Death, Devotion and Darkness!
It was a pleasure to meet with Morten who has been in this scene since 1993 hence many things to talk about with him obviously. He has a pitch black heart whose art is gloving maliciously in the name of Death.
From the ashes of Dim Nagel, Endezzma awakens the beast and delves into dark desires by carrying intellectual background with its oldshool black metal roots. The interview broadens from Endezzma’s latest album “The Arcane Abyss”, black metal scene in 90s to the memorial concert called Death Is Complete organized for the foremost black metal musician Trondr Nefas (Urgehal) who passed away on 12th May 2012.
Here you are invited this intense interview with stunning words of Morten von Shax with full Death, Devotion and Darkness!
"Intensity, devotion and passion is very describing words when you speak of death, but actually these words also is the most describing words when it comes to Love."
Hello Morten, The latest album released in 2017. How has been the reactions from media, fans so far? By the way I really love this profound album especially the track called ‘Serpent Earth’!
“The Arcane Abyss” did get a truly magnificent and superb reception both by the media and the audience, top score in many heavy and respected publications so we are of course satisfied and pleased with that. Thanks for your enthusiasm for the album and we just recently shot a video for the specific track you mention, ‘Serpent Earth’! It’s in the edit and will be launched as soon it’s ready. We got a lot’s of reaction upon ‘Serpent Earth’, it seems it’s a love and hate kind of thing. That’s the blunt side of black metal, it’s so black and white that when you just do minor details outside the box you evoke reactions. I’m fine with that, I always liked to push boundaries and evoke reactions. Being different is all what it’s about, standing outside and looking in the establishment. We’re the rebel angels, you don’t need an atom bomb to make a revolution in such strict elements.
What about upcoming release? Have you started to work on it, any planned date?
Yes, we are well into the process. From this date, we have more than half of the new upcoming album ready, the new tracks will defiantly define the tunes of death and the sound of Armageddon. It’s darker than ever and really suffocate us and drive us into new horizons. The new album will most likely be out in the very start of next year but exactly when is impossible to predict at this stage. But I can promise you a mighty dark giant beast of an album!
Endezzma is found from the ashes of Dim Nagel. You came to light in 2005 which is quite a long time. Why did it take so long to get back to the scene? Why did you want to change the name? What is the difference between two bands in musical and ideological wise?
I worked on my first band Dim Nagel with the fellow musicians from KVIST. But as most people know KVIST by many mysterious reasons escaped from the surface and personally I started focusing on new projects like starting up a label, releasing Urgehal albums and more. I worked on various new projects that kept me busy for years until my hunger and inspiration possessed me again in 2005. I then started up again, this time with my brother in crime, now passed away legend, Trondr Nefas from Urgehal. I felt it was natural to change the name since it was a new beginning and fresh new start.
According to me, Endezzma music includes some influences from the 1st wave of black metal that extends the style to strong modern sound. As you have been in the scene since 1993, may be the roots show up among the notes. What do you think?
I think this is a very accurate observation, and in many ways that describe our motive as well. We want to carry that old vibe, attitude and feel and combine it with the fresh current of out time. When you put it like that, it sounds like we manage to do what we initially wished to achieve. The old rust from the early 90’s is like prison bars around my heart, keeping my heart on place, keeping it beat in the right way and guarding it from intruders from the outside!
Could you please tell about “The Arcane Abyss” artwork? Who did it? What does it express in relation to your music?
The artwork on “The Arcane Abyss” album is made by the Greek artist Geros Ramovounis. Its symbols, figures and documents are in the aspect of death. You have bringers of death, the ringers of death, and the plague doctors. You have death itself, the serpents with the kiss of death. The wolves that carry death. In other words it’s the main person gallery from “The Arcane Abyss”.
What are main themes that Endezzma is interested in so far?
Death is the landscape and the philosophy of Endezzma. Endezma is Death, death is Endezzma. It’s been the basic fundament from the first release “ALONE”, through the “EROTIC NEKROSIS” album and on “THE ARCANE ABYSS”. It will also be the fundament on the next album, but of course under different shades and presented in through different angles. On “Erotic Nekrosis”, like the title explain it’s evolving around the death in love, erotic and how this subject’s have danced with death through up through the history. On “The Arcane Abyss” we go down in the Abyss, visiting the grand home of Death.
Your lyrics bounded to death theme in one form or another. However, there are songs like ‘Hollow’, ‘A Swansong of a Giant’ from “Erotik Nekrosis” album that touch love interestingly. Album name is quiet striking by showing such relation. Could you please tell your thoughts about love & death relationship as it is known Eros and Thanatos also?
