Tenebrae in Perpetuum Interview

8 min read

After a ten-year absence, TENEBRAE IN PERPETUUM released their latest album “Anorexia Obscura” on August 30th on Debemur Morti! The album had me absolutely enthralled with its thunderous black metal elements, further enriched with an unhinged vocal performance and uncanny electronic elements and noise. This led me to write a review of the album, that you can check right here! I think I don’t have to say that the album is really good, this makes me even more happy to have Atratus, the main creative force of TENEBRAE IN PERPETUUM, as an interview guest today, enjoy!

– Hello Atratus, we’re glad to have you here at BAZ, welcome!
– Hi, thanks for the invitation.

– I usually like to start with the basics, so what can you tell us about yourself outside of the music?
– Let’s say that unfortunately I am not 20 anymore and today I have many other things to think about besides music, I am referring to work and family and then I have several other interests like the mountains, photography, and cinema. In short, a seemingly normal life.

– What was your gateway into metal and heavier music?
– The approach to Black Metal has been gradual and has not happened so early in my life. From ’94 I started from punk, then grunge, followed by Metallica, Sepultura, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse and Carcass and in 1997 I discovered Black Metal with Cradle of Filth, Emperor, Immortal, Mayhem, and all the usual Norwegian bands for then deepen the underground more and more from ’99.

– Tell us about Tenebrae in Perpetuum inception, how did the project come to be?
– In the fall of 2001 I was going through a sort of mystic trance about Black Metal and I felt the need, the urgency I would say, to create my own project that embodied as much as possible what I thought, and I still think, to be the very concept of Black Metal, from its philosophy. The musical and conceptual bases of Tenebrae In Perpetuum were born during those days and, although there has been a natural evolution, they are still present. I refer to the dark, mystical, violent and insane sound that can be heard on the entire production of the band.

– The bands name translates from latin to “darkness forever”, correct? Is the concept of everlasting darkness an important part of your music?
– Of course. For me the dark atmosphere is something that in Black Metal absolutely cannot be missing and one of the aspects that I want to be absolutely present and preponderant in every release of Tenebrae In Perpetuum.

– Before talking more in-depth about the new album, I’d like to ask what brought you back to making music after an almost ten-year hiatus?
– The decision to revive Tenebrae in Perpetuum was not sudden but took thanks to various circumstances. In 2016 I resumed writing strange non-metal music, experimental and in any case depressive with the aim of creating something profoundly different from everything I had done before, and this was the first step.

But that wasn’t Tenebrae in Perpetuum yet.

Later I took up and completed a Black Metal song written in 2017, thanks to the invitation to join the compilation for the 15 years of foundation of by Debemur Morti Prod, that contained some influences of that strange music. This song seemed very interesting to me and I thought it could be a new beginning. After 2010, thinking back to the music of Tenebrae in Perpetuum, I realized that I should try to dare more and create more personal music and probably a little of that experimental music started in 2016 could be the way to do it. So, I came back because I think I’ve got something to say again.

– How does it feel being back? Were there perhaps challenges or hardships returning?
– The thing I most appreciated about this return is that I was able to write the new album without any internal or external pressure. When I started again in 2018 I thought that nobody would remember Tenebrae in Perpetuum after so long and that nobody would be interested in it. So, I was able to write the album as if Tenebrae in Perpetuum was a new band on their debut album. This was a great advantage because I could write music free from the comparison with previous releases. Often the weight of what was done before is an obstacle to creativity but this time it did not happen and I’m very satisfied with this.

– Let’s get to the album now, shall we? “Anorexia Obscura” is out now on Debemur Morti, how would you describe the albums overall sound and atmosphere?
– Obscure, insane, dissonant, desperate, mystical.

– Were does the title, that translates to “Obscure Anorexia” (‘anorexia’ meaning eating disorder), come from and how does it capture what the album is about?
– It does not come from eating disorder but rather I consider anorexia and its extreme weight loss, as a sort of will or need to disappear cause of the incapacity or the unwillingness to exist in this world. It’s a concept that I feel very close to. Furthermore Anorexia is a mental / nervous disease that has strong repercussions on the body and is perfect for this album.

