Seven Gates of Hell with COSMIC CHURCH

18. června 2016 v 9:58 | 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.

The name of COSMIC CHURCH isn´t a prime mover of the Finnish black metal scene, however with its last year´s EP "Vigilia" it pokes conspicuously out of its current abyssal streams. The band isn´t by far a new apparition. Founded by Luxixul Sumering Auter a dozen years ago, it has tarnished the profane world with two albums "Absoluutin lävistämä" (2010) and "Ylistys" (2013) so far and scattered plenty of the minor recordings in between. The minor doesn´t mean a notice-failing, at least definitely not in case of this band´s cataloque. The EP "Vigila" is a musical miracle and demonstrates Luxixul´s abilities to put the traditional black metal approach into the mercilessly rough, convincingly occult and yet very emotional and catchingly melodic mode. I am not ashamed to admit that I have lost myself in holy adoration of the recording. And now it is my honour to have a few exchanges with the mastermind of the church.

I. You devoted two years of 2012-13 to composing for "Vigilia" and then reserved quite a considerable time for its music to get ripe before putting the recording out as an ungodly blessing to the world. With this respect, does the EP have some special place in the works of COSMIC CHURCH? It certainly does, due to its tempting, downright roughness and its amazing melodic build-up, a very respectful place in my music collection.
"First of all; thank you for your words, it is of course nice to have a feedback about a recording which I have put countless hours of work into! Indeed I spend about two years composing the EP (the process begun already way before "Ylistys" was released) and then also the recordings took a long time to complete as I worked with the whole process in a bit different manner than before. We initially recorded the drums summer 2014 and I finished the recordings at various places during spring 2015, which was a different experience for me as usually someone else had been recording most of my material but this time I mostly did it myself. So yes, all this combined took a long time to finish and required plenty of energy.
Personally I feel that both of the latest works "Ylistys" and "Vigilia" have been the most important releases in the COSMIC CHURCH timeline. I believe they both achieved very well of what I was trying to create and process into them. Also with "Vigilia" there is a certain freedom in the whole concept and process; creating an art without boundaries. The way which started with "Vigilia" is going to continue in the future with more steps towards that direction. So yes, I hold it a very special release!"

II. "Vigilia" is a recording of emotionally charged, very strong ritualistic black metal. I can imagine that its occult inclinations and the paths of spiritual redemption it paves are very personal and not deemed for a profane communication to the flock. But anyway, would you disclose at least something about the deities that dwell in your church of cosmic worship?
"Indeed, you are correct on the subject that the whole work of COSMIC CHURCH is very personal to me as the band is a reflection of my own thoughts and ideas/ideals. Even though the lyrics of "Vigilia" were written by a friend of mine the work is still very, very personal in the way of how I see it myself. We actually participated in an actual vigilia mass in a local orthodox church and that experience was the starting point for the album and whole creative process. There is no limitation on how the inspiration can be achieved. For example in this scenario neither of us feel like we´re Christians but we still found some very inspiring elements from that religious mass which we experienced. And that experience led in the end to the moment on how we created our own vigilia in our church, which is the nature and universe around us.
COSMIC CHURCH is cosmic, thus all the deities dwell inside it. The church itself is the whole existence, the multiverse and all the dimensions which exist in any level. There is nothing to worship and nothing not to worship. I feel that all deities and archetypes are as important, they are just reflections of the oneness which holds everything in itself. There are certain deities which I can relate closer to on a personal level (Lucifer, Christ, Buddha, Satan) but they are equally important and meaningless than any other deity. In the end everything just dissolves into the one stream.
"Vigilia" is indeed in a way very ritualistic album, but maybe not too much in the common sense. The ritual is a dialogue between myself and the nature; the forests, mountains, lakes and thus the wholeness of the nature in all of its spectrum is the altar. The sacrifice is the soul between the will to become and the earthly form to which it is now chained.
Of course this is just my perception of the whole subject. There are no absolute truths on how to interpret the album or any art in general, it is always subjective."

III. You are portrayed in the cover pictures of the album "Ylistys" and the EP "Vigilia" dressed in a red cowl. In the occult, the colour of red signifies the third, final stage of alchymic transmutation and of qliphotic initiation to the realm of the hidden Light. Another symbolism: every full-length of COSMIC CHURCH should have just seven tracks. How important is that mystical symbolism of the colour and the number for the arts of COSMIC CHURCH and what does it stand for?
"There are multiple reasons why my robe is red and the whole color itself holds to many meanings. "Ylistys" for example was a story and reflection or how the red aspect absorbed itself into the "whiteness of the all-being". On "Vigilia" the "blood" had been spilled into the ground and into the very base of nature and found its place between the leaves and moss on the ground. "Ylistys" was a vision high into the stars, to the endless universe and beyond and "Vigilia" was a single drop of blood on a leaf which holds endless amount of tiny atoms and small universal structures. Again this is just one way to interpret the meaning. You could also just say that is just visually looks good to my eyes and let it simply be the end of the story.
The number 7 in the full-lengths seems also more like a curse than a blessing these days as it kind of forces me to work within certain boundaries, heh! However, once an oath was made the first 3 albums will have 7 songs and that it is how it will be done. Most likely the same pattern will continue in the future but who knows? Some part of me would like to break the pattern but for reason or another it just feels wrong when I think about doing something else than a seven song album right now. We will see how the thing evolves in the future. Obsessions can have both positive and negative sides as you know."

