When was the last time did you hear a 47 minutes Black Metal album and instead skipping songs you were absorbed into the majestic maelstrom of black art? SELBST has this effect on the listener. Hailing from Venezuela, now relocated in Chile they perform true Black Metal art.
Complex songs with skillful musicianship convincing the listener that there is a lot more besides Mgla, Svartidaudi, or other multifaceted and dissonant black metal players.
After several demo, split and EP releases, here’s debut self-titled masterpiece, which convince not only by its young enthusiasm and fresh energy, but also with massive sound and excellent songwriting. Acrobatic drum performances, thrumming bass, visceral vocals (performed by N. Onfray of Animus Mortis), panoramic guitar melodies resulting in 6 hymns worth immersing in it. The album is twisting and curling like a python coiled up around its prey.
Black metal with moods of despair and contempt, reflected in the lyrics, which mirrors mastermind N and his view of his surroundings. N also offers some thoughts on the inherent negative being of mankind, characterized by instinctive disposition to greed, corruption, religious dogma and selfishness.
Without any big words, this is one of the best black metal albums of 2017, no hooded black metal imitators, no liturgical orthodox harlequinade, just brilliant black metal in its purest form, 6 well written & arranged songs full with great riffs, fantastic tunes & remarkable solos from beyond.
Hails! What’s the current situation with Selbst?
Nothing special right now. Working in some special surprise...
In 2011 you released the “Veritas Filia Temporis” demo cassette, a very strong release, one of the best demos ever heard, a dark, atmospheric release, why just a demo? Why not released as a mini album?
I really don't know how I feel about that demo tape. At the time it was recorded, I just wanted to do that, a simple demo. It was an ideal way for me to present my music.
Tell me more info about this demo, lyrics, concept, memories from the recording sessions, etc.
I was inspired almost totally in "The Antichrist" book, by Friedrich Nietzsche in that time, while I was working in composing and writing. The recording process was easy, as always, because I ever record by myself. Only drums was recorded in a professional studio.
After the demo you participated on 2 split albums. Are they “friendly” bands, or the labels selected the participants?
Yes, completely. It was result of the strength from mutual respect, comradeship and the common purpose of create atmospheric and personal, yet strong, dark music.
After those releases you signed with the European label Sun & Moon Records, in the end of 2015 the new MCD “An Ominous Landscape” was released. Tell us all the necessary info about this release.
Sign with Sun and Moon Records have been a jump up qualitatively as well as quantitatively, because is the most important label I have worked...I remember I wrote to them from the release of the demo tape. We kept in contact since then.
That EP marks for me a turning point in the style of Selbst, with more pessimistic and personal themes, and atmospheric aura.
You got lots of positive feed-back, great reviews about this MCD. Lots of people was surprised when they realized Selbst coming from Venezuela not from Europe. Your sound is very European.
I have actually had people tell me that in various ways. I think that, beyond of being Venezuelan or South American in general, or whatever, It's more a matter of personal choice. A personal sound that fix with I want to state.
You started in Venezuela and now you are relocated in Chile. We read lots of horror news about the current situation from your homeland, please explain what’s happening now in Venezuela.
What is happening in Venezuela right now is something complex that I hate to talking about at this period of my life. But it's nothing more than the result of conformism and the easiness with which people wants to find solution to their problems. Unfortunately, communism is invading our South American territory and wreaking havoc.
What would be the best at the moment for the country?
I don't know, maybe it should explode into a thousand fucking pieces...
And what about Chile? Comparing with Venezuela, or other South American countries as well. In which city are you relocated? How is the local metal scene there, are you familiar with your new home?
I'm in Santiago. It's an interesting city. I've been know the local scene and I think It have a great quality, but also have a lot of arrogance. By the way I always been a person of few friends, I'm not able to make friends easily. But I think I have lucky to meet the right people here. I feel like home. However humans are generally thought to be creatures of habit, so sooner or later any place could be your new home.
On the recently released first full length album ”Selbst” you have a new vocalist from the well known Chilean black metal act Animus Mortis. What’s happened with Frozen the former vocalist?
Frozen and I took separate ways and he is focused on his life right now. The choice to pick N. Onfray was almost natural...I wanted him to collaborate with Selbst in some way, I admire his work with Animus Mortis and finally I ask him about be a part as a vocalist, and he agreed. It was gratifying working with him and the result prove it.
Where you recorded the new album, who is the drummer? The album sound is more European than ever before, who’s made the mix & mastering? The sound is amazing, powerful and clear!
Percussions was made by Aversio Humanitatis drummer in The Empty Hall Studio, property of Simon Da Silva, who also mixed and mastered the whole album.
In Selbst’s music totally missing the South American sound, trade-marks like unstoppable aggression, chaotic sound like in Sarcofago, Grave Desecrator, Mystifier and so on. Which bands are your favorites, where you got the inspirations when creating new music for Selbst?
I take inspiration from everything I listening, suffer and learn, I couldn't mention any particularly band. And I feel there's not influence in my music from the South American sound in general, it simply doesn't fix with I want to express...
Tell me about the lyrical themes of the album Selbst, is this a concept album?
Not exactly a concept album. But I can say that it is impregnated by many personal things I have been living in my life in this period. Nothing else to say.
The visual side of the album also amazing, who’s made the artwork, the promo video?
Art was made by my friend Fabio Rincones, who have work in my previous releases. Lyric video by another Venezuelan artist, The Black Shape Of Light.
Animus Mortis will touring in Europe this autumn, why did not joined with them for a nice Selbst/Animus Mortis tour? Any plans to playing live with the new album?
Because of fucking money...Haha not really. It was something apart, nothing to do with Selbst for the moment. But I'm planning to take this to a stage in some moment in this year...
If you will have the chance to playing in a famous band (past, or present) which one could be?
by Mirgilus, 2017 July