Seven Gates of Hell with SERPENT

28. října 2015 v 21:34 | RaznAgul |  seven gates of hell interviews
The aim of the open series of the blogzine´s Seven Gates of Hell interviews is to introduce the bands and their music that struck my metalhead´s heart and soul recently. In seven questions, the gates are open for those who make their music of true metal spirit, pure dedication and of what I understand as underground approach and aesthetics.
Today, the gates open for the German heavy metal magic SERPENT. Vent (guitars, drums) and Tongue (vocals) gave live to their black snake four years ago and with everything they had put out in his name they managed to blow me away. I am honoured to spread their poison even on this site.

Once you experience a bite of this shrewd, crafty reptile, you'll never think of a healing antidote prescribed against new German heavy metal. At least definitely not in the case of the scenic newcomers SERPENT who left me stunned with their last year's demo compilation "Possessed by Night". Poisoned with ravishing mesmerism of their blackened heavy tunes, I anxiously snatched for their brand new recording, the moment it hit their distro and my high-alert attention. With the EP "Ablation" the raving ride on the back of the snake through the occult to the metal-starved niches of headbanger's heart and soul was kicked up to a higher gear. Tongue and Vent stepped further in colouring their dark compositional alchemy and psyching up their heavy loaded beats. With the new EP recording they keep rolling well on the beaten track of their addictive nightly possessions, while pouring in their metal meltdown more of the dark inclinations and psychedelic substance. As I plunge deeper into the bewitching blasts of "Ablation", curiosity comes with amazement.

1. While your last year´s vinyl demo digest "Possessed by Night" sounds like a tribute to raw, devilish heavy metal of the 80´s, the new EP "Ablation" digs deeper in time and takes much on the spirit of the 60´s psychedelic rock wave. At least these are my impressions persisting from the very first listening sessions spent with the records. When did you realize that the snake needs to shed his former skin and "get higher" a bit?
"The aim behind Serpent isn't just to represent a certain musical genre while fulfilling several inherent characteristics. Considering the sign of the almighty chaosdragon, symbol of unspeakable might beyond the individual's control as well as perdition and spite, the respectively current aesthetic conjunctions are the results of the mind's state bound to a specific moment although not losing the comprehension of the whole.
The time was right to ablate."

2. Did all of the music you had ready at the time come on "Ablation"?
"No. Serpent emphasizes on creating consistent outputs and the six chapters of "Ablation" build a full circle. However, more songs were written in the time before and during focussing on "Ablation" which will see the light later on in another context."

3. The hinted inspiration for your new EP seems to come from Willliam Blake´s diverse magical work and ideas. Frankly, I don´t belong to those who hold his literary work in high esteem. I consider his rhymes playing with dark magic elements rather as childish tittle-tattle, than really serious matter. What does his legacy, literary as well as esoteric, mean to you?
"Blake was a revolutionary character during his lifetime. In the 18th century England was marked by strict orthodox christian social standards. His visions and work disagreed with the rational zeitgeist of the time back then not least because of his mystical worldview, he also used to encrypt his messages. He purposed a break-through of seeming contrasts and the confusion of the material understanding to evoke the endless forces of imagination.
So, let's say, Blake is an appropriate example for breaking conventional laws.
Fundamentally, this accompanies with our very own aims and in fact, we used two of his paintings like the 11th plate of the first book of Urizen (1794) which shows a full circle arose from an individual's own thoughts.
You should be able to imagine why the tracklist was put in the circle."

4. Would you dislclose a bit the story and comment on symbolism behind the two drawings by Wolsbane and Asphodels in the EP´s booklet?

"The first etching shows Hekate, goddess of magic, theurgy and necromancy. Summarizing she's the goddess of crossroads. On the second etching we see Artemis, goddess of the hunt and the moon. There is also a destructive connotation given. Both goddesses are linked to each other as the crossings of their meanings are fusing. There is also an identification with Selene, the Hellenistic goddess of the moon.
In general, the moon is a recurring symbol in our lyrics used figuratively. In many mythological contexts, also apart from the Greek, sun and moon are depicted as twins or consorts which show the close relationship between the "superior lights". For example, in the mythology of the Sioux Wi, god of the sun, is the consort of Hanwi, goddess of the ~nightsun~. Especially this word seems to be quite fitting because it combines the unthinkable energy and heat of a live-bearing star as well as the fascinating mystical manifestation of the night - the other side. The nightsun is the embodiment of that, what leads into darkness yet guides the way to enlightment.
Back to the topic: furthermore Hekate as well as Artemis represent femininity which fits perfectly for the already mentioned aspect of crossing borders and breaking conventional constraints. Goddesses of destruction and necromancy are also responsible for giving birth and protecting children. It's bewitching, isn't it?"

5. SERPENT is officialy a two-member band of Tongue and Vent. Yet, you have also some live session musicians. How important are they for the band off the stage, in terms of musical ideas, song-writing and rehearsals?
"They are very important."

6. What is the origin of the gig recording "Live in der Woltuchfabrik" (2013)? Did you plan to have it as an early entry in your discography or did it come out by chance on the basis of some fan bootleg?
"The decision to release it was quite spontaneous. It captured one of our early gigs what is an advantage for everyone who is interested in our beginning and want to understand our development.
Moreover we were interested in a collaboration with Into Dungeons Records."

7. Have you ever thought of some prolonged European tour with SERPENT? Or would you rather present the band on stage at individual, ad hoc shows?
"Surely we would like to play a tour."

Thanks a lot for your time and effort put in answering the questions. Do not ever spare the magic poison of SERPENT!
"Thanks for your interest and support!"

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