CRIMSON MOON were formed in 1994 in the US as the magickal solo Black Metal project of multi-instrumentalist Scorpios Androctonus before relocating to Germany in 1998 and evolving into a full band of menacing distinctiveness.
They return with fourth full-length ‘Mors Vincit Omnia’ (death conquers all), eight epic tracks of propulsive occult grandeur.
Driven forward by sterling session drum work from Blastum (AOSOTH, ANTAEUS) and a bass-heavy Hybreed Studios production job which achieves the perfect dynamism between power and ambience, obscure themes are illuminated in a devilish attack of bludgeoningly focused songwriting.
As guest vocals, on the album are: Proscriptor (ABSU), Lord Angelslayer (ARCHGOAT), Ixithra (DEMONCY) and Phaesphoros (KAWIR) who in addition to mixing the record also performs wooden recorder.
Hello and thank you for taking some time to answer my questions.
-Crimson Moon released a new album (Mors Vincit Omnia), tell me your feelings about it.
The album has been well received and we stand proudly behind it. A lot of hard work and dedication was put into it, and there is nothing I could look back in retrospect about it I would have done differently. Ideally, I would have preferred a release date that was not in the middle of Summer, but I did not see that to be a necessary personal preference to delay its release.
-Please tell us about the musical direction and lyrical themes and topics of the new album.
-What inspires you to create?
The lyrical concept is very straight forward, as the album title would suggest. The theme is about Death and its omnipresence. Musically, the music was written to fit the atmosphere of death and deeply inspired by death. Production-wise, this is hands down the strongest album we have released. For the rest, I would prefer to let the music ‘speak’ for itself.
-Do you believe spirituality is a key element when it comes to composing new music?
For me personally it is a large factor. Inspiration comes from many sources, but I am not happy with something I compose if it is lacking a spirit behind it. It’s one of those things where you need to have the right mood and mind frame to do and when those elements are lacking the results tend to easily be mediocre at best.
-The entire album has a classical Black Metal vibe, it throws me back into the early ’90s. Is this a tribute to classical Black Metal bands?
Crimson Moon started in the early 90’s so I would not say it’s any sort of tribute to bands from that era however the intention was to keep strong elements of this era that I don’t hear in newer music very often. I feel with each album, Crimson Moon has continued to refine its sound without losing any of the roots in a way that maintains consistency yet does not repeat itself from album to album.
-Why did you decide to play Black Metal and not some other subgenre, what does it mean for you?
I do play other styles of music. Black Metal, I got into at a fairly young age and it is something I have continued to work with primarily. It’s really not something I have given much thought to as why it’s just what I find fitting and always have. I was always drawn to music with a dark and/or occult ridden atmosphere. What it means to me is something sacred, and something I don’t care to explain in detail.
-What’s your opinion on Black Metal lately becoming a trend?
I could very well be wrong, but I think it’s less of a trend than it was maybe 20 years ago. I think the biggest difference is that it’s easier to promote a new band with less of the work and time that was involved since the era of internet and social media, but that’s a double-edged sword. Before the internet, people were hungry to find new music and now we are force fed with high doses of “junk food” that leaves little appetite.
-Crimson Moon is considered an occult metal band. What is Occultism for you?
Correct, all the lyrics are based on the occult. It’s easier and much less time consuming for me to say what Occultism is not, for me. The occult is not about following the masses or belonging to some kind of ‘coven’, nor is it about how many books you read and can quote and plagiarize from the occult. It is a way of learning through experience about the unknown, not following someone else’s path. Occultism and awareness in nature are one to me. This music is flooded with people who flaunt the symbolism and pre-made ideologies of the occult, yet they ultimately have done next to nothing more than use the imagery to better their lives beyond egotistical value. Over the past years, I have taken a very non-orthodox/standard approach towards my path in the unknown and discovered it is all hidden in plain sight if you are willing to open your eyes in the right places.
-What are the things that you like and don’t like in today’s black metal music?
To summarize it, I like the music and not the people. The music industry side of things I find perhaps the most stomach-churning along with the herds of sheep minded people who devour that with no personal discernment, yet both of those need each other to exist, and creates a seemingly endless cycle.
Things change over the years, this is normal and in most cases for the worst. This is all mostly subjective to the scene than the music itself. On a strictly musical standpoint, I like music that is written, performed and recorded well and can offer an atmosphere that can captivate my attention but do not like 90% of the newer bands that everyone currently likes which you see every selfie taking, black metal thot wearing a shirt of because it makes them feel accepted.
Today’s black metal music is simply not the same, in sound, mind frame or fan base. It’s become more of an industry that people who have nothing to do with the musical side of the spectrum take much part of, and an income from. Ultimately, I stopped caring about any of these aspects a long time ago, which is perhaps why I still do what I am doing.
