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Code 666 Italy, 2001
Text © Code 666
To start I would like to express my admiration to the band: Dim Carcosa will be surely a runner-up for 2001 best album in my personal playlist. Which are the response to this album so far?
The reactions are really beyond expectations. Dim Carcosa became "Album of the Month" in Mindview (7/7), received 9/10 in ROCK HARD, 7/7 in German Metal Hammer, 95/100 in Aardschok, maximum scores in several publications, the album entered the indie charts on the 9th position... The response is overwhelming.
The booklet of Dim Carcosa is incredibly filled with infos, explanations, pictures and everything useful to help the listener to capture the feeling of the album. Do you think lyrics are as important as the music in Ancient Rites songs?
Details matter a lot to us. Music and lyrics contribute to each other. Lyrics always have been an important part of our work. Ever since our second album Blasfemia Eternal I offer an extra explanation to each track in the album booklets because I think that some people might be interested in background information and what the sources of inspiration are. Many bands in our style are satisfied with simple "Fuck Jesus" or "Sodomize in the Name of Satan" type of lyrics. All very amusing indeed but personally I do relate to a more in depth approach. Apart from that I find it pleasant to share my humble knowledge and experiences with those who are not interested in our music only, with people who try to catch the essence of Ancient Rites and relate to the topics I write about. On Dim Carcosa I have taken it further as the songs are connected by personal notes I have written. A real story line is created this way. The locations and persons involved do exist and also the events described are based on personal experiences. Dim Carcosa is presented as a book, my writings are like a diary, the reader is invited on a travel to my personal universe, the cover and illustrations are carefully chosen in order to achieve a unity...
This album can be considered as a journey through ancient European History and traditions, why do you feel so attached to this kind of subjects?
This attraction always has been there, ever since my earliest childhood. Long before I could read I already was watching paintings or pictures in history books. Where this passion came from I guess I will never know, only that it always has been there. I guess that is why people understand that the words I write are not invented in order to just have a few words on top of the music. It is a life time passion I try to put into words, a study/obsession (through books, travels) I wish to express…Why I sometimes feel like born in a wrong century? I often hold codes which are no longer of this time. I regularly relate to values which do not belong to the 21st century. I prefer ancient/medieval architecture. I relate to ancient/medieval forms of art while I find most modern art an excuse for snobs to use a brush. My heart beats faster on ancient locations, happiness I achieve while walking around in medieval cities. Always am covered with goose flesh when listening folklore or medieval instruments. I lose track of time when reading history books. My adrenaline flows when epic tales reach my heart. I get carried away when tasting food, wine or beer prepared according to ancient recipes etc... So many indications that sometimes make me feel out of time. This passion for forgotten times is instinctive, emotional... Before I played in bands I expressed this "hunger" through other forms of art like painting, drawing etc... When A.R. is dead and gone I still will be wondering around in ancient streets, visit historical sites, bury myself in historical books and most probably return to art to express this interest...
What's about Götterdämmerung lyrics? "We are gods, God is man": it looks similar to some La Vey's principles (you also quoted "the satanic bible" introducing Dim Carcosa the song). Can you introduce us to this great song and its subject?
Nietschze was the main inspiration. But also the Satanic Bible. "Götterdämmerung" is like religion seen through the eyes of a critical soul. Ever since humanity exists people have created Gods. In the end the power to create or destroy lies in human hands. Strange that people need religion like a drug, probably because they are unable to deal with their mortality and need something to hold on to in times of despair, therefore they find it convenient to invent a higher entity. May be they are happier in their ignorance than us critical souls? But I prefer not to live my life based on a religious fairytale.
Nowadays many people tend to look at an epic attitude as an index of small interest for actual society and its problems. Do you feel comfortable in the modern society and if not which is the way to improve the situation in your opinion?
Those who would like to criticize my attitude do have a point it is rather peculiar and may be even selfish that I achieve happiness when I am in my own isolated world when visiting historical places while the actual modern world hardly touches my soul. There are a few people who share my interest and when we are together modern society fades and we enter other worlds. Outsiders told me they find it rather weird how my cousin and I who both are obsessed by history and ancient European traditions seem to lose grip of reality and enter worlds out of reach for the rest of the company. We need a few words only to refer to certain matters (historical details) and understand each other perfectly. We have to face it, we are madmen ahah! Regularly we participate in events organised by organisations who restore ancient ancestral rites and traditions. My cousin is a member of a Pagan Federation and one of the leading personalities in Tradition, a group of people who hold lectures, meetings, work shops etc concerning Celtic and Germanic heritage…I do not lose grip of reality or isolate myself from modern society though, I evoke and control my "trips to the past" but am back to the everyday modern life when needed. I allow myself forms of escapism but feel comfortable enough in this modern society to function well, no worries. I try to restore an interest in history through my work with the band and hope that certain positive elements from the past will find their way to modern society...
Talking about the music itself, in Dim Carcosa there's an incredible mixing of fast parts, epic and folk tunes, screams and clean vocals, all manteining a common mark. Every song has its different mood still every song can be immediately be called "ancient Rites" 100%. How did you worked to obtain this?
The fact we have grown as musicians and collaborate with classical musicians left its mark. Actually I think ALL musical elements have been strengthened on Dim Carcosa. Never before we sounded as extreme or fast, on the other hand never before we sounded that orchestral or medieval either. No other A.R. album had such a progressive or technical touch. Each instrument plays a far more important part. Also vocals are used in a completely different way, in certain parts like a choir: I sing different leads at a different pitch and put together they create a vocal orchestra. The album has all the adrenaline and power to please the head-banging hordes during live situations however when taking the time to actually sit down and listen with a headphone one will be in for a musical trip as new details will emerge each time. I believe in all our releases as they were important steps in our band's history. Main difference with our previous works and the latest album is I think we always had highlights on each album, songs that stood out from the rest of the album, on Dim Carcosa all tracks are on the same level. A certain balance is achieved and one is tempted to listen the entire album in a row as each track offers something new or different...
Which are your future goals now that you finally reached the deserved reputation inside the metal scene? Do you think we can say you won against all the troubles happened in your early years?
We have gained a bigger name for which we are very pleased but reality keeps us with both feet on the ground and prevents us from celebrating: still we cannot pay our bills or earn a penny. That's how this music industry works, unfortunately... The hardship never ends, my friend, one obstacle taken the next one immediately appears...
Are you planning to play live to promote this album? Which bands would you like to have on the stage with Ancient Rites (that is like to say which bands deserve your respect in the scene actually)?
We already played in Belgium, Holland and Israel to promote Dim Carcosa on mega fests such as Graspop (with a.o. Motörhead, Judas Priest). Soon gigs in Portugal and Spain are scheduled. A South American and European tour are planned. A dream I never expected will come true, soon we headline a big festival in Flanders and my old heroes (since '77!) The Stranglers play support to us, we are not worthy! God, I always loved the bass-playing of Jean-Jacques Burnel! By sharing the stage with my old NWOBHM heroes like Motörhead, Priest and Saxon my Metal dream came true. Only Maiden is missing but the fact Paul Di'Anno came to see us in London already compensates a bit for that...
Do you think you reached the ultimate Ancient Rites sound or must we look for some innovations in your future album?
Always expect innovation, still certain aspects cannot be altered: through our music and lyrics ancient and medieval epoques must be evoked in the listener's mind. Also the Metal aspect must be kept in sight. These elements are an essential part of our typical style. We must evolve and avoid stagnation but at the same time may not make a turn of 200 degrees like some bands do and betray the style.
Thanx for everything and best of everything for the band!
Thank you for this nice conversation. Good luck with Code 666! Metal in our veins!
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