Wednesday, July 31, 2019


August, 2019

What if black metal seeps into mesmerising shores, somber castles, desolate forests by bringing along the synths? Then, you have the music called dungeon synth revealing the hidden soulful melodies. 

Tir, as a one-man dungeon synth band from Turkey just released its second album callled "Urd, Skuld & Verdandi" in the vein of a triptych opus under the influence of three norns. It awakens the archaic black-hearted sounds, strikes with the velvet vocals of Thomas Helm (Empyrium) while concealing the stellar poetry between the notes. Album reveals the silvery signature of Markus Stock(Empyrium) as the mixing and mastering are done by him. 

Here you find the interview with Oytun Bektaş (Tir) who is behind this mystical work.

"Music that makes us hear from the dark castles"

You’ve released a new album called “Urd, Skuld & Verdandi” by Repose Records on May 2019. How was the releasing process of the album? How have been the reactions from Turkey and the worldwide by now?

Tir: Firstly thanks for the interview. The album's overall work actually ended last year.  The interview process with the labels was a bit intense. It was Nhor who initially introduced me to Tom at Repose Records. I think all works (about album) are going well for now. Especially the reactions from abroad are enormous. The folk interactions of the album seem to have created a lot of joy for the followers. Some Dungeon Synth groups in social media emphasize that the album should be shown as an example for 2019 DS. Of course, these are proud!

Thomas Helm contributed on vocals for 2 songs and Markus Stock did the mastering & mixing. How did you come together? I would like to say that Helm brought an enchanting atmosphere while the signature of Markus on production is overwhelming on the album.

My friendship with Markus and Thomas goes back many years. I'd say we know each other very well. 2 years ago, we talked with Markus about “Urd, Skuld Verdandi” in the Rhön forests in detail. I mean, the seeds belong to the black forests and Rhön. Markus said that he wanted to help with this album that he definitely wanted to do the mix and master. I never doubted his music knowledge. This promise made me very happy because I was also fascinated by the concept of his dark art. Subsequently, Thomas' offer to sing on the album showed how sincere and beautiful the friendship was.

Comparing with the previous album “Mountains”, “Urd, Skuld & Verdandi” seems to have a progression and has more mystical, mysterious atmosphere. What do you want to say about the differences and changes on “Urd, Skuld & Verdandi”?

Of course music production is a maturation process. The cult sources you feed on make this process more powerful. On the other hand, you can define yourself better. As a result of all of this, I decided to add more of a dark folk sound to the new album. The best way to achieve this was to increase the number of instruments. I believe I've overcome that.

The album title refers to the three norns from Norse mythology taken sources from Prose Edda or Poetic Edda and appeared as deities of destiny who are also known as Moirai in Greek mythology. Why did you choose that title? What kind of relation does this concept establish with your music?

The meaning and value of norns is very important to me. It was really important to make sense of life and shape the construction of art accordingly. I believe there are always strong ties between shamanism and paganism. The main theme actually finds itself in these ties. The loop in the album itself is tightly bound with these 3 norns.  A start and exhaustion!

Could you please give details for the cover artwork? Who is the artist behind? What do you want to depict with that?

The overall design of the album belongs to Caner from Kestavur Production.  Tir is the lonely Symphony. I am always excited to convey this lonely state of being without arrogance and in a simple way. All these details manifest themselves both in the songs and designs of the album.

In the album, there is a song called “Burzum”. Is it a dedication to first ever ambient albums in black metal history or you just used the word meaning darkness in Tolkien language?

The biggest reason I feel the dark art of my own is Burzum. I believe that the only owner of Black Metal and black magic is Vikernes. The minimal and anti-production albums he has given us so far are definitely timeless.  The emergence of this song and the name Burzum is dedicated to respect him!

You used a poem from Kahlil Gibran on the lyrics of Songs of The Rain. Why did you choose this poem? Do you want to say few words about him?

