First of all, can you introduce AKHLYS to the audience. While you were already the creator of the well known projects NIGHTBRINGER and BESTIA ARCANA how can you explain the need to create and develop AKHLYS today ?
Akhlys, although sharing a few similarities stylistically, is fundamentally its own beast, aesthetically, musically and thematically speaking. The subject matter is specific to dreams and their situation and importance within esotericism. All the lyrics were inspired by certain dream and para-somnia experiences I have journaled over the years. This was the inspiration behind the music itself and the vehicle of further reification of these experiences.
What are the main differences, conceptually and musically between al those projects ?
Most of this I have covered above, but to speak further to this, Nightbringer is specific to an overall personal and spiritual path within esoteric currents we have adopted while Bestia Arcana largely is concerned with eschatological topics ciphered via a biblical language. Speaking purely in regards to the sound, stylistically, they have at least some proximity to one another, something that is hard to avoid given that I am the sole composer for both Akhlys and Bestia, and one of the main composers in Nightbringer, yet there are also many differences, differences that are stark enough to separate each entity, defining it beyond the shared commonalities.
Can you tell us more about the word AKHLYS, which can be translated as “ the eternal night”, if I'm correct, and about the choice of this name.
That has been one interpretation. Akhlys is a somewhat ambiguous figure in Greek mythology as there was not much written about her that still exists. She was said to be the personification of the “death mist”, the clouding over of the eyes upon death, and in turn personified death, misery, despair, and so on. She was also said to have been an original personification of primordial darkness/night that existed before chaos. What we can determine from these fragments is that she was associated to both death and profound darkness, the two of which indicate a crossroads, or an inlet from life into the darkness beyond life. This crossing of the veil has much synchronicity with the crossing that can be experienced via certain lucid dream states and there is much intimacy between these parallels, that of death and of dreams. Note that the dreams I am speaking of here are not the common dreams we typically experience which are spawned by mundane residuals of the subconscious, but the dreams the Greeks had said to have come from the “gate of horns”, those of a markedly different nature all together, typically very lucid, or having para-somnic qualities such as out of body experiences, mare or succubus connotations, so on so forth.
You manage to keep a high level of composition with all your projects, this new album with AKHLYS is absolutely stunning, and your creativity is impressive. So, what is your secret and what are your sources of inspirations (music, books, films, etc.) ? Do you write and compose music every day ?
There are no secrets. I write with the blood of my heart and this is the result. Inspiration is vast and varied of course, but yes, all artistic mediums have served as influence and of course the inspiration I receive from personal studies and spiritual endeavors. I do not write and compose every day, far from it, as that would keep the well of inspiration mostly depleted. I always need breaks and find value in shifting focuses until inspiration once again strikes.
Is there a special process of composition for each project ? Is it the same approach when you work for NIGHTBRINGER and AKHLYS for example ?
They are mostly the same. I have a very specific way I approach composition for the most part although I do toy with experimentation on every album I do.
Let us get to the heart of the matter, “The Dreaming I” ! This first full length marks an important evolution compared with the previous recording of AKHLYS (more Dark Ambient Music oriented). Indeed, this album is a pure jewel of intense Black Metal, the approach, this time, is less ambient and much more metallic, more agressive, what has caused this sudden and incredible evolution ?
From the start I had always intended to incorporate both genres into this entity. The last album was dark ambient with some black metal influences, while this one is the opposite. There are a lot of ambient layers that run throughout nearly the entire album, and several listens from those with an astute ear should be able to pick these up.
Could you give us a few keys of understanding of the concept hidden behind the title and the strange lyrics. You said that those lyrics were inspired by your own dreams, can you tell us more about this fascinating subject ? Your dreams are a bit...strange !
The title strikes at the significance the aforementioned dreams have within the context of the inner path and is a term native to the concept of dream initiation. It would be very difficult to speak of the dreams that inspired the lyrics in a manner that was so discursive so I will let the lyrics speak for themselves. I believe the prose approach was really the only approach that could relay these experiences as it does not attempt to bend the experiences towards the rational world of the waking, yet allows them to remain as symbols in the form of poetry/prose. Some of them are indeed strange, but it should be noted that the dreams that served as inspiration for the lyrics were uncommon, and the majority of my dreams are of the mundane sort.
The artwork, realized by the talented David Herrerias, is absolutely incredible. Was it a specific and very detailed request or is it the free interpretation of the concept, the sound and the lyrics of “The Dreaming I” by the Artist ?
David had free reign mostly. I provided the lyrics and the concept behind the name and he did what he does best.
The impressive drum parts, on “The Dreaming I”, are played by Ain. Who is this fantastic unknown musician ? Is he involved in the process of composition ?
Ain is Ain, and no more needs to be said here. All the music was composed before the drums, and he composed all the percussion parts of course.
How do you see the future of AKHLYS ? A return to a more ambient form of music, a new Black Metal release or something completely different ?
It is too early to say, but both genres will continue to play an influence.
Can we expect to see AKHLYS on stage in a near future ?