It’s difficult to pinpoint what separates one “occult” band from another, especially when it seems like everyone and his nan has started one. The strength of such a band’s convictions, of course, and the depth of their commitment to both their subject matter and their presentation are key factors when it comes to the business of being taken seriously. Without those elements, you’re just another twat in a dress with some hasty pentangles scrawled across your album cover, and metal definitely has no need for any more of those.
Necros Christos have always understood this and taken great pains to ensure that their visual approach matches and accentuates what they’re doing musically. What they’ve been doing for the past decade is crafting multi-faceted, atmospheric, oppressive death metal of the most serious intent. Now, in their 12th year and with a third, and, perhaps, final album on the way, the band clearly have nothing left to prove. To know them is to love them, and to be ignorant of their existence or of their message is to cheat yourself out of one of modern death metal’s most furiously blazing stars.
I’m a massive fan, if you couldn’t tell, and alongside my friend and co-interviewer Ankit Sinha of Heathen Harvest, have spent the better part of the past year convincing Mors Dalos Ra to finish this joint interview. MDR is the sort of man who likes to take his time, to weigh his words, and to carefully consider the way he presents himself, and while it took a while (about seven months!) for his responses to wing their way into my possession, they made the wait worthwhile. On top of their in-depth, thoughtful nature, they might just be the last of their kind. Their creator swears that this is the last Necros Christos interview that he’ll do for a very, very long time, if ever again. Even if the still-gestating ‘Domedon Doxomedon’ does turn out to be their last earthly evocation, rest assured that their legacy shall remain forever deathless in spiritual evil.
Who knows what the future holds, but for now, descend into the burning chamber of god, and feast your eyes.
As a longtime student of theology, mythology, the occult, and the esoteric, you’ve clearly gained a deep understanding of and appreciation for the religious rites and theories of a great many other cultures; your tributes range from Hathor to Kali, touch upon Christianity and Judaism, reference ancient Middle Eastern tomes, hail the lord of Hell and whisper of voodoo. Cultivating such a close relationship with the words of the dead and the magical must have had some effect on your personal belief systems. Do you put faith into any of the religions and dogmas you invoke? [KK]
“All is One; and One is All. That should be the fundamental thought of my spiritual studies, although my belief is a complex tangle consisting of many systems, fragments, ideas. I agree with the main three concepts of Ari Isaak Luria (1534-1572) regarding his mystical states named Zimzum (the self chosen exile of Ain Soph eternal to create), Shevirath ha-Kelim (the breaking of the vessels while not being able to stand the supernatural light of Ain Soph; the mystical fall of Adam Qadmon) and Tiqqun (the new aeon, recreation). Ah, and yes, I indeed feel a certain connection with parts in Hinduism and old Persian, Zoroastrian worship. Concerning Christology, I must seriously admit that I’m a follower of many thoughts according to ancient Christian Gnosis as well as Sethian Gnosticism. It might shock people to the bone, but I do, for real, believe in Christos, but seriously not as the Church ‘sees him’. While speaking about that complex tangle of mine, this man has indeed walked the earth, the sands and plains of unfruitfulness and desolation. He was a prophet, anointed by the all-existing light and will of Ain Soph and by far not the only son/soul of God, nor was he without failure. But he knew about the source of all sources and he spoke in many tongues. Politics were omnipresent though, even in ancient Galilee and Palestine and so his words were unheard and fear about His presence conquered the hearts of the nonbelievers. His inner nature, his real nature, was set free while being crucified; what the disgusting Church made out of it is another, truly sad story. That’s about Christos within me, and within the name of The Temple.
“Necros translates as dead, but it also represents the ancient lord of all lords of evil, waiting and wailing in dimensions unknown. The End-Entity lurking in the shadows to deceive us and getting stronger by every sin we create. What do I mean with ‘sin’? Not the ordinary type of Christian thinking, we simply do not hear His word anymore. Have we ever heard it though? Actually once, when only the Aleph did intonate, vibrated from Mount Sinai and send fear into the hearts of His people. Since the all-souls-containing pool of primordial Adam Qadmon broke in millions of pieces (Shevirath ha-Kelim), we’re damned to multiple, sheer endless soul incorporation until we shall be able to re-enter His chambers of light. We haven’t been blessed and touched by His light since ages, and now, at present times, we have to feel His darkness. We all shall see the supernatural light of Ain Soph clothed in abysmal darkness when the time has come. Soon, I tell you.”