My perspective on literature and poetry in general is quite extensive. I think my library is strong. Khalil Cibran is on a special point. He is an important poet who strongly resisted the religious and cultural pressures he had experienced in the country where he lived. Don’t we have a lot of examples in the world? I thought the poems he wrote were epic and romantic. So I decided to design the song 'Song Of The Rain' as a song without hesitation.

Can you write your favorite verse from the album?

“I quench the thirst of one;
 I cure the ailment of the other.” Perfect!

What are you reading lately? As a crossroad curiosity; are there any other literary arts that influence your music?

I recently finished his book on the palms of the universe which belonged to Christophe Galfard. For the last few years, I have been mainly reading science fiction or books about the cosmos. And of course the fact that I have been reading this material is reflected in the album. The song ‘I Can See The Stars Behind’ is a prime example of this.

Which concepts rooting from black metal do you use/influence when you compose for Tir? New album has the dark folk vein also touching the medieval themes, right? Which era/area of the medieval ages does it carry influences?

First of all, I am the one who argues that Black metal should always be kept separate from other types of metal. Black Metal is a soul business. It can't be exhibited on stage; it can't be narrated with spectacular productions. Its place is nature and darkness. Technically, almost all Dungeon Synth music groups are influenced by the black metal and form the music infrastructure. In the theme of my music from time to time you can come across ancient and mystical elements. This diversity comes entirely out of the main body of dark art. You can sometimes capture this hysterical and tense atmosphere with a single keyboard tone.  Burzum’s “Tomhet” is proof of that -
Art should be a minimal depiction.

What do you think about the relation between dungeon synth and black metal as we know that this music genre is most often performed by the black metal artists like Wongraven, Mortiis, Atilla?

As I mentioned in my answer to your previous question, Dungeon Synth is the hidden treasure of black metal with its particular aesthetic. You can find this theme and sounds in many well-established music groups. Bathory, Dissection, Burzum, for example. Apart from these, as you mentioned, Wongraven and Mortiss(the first period) are the groups that give the most direction to Tir. But on top of all that, I'd like to point out that I am also inspired by bands like Summoning, Empyrium, Nhor and Dead Can Dance. Dungeon Synth provides a kind of perspective.  I mean, it further minimizes black metal's rigid, aggressive structure, making it a music that makes us hear from dark castles.

Dungeon synth is adoptable to the soundtracks of video games especially, and also serials, movies, etc. in the specific genre as it is an instrumental music having the capability of reflecting variety of moods. What do you think about the borders of this genre? Do you have any projects in your mind for the future?

You are absolutely right. Since the time of the Commodore you can hear the melodies of the DS. In some comic magazines, we come across a lot of themes. It is also possible to come across various groups and people, especially in the film industry - in digital narratives with mystical and dark elements, DS melodies are always needed. Personally, I'm going to have a work like this. A HDK production from Italy will soon release an album of mine. This company, which produces collections for FRP, RPG lovers, has wanted to work with Tir since last year.

What are the foremost albums in dungeon synth genre according to you so far?

Wongraven/Fjelltronen, Mortiis/Stargate, Burzum/Dauði Baldrs

Tir carries intense influences from Empyrium which is as a musical source of endless melancholy, how do you define melancholy for you and for your music?

Tir has two meanings. The Norse mythology is the god of justice and the other in Central Asia means uniqueness and simplicity. The second meaning is more important to me. I am aware that I have created a drama and a melancholic base in my music with the name. The planet we live in is experiencing serious chaos. Consumption frenzy, destruction and reverse evolution. All this affects the music structure in my mind, albeit indirectly. There's always some kind of melancholic atmosphere with Tir. I'm not complaining, because this drama is oddly able to give me more inspiration.

"Art should be a minimal depiction."

You are also leading the Turkish Empyrium fan club. Can you give more details and activities about the club?

I have a great history with the Empyrium. So I can say that I enjoy editing fan pages. We're already coordinating with Markus and have organized two Empyrium shows in Turkey.

