***Interview completed in 2010 by K.R. and originally intended for Waters Of Phlegethon printed zine, which never saw release due to faulty printing.***
The earliest beginnings of Gräuen Pestanz saw the project originally taking form as a Black Metal band, later making the transition to purely Dark Ambient / Death Industrial based music. What swayed you to make the evolution between two distinct styles?
Marchozelos: I can’t say that there was something specific about the transition between Black Metal and ritual / death industrial music. The styles are aesthetically so similar on an atmospheric and in the essence of themselves that it seemed perfectly natural to do so. The whole message of Gräuen Pestanz has always been of the expression of witchcraft, Chaos Magick, the Sabbatic craft and the furtherance of the Sinister Dialectic within the flesh of man. The concept has ALWAYS remained the same, that of Wamphyric sorcery and draining via the Qlippoth and astral sorcery and Sigil magick.
On a purely musickal level I have always been interested in both styles of art, and take both of them very seriously without question. Musick has the ability to lift one’s soul into the concept and heart of its creator and weave its web of Gnosis within and without the listener. Perhaps it is the clinical, cold, dark and timeless emotions, which are garnered by death industrial and ritual ambience that truly guided me towards this. You could call it an abstraction of sound based on the true ‘feeling’ of Black Metal without the focus on traditional instrumentation, rather the atmosphere itself taking the forefront.
How do you feel the audience for ambient/industrial-based music differs from those who follow Black Metal?
Marchozelos: It depends. Those who follow the concepts and spirit of Gräuen Pestanz really don’t seem to distinguish between the two, since they tend to be on the peripheral of both scenes in general. Those who are outside of this concept tend to be rather uninteresting individuals who have really no business listening to any form of genuinely dark art or musick, and almost exclusively have absolutely no understanding and/or interest in the message we are conveying. We have always tended to appeal to those whose interest lies beyond the mundane and temporal and who have an innate interest in Occultism as well as Ascension via various hidden and known path workings of the universe.
I have met many fascinating individuals in the ambient/industrial ‘scene’ as well as the Black Metal scene, although regrettably there are some who are rather limited in their conceptions of reality and have no interest in what we speak of.
I am a Promethean optimist in some ways however, and see the potential in many, other wise I do not think I would be doing what I do by expressing my art in an extroverted manner. Perhaps it is the Luciferian in me that thrives on this fact.
In retrospect, how do you look upon your Black Metal recordings today?
Marchozelos: I view them as powerful expressions of ritual art and inseparable from the totality of my work. Like all of my artwork, whether it is in audio form or on canvas, there is strength of Will I try to convey by my expressions, no matter how obscure or how few people reach it. The “Ars Upir Sabati” demo was put together through a period of 2004 through 2006 and required a lot of research and magickal practice on my end in order to fully conceive both the lyrics as well as the musick itself as a whole. Each demo came wrapped in a black velvet cloth, a red wax sigil seal of the goetic spirit Marchosias, dragon’s blood incense, black candles and a personalized ritual made for the individual that ordered it. This was meant for people to actually sit down and meditate to as well as unlock the Sigil of sound by means of scrying in the Astral plane. This was a concrete beginning for myself in order to consecrate the energies within the band as an entity beyond musick and focusing itself upon ripples of the aeonic spheres and uncreated energies to be formed into a rudimentary being of flesh and spirit.
As an experimental/noise “musician” myself, I’m often intrigued as to how others create their sounds. Can you shed some light into how your music is composed, and with what resources? Do you use any objects such as bones etc as instruments as some other artists in this sub-genre have done in past?
Marchozelos: Usually it will begin with a concept. That concept is formed into usually some form of invocation in words and then written down on parchment or a similar ritual tablet. I will usually sit upon the idea for quite some time, perhaps days, or months before really forming the musical aspect of it. Then, organic sounds are formulated into the whole by means of multi track recording on both analogue as well as digital formats. The reasoning behind this is to capture the magnetic fields of energy behind the sounds and to record the psychic essence of the emotions onto the tape and digitize it to re-gather the frequencies onto a readable format.
