Lvcifyre is heavy like a nightmare is heavy. Theirs is not a heaviness entirely born of volume or of sheer violence, though both are certainly present, and in spades. Their heaviness is more made of malevolence, an intensity as much implied as it is explicit.
Death metal in nature, with a spirit built of black metal’s howling bleakness, Lvcifyre augments the physical aggression of bending riff and demon’s growl with an atmosphere of palpable unease. It’s the chaos of a pitch-blackened maelstrom overlaid with the terror of something slithering just out of sight, beyond the edges of the howling winds, some vague and threatening darker-ness in a night lit by the fires of Hell. It’s the rattling of claws across floors between peals of thunder, the exhaled hissing through razor-edged fangs that you feel more than hear between the tachycardic blast beats of the blood in your veins.
“Downtuned strings delivering the seven trumpet blasts of revelation, drums echoing the hailstorm and earthquake that follow, and layered vocals spitting fire and brimstone like from the mouths of the mounted horsemen.”
Last Rites had the opportunity to exchange some questions for answers with the Lvcfyrian crew, and here’s what they had to say about Svn Eater and beyond…
We’re always interested in the composition process, and Svn Eater seems particularly ripe to unpack. First off, musically, how much of what you’re doing is pre-planned vs. improvisation? If the former, does the majority of the writing happen outside of practice or is it something the band jams out together? If the latter, how did this work in the studio?
We were very focussed and there was not much room for improvisation, almost everything was planned and pre-recorded, with the exception of “Night Sea Sorcery” and a few bits in the title song “Svn Eater.” The whole album was written in our studio. It took us pretty long considering that we rewrote the whole album around six times, and we had tons of songs that we have not used. It took us quite a long time to select the best bits and then re-work them.
Speaking of the studio, can you take me through the process of how an album like Svn Eater, one that derives so much of its power through chaos, was put together? Was this a laborious process of many layers or was it mostly cut live? Compared to your first two recordings, what lessons did you bring into the booth this time. Any changes you’d make in the future?
It was nothing new, really. We just went through the same recording process as most bands: drums first, then guitars and bass, vocals and solos after. Our idea was to get a really nasty sound, not nice and polished but rough, edgy and obscure. We wanted these guitars to cut through like razors through flesh and build up a massive wall of sound. This wall of sound was missing on The Calling Depths, even though The Calling Depths does have a very rough edge – but the sound could have been much improved, especially the ambiance and general bass in the mix. It is hard to say what sound we will get in the future, since when it comes to that kind of planning, it never works. Lvcifyre is just treading its own path, so let’s wait until we get there.
We were quite intrigued by the lyrics. What is it about these ancient Mesopotamian-based myths that speaks to you? And, what is it about the ancient world which is of greater interest than contemporary concerns? Or, are you projecting real life upon these tales and using their universal themes of impermanence, evil, and destruction as an analog?
I have a general interest in the Left Hand Path of all systems. As you have correctly pointed out, we have touched on Ancient Mesopotamia as well as the darker side of Ancient Egypt. For us, Lvcifyre has a very unique drive, a drive that has physically nearly abducted us. There are many moments when we feel that subconsciousness powers use us for their own purposes, as is the case of Sun Eater, the Night. I very much felt this presence throughout and it was an outside impulse that led me to that current, where I was able to develop. All started making more sense when we began to focus on what happens later, once you are out of the void and you take a breath and contemplate on what happened. We are naturally projecting this in our own lives, and that’s why we created and recorded a connection that is and feels real. In this context, Lvcifyre could be seen as an offering to the above mentioned.
What’s the end goal with Lvcifyre? Is this currently or can this be a career path for you? And, how do you balance life with such a demanding creative pursuit, especially one which asks you to go to some pretty dark places?
You need a break every now and then; we cannot deal with it 24/7. There is a mundane life outside of Lvcifyre (what one would call a real life), and the financial part is a massive barrier here also. So we need to waste ourselves dealing with the system by paying bills and all that shit. However, when the time comes and we follow the call, we offer ourselves 100% – and yes, as you mentioned, it is very demanding.
Finally, is there one thing about Svn Eater that critics keep missing? Is there some frustrating sentiment you’ve seen which has been way off target? Or, do you feel the art speaks for itself and whatever people get out of it is what they get out of it?
l’ll stick to the second part: The Art speaks for itself. Critics are most often too lazy to understand what is going on and the simplest way out for them is to compare us to other bands like Morbid Angel or Immolation, but we aim much higher than to simply entertain human scum.