Black metal and modern, neoclassical-and-folk-inspired music (not quite neofolk, something different) have gone hand-in-hand since Ulver's debut, Bergtatt. The use of steel and nylon-string acoustic guitars in black metal is commonplace at this point, but the few and brave eschew black metal influence altogether in favor of the quiet and contemplative. France's Wÿntër Ärvń is a brilliant example of such a denial of style, this near-chamber music style of lyrical ideas and almost-Medievalisms which translate to an introspective listen. Listen to a pre-release stream of "Sentiero Dell'Eternita" and read an interview with the artist below.

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As black metal musician, what was the transition to playing Medieval era-inspired
music like?

Actually, I had this idea of playing acoustic music for a long time. I have had a couple songs back in 2015-2016 already recorded, but it was with no purpose. The idea of Wÿntër Ärvń coincided with my arrival within the black metal act Aorlhac. I felt that it was the good opportunity to mix both my favourite genres into something “else.”

My first song as Wÿntër Ärvń: "Isolement," was meant to be a black metal song at first, but, instinctively, I transposed it into arpeggios of my old folk guitar. Then the ideas came all along and Wynter Arvn was born, in 2018.

Your artist bio says this project is meant to convey your innermost feelings. Was it
difficult narrowing these vast emotions into sound?

It was and it wasn't ! The whole thing about Wÿntër Ärvń is that I want to create music instinctively, spontaneously as a reflection of my own mind. I need to be in a particular state of mind when creating and recording. That’s how it’s done, and that is difficult, to put yourself in such a state. Every song is made from one single piece of “wood.” That means that when I create, I record it immediately, in a short time. One song is written and recorded within 48 hours, but that’ll be the only thing I do.

It’s instinctive, in a way. What you’ll listen is precisely what’s on my mind, my feelings transcribed into music.

How did tapping into your emotional core while creating this music feel? Was it easy
to access?

After a recording, you just feel empty. After putting so much into one act, you are exhausted. Not physically, but mentally. Usually I do not touch a guitar for a few days after recording, which is not my habit. It’s not that difficult to access to the core as you say, because I’m focused on a general state, and the emotions comes naturally to me, and directly transcribed into music.

But that’s tricky, because sometimes without knowing it, you didn’t reach the inner self and I can feel it on the recording. That’s why I had perhaps six to seven songs recorded that will stay unreleased, because “something’s missing,” you see?

You covered a Xasthur song ("Walker of Dissonant Worlds"). What made you choose
Xasthur, and why this particular song? How do you know when an idea of yours belongs to your other band or this particular one?

This song has followed me in many parts of my life. I think it was one of the first “black metal” song I listened to when I was younger. It never went away in my head. So, the choice of covering it was all natural, I did not think about it for too long. But I wanted to change the atmosphere of this very dark piece. As my first album was dark and deeply negative, Abysses gives the auditor a more contemplative experience, more luminous.

Also, I wanted to pay homage to the whole Xasthur oeuvre through this cover, and also point to the relationship between Wÿntër Ärvń and black metal in general. Both are undissociated even though you don’t hear it in some songs that I made.

Wÿntër Ärvń comes from black metal, just like the person I am today.

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Abysses releases March 1st on Antiq.