Greetings over there. Thank you very much for answering this interview. I highly appreciate your effort and hope that you enjoy answering it. As usual, I always ask you to, please, introduce yourself to our readers.
Hail to all, I’m Arsonist, the French guy behind the musical project Ars Moriendi. I started it on 2001 after death of band Solipsis and I recorded some demos. In 2007, the Ukrainian label Griffin Music offered me a deal to released my album called « L’Oppression du Rien ». After that, I released two albums for Archaic Sound, another ukrainian label : « Du tréfonds d’un être » in 2011, and « La singulière noirceur d’un astre » available since march.
You have just released the album “La singulière noirceur d’un astre”, in my modest view, a beautiful work of art that deserves more and more attention from the metalheads. Could you talk about it, what, musically, can the listener expect from it?
Musically, this new album is in the same vein as the previous but maybe with a more pronounced aggressive and black metal feeling. Metalheads who appreciate this project will not be disappointed and they will find all the elements that make Ars Moriendi. An atmospheric and epic black metal with some progressive and even trip-hop or jazzy touches. For the rest, I think I have progressed to each of my albums in terms of composition and production, but I let the listeners to judge.
I’ve read on your label’s website that “La singulière noirceur d’un aster” refers to the phenomenon of black holes, the singularities by the Einstein theory of relativity. Could you elaborate a little more for us about this, how it influenced on the lyrics and, if there is, the background themes on this album.
This album is not really a concept. Each song tackles a different theme, but the general idea is our insignificance in the vast universe. The title of the last track is also the album title because I thought the theme of black holes fairly representative of this insignificance. Black hole represents a power greater than ourselves and that we can imagine. This is a perfect metaphor of “the end of all” and Leoncio Harmr, a talented illustrator, has perfectly imaged it.
Ars Moriendi has changed over the years and shaped into the atmospheric black metal we listen today, which, we can say that isn’t generic at all, something hard after nowadays. Over the years, Ars Moriendi has presented a wide range of styles and influences, first being completely instrumental, and afterwards, we can hear epic black metal, dark electro jazz, then turning into something more progressive. Would you say that Ars Moriendi is an amorphous band when it comes to musicality? Can the listeners expect, in the future, something completely different from the band or do you think you’ve reached the point that you wouldn’t change or add anything else in Ars Moriendi’s music?
When I started this project in 2001, I had in mind not to set musical boundaries. Ars Moriendi must only remain dark and epic, but once this framework respected all of my musical influences are welcome. For example, in 2004, I recorded a demo named Sepulcrum, and this is probably my most experimental work to date. The song “De ma dague…”, which appears on the new album, is the recovery of a piece of this demo.
It is quite possible that Ars Moriendi is still evolving in the future by addressing other musical styles. A band like Ulver did, in my opinion, successfully…so wait and see.
Still on the musical matter, your music, a lot of times, sounds to me very hypnotic. Is that something intended by you? I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Czech band Umbrtka, but Ars Moriendi’s music reminds, as I said, just reminds me of some of their best music. If you aren’t familiar, I highly recommend them for you.
Yes I like hypnotic elements in music. Maybe it’s the influence of a band like Burzum on me. I don’t know this Czech band, but i’m intrigued by what you told about it!
Why do you prefer composing longer songs? Is it something intentional or it “just happens”?
Like I said, I always thought Ars Moriendi should remain an epic project. I’ve always like epic masterpieces in metal and progressive bands like Pink Floyd, Dream Theater…
A question now about Notre Amertume. You are listed as the band’s vocalist. I must say that I was impressed with this split and would love to know if is there a possibility for you and Ivo Iliev work on a new album. Sure, I am aware that you both released albums now in 2014 with Ars Moriendi and Darkflight, but, in my humble opinion, it would be nice to know that you both joined forces to release a new album.
Nothing is planned yet but why not. Ivo is the composer in this project so if he decides to work on new things, I will work with pleasure on vocals and lyrics.
You are signed to the Ukrainian label Archaic Sound, I believe since the release of “Du tréfonds d’un être” in 2011. How do you feel about the label’s work so far? In your personal opinion, as a musician that plays music for passion, do you prefer working on an independent label or a more “mainstream” one?
Yuriy from Archaic Sound doing a great work for Ars Moriendi and I’m totally satisfied by our collaboration. Work with independent label is more interesting when you’re sure that the guy wants your band by passion, not for money or other bullshit.
How do you feel about Black Metal nowadays in France? There were some legendary movements in this country, such as Les Légions Noires (liking the music or not) in the past and some great bands there that have even reached higher audiences. Do you feel that the black metal movement in France is getting stronger? And speaking about that, not only concerning black metal, but rather the French metal underground movement as well.
The French extreme metal scene is good in my opinion and has nothing to envy to others. We have some great bands in death or black metal (the lengendary Loudblast, Benighted, Seth, Christicide, In Mortis Veritas among others). My region, called Auvergne, also have a very active undergroud scene with bands like Suhnopfer, Aorlhac, Rein or Nephren-Ka that I advise you!
This is a question I always asks one man bands musicians: how hard is it for you to compose alone, to gather the strength to start working on a new project? And, in your opinion, what are the main advantages of playing by yourself?
The advantage is that there is no compromise, you can do what you want; play like you want and when you want. Somehow, the musical project becomes an emanation of you. Sure it’s not easy to play all instruments, but we must continue to make progress. It is certain; the one-man-band is an exciting experience.
Something about you, as I always like to ask so that people know the person behind the music. What are your main interests outside music? Do you enjoy movies, books, sports or whatever, anything that you’d like to share with us.
Outside music, I’m busy by a history thesis about social life of choirboys in French churches in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. I should finish it before the end of 2014. I like sport yes, especially tennis, a sport that i practice for years and sure and cinema. The last film I see these days is Old Boy (the first version not the shitty remake), and it’s a great film!
And we reach the end of this interview. One more time, thank you very much for your answers and I wish you the best in the future. Any last words for our listeners?
Thanks for the interesting interview. I hope it will allow people to get to know Ars Moriendi and listening the last albums! Stay metal, stay dark!!!April 23, 2014