Forelunar - '' It is obvious that the people of Iran are fighting with their lives''
Forelunar is a beautifully eloquent yet savagely dark collective that embodies the human spirit and its inherent need to fight against oppression. It is atmospheric classically influenced black metal that is full of visual splendor and yet utter anguish. It is from the heavens and also the darkest depths. Its Subject matter is honest and utterly real. The new release is "Beloved and a thousand Seraphim"
Harpag (All instruments and concepts) ‘’The album was born out of the need for me to express my anger and anguish over what has been going on in my motherland, Iran and her children which are the innocent people who have been living under the strict and dystopic rule of fundamentalist zealots.
As one might have probably heard (or not, depending on the coverage by the mass media of the global “democratic” powers), a young girl named Mahsa Zhina Amini was brutally killed by the morality police (who control the Hijab of women, or the status of a couple etc.) over two months ago and thence there have been national uprisings of people over the country which has led to even more brutal responses from the Police and so-called “Revolutionary Guards” and up until now, there have been numerous events of killing, rape, military-forced massacre and government-funded “anonymous” savage attacks on people of different minorities and/or civilians.
The amount of suffering and brutality against us, the people, has been to the point that I decided to transfer all my emotions into an album which also would serve as a means of communicating with the world outside and informing the listeners inside the underground metal community about the atrocities that are happening inside Iran.
Thus, the end result became “Beloved and a Thousand Seraphim”, which is dedicated to all the brave women and youth of Iran who have either perished or are in the danger of getting killed by the invading Islamic regime in Iran.
The reason behind the dedication to the women of Iran?
‘’Women in Iran have been living under extremely harsh circumstances during past four decades which for the western population to apprehend is somehow reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale (from which also a successful TV series has been adapted).
From the moment that Zhina Amini was brutally killed by the savage Police force of the Islamic republic until now, there have been numerous cases of gang rape, torture, mortally wounding and murder of women which “just” briefly represent the countless similar cases that have been committed by the Islamic government in past 40 years or so.
And it is not just that, but that face that women are treated as the lower citizens of the ruling regime and do not have the rights that men have, or they are still considered as the “property of a man,” has led to many tragedies inside the country.
Despite that, I have always been mesmerized by the dignity and strength of the Iranian women who are constantly fighting and resisting against the laws of the fundamentalist society to thrive and reach their goals. Thus, if I want to sum all that was said and give a simple reason, “Because the Iranian women are the bravest warriors and the true beacons of hope for a once-great nation that is now rotting in the corruption of a fanatic regime.”
The importance of highlighting the struggles?
‘’To put it simply, “To bring the inequality and discrimination against women and the youth in Iran to light.”
Let me tell you this way: Why did the people in the US and elsewhere participated in protests for George Floyd? Of course, it was to condemn the discrimination against black people and the movement’s motto was the famous “Black Lives Matter”.
Our Mahsa Zhina Amini too was murdered by the Police (a particular branch of it by the way, which is called morality police in Iran) the same way George Floyd was killed. Thus, it is reasonable to say that, highlighting this tragedy and the similar ones during these past two months and throughout the years with the motto “Woman, Life, Freedom” are of sheer importance to enact fairness and bring those in responsible (who unfortunately are still supported by many global powers) to justice.
It is very atmospheric yet also very heavy. The inspiration for combining choirs and chants with black metal?
‘’I have always been fascinated in choral compositions. They usually -if not always- give a sense of spirituality to the music while decorating the sound in epic adornments; and in Forelunar’s case, since the project deals with one the most spiritual parts of humankind, which is romance and the themes surrounding it, I was very intrigued to mix the chanting choirs with a genre which roots can probably be traced to Classical music.
In “Beloved and a Thousand Seraphim” though, my emphasis on choirs was mainly for creating a sort of marsh music, which is for the people against the oppressors, while at the same time mourning the lost souls in agony and anger.
Do the titles of the songs reflect their angelic quality?
‘’I have tried my best to make a statement by choosing the titles of songs in this album. Those interested in the idea behind each song, can refer to the notes I have provided for each song on Forelunar’s Bandcamp page.