Intensity, devotion and passion is very describing words when you speak of death, but actually these words also is the most describing words when it comes to Love. So, for me it’s easy to connect these two mammoths, these giants of emotions. Love and death is maybe the keyword to our existence and something every single person can relate to. In one way or another, being in a good or evil way, a negative or a positive way these bound our existence together. Love can be so extreme, so naked and heartfelt, yet so brutal, vicious and cruel that same goes for death. Therefore I find these elements to be an everlasting stream of inspiration. It’s so strong and passionate. This intensity drives me and defines me. Both me and my art, music and life.
“On “Erotic Nekrosis”, like the title explain, it’s evolving around the death in love.”
You have been touring quiet much and very into live performance. What kind of shows do you have?
I think you find the same motivation when it comes to our live rituals. It’s all about the heartfelt intensity, the drive to reflect and mirror all this out to our audience. I like looking into your eyes from the stage making sure you see what I see, feel what I feel and take you to the place I want you to visit. We open the doors to our inner darkness, accept and take a journey through our soundscape, deathscape and landscape…
Among the other metal genres, black metal has a malicious symbolic expression and a diverse approach as being part of extreme ideologies. Could you please tell me about your point of view on creating your art?
Black metal have evolved and developed through the years. You don’t find the devotion and extremity of the early 90’s. What was going on back then was more than an opportunistic rebellious attack on the establishment, it was a criminal riot and attack on society. The music was put in second place and used as a tool, more a soundtrack to the crimes. But it was a unique document of our time, something so unique and mesmerizing for the whole world to see. But when the murders and church burnings became history, a new musical age where music is in the high seat is started, but here comes the challenge and what divides the special bands from the rest. Who can bring out something special, something daring, lustful and passionate to be combined with music? Something that spellbind you and take you through those doors where your heart beat faster and your pulse make you feel alive! Ask yourself, do you get it!?
“I find death so attractive, interesting, intense and darkly beautiful.”
Certainly! I fully agree on you! So, we have come to my question carrying aesthetic concerns. Do you think if art is born from suffering? What are the essential constituents of your music?
Death, Devotion and Darkness!
Endezzma participated special memorial concert, entitled DEATH IS COMPLETE that is dedicated to Trondr Nefas on 13th May 2016. How was the show? How do you remember Trondr Nefas?
It was a unique and essential night. Personally especially strong since he was one of my closest friends as well outside from scene and the music. It was truly special to witness and be part of such a night and experience how death gather so many prominent individual for a last farewell and a giant honor. It’s rare to see any collaborations at all in the black metal scene on such scale. My memory of Trondr Nefas I could go on forever about. But I can say that he was a giant, and a musical genius.
“If people want to travel across the world to pay some house owner money to have their picture taken in a molded basement, then good for them. I don’t think that will define anything.”
You contributed to Urgehal’s “Aeons in Sodom” album on vocals and lyrics at ‘Blood of the Legion’ and ‘Lord of Horns’ songs. How did it happen? Could you please share the memories of this mythopoeic album?
Yes, I did. Urgehal and the guy’s from Urgehal have been my close friends since we was kids back in school and Trondr was like a brother to me. I made the lyrics for the track’s ‘Blood of the Legions’ and ‘Lord of Horns’ long before Nefas died, so it was initially meant to be on the album all the way. But when the tragedy occurred and Nefas died the album turned into a document of dedications and last farewell and naturally I took the vocal on my own text. Lloyd from Koldbrann, Faustcoven and Djevel is doing the vocal on my other lyric ‘Lord Of Horns’. I think the last Urgehal album is a fine moment where you see some epic individuals gather to pay tribute to a musical mastermind, mutual respect.
“Love and death is maybe the keyword to our existence and something every single person can relate to.”
Black metal comprises many branches and many ideas. From 80s to today it changes a lot but anyway there are certain distinctions. From satanic philosophy by Temple of the Black Light or Church of Satan which has different approaches itself, more political NSBM or rather into dark arts surrounded by topics like death, melancholy, despair, and solitude. Where do you see Endezzma for the philosophical side of Black Metal?
