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Interviews

SUBLIRITUM


SUBLIRITUM is a rising star of Norwegian sympho black metal scene. Their debut album "Dark Prophecies" got great reviews worldwide and presents us great music, something like DIMMU BORGIR meets EMPEROR. Band's founder Kristian Moen a.k.a Celtus answers the questions...


Scorpio: Hello! How are you?

Celtus: Hello Scorpio! I'm fine thanks….

Scorpio: You're a young group, so our readers need to know your history.

Celtus:SUBLIRITUM was formed back in 1999. At that time SUBLIRITUM was more or less just a black metal-project. The band was started with me and Arcan as the only members. After some months with intense rehearsals we entered the studio to record our first demo - "The Chemical Bastard" EP. This demo contained two long epical black metal songs and an outro. We sent this demo to 4-5 different labels. Shortly after we got in touch with Evil Horde Records in Brazil, and they wanted to sign SUBLIRITUM. At that time some new members entered the band: Torbjorn Schei (Vocal) and Sverre Berntsen (Guitar). Both had played in my previous band EYRASHION. Tora N?ss (female vocal, and violin) and Mikal Duna (drums) also joined the band at that time. We started to include more elements in our music when the new members arrived, like choir-parts, symphonic elements, and a more progressive sound. "Dark Prophecies" was recorded in 2001. Mikal Duna left the band shortly after. In 2002 Vegard Larsen (Keep of Kalessin) joined the band. He is a very skilled drummer, one of the best, so he has been a great addition for SUBLIRITUM. Until now we have not played very much live, but this situation are about to change.

SUBLIRITUM

Scorpio: What does SUBLIRITUM mean?

Celtus: When we came up with the name SUBLIRITUM we wanted a unique name that no other bands had taken before us. Therefore we invented our own word. SUBLIRITUM means nothing, but it refers to us as a band. I think it is important that a band's name is a reference to the actual band.

Scorpio: "Dark Prophecies" was recorded in 2001, but released only in 2003. Were you searching for the record label almost 2 years?

Celtus: No, we signed the deal with Evil Horde before we entered the studio to record "Dark Prophecies". At that time Evil Horde Rec had a very busy schedule. They had many releases that they had to release before us, like AZAGAHL, UNHOLY LAND and GREAT VAST FOREST. It took also some time to make the cover-artwork. But I must admit that I think it took too long before the record was released.

Scorpio: Are you already composing new songs?

Celtus: We have written all the material for the next album, and we will enter the studio to record it as soon as possible. Probably in May or June. Next album will be more progressive, technical and varied than "Dark Prophecies." The new songs focus more on rhythm and groove instead of intense blast-beats, but it will still be very aggressive.

Scorpio: And you signed a deal with Brazilian Evil Horde. Had nobody been interested in your music in Europe?

Celtus: After the "Chemical Bastard" demo we got in contact with Evil Horde very quickly, and they offered us a deal that we accepted. We didn't really try to get a European record-label in the first place, so I don't know if they would have been interested or not. Anyway I think it's better to be on a small label that cares about their bands, than being on one of the bigger labels that only think about money.

Scorpio: Can you tell what are the terms of the contract?

Celtus: We are signed for two albums (including "Dark Prophecies"). I don't want to go in details concerning money, but we get 15% of all the sales. In the terms of the contract we have to release one more album on Evil Horde. I don't know if we choose to sign for more albums after that. Evil Horde have done a good job concerning distribution and promotion.

Scorpio: Kristian, are you and Jonas native brothers? I think native, because you have big likeness.

Celtus: Yes, we are brothers (of metal...he-he)

Scorpio: You play great quality music! How old are you? Since what time are you playing the instruments?

Celtus: We are all 21-26 year old in this band. I started to play guitar when I was 10 years old. I think I was about 15 when I started my first band, we played old heavy metal like IRON MAIDEN, ACCEPT and AC/DC.

Scorpio: What are your musical influences? I think EMPEROR, DIMMU BORGIR, BURZUM, am I right?

CeltusCeltus: We have many musical influences when we write music. It`s not neccessary metal-music that gives us inspiration, but also classical music, old progrock and folk-music. It`s important for us that we don`t sound to much like other bands. I think we have managed to create a uniqe SUBLIRITUM-sound. On our next album this will be more illustrious. But of course bands like EMPEROR, LIMBONIC ART, IMMORTAL etc. has some influences on our music.

Scorpio: And what can you say about new band of Samoth (Zamoth) ZYKLON and Ihsahn project PECCATUM?

Celtus: I like ZYKLON very much. It`s death metal in the way I like it. "Aeon" kicks ass!!! Personally I don`t like PECCATUM too much, but they have some interesting elements in their music. I`m curious to hear their new material, so that`s something I`m looking forward to.

Scorpio: Do you like the synthetic sound of the last DIMMU BORGIR album?

