#Arkæon 🇩🇰 #Interview

5 min read

Lurking in the Danish extreme metal underground ARKÆON is a shadowy black metal entity comprising Zarnak (guitar), Nohr (drums & vocals) and Antonius (bass and vocals). With their intense debut album Parasit due for release through I, Voidhanger Records on the 18th of November I caught up with the band to learn about the album, their origins and more.

Thanks for doing this interview for Blessed Altar Zine. I’m always excited to hear what I, Voidhanger has coming out and Parasit really grabbed my attention. I’m happy to get to find out more about the band and your music.

Your debut album is coming out soon. What’s the meaning behind the name Parasit and what’s the theme of the album?

ARKÆON: With this album we view life as constituted by parasitic relations, and how the opposition between parasite and host can shift towards mutual demise. Humanity itself can be seen in this way, as a parasite driven by blind greed, eating away at its host, and ultimately consuming its own base of existence.

Turning inward and looking at ourselves as participating in this apocalyptic gorging on life, our pride and certainty vanish in favor of dread and uncertainty. Currently the world is in a state of uncertainty, and we believe that instead of looking for quick fixes or scapegoats, we should embrace it. And perhaps our music can help with entering into that darkness.

Thus the album is not meant as an outward statement, but as an inward meditation. Using obscure textures, tones and atmospheres instead of clear messages, the theme of PARASIT can be interpreted in multiple ways.

What was the process of recording the album like? Were there any particular challenges to overcome?

ARKÆON: After recording several demos, trying different sounds and recording techniques, we found that we preferred the most raw live rehearsal recordings. However, we wanted a higher level of clarity and nuance than could be achieved with our own mediocre gear, so we decided to pay the price and record at a real studio, where the rawness and spontaneity of live performance is attained without compromising on quality and fidelity. Hitherto we have been used to recording and mixing everything on our own, but this time we wanted to focus on the actual playing and offset that responsibility to a professional, in this case Jacob Bredahl of Dead Rat Studio.

There’s a great power and primal energy to Parasit. Where would be the absolute optimal place — anywhere in the world, of any conditions — to play this music and project its energy out into the universe?

ARKÆON: Inside an erupting subterranean volcano among the brutally primitive lifeforms of the Archaean Eon three billion years ago. That is exactly the kind of primal energy that inspires us, and that is the idea behind the name ARKÆON.

The band started out as Eye of Tethys. How did you first come together and why did you decide to change your name to Arkæon?

ARKÆON: EYE OF TETHYS was very specifically a space/astronomy themed black metal project with a fourth member. The fourth member, who was doing vocals and writing his own lyrics, decided to leave the band, and the rest of us wanted to abandon the space thematic and open the door to a much broader palette of ideas and inspirations. We decided on the name ARKÆON

The most obvious tag for the album is black metal, but I detect other influences too. How would you describe your music and what influences do you channel into your playing and your songs?

ARKÆON: When we decided on reimagining the band as ARKÆON, we did not want to keep our diversity of musical inspirations at bay in favor of a fixed conceptualization of black metal. Contrary to a commonplace misconception of black metal as orthodox and elitist, we find that the genre is very malleable, allowing almost any impression or inspiration to be transformed and channeled into our compositions while remaining true to the genre. We try to strike a balance between rawness and grimness on one hand, and grandeur and refinement on the other. People might disagree on the labeling, but we have described the music on PARASIT as either rotten, harsh, or ferocious melodic black metal. That description might change radically on our future albums that may explore other realms of extreme metal.

What were the earliest musical impressions that inspired you to create your own music?

ARKÆON: Each of us have our own way of discovering black metal and extreme music in general, but we have all been eager to make our own creations ever since we first laid ears on the genres at a quite early age. Of course discovering early 90s scandinavian black metal and death metal has been central for all three of us, but we also have deep inspirations in all kinds of different weird, extreme, and progressive music in general.

What’s the extreme metal scene like where you are and what opportunities are there for doing shows?

ARKÆON: Although the eastern region of mainland Denmark where we live is not very populous, we enjoy great support from local scenes. However, it is often the same squad of people that show up at the concerts, so we look forward to playing more shows abroad after PARASIT releases.

Are there any bands playing now that you feel a kinship with that you’d like to give a shout out to?

ARKÆON: Outside listeners may very well find sounds that resemble ARKÆON, but from our own point of view, we cannot pinpoint any one specific band. With that said, we do have a brotherhood of people in our local circle of black metal musicians that deserve a nod.

Once the album is released, what are your plans for the coming months with the band?

ARKÆON: Right now we are working on new albums. When the concerts we have scheduled catch up with us, we will have to go back and focus on practicing the “old songs” (from the album) to be ready to present them to a larger audience. We are currently still booking shows for 2023, and currently only have a few concerts scheduled in january (joining GESPENST in Berlin and Vienna), february (joining ASHENSPIRE in Aarhus, Aalborg, and Copenhagen) and june (Kiel, Hamburg). We are looking forward to filling up our calendar with more shows in 2023.

Finally, is there anything else you’d like to mention or promote?

ARKÆON: Embrace your demons

Interview by Tom Osman

Thanks to ARKÆON for their time. Parasit will be released on the 18th of November on I, Voidhanger Records. Preorder the album from the links below.

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