A few months ago I wrote this review of an advanced copy of the 'Sacrifice, Perish & Demise' EP by Auckland black death thrash band Exordum Mors. That EP has since been officially released by NZ based label Hells Vomit Productions so I thought is would be time to send some interview questions that band's way. They quickly responded with the following...
1) For the benefit of those who don’t know about Exordium Mors could you please give a brief rundown of the bands history.
Black Mortum: Exordium Mors was formed in 2004. Me and Santi were introduced at a underground metal gig out in a garage in South Auckland by our first bass player Adam (RIP). That was a pretty awesome show with about 8 bands headlined by Dawn of Azazel back in their brutal war metal days.
We jammed and it clicked from the very beginning that we were going to be fast and violent metal that would rip faces off. That is what Exordium Mors is and always will be.
We recruited Martin Cavanagh (ex-Dawn of Azazel, ex-Forced to Submit and ex-Skuldom) who drummed for us for about 6 months. But once he joined Dawn he had to leave as they had quite a lot on their plates with touring / recording.
We recruited Adam and Pete in 2004 on drums and bass respectively. I was jamming with them at the time as a separate band “Apokalyptik Goat Messiah”. They had heard me and Santi jam one day and in a couple of weeks they asked to join. We recruited Scourge shortly after in 2005. This was the initial full line up of Exordium Mors and so the whirlwind of lineup changes begins.
Adam and Pete left after Serva Ad Mors (our first demo recording) in 2006 - 2007, we then recruited Pierre and Kurt after some years of looking around for musicians. This lineup recorded the Verus Hostis – A Hymn to Fire 7” EP in 2009. Pierre and Kurt left after a year or so.
Our rhythm section constantly changed. Many came and left as you can see in the bio on our website but the ones above were the notable members.
It is very difficult to find musicians in NZ who play this sort of music and are committed enough to carry the flame.
We always wrote music (us being Me, Scourge and Santi) but due to line up changes it took awhile to get the music we were writing recorded and out for all metal maniacs to listen to - hence why our new EP “Sacrifice Perish and Demise” has tracks that were written in 2004! It wasn’t till Assailant (who was a friend from the legendary thrash / heavy metal band Heavy Artillery) and Hades (who we saw playing with death metal destroyers Hackmessah) were recruited that we have had a stable line up.
|Hades - Photographer / Editing: Cerulean Sin — at The Kings Arms|
This is the line up that we had longed for all these years! Solid musicians with experience, skill and dedication to their craft and to the band. Each bringing in their own creative input to the band.
Watch out for the next year as we will finally be recording and releasing material that has been in the making for many years. Parts that have been rewritten countless times to make sure it flowed the right way. Many rich melodies yet not losing the over the top violence of real extreme music. The Apotheosis of Death will rip your face off.
The live arena is where I believe we shine the most! You will see that we will be doing more shows internationally in the coming years so watch out! Exordium Mors may be decimating the stage in your country soon.
|Black Mortum - Photographer / Editing: Cerulean Sin — at The Kings Arms.|
2) For your forthcoming debut album you have a 30 minute long song called The Apotheosis of Death. Could you please tell us a bit about that?
Scourge: Firstly, the song is divided into 6 'parts' which can be played stand-alone (we have done this live on several occasions) or as one (which we did for the Auckland show when we supported Impiety on their 2012 tour in NZ). This was intentional as we wanted the songs to sound good on their own but stronger as an overall piece.
Lyrically, as always I write my songs with two-fold, sometimes even three-fold meanings but I would like the audience to interpret them however which way they'd like. Suffice to say, it's a savage track with themes of vengeance, iconoclasm, chaos (and the order thereof) and immortality.
Santi: Aside from being a Metalhead, I'm also a fan of 70s prog rock and the idea of creating a song comprised of 6 separate songs (that as Scourge said are songs in their own right and can be played on their own) that form into one was inspired by hymns like "Supper's Ready" by Genesis, "Tarkus" by ELP, "2112" by Rush and on the Metal side of things "Conqueror of Fear" by Order From Chaos.