Are there any live plans for Tir? Dungeon synth is performed by ritualistic elements that fits the atmosphere and lets the audience into full contemplation like Atilla did but on the other hand I also came across performances like only synth on the stage which is a bit dull like Mortiis did at last year’s Brutal Assault Festival. What do you think about live performances of this music?

As I mentioned at the beginning, I don't think it makes sense to bring to the stage Black Metal and similar music genres. I had the opportunity to watch a few DS concerts. The atmosphere disappears completely. I think the same thing is apparent for me. Martin from Prophecy Productions offered me a chance to perform live, but I refused. Still, I don't want to talk for sure, time is the solution…

What does black metal mean to you in terms of dark arts? What are the best atmospheric albums of this year for you?

Manifesto, contradictory, difficult to understand (better if everyone does not understand).  It is not possible for me to say an album for this year. But the BM listeners should take Icelandic groups into consideration!

Thank you for the interview. Please share your last words.

Thanks Zeynep for nice and qualified questions. Dark art continues its way. We can all drink this wine!

"Black metal means... Manifesto, contradictory, difficult to understand (better if everyone does not understand)."  

Song Of The Rain

Monday, July 22, 2019


July, 2019

Season of darkness does not require cold snowy mountains, lightless days or frozen lakes to come. Its steps shall be heard through the art created by the frozen hearts, darkened visions, melancholic breathes towards the life. 

As a melodic black metal band with dark/gothic influences from Turkey, Black Omen has been following its own dark path despite of the trends in the scene.

New EP called “Darkness Is My Essence” is for the ones who endlessly delve into dark arts and feel the abyss deep inside.

Here you have Black Omen interview!

"There is more dark rage and nothingness in here. There's an extinction. Of course, melancholy, together with darkness and hatred, is one of the most important influences in Black Metal."

After 7 years of silence, you came up with an EP instead of an album, what was the reason?

Black Omen: We wanted to compose limited but special songs. We thought that we should make a few songs that are not repetitive of our past works but will not come out of a certain musical circle. There was no need for filler songs. Besides, we are not a band that is in the music industry and labels/listeners do not expect us to make an album biyearly. Everything depends on us.

Black Omen has 3 albums but this EP has improved in production, mastering, and mixing. Could you please give more details on the production process?

B.O.: In fact, we recorded this EP in the studio where we made the 3rd album, and the same people did the recording-mixing and mastering. As we move forward, we become more aware of what we want and, of course, advances in technology may have affected this. This EP has the longest mixing-mastering period among our all products. As far as we remember 11 revisions were performed. We thought over every millisecond, and this result came out.

Gate of Darkness is rearranged for this album? Did you have a particular reason to choose this song?

B.O.: It is our first composition and we usually make it a closing song at shows. All band members love that song.  In time, as we played in the stages, we changed the song a little bit from the original version in our debut album. We wanted to re-record this ultimate version.

EP includes the orchestral version of “Damned Renaissance” from Sinphony album. Who did the arrangement? Why Damned Renaissance? Do you have classical influences on composition also?

B.O.: We received assistance from Ozan Tunç and Özgür Yamandemir in the orchestral arrangement. All songs in the “Sinphony” album are already suitable for adapting to the orchestral version. We tried symphonic compositions on that album. When you take out the guitars and drums from songs, the music is pretty orchestral. Of course, Ozan and Özgür made new arrangements on the simple form of that song. Damned Renaissance is one of our most popular songs, and it seemed to suit the orchestral arrangement. We are pleased with the result.

Could you please talk about the composition process and the emotional reflections of “Darkness Is My Essence” on you afterward as it shines out in an ambivalent mood from angst to dark ecstasy and sounds fully different than the other songs on the EP?

B.O.: Thanks for your impressive words. We started with the idea that a variable transitive song which has a lot of riffs and melodies were more intense on the guitar. This song actually shows the musical development of us. This song is again the product of an era of internal conflicts and depression where we are trapped in moments. Darkness is the biggest theme in black metal. We looked at the essence, deep wells in our souls and caught the reflections coming from there.

