Sukkhu - ''The Unification of All Elements''
Conjuring the essence of Black Metal along with many classical elements is the excellent Sukkhu. The driving force and led by the powerful vocals of Morgause, their debut album Labyrinths explores many themes, musical realms and concepts that began from the beginning
Morgause ‘’Sukkhu was formed in December 2019, when I and Ego BMK went to Normandy, France, for a short trip. Around midnight, we stopped at the mighty Gaillard castle. You can maybe imagine the atmosphere, the cliché word “frostbitten” would absolutely suit it. The freezing moon was shining, there were icy mists (funeral fogs?) above the river Seine, so of course, the two of us started to chant and plot what we could do. This was the actual birth of Sukkhu, but the concept had already been here for many years. When I first met Ego BMK, we wanted to create a music project and we even composed a couple of riffs. So, some of the music reaches back all the way to 2012, for example the track “Aurora Ultima” remained almost unchanged. The main idea of the band is to spread the concept of Sukkhu itself. It is an entity formed by “thousands of souls” across all layers of the Multiverse. The individual spirits might, however, not exist in harmony with each other, and that is not a problem. From collisions, you can get amazing and unexpected things, just have look at our Universe!
It's all Master Hammers fault?!
‘’Actually, not at all. At a Master’s Hammer show, I just met Katia Nigredo, the owner of one of our current labels, Nigredo Records. But to be honest, I find Master’s Hammer incredibly inspiring, yet I wouldn’t call it their fault
The combination of all elements?
‘’Of course! Sukkhu is the “unification of all elements,” as well as all the souls, things, or phenomena. It can be seen as a personification of Chaos, while all its parts are variables that might or might not affect each other, sometimes in very unpredictable ways. Then you get the driving force of all the universes, made out of everything and anything, with the crown of lightning and wings of fire, and with its unseen flesh made out of me, you, the musicians you admire or hate, gods, devils, or even characters from literature, both human and alien.
Does your album Labyrinths reflect this?
‘’That was the plan. We tried to make the individual songs as diverse as we could within the band’s concept, so you have ice and fire, earthly fog, and cosmic void. These elements seem to be incongruous with each other, but it is not like that, for our minds can connect anything, glue everything together. So, as you see, Sukkhu exists both within our minds and outside of them.
‘’Ego BMK wrote the tracks quite fast after we decided to start the music project, I think it was within a half a year. Then we pre-recorded everything at home, to hear how it sounds, to check if everything is as it should be, the way we want it. Afterward, the standard process was started, going to studio, spending ages there, then taking a really long time to find the proper sound, and then of course the graphics, so in the end the entire thing took about two years. But we are glad it is out there now!
Spiritual more than physical?
‘’Not really, both of these, matter and energy, play their irreplaceable roles in the Multiverse, and we tried to include them both into the lyrics and music. Look for example at the Gaillard castle – without the astonishing physical structure, there’d be no spiritual experience. Similarly, in our Universe, at least on Earth and as far as the human sciences are concerned, there is no mind without a body. And since Sukkhu encompasses everything, all minds, and souls, it needs our physical bodies, too.
Sukkhu is more than just music. It is all forms of art?
‘’I truly hope so. There is the visual art, the paintings, which will decorate the album’s booklet, but also other ones that won’t be parts of the cover. Then there is photography, both me and Ego BMK like to take pictures of everything we see and inspires us, and these then become parts of the Sukkhu Multiverse. And of course, we also include poetry and literature, in the form of lyrics or even short stories, such as the Legend of Sukkhu I published on my blog. I must not forget about performance art, which you will hopefully see soon when we play live, and of course some videos, we have already created a lyrics video for one of our tracks and we are hoping for a live video and maybe even more. All these art forms are important for Sukkhu, although music is of course the central, principal form of art, connecting all the others.
A way of life?
‘’If you are truly yourself and experience the world through all your senses, if you live with your eyes open, then yes, you are living Sukkhu.
Finding inspiration in different places?
