Today we have the unholy honor of premiering the debut EP from ORDO CULTUM SERPENTIS an duo formed between well-regarded Korean and Mexican musicians intent on entrancing ritualistic conjure of black/death metal, extreme doom metal, and dark ambient. A portrayal of the mystification of death worship, ‘Derej Najash‘ is more than a smoke-filled clearing and strewn instruments but a two chapter sojourn through eyes of death and the serpent. The band have been kind enough to answer a set of questions to accompany this formal introduction to their considerably atmospheric project. Not only that but we’ve got a full stream for the EP, which releases this Friday, February 12th via Signal Rex. Scroll down to hit the stream on. Thanks goes to the band, Signal Rex, and their representation for the opportunity to unveil this powerful first ritual. Note that all questions were answered as a unit unless otherwise indicated.
What is the intent of this first EP? Should ‘Derej Najash’ be experienced as a mission statement or, an incantation specific to this recording?
To a certain degree, it could be said that it is the manifesto of the project. The path of the snake that we follow. We try to get the specific sounds and songs to try to capture the seriousness of the practices that we carry out. It is not empty music, it is music full of energies that move in the shadows.
Is there a mindset, shared philosophy or religious point of view that fuels Ordo Cultum Serpentis?
It is perhaps from a spiritual approach directed and influenced by the practices of the left hand path. There is devotion to the dead and to death, there is a connection with what remains hidden and protected by the mysteries of the shadows, that inspiration that we find in the tunnels of the black tree, that we see in the obsian mirrors, that we hear with the arminic sound of human bones
Ritual black metal, atmospheric extreme doom metal, these sub-genres are often delivered with some reliance upon channeling some manner of spiritual current or even improvisational pieces. Was any part of the composition or performance of these two chapters improvised?
Fr. Der Cadáver – I believe that at present there are projects of these genres that have tried to capture their magical practices and currents, some follow their path as a black brother, others meddling within secret orders of esoteric tradition. We are not far from this. And of course, creative freedom can be felt in ambient passages harmonized with the sounds of bones, death whistles and chants. Some of the latter were made with a deep gnosis full of visualizations, for this reason, the tracks contain a very strong energy charge
V. – To be honest from the standpoint of playing the guitar and bass, all the songs were improvised. This is not much different from my another band “Aek Gwi”. Aek Gwi also improvised all the music, and I still can’t remember how I made it. I think most of the Ritual Black Metal, Atmospheric Doom Metal, and Dark Ambient music made by this feeling. Since improvised music follows the human instinct completely, I think it expresses the real inside of the person who makes the music.
The atmosphere of each chapter is certainly related, either in the same moment or focusing on a similar goal, is there a larger implication of narrative or ritual shared between the two parts? Or was this just a practical matter of splitting the cassette into two sides?
The importance of dividing the tracks lies in the fact that on the one hand a track is dedicated to ritual practices with death and the dead and the other is directed to the path of the serpent. This is how we decided to give it the title of “Derej Najash” in Hebrew, which can be translated as “the way of the serpent”
Artists from South Korea and Mexico appear as unlikely allies I suppose, how did Ordo Cultum Serpentis form?
Fr. Der Cadáver – For my part, I have always admired Sang’s projects, since he had his labels, his music projects and recently as a graphic artist. I have acquired some pieces for my personal collection and for my musical projects of ambient ritual (Occult Odyssey, Ens Imperfectissimum). One day we decided to do something together, to mix our styles, as a result our serpent worship emerged among the shadows and flames. For me it is an honor to work with him, it is an admiration and respect that I have for him both as an artist and as a person.
V. – I think it’s the first line-up I’ve seen in the whole world in Black Metal Scene. Maybe most persons were puzzled to Korea and Mexico line up too. As a joke I say, Korea and Mexico have the longest working hours in the world, so if they work on music, they will have long music hahaha. In fact, I’ve been watching Fr. Der Cadáver’s group, Occult Odyssey and Ens Imperfectissimum for years. At that time, I was probably working on Aek Gwi’s second album with Li Chao (Enemite), and I decided to work with another Dark Ambient Musician someday. The musician that caught my eye was Fr. Der Cadáver. He was playing music that felt the most similar to the project I had planned, and I made a complete plan for the project alone while he didn’t know. And when everything was ready, I suggested it to him, and the result was Ordo Cultum Serpentis.
