It had been many years since I heard a British Black Metal group playing wicked, devilish and that sounds like Black Metal of the 90s, but without losing sight that we're not in the 90s. Blutvial is, to my way of seeing things, the black metal band that English was needing. So we contacted Ewchymlaen (guitar and vocals) and this is what He said.
Puro Ruido: Hello. How are you? Are you in Hampshire now?
Ewchymlaen: Hail. When Blutvial started we recorded mostly in Hampshire at a local studio, near where I lived. I moved to the midlands a few years ago. These days we record at Orgone Studios in north London.
PR: This year released an EP of four songs called "Brythonic". Even I could not listen, unfortunately. So I would like to know if it continues the same line of the previous albums. Was released on Tape, in a limited edition of 100 copies, correct?
E: 'Brythonic' was released on cassette by Haintic records, in only 100 units. It can be ordered from haintic.com, or 'Trapped in the Dark of the Woods' can be heard/seen on YouTube.
As far as style goes, yes, they follow a similar line to previous releases, but were written more spontaneously than usual and without revision.
The essence and character is in the recording. We gathered at the studio, with Zemogh on drums and Andras on bass, and played the songs through without any rehearsal or second takes. There was no separation of instruments – what you hear on the EP is the first ever rehearsal of Blutvial, but is also the purest of recordings. A band only ever has one opportunity to record its first moments, and Blutvial's are captured on 'Brythonic'. Hopefully that adds something.
PR: Blutvial is a relatively new band. But appear to be very active guys! 2 EPs and 2 full length between 2007 and 2013. Am I wrong if I say that you do not like to waste time?
E: We don't rehearse, we don't get together to work on songs, we don't have any 'band' time, so it feels to me like we don't devote that much time to Blutvial. Aort and myself work on our songs privately and send them to each other for approval. Some of my material goes back to earlier times. I'm not writing quite so much these days, but I go through periods of activity.
PR: When, why and how it was born Blutvial? Ewchymlaen and Aort had known prior to creating Blutvial?
E: We had known each other for a number of years prior to Blutvial. When I was in Reign of Erebus, Cthonian was vocalist for Seasonal Code, as they were known then, so I met Aort from time to time. One day he approached me saying he'd written a couple of songs in pure early-mid '90s style BM, and asked I want to help him record them. This was in 2007. There was no intention of carrying on, only see how it worked out and take things from there.
PR: "I Speak of the Devil" and "Curses Thorns Blood" are very powerful records. 2 Works are violent, evil and haunting. Received good reviews from the press? What feedback have received from your fans?
E: I don't hawk for reviews, so I don't really know, but from what I have seen it would appear that they're both generally well received, with strong references to the early 90s.
PR: There is a concept behind the music and lyrics of the group? That is, there is predetermined guidelines before composing a song or write lyrics?
E: Musically, the guide is that we're sticking to the early-mid '90s style for the most part. I think we know when we're straying too far from that notion of Blutvial, so it doesn't happen often. Lyrically, I made a personal decision after we recorded 'I Speak of the Devil' that I want to avoid all future references to Judeo-Christian mythology. I don't want to be tied or associated with it in anyway, and certainly not defined by it. I cannot liberate myself from something if I consistently refer back to it, and it can never be wiped from the daily proceedings of human life if we keep it alive, in one way or another.
Generally, I write lyrics based on visions, like pictures that form in my mind. Not other-worldly visions or anything like that, simply mental images and/or the atmospheres and feelings that accompany them. I try to describe them with the lyrics like you might describe the context of a painting. Take The funeral of a viking by Frank Dicksee (which appeared on Bathory's Hammerheart and is well worth visiting at the Manchester Art Gallery). The scene portrayed is like the snapshot of a moment, and that moment has a history: a sequence of unique events which led to it, and there is an implied future which will follow on that we can't know. It's enough to spark off the imagination. I try to relate these factors but without necessarily moving away from the moment. All of the lyrics on 'Brythonic' were written in that style, and most others are as well.
