Photos accompanying this interview by Christian Martin Weiss
(Andy Synn had the chance to interview the Dutch artist Morean about the three bands in which he is currently involved — Dark Fortress, Noneuclid, and Alkaloid. We’ve divided the interview into three parts, which will appear on three successive days. Today’s focus is Alkaloid. Check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)
All jokes aside, all three of the bands discussed in this interview have a certain “Progressive” edge to them (though I’m trying not to over-use that word if at all possible) – Dark Fortress are a Black Metal band, and Noneuclid tend (at least in my mind) towards the Thrash-y end of the Metal spectrum. However your latest band, Alkaloid, is probably the most Progressive AND the most Death Metal focussed group of the lot. Was this something you were always aiming for?
M: You put your finger right on it. Not everyone in Dark Fortress and Noneuclid is equally into Death Metal and shred orgies. And despite all the artistic freedom we take in those bands, there were quite some things Alkaloid wanted to do that would never have fit with the other bands, and I think the same is true for Obscura. So we wanted to give it one last shot to start something fresh from the beginning, where we have complete freedom to do what we want without having to fit our ideas into 10 or 20 year old band concepts – even if they’re our own. In my own artistic development, I feel that with Alkaloid many things that have been growing in the other bands finally are falling into place. And the personnel in Alkaloid [Linus Klausenitzer, Danny Tunker, Hannes Grossmann, Christian Münzner] are very inspiring, there are very few limits to how far the composers in the band can go. It’ll be exciting to see where this band will end up going in the future.
(Andy Synn had the chance to interview the Dutch artist Morean about the three bands in which he is currently involved — Dark Fortress, Noneuclid, and Alkaloid. We’ve divided the interview into three parts, which will appear on three successive days. Today’s focus is Noneuclid. Check out Part 1 here and Part 3 here.)
Moving on to talk about your work in Noneuclid, which also includes your Dark Fortress band-mates Seraph and V. Santura, along with Linus from Obscura/Alkaloid, and recently departed vocalist Bruce. For those unfamiliar with the band, can you give us some background on the group?
M: We started as a group of friends playing covers together once a year. I had just graduated from the conservatory and was looking for an outlet for my metal-related ideas, and we had way too much fun playing together, so after a while we decided to make Noneuclid a more permanent outfit. That was back in 2004. I set out to write the first album with just the wish in mind to have a few songs to play; little did we suspect they’d be perceived as being this unusual. To us, it was just metal to begin with, but then things went off on a pretty wild tangent with everything that ensued in the years after.
(Andy Synn had the chance to interview the Dutch artist Morean about the three bands in which he is currently involved — Dark Fortress, Noneuclid, and Alkaloid. We’ve divided the interview into three parts, which will appear on three successive days. Today’s focus is Dark Fortress. Check out the next two parts here and here.)
So, first of all, I just want to say thank you for agreeing to answer these questions for me/us. Both Venereal Dawn and Metatheosis were amongst my favourite albums from last year, and it’s looking very likely that The Malkuth Grimoire will end up in my top ten at the end of 2015 too.
Now, obviously I’m a big fan of all the bands you’re involved in, so this is probably going to be a pretty long and in-depth interview, but let’s start with a simple question… how the hell do you find the time for all of this?
Morean: Thanks for the compliments! How do I find time? Well – I don’t. I have to steal whatever time I put into one band, commission, or project from all the other bands and projects. It’s a problem almost everyone in all these bands has, and it’s getting worse. It’s also the reason why it takes years sometimes before a band is able to get into the studio or back on the road.
(Austin Weber reviews the forthcoming second album by Noneuclid, a band featuring members of Triptykon, Dark Fortress, and Obscura.)
After seeing Obscura live a number of years ago with new (at the time) bassist Linus Klausenitzer in tow, I curiously checked after the show (where “Ocean Gateways” blasted my butthole apart and I was the lone idiot screaming and growling along to each song) to see what else he had done, and in doing so stumbled upon Noneuclid and their outstanding debut, The Crawling Chaos. After a long 8 year wait, they’ve finally followed up that album with the release of Metatheosis, an effort that further builds upon, bends, and blends the foundations and experimental defiances of tradition they previously established. Metatheosis, at a towering 67 minutes, is not a record for everyone. Which is to say it hits the right mixture of weird, wonderful, and wounded, in a graceful interconnected trifecta that will intrigue just as many people as it will repulse.
This is a testament to the fact that they’ve had the balls and vision to really go for it, to craft a specialized sound that is a hybrid you will either become hypnotized by or unable to connect with. Ambitious music like this exists not for the purist who will be confused by it, but for metalheads craving that new sound that hits all the sweet spots in a way they haven’t heard before.
To classify Metatheosis overall, one could say that it falls into the realm of thrash, while avoiding the trappings and limitations of the retro-thrash movement. The progressive thrash base of Noneuclid comes across like Watchtower and Voivod meet Metallica and Slayer. Aided by the incorporation of ravenous death metal shrouded with black touches, the music also embraces a despairing sense of doom with orchestral and acoustic threads woven into the tapestry. Noneuclid’s merger of styles comes across as quite unorthodox and avante-garde, and in the end they never quite fit anywhere, they are simply Noneuclid, and their approach is all their own.