Condra - Interview
The Left Hand Path and black metal have been hand-in-hand for quite some time. And no current of this has been more prevalent than the 218 current. Infamously brought forth to the public by the hands of Dissection and continuously fed by practitioners of the art, this brand of black metal (that fully embraces melody and epic lengths of musicality) has had many faithful for many years. One such practitioner is here with us now; Frater Alak, sole member of Condra, who has been causing quite the buzz in the underground scene.
Frater Alak, it is an honor to meet you. How have you been?
Hello, the honor is mine. Very well, working hard on new material, I hope you are well too.
You have been causing quite a buzz recently with your small but powerful music releases. Did you envision that your work would have such reception or is this irrelevant to you?
More than relevant, it is something welcoming, it is something that I did not expect at all, that is. I expected a good reception from a small group of people but not from as many as I am currently receiving, although it is true that my current project is considered by myself and by other people as something superior to everything I have done before, that is rewarding and encourages me to continue building each piece with every bit of chaotic destruction. Personally I have a very cool affinity with those who value my work and listen to my releases, I never hesitate to respond to a comment, a criticism and of course to the questions.
I listened to your latest singles, "Obelisk Of Oblivion" & "Icy Horizon". They're outstanding songs, despite the latter being a re-recorded version of your previous material. Do you consider this the definitive version of such work? Or can we expect more?
It's great that you liked them. "Obelisk Of Oblivion" is one of my most sublime creations and expressions of my most recent days and yes, you're right, "Icy Horizon" is a re-recorded version of its initial essence from my old band. Not only that but, in addition to being re-recorded, it is rewritten both in instrumental and lyrical terms. I consider this last one as the definitive version of that track because I want to fully concentrate on writing totally new songs, not re-recorded or restructured versions of my old releases with other projects. It is a rebirth but at the same time an evolution in a purer magnificence, not a recreation.
To those unaware, Frater Alak had already achieved a moderate success with his previous project; "Fergon". However, out of the blue, it was put to an end very abruptly, only to re-emerge anonymously (for a while) under the name "Condra".
I do understand that you do not desire to tackle the subject of "Fergon" for more than a couple questions. However, I can't help but ask; is there something you regret of your previous work? What brought forth this sudden change? Or is this a necessary step of your evolution, to forfeit what you once were?
I think the only thing I regret is not having the anger that I have inside me now. I think I was always capable of doing something extremely better than what I had done before, both in Fergon and in other previous projects. I was always able to do something beyond the extraordinary and outside the parameters that I erroneously used to put myself into; that was my gross error until the death of Fergon and the illuminated and brilliant birth of Condra, my greatest pride and effort until now. I'm working hard not to make the same execution, composition and recording mistakes that I used to make back then. You know, if you're going to be bad, be too bad; if you're going to be good, be too good. Half measures are not for this world full of plagues that do not push their knowledge to the limit.
While your previous work was excellent, you have now reached even higher and more complex levels of musicianship; not only on guitars, but you have been using a wide range of vocal techniques. You have also begun to take care of every single aspect of your music, from the production to the cover art. Did you ever thought of yourself having this much control over your work?
I think that since I was a small child I saw myself as what I am now and yet I had never achieved it. Now that I am finally achieving what I have been wanting for years, I am not going to stop for any reason. I am taking care of everything without false steps, no setbacks. I will not say the typical disgusting shit that demiurgic digital artists who do it for money usually say, garbage like "I came to win". I do not come to win over anyone, I can leave that to those who fill their pockets with simple and recycled music, without expressions, without objectives, without a target to break their damn heads. I aim directly at the light that does not blind, I aim directly at the extinction and implosive abolition of this material plane and it is which makes my work have a much more spiced and darker magnificence than it used to before, thus making me take control with the reins much tighter than I was previously willing to do. As I said, I will not stop for any reason.
Your brand of black metal brings immediate comparisons to the legendary Dissection, not to mention that you are a Frater and practitioner of Anti-cosmic Satanism. What brought you to this path? Are those close to you aware of this?
Those who are usually close to me have always been aware of what I am, what I was, what I will be, what I do, what I will do, what I am capable of, what I have forged and what I destroy with great pleasure. However, what has brought me to where I am now is ancient knowledge. I was always attracted to the occult in terms of grimoires and ancient writings, not to mention my first attraction in the occult that it was directly Baphometic alchemy and Qayinite necromancy. Regarding the theme of Dissection, it is an exponent that I listen to recurrently, however, I would be lying if I told you that I know this spiritual path through this band since it is something that comes from before. I will not deny that my taste for this type of musical exponents managed to get me much deeper because of the feeling that usually emanates from this kind of art. However it is clear that it is something that I could never stop clinging to, because if you say you are passionate about something and at some point you stop to be passionate about it, it is because you were never passionate but a passerby like the rest of the people who are afraid to stand out and reach a point beyond their superficial eyes.