Those first 3 songs that I mentioned each clock in at about the 20 min. mark and have certain melodies / themes that are central to the song which recurs every now and again. Once we record "Apotheosis of Death" in its entirety and you have a listen, you'll notice that there are certain riffs that are repeated in various parts of the song - sometimes instantly recognizable and at other times in a slightly different arrangement.
I wanted to do something similar, albeit in a Metal context, with all the complexities and continuity that those great 70s prog songs had.
Now just to make it clear, it wasn't just myself who wrote this. We all contributed riffs, ideas and arrangements.’
|Assailant and Santi -Photographer / Editing: Cerulean Sin — at The Kings Arms.|
3) Could you tell us a bit more about the album itself? What else will be on it? How will the music compare to the “Sacrifice...” ep? When can we expect to see it released? Will it have bad assed cover art again? If so what?
Scourge: The album will have 3-4 other tracks on there. We are still in the process of writing these, with one recently being completed. The music will likely be more technical than the 'Sacrifice, Perish and Demise' EP - mainly due to the fact that two of the songs on that EP were written at an early stage of the band. We are looking to record and have it released next year. The artwork will have continuality and only rough ideas have been formed at this stage but if you have seen Nick Keller's other work (http://nickbkeller.blogspot.co.nz/), it will be nothing short of astounding.
Black Mortum: The album will be huge step up for us musically and recording it is going to be quite a task but we are all looking forward to it. We will have Alex who recorded our last 2 releases working with us again at his new studio.
It will have a range of material that we have written over the years and also brand new tracks that are still being worked on at the moment. We tend to write long songs so I would say the release will have to be on a double LP as we’re already at the point where it’s passing 40 minutes.
If you would like a sample of what's to come, we have a live video online from a local show we played recently where we play “Primordial Inversion Evolution” from the “Serva Ad Mors” demo and the second half being “Unto the Lightning Swords of Conquest” which is one of the songs in the Apotheosis of Death epic.
You can watch this here:-
4) You played the Siamese True Metal Fest 2011 in Thailand? How did that go for you? How do Thai audiences compare to NZ ones?
Scourge: Fucking great! The crowd, the atmosphere - everything about it was Metal in it’s fanatically glory. Besides the obvious population difference between audiences, they were just as rabid as NZ ones - I would say even more so. Every attendee was a diehard and only there for the music and not there for some pathetic scene points or just because their friend was playing there. We look forward to playing there and the rest of Southeast Asia in future.
Black Mortum: This gig was an honour for us to play and a great experience in Thailand! Playing with bands that we have been fans of for years! The Mighty Impiety and Surrender of Divinity! And further gaining allies in destruction by meeting other bands who were playing/attending the show like Draconis Infernum and the Battlestorm / Imperial Tyrants legions! It was a truly Metal as fuck show just the way we like it!
5) Tell us everything you think we need to know about your ‘Sacrifice, Perish and Demise’ EP, including the artwork, label release, the music featured any who should obtain it.
Scourge: The artwork was done by the masterful Nick Keller. It represents the lyrics in full and foreshadows what to expect in the 'Apotheosis of Death' both lyrically and art-wise. Hells' Vomit has released the CD version and the Cassette version will be available soon through Iron, Blood & Death Corp. There are also iTunes, Amazon and a whole host of other websites to download it from. You can also listen to it for free through Spotify.
The music featured on it is nothing less than explosive, vicious Black/Thrash. Lyrically it represents the title of the EP with various themes of 'Sacrifice, Perish and Demise'. Anybody that likes fast, rabid, non-trendy Metal should hear this and own it - especially before the 'Apotheosis of Death' is unleashed.
6) What’s happening in this picture?
7) Of the 5 members of Exordium Mors; Black Mortum is Malaysian Indian, Santi is Filipino, Scourge is Part NZ European/part Filipino, whilst Assailant and Hades are pure NZ Palangi. Was this intentional or coincidental? How do you think each band member’s ethnic and cultural background contributes to the creativity and energy of the band?
Scourge: With New Zealand, Auckland especially being a melting pot of different cultures it was purely coincidental that this line-up was obtained. I don't believe it plays much of a part in our music other than us being more open-minded when looking at various Metal bands from around the world. I think that it can be easy for people just to focus on the American or European centres for Metal but South East Asia, South America and other obscure countries have great Metal bands/scenes.
