In the world of underground Black Metal, especially in the case of bands dealing in Spiritual and Occult topics, it’s rare these days to find a band that has an original sound and approach to the Great Work, not to mention highly advanced compositions and playing skills. Thy Darkened Shade from Greece has these qualities, and after having heard their latest album, I had to ask a few questions from the main Magician of the band, Semjaza.
Greetings, Semjaza! How are things in Greece at the moment?
Greetings to you too, good things are happening here for us, we are eagerly waiting for Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet to be released. We have received support from all over the world and great reviews like yours, which is only the beginning since the album is not even released yet. We are really glad when people who admire the black arts understand our cause. As you know, we are not a typical band, we do not function like them, we do not just play around with music; for someone to fully understand our work, the artwork, the sigils, the lyrics, the practice of the Left Hand Path are of great importance. And obviously, we are much more progressive than a lot of bands, something that sometimes confuses the listeners who need their fast food music. Anyway, we are not suitable for people who want fast food music, that’s why we contained 78 minutes of fully inspired music in one full-length album. We follow our own will and not predetermined notions about how we should be or how the critics or the listeners want us to be, we just follow our true Selves as close as possible.
Obviously, you can have also those who have no clue about the roots of this divine art-form and act like they know, speaking out their irrelevant comments and mundane views. I have seen ludicrous comparisons of Thy Darkened Shade with bands that I don’t listen and I wholeheartedly despise. The average intelligence of the human being is so low it amazes me. It is really obvious that unique art is for the few who can have the intelligence and the spark to comprehend it. The others can happily stay in their below zero cleverness of their everyday lives.
Did you say how things are in Greece? Mundane things are of no interest to us, so we completely ignore what is happening here.
Thy Darkened Shade has been formed in the year 1999, but you released your first full-length in 2012. What did you do in the time between, besides mastering your superior Art?
Thank you for such words, I was studying in universities, contributing to other bands, fulfilling army obligations, learning about mixing/mastering, applying my knowledge on some releases, writing about Lucifer and psychology and searching for Luciferian truth almost everywhere. My only priority was and will always be to receive the illumination of Samael and His bride Lilith, I view my life as correlated with that aim. Many mundane obstacles come and go, but I do not really care about them, they are just feeble human obstacles that only the weak cannot overcome. As you probably know, the quest for truth can take several lifetimes to actually be crowned with victory, my aim is to break the boundaries of Ouroboros and enter the Black Sun. This endeavor will remain the same until I am off from this earthly existence. The years that my unawakened ego was ruling my existence are long gone. It is about caring for my spiritual development and being as far as possible from the cosmic chains, I do not care about how other people interpret currents or believe that people who are occultists should be. I care about being one with my Higher Self and obtaining as much knowledge and experience here and now, shaping me according to my one and only true Self. For me this is the endeavor that all the Left Hand Path Gods teach us, to unveil our true Selves with pride and honor by our side, true individuation.
Your latest album “Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet” has an astonishing amount of complex riffs and amazing performances when it comes to playing the instruments. How long did it take to compose this (long) album?
I have a large back up of personal performed music from 1999 to 2014 in various forms from old recording tapes to Sonar bundle projects etc. This music consists of heavy/thrash/black metal music, to ambient, neofolk and even music using various VSTs to emulate classical orchestras. It is my task to choose for TDS music that really pulsates from somewhere far greater than human. Even back in ‘99 there were times that my black flame entered my music due to my only true essence, which stems from father Prometheus, but I was completely unaware of it at the time. It was not until 2008 that I really understood how to truly reflect my Self via black metal or how to translate His essence via my vessel.
I never really stopped composing, receiving and revealing. My music is a part of a process I use in order to unveil my real Self and get closer to the source of everlasting Chaos. So, to fully answer your question I had many ideas, riffs, mantras, sigils, rituals of fire written for Liber Lvcifer I before Eternvs Mos, Nex Ritvs was even released so, I cannot calculate the years. I do have many ideas and some rough structures for Liber Lvcifer II right now, I received Liber Lvcifer I mastered files from V.Santura in June 2013, thus it is more than a year since LL I rituals were released by us.