-Until now, you visited some countries, what was the most unforgettable Crimson Moon show for you? In which countries you had your best live acts?
It’s difficult to choose, there are so many aspects to live shows to reflect on such as the band’s performance, your own personal performance, the sound (on stage and for the venue), the audience reaction, the treatment/hospitality of the organizers, the list goes on. Steel Chaos in Finland was noteworthy all around for a lot of the factors mentioned above but was also the first time for me and Crimson Moon to perform in Finland. We have been fortunate however with all the places we have played over the last few years since we began performing live again after a long break from it. We have played most of our shows/festivals in Germany since 2016 and only a handful outside of our home country (Germany). Where we play has little to nothing at all to do with where we would like to play. It comes down to the organizers who give us the opportunity and are willing to work with us.
-Are you listening to other kinds of music except for Black Metal? Please tell us what do you do in your free time? What are some of the activities you enjoy doing apart from the band?
Yes, I listen to other styles of music much more than I listen to black metal in general, and it’s a very large variety and it goes in phases from listening to nothing at all, more often it is only what I am currently writing, on repeat to analyze it and then I get these spare time moments when I feeling like listening to whatever I feel like. At the moment a friend I worked with in a previous band asked me to record an intro for them, so I will be listening to part of the blade runner soundtrack as reference to what they are looking for in the piece. From there, I will either stop listening to anything or get in a mood to hear something it makes me think of wanting to listen to.
I spend most of my free time in nature, usually fishing or foraging for mushrooms and plants in the forest. I wish to obtain a hunting license in the near future, it’s just very costly in Germany and so many rules and regulations I have yet to find it plausible. I enjoy making things, in general, be it food, working with wood or art in different mediums, etc. I spent the last few days printing shirts for our upcoming festival this month as I got into silk screening for a few years now and started printing most of our shirts.
I live a recluse lifestyle, other than the shows/festivals we play I generally avoid being around people as much as possible. I have always chosen a lifestyle with work and survival income that allows me as much free time as possible, time is precious utilized well, and bitter wasted.
-What was the first Black Metal album you bought and what are some of the bands that still influence you until today?
I guess the earliest stuff I remember having was Venom and Hellhammer for the second wave of black metal it would be Darkthrone “Soulside Journey” and Immortal “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism” I came across by pure coincidence at used record stores as it was really difficult to find much where I lived at the time. I think it was Emperor’s “Wrath of the Tyrant” cassette that really started it all for me though, a friend got it from tape trading and passed it to me along with flyers, and that’s where I discovered mail-order sources and got heavily into tape trading and discovering different bands from all over the world. It was the Emperor tape that really did it for me, along with some flyers, that is when I said “I can do this, and I really want to do this, so I will do this” and made the first Crimson Moon demo in 1994
-Do you have any plans to tour Europe soon? Romania maybe?
I have played Romania before with other bands, and it has been among a small list of countries I really would like to come to with Crimson Moon. I have always been infatuated with Romania, my Girlfriend is from Romania, hell even my first dog when I moved to Germany was from Romania. I have been there several times and it’s one of my favorite countries I have visited. Unfortunately, we have yet to find a contact that has been able to arrange this, just a lot of people who like to talk. This seems to be the standard though, a lot of people talk for booking shows, few people follow through. I guess we are not popular or cool enough for a lot of the organizers so they prefer to book the same bands that play at every festival, ad nauseum. The “live scene” is growing more and more distant from my personal interests at this point, as is my patience to deal with the abundance of organizers who do nothing more than waste our time in these matters and just stay in their safe spaces of bands to book.
-Are you working on new material already? What does the future hold for Crimson Moon?
Yes, I began writing new material shortly after Mors Vincit Omnia was completed early this year (2019) and have continued since. Last I checked I have roughly recorded about 70 minutes of new material and I am now in the process of filtering out what I like and dislike to start molding the ideas into form. I am just on the cusp of determining a set of the atmosphere the new material is speaking, it’s always been a very organic process for me, but it’s like it has seasons when you can feel the change and a phase is approaching. I think it’s safe to say we will be ready to begin recording a new album in 2020.
-Are there any other musical projects you are involved in? Do you find the time to work with them also?
Yes, quite a few. These are all done on a time available basis, as Crimson Moon is the priority. so when I have the combination of free time and the inspiration/will focus on those, that’s what I am spending a lot of my free time on. Sometimes those personal projects are an outlet for me to take a break from what I am doing in the midst of things with Crimson Moon. I am involved in a few recordings for other bands at the moment that I will be dedicating my time towards in the near future to finish up which are yet to be announced and then I will get back to work on some of my personal projects including Akrabu and Possession Ritual.
-We reached the end of this interview, would you like to add some words? Thank you for your time and hope to see you soon on stage!
Thank you for the interview, we hope to see Romania from the stage soon as well.
Bandcamp: Crimson Moon