Throughout your career, your lyrics and song titles have shown a particular interest in occult female figures, from Ereskigal to the Witch of Endor, Kali to Mary Magdalene, to the cursed Virgin herself. It’s interesting to see a band who worships Death spare so much time for the bearers of Life; is there any connection here? [KK]
“Life and Death, just two words for the same process of entering a world in its own, the bearers of life are the bringers of death, isn’t it so? But hey, yes, you`re right, the female aspect has been of great importance in my lyrics. I hardly can explain why, let’s say that in my subjective point of view, women possess real might while being aesthetically gifted in comparison to men. Maybe that’s a slight attempt of explaining my addiction of evil female characters amongst historical figures, demons and witches.”
‘Doom Of The Occult’s lyrical theme largely revolves around the mysteries and occult of the East, ancient Egypt and its rites of death and also a beautiful hymn carved in the name of the Hindu occult deity Kali on the hymn ‘Doom Of Kali Ma – Pyramid of Shakti Love – Flame of Master Shiva’, which interestingly contains many words in Hindi. I must also commend your dedicated effort in pronouncing the words clearly and distinctively. It would have sounded more amazing if any Indian instruments, especially the sitar could have been incorporated within the song structure, though. [AS]
“The sitar, what an unbelievable instrument, isn’t it? In my worthless opinion, it is one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful of all stringed instruments. Did you know that the Indian Veena is said to be created by Shiva himself? When hearing classical Indian music, I must say that all of it must have been created by Shiva himself as it can’t get more complex, mind blowing and beautiful. My favourite album of the last few months is from the female Indian khyal master Kaushiki Chakrabarty. The album is called ‘Pure’ and although a live recording, I never heard the Raag Madhuvanti in any greater perfection. Let me tell you that I simply adore musicians as Chakrabarty, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Nikhil Banerjee, Purbayan Chaterjee, Ali Akbar Khan, Girija Devi, Ustad Irshad Khan, Hessamoddin Seraj, Salar Aghili, just to name a few. Classical Indian and Persian music is definitely the absolute and main source of inspiration for me. By the way, I started to take sitar lessons in autumn 2011. I found a great teacher/guru called Sebastian Dreyer, who dedicates his whole life and musical career to classical North Indian music only. I just attended one of his concerts yesterday, what an unbelievable master and musician he is. He will, of course, have his guest appearance on ‘Domedon Doxomedon’, the whole album will have a lot of Indian influences musical wise, you’ll all see and hear in years to come, I promise.”
How is the preparation for the album going on? [AS]
“As all of you might know by now, it shall indeed be the last album of Christos Necros. And I really want to have kind of a controversy to fade from the scene. Some people shall say, ‘yes, it is the final album because what could come afterwards?’. The rest might say things like, ‘well, finally, it is the last album and may we thank God for it, as it is so fucking strange and different from the beginning that the end was unavoidable’.
“‘Domedon Doxomedon’ is a Coptic/Greek term meaning lord of the house, lord of glory. It represents an aeon of the Supreme One to come, so let me quote: ‘Domedon Doxomedon appeared, the eternal realm of eternal realms, with thrones in it, powers around it, and glories and incorruptions (The Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit, Nag Hammadi Codices III, 2; IV, 2)’. The whole text is inappropriately called Gospel of the Egyptians since the late 1940s and unfortunately, a lot of translations bear this strange name. But the record in itself is shaping more and more; I’ve approximately 70 percent of the metal songs written and more than a bunch of ideas for all the temples and gates. It will be our magnum opus nonetheless, featuring nine temples, nine songs and nine gates.”