Khufu Records also released the cassette version of the EP which I think sort of keeps on the nostalgic vein of black metal. What do you want to say about this?

B.O.: Actually, we were going to release it only in CD format physically but through a friend, we reached Khufu Records and decided on releasing MC format also. Yes, we aimed to maintain a nostalgic spirit and it was a purely monumental and archival movement, far from commercial expectation.

Have you defined a concept for the EP? What are the lyrics about? Can you write your favorite verse from the EP?

B.O.: There is no specific concept, but you can find themes like darkness, loneliness, violence, and extinction. The first song is about the different transformations of love under difficult conditions and their reflections on the axis of primitive desires. In other songs, extinction, nihilism, darkness, and melancholy are common themes. As a favorite, we can select the first verses from Darkness is My Essence:

“I arose from nothingness to archaic firmaments
In gloomy aeterna I flew, I’d lost in moments”

Throughout Black Omen history, you have had changes on vocals. Recently on EP, Karahan is on the vox combining all sinister routes by using various styles while brutals come into prominence unlike high-pitched scream vox at the previous albums. What was the reason for the changes on vocals? For me, I'd prefer Karahan’s vocals which are more into the brutal direction that present a powerful vibe to Black Omen’s ravishing darkness. What are your comments on this? Do you think each album has its own tone and mood by this variation on the vocals?

B.O.: We tried to make changes and innovations not only in vocals but also in other instruments in terms of tone and style. In fact, we always used scream-brutal together and we even tried speech vocals from time to time. Brutal vocals may be a bit more in the EP but scream vocals are always the heart of our music. Rather than each album, each song is toned according to its own structure. We decide whether brutal, scream or speech vocals are more appropriate for riffs and emotions to be given. Of course, there is a different voice tone color of each vocalist. There may be such a difference between scream and brutal tones.

"Melancholy is an inevitable necessity, not to be knowingly and willingly sad; and it is the paramount resource that nourishes art-creativity."

Who did the artwork and what kind of impression did you want to give with it?

B.O.: The cover design was made by our close friend Selvin Flames. We gave her ideas about what we wanted. We wanted a cover that could reflect darkness, death, loneliness, and nothingness. Many changes were made until the end and the ultimate version of the cover satisfied us all.

While listening to the EP, I found myself looking in the eyes of melancholia, deep, dark and obscure embedded in melodies. What does melancholia mean for you and your art?

B.O.: Thank you. In fact, we don't think EP is very melancholic and depressive, except “Dark Is My Essence” song. We've made more of that kind of songs in the past. There is more dark rage and nothingness in here. There's an extinction. Of course, melancholy, together with darkness and hatred, is one of the most important influences in Black Metal. Melancholy is a non-seasonal window in which you look at reality from the inside. It is a normal anomaly in this chaotic world because everything we are right next to is far from us. Melancholy is an inevitable necessity, not to be knowingly and willingly sad; and it is the paramount resource that nourishes art-creativity.

Do you think art is born of suffering? What are the essential constituents of your music?

B.O.: Absolutely. “Ars artis gratia” and art should be free from populist expectations. Therefore, it is a reflection of the artist's inner panorama, and painful art arises from pain. You bring out the flames in your soul and ignite those who discover your art. In our music, there has always been inner darkness, hatred, and melancholy. These are the components of our music.

"'Psychoanalysis' and 'Satan'. Like the analysis of an evil spirit."

I’d like to ask questions regarding crossroads of the arts; hence what about literature? Do you have literary influences or authors that you follow while creating your music? Or what kind of literary opus are you interested in?

 B.O.: Definitely. Although we do not quote directly from any author, gothic-fantastic literature has a great influence, especially on our story-like/concept lyrics. We made an instrumental song about a war from Tolkien's universe (Nirnaeth Arnoediad). Poe, Lovecraft, and Bram Stoker can be listed as our other influences. Of course, there is much more. We can add psychoanalysts like Freud and psychology as well. We also had quotes from mythologies.

