by Niklas Göransson
Seers of the Outer – Lvcifyre perform oracular death metal attuned to the Void. Frontman and founder T Kaos discusses hereditary influences and the forgotten custom of underground metal savagery.
– Seeing as how it keeps growing between realms, “Sacrament” could be seen as an imagined entity. Perhaps it has some degree of straightforwardness, but not to me. I regard this from a very shattered point of view, in which the urge for completion takes over from pleasure and all fun is likely to stop. There’s a point in our music when you, as the listener, have to take a step towards us; there’s a void that’s calling and tapping into your subconscious and you have all the tools required to follow this storyline in your own way. You can create or paint your own horizons while it all begins.
LVCIFYRE’s new twelve-inch, “Sacrament” – a molten slab of ferociousness released by Dark Descent Records and Malignant Voices – is a concept album. The fictional story, which is rather elaborate and detailed, is about a man haunted by visions from ‘the Outer’ that at some point drive him over the edge between reality and dream-like states and then further into visionary madness.
– You know, I’ve always been a big fan of King Diamond. A conceptual release has always been on my to-do list and now “Sacrament” presented the perfect opportunity. This release feels very cohesive and the process between those puzzles is still ongoing, at least for me. And yes, we are insanely ferocious, no doubt about that – but within this extremity we have found a means of accessing certain power points. We paint these apocalyptic horizons and convey visions of the Outer; that’s always been the focal point of what we do.
In the past, T has been prone to emphasise that there’s far more depth to LVCIFYRE than generic metal lyrics of the blasphemous variety. Some claim the best death metal to have been created by bands who took the subject matter seriously at the time. As such, I’m wondering if T believes there to be any difference if the artist has a spiritual connection to the craft – as opposed to an atheist who just enjoys playing brutal music.
– Establishing the difference between them may be somewhat tricky, I feel we’re talking here about two entirely different things which are not comparable. The death metal titans were once aflame and then faded, leaving behind great records for us to enjoy. On occasion, sure, death and black metal are used with predominantly atheistic agendas. The difference, for me at least, could be described as noticeable and dramatic – something akin to performing in an empty venue. I don’t really know, it’s hard to judge. For us, the Void is always present; we can’t perform without it. Don’t you open yourself to the Outer while creating or performing? Without this connection, the craft might indeed be tasteless and perhaps also proves an underlying shallowness of the human condition.
Several reviews and past articles have described LVCIFYRE as a nastier version of Polish veterans VADER and BEHEMOTH. What I found interesting about this was that many of these comparisons were made by people who were unaware that T, while based in London, is actually Polish. T himself has expressed confusion to the alleged likeness, seeing as how he’s never been into either band, so I’m curious about what gives people this impression. Meaning, might it be the case of shared domestic influences – KAT, for example – or perhaps something more esoteric such as inherent traits tied to their common ancestry.
– From the Polish underground I definitely listen mostly to KAT, it’s also worth noting that they treated their art seriously back then – from here and beyond. Local culture is instilled in us from a very early age, it was transmitted to me up until a certain point and no doubt many aspects can be ascribed to this. All surrounding factors play a role here, ethnicity as well as the minerals in the soil. They have a specific taste that exclusively invokes our upbringing, and the water is unique too. I’m sure you share the same experience, wherever you’re from. I believe it plays a role in our creative process and brings us to a phantasmagoric room while we start working towards it. I’ve noticed this not only in BEHEMOTH and VADER, lots of Polish bands have a similar vocabulary of notes. Again, I imagine the same is applicable to every other country. All riffs are written within this spectrum of notes which, in turn, conveys who we are; like a coded message written inside the structures. It gives people the impression that we play similarly and they’re probably not wrong.
T moved from Poland to the UK in the year 2000, at twenty-three years of age. Already a devout metalhead, T found his new local scene to be very unlike what he was used to back home.
– When arriving in the UK, I didn’t know anyone. Back then I was only familiar with the bigger bands from the British scene such as CANCER, BOLT THROWER, CARCASS, BENEDICTION, and CRADLE OF FILTH, to mention a few. At the time they all sounded great to me, most likely because their albums were recorded in big studios with good sound quality. The environment and conditions back in Poland were quite a bit harsher, which forced us towards the more extreme sound and style – the music we were writing was itself much more hateful and nihilistic. I was pretty exhausted from having attempted to find a line-up ever since 1998; it created conflict with my surroundings and I felt as if I needed a fresh start.
