Renwar – (All instruments and vocals) ‘’After my previous band split up in 2021, I formed Lightlorn as a solo project. Since it was difficult to find time to rehearse in the previous band, it felt natural for me to continue on my own. I didn’t want to waste the songs I had written, so I overhauled and reworked them into the 4 songs you hear on the EP These Nameless Worlds.
The progression of your new Album At One With The Night Sky over These Nameless Worlds. Was it intentional?
‘’Not really, I just write the kind of music I like to listen to. I feel I have improved as a songwriter somewhat, which I think is reflected in the new album. When I originally wrote the songs on the EP, I hadn’t played music for around ten years, so those songs (along with a few others) were the first I had written in a long time. And they’re also the first “black metal” songs I wrote.
It is also a heavier record?!
‘’I think so too! Well, if not heavier then definitely darker. This wasn’t really intentional, it’s just what came out during the writing process.
How do you combine the melancholy with the uplifting? Is it just part of the human condition?
‘’It just feels natural. No one is ever happy all the time, or sad or angry all the time. We are a multifaceted species. And while it can be cathartic to listen to music that solely focuses on one emotion, I don’t think it’s a true representation of the human mind. The natural world – from the subatomic to the universe as a whole – is also multifaceted, or at least our perception of it. I personally enjoy the juxtaposition of melancholy and uplifting in music, and typically in the same song.
How do you describe darkness? Was it spawned from light of did light escape it?
‘’Well, scientifically, light is a product of heat, which ultimately originates from kinetic energy. If there was no matter, there wouldn’t be any light. Philosophically, however, I think that darkness and light are interdependent – what would darkness be without light and vice versa? The same is true for human emotion: what would happiness be without sadness with which it could be compared?
Cosmic black metal is a hard genre to describe. Do you like being recognised as such?
‘’I think it suits Lightlorn very well. I don’t really think we play black metal at all. But the music is closer to black metal than any other genre. I know a lot of people don’t like the ‘post-black metal’ or ‘blackgaze’ tags, but Lightlorn is about as far away as you can get from the ‘trve kvlt’ bands. A lot of bands use the genre term ‘cosmic black metal’, and their music all sounds different. But as long as the underlying lyrical themes deal with space and the cosmos, then I think the tag is apt.
Does it stem from a love of astronomy?
‘’Most certainly! I’m an amateur astronomer and I’ve been passionate about space – and science in general – since I was a kid. To me, the greatest mysteries, and existential questions we encounter as a species can’t be answered by religion or philosophy; they can only be solved by science. So, it feels natural for me to write lyrics that deal with these questions.
Is it possible where the introspection comes from? Our place in the universe and the meaning to our reality?
‘’When you truly realise how insignificant we are, and I’m talking about us as individuals as well as our entire planet and solar system, it can either be extremely liberating or psychologically devastating. But understanding and embracing the pointlessness of existence allows us to be anything we want to be, it lets us create our own meaning and morality, and for me that means looking to the stars and aspiring towards loftier ambitions. Humanity should colonise the solar system and eventually explore beyond it into the rest of the galaxy.
Do we need to look up more often and think about our place in the universe rather than just the immediate material items around us?
‘’I think that’s up to you as an individual. We’re all different and have differing views on what gives our lives meaning. There’s no right or wrong answer. Personally, I think materialism is just a distraction and a fraudulent means of gaining self-worth. I prefer to think of myself as part of the universe, instead of the universe as something ‘out there’ and out of reach. I mean, even when you’re sitting still at your computer, you’re still travelling at around 107,000 km/h as the Earth orbits the sun.
Does it invoke a spiritual feeling that is translated into your music?
‘’I wouldn’t say ‘spiritual’, but it certainly creates a sense of enlightenment. Although, I’m not trying to preach anything through the music, I just play music because I enjoy it!
It is also a very earthy and reality based?
‘’It is – the only way we can look at the universe is through human eyes and minds. Our perception is naturally tainted by our humanity, and except for a few songs I’ve written that are more science fiction-based, most of them convey a very human perspective.
Of Longing Spirit and Infinite Solitude is a great track. what inspired the process behind it lyrically and musically?
‘’Thanks! Lyrically, it deals with the Fermi Paradox, which stemmed from a conversation between a few famous physicists in 1950. Given the vast number of galaxies, stars, and solar systems in the observable universe, it would seem only logical that other species exist around those stars – millions of them in fact. This prompted the physicist Enrico Fermi to ask: “But where is everybody?”. It’s been a conundrum and a headache in astronomy for a long time. We are actively searching for other forms of intelligent life, but so far without any success. The song deals with our longing to find something else out there that’s equal to us. It would be the greatest discovery in the history of our species. But the fact that we ostensibly seem to be alone in this universe is soul-crushing. And that’s what the song is about: our longing amidst our loneliness.
What drew you to extreme music and why do you think it is so vital?
‘’For me it was a natural evolution from hard rock and heavy metal in my teens. But when I heard black metal for the first time, the beauty and melancholy really resonated with me. So too did the non-conformist attitude displayed by the bands.
‘’I think extreme music is important because it fills a niche. While most people are happy to listen to whatever bubblegum pop music is on the radio or on the charts this week, some people look for more meaning in music. They want something that speaks to them. Maybe they feel alienated and excluded by their peers and society, but they are guaranteed to find like-minded individuals who enjoy the same music.
What is next for the project?
‘’I have assembled a group of talented musicians to help me take Lightlorn to the stage. We have a few gigs booked next year, so that’s the main focus right now. Of course, I have a few new songs I’m working on for new album in early 2025.
Top 6 albums of all time?
That’s a hard one to answer! Off the top of my head and in no particular order:
Emperor – Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Arcturus – La Masquerade Infernale
Pyogenesis – Twinaleblood
The Lawrence Arms – Oh! Calcutta!
Deafheaven – Sunbather
Satyricon – Nemesis Divina