First of all I can for sure tell that Endezzma stand so far away from politics as possible. For me music is another world another level far away from politics. I have read my satanic philosophy up through the years of course and actually I can refer to a lot of it. I rather choose the best out of different views and philosophies and make my own survival fundament, norms and moral. When it comes to Endezzma, death have always been the keyword. Endezzma is all about the true essence of death. Endezzma is born out of the energy, feelings, results, behavior made by death. I find death so attractive, interesting, intense and darkly beautiful. An everlasting source of energy. Death is not only about disaster and havoc but when you learn to live alongside death you will get so much back, so much strength.
Many had happened in Norwegian scene. From church burnings, murders to extreme shows including blood, fire, animal carcasses. How is the scene right now? Is it taken as touristic highlight by the government really? I heard about this situation from a documentary called Headbangers’ Journey. Do you think if this touristic stuff damages the seriousness of black metal?
I don’t think it ruins everything, if it’s meant to be ruined or broken it will eventually brake anyway. Something so solid and so strong by nature will prevail. It’s the survival of the fittest so to speak, let what deserves to live survive and the rest we are better off without. The seriousness is up to every individual bands, how they want to be seen and how they want to be understood. I think there were just as many stupid and unserious acts back in the day was trying to be something they weren’t or reaching out for something they were never able to touch. If people want to travel across the world to pay some house owner money to have their picture taken in a molded basement, then good for them. I don’t think that will define anything. You may see extremity taking new forms in order to creep under your skin.
Junkyard Oblivion from the "Erotik Nekrosis
Speaking of seriousness, lately we came across funny photos of Abbath on the London Streets eating hotdog, making fun with corpse paint in the day time. Do you think if image should stay on stage or can be used for fun as life is not so serious? But in latter case overshadows philosophy of black metal according to me.
I think for being who the fuck you want whenever you want, make your black metal band into a travelling circus and your stage show to a stand-up comedian show if that’s what you desire. It’s not what I would have done, it’s not what I stand for and you will probably not get my vote or approval. My point is that it wouldn’t affect the one that ride a different course. But you can rather ask yourself, does this persons make Black Metal and being black metal at all. Do they want to be taken serious? Or are they just a parody on black metal. To state another philosophy “do what your wilts shall be the whole of the law”.
You had been into zines at the 90s. Can you tell about those times? How do you publish and distribute?
That was back in the good old days, before computer and digital tools. I had to go to the library to find books, x-ray and copy from books, cut and paste. Putting it all neat and nice together. Typing all text on typewriter. Later I delivered everything to a local print house, or more a copy house. I think my fanzines was printed in only 300 copies. It was self-publishing back in those times. Distributed through mail order services and hand to hand. But it was a special time, where letters were the source of commination. Imagine how much time bands and persons involved in the scene used on the communication. Typing letters on typewriter and gluing stamps to be able to use them again in order to save money.
Personally do you have any interaction with other dark art forms? As I know you are the director of Endezzma video named ‘Junkyard Oblivion’.
Well my director career defines itself to my own videos. But it’s true that I always have plans mapped out for videos and projects. I never like to put my plans in others hands, like to producers and other besserwissers. I don’t know if I’m into any other dark artforms, but I have a passion for writing and I’m currently writing on a book. It’s a children book based on mythical characters from a Norse mythology combined with classic Norwegian fairytales. Hopefully I will finish the book and launch in at the end of this year.
“Endezzma is all about the true essence of death.”
What are the foremost albums of 2018 according to you? It could be metal or any genres you are into…
I think 2018 was a poor year when it comes to releases, you had some big acts that failed to convince. But again, it’s all about the eye of the beholder and personal views. Personally I’ve been into music for so many years that I kind of listen to music in all genres as long as it substance in the music and it moves me in a way or another. If music is made with a purpose, devotion and passion and powered by inspiring persons it’s always interesting to check out.
You supposed to come to Turkey for concert years ago but it couldn’t happen. Can you tell what happened at that tour? Hope to see you in Turkey one day…
Yes, that’s correct. We were touring the Balkans, driving fucking hours on hours every day. Eventually our van broke down. I think we had a huge distance to drive that night to get to the venue in Turkey. If I remember correct I think we just realized we had to cancel since we never ever would have made it there on time. I understood lot’s fan was let down. Hopefully we can come one day and make up for it with an epic ritual. If we get a proper invitation we’ll come with a vengeance!
Please share your last words, wishes…
Thanks for rather in-depth and well written questions! See you all out there eventually.
Stay tuned for our brand new video and other morbid news …. It’s on, it’s on fire!!!
“The Arcane Abyss” album is in the aspect of death. You have death itself, the serpents with the kiss of death.”
Endezzma "The Arcane Abyss" Official Album Teaser
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