Interviews : Twilight
With Malific and Imperial
Little introduction needed; Twilight is the sound of the demons in your mind fighting over who gets to chain you to the pendulum and rip your insides asunder first. The sound of five Black Metal progenies (prodigies) encapsulating what the essence of agony, torture and grim really is...
Malefic and Imperial where gracious enough to sit down and filter our questions
Of what decadent ideal was this idea conceived; to take the five most prolific post-American black metal artists and combine their sickness to tape? Who specifically was the ringleader to the design?
Imperial - Azentrius brought us together and basically formed the skeletal idea which we all began to flesh out. Each one of us has worked in some manner with the other over the last four or so years so it was a natural progression to create something together.
Malefic - It was Azentrius' idea and also Wrest's, they are the pillars behind Twilight in my observation, some of us have wondered what it would be like if we wrote and created music together, so we made our attempt and gave it a shot, the ongoing experiment is called Twilight.
Twilight has seemingly been created and achieved in only a matter of months. Did the five of you convene together, or work alone, sharing ideas?
Imperial - we had two meetings which were the main recording sessions but Azentrius and Wrest used the postal system to work out the initial ideas. Malefic - For a while, we had worked alone individually towards Twilight, it is in each member's nature to do so, but next time things are going to be different.
Given that the five of you are from 3 different locales stretching the entire country; was it difficult to arrange group practices (if such was done)?
Malefic - Yes, it was, everyone has a different story and a different time schedule, not to mention different locations, we did the best we could on meeting together on the self titled album, but in the future things will be more organized, we can take our time.
How well did the five of you communicate? I can only guess that five highly enigmatic, eccentric persons can lead to ideas clashing. Or did you find that you clicked (the record certainly speaks of the latter)?
Imperial - Each one of us has our own very specific idea of black metal and what it spiritually should be, but surprisingly there was little clashing over the record. Possibly it has to do with the fact that we're all generally older than most of the current black metal scensters so we have a more mature process. Malefic - To tell the truth, we as a whole are still not 100% sure how we communicate, we all get along with each other well with our ideas and we all seem to respect each others musical approaches, I think once we all work with each other on a more consistant basis, I think that is going to be a challenge cause it's something we're not used to... people. Beforehand we're all going to have to realize that we're going to have to believe in one another and trust each others abilities, plus, it really seems like it should click and it will, in time.
The Twilight sound is certainly a wretched amalgam of all five of your individual projects, yet much more accessible in a stifled, necrotic black metal sense. Was there an outright goal to the writing process, a sound you wished to achieve, was there an intent on the music not being quite a deranged and/or as broad as previous efforts?
Malefic - We did what we could with the debut CD, not bad considering things weren't too organized, but the next album will be written by all five of us collectively. We all need to create something that's better and something different than all of our individual bands, I think that was something that was lacking on the debut. We want the next album to be darker and different than what we already do in our respective bands.
The songs range from almost chaotic ("Woe is the Contagion"), to darkly depressive and dank ("Beyond Light [Beautiful and Malignant]", "Winter Before"), to an almost traditional early nineties black metal sound ("Exact Agony, Take Life", "As the March of Worms"). Whilst being such a widespread sound, everything oddly fits and flows so well; were there any outright influences brought to light during the writing process, other than the ones already brought from your previous works?
Malefic - I think the cd does flow well, that is one thing that can't be denied, even if a person likes or dislikes the album. Beyond Light was a masterpiece in my opinion and possibly the next album can pick up where that song left off, yet at the moment, no one really knows what's going to happen on the second album, not us, not the audience. Imperial - A greater sense of individual illness. Nothing more to add.
Who's decision to go with Scott Hull (Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed) for mastering? Compared to the underground stature of Twilight, it seems he is quite a name to go to (And compared to what corpse-painted 15 year olds in their parents' basements might say, I applaud to decision to go with someone completely not related to the genre; Hull is amazing.)?
Imperial - Azentrius decided it, but we're all very open to other genres so it wasn't any sort of compromise. I've been very open to oppose the ideals of children during the last few years since I don't need some virgin in mom's basement telling me how to think, work and spiritually connect to black metal when I've been involved since they were 3 or 4 years old. Same goes for the rest of Twilight.
How important to yourself or other members of the band is the use of synth? The textures swirling around ("Larval Liaise" especially) really add a haunting aura. While being rather buried, they really suck you in.
Malefic - I think the synth can play an important roll, but I think we have to use synth sounds and playing techniques that none of us have used before, or none of us have used very often. All members, whether they are familiar with keyboards or not should play keyboards on the next album, everyone should spend time playing an instrument they are not too familiar with (if need be) to make the next album more abstract, it sounds crazy but it'll work.
That said, Twilight is certainly dementia inducing. The entire record, in my opinion, plays as a ritual to mind-fuckery. I must say that is quite the unhinged slab of dark art.
Malefic - Thank you, I feel the album turned out a bit more 'chaotic' sounding in the end than I anticipated in the beginning, that end result was a surprise to some of us and maybe a few listeners. Imperial - Some of our doctors and pharmacists would agree.
Are there any future Twilight endeavors on the horizon? Recording, performances, etc.?
Imperial - New album is being conceived as we speak. Malefic - Playing live isn't something totally necessary for any of us, yet we might be open to the idea.
I uncover more dimensions to these songs upon every listen. With crisp, clean sounds, everything is offered forthright, eventually not giving the listener something fresh with repeated listens. The buried textures and haunting, dirty atmospheres of bands such as Twilight and it's affiliates always offers a new level to the listener. Would you agree that a not-so-polished production crossed with dense instrumentation ultimately proves a record a worthy listen?
Imperial - It all depends on the core ideals of the recording, something well produced can add to it's aura just as much as something that sounds like it was recorded in a dumpster. It's the crafting that is important, and if the crafting is refined it will sound exactly as it should regardless of the production. Malefic - I know as a matter of fact that there are dissonant parts to some songs that a listener might not catch the first few times they listen to it.
The vocal performances, ranging from blood curdling cries to raspy screeches to demonic rumbling; are outstanding. Does the use of such vocal practices envelope what the cathartic nature of Twilight?
Imperial - It's really just what came out. I speak for myself when I say that my vocals are rarely mapped out as I want to be carried by the essence of the moment. Malefic - I think that everyone getting involved with the vocals was something interesting about the album, in the future I hope we can do this again, but possibly with the thought of having a couple members per song performing vocals.
If Twilight were to be a weapon, what would it be a weapon against?
Imperial - Mediocrity in thought and practice of current black metal. A not-so-gentle shove to the almost Christian minded dogmatics of black metal today. An unwanted ejaculation in the faces of critics and doubters. Malefic - Against life, against everything and against people who doubt us, you will see that we do this out of passion and a challenge to ourselves, you will see that there's not much 'in it' for us, in time.
That is all from me. I congratulate you on such a trance inducing, catatonic ritual of sound. The last words are yours.
Imperial - I think I've covered it.
Malefic - Thanks.