Once upon a time… there were the 90’s. Black metal. Norway. The origin. Euronymous. The madness. All Black Metal facts, tales, history. Then there’s Mysticum. And there’s not much to say about this band. I mean, not much to say if you want to skip censorship, you want to avoid attacks from religious institutions, you want sound polite, and you want to stick to politically correctness. But I simply didn’t give a fuck and dared to ask Herr General Cerastes whatever I wanted. To have him answering whatever HE wanted to. Inspired by their hatred, by their music, by their myth, I dared asking about the darkest past, a scary present and a uncertain future… And, know what? In response Herr General told me…well… Fuck it: Ladies and Gentlemen, I mean: whores and Satan worshipping worthless creatures… this is pure “Naked Lunch”. This is Mysticum… Good luck. (Leggilo in Italiano)
Hail there General! Thanks for your time…
Greetings Luka Zakk from METALHEAD. First of all, many thanks for your review and excellent words about Mysticum (here). Glad to hear that the active ingredients of “Planet Satan” have found their way to the core of your mind and soul. The General will answer your questions which are as follows…
I had the unhealthy pleasure to review “Planet Satan”. I don’t remember what I wrote or when I wrote it. I was taken away. I just recall I rated it 666/10. So insane. How could you keep this feeling alive after some twenty years of “silence” ?
Mysticum is an unchangeable musical beast. It will always be 100% true to its concept and legacy. The sensations [and] our musical expressions given off are a constant and [they are not] not influenced by the passing of time, changes in trends or other adjustments in the outside world. With pride we compose and preform the art of Mysticum, creating an atmosphere in the darkest regions of the spectrum.
Twenty years indeed. Everything happened. We (me included) were in our 20s… we got the insanity, the energy, the inspiration. We could get wasted, be at a gig, get even more wasted afterwards, sleep two hours and start a whole new day, doing it all over again. Now in the 40s territory hangovers seem to be eternal… What’s devastation today? What has it been during these 20 years? How was it back then? Does it still belong to Mysticum music?
Well, the 90’s were very violent in every way. The eccentric lifestyles with the hardcore abuses belongs to that time. But speaking for myself, the insanity carried on way into the 2000’s, with a close relationship to white powders and psychedelics. The other members were not as hard on the throttle of drugs, and gained a more focused way of life earlier [than me]. The outer frames of work/music and personal responsibilities, limit the present amounts of madness. The traces of our experiences in the past and now, will forever color and inspire the products of Mysticum. Your eternal hangovers can be cured with a better choice for quality drugs and a hardcore physical lifestyle. The 40’s are the new 20’s (laughs, editor’s note).
We probably got older, but music had an evolution. Black metal took several twists, it even managed to be main stream. But Mysticum is the same it was back then; the modern technology is simply making your razor even sharper, cutting veins even deeper. What killed me is that “Planet Satan” sounds like being composed and created right after “In the Streams of Inferno”. But both still sound so modern. A sound that was like a revolution back then, and that still creates new rules, another revolution right today. I mean, Mysticum must be something from another dimension. Ain’t this so beautifully sick?
As mentioned before, we aim to be 100% true and original. Slashing our way through the fibers of rules and predictability in the Black Metal arena. Paying no attention to what`s expected. When we produced our debut we felt we were quite ahead of our time. And that feeling still exits. The “Planet Satan” release, is fuel to the flame of black metal. And a stimulant injection to the a bit boring and stagnated scene of today. Force-feeding our material upon it.
What have you been doing from “Streams” to “Planet” ? Ravn seems like being the one little more active music-wise, but given how “Planet Satan” sounds like, all of you must have kept music alive in your life, even if you probably had to do something else to keep things running.
It’s correct the fact that Svartravn has been the only one active in the Black Metal universe, with his participation in Aborym and Amok. The Doctor and myself have been exploring the digital realm of obscurity, with different crazed projects within the tech/industry. Without being released. Some sort of follow-up on the evolution, in the binary world of music has been maintained. Giving us some enhanced skills for the Planet production.
How can you change the rules, disappear, and then change them again whenever you decided to be back? I mean, on the day you released I noticed that all social networks were going crazy. Anyone about black metal showed up, haling you, posting pictures of the CD/Vinyl. It was like the dormant army of Lucifer got awakened all of a sudden by this awesome album…
Coming back from where we left in the 90’s, with this titan of an album following no rules except our own. With it we fill a gap within the scene, fulfilling the DNA of Norwegian Black Metal. We acknowledge and appreciate the attention and respect it gets.
“Planet Satan” is safely released by the great Peaceville Records. Back then you had to turn to Full Moon Productions as Deathlike Silence was interrupted when Euronymous got killed. What do you remember of that time, that “we’re making it” feeling, about Euronymous, about his vision, about YOUR vision?
I remember first time he shoved up at our rehearsal studio after he had listened to our demos. We were Sabazios at that time and he clearly enjoyed our music. Leading him to sign us to his label. Something we were EXTREMELY satisfied with. The tragedy one week later after the signing, left us in a vacuum for some time. Full Moon Productions were more of an emergency-solution we went for and it played out ok. What his vision for us was is impossible to say and I will speculate on this matter. Our vision where and is to compose merciless, violent and gut-hitting music. With a clear anti-religious/anti-Christian message.