PR: Towards the end of 2012 we had the opportunity to interview Noktu, the leader of Celestia. When we consulted about the present of Black Metal in its purest form, he told us that, for him, that Black Metal was dead. And long ago, Hans Fyrste (Ragnarok / Svarttjern) had told us the same thing. You agree with these views? Or they are exaggerated? What is your vision of the black metal scene today?
E: There are probably (at least) two ways you can look at black metal: as a social and philosophical (or, in some instances, religious) movement or as a term to describe artistic expressions with shared characteristics. The latter is somewhat reductionist and to some extent removes responsibility from any social scene which may develops around/from it.
In the case of the former, as the scene has matured its social aspirations have found a niche, one which some people can market and therefore keep alive, but it's not exactly cloaking the world in darkness or otherwise enforcing itself on humanity. It certainly hasn't rid the world of Christianity, which, I think people can agree, is/was one of its primary objectives. I think it's important here to look back at the intentions of the progenitors, of whom many are dead, imprisoned or seem to have reconciled with the latter definition of black metal (as an artistic/social expression). If you consider the transition from a determined movement with aspirations on social change to one of artistic output with social interactions, I guess you could say that it is dead, though there are notable exceptions.
The philosophical content is rather stronger. Certain actors might express the philosophical or religious aspects of black metal in their daily lives, and may inspire others to do the same; I think this is its main strength and where it has life.
I particularly encourage anybody who hasn't done so already to assess some of the philosophical concepts addressed and to take this away from the context of BM by exploring it further. It takes time to digest, a long time. Assessing and redefining your own values is arduous – the vivid descriptions of staring into an abyss or travelling to the realm of the dead are apt metaphors, given the danger that you may be unable to handle this concept of existence. However, it is necessary to go through this process in order to live according to some kind of 'truth', if there is such a thing. Constant re-assessment is also necessary, both of your own values and of your understanding of the things you previously thought you had learned. Nietzsche is a prime example. It can seem like his teachings are fairly obvious and easy to apply or associate with particular actions or perspectives, but it takes years to process them in a realistic concept, thanks in no small part to his having lived in a very different age, but also to having been an existentialist genius whose terse, aphoristic style actually carries multiple levels of meaning. There are layers to his philosophy which can't be rushed or forced by simply reading another book, or telling yourself that you 'understand' so that you can proceed to 'the next level'. They are glimpsed or comprehended through a process of personal revelation which takes years or decades.
Ultimately, I think the notion of whether black metal is 'dead' or 'alive' is futile, really. That it once existed, and why, is more important.
PR: "Curses Thorns Blood" was released by Haintic in 2011, and Mordgrimm in 2012. Has Blutvial contract with Haintic, certainly? Has Mordgrimm's edition some difference with the firstly edition?
E: Haintic will continue to release Blutvial at various times. Whether that's for the next release or later releases, I don't know. We may work with other labels sporadically as they offer different opportunities to Haintic. We are not limited to Haintic but we will always be in association.
PR: From what I see, your Eps are released for sale in formats that make them collectibles. For example, "Full Moon Possession" was released in blood red vinyl in format
The latest (Brythonic) in tape. Do you like to make your Eps unique pieces for
E: Aort is a big collector with a constantly expanding vinyl collection, so that's something he really relates to. I have always liked picking up releases that are different to the standard jewel case CD. Whether it's a digipak, vinyl, or anything else, I've always felt that the presentation of the material is highly important. The only jewel case we've released is 'I Speak of the Devil', where we didn't have much option because it was down to Spikefarm how much they invested. Neither of us liked the idea of a standard release, as is evident in everything else we have done.
PR: What can you tell us about the blacker scene in England today? There is a Black Metal scene in England?
E: Nothing. I really don't know other than that Amhghar and Volgna-Gath have things in the works.
PR: Well, let's ending. Which are the future plans? There a tour on the horizon of the band?
E: Blutvial doesn't tour or play live. I don't care for it. That may change in time, but I doubt it. I also think black metal is best experienced in solitude. We have some songs coming together for the next release, so we may record early in 2014, we'll have to see.
PR: Ok, I think that´s all. Of course, thank you very much for agreeing to do the interview. Want add something?
E: Thanks for the support.