Aetranok, a Colorado based unholy black metal band, just released their volatile second full length, Kingdoms of the Black Sepulcher, to an unsuspecting crowd. I’ve yet to hear any mention of this wicked abomination yet here we stand with a Profile from vocalist and guitarist Draka and additional vocalist and guitarist Apophis. This is some truly brutal black metal that recalls the darkest of the first and second wave of the genre yet has the balls to go its own way. You read that right, it has teeth and is unafraid to bare them. We are honored to be sharing this with you so read on to see what these band members had to say and don’t forget to support with the links contained within.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
Apophis- My older brother got me my first guitar and amp when I was 12 years old. Didn’t even care about learning guitar theory or anything. But, for what we’ve achieved so far, i made it beyond that wanted level of success. But, each time we reach a new milestone, i see further and want to get there.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
Apophis- Well, I think the worse I went through is I became homeless and was living in a run down RV in Xamot’s back yard for 3 months. Lost my house because the job I was working was to demanding, and left me with absolutely no time to write or anything for music. So, I uprooted, burned som bridges, dragged Thoros with me and here we are.
Draka- After the departure of our original vocalist, we were left in a rough spot. Then I decided that becoming the frontman is something that I really wanted to do. So I buckled down and learned how to play “Curse You All Men” by Emperor and do vocals for it at the same time. I think it took about 2 weeks. When my balls had finally dropped I told Apaphis that I had learned that song. So naturally he wanted to hear. At the time my vocals were… OK if I’m being generous, but with his help and with the help from another friend I was able to be confident with how my vocals sounded and that’s what you hear in Grande Invokation. I have improved very much since then, but that is how I got my foot in the door.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
Apophis- The progression and freedom being utilized in Black Metal these days is phenominal. From the simplicity to the most technical. I’m pretty much convinced we’re witnessing the 3rd wave of black metal.
The worst thing is the internal unrest, and the over obsession with political correctness and safe spaces. It’s extreme metal, not a fad that needs to adhere to your personal justices. It’s just come to the point of internal bickering and finger pointing. Enjoy the damn music for fuck’s sake! Don’t like it, don’t listen.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
Apophis- Well, our views are primarily Satanic. Standing mostly on the progression of the self; philisophically, mentally, spiritually, physically. In the sense of Gnosis and better understanding.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
Apophis- I heard Slayer when I was about 6 years old. Loved it, dug deaper from then on. But, my dad was the one who got me into it (with the aid of my brother getting me a guitar later down the road). He taught me how to play paranoid, and they’ve been in full support of me since. Though I’m not 100% sure they get the Anti-Cosmic Satanism standpoint.
Draka- My dad got me interested in metal. He would put on Judas Priest and Dio on while we drove around. Some time later, I remember it was when the play station 2 had just been released. My family was gifted a console and it came with some 4-wheeling game. I heard “Science” by System Of A Down for the first time while playing that game. That pretty much set me off on the track to find more aggressive music. Found myself listening to Lamb Of God, then Decapitated and Cannibal Corpse, then eventually found black metal. And naturally I found bands that were blackened death metal, which is primarily my writing style. My parents, though… They did not like it. For them, if it wasn’t “main stream” then it was evil. Obviously, I kept at it. Now they just shrug it off. They don’t listen to Aetranok or any music I like, but they are supportive of me being in a band and know that it is genuinely what i like to do.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Draka- First and foremost, if you want to be a music “critic,” then you have to stay open minded to the idea that the band you’re listening to doesn’t have the same taste in music as you do. So if you were to say, “this band has low quality production, and the guitars are noisy, and the vocalist sounds like he’s dying. I don’t recommend this band.” Then you have to realize that there are people that live for that style of music! You have to go into it with an open mind and without bias. Music now goes farther than anything we can imagine. If you go into it hoping you get to shit all over someone’s project then you’re in the wrong business.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
Apophis- A cult.
Draka- With the ambition of world domination. And, mead making.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Apophis- I’ve been listening to Bestia Arcana- Holokauston, Ahklys-The Dreaming I, Nightbringer-Apocalypse Sun, Belphegor-Totenritual, and Dark Funeral- Vobiscum Satanas ALOT lately. Not much else on my playlist of late.
Draka- Currently I’ve been obsessing over Devin Townsend Project’s album Transcendence. I’ve also been listening to the Lunar Manifesto album from Semblant. A killer death metal band I’ve been listening to a lot lately is Extermination Dismemberment. Also, the band Skinless is releasing an album soon so I’ve been soaking them up as well.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
Apophis- Well, we’re playing Lost Lake on April 21st in Denver, then Stygian Rites Fest in June in Rapid City, SD with a ton of great bands at both. We’re currently looking into getting more shows in New Mexico currently, but our ambitions are looking farther. For me, I never stop working on new material. After my day job, I come home and site with my guitar until I’m burnt, so I’m looking to have a foothold into the next album.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Apophis, Draka and Aetranok for their time!