Exordium Mors - ''Absolute darkness represents to me, the end of all existence''
New Zealand’s Exordium Mors personify extreme music. It is a maelstrom of speed, intensity and brutal heaviness that sacrifices none of their talent and all of their expression and intent. It has been eight years between releases and the new album "As Legends fade and Gods Die" heralds their return and inherit darkness.
Santi (Guitars): ‘’ There were a number of reasons for this 8-year gap between the albums and so no, the time span wasn’t intentional at all. A line-up change, things happening in
our own lives, the 2 years that the world shut down etc.
The sheer focus and the underlying current of violence within it?
Santi:’’ It's just something that's natural for this band.
The ability to make the technical seem easy with sacrificing any of the aggression?
Santi:’’ Although what we play isn’t simple, I don’t actually consider our band a
“technical” band as there are a lot of bands out there who play things that are far
more complicated. I would say that aggression and intensity in our music are things
that just come naturally to us as musicians and that the “technical” element is just
something that happens to be there. As for material that doesn’t make the cut, this
happens all the time. We have to be satisfied with the song - it has to get to a state
where it’s something that we would actually listen to. There’s been a lot of times
where we’ve discarded riffs and ideas and even entire songs.
Black Mortum (Guitars): ‘’As Santi mentioned, the “technical” element isn’t something we’re trying to go for. From the get-go we wanted to create a sound that's aggressive to the listener but without shying away from melody. The balancing act of keeping this
“Constant torment” without sacrificing depth in progression and majestic dark
atmosphere. That's what makes an Exordium Mors song and yes it does result in a
lot of riffs being thrown away in the process. I guess our efforts to maintain this
“torment” can be seen as somewhat technical by some, but the intent is that of pure
The album captures the essence of darkness and atmosphere without all the
symphonic trappings, was this a natural part of the writing process?
Santi: ‘’ I consider that a high compliment if you think that we’ve captured the essence
and atmosphere of darkness with this album as this is something that bands don’t
always achieve. I’ve always said that Black Sabbath captured this darkness, this
blackness on their first album and they never managed to do it again. So, to answer
your question about it being a natural part of the writing process.... it just happened,
we don’t know how.
‘’On symphonic trappings and do they add or create darkness and atmosphere - listen
to one of the many symphonic Black Metal bands and then listen to Cathedral’s
“Serpent Eve” then tell me which one has real darkness.
What is the nature of darkness?
Scourge (Vocals): ‘’The absence of light. That may seem a simplistic answer, but when onethinks of light, one thinks of hope, life, and life-sustaining. Although there is a
manner of organisms that thrive in the darkness...absolute darkness represents to
me, the end of all existence.
As per the album title. Is it disdain for traditions and organised religion?
Scourge:’’ It’s more than just disdain for those things...the album represents complete
and absolute nihilism and that all life (a step further, even a memory or remembrance
of a life) will be erased from existence eventually, as the universe ends.
Santi: Is the idea of disdain for organised religion a passe idea in this day and
age? Well, it’s November 2022 as I’m writing this, what’s happening in Iran at this
Should it be survival of the fittest? Does Flesh of the Heathen proclaim this?
Scourge: ‘Flesh of the Heathen’ was a turning point and a challenge for me lyrically
to write something beyond my usual lexicon, to use different language but still
remaining core to the band and album’s themes. If you perceive it as survival of the
fittest, then that is what the lyrics represent to you. However, to me the lyrics
represent a total rejection of mediocrity and overcoming people’s expectations to
‘’Too often we write about the “human spirit,” as if it’s this ethereal, metaphysical thing.
With ‘Flesh of the Heathen’ I wanted to write it more in the visceral, physical sense,
on what being a Heathen means to me. I don’t just have the soul of a Heathen, I
have the flesh of the Heathen - I am a Heathen with every fibre of my being, inside
and out; and the lyrics are inviting you to also share this sentiment.
What is an outlier to you?
Santi: “The outlier is the one who thinks for himself and can’t help but act in a way
that reflects this. Throughout history and mythology, there’s always been this type of
person, or groups of people, who don’t and simply can’t fit in with one group or the
other and if compelled to do so will resist not out of intent but simply because it’s in
the nature of that person or group of people. It’s a universal archetype that has been
around for millennia.
‘’Speaking for myself, I can say that this has been in my nature from day one. As a
small example, I often find that I’m the one who’s the first to leave a social gathering
or even a gig that has bands that I like and it’s something that I just have to do. It
doesn’t matter to me if people might think that I’m being aloof or “anti-social” when I
Can Man save himself or is it too late?
Scourge:’’ I think to answer this question, one can only look around at the political and
social spheres around themselves and draw an accurate conclusion.’’
Santi:’’A man as an individual can save himself and become that which he strives
for. As for humanity as a whole transforming itself to a better state, no. Some will
rise, some will fall.’’
Is music more primal/menacing when it returned to its rawest state?
Santi;’’ Not always. Bathory’s ‘Blood Fire Death’ is more menacing than their self
Blackened thrash speed metal?
Santi:’’ I’ve often said Blackened Deathrash but I only use that term as an
“introduction” for people who haven’t heard our music. Personally, I hear it as Heavy
Black Mortum:’’ I always thought “Extreme Metal” just about covers. Heavy Metal
pushed as far as we could take it.
Plans for the future to support new music?
Black Mortum: ‘’We have a few new songs and some surprises to come in the
following year that I can’t quite reveal just yet. What I can say is that we’ve reached a
pivotal point as a band. You’ll be hearing newer material from us sooner than ever
The state of the New Zealand underground?
Santi: ‘’I think technology has made sure that there’s no such thing as a real
Black Mortum: ‘’In terms of Metal in NZ, the 2 years of lockdown really brought it to a
halt. However right now I’m seeing a resurgence of bands and fans here. On the
Monday just past, I saw Skeletal Remains, Stalker (NZ) and Soul Void (NZ). It was
the start of the week, but the venue was packed with total enthusiastic maniacs. The
quality of performance from start to end was some of the best I've seen in this
country. There have also been a few quality releases recently too (Albums from
Exaltation and Sciolism to mention a few from this year). I think things are looking
healthy moving forward here in NZ.
Top 6 albums of all time?
Scourge: (No particular order and hard to narrow down to just 6): Nightfall -
Candlemass, Painkiller - Judas Priest, Rust in Peace - Megadeth, Anthems to the
Welkin at Dusk - Emperor, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas - Mayhem, Human - Death
Santi: Impossible question for me. I’d have to class entire groups of albums as one
album in order to narrow it down like that.
Black Mortum: The best ones usually can’t be compared to each other, as they
usually stand on their own stylistically. I definitely can’t choose a top 6 of all time,
especially with my somewhat eclectic taste. I could be sitting here trying to toss up
between the likes of Slough Feg’s “Traveller” and Zygoatsis’ “SKUD” if you see
where I'm coming from ha-ha. I have been listening to a lot of “So It Goes” by Demoniac (Chile) recently though. I’ll drop that in here.