You were featured in the line up of Gathering Of Shadows in 2007. I’ve seen some photographs from your performance and it looks as if Gräuen Pestanz’s live rituals are very intense and dramatic. How is a Gräuen Pestanz live ritual constructed? Does improvisation play any part in your live offerings?
Marchozelos: From the first live show we have always portrayed a completion of the essence, which is within us. We utilize real human and animal bones during our performance as well as blood, an altar, tarot cards and experimental films that I have myself composed and edited. It is every bit as important to focus on the visual/aesthetic as well as the content of these performances and I would say they are actual live rituals. For example, during the Gathering of Shadows we included a personalized rite of the Death Posture originally formulated by Austin Osman Spare. This was distributed amongst the crowd for them to perform the rite while we did our performance for the purpose of destroying dogma and re-creating the human mind into the hidden and nameless of a new aeon.
In some sense we were successful. In others, some did not understand what we were doing and our intent behind our rituals. This will always be the case, but those who do not understand will be left by the wayside. Both myself, Vinum and A’ano’Nin felt the strength of these rites and became vessels for the furtherance of our dialectic.
Vinum: The process was automatic to its fullest. Some parts were planned but each song had a life of it’s own. The whole event had a life of its own, no matter how much we prepared for it, when everything was said and done, it was a completely different story altogether. You cannot control the forces of nature as well as spirits when you are dealing with a serious practice of the Occult.
I find your music at times to be almost meditative, in particular the “Marchocias” EP. Is any of the music composed during a meditative state of mind?
Vinum: We focused a lot on the configuration of different sounds based on mirror magick, dealing with primarily Choronzon and unknown entities. It was a combination of a lot of different energies and emotions. Anger through meditation, opposites, man and beast.
Marchozelos: This was a very personal working. All sounds that you hear from this release were based off of organic recordings done mostly with vocals and human bones in the distance as well as dried wheat from a European field. Real footsteps were used as well as howling to emulate the focus on the Sigil of Marchocias.
This spirit was in particular (and still is) a rather personal god form for myself as the attributes invoked are both bestial and rational, which is the essence of the sacred and profane. This is an atavistic calling to the mindset of that which is beyond words, as the Witches of the old times would rub salve on their genitalia to reach states of mind that would be perceived to them as flying upon the night sky towards the infernal realms.
You seem to be active with many side projects, encompassing a range of styles from Power Electronics to more rhythmic Industrial sounds. Care to shed some light on each of your active projects and what you’ve released from them to date? I’m particularly interested in Corpus Principium, whose music and aesthetic is definitely appealing to my tastes…
Marchosias: It is true that I have many side projects, although I would personally refer to them as different magickal workings within the same current. All of my musickal endeavors focus on the Nightside current whether it is Gräuen Pestanz, Black Funeral, Elegy of Madeline, In Nomine Choronzon, Corpus Principium et cetera…
Corpus Principium is a ritual dark wave entity formulated to express the fascination and exploration of the night side of the mediaeval grimoire via deific masks that are transformative and regressive in nature at the same time. It is also a strong personification of the Lilithian and romanticist, which is more based on experiential gnosis rather than words or left-hemisphere processing. It is morbidity of existence and the grave of the necrophile.
We have a 7″ inch record entitled “shades of melancholy” available through death posture ritualis, which is almost sold out. This comes with various ritual items including incense and other personalized items for each order.
I am also involved with Elegy of Madeline which is an occultium death rock / ritual gothick wave band. We have collaborated with Michael W. Ford on the self-titled cassette demo. This also deals with similar themes to the other bands mentioned and comes with a wax seal and wrapped in a red parchment.
There are others, which will be unveiled in time, and the seeker will be able to cyphen the Sigils off of them.
