and atmosphere important to you?
When we started the band, we just wanted to create something mainly violent, pure aggression. Now, we keep that catchy approach, and still want the listener "stamp the foot" haha. But if he does that as an anxious feeling comes through his spine, it's the idea, now. So, yes, for me, music is the absolute language for feelings. Beyond word, beyond visual, it speaks directly to your soul, to your body. Outside of concepts and ideas, it's just pure instinct. And Vorkreist has to deliver this. Not just a first degree of violence, but has to be more subtle and comes into you, not like a punch in your face but like a insidious virus.
In your case we can freely speak about the complexity of the music, I mean those already mentioned structures, rhythm changes, the way of riffing changes, namely technical side of music. But on the other hand also different complexity, mixing technical articulation with something spiritual, deep, elusive ... Do you agree?
The answer is in the question. Of course, I do agree !
What music is listening in VORKREIST band? I suppose it is some old underground metal. What about non metal influences? Are they present?
We all share the same roots. We all listen to old school stuff, but not just that... I guess it's too easy too just say "nothing is good since 1994". Of course there are a lot of newer stuff that deserve our interest, and not just because they sound like old school... The most important thing is to feel, to hear the "language" that speaks to us. And it can come from a lot of different styles. Directly in Vorkreist, we keep the more obvious influences, directly from metal scene, but in a way of another, other things that we listen to influence our work.
What inspires you at writing from non musical view, I mean some kinds of art, literature, faith, philosophy and so on.
At first, it's life that inspires us. I don't mean everyday life, but the "field of possibilities" that it offers, and the concretization in the reality. So yes, everybody in the band has their own beliefs, views on arts, or philosophy, but once again they are expression of something transcendental. I call it life in a Nietzschean perspective. Call it as you want.
What is your look at today's French extreme metal scene? Do you know your fellow BLOODY SIGN warriors? I think you are spiritually close enough to them...
Since few years, French black metal scene has became more and more respected all of over the world. Such acts like DSO, Peste noire, Antaeus, les legions noires, are now cult. I guess for most of them, it's deserved as there is something in the black metal that is typically French. I would say the atmosphere, the special aura that exists nowhere else. Yes I know these guys. We already played together and we are about to play once again, in March, with them. Fucking' great guys, and the last album is a blast. Intense, hateful but with a real specific and original feeling.
Almost all members of your band play or have been playing solely in Black Metal or Black Doom bands besides Esx, which played in Death Metal PURGE band, but you combine Black Metal with, let’s say, diabolic Death Metal in style of MORBID ANGEL, etc... Do you think one of the two styles dominates more or they are completely in balance?
In fact EsX used to play in Merrimack (I replaced him) and now plays in Glorior Belli. So he is still in the "dark side". I guess it will depend from one album to the other. First one is more death than black. The 2 others, more black metal. It's too early to talk about the next release, we'll see. But it's the first time we compose with the voice of Saint Vincent in our head. For sickness sovereign, SRK left the band few weeks before the recording... Now I guess we will design some special spaces for the maniac voice of St V which will give a very specific black metal feeling. But in other hand, first stuffs we already composed are very catchy, more "in your face" than in Sickness sovereign. So... time will tell
Is VORKREIST primary concern to you since you are involved in many other bands? How much do you take your music seriously? Many metal bands take playing of this music as fun only...
For me, music is above all. It's a need. I would have killed myself or complete be drowned in depression if I didn't compose. "Without music, Life would have been a mistake".
So, from my point of view, I don't have a primary concern except expressing what I feel. And I need different medium to do it. I can be focused on one project for a period, and letting the other project in sleep. But they are all part of me, so it's just a matter of era. Sometimes, Vorkreist is my priority, sometimes it's my solo project "Decline of The I". It can also be Neo Inferno, Malhkebre etc.
Your most recent recording is the split CD with SOULSKINNER where you both have only one track. What would you say to your track? Is it shaping your future direction?
No, it's not a future direction at all. This song perfectly fits to this 45' EP (not a CD). Totally old school. We played this song for years, live, but didn't want to put it in a album, as it's far too different from our other songs. But we still love that song. So, we took a live performance in Helsinki, no overdubs. Just a pure live feeling... of death.
What about new stuff? Have you got anything? How does it sound opposite "Sovereign Sickness? Will be there any significant changes?
As preview question, too soon to tell.
What about your live shows? How often do you play? Do you take every offered action? Have you already played across the Atlantic? Wouldn’t you come to look to Eastern Europe?
We don't take every offered action. We give everything with have inside us on stage, and we don't give that if we thing it's not the right place, the right bands, the right conditions. We don't ask lot of things, but it has to be descent and coherent with our views. But yes, definitely, Vorkreist is a live band, and we are always looking for good opportunities to kill everything on stage.
We never played across the Atlantic but it would be a blast to do it.
And concerning Eastern Europe, we already played in Pologne, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Serbia, Russia... Really liked to play there. Pure energy and the audience is very "into it". I mean, it's not like Germany where there are 9387493 metal gigs every week. In Eastern Europe, they have still the flame and give a lot of puissance to the bands. Can't wait to play there again!!
Ok, it would be all from me, if I forgot something important, you have the space, thank you for answering my questions. I wish VORKREIST only the best for the future, have a good time, Horns UP!
Thanks for the interview. We are looking for gigs / tours, everywhere. JOIN US.
A.K. 10. 11. 2010 Mortuary