Black Omen seems to be into word games. Sinphony, Psytanalysis… could you please tell about the stories behind them?

B.O.: "Sinphony" is a word derived from the combination of “Sin” and “Symphony”. Like sin’s symphony. Similarly, “Psytanalysis” was also derived from the words “Psychoanalysis” and “Satan”. Like the analysis of an evil spirit. Generating such new words is very effective and makes you the only one who has them in the world. So wherever you write Psytanalysis, you'll find Black Omen's 3rd Album.

Black Metal has been improving by incorporating various genres so far. After the 2nd wave of black metal, the melodic era has had a climax, suicidal with avant-garde embellishments came after and lately, we have had many post-black metal bands. Despite the tendency, Black Omen has been in the borders of melodic black metal? What do you want to say about this; consistency, desire?  What are the pros and cons of being a melodic black metal band?

B.O.: We didn't want to go far beyond the style we started. Of course, it is important to extend the boundaries of the circle and not repeat ourselves, but there is a need for consistency. If we want to make a different style, for example, Raw Black Metal, it doesn't seem appropriate to call it Black Omen. This must be the subject of a new name or another project. When people listen to one of your new songs if they can say “Hey, isn’t that Black Omen?” it means that you have come a long way in creating your originality and you have been able to root your sound. In our sound, there are influences of Black, Dark, Doom, and Gothic metal. We think we're more gothic than black and more black than gothic. There are these aspects of being a Melodic Black Metal band. Soft for Black Metal, strong for Doom-Gothic Metal, you stay in the middle. This style was more popular in the 90s and early 2000s, but the trends do not interest us. We have received a lot of criticism about the keyboard for nearly 20 years in our music life, but we did not remove it from our music. It is part of our soul. Strings, choir, and piano tones are very useful in creating atmosphere.

How do you define black metal in your own words?

B.O.: Art of darkness… The struggle for existence… An abyss that looks inside us… Mirror held in hate and melancholy… Unholy Water for unbelievers…

What kind of music influences Black Omen?

B.O.: Black, Dark, Gothic and Doom Metal… Dark classical music artists like Carl Orff should also be mentioned.

What are the best opuses from 2019 so far according to you?

B.O.: New albums of Vargrav, Mephorash, Deus Mortem, Bethlehem, Deathspell Omega. Misþyrming, Kampfar, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Possessed, Nordjevel, Enthroned and guitarist’s Batushka.

How are your live shows? How do you catch the atmosphere? Are there any upcoming ones lately? You will have a show in Istanbul this year. Could you please give more details about it?

B.O.: We're a band that rarely goes on stage. Mostly bar concerts. In fact, we do not do anything extra than try to perform our music well. Maybe a little make-up and we used candles in a few concerts. Yes, we will play in İstanbul with Opera IX and Sabhankra in November. We don't have another concert plan until that event.

How has been black metal scene in terms of bands, concerts, audiences, fans, magazines, etc. in Turkey? Can you give names of the bands who were able to leave a mark in Black Metal scene in Turkey?

B.O.: Unfortunately, our situation in the world Black Metal arena is not heartwarming.  Black metal is underground of underground around here. Despite this, we think there are some successful bands such as Episode 13, Zifir, Thorncraft and Persecutory.

Are there any plans for Black Omen? Are we going to listen to a new album after the EP?

B.O.: Frankly, we don't have a new album plan but we'll look at what time will tell. Eps are usually released before an album, but we released an EP instead of an album.

Are the members of Black Omen involved in any other side or solo projects?

B.O.: Onur, the drummer plays at Death Metal band Carnophage and the vocalist Karahan also sings at Stoner Metal band Truck.

Please share your last words and wishes for Black Metal Chronicles.

B.O.: Thank you for your support and this interview. We wish Black Metal Chronicles success in broadcasting. Those who want to contact us can use our accounts below:


"Art of darkness… The struggle for existence… An abyss that looks inside us… Mirror held in hate and melancholy… Unholy Water for unbelievers…"