Vinum: Corpus Principium is a shadowy journey into hidden worlds. This is an expression of where vampyric powers are revealed and lost romanticism explored.
This is a travel back in time towards the renaissance, and its expression of alchemy as well as mediaeval times.
This is a feeling of isolation, loss of will, death and rebirth, sexual magick, and bondage.
It is a vision of a trance and unnamed feelings.
Your website features a selection of your personal artworks, most of which I find to be very impressive and you have a distinct, unorthodox style that I appreciate very much. What inspires you to create these artworks, and how long have you been creating occult art such as this?
Marchozelos: Desire is my only drive. It fuels all other concepts that flow into one another like water into wine. Every piece and segmentation is a birthing of a new flesh and a new creature, sort of like an astral servitor conceived through astral and sexual fluid. I wish only for them to exist outside of the mundane and physical planes to the extent that it is possible and many of them are expressions of the feminine current, Lilithian and subversive in nature. In darkness is the menses flowing into the mouth of the initiate and bleeds its strength of motherhood into the masculine warrior heretic.
All is poetry.
– Some time ago you were recruited as a permanent member of US Black Metal outfit Black Funeral. How does it feel to have become a member of such a band of influential and legendary status, and what elements do you personally bring into the fold?
Marchozelos: Black Funeral is in many ways a spiritual entity, which is completely aligned to the concepts and emotions that Gräuen Pestanz explores. I have been listening and absorbing the essence of this band since many years and it seemed like a natural progression for me to be involved with. What a lot of people who are acquainted with this band miss out on is the fact that there have always been hidden Sigils of sound within the musick which creates a visual and desire both abstract and unknown to the casual bystander. Either you become that which is of the Throne of the Beast, or you become devoured by it. I became and am still becoming every day. What I bring to Black Funeral is my passion for the Night side of Eden and the lust for the feminine archetypes of European and pre-Semitic tribes who found in those forgotten idols of rebirth the meaning of continued existence through the transmutation of flesh into animalistic god forms and archetypes.
Black Funeral is simply the essence of the dragon, that which is drunk off the blood of the saints and is in the moment of ecstasy through the liquid nourishment. We are as Varcolaci, hunting by the scent of human life and devouring the Desire that we seek within us as isolate and beautiful entities beyond all time and space. It is as a painting where the flesh becomes pigment and the mind dissolves into the focus of the amethyst of Self-becoming.
On a musickal level, both Akhtya and myself think on a very similar level when it comes to our modes of expression. He has for many years been involved in ritual industrial as well as myself, and our devotion towards the expression of truly Occult Black Metal also is self evident in many ways.
It is truly more than musick and an expression of uncreation.
Shifting away from musical topics for a moment, I’m interested to find out more about the concepts and drive behind this project. Without a doubt, this is an entity of a very serious occult nature and the subject matter therein would only be comprehended by someone who has extensive studies and practices in this field.
Marchozelos: This would have to be the most important question of them all since it pertains to the absolute essence of what I myself as well as the band are focused on in our day-to-day lives.
There are several concepts that are focused on but the main ones are surely the following: Wamphyric sorcery, Qlippothic exploration, Chaos magick and the 333 current, Sigil magick, Voudun and Palo Mayombe aesthetics.
All of us are focused on the Sabbatic current and the reawakening of atavistic expressions of the subconscious of mankind. Our ancestry plays a key in this by our extensive use of European languages but this is only one of the many secrets to be unveiled by our essence.
The concept of the final moments of human life before it’s candle is extinguished by the black plague, the icon of the cruelties of famine in mediaeval Europe, the demonology expressed and compounded by Johannes Wier in the Pseudomonarchia Demonum, the life and times of Elizabeth Bathory and Wladislaus Draculae, the forgotten expression of power within Yutuk Dinoih Persian sorcery and the timelessness of the spark of life beyond the Ego through the Death Posture.
