The Chilean black metal band Occasvs have been around for a while, but just released their full-length debut album Nocturnal Majestic Mysteria. The mysterious underground group emerges from the depths to tell us a little bit about themselves.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Occasvs.
The cult was revealed in the middle of the year 2002 by Nolvz, from compositions written starting in the ’90s. At first, various “mediums” took part in the band until 2004, when Ülmontem joined the rite and closed the circle from which materialized the Terrae Abdita demo in 2005. This was performed by Nolvz, Ülmontem, Calvario and Obitus.
At the end of 2009, Sinn Hayek joined the ritual on drums, when work resumed on Nocturnal Majestic Mysteria. This LP had been originally recorded back in 2006 but those results were not satisfactory due to changes in alignment. This new recording started in 2010, concluding in the final master in August, 2016. This manifesto was carved in stone by Nolvz, Ülmontem and Sinn Hayek.
Describe the songwriting and recording process for Nocturnal Majestic Mysteria.
Nolvz was composing, sometimes on keys and sometimes on guitar, every piece from 1998 to 2005 before the cult of Occasvs was manifested. Then, in a natural way, every song was strengthened in rehearsals with the band. Nocturnal Majestic Mysteria was recorded three times and there is a hidden master of the first version, where we used keyboards and only one guitar. The final master was recorded taking care to keep intact the original idea, but this latest version is more powerful, due to the incorporation of a second guitar and higher speeds.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
The strength to face the difficulties.
You describe the band’s genre as Chthonic black metal. How would you define that?
Occasvs, as a Chthonic cult, focuses on rituals to the earth and the underworld; the manifestation in the astral planes and the contemplation of the jewel in the depths by the sinister path, seeking its expression in a veiled and metaphorical way. It is musically crude despite having some elaboration and is technically closer to black metal than any other style. It has an essence that is not revealed until, in a way, you enter our cave and little by little you start to see in the dark…
What inspired the album title?
The paths of our procession in the middle of the night.
What are some of the lyrical subjects you tackle on the album?
Rebellion, death and rebirth are some of them. It is a conceptual disc about an initiation to the ancient arcanum and has an order according to that logic.
How did you come to sign with Unspeakable Axe?
Communicating through their networks; first sending them a track and then the rest of the material, until they offered us a pact.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
After all these years, the first goal was to unleash Nocturnal Majestic Mysteria to the world in its original vibe. After that, the logical thing for the cult is to prepare some live appearances on the surface.
What has the response been to the tracks you’ve released so far?
The feedback has been good so far.
Have you played any live shows, or are you strictly a studio project?
In the past we played live and are thinking of doing it again.
How did you get started in music?
Learning empirically to play instruments and composing what the waters whispered.
What drew you to black metal?
The coldness and the aggression.
What bands were your early influences and inspirations?
We are not particularly inspired by other specific bands, but I think all the music that one has heard somehow influences what one does. There is a certain connection with contemporary classical music, in the sense of using our freedom to create musical expressions and not to just follow the norms. Finally, everyone who listens to Occasvs’s music is free to perceive musical relationships according to their own tastes.
What is the metal scene in general like in Santiago?
We don’t know much about the metal scene in general in Santiago, but usually concerts of all kinds are performed.
How about the black metal scene?
There are a lot of quality bands, but I would really highlight what happens outside of Santiago, particularly in the magnificent south of Chile.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about black metal?
Maybe the thought that there is only one way to do it. In any case, each one glimpses a fragment of a truth that is often not known in all his life.
Bands need the internet and social media for promotion, but it does take away some of the mystique and mystery that bands, especially black metal bands, had in the early days of the genre. How do you balance the two?
Occasvs’s musicians do not participate much in the alleged metal scene nor are we big users of social networks. The interest in black metal is not bound to imitate its great standards, but to do an honest job and transmit the visions of our cult.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
Regards from the depths.
(interview published October 10, 2017)