Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Tir INTERVIEW



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!

tirofficial.bandcamp.com
twitter.com/tirofficialband
instagram.com/tirofficial/






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


Song Of The Rain




https://open.spotify.com/album/TIR



Monday, July 22, 2019

BLACK OMEN INTERVIEW





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:

Mail: blackomenturkey@gmail.com







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











Tuesday, July 9, 2019

MORK INTERVIEW



July, 2019

Shadow of an archaic ghost sneaking around ghastly on the sky of Izmir, the far west shore of Turkey, starving for black metal since that numinous door opened by the Mayhem concert in 1990 organized by Dystopia Promoters. Mork as a True Norwegian Black Metal band, was the second round after all those years who gave a mesmerizing concert which was organized under the İzmir Attack concert series by Dystopia Promoters in İzmir.

This year, on 19th April, Mork’s 4th full-length “Det Svarte Juv” was released via Peaceville Records. For those, who has delved into black metal fire long ago and still looking for the old-school glacial riffs haunting under gloomy atmosphere, shall keep eyes and ears on this band as it is coming from the true vein of the dark legacy.

No more digression, here you find the interview with Thomas Eriksen who is the man behind Mork!




Black Metal was the thing that resonated the most with my creativity and soul



Hello Thomas, how are you? How are the festivals, shows going on after releasing new album “Det Svarte Juv”?

Det Svarte Juv
Thomas: I’m doing fine. A bit tired after driving across Norway today from our show last night in Sandnes. The shows are doing great. It’s good to be able to refresh the set-lists with new tracks and see the impact it makes on our audiences. We got to kick off the new album launch in a big way, considering we played the Inferno Festival the same time of release. That was great, both being back at the festival as well as having a packed venue there for the second time.

You have been working with Peaceville Records since 3rd album “Eremittens Dal”. As I remember that they were terrified when Darkthrone wanted to divert their genre from death metal to black metal back in 90s. Now year 2017, second shock turn of the black metal attack with Mork despite of the genre is known yet but not popular, even archaic in the metal scene. How did you persuade them?

Eremittens dal
T: Black Metal is an internationally recognized and important genre. Keep in mind that it has been alive and growing ever since the times you mentioned. So it’s strong and really reaches deep into people’s minds and souls, more so than other branches on the metal tree. I was told that Peaceville did not sign new acts and liked to stick to the older well known bands. I guess quality and authenticity persuaded them. I am truly honored. 

Fenriz and Nocturno Culto support Mork, Nocturno Culto also features at ‘Hudbreiderens revir’ from “Den vandrende skygge” album and contributes to the shows time to time. Mork album reminds me the old days of Darkthrone especially “Transilvanian Hunger” times. You kind of pick up the 2nd wave of black metal where they left. What do you think about Mork’s black metal? What are the comments of Darkthrone on this? How do you find their rock’n roll and punk influenced black metal?

T: I am about one decade younger than those guys and did never get to be a part of the original scene. So it was naturally for me to pursue that sound and feel, even if it was 2004 or 2013. To me it was new, you know. That way of creating black metal is the most rewarding to me personally. Pure feel. Gylve and Ted likes the riffs and the feel, I suppose, which is a nice path on the back for me. 
I really like most of their stuff to be honest. It being crust, death, punk, heavy, thrash or good old black. I tend to like raw and pure music, that’s not overly polished to perfection. 


Norwegian lyrics represent True Norwegian Black Metal the best!

Why does this album have darker vein resonating in various forms and melancholic atmosphere comparing with other Mork albums? Besides, the production is also different with heavy bass lines in terms of depth. What do you want to say about the album’s sound, atmosphere?

T: To me the album is dark, simply dark. Which resonates well with the cover-art that David created for me. And the title fits very well, of course. I am truly happy and proud with the outcome. I am also quite relieved having it lifted from my shoulders. 

Lyrics are all in Norwegian. Is it about phonetic reasons or related with how you express yourself?

T: That’s quite simple. To me only Norwegian lyrics represent True Norwegian Black Metal the best. That’s what make the most sense to me, personally. It gives more authentic quality that kind of gets lost in international language based lyrics.   

What is the concept of the album? Can you translate one of your favorite lines from the album into English for Black Metal Chronicles?

T: It’s not a concept album, but there is an overall theme and feel, inspired by personal experiences. The album was created during a terrible time in my life. I lost several family-members and had a lot of shit happening to me in the aftershocks of that. Too much tragedy to experience over a short span of a couple of years at the ages 33-34. I am proud of all my lyrics so that’s hard picking one line. I will use one of the dark and one of the more uplifting lines, then. 

