Alla "Leslava" Avramenko
Leslava: Hi. Thank you for agreeing to answer a few of my questions. Go to the point. Introduce yourself pls and tell about the upcoming album. I have already loved “Silent Redemption”, it is deadly beautiful). I want to know more about the album, about the lyrics. What ideas and feelings were inside?
Hello, my stage name is Neraath, I’ve been playing guitar with Enthroned since 2000. We are releasing the album «Cold Black Suns» through the record company Season of Mist.
Thanks for your words about the song «Silent Redemption». This has been the first track unveiled, and the official release is set up for June 2019. There was an idea to deliver an album that focuses deeper on dynamics and ambiences. Enthroned always composed around a riffing process that keeps a range of tones and melodies which built some of the band’s identity. We didn’t went too far from this way of composing, but in an attempt to make our sound evolve, the songwriting has been a bit different than it used to be. More personal and less than a band’s work in the idea of a bunch of guys rehearsing together. Now that we have less of this metal/rock way of execution, it leaves the listener with a colder sound but also with more sonic details to discover. The drum work has been thought further than on the past, and the addition of drones, sampling and effect processed guitars, in a discrete way, pushes these ambiances deeper. Concerning the lyrics, we also aimed for a slightly different progression, giving away the cryptic texts that made the four last records, for a more down-to-earth approach of the mystique. The lyrics have an anthropological overtone that suggests that every different view is a product of the cultural evolution of one race or people; and this cultural product is further enriched by its interaction with other peoples and their cultures, in whose vicinity the former originated and evolved, yet all englobed within the one human concepts of what is the Occult.
Leslava: 25 years is a lifetime for someone. Tell us about the most significant events for the band. The coolest fest, the myth about Enthroned …
I don’t really know how you qualify the myth about the band, but 25 years is long. We kept the band together, despite many line up changes, still driven to enjoy and deliver extreme music. Playing with the band gave everyone the possibility to perform worldwide, and touch fans from every horizon. It is already quite significant to know that thousands kilometers away, some people you never heard of dig your music so much.
I wasn’t there at the very beginning of the band, but I know they went through a lot. Great but sad events too. For my part, I’ll keep an odd memory of a chaotic tour in US, when I was just on my 20’s, traveling this whole country in a small van, seeing some wonders of nature during the day and playing in the dirtiest clubs at night. Many great festivals too, I can name a few like Maryland Deathfest, Graspop festival in Belgium, Brutal Assault in Czech rep, etc…
Leslava: What songs are you still enjoying performing live?
All songs from our current setlist of course. I have personal preference for the latest songs, as I identify better with them at the present. We tend to choose songs that have both a balanced structure and intensity. For example titles like «Of Shrines and Sovereigns», «Obsidivm», «Sepulchered within opaque slumber» and few ones from the new album like «Silent Redemption».
Leslava: Where are the boundaries of your creativity and expression? What won’t you show in music and on a stage?
I would say that budget and technical issues can sometimes set the boundaries of expression and creativity. When it comes to imagination, you can’t truly put limits. But when you play in a band and stick to a genre, there are compromises to take in consideration. Personally, I can’t limit to one genre, that’s why I have other musical projects (Emptiness, Of Blood and Mercury), or do a job besides music that involves constant creativity. Expression should be free and I believe you can show everything, and it is up to the public to make their own opinion, and to stay or leave. To repress creativity under manipulation is a real danger to freedom. Mostly, a huge range of the music business seems corrupted by this tendency. And it is unfortunate that nowadays, artists sometimes have to think twice before releasing their message if they still want to perform live in decent conditions, or if they want that their fans have a good access to their music.
Leslava: What culture, traditions, artists are interesting to you. Tell about yourself as an artist, what works best reflect you?
To think about eras and periods of time before all civilizations we solidly know about, can be quite inspiring for the mind. Like how were these times when our continents were sunken and others could have been inhabited. Or what energies and pseudo life could dwell when the planet’s surface wasn’t fully solid. It goes in the myth category and no tradition could be fully associated with.
Then I find our contemporary time quite intriguing. Since the industrial revolution of end of 18th century until nowadays.The influence of materialism matters and the technological concerns that goes with raises many questions. Cultures and traditions, that escalate sometimes for centuries, and that mostly every citizen of the world were born into, are on the brink of a change. Surely not in a single generation, but there is a taste of collapsing… Without any judgement, on a high and long scale, it makes it interesting to debate, whether it is cultural, spiritual or within the complexity of politics. I believe everything is linked.