How long have you been playing your instruments? Were you into metal as a kid and so on?
I have been playing guitar since I was 13 years of age (I am now 31) and I love real metal since I was 11. Yes, I grew up with the classics of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Dio, Ozzy, Bathory, Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, Angel Witch, King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Sodom, Heavy Load, Cirith Ungol, Manowar, Omen, Candlemass, Running Wild etc! And then an enormous stream of greatness came with the second wave of BM from all over the world. I still honor and I will forever honor real metal music with real values.
Hail the ancient ways of metal!
You seem to have a session-drummer on the album. Was it hard to find an individual who could handle the demanding job of playing the drums?
When we record an album, we first do a completely mastered pre-produced version of it, in order to achieve exactly what we need on the forthcoming production and avoid errors. This pre-production version should be consecrated with the energies that we want to summon so for us to proceed in the recording phase. We are not one of those bands that go blindly and record. As far as the drums are concerned, this time me and my brother of blood (C. Docre from Acrimonious) did the drumming arrangements beforehand for the pre-production phase, we then gave the files to a well-known progressive musician in the death metal scene in order for him to comprehend what we need and to record the drums for the album. He expanded our initial ideas with his ideas and real killer sound (authentic real metal playing without trigger). The drummer’s experience and technique was mesmerizing. I knew from the very beginning that he was going to do a great session for us since his work is also demanding musically.
The album also features vocals by Magus Wampyr Daoloth, a figure who has been involved in the Greek scene for ages, producing essential albums and playing in important bands. Is he still much involved in the Greek scene (or at least some aspect of the Greek scene)?
He can speak better for himself, my opinion is the following: we can see that he is still involved with Thou Art Lord and recently Principality of Hell’s album was released via WTC. I am really glad that I introduced him to the home of WTC, since I grew up with his music and I still value his art high. He was completely involved back then by producing albums for almost everyone in the Hellenic black metal underground and releasing influential music with Necromantia, Thou Art Lord, Rotting Christ, NAOS, RAISM, Diabolos Rising, Wampyre ShadowWolf amongst others. A lot of people here were influenced by him not only by forming bands but also by joining a well-known vampiric organization from abroad, he is the sole reason why most of the 90’s black metal bands from here were/are members on that organization.
Musically, his involvement in the scene is totally inspirational and historical; Necromantia should be praised as one of the best bands from the 90’s with groundbreaking releases like Scarlet Evil Witching Black or the masterpiece split with Varathron. Necromantia are working on a new album, I am really looking forward to it and I expect them to take care of everything including a great artwork that this music should be accompanied with. I am really pleased with his vocals on our track, when I finished with the composition I had his vocals in my mind and he delivered it with the best possible way – the Crossing the Fiery Path way. It is a privilege for me to be working with him and I will be glad to work with him again in the future.
How do you see the old Greek Black Metal mentality compared to the new and younger one, is there a difference? Is Greece divided into smaller scenes, or do the many bands have some sort of communication amongst each other? Or do most bands operate by themselves?
I was not living in Athens when I was young, so I don’t know how the things were here back then. However, in the 90s in Crete, it was me and some few others that were into this kind of music, most of my metal associates were completely indifferent towards black metal. Back in the day, there was an obvious constant fighting even amongst us, fighting that I really enjoyed, almost all of these wannabe tough metal people that were fighting with us back then, are now pop music ‘’lovers’’ while I remain the same black metal (and metal in general) enthusiast that I always have been, but much more mature towards the music and towards spirituality. I do not really follow scenes, I just buy or trade from bands that I find relevant and of course there are many of them from Greece too. Lately, I really liked the first album of Heretic Cult Redeemer which was made by the ex-singer of Acrimonious, the latest release of Zemial and also, right now I am listening to a great album by Order of the Ebon Hand called XV: The Devil.
You have been signed to World Terror Committee for your two albums, a label responsible for a lot of quality releases. How did you end up working with them, did they contact you or vice versa?