8) What are the lyrical themes covered in the music of Exordium Mors? Why have you chosen these? Give us some key examples from songs.
Scourge: At the time that I joined the band I did not see or hear of any bands that had a strong Hellenistic/Ancient Roman themes and being strongly influenced by a time where Judeo-Christianity either a) didn’t exist or b) was outlawed, persecuted or ridiculed; I gravitated to building lyrics around this period.
The music is very complex, so in order to make up for my musically inability I decided to make this up lyrically and hence why my lyrics are also quite deep and complex. I tend to blend Nietzsche philosophy, Satanism, Ancient Roman/Pagan themes with my own personal philosophies and emotions. This is why the lyrics are so complex and can be read in more than one way. It also separates us from bands like Kawir or Nile who focus purely on the historical/mythological times of this period. Not that there is anything wrong with that (being a big fan of both bands) however I believe it is important to have your own philosophies and outlook portrayed in your lyrics and for your lyrics to have some meaning to yourself as well as to your audience.
|Scourge - Photographer / Editing: Cerulean Sin — at The Kings Arms.|
Although I like the reader to interpret their own vision of my lyrics I will give you two key examples of this:
Firstly the song 'Unleash Prometheus' taken from the 7" EP 'Verus Hostis - A Hymn to Fire'. This song can be related to the Titan Prometheus who defied the Gods and brought fire to mankind and therefore knowledge and self-sufficiency and of course was duly (and unfairly) punished. In this I relate Prometheus to myself and extend it to all others who have felt downtrodden, defeated and betrayed. The song goes on to say that through eternal struggle, one can break the chains of servitude, rise above and defeat those who seek to keep you down. This can be metaphysically or physically through one's own demons or literally other persons. This is true strength and for those that attain it should be forever hailed. Furthermore, it can be related to those who seek true knowledge and will not let society or any particular person keep them in the dark even if it means punishment and being the outcast, the rebel. "Better to die on your feet, than live on your knees" comes to mind.
Secondly the song 'Ancestors' Call' taken from our latest EP 'Sacrifice, Perish and Demise'. This song relates to the Ancient Roman practice of Ancestor Worship but also it is a song about how I view the dead if they were able to see the living (I do not believe in an afterlife), how they would react seeing their descendants waste their lives. This song is very much rooted in today's society in which I see my generation waste their lives in endless pursuits of hedonism rather than pursuing a path of knowledge. Let me be clear though, I am not advocating a life of straight-edgeism or holiness or even academic pursuits. I am merely stating that people are more concerned with partying rather than with seeking ways to benefit themselves, society and indeed the future. We are given one life to make our mark on history and I feel that my generation has wasted their opportunity.
9) Scourge has recently put out the “Axiom of the Elite” ‘zine and compilation CD. For those that don’t know what is this? Why did you decide to put it out? How can people get hold of it?
Scourge: This is a ‘zine dedicated to the New Zealand Underground Metal scene featuring bands that are lesser known/unknown on the international stage. The reasons for putting this out are outlined in the foreword of the 'zine but basically it was to give opportunity for these bands to be better promoted/heard overseas. I am currently out of stock for now, but check the Facebook link as all distributors will be updated there shortly.
10) What is Chaos NZ? How are Exordium Mors connected to it?
Black Mortum: Chaos NZ is a Metal promotions company that Santi and I along with Lee and Chrissy from Forsaken Age started with the sole purpose of getting more metal shows happening in NZ. At the moment there are four of us: Me, Santi, Lee and Allan from Nullifier. We have been bringing over some great metal acts in the last 2 years! Some of the more well-known ones being Absu, Impiety and Inquisition so far. Alongside Marduk in January, 2013 will see a lot more international Metal bands reaching our shores so keep your eyes peeled! We also put on many underground shows here with our local acts.
11) Any last comments?
Band: Be forewarned as this pestilent plague of violence is set to raze, ruin and conquer the globe. We will triumphantly stand ablaze upon the corpse of your cities within the coming year and beyond! Abandon all hope before the Apotheosis of Death! 666!
|Photographer / Editing: Cerulean Sin — at The Kings Arms.|