I remember that you were once member of a band called "Wolframe". Did this band end because of your commitment to solo work or was it due to other factors?
I remember Wolframe, it was one of the first metal groups in which I was a vocalist, it was a thrash metal band with strange shades and nuances, we sounded very groove at times, it was liberating. Even so, that project ended because all the members pointed to a different future, both musically and in our personal lives. I remember with great respect those who were part of that project, perhaps something great and remarkable could have been achieved if we had all set the same goal and path, it did not happen but still that's how it was for the better. They are paths that you must abandon to embark on new experiences and that is what makes oneself find his true and definitive path.
What inspired the name of the band, both of your previous and current work? What was/is the meaning behind the name?
It's simple, Draco means Dragon in Latin, what I did was add an extra N to play with the terms as a combination with my native language, which is Spanish. Pronouncing it repeatedly as if it were an ode to the great mother Tiamat, it would be Dracon-Dracon-Dracon (Condra-Condra-Condra). And Fergon is a combination of Latin plant initials used for a portal to what is known as Limbo.
How did you exactly got into metal music and what was the reason you began composing your own music? Did you wanted to go solo from the start or was this never the intention at first?
When I was in high-school I wanted to start creating my own music. I was more passionate about grunge and hard rock, I already liked metal since then but I lacked a lot of potential to dedicate myself to it, so it was a frustrated dream that in these recent years I am finally fulfilling. I always liked the idea of having a group but day after day, night after night and year after year I realized that no one was going to follow my ideas, I am not the one to force others to compose and think like me, so I asked myself "If no one is with me and I can't trust anyone, should I do it alone?" and well, here I am. I plan to continue alone until I feel that it is necessary to have more members. Not yet, but at some point, maybe.
What are the stages of your creating process?
I always mentalize myself through meditations before composing, I usually do it at night, alone at home or in rural areas. I can't stand urban noise, human voices and fucking car horns, I prefer the serenity of the smokeless fire under a sky where the stars don't shine. I always write occult poetry before the instrumental part, after that I make some arrangements to further embellish the language and proceed to compose my riffs. After the riffs I try to fit the lyrics of my previous poems on the instrumental, then it's just a matter of a delicate period of adjustment, and that's it.
Could you tell us about the lyrics / concepts you focus on?
My lyrical themes, as everyone knows, are about my spiritual path, current 218 of the path of the left hand, gnostic chaos or anti-cosmic satanism. I range from qayinite necromancy to facts of my personal life related to my praxis through path-working occultist draconic magick and chaos magick through inner fires and my total devotion to the tree of death.
There was a time when your solo project became a full-fledged band, even if you never played live. Are there plans for "Condra" to ever go the same way, or is this no longer of interest?
I think so, in fact I mentioned it a while ago. At the moment I have no intentions of hiring more members but I know I will, this time I will not have the same obstacles that I used to have in my old projects. I prefer to be patient and more firm. I will not settle for an ordinary musician who just wants to play metal and join a satanist band to feel rude or evil, because let's be honest, most of the metal scene both in my country and in the rest of the world are like that and they don't see beyond their fucking nose. It seems to me that I am doing this perfectly well alone. I will look for more members when it is the exact moment to do it, the perfect moment and the glorious occasion of having to carry out a certain plan. In fact, I plan to play live, I am delighted to do it. There are not many experiences in life more liberating than undoing the chains on the twilight of a stage.
Aside from the singles you have released, is there new music on the way?
Of course, this October 1st my best musical work so far is coming. Condra's first full length entitled "Aeonic Tempest From The Abyss", with components that I had never used before but now I feel them more than ever against the Sephiroth.
Do you foresee "Condra" being active for many years to come or will you eventually stop making music?
The answer for that is too direct and simple, clean as a cup of glass and burning as a black flame; Condra will die with me.
What do you listen to lately?
Despite the fact that I dedicate myself to composing black metal, as of recently I do not listen to much metal, lately I am more into classical and neoclassical music. I always loved the epic atmosphere that this type of music usually generates in the consciousness.
What are you other talents?
I dedicate myself to designing covers for other music projects, most of them are black metal, dungeon synth and death metal. I think only that besides cooking but that's another matter, hehe.
Frater Alak, thank you for your time. Anything else you desire to add?
The pleasure and thanks are mine, an invitation to an interview or a talk is always welcome. In short, never trust a human, ignorance is the abundance of those who fear death. Fear is for felines chased by a great wolf. Confront anything and they will go far away. Knowledge is power and always will be.
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