Today we have the honor of premiering a full stream of ‘The Pact of Morbid Conspiracy‘ a split album between Greek black metal project CEREMONIAL WORSHIP and Filipino black metal band OMENFILTH who’ve created this material specifically for this split which serves some due credit to classic Hellenic black metal primitivism and wonder spanning the eight pieces within. Raw and primitive on one side, classic esoteric ‘epic’ black metal riffing on the other, this split serves as a brilliant introduction to each true underground black metal sect and their arcane influences. For this occasion Ceremonial Worship have answered a few quick questions (Omenfilth‘s will be posted soon, also) which you can find below.
Scroll down to the full stream below and enter ‘The Pact of Morbid Conspiracy‘ which will be available on cassette tape format and digital download this Friday, August 6th through the fine folks at Eternal Death. Thanks goes to the band, their representation and Eternal Death for the opportunity to share this split alongside an interview.
OMENFILTH (Philliphines) Interview
In hindsight I would say that ‘Devourer of the Seven Moons’ was a big milestone for you guys in terms of not only finding a good balance of influences but sounding the most like Omenfilth. Does it feel like the band crossed a threshold beyond that point? I ask because it sounds as if you’ve been working with that high bar set for this new material. Are these new songs from a different, newer recording session?
Morbid hails! Yes, in many ways, “Devourer Of The Seven Moons” was a milestone in our careers as musicians and songwriters. We did set the bar really high for ourselves in order to outdo our previous record, (“Hymns Of Diabolical Treachery”). For this split however, we loosened up a bit. We figured that ‘Devourer”…sounds overly architectural in terms of structure and we decided to do the opposite of that, since the lockdowns last year prevented us from practicing together and even meeting each other often, we did something a bit more spontaneous, garage/punk-ish vibe where we just let loose and recorded something like four individuals jamming. Well, except for Von (guitarist), he had to record his parts from abroad and sent us the files after we cut and sent him the basic tracks since he is in another country. We improvised the guitar solos and the drum fills weren’t as overly thought out as our older releases. So, we really did a more stripped down approach on this split. We had a great time and a nice change of style.
Though you’ve not included any cover songs here on this split, I’ve always appreciated your mix of first and early second wave black metal choices for covers and how this reflects in your sound as well. Do those choices represent the key shared inspiration of all band members?
I’m glad you appreciate our cover songs. Yes, these are the bands we usually listen to get us inspired and fired up, among many others. They also helped shaped Omenfilth’s sound. We usually do cover songs that you rarely hear being covered and bring our own elements into it. It made no point to cover other popular bands that a million other have already covered. We also didn’t want to do them note for note, a cover song should always be a re-interpretation and not simply mimicry.
You’ve gone a bit more ‘brutal’ this time around for a few songs, reminding me of ‘Eosphoros’ but of course with a much better drum performance. Is Thou Art Lord a specific muse for some of these songs? Of course the sound is there in spirit, especially on “Swallowed by the Umbral Void” but is this Greek black metal style an important part of Omenfilth’s intent, or just the way things end up sounding? Where do you start when looking for the Omenfilth sound?
Actually, we were listening a lot to the American cult legends, Profanatica when we wrote the songs for the split, more specifically, “The Curling Flames Of Blasphemy” and “Thy Kingdom Cum” albums. I really like their loose approach in playing it’s very crust/punk vibe and I thought it would fit with our plans on doing something similar. One of the songs in the split that probably sounded different is ‘Arktouros’ it was an older piece and was supposed to be included on “Devourer…” but we couldn’t figure out the right arrangement at that time and wasn’t able to write any lyrics for it until last year because we were under time pressure to record the album before our guitar player, Von, immigrates to the UAE, so we replaced it with the Vulcano cover track.
What is next for Omenfilth? Will there be a fourth album anytime soon?
We’ve actually written half the new album still writing the rest, albeit slowly and we hope we can record them before the year ends. We’d like to take our time for this album as the writing and recording for “Devourer…” was very stressful. Keep your eyes and ears peeled we will be back with a vengeance! Meanwhile, check out our latest split release with Ceremonial Worship-a killer band, “The Pact of Morbid Conspiracy”. Until then, burn in everlasting flames!!!
CEREMONIAL WORSHIP (Greece) Interview with High Priest C.W.
What was the initial spark for Ceremonial Worship? Was there an archetype or a listening experience that willed you to start recording your own work?
I strongly believe that every individual musician, has few or more influences. In my case, all has started shaping in my head after I had listened to mighty Burzum!!! Varg was, is and will be my main starting point. No need to mention his own roots, Bathory!
Is there a single most idyllic example of Greek black metal that continues to haunt you, or a point of black metal indoctrination in general that still inspires you today?
No! Apart from total respect to few individual bands who deserve my respect for their faith in black metal, no.
Does occult ritual or magic influence your work? Is the name High Priest C.W. an acknowledgement that creating black metal is an important part of your spiritual path?
Ceremonial Worship is occult! True and always looking for everything that can improve itself and in extension, myself. High Priest C.W. stands for inner individualism and magic! My path is leaded by black metal and black metal only!
Your prior EP ‘Esoteron’ could be heard as a response to primal Norwegian black metal to some degree; For this material were you specifically aiming for that tandem era of Hellenic black metal or, is it more important to see these songs as expressive primitivism in general?
I agree with you. ‘Esoteron’ has expressed my side of Norwegian black metal, one of my main personal taste! For sure ‘Esoteron’ is a declaration of primitivism of myself and my thoughts towards humanity!
In terms of guitar work I still hear your hand very clearly in songs like “Into Dungeons of Mysticism”, so I am wondering if you consider these works a paradigm shift or a voice that has always been there. Can we consider this group of songs a pivotal change, or works specifically conjured for this split event?
My style of guitar expression has always been there. It delivers chaos and dark feelings. Those songs were written for this split, which I am very proud of working with Willie and Omenfilth horde! Perhaps if one listens closely to guitar parts, surely it will discover other genres of metal too, but always leading to black metal!
Per the press release:
ETERNAL DEATH is proud to present The Pact of Morbid Conspiracy, a special split tape between CEREMONIAL WORSHIP and OMENFILTH. Aptly titled, this split album brings together two hordes who reverentially kneel at the altar of ancient Hellenic black metal.
Hailing from Hellas itself, CEREMONIAL WORSHIP are up first with four exclusive tracks of stately mysticism and lurking dread. The singular creation of one High Priest C.W., CEREMONIAL WORSHIP is the ultimate expression of his individual inner-darkness, so far manifesting in two EPs. Here, a studied & nuanced primitivism is explored, revealing a depth of texture within its thick pulsing walls of dread and doom. Simple but by no means simplistic, CEREMONIAL WORSHIP create black metal that’s undeniably early ’90s Greek – and straight from the source!
Hailing from the Philippines, OMENFILTH also deliver four exclusive tracks to this release. For nearly a decade, the quartet have been unsung pillars of authentically ancient Hellenic black metal. Although the geography’s far removed, the passion and power are certainly as convincing as it comes, if OMENFILTH’s three albums and now-five splits are anything to go by. By comparison, one could say that CEREMONIAL WORSHIP here approximate early Varathron while OMENFILTH synthesize more open elements of death metal and thrash, arriving at a sound favorably not unlike old Thou Art Lord. Likewise, the Filipino cult create epic visions with more pronounced melodies and dynamics – always dark, of course!
For those who lament the death of the old Greek black metal sound and are looking for new standard-bearers who speak the lexicon rather than try to change it, The Pact of Morbid Conspiracy is one you must undertake!
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