Are there any major influences be they books, music, or art that informs the ambiance on ‘Derej Najash’? A unique feeling seems very important for these sort of movements, though I wonder if there is any specific artist that both agree upon as a core influence.
Fr. Der Cadáver – Sure, there are influences in common, we don’t try to imitate them, but they do function as part of what we do. There are projects but I think that the previous works of each one have been the ones that have had the most impact on OCS. That is, one can listen to the records of Aek Gwi, Shrapnel of Maletiction (ex-Thy Sepulchral Moon), and the works of Occult Odyssey and Ens Imperfectissimum and you can see the clear influences that we have.
V. – If i have to mention probably the most influenced bands in making O.C.S, I can say Demoncy, Void Meditation Cult, Beherit.
Does working long distance impede the creative process at all?
I think that given the current context, many projects are going through the same thing, whether they live near or far. However, I think we connect very well, there is good communication and trust in what each one of us does. We feel comfortable with what we do and distance has not been an impediment, I think we work at our own pace and we dedicate the necessary time to each track to make it unique.
Are the wheels in motion for future works already? Can we expect ‘Derej Najash’ on other physical formats in the future?
Fr. Der Cadáver – Currently the project is very active and has had a good acceptance in various parts of the world, it is something gratifying, but even more gratifying is that Signal Rex will be releasing our material, we hope that the next works will come out in other formats, while our debut EP It will be out on tape on February 12 and I can tell you that it really is a beauty.
V. – O.C.S. is actually a project designed to produce a new album of my other bands, Shrapnel of Malediction (ex-Thy Sepulchral Moon), Aek Gwi. Actually, I didn’t plan to stay in O.C.S for a long time. Because O.C.S. is a kind of prototype for make new albums for Shrapnel of Malediction and Aek Gwi. When we uploaded O.C.S.’s first sample sound on my personal Soundcloud, I was very embarrassed because there were Release Offers on various labels. Fortunately, Signal Rex cleaned up everything at once. and Very detailed. The current plan is the first full-length production of O.C.S. But I think it needs more time than usual.
What is the best way fans can support Ordo Cultem Serpentis going forward?
Buying our material through Signal Rex and Spread our Black Magic Spells. At the moment we do not have any Social Media page for Band, in the meantime you can write to us on our personal Instagram profiles:
Fr. Der Cadáver : https://www.instagram.com/frater_dercadaver93/
V. (Vhan Artworks & Printing) : https://www.instagram.com/vhanspellovhatred/
Thank you for your time.
Thank you very much for the interview and the support.
Per the press release:
SIGNAL REX is proud to present ORDO CULTUM SERPENTIS’ striking debut EP, Derej Najash, on cassette tape format.
ORDO CULTUM SERPENTIS are a new cross-continental entity comprising V (South Korea) and Fr. Der Cadaver (México). Together, the duo create an ambient sort of blackened death-doom – or perhaps deathened black-doom? Or doomed black-death? Either way, such words as BLACK and DEATH and most especially DOOM apply to the band’s first public recording, Derej Najash.
Ritualistic from the opening notes to the bitter end, Derej Najash is composed of two epic-length tracks across 27 total minutes. Moments of tense quietude linger, but then are jarringly ripped asunder by expulsions of grinding bestiality, all before dragging the tempo down into the abyss. The doom is thus megaton-sized, and crushes the listener’s spirit and very being with its all-encompassing density. Haunting moans and ritual bells also drift across the soundfield, putting Derej Najash further beyond the realms of normalcy or complacent listening. The sum effect is that ORDO CULTUM SERPENTIS are sonic titans just beginning their inexorable march to the end…
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