Nexul - Interview
To invoke names old and ancient without being adept students as Nexul are?; dangerous, for only desperation could lead one to such thoughtless lengths. Nexul are masters of the craft despite their small quantity of releases, for-in their eyes, it is quality which matters most. Nexul's unbent philosophy and mindset is what has brought them this far in a genre populated every second by many who have no place in it; wherein the soul of black/death metal faces the growing threat of dilution. To briefly touch on these topics and others, MetalBite was granted the honor of being in the presence of Necuratul Bhairava whom would present his opinions during this interview of sorts following the release of the new EP "Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay" through the ever powerful and feared, Iron Bonehead.
Thank you for taking the time out your day/evening to partake in this brief interview. I hope all is going as planned in the coven. It's been sometime since the release of "Paradigm of Chaos", how long has "Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay" been in the works?
Riffs for this EP have existed in one form or another since late 2014/early 2015, just before and after the completion of Paradigm… but work truly began at the end of the dual Pandemoniac Wolf March/Paradigm of Chaos tours in 2018.
The new tracks on "Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay" are absolutely destructive. And the reworked tracks from your debut demo sound excellent. What prompted this EP?
As stated inside the album, the songs from the demo are not reworked but some of the earliest recordings we ever made. What is heard on Nexulzifer are the reworked tracks, and what belongs to Scythed Wings... are the original skeletons.
It is not in our nature to rest on our laurels. Once one recording has finished, writing commences immediately on another. There is no rest for the wicked and nothing can stop the Devil's Work.
Can you describe the preparation that went into the creation of such sacrilege?
Many late nights fueled by the thoughts of past victories and conquests to come; altered states of mind; unfettered devotion to Him in whichever form He chooses to take.
Musically, it appears to be more vicious and iniquitous than "Paradigm of Chaos" even the production reeks of an unsettling atmosphere. What were you trying to achieve with sound engineering of this sort?
Clarity where the music is not muddled and indistinguishable from noise, but without crystal clear studio production. An element of filth and crypt aesthetics should always be present.
What musicians were involved in its creation and what roles did they take-on?
The same four members that played on and created Paradigm of Chaos were present once more, this time augmented by newcomer yet veteran malfeasance POISONOUS who currently handles drums.
Were there any challenges during the writing and recording process of "Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay"?
There are always challenges when it comes to recording and nothing ever goes according to plan. What you make of the obstacles and how you deal with them defines you as a band and a person. If rewriting more than half of your material because it wasn't strong enough holds you down, then nothing else needs to be said.
From your perspective, what makes "Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay" stand out from "Paradigm of Chaos"?
Aside from the fact that much less original material was written as this is not a full-length album, Scythed Wings... sees an expansion on our sound without straying too far from the havoc we've been dealing in since the beginning. The only limits we face are the ones we impose on ourselves, and if clean chanting can work hand in hand with guttural voicings and banshee wails, then we will utilize whatever gives us the sound we're searching for. If, at the same time, something doesn't sound like NEXUL, it is discarded and buried by time and dust.
How were ideas formulated for the album? Were they created as a result of past experiences or scriptures of any sort?
Some riffs have been around since the Paradigm... sessions, stored away for future use, and others were allowed to flourish under an augmented lineup. Searching for the perfect middle ground between what could be called black metal and death metal isn't too complicated; building on our influences without stealing from them and making songs sound like NEXUL is where the magic truly lies.
Lyrical ideas and themes for the album were already gestating before the music came about - even though this release shows a glimpse of the future, I truly believe it hearkens back to our own past and gives us a chance to elaborate on ideas dwelling on the past two releases. As for "scriptures," the goal is for the lyrics to form their own scripture. Paradigm of Chaos was written as a litany in the form of a missal; Scythed Wings... is a revelation and the Janus face surveying history whilst gazing into the unwritten beyond.
And what is the philosophy behind the title, "Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay"? What is the deity/creature illustrated on the cover art?
This album is dedicated to SAMAEL and His most well-known features are His twelve wings. As they are displayed so prominently on the cover, a title befitting their imagery was needed. SAMAEL is the bane and poison of God, the Angel who brings death not just by the sword itself but by the gall flowing from the tip of His blade, the poison of decay which ushers in the fall of the house of Job.
"He is SAMAEL, who goes to fetch the soul of Job and his ilk, pious and wretched alike."
Also who is responsible for the album artwork and were there other illustrations in mind before deciding on the final image?
The master behind the cover artwork and additional art inside the album is one JOSH MCALEAR with whom we will collaborate on future works.
There were no other illustrations in mind as we have no wish to take what was done before and pass it off as our own. Once in contact with McAlear, we gave him the ideas we wanted to represent, and he delivered on all fronts with no contention or disputes. Our visage of SAMAEL was truly meant to be channeled by and through him alone.
The serpent sample featured on 'Reflected in Glaring Eyes' adds a visceral and sort of surreal effect to the EP. Besides that, what were you aiming to evoke with its use?
The Serpent is something held sacred to each of us, especially in regard to NEXUL. If you look closely, it is referenced throughout each phase of our work, most notably perhaps on 'Serpent of Acosmic Darkness' from Paradigm of Chaos. The astute listener will notice the sounds of a snake slithering before the madness unfolds and suffice it to say that the Serpent will be with NEXUL until the end.