What’s left today? What do miss, what you don’t?
The core-thinking and approach to Mysticum remains the same. With a more reflected and increased understanding of music, adding to it. What we miss Black Metal-wise is the integrity and privacy the scene held before the media-rush in the mid/late 90’s.
Ok, forgive me for these legacy questions. But you wrote, write and will write the history of black metal. Let’s hop to “Planet Satan”. I imagine you guys record some guitar, killer riff, then Dr Best applies an insane beat, so guitars are made heavier, the beat faster, and on and on in this insanity circle of hell. How was the composition process?
The processes for composing our material varies from track to track. When we meet, we share our musical/lyrical ideas and agree upon which to pursue. Certain tracks can contain mostly of one members ideas, and the others filling in the missing ingredients. This shifts around naturally, ending up with a panned-out result. You can say that Dr. and me are doing most of the programming and Svartravn is the prime motor art-wise, riffing more equally spread. But all ideas are filtered through each other and agreed upon before execution. Giving off the mix all three members.
“Planet Satan” was a title planned ages ago. It is an album with almost a life and a brain of its own, like it actually decided when getting released, having you guys forced to the dirty job. What’s “Planet Satan” for you?
We have always knew we would join forces and produce the Planet at some point in time. A subconscious engine has been running in the back of our minds throughout the years, at various speeds. Preparing the moment of arrival. So, you can say it has had a brain of its own for sure. When we now met in 2011 deciding to make it, the time felt right and all pistons went to max speed.
Where is “Planet Satan” located? in space, time, reality or fantasy…
The location is highly classified but will be revealed soon after your moment of death. Good luck.
Lyrics: some beautifully crafted blasphemy in there. I love it. Sentences like “worthless human population”, “Kneel before us, the murderers of god”, “Ending the final end” -typically black metal maybe- are reaching a higher level of anti human and anti religious feeling with this music. How much was purely inspired and how much was crafted intentionally to deliver this extreme assault?
Being inspired by an ancient hate against the concepts of religious beliefs, all lyrics are crafted to be as direct and assaultive as possible. The healthy amount of blasphemy is necessary to attack the ignorant sheep of different strains of religion. And we love it as well. We believe the message of lyrics should not be something that you have to read between the lines. But straight to your face, un-disguised and brutal.
Satanism. Something you follow, believe in to, sets you free or an extreme propaganda to annihilate conventional religions and those worthless followers: sheep after sheep, bowing down and obeying a master?
Hence to what`s stated above, Satanism is to some a religious belief. This we also rebel against, along with all other claimed understandings of any higher beings. The interpretation of Satanism to be a religion with an actual hell and devil to worship, we totally discard. It is just as insane and weak as believing in any other god. The whole concept of this optimistic and foolish beliefs seems to be the lack of character and will to deal with life and death. Satanism to us, represents the core-feeling within states that you are the sole master of your life and death. Being the opposer, rejecting any outer lord or god of any kind to answer to. The parable of Lucifer refusing to obey god and following his own path fighting the slaving institution of heaven, is a perfect parallel to our view upon the matter. But I can tell you this much, if we were now to be major surprised with the encounter of a heaven/hell situation in the afterlife. You can be sure to find us at Planet Satan in the frontline with the forces from hell, launching an attack on the pearly gates to decimate the heavens once and for all.
Humanity: something great, higher, more powerful or just some species, thinking to be so important but belonging to a very limited universal time, doomed to extinction, leaving no traces for whatever comes next?
A virus with limited life expectancy.
One thing I love of Mysticum is you still are the three same guys. And you make it clear all the time that it’s either you three or no Mysticum at all. This is unique. If I had to interview any other band, I could always spot the leader, or two guys that are more important, founding members, older member… whatever. In your case I see you as a trinity. You are one thing: This is great. This is scary. This is not human. This is so deep and poetic. What do you think and want to say about this?
Yes, we are a three-headed organism. A creature who will not survive with the loss of a head. We have always been an unholy trinity, and can only function like this. All inspiration for Mysticum we draw from each other, and from nowhere else. A musical monster from which it is natural to be scared of.
The streams of Inferno dragged you to planet Satan. What’s next? ….When next?
New material is under construction and will release itself upon the world sooner than later. When? Not sure, but definitely before 2032 (laughs, editor’s note). We also want to do exclusive shows from the later part of 2015 and so on. We want as well to make videos to some tracks, but here nothing is decided yet.
Eternally thankful for your time. Being able to ask you whatever was going around my mind was a true pleasure and privilege. Hailing your fans, loyal fans, also hailing METALHEAD.IT readers please close this with notes of insanity, blasphemy, or simply the way you want.
To the readers of METALHEAD.IT, fans and the Italian BlackMetal-scene; May “Planet Satan” be with you all! Enjoy at maximum volume only! Hopefully we will see you from a stage in Italy when we are coming to sodomize the catholic belief and facefuck the whore Maria. Thank you for your interesting, original and good questions Luca. And many thanks again for your outstanding review. Have a nice one man…