The ‘9.9.9’ symbology (‘Darkness.Damnation.Death’) expressed by you is a visually alluring concept and somehow, it explains the essence of reaching a higher plane of spiritual transcendence with material death. Death is not the end but the beginning of something grand; something which is beyond the realms of mortal understanding. Is this concept synonymous with some of the teachings of the Qabbalah Mysticism? Have you ever tried to achieve ‘transcendence’ through means of mediation or by performing any rituals? [AS]
“This ritual kind of thing, I was asked that question very often and I will not answer fully to that, sorry. Just that yes, I did rituals. I even did a lot in my early 20s, some of ’em should better be never remembered again due to their horrible content. In contrary, meditation, or call it ‘praying in a spiritual way’ in my case, is something, which I try to do every day. I understand darkness as kind of an absence from Ain Soph eternal, the essence of all essences, so yes, indeed the ddd-999 symbology has serious links to Qabalah mysticism.”
The Necros Christos opuses are represented as a mass with beautifully orchestrated Temples and Gates, which introduce the main hymns. These instrumentals create a very majestic environment with a ritualistic demeanor, and makes Necros Christos stand apart from an average extreme metal band. I was especially blown away by the Eastern sounding acoustic ‘Gates’, which reminded me of your side project, Ra Al Dee Experience. What is the significance of this project’s name, and what do you have in store for RADE? How did your most recent live performance, in Dublin, Ireland, go? [AS]
“The band’s name is a simple mixture between both Ben Ya Min Al Dee’s and my artist name(s), Ra and Dee, the ‘al’ originally being the main article in Arabian though. Honestly, it obviously makes no real sense between our names, but I loved the sound of Ra Al Dee Experience, so we went with it since the beginning. You know, Ben and me, we already played little occasions here and there years and years ago, like at fests of my music schools for whom I work, even before we decided to go for a serious two piece.
“The Dublin show was a great kick in the ass, it went so well and everyone seemed to be really into it, so we will definitely play more shows in a not so distant future. Imagine mostly metal brethren and sisters sitting on the floor while two guys perform strange oriental music; priceless, if you ask me. I’m so damn thankful about everyone who was there and gave us such a nice feedback, so I really hope RADE has some kind of a slight yet successful future.”
The last decade has seen you truly hone your craft, and incorporate more and more of your atmospheric and occult influences into the compositions. Earlier releases focused predominantly on the desecration and blaspheming of Christ, but starting with ‘Triune Impurity Rites’ your lyrical focus seemed to shift into more esoteric realms and, musically speaking, ushered in a greater emphasis on unorthodox, exotic instrumentation and dynamics. What caused this shift? Was it the organic growth of a band approaching its zenith, or a conscious decision? [KK]
“I never witnessed my musical creation process being a conscious decision, from time to time, I got/get hit by inspiration and then it flows out of me. Just recently, I did compose a new Ra Al Dee song and it took only three days to finally get the piece done. With Ra Al Dee, we might get an outstanding offer to perform in 2013; if so, we simply have to record at least a mini album as the demo dates back to 2009.
“Speaking about Necros Christos again, it’s nearly the same writing process. I can’t say why my compositions are always becoming longer, more obscure, indoctrinated strange rhythm patterns and getting darker yet more epic all the time. In the end, I seriously feel that it’s not my decision. I know damn well that a lot of artists out of the black/death/occult rock area say things like that, but I couldn’t care less as I simply have to speak for myself.”
Your previous band, Drowned, has slowly but surely resurrected itself in the shadow of 2006’s flawless ‘Viscera Terrae’. Necros Christos undoubtedly takes up a lot of time and energy for you and Tlmnn Shepherd, but one hopes that you’ll be able to participate in the proceedings. Can you tell me a bit about what Drowned has planned for the coming year, and the coming album? [KK]
“I sadly can’t, sorry. I had to get myself out of Drowned’s activities, mostly due to time. As far as I know, Mr Shepherd and his new neophytes have several songs written and a full-length isn`t out of sight, that’s the good news here. I told Tlmnn many times, that I would be there if he needs a vocalist, but honestly, I would prefer if some of his musicians would take care of the vocal duties. I really would like to see Drowned playing live again, but as it won’t be with me though, it shall obviously be better if one of his mates does the vocals on the recording. This band deserves so much more recognition, let’s hope they will come up with something new and outstanding very soon. The same goes for Red Abyss, the new band of former Drowned drummer Theby. I am seriously longing for a demo as I know this man breathes obscure death metal.”
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