IV. Firstly, I couldn't see the point why the picture on the cover of "Vigilia" is out of focus and also had a feeling that it pitifully lacks inventiveness. Only later I realised that it is in a perfect match for the nature of music it wraps up. The recording is acoustically stifled, but its sound is still pervious enough to let the magnificient guitar and keyboard melodies show their ritualistic charm in full brightness. The same way the blurred picture shines with the red-and-green colour contrast. Did you have the same in mind when you opted for that kind of the cover art, instead of choosing some more developed artwork?
"We took tons of different pictures and the "out of focus" was just one of the options. In the end it was just visually and thematically the most fitting for the cover. I believe the works of COSMIC CHURCH are meant to blend the limits of our own limited world with another one so the figure can be seen on the edge of this world and slowly fading into the another. The contrast was discussed in the earlier response but like said, it indeed holds a special meaning.
I think the latest cover artworks from "Ylistys" and "Vigilia" are at least somewhat distinct from the usual black metal artwork but of course I can see why people can think that it might be laziness or a lack of inventiveness in doing the same thing again. Well, I can say that we are still going to continue forward with the same theme and similar approach at least on one future release because the themes are already planned. From my perspective the covers and whole package goes very well hand in hand with the music. There´s nothing wrong to disagree with me of course but I don't really tend to care too much about the opinions of other people related to the creative process of COSMIC CHURCH, heh!"

V. Having "Vigilia" safe in my music collection, I searched high and low in all respected distros for other recordings of COSMIC CHURCH. Unfortunatelly, I did not manage to dig up any of them anywhere. For those who are not happy with the soulless mp3 downloads, do you think that there is a chance for a re-release of some past recordings of COSMIC CHURCH cataloque?
"Re-press of "Ylistys" DLP is on its way. We probably should take a repress of the first album too at some point but we will see. I have nothing against taking re-presses but of course getting new material out is way higher on a priority list. There most likely will be a demo re-release collection too at some point but I can´t promise any schedule right now. I don't want to make any of the albums "collectibles" or something else but then again when I am working with smaller labels, taking a constant re-presses isn´t really a too compelling idea either because of limited storage spaces and having a general focus on putting out new releases. I would advise just to wait for the re-presses anyway because they will happen someday instead of paying higher prices from some currently sold out recordings. Things might get active sooner or later but they will happen."

VI. Though being a one-man band, COSMIC CHURCH seems to have some session members and play live shows also. Is it a sort of occasional divergence for you, or could you imagine one day COSMIC CHURCH playing in European clubs or even at some genre oriented festivals?
"Yes, indeed, we have an active live line-up these days. I have a high respect for everyone involved and feel a strong musical bond along with friendship with our whole band. I think for us (or at least for me) playing live is mostly about the actual process of creation than anything else. Creating an energy out of nothingness. It is definitely not a "live ritual" or anything like that, and this doesn't mean that it wouldn't contain a strong ideological and spiritual impulse, but I believe with our live band the focus is indeed performing and breathing the music into the world through playing certain sounds with our instruments together. Even if the songs are the same it still feels different every time we play them, it is like making another painting with similar themes but using something different every time thus making it a very inspiring and rewarding process.
I think for us playing live is more just a thing which we do from time to time when we feel like it. It is possible for us to come and play on European clubs or festivals but it always depends on a case. Nothing is out of question but of course the whole band needs to feel that playing live on a certain event would seem like and interesting idea. Its always worth a try to ask."

VII. Last year you wrote that COSMIC CHURCH fans would have to wait 5-7 years till the band´s third full-length comes out. But recently you made a note that you had already started the pre-production of the next album. What can be expected to come out of COSMIC CHURCH soon?
"It´s always better to overestimate than underestimate right? Well since I said that the plans have changed (or actually returned to the original plan) and the 3rd album is indeed pretty close of being actually recorded. There are many reasons for this and I wont go through all the thought processes which lead to this point but the plan at the time was to make multiple smaller releases before starting the 3rd album. The actual core of the upcoming album has actually been composed already mostly back in 2014 with added elements in 2015 & 2016. Right now I am composing material for 4th album which will most likely (if things go as before) be out in 3-4 years. It is always a long process and the work for the upcoming album is always progressing along with making the previous one. It is very rewarding to compose something new but quite often very frustrating and stressful to make that vision into a concrete album and a release, so creative work for upcoming material is always a refreshing change compared to the recording (or any production) process."

Thank you very much for the interview. Let the Light bless COSMIC CHURCH.
"Thank you for the interview."


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