When it comes to art, I admire the alliance of authenticity with innovation and technical skills, but I’m rather touched by it when it carries deep emotions I could get familiar with. If I have to name a few, all genre included, I would drop names like Wagner, Lautréamont, Celine, Böcklin, Pollock, Arvo Part, Chopin, Gainsbourg, Brel, Kubrick, Aphex Twin, Nirvana, Depeche Mode, Sepultura, Tool…but many others too… So called artists that want to fill an ego issue with no creativity and do what others are already doing don’t raise my attention.
Leslava: Who owns your soul?
Who that isn’t indoctrinated can answer that?
Leslava: For some people, occultism — oblivion of God and death, for others — the search for their own path. I know you found your light in Darkness, what meaning is your life filled with? Tell us about your views.
You assume it, but the darkness we explore artistically is just a reflection of it. Even played with all the codes and the heart into doing something enough developed for ourselves at that period of space and time, I cannot call it a true catharsis. It can be inspiring enough to explore many aspects, but this isn’t the place where I will find the light, at least for a common sense of well-being and a feeling of achievement. It feels way too reductive when you place the infinite factor in the equation. Many of the protagonists in the genre are entangled in some kind of misery and stick to that. It is an easy way to find comfort between themselves and the use of common codes, and even leaves room to run a business… There is a bottomless pit filled with curiosity, torment, destruction, hate, sadness, dominance but also obedience. You wonder why that genre of music isn’t more popular nowadays. When it comes to occultism, its a common belief of theories and facts, and I think only clever, strong-willed personalities, or so-called gifted ones, can grasp the true essence of a deep study. It demands a lot to fulfill the discipline. You rarely meet such achieved personalities. As a curious person, I’ve been briefly looking and documenting myself about sciences of many genres. General knowledge is a basic of common sense, but I rather find meaning in being creative and surprising myself, having real debates that raise new ways of thinking, and taking care of my family.
Leslava: And if you look into the abyss for a long time, then the abyss also looks at you. What did you see in it?
Depends what feels like the abyss, in the heavy term of it. Probably ends up with a disease.
Leslava: What do you think about modern satanic and occult organizations, witches and magicians?
As I briefly mentioned above, some persons have the gift to deal with nature and its rules and forces. I have all the respect for those who manage to grasp an understanding and a benefit from it. There are somehow great writings and philosophical teachings and pamphlets to look for. But I tend to be doubtful when it becomes a social dogmatic entertainment and a parody of what some initially criticize.
Leslava: Obsession with demons — myth or reality? How do you imagine the feelings of a possessed person?
Reality doesn’t stop with our senses of perception, nor with the instruments our scientists have been elaborating so far. That’s why constant evolution in every domain seems primordial. But when it comes to us, it looks like the way we believe to perceive influent forces is more and more latent and cloaked behind the speed of events, the distraction of modern culture and the constant pressure that comes with. That’s why it’s interesting to see how more ‘traditional cultures’ or older ones were more engaged with these myths and facts on a daily basis. But looking at our history, perhaps it comes with a great plan, demoniacal forces at work to bring the world to a new era. Who can say? Talking about possession, I believe losing will and control isn’t a pleasant thing.
Leslava: What allows you to be free? As far as I understand, this is your honesty (the same in life as on stage), a coalition with Satan. Continue the list …
Individualism is a fundamental right, and all of us should have a moralistic autonomy. When living in a society with its rules and traditions, the personal and collective unconscious shall be brought into consciousness to be assimilated into the whole personality. It seems like the natural development, but freedom must be chased in an awareness of the aim of our actions. To access to what could be named as the true foundation of freedom, we must lift ourselves out of the prejudices we receive from our educational concern, such as ethnicity, family, nation or religion, and all that bound our creative capacity to meet the world directly. Only when we realize our potential to be a unique individual, then we can be free.
Leslava: What are your favorite horror movies? Can you tell a horror story in a few sentences?
I’m not fan of the genre, and I haven’t truly seen a movie that awakes an horror feeling. When you’re kid and you discover movies like Alien or the Exorcist, it brings some kind of fascination… But nowadays, I’m rather horrified by the bureaucracy of a movie like ‘Brazil’ or the money wasted in Hollywood blockbusters.
Leslava: What are you afraid of?
Leslava: Any last words to fans?
I invite everyone interested in the extreme music to discover the upcoming album of Enthroned.
Until the release, some songs and a video will be revealed. Come to see us live when we’re playing around.