New interview in bound! Having recently written about the excellent blackened extreme metal album “Drenched in Victorious Blood” by the band Aetherium Mors, I was happy to interview band members Dan Couch and Kane Nelson. The below introduces the band, giving you a glimpse into their creative path and how it led to the release of this album.
Dan: Yeah currently it’s just myself and the vocalist Kane. It started as a full band project way back in 2004, but when our original drummer moved away from Plymouth we had so little luck finding a replacement the band dissolved. Most of the musicians who auditioned were so far away from what the music requires, either in terms of musical ability or level of commitment, we simply couldn’t continue as a full band. Other distractions contributed to the long periods of inactivity, with me being involved with several other bands, most notably Holodomor (Black / Thrash Metal in which I played drums), Wishlist (Progressive/Rock, as the guitarist) and Daggers Drawn (Progressive Thrash, again as the guitarist).
I took up drumming around 2009 and Kane and I decided to go it alone, figuring once the demo was recorded we might have more luck finding musicians. Now things are improving in the local scene, and there are more musicians who can play blast beats and complex guitar riffs so we’re looking to get out and play live as soon as we can. We plan to write and record any future releases ourselves so any musicians getting involved with Aetherium Mors will most probably remain live members only.
Logo art by Christopher Horst
How did you come up with the name “Aetherium Mors”?
Dan: Originally we had the temporary name ‘Eternal Saros’ which we were never fully satisfied with, but it just stuck for years as we were inactive as a band. When we started the band moving again we had to find another name. Kane came up with ‘Ethereal Death’ which was meaningful but not quite right. The Latin translation had a more esoteric edge and fitted the music better, hence Aetherium Mors.
Kane: All lyrical works for this band in essence are the symbolic destruction of all Christendom! Aetherium Mors is the perfect moniker for this project, and being in Latin is all the more blasphemous!
I’m digging that anti-christian black metal attitude. Though, do you think that carrying the torch of BM (lyrically) still has meaning nowadays?
Dan: I’ve always focused more on the music than lyrics and vocals, so Kane is probably the best one to answer that one…
Kane: My contempt for Christianity comes from a time long before I had any exposure to Black Metal music! The impetus that moves my pen comes from a much purer source than mere Black Metal influence! Though I have been inspired by some great musicians of the genre since. Apart from a few exceptions, I find most Black Metal lyrics to be Christian in essence! They tend to waffle on a whole lot about the Christian devil and god being real and the devil being their master which makes them slaves! I find the whole ‘animal sacrifice being performed by a morbid corpse paint-wearing graveyard ghoul’ nauseating! So no, not that torch! The torch I carry is mine and mine alone! The lyrics are personal to me and would hope people see the dichotomy of that!
Dan: You could argue that there’s really nothing left to say on the subject of Christianity, as it’s increasingly ousted from our homes and lives by our insistence on worshiping ‘false idols’ such as the contestants of the Big Brother house… But then again, antagonistic, hardcore God-bothering groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church have proven there’s still a lot of Christ-kicking left to do! The subject is an important genre staple, as important as the subject of love is to pop singers, so I’d say it’s here to stay for a while yet…
I see. Those are some strong, valid points. Really clarifies the issue!
Aside from BM, your music on “Drenched in Victorious Blood” is influenced by early Swedish melodeath bands like At The Gates. Songs such as “The Fall of God” don’t just borrow “Gothenburg” riffs, they really capture the vibe of that era. I really enjoyed that! Was doing that sort of thing something you decided early on? Did you guys always want to bring back that style, as fans of the early Swedish metal scene?
Dan: When the material for this album was written (4 of the songs were written way back in 2004), we were just a bunch of metal fans trying to write music to keep all of the band members engaged and interested. For instance, our old drummer was really into Dark Funeral and Dissection so I wrote ‘Annihilating Fire’ with that in mind, to ensure that we all got the chance to play songs that appealed to our tastes. At the time it was more a case of learning our trade as a band, wearing our influences on our sleeves and exploring different styles with the aim of striving towards our own unique sound. I’d been listening to albums like Slaughter Of The Soul and Heartwork constantly since the age of 16, so by the time this band came into being, those styles of music were pretty much ingrained in my guitar playing and riff writing. Everything was about harmonised guitar riffs and solos, and it had to be fast pretty much all the time. If the band had stayed together and remained active, who knows what sort of style we’d have mutated into by now! So no, there was never really any agenda of bringing back a ‘dead genre’, that was just what came out when we wrote.
As it has taken us so long to release the album, a lot has changed in the metal world, and as a result this material has a more ‘classic’ vibe I suppose. Finally releasing this album is like closing a chapter in the band’s history, leaving us feeling unburdened by the past and we’re now looking firmly to the future. The aim now is to write new material that keeps certain elements of the old style while allowing us to forge our own creative path using the influences and experience we’ve picked up over the last few years. So far, it’s shaping up very well indeed, so expect an altogether darker and more malevolent sound in future…
Kane: The album tracks are very diverse, some are more melodic than death while others are pure black metal! What I have done is arrange the songs and the lyrics into a crescendo of victorious rapture! Hence the title! It makes it quite a unique album.
Thanks for the answer, the story of the band does explain why the tracks are so different in nature, and that ‘classic’ vibe sort of unites them. Well anyway, it’s interesting & awesome to see how working on all that material over the years finally paid off with the release of “Drenched in Victorious Blood”. Your plans for the future sound promising!
Dan: Thanks for your support! The album is available now on Bandcamp where you can stream or purchase a download: http://aetheriummors.bandcamp.com/album/drenched-in-victorious-blood
The plan is to release a very limited run of CDs once the cover art has been finished, which should be very soon. The person we have commissioned excels at creating visions of twisted darkness, so expect the worst…
Also check out our Facebook page to keep an eye on what we’re up to, we’ll be updating regularly as to the status of our forthcoming E.P. :