All of these are words, which contain mental pictures in and of themselves, and for which words cannot fully express the breadth and profundity of their existence beyond Time itself.
Gräuen Pestanz members have founded their own record label and outlet for other forms of artistic media, entitled Death Posture Ritualis. There exists a few releases out, all with interesting packaging that differs from the norm and available in limited quantities. I’m interested to know more about this label you have created, it’s aims and goals, and what is planned for the future?
Marchozelos: Death Posture Ritualis is an expression of the destruction of dogma and of timelessness. It is more than a label as it has featured and will continue to feature artists, poets, romanticists, thinkers, revolutionaries and those who are beyond description. It’s goal is to reawaken the Aeon of the fleshless, those who are expressive in both masculine and feminine traits and who thirst and hunger for life.
It is most assuredly Luciferian in nature and individualistic in nature.
I myself have founded this label as an expression of my interests in the works of Austin Osman Spare, particularly his writings on the Death Posture itself.
There will continuously be (as time allows) canvas paintings, grimoires, cds, tapes and vinyl and they will all be focused heavily on the workings of serious Occultists and artists.
Your last release was the split CD with Miasma from Canada. The split itself is different from most typical splits, in that the songs alternate between the bands, giving it more feeling of an actual collaboration between the artists and not just some CD with two different bands on it. How was the bond between both artists formed, and did you work together to piece together in an order that flows?
Marchozelos: I met Cinifer from Miasma a few years back and we exchanged ideas in regards to our mutual interest in the arcane and obscure. He is an individual, which hungers for Self-knowledge and pursues the path of the hidden and profane. Our concepts and ritual practice are very similar and of a focus that precluded out working together on a concept release. “Into the Fire of Isolation” was created with this Spirit in mind. It is a working of energy exchange, wamphyric sorcery and the astral gathering of essences towards a common yet dissimilar end. The whole album reflects an endless stream of seminal visuals and emotions that become separate yet unified pieces towards formulae of Ecstasy. This is the inauguration and a temple to outlive all others.
It has been 3 years since that release. Is there any new material or releases coming in the near future?
Marchozelos: Grauen Pestanz has finished a split with Black Funeral, which will be out in the near future, entitled “Formulation of Wamphyric Shades”. This is an alchemical working focused on the spiritual essences of hermetic magick and atavistic resurgence within the anti-dogmatic dreaming plane. All flesh is beyond the comprehension save by the sense of touch. This will be a rather revolutionary release in many ways as it focuses solely on the spiritual rather than a classification of artistic output. All is raw emotion.
There is also a full length in the works that is almost complete and is a furtherance of the isolation we have created throughout our existence. It deals with the conception of timelessness and non-being through the severance of fleshly desire. This is not done by means of carelessness or egoism but rather is an expression of ascension by Desire itself as the only deity (which is changeable and mutable according to Will).
There are also a few other unnamed collaborations with experimental and occult artists in the future.
One final question, what do you believe lies for us beyond death?
Marchozelos: There will be a moment where realization of flesh becomes forgotten and memories coalesce into the void of timelessness.
There will be a reckoning of the mind, body and spirit where the essence retains itself as if siphoned into a purification process of the purity of the being in question.
All things shall be known and unknown and there will be nothing but the mirror of the Self to account to.
This question has been explored in the track “Seet Hyr Dat Spegel” which is translated from Swedish into “Look into the Mirror”.
All questions are answered for themselves in time if we transgress towards the pre-natal stage of existence beyond the programming of flesh and spirit.
Nothing is No-thing and the conception of individuality becomes unknowable towards the celestial end of the meaning.
Vinum: Our spirits shall transcend our flesh into the hidden spiritual realms. Depending how strong we are in spirit.
In general humans have been blinded by dogmas to the point that they cannot see that they are only consciousness and that they have the ability to evolve into the higher Self.
Most people are afraid of death because of the unknown and they are limited by their thoughts that they cannot comprehend.