T appears to have swiftly gravitated towards a rather small and exclusive clique of London’s most decrepit metal derelicts – ADORIOR and associated company. From memory, this lot was rather different from the average British metalheads.
– They were actually the only ones you could rightfully classify as proper metalheads, with the possible exception of a few Eastern Europeans and Aussies. The rest of the English metal community are rather mellow and ready to buy you a beer – very different to the Polish shows back in the day, where you had to attend as a strong pack or you’d end up beaten and mugged. ADORIOR needed a guitarist for an upcoming gig so Kali from WITCHMASTER introduced me. After the first few rehearsals I was invited to join the band and felt as if I could go as far as I could reach; things clicked the way they should soon thereafter.
I recently spoke to ADORIOR vocalist Jaded Lungs for an upcoming Bardo Methodology #6 feature, and might as well recycle an anecdote from our conversation. One of my finest ADORIOR related memories stems from an evening in 2004 when they performed in London. Upon entering the backstage, I spotted Jaded Lungs sternly chastising a rather abashed and penitent-looking Chris Nunravager who was in the process of getting his broken fingers duct-taped together so he could hold the bass pick properly. While pleading guilty to the prohibited act of engaging in a fistfight the night before a gig, he remained adamant that all violence administered had been in fully justifiable self-defence. After being caught fraternising with another man’s woman, in their home, he’d simply been given no choice but to pacify the somewhat agitated host.
– Yes, this must’ve been that small stinky pub we played together with WATAIN before they escalated to become this black metal phenomenon. Now that you mention it, I do remember Chris having duct-taped fingers. Nunravager is an excellent character, those things were fairly normal back in the day. You could write a book about all the stupid stuff that went on at the time. After we recorded the second ADORIOR album, “Author of Incest”, over at Necromorbus Studio in Stockholm, I remember Tore wrote down the rules of what was and wasn’t allowed so no more fuckheads would desecrate his studio again… overdoses of drugs and alcohol, going out for a drink always ending up in utter shambles, someone shitting himself and some random guy getting smashed. A few years later, on one of the last nights before Chris moved to Finland, we all went out for a drink and ended up sitting in a pub smashing framed photos over each other’s heads and throwing bits of glass into our pints – then drinking it all in one go, to the last drop, hoping none of us would swallow the shards. Finally, Tony Slutsodomizer passed out shitting on the toilet after an overdose of MDMA. Primeval savagery, ha!
One noteworthy ADORIOR achievement transpired at the 2004 edition of legendary underground festival Open Hell in Czech Republic. I seem to recall how no less than three members had managed to break various bones within thirty-six hours of crossing the Czech border.
– That festival was great! Well, except the pain of course. We had all the required elements there to raise chaos. Slutsodomizer and I ended up smashing each other and breaking our bones. Oh, what a view: a crippled pair crawling into the hospital. Nunravager ripped his hand pretty badly in a fight and it was horribly infected for weeks afterwards. It’s worth noting that we, immediately after the festival and in that state, wrote and recorded the first WHORELICKER demo. Golden times indeed! All those memories just force you to play the first albums of NASTY SAVAGE or INFERNÄL MÄJESTY to fill yourself with this thrill again – on the run, like a mindless lunatic who adores explosions more than anything else. Things have changed though, these days such events are mostly for those who like to surf the chaos. You know, I now have a different perception of these festivals as I’m almost always performing myself and so am forced to remain focussed until we unleash chaos on stage. I definitely feel more fulfilled knowing that I’m entering it with a mission.
From what you’ve seen, are the younger generation still upholding this fine tradition?
– It appears constantly but takes different forms. Of course, this music acts as a charm that attracts a variety of individuals – including gelled beards and kids with fancy haircuts. In all the years I’ve played live, I don’t recall seeing a single fight due to any of our performances, with the exception of Poland and Czech Republic. On both occasions, Polish metalheads approached the band afterwards to thank us for the show! So yes, different times that will most likely never return. The younger generation has been brought up in a very different way where extremism is not as present and the stench of political correctness soaks into their every living cell. The current system makes no-men out of men, and not everyone is ready for the red pill.