– Would you say there is an underlying concept to the album, and if so, what is that concept?
– There is no real concept though several lyrics on the album talk about the relationship between mental and nervous diseases and its consequences on the body.

– What caught my eye and disturbed me quite a bit is the albums cover-art. Can you tell us something about the artwork and why you chose it?
– All the artwork is the work of Antithesis of Cold Poison, to which I first explained my ideas on how I wanted it and then he proposed me that image of the dead-head in ancient anatomical card style, I liked it immediately and above all, it perfectly fits the themes of the album.

– The vocals are performed in Italian, was that an artistic choice or more so for convenience?
– When I founded the band in the fall of 2001, I wanted to differentiate it as much as possible from another project in which I was involved (Beatrik) and singing in Italian seemed the right thing to do.

– Can you give us the gist of what themes the lyrics deal with?
– They mainly talk about self-tortures by devices of cold silicon, sharp steel, strange oscillations that induce hypnosis, etc., all in a very dark and sick context.

– Your vocal performance on the album is intense, to say the least, can you tell us what they are supposed to convey?
– It is certainly one of my best vocal performances ever because I think I interpreted the insanity, obscurity, and despair that the album needed to have well. I believe that anyone can hear what I mean by listening to Anorexia Obscura.

– A nice addition to the albums sound is the use of electronics. What do you find appealing in this kind of music and how does it enrich “Anorexia Obscura” in your opinion?
– In the last few years, I’ve listened to a lot of music from rock / electro-rock bands that have something similar in them. The strange experimental music that I started writing in 2016 is very much influenced by this and I thought that some electronic oscillators in a raw, analogic style would have been perfect together with the obscure Black Metal typical of Tenebrae in Perpetuum and above all they were a new and original enough element that made me rediscover interest in writing new music.

– Talking a bit more in general, what do you find most appealing about black metal and the underground? What can the genre perhaps express more so than other types of music?
– For me, Black Metal is a very special musical genre because it manages to have many different elements in it, such as dark atmospheres, brutality, melancholy, deep emotions. It can be extremely fast or extremely slow, it can be proud and epic but also totally depressive. I don’t know any other kind of music that has all this. Then I see the underground as an environment where the bands make music with total devotion and sincerity.

But one problem with Black Metal is that it is very easy to fall into ridicule especially with regards to the image of the bands and this should not happen!

– Are there any other bands, be it black metal or not, that you would call a musical inspiration for the sound of Tenebrae in Perpetuum?
– The young bands are often born with the desire to play like their favourite bands and it was also that way for Tenebrae In Perpetuum. In the early times, I wanted to create dark and mystical Black Metal in the style of the early works of the Scandinavian and European bands that I listened to and loved at the time. Today, as far as the Black Metal part is concerned, I mostly draw inspiration from the previous works of Tenebrae In Perpetuum trying to renew something, as far as possible. I listened to very little Black Metal released after 2008-2010 and therefore I don’t have many influences of this kind but if I had to mention some names, I would say Mayhem and Thorns. Then I am inspired by some rock / electro-rock music that will probably leave an even more obvious footprint in the future.

– Also, any inspiration outside of music?
– The inspirations for any form of art I think come mainly from the soul of its creator. Everything that surrounds us, what we see, feel, the relationship with other people and with the external environment can influence this state of mind but what we have in-depth will always be the most important influence.

– Thanks a lot for your answers so far, would you like to share anything else with us as well as the readers of Blessed Altar Zine?
– I hope people are willing to listen carefully to our new album because it is quite complex and layered… and during a first, distracted listen it isn’t possible to fully appreciate it.

– It was great having you here, Atratus. I’ve got to say your new record is a definite highlight for black metal this year! Best of luck for the future of your band, looking forward to hearing more from Tenebrae in Perpetuum. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!
– Thank you for your support, see you soon.

Interview by the trve Medvson



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