KRVNA - ''I think all of humanity should to have this capability to consider difficult topics''
‘For Thine is the Kingdom of the Flesh’ is not just the second album from one man artist KRVNA, it is a uncompromising, brilliantly heavy masterwork of complete intellectual darkness that continues the evolution of the KRVNA, tangible, aggressive and grandiose. It arrives on the first anniversary of the debut album Sempinfernus
‘’Hello again, Sparky - It is a privilege and an honour to be talking again & yes, there was no‘resting on laurels’ between the two releases. Just as the PR cycle was wrapping up for
‘Sempinfernus’, I was well underway mixing & mastering the new album, behind the
Also, on a new label? Conscious choice or best option?
‘’The teams from Ancient Dead Productions & Third Eye Temple have kept in close contactwith me since the release of the demo & despite being on other sides of the planet, we’vebuilt great friendships and a strong working relationship with each other. The currentarrangement evolved quite naturally & I’m excited about having some ‘feet on the ground’ in Europe this time, too.
Was it written around the same time? And its progression ?
Many of the riffs were written around the same time & after the successes of both ‘Long
Forgotten Relic’ and ‘Sempinfernus’ I’d felt inspired to keep the ball rolling. Just about
most of the recording, arrangements and production work took place earlier, this year.
I think having little to no down time between releases has kept them reasonably ‘tight
knit’; thematically they’re similar, and the modus remains the same - the music has to fit
the brief of being traditional and aggressive Black Metal.
Was it the plan to make it more Epic and to add more shades andtones to the album?
‘’It wasn’t something I’d planned, to be completely honest with you. When writing and
arranging I tend to have pretty high standards & I’ll throw dozens and dozens of riffs away
if they’re not compelling enough... But the epic nature, and the ‘shades and tones’ as you
put it only really come to light when working on the arrangements. So sometimes, you’ll
have a riff sound a certain way in your head initially only to have it evolve into something
remarkably different during the recording and arranging process. I think ‘For Thine Is The
Kingdom Of The Flesh’ is an example of the overall sum being greater than the individual
parts used to put it all together. The album has really taken on an identity of its own,
particularly when lyrics and art (by the great Greallach!!) were thrown into the mix.
It is black metal that has progressed into something more! Where does KRVNA go from here?
‘’Thank you for the kind words about the music! I have something else up my sleeve slated for December, at around the same time of the album launch, too. I can’t mention too much about it, but it’ll help complete the picture and vision for ’22, for me, and for
KRVNA. Next, it’s back to the drawing board; writing riffs for the follow up to ‘For Thine Is
The Kingdom Of The Flesh’.
The subject matter is a continuation of your vision?
‘’Indeed - from the onset I'd deliberately opted for a slightly different aesthetic &
philosophical approach when compared to that of many vampiric BM bands, & ‘For Thine’
sees a natural & continued evolution of this. I’m hoping that the subject matter,
production ideals and overall thematic considerations ensure a unique offering. There’s so much music being released (good and bad) & remaining cognisant of KRVNA’s positioning amongst the maelstrom has been paramount to my approach. If and when the day comes where I’m personally no longer convinced by my own outputs, I’ll have no hesitations in shutting things down. I’d hate to be complicit by compounding or adding to the ‘white noise’ of surplus releases. Maybe I think too much, I don't know haha.
The elements of history and philosophy prevalent in your work ?
‘’To me there’s no looking forward, without looking back. The past provides us with context for both present and prospective future events - and should serve as a gauge in directing us forward. I think without this retrospection, we’re prone to making the same mistakes as we move forward into the future. This I believe should be true on both macro and micro levels.
‘’I’ll try not to procrastinate - on philosophy, whilst grappling with an impractical &
crippling nihilistic existential dread; my attempted mechanisms for countering this outlookcan be loosely defined via an optimistic pessimistic modus mixed with a little stoicism, toboot. In some ways, we’re either blessed or cursed with the capacity of cognition, enough at least to be able to attempt to apply meaning to our lives - all whilst paying credence tothe true nihilistic nature that underpins all existence, form & matter within the universe. Ours is multitudinal & crushingly depressive, haha.
These are just a couple of tenets that underpin my outlook on life & also heavily influence
“They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.”
- Samuel Beckett
The notion that if vampirism was real in the sense that blood is the life source is that something that you’d want? For you to live another creature has to die?
‘’I think all humans are here at the expense of something else. Our sustenance relies upon this premise, I think. So maybe this notion shouldn’t be as foreign, or as unpalatable as we might initially perceive. The human experience is transient in nature, though. Our
consumption, at least on a personal level will one day inevitably stop. We will cease to be
a burden upon the greater world around us.
‘’But - we aren’t talking about the human condition, here, or are we? I’d recently read the
Lord Tennyson poem ‘Tithonus’ - based off the ancient Greek myth; it serves as a warning
for those seeking out immortality - one of those ‘Be careful of what you wish for’ stories,
heh. Tithonus was granted immortality, but the gods didn’t bother to provide him with
eternal youth. The story ends with a man’s decrepit, unending & painful experience.
