How would you describe Aosoth to a newcomer?BST: We’re a French black metal band. The project has been created in 2002, but started really being an active band when MKM (vocals) asked me to join as a guitarist and song writer. That led us to record our first EPs and our first album. What originally was meant as a very raw and old-school evolved to something a little more ambient and with diverse influences.
IV has more variation compared to III. Was this a conscious decision or something that came naturally during the music making process? BST: The writing process has always been something very spontaneous, as it is based not on ideas we think about and record, but rather on what we feel in the moment. In a way, writing has to be an act that lets something greater speak through us, and we do believe in the divine nature of inspiration, in the case of this band. We did include more diverse influences, as it felt right, it felt like a natural progression, and each album we regard on a step forward on this path we have taken.
What did you mean by this statement, “We've spent such a huge amount of time on defining a darker identity,” for IV? BST: Many people have had issues with that part of the statement, so I guess the way it was phrased wasn’t the best. Although the writing process was relatively fast, a lot of time has been spent on finding the right tone for each instrument, in order for the music to have the impact it needed. we paid attention to all the details to make this album something very special, a milestone in our journey. That also applies to the visual aspect, for which we have many people to thank. Benjamin Vierling painting the amazing cover art, Jerome Delgado took and edited the photograph that we’ve been using for the album and the promotion... And there’s also David Fitt and Matthieu Spinazzola, who directed our video. All of that defines the identity of this project.
What role does the low end play in Aosoth? I feel it makes for an uneasy listen. BST: As a sound engineer, I’ve often been frustrated about black metal productions, especially of records that I enjoyed, which had no low end, and no room at all given to the bass guitar. I think it is indeed a great tool to make the listener feel oppressed, choked. This music is supposed to be the voice of something greater, it needs to be powerful, and low frequencies carry a lot of strength.
You’re making your stateside debut at Maryland Deathfest. What can metalheads expect from Aosoth live? BST: Last weekend, our first live rituals since the release of our new album took place in France. It was an opportunity for us to do things a little differently, as our set now consists of a majority of material off IV: An Arrow In Heart. We’re using samples and things like that, to complete that feeling of immersion and oppression. It should be a pretty interesting experience for the listeners, although it might also be unpleasant to some.
** Aosoth's new album IV: Arrow In Heart is out now on Agonia Records. It's available HERE. If you're going to Maryland Deathfest, be sure to catch them Saturday, May 25 at 6:50 p.m.