After a split and an EP Finish occult black metallers Saturnian Mist have just completed their first full length album. Lead singer Zetekh leads us into the occult dark world that is ‘Gnostikoi Ha-Shaitan’.
Saturnian Mist sounds very ominous as a band moniker, but what does it mean specifically to you?
- It refers to the archetypal world view and especially the one archetype which is known in Christian world as Satan, but for instance, in hermetic tradition the same essence is known as 'Saturn'. We chose 'Saturn' as it is planetary influence and thus it is impersonal instead of the constant which runs the Christian world where this archetype is often seen as personal essence. 'Saturnian' instead has many meanings. One of them refers to the god Saturn and it's reign, thus 'Reign Of Saturn God', and one could be seen as 'supposed astrological influence of planet Saturn'. There is also 'Saturnian meter' which is known as an old poetic form in latin which principles have become obscure during the history. We mostly prefer the first one, but we do not exclude anything away. 'Mist' in this context should be seen as a physical symbol of pantheism which we believe to be more than proper perception of these things. Also it refers to this 'thing' which is known as 'aura' in spoken language.
What does the album title stand for?
- It is a combination of two words of two different languages. 'Gnostikoi' originates from ancient greek and means 'Those who are able to know' and 'Ha-Shaitan' is a hebrew language & tradition based term for archetype of Satan. I think otherwise it is kind of self-explanatory.
The booklet is riddled with many jurnal entries. Are they trough journals entries or did you invent them from a fictional character?
- They are real.
Do they tie in to a complete concept or how do these texts link up to the songs themselves?
- They do. Everything which can be found within the booklets, are they journals and/or lyrics, they are there for a reason and because together they form the complete concept. Though, they link themselves with songs too. For instance first journal entry is related to the first song 'The Regicide', both in the times of composing and times of writing the lyrics of this song. They should help to give a holistic picture of the album themes and more depths and/or more profound outlook of the world view behind the lyrics. All in all, like I say in the booklets, they are more or less connected to the creation of the album and maybe someone can learn, understand or see something from it together with the lyrics & music of the album, or without it as an independent representation of Occult philosophy in practice.
How did the band come together?
- Saturnian Mist was formed in 2006 at Kuopio, Finland. Back then I was working with my older bands and realized that we need something more, which does not limit so much and which does not exclude all possible forms of working with occultism and music away, but instead unite them. I was tired of the ideas where people say 'black metal is that and that', 'death metal is that and that and definitely not that thing'... How one can truly be creative if one already knows what you can or can't do? I was anyway already working with Chaoswind with the other bands back then and I asked him to come along on the songs and the concepts I was working with. I see this as a start of Saturnian Mist, yet the name came afterward. So it was actually never formed officially. It just came.
How did you get in touch with AAP?
- It is the usual story. We gave promos and had an encounter. On the other hand which is not so usual, is that how AAP has put effort to all this and had faith for us. When many record labels only stares at numbers with dollar bills in their eyes, AAP stares the things which are truly relevant when it comes to the quality of black metal and even the quality of any form of art whatsoever.
The cover of the album is also very abstract. What does it represent?
- I'd like to think it as one kind of Rorschach test that is used in psychology but now in the context of somewhat occult themes. Listen the album,
read the lyrics, read the journals and you will begin to understand what it represents. People see there what they see, and it tells something of themselves too along with the themes of the album. I think the best way to enjoy and to understand these kind of things (same goes to the particular analysis of the lyrics too) is to do the work with own efforts instead of others...
Do you plan to take this out on a live stage as well?
- We have played live few times already and we are planning to do so in future too. Our first public appearance actually was even kind of near of you, in Sathanas In Gloriam Festivals, Rotterdam in 2009. Performing live is very essential for us for many reasons. For instance, we have recorded songs in ritual pattern but the amount of energy these things have are too much to be captured into a recording device, even we got there very very close on Gnostikoi Ha-Shaitan. Strongest energy comes in our live performs, which can never be captured on CD, LP, VHS or DVD because it has to be experienced and witnessed by own eyes and own ears, and that's why it is important for us to play live. To offer this side of our works to public too.
How long have you been working on your debut?
- First ideas came along before Saturnian Mist even had a name in 2005-2006. Most of them though were too far-fetched in that time to be put into practice because of the lacking of resources, possibilities and skills. Some of the ideas died on the way and some of them got better during the time. Some of them were executed into debut demo & Repellings EP and some of them ended up to the debut. The most intensive creative era though was in 2008-2010 where working with the debut was indeed literally 24/7 working and this is when the most of the ideas came along. During this time, we had no difference between 'band' and our 'everyday lives'. Everything we did, we did because because of our ideals and what we did for the sake of our ideals did benefit Saturnian Mist's expression more than enough.
Is there anything you want to add that you feel we haven’t covered yet?
- If you want to see and experience something real but invisible to the naked eye, no matter if it's rational or irrational from the view point of so called 'common sense' - Gnostikoi Ha-Shaitan is your album and the judgment about its sanity or insanity is yours. Thank you for an interview.