Metempsychose By A.S.A.
Azziard is a French Black Metal band created in 2001. Since its creation, the band has never stopped trying to evolve its Black Metal roots by mixing them with other extreme metal styles (from Death metal to post black metal through Suicidal Black metal). After two albums based on the First World War, the band has now a brand-new line-up (including ex-members of The Negation, Insain, End of Mankind), a new thematic and new musical evolution. The band’s concept is based on the complexity of the human psyche and its metaphysical aspects, the archetypes of the collective unconscious and the process of individualisation responsible for the decadence of our civilisation. Every man has a fundamental evil side, a side that aspires to express itself.
We completely changed the lineup after “Vesanie” because we didn’t all have the same vision for the band. So Nesh and I stayed and we recruited musicians we knew well since we played together in The Negation. They correspond to what we wanted to do as much musically as regarding concept and guidelines. We worked differently compared to the previous albums since Nesh became the main composer following Zyule’s departure and we worked before that on the concept and themes of the album and the tracks. We wanted an ensemble that would go further than this album. We wanted to evolve as much in musical terms as in visual and conceptual terms, to evolve towards something that suited us better. That’s why we have integrated a line more Black Metal, more atmospheres, the depressive side that fits perfectly with the concept.
The theme of the First World War on previous albums didn’t suit me anymore. It was for this reason that “Vesanie” already distanced itself from this theme and announced the change to come with concepts from the work of Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961, a Swiss psychiatrist, founder of analytical psychology and pioneer of deep psychology, influential thinker…). The same applies to the general line. I wanted to go back to a much more radical line and adopt concepts that spoke to me better.
“Metempsychose” is therefore the first of a new cycle of 3 albums based on “The Red Book” (Liber Novus, The New Book) by C. G. Jung, who after his violent break with S. Freud in 1913 explores in several nights the nightmares and fantasies that haunt the main character and his quest, in order to find a master who will allow him to satisfy his low instincts and completely descend into the Evil that inhabits him.
This concept-album explores the complexity of the human psyche and its metaphysical aspects, the archetypes of the collective unconscious and the process of individualisation of society that explains the decadence of civilisation.
For the production, we worked with HK from Vamacara who has done a remarkable job on the sound. The album was recorded partly at the Hybreed studio (where we had recorded “Vésanie”) and at Vamacara who also did the mixing and mastering.
We believe that humanity is lost, in the midst of decadence. She is self-destructive by her actions. The man inspires us only contempt and hatred, for he is just waiting inexorably for his end without doing anything to remedy it. For us humanity is genuinely sick, that is why we put forward, for example, the writings of serial killers who express this state of fact particularly well, they are a mirror of what we are. Man is the gangrene of his ecosystem.
We are currently working on the next album which will be the continuation of “Metempsychose” and the second opus of the tryptic. We take the time to create compositions that are both in line regarding the quality of “Metempsychose” and that bring the emotional aspect and atmosphere we want for it. It will always be divided into several nights and will once again immerse itself in the dark aspects of the human spirit that tortured and disturbing atmosphere that we love. It will be a logical evolution compared to the 3rd album.
Black Metal must be without concession, visually transmitting what is present in the music and lyrics; reflecting the concept. We need a coherent whole between the music, the theme, the lyrics and the visual. That’s why the visual is an extremely important part for us. The visuals and the stage must retransmit what can be found regarding atmosphere and emotion in the music and texts. On stage, we try to do it through dresses, stage sets, light.
Vincent from Above Chaos (who created the split vinyl with Nirnaeth) created the visual of the symbols we use on stage. For the cover of “Metempsychose” we worked with Jean Philippe from Threadbare Artwork who is an extremely talented person, and I love his work very much. He knew how to retransmit exactly what we wanted with a cover that I find magnificent, and that transcribes alone the whole concept. The character is disintegrating and the inscription “Liber Primus”, which is the first part of C. G. Jung’s “Red Book”, is displayed. This part expresses with force the personal chaos and initial distress in which C. G. Jung struggles, who even fears to live with madness. As a psychiatrist, he knows it well.
It was the same for the clip of ” L’anachorete, Dies”. We wanted to transcribe the spirit of the song. So we worked with great quality people, Guilherme Henriques for the production who had notably worked with Belphegor, Moonreich, The negation, Zofx Make up for the make-up which did an incredible job and actors with a lot of talent. For the lead actor, we needed someone who matched with what we had imagined when we wrote the song. Who could retransmit the tortured spirit of the character as we imagined. His name is David Doukhan. He is a professional actor who, due to the quality of his acting, brings a remarkable emotional dimension.
Many things inspire us. Not necessarily old ideas and not necessarily musically either. I couldn’t quote you on any particular ancient elements. For my part, the work on the human mind, the serial killer’s mind and many films are as much influence as the bands that we particularly like and that inspire us, including the first black metal bands.
The music has to transcribe an emotion and ambience for the listener. With “Metempsychose”, the goal is to bring something unhealthy, disturbing, even possessed. As I was saying earlier, music is an ensemble for us. Everything must be coherent, as much on stage as on the album. That’s why the guests on the records were chosen especially according to the coherence of the whole. We didn’t want to do featuring for featuring. Every guest had to bring something. That’s why we have Julien Truchan (Benighted) for the quality and variety of his singing in Benighted and his job which fits perfectly. It brings a different touch to the song.
Same with Psycho I knew from Antilife and Hats Barn. He is a singer that I like very much and whose singing and depressive screams corresponded with the album. His participation brings a real value-added; a depressive and disturbing side.
I am particularly interested in themes addressed by Carl Jung or some oriental spiritualities. The collective unconscious, the human psyche, the concepts of the soul and the notion of good and evil. Moreover, the idea of evil and good is entirely subjective. Evil is everywhere and certainly not where it is expected. Evil and darkness are very different from what is represented in folklore. Folklore is good, but evil becomes much less attractive when you are concerned and when it comes in the form of power games or money. For me, Goldman Sachs or Monsanto represents much more the very definition of evil than the Lucifer of Christianity.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2018 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.