Humanity’s crutch lay within its transience; so much so that we alienate concepts of
death, make it taboo and create all forms of coping mechanisms via theological thought tocombat our fears. In general terms we’re largely inept at dealing with this eventuality.
Maybe vampirism at its core is yet another example of this - A warning? That immortality,
or the very prospect of it, in real, physical terms, should be considered an aberration?
What would the hypothetical cost be, in real terms?
'And relating this all back to the consumption of blood - blood sacrifice and veneration wasa paramount hallmark within mysticism, esotericism and theological thought throughoutthe millennia, and remnants of this still exist in modern day Christianity via the concept oftransubstantiation - The literal belief that one needs to consume the flesh and blood ofJesus Christ (the sacrifice) to obtain eternal life sounds vampiric, after all, don’t youthink?
It removes the concept of ‘’without death life has no purpose’’?
'This is a much deeper question than it seems. While we can definitely use our transience
to help define the summation of our life experiences, in part, at least - like book ends (we
know we have a beginning, and an end) - I don’t necessarily think this concept in itself
would in totality either give or take away any degree of purpose one might try to attribute
to the experience of having lived a life. If we want to hypothesise over some potential
permanent state of being - sure, I think eventually, you’d run out of the magic, the awe,
and the will to live. This outcome is common even amongst us transients - What’s that old
saying, ‘familiarity breeds contempt?’, haha. This, I can understand.
Would that improve society or make it utter nihilistic? if you could be immortal would
humans loose their purpose ? Time would have no meaning?
‘’Perhaps outcomes like immortality could make us god like. We could then no longer
consider ourselves human, at the very least. And what would that mean, in philosophical
terms? Are the ethics and morals of the gods relatable to current states of human
experience, and vice versa, are the ethics and morals that imbue humanity relatable to
various manifestations of God? Maybe we won’t ever come to understand this considering the limitations of our consciousness, our senses & our intellectual capacities. Do we actually even need to understand? Oh, and when I mention the notion of a god, or gods here, I’m not necessarily being literal, obviously. This is all starting to feel a little
Yes, if time wasn’t relative, and wasn't tied in with the dimension of space, perhaps, at
least from the perspective of an immortal, it’d cease to maintain some kind of relevance,
Would we devour ourselves?
‘’This is inevitable, vampire, or no vampire.
The thought of “Eternal Life” has organised religion pillaged this for their own use?
‘’Most definitely - not only within its own dogma, but also as a tool used to indoctrinate
unwilling populaces, through time. It’s common knowledge that without the christian
church the myth of vampirism wouldn’t have spread in the ways it did throughout Europe
during the middle ages. Sometimes I have to remind myself that through the lens of
modern day christianity we can see the history and evolution of numerous religions, extant and extinct, re-appropriated, recycled, and confused. Evolution isn’t always for the best, it seems!
Should extreme subjects be only answered by extreme music?
No, I think all of humanity should to have this capability to consider difficult topics. But I
suppose this in turn requires a degree maturity that maybe as a species we haven’t quite
developed, yet. So let’s just keep burying uneasy and difficult conversations, it’s all
sunshine and lollipops, right?
Do you think that in the years ahead people will mythologize the underground and
create their own history?
I can’t help but wonder if anyone will care. Sometimes i feel like the true underground
component to the scene is a remnant of a bygone era. The world keeps changing, and
interest in the genuine underground seems only to fascinate certain demographics. I’m ok with this - I don’t think this music, it’s ideals, its philosophy and lastly its aesthetic, is for
Black metal wasn’t born in violence but is closely associated with it. Does this
association keep it pure?
I think it keeps it honest, and genuine, sure. This is how it was, and how it should be. I
don’t agree with the the idea of moving away from these kinds of ideals. If it’s not dark,
evil and violent, it’s no longer Black Metal.
When is the next album and how far along are you ?
I’ve put in a lot of work into ‘For Thine Is The Kingdom Of The Flesh’ this year alongside
another release I have slated for December, information of which will be made public in
the coming weeks. So very soon, there’ll be a good degree of new KRVNA music availableto listen to. Beyond December though, I have a clean slate, for the first time, in a very, very long time. I’m currently in talks with certain people about splits and am beginning to consider picking up the guitar again to begin the riff writing process. So while I tentatively have some ideas for some releases next year, a 3rd album may be a little while off, yet.
Any other projects you are contemplating ?
I’ve recently joined Pestilential Shadows, and am looking forward to contributing to this
band. The back catalogue is nothing short of amazing and it’s an honour to be associated
with them. Outside of this, yes, there are other ideas in the making. I’ll keep it tight
lipped for the moment, though.
Top 6 books to read when listening to For Thine is the Kingdom of the Flesh?
1. The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
2. Thus Spake Zarathustra - Friedrich Nietzsche
3. The Book Of Vampires - Dudley Wright
4. The Conversion Of Europe - Richard Fletcher
5. The Divine Comedy - Dante Alighieri
6. Dracula - Bram Stoker
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