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Due to numerous delays (I myself am very sorry and beg your pardon), this interview is published only today, a few months after the review was written. Anyway, let's talk "Exilium" through, together with anything related to Noctem with Exo, the band founder and lead guitarist.
First of all: "Exilium" has been out for a while now, are you satisfied with the result? Both in terms of critics and feedbacks, and on a more personal level, with what you accomplished creating, recording and publishing this new Noctem album.
Exo: Yes! I'm sure this is the best opus we created so far and I can say it's receiving an outstanding feedback from the international metalheads and press. We're absolutely satisfied with the result, for me it's the perfect way to close the trilogy we started with "Divinity" five years ago. I think with every album we are approaching more and more to the kind of band we want to be. To me, the art is expression and in our case it must be extreme expression, violent feelings and tension. About the edition of "Exilium", we have great news we'll unveil very soon…
What were your primary sources of inspiration in the making of the new album? Not only bands you are inspired by (I named a few in my review, was I right, by the way?), but anything, from your environment to books, movies and anything else.
Well, as you said, we're not only inspired by music, of course we listen to extreme music and to other bands, but also cinema, literature, philosophers… There are a lot of things in this world an artist can absorb to express feelings, and that's what we do with our band. About bands inspiring the making of "Exilium"… Behemoth or Belphegor were clear references of our music in the past, but everytime we make an album we need to separate our ways more and more, these are artists with a very strong personality, and to reach that, to sound like Noctem and no any other is one of our most ambitious goals. Returning to the previous point, philosophers as Friedrich Nietzsche, Kant or Camus, to name a few. Personally I really dig into photography and weirdos from the artistic world.
Talking about the lyrics, I noticed they have not been released, or at least they were not in the promo I was sent: what does Beleth sing about in "Exilium"? Again, I guessed in my article there is a heavy religious and spiritual mark, but my guess comes from the song titles only, and I am curious to know more in detail…
In this album Beleth wrote lyrics about Sumerian civilization, connecting and ending the trilogy we started with "Divinity". "Exilium" contains a more philosophical sense, with references to the primal fears of the human being and the social problems of our world nowadays. We were in contact with the satanic cult more than ever.
Now talking about the band. 13 years, three albums and a number of lineup changes: how did Noctem evolve from its first demos years? How did your approach to music change, if it did?
Yes, a lot of line up changes over the years, well, not everyone really knows how the life of a musician is and how it evolves, you have to spend a lot of time out of home and spend days and days on the road; it requires a great dedication. About approaching to the music we create nowadays, I think is a matter of growing up and mature as musician and as person, we are more serious and dedicated nowadays. We know better this world and we know how to move forward.
In a video interview released during the tour for "Oblivion", talking about the lineup changes over the years you said it took you "a long time to become a serious band". Is Noctem your main focus in your lives, as of today? How does the band affect the rest of your lives (other jobs, families and so on)?
It is our main focus yes, we are also dedicated to music in other ways, business. The band requires a lot of time and is not very easy to combine it with other aspects of our life, but we are used to this and we know how to deal with it. About becoming a serious band, that's something I believe we achieved with the passage of time, when you start in the music scene, you just think it's way easier than it really is, and with every step you take you are more conscious of it. So I think and I hope nowadays we are more honest about what we do.
You are from Spain, notably one of the most religious countries in Europe (together with Italy, of course). How does this reflect in your works, if it does?
It provoques a total rejection of the religious values, mostly about catolicism. I think we have a different vision of music and Black metal, comparing us to the nordic bands. With every album we release we are closer to Satan and the satanic cult.
Still talking about Spain: how is the metal underground doing these days? I don't think we receive news from there very often, with the exception of Art Gates Records, would you give us an insight?
We have a lot of great metal bands in Spain, but as you said is not very common they go out beyond our frontiers. Art Gates Records is an excellent label and they know how to do their work, approaching our music to every corner of Europe and beyond. I can recommend you great bands from our country, such as Killus, Dulcamara, Angelus Apatrida, Vita Imana, Crisix and a long etc.
Going live now: in one of your numerous tours, have you ever played in Italy? Where do you enjoy playing the most and why?
Yes, we played in Italy several times, going as headliner and also sharing stage with Incantation, Gorgoroth and Marduk. I really like Italy, it's very similar to Spain so I feel like I'm at home. Great food, great coffen and great times we had there. I remember when we played at Fiorence with Marduk and Immolation, it was a crazy experiencie, maybe someday I will tell you… [laughs]
A banal, but necessary question, and then you'll be free: what are your plans for the future?
We just finished the first part of our European tour presenting "Exilium", we are going to reveal big news soon about the Noctem's future, I can't say anything right now, but in the next days we'll be able to talk about it. We are also planning to record a new video, you know, non stop about promoting this album.
I believe this is enough, I don't want you to waste more time. Thank you very much for being here on Aristocrazia, and yours are the last words.
Thanks a lot for taking your time to prepare these questions and support Noctem!