After having worked its way up for ten years, finnish band Aegrus has finally given birth to its debut full length “Devotion For The Devil”, an astonishing Black Metal album that’s drawn our attention with its mesmerizing songs. Here’s what masterminds Inculta and Lux Tenebris have told us.
Hail Aegrus, let’s start from the very beginning. What can you tell us about the birth of the band and your story so far? In particular, since you started playing in 2005, are there any reasons why you’ve released your debut full-length after so much time?
Band: The story began in 2005 when Inculta had this vision of starting a uncompromising Black Metal band but he had no skills for all the instruments, only beating drums and doing vocals. We met each other later in 2005 and noticed that we share the similar kind of worldview along with the same kind of taste of music so the process developed very naturally from there. Lux Tenebris handled guitarplaying and songwriting so the pact with the two strong individuals was made. We made a demo called “Unholy Invocations” in 2006 by ourselves before a third member called Diabolical Beats joined our ranks in 2007 to play the drums. We made couple of demos and an EP with him before he left the band in 2012. Actually after that the things really started to roll, when Inculta took his drumset from the basement and started to play again after five years of break. We began to write new material aiming for the full-length album and the album recordings was put on start in the end of 2012 at our own rehearsal chamber. The recordings were done in early 2013. Reasons for the delay to release the album were the problems to make a proper mixing and finding a decent publisher. Only the third guy who mixed the album did the job that satisfied us. So we wanted to make it sure that the sound of the album was exactly what we wanted it to be.
Listening to “Devotion For The Devil”, it’s undeniable your affinity with Sargeist, Behexen and Satanic Warmaster (but I could mention many more finnish bands). Are they actually your main influence or are there any other bands or records you think have been important to the evolution of your sound?
Band: Almost every reviewer or interviewer that we have faced compares us to those bands but despite their goodness they are not our main influence although they have affected us at least in some way. Musically our influences don’t come from any particular source but from various bands and genres that there is. For example Inculta is a long time Iron Maiden fan but who can hear it from his singing or drumming? Although Black Metal is our main genre and the one we’re listening the most. It’s also the best way for us to express ourselves.
Speaking more about “Devotion For The Devil”, when you started working on it, were there any ambitions or goals to head towards? How much do you think the aforementioned influences has come into your way of playing?
Band: We had no other goals than conjure those feelings and thoughts from inside of us on the record and having someone to release it who understands the full commitment towards it. Influences affects us at the subconscious level that’s for sure and rarely they are intentional. But we don’t try to make same kind of music or lyrics intentionally than other bands. We know there are bands who try to sound similar for example to Venom but we’re not one of those.
Do you think that “Devotion For The Devil” allows you to express Aegrus’ true essence at its best? Which song do you think can describe you better? Are you satisfied with the final result and how the album has been hailed?
Band: “Devotion For The Devil” expresses the essence of that certain era when it was made and it captures that very well. We have no “anthem” of Aegrus in the album so all the songs are tales of their own. Today ”Worship Of The Serpent” can describe us the best and tomorrow it can be the title song. All the songs are different and equally strong with each other. As mentioned before we are very satisfied with the overcome. The feedback has been positive and all the reviews have been at least good. In fact we haven’t seen any negative comments at all but maybe we have only missed those…
At a lyrical level, is there a theme, a concept, or a philosophy that underpins the album? Where do you take inspiration from?
Band: The album contains various themes, such as Satanism, Death, Self-development and pure hate against masses, religions and humanity. For example “Impaled I.N.R.I.” tells the last hours of the liar called Jesus Christ and hate against his teachings, while “Katharsis With Horns” is about falling love with Death and seeking the true answer from the darkness, eventually reaching the illumination. So there’s no one theme in this album but things we have experienced, where we are aiming at and what we are living amongst. Inspiration can be drawn from every days life, from books or even from dreams. And of course from Death.
As for your future proposals, have you already planned or written anything new? Where do you see the band heading into musically during the next years?
Band: At this summer we are planning to start recordings for the second full length album. All the songs are ready excluding few little things here and there. The material will be much stronger than the previous one. We have very expectant feelings about this and we will guarantee that the fans of Aegrus won’t be dissappointed. There are also plans to do some kind of special EP this year to celebrate our ten years in action. Musically the main theme remains same but of course there are little development in some direction. The core of Aegrus has always been the same and it will be so in the future too. No female vocals, no synthesizers, no compromises. Only pure Black Metal and worshipping Satan.
Thought you are a duo, in the past you’ve performed some live shows. So, what’s Aegrus’ on stage dimension? Have you had the opportunity to support the release of “Devotion For The Devil” too?
Band: What comes to playing live it’s important part of Aegrus, although we have only played handful of shows yet. This is mostly due to the lack of devoted session members who share our visions at least in some ways and who have good personalities too. We have session guitarist who is a good friend of ours and he has played with us many years. Just recently we got a new live drummer so bass player is the only lacking piece before the live ritual is possible. Hopefully that’s about to change before the winter when we have planned to play few shows here in Finland to promote the album. Then if everything goes as planned maybe we do some live rituals next year in foreign countries as well.
Thanks for your time. Last words are yours.
Band: Hail Satan! Hopefully we will someday play in Italy.