To give a hint, Vesper is the evening star whose fall enraged the masses who were lost in the treacherous light of the fanatics. Cherubim were/are the angels of knowledge and knowledge is the central element of fear to the zealots who are stuck in centuries past. Chaste is the young maiden of the land whose nobility lightens the path to liberty in spite of her shell being profaned by the fanatic warmongers. And Seraphim were/are who fly around the One above all and represent the light as it must be, not as it is shown by the dogmatic charlatans of our age.
Is it a juxtaposition against the savagery of your homeland and will it ever change? How can we change it?
‘’I might have not understood the first part of your question clearly. The savagery is our rulers,’ not the land itself or the civilian lives inside it. All these years, they have installed their agents around the globe to spread their toxic propaganda and humiliate the real face of the Persians as they are with all their goods and errors.
If one searches in the news today, it is obvious that the people of Iran are fighting with their lives at hands to free the land from the murderous regime. Yet in today’s world of complicated political affairs and international connections, that is not enough. The real change comes when the global powers, of which most claim to be advocates of freedom and democracy, decide to not defy and back the regime in Iran. Now, I am not the right person to go into the details of politics, yet I can urge the people around the world to help spread the word about the situation in Iran. For me, it’s music that acts as my means of communication to send my message. Others of course use their own techniques and professions.
Why isn't the world paying enough attention?
‘’As I mentioned before, I have come to understand that the mass media do not tend to cover the whole situation as they did for similar cases before in other parts of the world. The answer to your question lies in the interests of global powers and their political agenda towards a country that geopolitically serves as hotspot for their strategies in the region and of course, today’s most present problem, which is energy.
I am not here to criticize though, but I tend to spread the word of what is happening in my motherland. Time is of crucial value for many that are right now facing death, or “worse” in Iran. The world for me is not just the powers and media, it’s the people. If the people open their ears and eyes, they can hear and see the reality. Then I as the littles representative of my country can be hopeful that the attention of the majority will be distracted towards this side of the world; of course, it has already become a much-debated matter in many countries, yet it still needs much more than it already has…
The importance of the ideals of love, romance, lust and limerence?
For me they are the core of human existence. Love, in all forms, and its fruit of romance, lust, limerence, passion etc. has played and continues to play a vital role in the lives of human beings. It’s the cause to most of the things that happen to us -if not to all of them- and it’s the driving force behind each person and the running engine of motivation and courage for us all.
These are concepts not usually associated with black metal.
Ostensibly. I mean, we have seen such themes -in their poetic form, at least- mostly in gothic and/or doom scene. But metal music, in general, was born for people to freely express their thoughts and emotions. Therefore, I never limit myself into strict definitions of genres and just try to transfer my inner self into the music the best way I can.
Why is music so important to you? And what inspires your creative process? Is it a combination of your environment and literature or art?
Music for me has always been the spiritual gate through which I am able to channel myself into sounds. Besides, it is the universal language of humankind, which means that it’s the best way to communicate with the rest of the world and connect with people coming from different historical and cultural backgrounds.
The culture that I come from, is enriched with ancient tales and myths which are absolutely enchanting to hear; and along with that, the literature from other nations do inspire me, although not as much as I find my sparkles of inspiration inside my own culture and the natural -or even urban- environment of motherland. So, to confirm what you said, it is indeed a mixture of different environmental and literary elements that form the foundations of my projects, including Forelunar.
Your other projects?
As one might see, I am the sole person behind numerous projects which are all gathered under the moniker of Ardawahisht Kollective, which is basically a home to all my solo endeavors, as well as the ones that I am merely a part of. Among those I can mention Erancnoir, the main project of mine which is also somehow my inner ego and is basically atmospheric/ambient black metal inspired by hibernal landscapes inside the land of Persia and the metaphors and reflections I find in them; Then there is Etheraldine and its more experimental doppelgänger Forestionist, both of which have strong post-rock/shoegaze elements infused with black metal. Forelunar you know, for I have explained much about it; Urnscent is a former-trio-now-duo outfit of funeral doom which borrows the most from Persian mythology and poetry, while its gloomier twin Désespéré is a depressive/black doom project dealing with our mental struggles that we face in our lives; and finally there is Neonscepter which is the synthwave-sometimes-mixed-with-black-metal alter ego of mine dealing with more fantastical and abstract themes.
Plans for the future?
To stay alive amidst all the chaos that is happening around me/us! And then to produce more music and explore further regions of my interests in sounds and textures.