Anguis Dei’s “At Portas Serpentium” Voices Satan’s Orchestra
Plumbing the deepest depths of obscurity only offers further madness; this I have learned over more than a decade of searching, wondering, and internalizing. Though there is the resplendent and transcendent, there is black metal which places suffering, madness, and art on an equal plane. Devotion, beauty, pain… all one in the eyes of a greater beast which howls through its chosen vessel.
Forever enshrouded in mystery, the ever-unveiling Ordo A:.A:.A:.A:., Japan's premiere yet wholly secretive black metal collective, reveals yet another face of the great serpent. Side by side with Arkha Sva's violence, Avsolutized…'s despondence, and Ahpdegma's psychosis, witness the birth of Anguis Dei -- the mad preacher, the orator whose screeching voice echoes off cathedral walls in the inverted church of Satan.
A Satanik Hellharmonik Darkestra, Anguis Dei transforms the tenets of traditional symphonic black metal into blasphemy in its most unadulterated form. In its purest, most aggressive state, Juno Bloodlust's guitar, bass, and keyboard arrangements resemble the darkest hymns -- a primeval, overwhelming thickness. Together with the manic percussion of drummer Summum Algor and lyrical, technical guitar work Hakuja, whose presence breaks a decade-long silence, the continuo of god's anguish manifests an unholy orchestra, darkness, and inhumanity through punishing, relentless sound thrown into the void.
Leader of the Ordo A:.A:.A:.A:. and constant presence within its ranks, vocalist Ur Èmdr Oervn's own aura is spine-chilling, a horrific vocal exorcism of continually unparalleled extremity. The possessed madman, a vehicle for the dark forces of his own devotion, continually sacrifices his corporeal vessel as a greater communicant. With such a truly awe-inspiring range, Ur Èmdr Oervn's shrieking, howling, operatic countertenor bellowing, and vomitous incantations are some of music's most harrowing and unbridled. Ur's own presence is painted as the anti-evangelist, from Satan's mouth to his throat, preaching from the pulpit in the darkest sanctuary.
Ad Portas Serpentium is out November 24th via Svart Records. Along with an exclusive stream of their debut EP, which you can listen to below, I had the pleasure of interviewing frontman (and one of my all-time favorite vocalists) Ur Èmdr Oervn.
The mystery only seems to dive to greater depths, and his careful, curt language only reveals more questions. Answering questions with alternating e-mail addresses, it's obvious this artist's decades-long namelessness is meticulous, verging on the paranoid. Ur Èmdr Oervn could really be anyone, and that could be said of any musician whose continued anonymity in the new age is so artfully maintained. Evil walks among us.
Over the past decade, the expanded form of the Ordo A:.A:.A:.A:. has unveiled itself as Arkha Sva, Avsolutized..., Ahpdegma, and now Anguis Dei, involving an expanding cast of musicians from the Japanese black metal underground (members from Manierisme, Hakuja, Kanashimi, and so on) as time moved on. How has the Ordo/Collective evolved over this lengthy period of time and how is it decided as to who would play a part in it?
Agios o Satanas.
Hear the voices calling you. They have been louder and louder over these years.
As you know, Ordo A.:A.:A.:A.: has variety of function representing the voices channeled from the under and each sects such as ARKHA SVA, AVSOLUTIZED... , AHPDEGMA, etc. have and work on different functions. So proper devotees for proper functions always come and go by being led by the voices. For ANGUIS DEI, its devotees were gathered in order to represent some particular parts of the Grand Serpents' oracles properly.
How has exploring the world of heavier, symphonic black metal expanded your performing palette?
It has seemed very natural exploration and experiment. In order to gain wider vibration amplitude of and more lifeforce from this world, it features much more strings, sonic bits, pressure, varied of voices and oracles, all in the name of Satan.
What functions do Ahpdegma, Avsolutized..., and Arkha Sva fulfill in the greater context of the collective?
AHPDEGMA represents the boundary between life and death. AVSOLUTIZED... represents the encounter to something cold dark divine. ARKHA SVA represents the incantation in order to throw your enemies down into coffins. And A.:A.:A.:A.: itself represents the kingdom among yourselves, that is void and eternal.
Will the kingdom expand further, or has A.:A.:A.:A.: been fully realized in four parts?
In your words, it shall expand further. Or in other words, it shall be cut and divided from various angles.
Are there concrete further plans?
Symphonie des Loges Neuf de Noé by ATMAN DREI shall be unleashed soon. Further information shall be shortly revealed.
Over your many releases, I've noticed an increase in the variety of your already very expressive and manic vocal style. Does each - the high screech, the countertenor singing, the vomitous incantation, et cetera - serve a specific purpose? Does it change between projects? Or is it more automatic and possessed?
It all depends on channeling. The more the magitator improves himself in channeling, the more variety of tones are required and he is naturally obliged to optimise his corpse in order to attain all that. In this sense, it can be called automatic, under the control by Vnra. Then, proper tones are chosen and adopted for each sects.
So it's a mixture of personal skill and elements from outside your corporeal form?
You seem to see it in a right way. An additional thing to note here is that inside or outside is not clearly divided, because a corporeal brains is a receiving apparatus for signs both from inside and outside. It works out in as-above-so-below kind of way.
Ah okay, Trismegistus's micro and macrocosms! Life reflects art reflects spirit reflects the void. Though the signs from the outside speak through you, what comes from inside? That is to say, what reflections come from the human element of Ur Èmdr Oervn?
Inside or outside, it is not divided. The signs seem like an everlasting circulation, nobody knows which part of it was the beginning, and shall be the end. One can only cut some particular part out of it by his arbitrary choice. It is rather difficult to express the reflection in this context, but one common thing surely lying there has been suspicion.
What have you been suspicious of?
Everything, including suspicion.
So let you think of the opposition to suspicion. When you believe in something, it means that you are on the side where you are under its controlled. When you believe in something, you rarely decide your way on your own. You rarely control the result and you rarely take responsibility on it. It seems like one of the very typical christian ways full of unreason.
Do you feel as if you are wholly consumed by your beliefs and suspicion of said beliefs?
It only seems indispensable, because to keep creating and corresponding to changes must be the most critical mission for any that is not yet dead. And especially mankind is obliged to attain it most efficiently.
Is there an end-goal to this critical mission? Can you achieve it through the culmination of your various bands and projects?
True goals always exist outside the present state, and to breathe signifies to explore new aspects of things. In other words, status quo equals to death.
And particular soundscape provides recipients particular influence in various ways. This is a series of purposeful experiment established and observed in the name of Satan.
What should people take from Anguis Dei? Is there anything we should learn from it?
In the simplest words, hear the voices calling you.
And heed what are captured, excerpted, written, performed, intoned and engraved, as well as what are NOT, on the other side of the perceivable elements.
In order to obtain something from or discard something to the incarnation of mediumship efficiently, this must be one of the most important thing.
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Discover the empty kingdom within yourselves through the Ordo A:.A:.A:.A:..