«A flame that burns hotter than fire. The shining light that blinds away the sun. A courage to fight and defeat. A goal to remain forever and beyond».
«My pain runs deep, I am tormented to death. My fading pale hope. With one foot in this world that holds me back. Let go and let me fall deep into the black abyss» 

The most energetic crowd of our career, this far

Photo by Tarık Gök
Mork Izmir concert/2017

One thing that I’m really curious for the entire interview is your İzmir show on 18.03.2017 at one of the concert series of İzmir Attack! You came to this Aegean seaside town where Mayhem gave concert with original band members in 1990. Please share your memories related with the city, concert, audience and how did you make a contact with Arcan Öğütverici from Dystopia Promoters?

T: I can’t really remember if Arcan made contact with me or if we were put in touch through the avid Mayhem collector and historian who’s behind the “The True Mayhem Collection” on the socials. However, Arcan wanted to bring back a Norwegian black metal band, like he did back in 1990. He found Mork on the internet and took a liking. That’s how it all started.    


We travelled to Izmir late a Friday night and went back to Norway on the Sunday. We had some problems at the Istanbul airport, which resulted in a really late arrival in Izmir. Arcan and a friend picked us up and we had a very nice late dinner at a restaurant, which has to have been at midnight or even later. We got to have the whole day before the show on Saturday to experience Izmir, which we really appreciated. When we travel and ay shows it always a nice thing to be able to see some of the culture as well. The city was very nice and Arcan introduced us to local food, shops, drinks and thick coffee. All great stuff. Then we played the show that night at a club called Noxx stage, I believe. Mork and two or three other bands. It was of course a curious thing for us to see how many people that would show up. I think we ended up with about 300 metal-thirsty maniacs in the crowd. Great enthusiastic crowd that gave us a really special experience. The most energetic crowd of our career, this far. After the show we had a nice calm beer with Arcan near the waterfront in the city before we called it a night and left for the airport early the next morning. A cool detail is that Arcan made a very exclusive supply of “Mork Izmir” t-shirts, which was sold at the show.
Good times in Izmir and Turkey. 
with Thomas' own words: "Mork and Arcan, the man who brought black metal to Izmir. First Mayhem with both Dead and Euronymous in 1990 and now Mork in 2017. It was an honor"

Now I opened a parenthesis here and asked what Arcan remembers back then with an unforgettable memory from concert that he shooted. 

Arcan Öğütverici: Mork don't do covers of classics on stage, though Mork's music is built on all of them, but there's a surprise at the end of first song we'll play, you'll hear the intro to Freezing Moon for a while as we pay homage to 1990 İzmir. 

Mork Hedningens Spisse Brodder opening song plus freezing moon intro
Mork Izmir concert/2017

MORK originally began as a side-project but turned into your full time work. What did you remember when you looked back? How did you decide to take this path?

T: After being in other bands and genres before and on the side, I finally decided that Black Metal was the thing that resonated the most with my creativity and soul. It was something I created naturally and not forced at all. When I saw that it hits home with other black metal followers as well, I realized that Mork is an important part of my life and legacy. 

Why did you choose to be a one man black metal band from the beginning?

T: I am an only child and I have always had a good imagination and creative mind. I know what I am doing and what I am capable of. I have an overall understanding and overview of how I want my music to be. So, to involve other people into the creation of my Black Metal is to put it straight up; messing with the formula and in danger of taking away some of the quality. Not to be an arrogant dick, but it’s my music and I know how it is to be.  

Do you have influencers from other genres, music styles?

T: I like all kinds of music. I am not dependent of genre but authenticity, quality and songs. If a song is good, it does not matter if that is country, jazz, disco or black metal. Quality prevails is my motto. 

“Det svarte juv” has bleak darkness resonates with clean vocals that has tendency to let one feels to be in a sort of pagan requiem (You should use cleans more together with screams according to me!). How is your approach to Old Norse poetry, pagan traditions, and rituals?

T: None, actually. Everything I create is purely out of my head, then and there. I do however like to add nuances to my music. I am not afraid to involve some different vocal approaches. But it has to fit the song and feel, obviously. 

Thinking of authors from North, Knut Hamson is among my favorites other than August Strinderg that I found an elusive solitude hiding behind its own universe. Do you have any interest in Scandinavian literature, what do you want to say about?