Much respect for Sven and World Terror Committee, one of the few labels that care for real black metal values and support their artists. I sent them the Eternvs Mos, Nex Ritvs mastered files and they replied immediately with great enthusiasm. The label released many favorite releases of mine from Orcustus, Ascension, Katharsis, Chaos Invocation, Flagellant and others.
You label your music among other things as “Acausal Necrosophic Black Metal”, which brings to my mind the Lawlesness (acausality) of the music, as well as themes (musical and philosophical) involving Death. Am I on the right track with the meaning of this classification?
Music alone cannot be acausal, however we draw the ultimate insight/inspiration from the acausal continuum, that’s why we have the privilege to name the final conception of what TDS is about as such. It is therefore a name penetrating the essence of this band as whole and not some parts of it. Any other labels are irrelevant and have nothing to do with our art. My aim is to produce music only when acausal energy is presented in my being and I try to find people who are, if not striving for acausal energy themselves, at least sensible towards it (sometimes humans don’t even know that they are sensible to). With that saying and much more, we become a nexion of Luciferian forces into Malkuth. As a certain tradition explains and as we know, the acausal beings have the ability to shape shift/time travel and open nexions to certain sometimes spiritually awakened and other times not spiritually awakened individuals. The presence of the Dark Gods on the earth gives rise to numerous legends that can be translated through all religions. Thus, Prometheus, Lucifer, Iblis, Ahriman, Kingu, etc are all acausal Gods for us that present similar acausal energy and are the ultimate of inspirations. I have seen many retarded humans speaking about nexions and have no clue about what this holy word means, when you call They come.
Necrosophia, relates to our father Qayin and our mother Qalmana, our true blood, everything we do will be forever dedicated to Them, along with our death and final resurrection in acausal forms. My perspective towards the Gods of the Dark will be sooner or later revealed via two books of Promethean revelations.
Your lyrics deal with the Left Hand Paths of Western Magick, and you have also used the term Theistic Luciferianism. Spirituality is apparently something that is strongly present in your everyday life?
Hellenic, Zoroastrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Hebrew, Roman, etc magick are all huge influences. Therefore, the essence of Promethean Fyre can be found behind all religions and magical systems in the world. It is us that we have to decipher the codes and reveal His mysteries. Many people have been devoured by searching for the truth, for me the aim is not to be devoured but to be like Them, Self-created Gods. Spirituality is the only thing that matters and I try to link it with everything in life and death.
It is very common for a Black Metal band these days to sound like Watain and use themes such as Gnosticism and the Qliphoth as an inspiration. This is clearly a trend, but do you see this as a positive or negative phenomenon, and how long do you see this continuing?
It is even trendier for reviewers to say that a band sounds like Watain. I am sure you know these self-proclaimed reviewers, the ones who only know a couple of big occult black metal names and state them wherever a band with distorted guitars, occult lyrics and good production come in their way. These ‘’experts’’ have nothing to do with this divine art form, I am speaking for those who do not care for unique music, but care only to state their retarded opinions for the masterpieces of our time by not listening at all to the music. To answer your question, the nexion that Dissection opened was so huge that nearly no one ignored. The occult rock scene and the black metal scene were and forever will be heavily influenced by Jon Nödtveidt. It was Reinkaos that fully introduced the path of 218 to the metal/rock population; some of the individuals heard the call of Naamah, while others felt nothing but fear or should I say envy too? Of course, there are always hollow bands that want to copy others and have no clue about what they sing and write. This is rather easily detectable, the miss match of occult terms and the stealing from random sacred texts is not uncommon in the ‘scene’. These posers never really cared to invoke, to astrally project, to do meditation, to awake their kundalini serpent or even to charge the sigils that they use in their own releases. I really like to have Watain leading the way, than any other well-known band, since Watain are one of the few bands that care for Luciferian illumination and produce art of real value. As long as it takes for the practitioner to return to the everlasting waters of Nun, there will be real artists that will draw inspiration from the Qliphoth and Gnostic Luciferianism.
Hail the eleven!
Thanks for the interview! Any last words or revealings of future plans?
Thank you too for the support and the interview! Some really inspiring conceptual split releases are going to be revealed also, we are rehearsing to bring chaos upon the masses when the stars will fall.