DEVATHORN – The Great Sulphur Dragon
To celebrate the release of Devathorn’s monstrous opus ‘Vritra,’ Eternal Terror scribe Peter Loftus caught up with Saevus Helcath to unearth the secrets of the Sulphur Dragon and reveal the truth behind one of 2015’s finer releases.
For those who don’t know – who are Devathorn and what is your mission?
The circle of Devathorn consists of a raging Draconian covenant, spiritually manipulated by theories of primordial, pan-dimensional Chaos. The cult emerged in 2002 and took the first steps into the creation of Dark Art. The synthesis of elements led to the formation of the triumvirate of Saevus H., Althagor and Mechblastess that materialized the vision behind Devathorn. Nowadays, the circle welcomes two new members that have entered our ranks through the years. Hierophant and A.A. Since the very beginning, the leading factor was to channel our Inner Flame and vibrations unto our Art.
The new album ‘Vritra’ is pretty amazing. You must be delighted with the way it turned out…
Indeed, we are very pleased with the result. The efforts of those years that the band devoted to the channeling of VRITRA gave birth to an outcome that made us proud, as well as hungry for more. There is a strong impulse for more creation, the results of which will soon emerge.
Tell us about the recording process – how does it work and how did you manage to create the monstrous sound?
The process is completely improvising. We regard the spiritual process equal of significance as the technical details of the sound. For us it is a common belief that the result of sound in Black Metal is not just Amps and guitars, but derives from something deeper. We create the music that we want to listen to, and we charge the result with our inner fire. It is not the quality of the production that makes an album differ, but its soul and sincerity to the motives behind creation. There is a shitload of albums and bands out there, but only a few really devote themselves to creation. Apart from that, there is also a careful manipulation of sound in order to create the proper sonic environment for the listener to delve into the hidden layers of our work.
An extremely heavy and powerful sound but melody plays a large part. It is a very catchy album. It feels like you really worked on all of the songs until they were exactly the way you wanted them to be…
As stated before, it is all a matter of perspective and dedication to create a result that pleases us as listeners and participants. Our motive was to combine diverse elements and manifest all the aspects and views into the album, avoiding the standard recipes and safe paths to an easy sound in result. We regard improvisation as a major part in our creation, but at the same time we work on the music and sound until the result becomes characteristic and unique, until we are 100% sure of its potential.
Without of course to reduce the power and the primordial pulse of the initial ideas behind the conception of the songs.
How does the song-writing work within the band? Do you have a very specific idea of what you want to do or is there an organic element, where you just let things happen?
Every song began as a vibration, emerged as an idea or a concept. We do not force anything to create music – we compose completely unbound by any standards. This is the main factor of creation for Devathorn, this very process of combining diverse elements into a result that still breaths our influences, experience and background. This has always been the case, as I said before, improvisation and dedication consists of a very significant part of the process. In the end, there is something completely new. Of course, the ideas are test and practiced on rehearsals, but this is not the main point. Except from the musical part, the Devathorn tracks are manifestations, and the key is to be totally honest channeling of our Inner-Self.
Seems to me the lyrical content is driven by a deep interest in symbolism and the interpretation of ancient texts… tell us all about Vritra and the Great Sulphur Dragon. You have studied philology, right?
Indeed, I have studied Ancient Greek philology and literature, a vast subject that has been combined with a great interest of the Ancient texts and the knowledge they bear within. Our academic background became an important factor, as it empowered and widened our views without becoming a burden. Also, the spiritual paths of ours and the views he have forged over those years are carved on the lyrical result of VRITRA. Speaking of which, it is a very intriguing and initiative concept, as it revives the powerful Draconian archetype of the Sulphur Dragon. Bearing the strong symbolism of the restless Adversary, Vritra embodies the fury of Leviathan, the liberating spirit of Prometheus, and the majesty of Sutekh the King. He is the dreaming Dragon Tiamat, Typhon the Destroyer, and Lucifer, the great Adversary. Moreover, VRITRA represents the musical and lyrical evolution of the circle into a storming beast, the Mega-Therion that holds the qualities of chaos, knowledge, and death. As the firstborn of dragons, the mighty Asura Serpent trembles and whispers fiery verses that become powerful symbolizations, making the listening experience of the album to resemble the fierce awakening of Kundalini serpent, as the Draconian flame ascends to reach the Crown.
Greece 2015. What is the situation?
Man is by nature a being strongly affected and affecting its social environment, as Aristotle denotes, when he chooses to live within society. Being a citizen of Southern Europe these days is not the easiest task I might say, but hard times harden us even more. Greece is set into a maelstrom of changes these days. There are many changing waves in Europe now, and in times of need the masses tend to turn to the political extremes for salvation. The current crisis is not only a Greek issue, but a universal financial phenomenon that affected all the lesser parts of the EU. Although, I regard this change as a strategic flip of the card deck to serve as a complete disorientation of the masses, as the present situation will not change with just some technical changes to the political system. It may work as a platform of advance and iconically persuade that things are working effectively again, until a new economic crisis of the capital interests sweeps Europe again. This system needs radical changes, or it will never change at all.
Any local band recommendations for the readers?
The local scene has grown strong again, having some really powerful acts, there is a lot for the listeners to search and find out. Of course, there is more quantity that quality, as always, but there are some serious and devoted bands and individuals that should be looked upon.
What next for Devathorn? Any gigs coming up that we should know about?
The new album is being supported with several selected live ceremonies, to spread the word of VRITRA upon the world. Autumn From Hell festival in Germany, Lords of The Void Vol:I along with our draconian brothers of Saturnalia Temple in Athens, and a show with Mortuary Drape coming in Larissa city in April draws near. More shows are being arranged at the moment and will be soon revealed. Apart from that, the circle of Devathorn is already working on the coming material, pushing the boundaries even more to darker paths. Two split releases are forged, and the new album is shaping into the cauldrons of creation. The Sulphur Dragon breathes and coils around the World.
Salve Ars Sinistra, Ars Gratia Draconis!