Celtus: Well... sometimes I think the album is a bit over-produced. The sound is very clear and massive, but it is too synthetic. The drums sometimes sound like a drum-machine. I guess many will say the same about our music, so our next album will have a different and a more organic production than "Dark Prophecies". On "Dark Prophesies" we had to use sampled drums because our drummer at that time managed to break his arm the day before he was supposed to record the drums. Anyway, I like the music on the last DIMMU BORGIR album.

Scorpio: Your female singer - Tora, I can say, is only back-vocalist. Aren't you going to add more female vocals in future?

Celtus: Tora will play violin on our next album. She will also do some female vocals and some choir-parts.

Scorpio: Your lyrics are about your ancestors - vikings. Also we can see Thor hammers on necks of band's participants and also in your logo. Are you really interested in Scandinavian mythology?

Celtus: I find our mythology very fascinating because it`s an important part of our culture and history. Norse mythology refer to the pre-Christian religion of the Norwegian Scandinavian) people. In this religion we have many different "gods". One of them is Thor, god of thunder. He would smash his enemies with his mighty hammer Mjollnir. To wield this awesome weapon he needed iron gloves and a belt of strength. Mjollnir would return to Thor's hand after being thrown and was symbolic of lightning. Mjollnir (the hammer) became a symbol of the norse religion when the christian religion came to our land. I think it is important to keep the norse religion alive, because it represent values as honour, hospitality, glory and pride instead of weakness and subjection. This is also the main topic in the lyrics of "Dark Prophecies". This is why we have Mjollnir (the hammer) as a part of the logo. The concept on "Dark Prophecies" is a continuous story from beginning to the end. It`s about this last war where all future will be settled. The first songs tells about the time before the war, then comes Raging Battles where the battle starts, and the last song tells about the time after the war. In this war it is no room for fear and weakness. If you want to survive you`ll have to be strong. If not you die. It is a story about brave men, who are willing to fight to the end. Cowardice is a sin. You`ll have to die with honour, pride and glory. All this was ancient values of the vikings. They belived that this was the only way to reach Valhall (where Odin, the prominent god of the norse religion live)

Scorpio: And what about the Satanic stuff?

Celtus: I`m not very interested in satanic stuff at all. It tend to be a religious thing or just another form for extreme humanism. (church of satan/Anton LaVey)

Scorpio: What do you think about the last GORGOROTH gigs in Poland for their DVD?

Celtus: He-he...go GORGOROTH!!! Anyway, I don`t understand what the big deal is, and why people and the media in Poland got so offended. They should have expected something like that when GORGOROTH arrived. I don`t think the reactions would have been so big here in Norway.

Scorpio: Do the band's member have other projects?

Celtus: Me, Sverre, Torbjorn and Tora have this folk-rock-metal-project called SCHEZZA. We also participate in other projects from time to time. Vegar, our drummer, also plays in KEEP OF KALESSIN, and an another project.

SUBLIRITUM

Scorpio: You name is Kristian, like Christian. Aren't you going to change the name as Vikernes? :)

Celtus: No, why should I? :)

Scorpio: Varg - Euronymous. On whose side are you?

Celtus: I haven`t met them so I don`t really care. This is something that happened ten years ago, and I don`t think the events are very interesting today. But Euronymous was a pioneer in Norwegian black metal, and MAYHEM was/is a great band.

Scorpio: Were the people of Norway frightened, when they saw last autumn on TV, that Varg escaped?

Celtus: No, I don`t think so. I don`t think people consider him as a threat at all.

Scorpio: Is he really so "popular" in Norway?

Celtus: No... I guess he is way more popular in other countries.

Scorpio: I was searching for your town, Levanger, on map found it and realized, that it's so little, only near 10.000 inhabitants. Near is Trondheim. Describe please your town and landscapes around it. Does it influence on your music?

Celtus: Levanger is as you say a very little town. The landscapes are filled with fields, woods and farms. The environment are very natural and scenic, so maybe that has influenced the more national-romantic elements in our music. Now we have moved to Trondheim, because it`s bigger facilities for a metal-band in a larger city.

Scorpio: If I am foreigner, which is interested in viking culture, what places can you advise me to visit?

Celtus: All over Norway and Scandinavia you`ll find places and remainders of the viking culture. It`s too many to list up here. Most of the things they have found in excavations are now in museums, like ships, weapons, tools etc. In our part of Norway not so far from Trondheim there is a place called Stikklestad where the last battle between the Christians and the pagans took place where you can find interesting remainders of the viking culture.

Scorpio: Do you know anything about Ukraine, Russia and Belarus?

Celtus: I must admit that I don`t know very much about those countries, besides the information we get from the news and papers. That mostly politics. I have the impression that you drink lots of vodka there...he-he

Scorpio: Traditionally last words for fans. I think now after release of "Dark Prophecies" in CIS and Baltian states you will have many fans in our region!

Celtus: Thanks for the questions. I hope you all will buy the "Dark Prophecies" album. Great symphonic pagan black metal! Check also out our homepage www.subliritum.tk and leave a note in the guestbook. Hails from the north!!!

Scorpio
15-03-2004

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