AMNIS NIHILI interview with Grindzone Magazine (Italy)

Last summer, bimonthly italian magazine Grindzone has featured an interview with Amnis Nihili. Here is the unedited english version, enriched with some enlightening hypertext links.

  • Amnis Nihili, apparently a debuting band by practical means but who is really hiding behnd the band and its pseudonyms ?

P.: We are not hiding from anybody and those are not pseudonyms! We use the initial letters from our first names because neither our full names, nor pseudonyms would be relevant in the context of the band’s realm.

  • Did you have any past experiences with other bands worth mentioning ?

P.: I played for the better part of the past decade in STRAIGHTHATE, a local death/grind/hardcore unit with a largely anti-religious stance. Before we dissolved in 2008, we have released a mini-CD and the full-length album “Indigenous” – both still available from my underground label BLASTBEAT MAILMURDER/PRODUCTIONS. In parallel with Amnis Nihili, I am currently also involved in DEPHOSPHORUS. We have just got our debut recording “Axiom” released on vinylby german label 7 Degrees Records and it is also available as a free digital download.

A.: I have played in the past with greek metal band CRIMSON SUNSETS, as well as with German Death Metal band XORDEAL, in both of them as a session musician. Besides AMNIS NIHILI I also work as the sole composer and mainman on the first full length of REGULUS, a more straightforward black metal project.

  • Honestly ‘Christological Escalation’ does not sound “greek” at all.. if we get what i mean, and I am sure you know what i mean: normally greek bands have a certain unique feel and sound, even a certain naive sound derived from early Rotting Christ and bands of that kind. Why not Amnis Nihili ? You really sound more “modern” and a bit more attracted by early norwegian or late french BM bands…

D.: We don’t sound “greek” because being the main songwriter of Amnis Nihili, I am not influenced in terms of music and sound by the old greek black metal bands, eventhough I have listened to some of them back at the time. We are indeed more influenced by early norwegian black metal, as well as by more recent french bands. I must also quote modern american black metal as a great inspiration to me and stellar bands such as: Leviathan, Lurker Of Chalice, Thralldom, The Howling Wind.

A.: What I may add, handling sound engineering and production duties on “Christological Escalation”, is that the greek extreme metal scene as cult and powerful as it may have been (and possibly still is), has never appealed to my taste both stylistically and musically. Surely it has my respect since there are bands and artists that have had a tremendous impact on todays’ metal, but not to the extent as to incorporate their sound and production to our aesthetics. Amnis Nihili exist and create in the 10’s, representing our time – here and now. It sounds as it is and as it should, be it “modern”, “old” or “vintage”.

  • Talking about old Greek metal scene, how much was practically important for all of you that epoque ? Is Rotting Christ still highly respected and popular there ?

A.: All three of us grew up listening to lots of music – metal or not. Some of us are practically studying music as we speak. For me the greek metal scene has not been more important than other countries’ scenes. It is more attractive nowadays, since there are contemporary bands that I find more appealing than the old ones. To answer to your question, well, not that much. Rotting Christ is the biggest metal band hailing fromgreece. And they are very popular and respected here.

P.: Personally and as an underground music lover, the old greek metal scene has had a big impact on me. Those recordings were soaked in a very special atmosphere, dark and dreamy, often unholy. I am not only referring to the black metal circle of Rotting Christ, Varathron, Necromantia, Thou Art Lord, Agatus, Zemial, and the multitude of other, lesser known bands. But also to the wave of atmospheric doom/death. Living in Paris-France for most of the 90’s, I was friends with Holy Records and have witnessed the rise to underground notoriety of Nightfall, the signing of Septic Flesh… There were many other brilliant atmospheric bands like Horrified, Selefice, Vanity, On Thorns I Lay, Elysian Fields, as well as some killer deathrash acts (Acid Death, Death Courrier, Mortal Pain, Stigma, Medieval Death, etc). All in all, late 80’s-mid 90’s greek metal is a goldmine for those on the prowl for obscure, exotic underground metal.

  • In your debut release you also do a moderate use of weird samples and recorded voices. Is this an idea to be furtherly developed in your coming full length album ?

A.: We are all connoisseurs in absorbing our surroundings and enviroment, we all indulge in soundscaping and sound design. Some of us even do field recordings. It is highly likely that to achieve certain atmospheres and moods, many sounds, samples, voices or whatever is needed will find their way and place onto our recorded work.

  • For that reason i can also imagine you had different musical influences than just merely black metal ones. am i correct, and if so, can you name a few non-metal projects that you worship to some extent ?

A.: Metal music is but one of the genres that we like. I, for instance, spend a lot of my time listening to all forms of “classical” music, but also to some jazz, pop, contemporary, rock, and much more. Name dropping is not my intention. To quote from another interview I once read :

The main problem of Black Metal is precisely that its only influences, thus only perspectives, are Black Metal, or Metal in general. Perspectives close to zero, to put it like that.

I could not agree more.

D.: Amnis Nihili compositions are strongly and deeply influenced by a variety of non-metal acts. I must mention and pay tribute to: Coil, Swans, Nurse With Wound, Throbbing Gristle, Lustmord, Raison D’Etre, Nordvargr, etc.

  • Why an EP ? Didn’t you feel ready to get out on the market with a full album ?

D.: “Christological Escalation” EP completes the first era of Amnis Nihili. It is a self-inclusive work, therefore it had to be released as a standalone record. Our new material which will find its way to our debut album, will be more challenging and radical, both musically and conceptually.

  • What does it mean, conceptually and not gramatically, ‘Christological Escalation‘ ?

P.: Apocalyptic eschatology finds a fertile ground on the minds of the uneducated, the naïve and the superstitious… which pretty much defines the crushing majority of earth’s population. Our will is to have a dark, harsh concept which is connected to the grim realities of our contemporary world.

“Christological Escalation” refers directly to the rise of christian fundamentalism in the U.S.A. These subhumen believe and study the Old Testament and the book of Revelations (ignoring the rest of the New Testament). Based on the moronic interpretation of absurd prophecies made by filthy old freaks in the desert, they believe that America will be blessed for supporting Israel at all cost. To quote what an american christian that I once interrogated said to me:

Keep your eyes on the news and the fight over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  That is the center of all that is happening in the world!  When the Jewish people are allowed the right to rebuild their temple of worship on that Mount, the end will be very close.  It has been prophesized thousands of years ago and it will happen very soon.

In “Christological Escalation”, this glorious apotheosis that religious zealots long for with such eagerness is cruelly cancelled. Please notice that our lyrics are available online at our site.

  • Although looking simple and rough, your front cover is quite brain-damaged and ill….

P.: Our agenda is not to simply mock Rabbi Yeshua, Yahweh, or for that matter any other non-heathen god/prophet. Therefore the cover artwork, eventhough it functions on the first degree and can be taken like that, will suggest to the more acute minds the ugliness of eschatology and superstition.

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