‘’Definitely, and not just places, also in different experiences, such as literature or music of many kinds. As I said in the point before, I am trying to live with my eyes open, so inspiration can come from anywhere.
Does your lyrical inspiration reflect this?
‘’I think so. Each of the songs’ lyrics was inspired by something different, one or more experiences joined together. For example, let’s take the first one, “Labyrinth of Fog”. One day in winter I was walking along a frozen body of water, it was foggy and really cold, and not only the water was covered in ice. I saw a rose bush with frozen thorns, which I found incredibly fascinating. And there it came, in this environment, I imagined an army of unliving, and how easy it would be to tame them and lead them to a fight for anything I’d like. They are caught in those frozen thorns, in fog through which they can’t penetrate, and since I know it is just fog, I could manipulate them any way I like. Maybe you’d find some parallels to this in the real world, but I had a particular, almost dreamy image in front of me, which I just described in the lyrics.
On being labeled black metal. It is now such a diverse term?
‘’Well, since all three of us (Ego BMK the guitarist, Megiddo the drummer, and myself) love traditional black metal, the choice of music was clear. So indeed, we play what you can call black metal, I think the label is placed there correctly. Unfortunately, we, humans, need to tag things to simplify the enormously complex matters, we name everything we see, for example here on my “desk” there are some “pens,” my “computer,” “smartphone,” and an “agenda.” Just based on these names, the tags of different things, you can imagine how my “desk” likely looks like, so when we say we play “black metal,” you probably know what to expect. But just like each pen is not the same to all the others, different kinds of black metal can be as diverse as the pen selection of a good stationery store. And since, as I said, music (i.e., black metal) is the central form of art in our project, the other art forms are clearly linked to it.
‘’Extreme emotions need an extreme form of expression. As a child, I was raised on classical music, but I soon discovered heavy metal, which I liked straight away. And then death and black metal came, and that was it, of course many thought it was just a phase, but obviously it wasn’t. I think many people need to relax and express their emotions through something as strong as they are, and black metal does this job perfectly for me.
‘’As Sukkhu, we aren’t planning to drift far away from black metal, we love this form of expressing ourselves so we will continue doing so. But of course, we don’t want all our tracks to sound the same, so maybe expect a bit of melody here, a weird whisper there, or mad blast beats elsewhere. As an individual, I keep expressing my emotions not only through music, but also through painting and poetry, which is, however, often closely related to Sukkhu, so presentable within the project. But of course, I can’t be sure what the future brings and where we will go, so the only advice I can give is to follow us if you wish to know.
What is the Murrain?
By a dictionary definition, the “murrain” is an infection of cattle, or, archaically, a plague or an epidemic. Of course, I wrote the lyrics at the beginning of 2020, so you can imagine where the main idea came from. However, the real “murrain” here is the one that can’t be transmitted by viruses or bacteria – it is fear. As I say in the lyrics, “pestilence kills one and fear another ten.” Fear is something that can paralyze you and it is always here, sometimes just small, other times it is thriving and penetrating straight into our souls. Now, in early 2022, we have another “murrain” and another terrible fear that’s spreading and perhaps trussing up our minds. So apparently, the concept can be applied to any stressful situation.
Plans for the future.
‘’Well, we are (hopefully) soon going to release the physical album through the collaboration of two labels, Nigredo Records and War March Records. We are also planning to play some live shows and we are working on some new tracks, too. One of them shall be released sometime in fall. So yes, we are working hard!
Top 6 albums of all time?
‘’Wow, this is a hard one! So, let’s tweak it a little and let’s say I’ll try to put down the top 6 albums that affected me and my music taste, in alphabetic order.
1349 – Hellfire
Celtic Frost – Monotheist
Dark Fortress – Séance
Immortal – Sons of Northern Darkness
Master’s Hammer – Rituál (okay, so they are important to me, really quite a lot)
Summoning – Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame
And a little bonus: Richard Wagner – Der Ring des Nibelungen.