Were there any roadblocks encountered during the creation of "Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay"?
Again, nothing ever goes according to plan no matter how much preparation goes into it. Rather, the preparation is more for how you will deal with the inevitability of Murphy's Law. Nothing we haven't done before, nothing we can't handle again.
Did ongoing world events have any significant impact on the EP?
As much as we try to keep the outside world from influencing what we do with its sallow ideals and mindless drones worshipping at the portable tabernacles of their technogod, 2020 was the universe going haywire, utterly awry and completely, upside down, batshit insane. What it mostly hindered were the few plans we had for live shows, but there were indeed times where we were under the gun to complete our work for the day before Big Brother and John Q. Law began handing out citations and jail time because freedom is no longer free. But I digress - these are truly strange times we are living in, and for a plague to sweep worldwide and plunge the world into such calamity while we were working on an album dedicated to the Angel of Death and the very downfall of man who lacks in spirit and faith, what can you do but revel in the madness and harness it for your own end? "Arise, O lord. Let not man prevail."
"Paradigm of Chaos" was put-out through Hell's Headbangers; however, "Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay" is to be an Iron Bonehead release. What prompted the move from Hells Headbangers to Iron Bonehead?
No move. Iron Bonehead facilitated this release, but our second full length album, currently in gestation, is due out once more through Hells Headbangers. Neither label has done wrong by us, and we always strive to put out the zenith of our vision at the time. Scythed Wings... on IBP is our monolith for now, and the upcoming album on HHR will be the next impure ziggurat in the desert of the real. Anything else would betray our ethics.
Can you describe the experience working with Patrick and the Iron Bonehead team for the new record?
Working with Patrick and IBP has been as seamless and painless as one would expect from such an esteemed label. Already someone who has supported the O:.S:.I:. in one way or another, he placed a great deal of trust in us to deliver something that would strike like the hammer of SATAN on the anvil of Hell, and the response so far would say we achieved that in spades. Upon first listen we knew we achieved our goal, and the speed with which the layout was completed and sent to the press, and the media was prepared would make heads spin.
Can you tell us about the drumming, guitar and bass equipment setup for this album?
All equipment was set up to achieve maximum devastation of the suns, of the skies, of the light, and nothing less.
And with regards to the drumming and guitars, would you say this new record is more complex/technical than "Paradigm of Chaos"?
NEXUL always has a feral, unrestrained way of working that can teeter from bludgeoning ferocity to unsettling ambiance in the blink of an eye, so the complexity and technicality lies heavily in the arrangements. That is not to say that we are not skilled at our instruments, but too much panache and not enough substance would render what we do completely sterile. These new songs definitely have a pronounced "death metal" orient, but we've always known NEXUL to be a death metal band regardless of what others call it. It certainly carries the vile legacy of black metal with it, but call it whatever you wish: blackened death metal; death/black metal; we don't really give a fuck when we know precisely what it is, and this is what death metal should always aspire to - sheer fucking terror, fear and wonder of the LORD.
Would love to hear a 3-way split with Nexul, Impetuous Ritual and Mitochondrion, that would be sick. Are there any plans for any kind of collaboration?
A split with the inimitable DEMONCY was announced sometime in 2017. Three years and counting, it is not dead. Both bands have been busy writing since the pact was made, and it will be revealed when the moment is right.
And with regards to Hellvetron, what else can we expect and how soon?
I cannot speak on behalf of HELLVETRON.
What is your opinion on the current state of underground black/death metal? What aspects do you support and oppose?
I will speak on behalf of myself for this and not for the band as a whole.
I support artists that are genuine and worthwhile such as (in no particular order) NEGATIVE PLANE, DEATHSPELL OMEGA, TEITANBLOOD, DEGIAL, WATAIN, THE BLACK TWILIGHT CIRCLE, POSSESSION, INTOLITARIAN, BLACK WITCHERY, VOMITOR, DESTRÖYER 666, IRKALLIAN ORACLE, et al. I'm sure you get the idea. I'm proud to know many of these people firsthand and can count some of them as close compatriots.
What I stand in opposition against are those that aren't genuine, the sycophants who claim to be allies but whose loyalties blow with the winds of change. People that don't belong in death/black metal who dumb down ideals of honor and respect, of something greater than yourself, especially your social media output. But that's no different than what humans have always done; the world is merely a smaller place and anytime someone takes a piss they assume the world has to know, and invariably, there is always that one stupid motherfucker that fills the void. "Nearly dead parasites trying desperately to survive. It smells like humans."
What would you like to change about the black/death metal scene?
I'm in the scene inasmuch as I have bands that play live and produce records. I do both of these primarily for myself, so the scene can either flourish or wither and I won't be bothered. As it seems to be leaning towards the latter, I'll stick to what I've always done, which is supporting the artists that matter, not the people that live vicariously through others. Again, personal view only.
In concluding this interview; is there anything you would like to close this brief peek into the void with?
"...if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."
On behalf of NEXUL, "under the wings of SAMAEL, in the terrible name of SATAN,
Thank you once again for joining MetaliBite for this interview. We extend the best wishes for "Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay".
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