T: I am not a big reader or follower of literature. I do respect that it is there and think it’s an important part history and mankind. But I do not have much to say about it. I am a thinker and use my mind and take on the world instead of reading others. 

What do you think about ritualistic side of black metal at shows, while composing or in personal life? Is MLO, as the most serious act so far, active in Norway for it seems like mostly from Sweden and popular among Swedish musicians?

T: I have no connection to any of that. So I don’t know much about it. To me my black metal and creations are all products of my own mind. There are no rituals other then what happens within my head. 

How is your approach to intertwinement of arts influencing each other like from music to literary work, painting, movies, etc.? Can you trace back any dark arts in your music that influence you or gives you spark on the way?

T: It’s hard for me to try to explain inspirations. Anything can trigger it. A well put together esthetic in either a movie or a painting. Like earlier today while driving through some valley, I all the sudden had the urge to create. Just by the way of the scenery. Life is full of tastes, vibes and feels. You never know when a spark will ignite the flame.    



Death takes away everything and makes materialistic shit lose its importance


Mork” is taken from the Norwegian word for rot or decay, how is your approach to death? How do you define it by your own words?

T: Death was way more mysterious to me prior to the recent passing of my father. Now I see it as an unavoidable sudden end. That’s it. Switch off and dead black. Death takes away everything and makes materialistic shit lose its importance. Death is not the interesting or scary part, it’s the path that leads to it.  

What are the main constituents of your black metal music? What do you put emphasis on if you define a work as black metal in terms of atmosphere, production, ideology?

T: I can feel right away if my work has depth or not. To me, of course. Depth is important. An atmosphere of pure feelings and mystique. I like the raw and angry end of the genre as well as the more fragile, mysterious and beautiful. Production is important, as I said, high end polished stuff has no atmosphere and feel whatsoever. 

From the beginning of true black metal, Norwegian woods and then Scandinavian lands are told to be the inspiration of black metal breeding the dark feeling from desolation, cold, long lasting winters. What do you think of this identity that black metal has per se? I have an observation like if you are not living in big cities as Oslo, Stockholm or Helsinki at North, you kind of have rural, isolated and truly quiet life at North utterly different then chaotic, noisy and shining Mediterranean shores. How is Tromsø as you should be from there if I am not wrong?

T: I am not from Tromsø, far from it. I am from the far south-east corner of the country, with Tromsø being located far north. Halden is my town of origin. Yes, Norway is blessed by having many small towns and desolate places, for sure. I do spend time in larger cities like Oslo and so on, but it’s always great and relieving to return to the smaller communities.

Can you name your special Mork songs that you like to play live and ones which resembles best Mork sound? For me ‘I flammens favn’ having ambivalent melodies, ritualistic vox and ‘Den lukkede porten’ is very enchanting and also experimental with using Hardanger fiddle.

T: Thank you. I enjoy both those tracks. You know, it’s hard to pick from my “children”. Every album is important to me and to the history of Mork. Live-favorites at the moment has to be «På Tvers Av Tidene», «Hudbreideren’s Revir», «I Hornenes Bilde» and «Mørkets Alter»
When it comes to studio-versions, and which songs that represent Mork the best... well. That’s hard too. Try these; «Dype Røtter», «I Flammens Favn» and «I Sluket Av Myra». 

Photo by Tarık Gök
Mork Izmir concert/2017

As a tradition for Black Metal Chronicles, I ask black metal guitarists about the best black metal riffs ever for them. Could you please share yours?

T: «Svart Industriell Olycka» (Shining. Yes, Swedish, I know) 
«Jesu Død» (Burzum)
«Transylvanian Hunger» (Darkthrone)
«In The Lies Where Upon You Lay» (Mayhem, Blasphemer) 

What are your future plans for Mork? Please share your last words…Waiting to see Mork in İzmir again!

T: Our goal is to keep visiting new countries whilst spreading our black plague. Re-visit places we’ve already been. This August Mork will United States for the first time, playing Las Vegas, San Diego and Los Angeles. That is something we are looking forward to. I will keep creating Mork music as well as keeping the black flame burning. Hopefully Mork will come back to Izmir in due time. And when we do, see you all there. 
Thanks for the support.  



Black metal is strong and really reaches deep into people’s minds and souls, more so than other branches on the metal tree.


Mork - I Flammens Favn (with Det Svarte Juv)



MORK - På Tvers Av Tidene (from Det Svarte Juv)


Dystopia Promoters / Mork Concert Poster