There’s a black-metal band in the desert of Aztec, New Mexico. That band is Aetranok. The band has recorded a demo, one titled Grande Invokation, and is spreading their dark and brutal sounds throughout New Mexico and beyond. Take Five secured the words of guitarist Apophis, guitarist Meretrix, and drummer Maelum, all of which appear below.
Tell me about your band and your musical approach.
Apophis: “Satan—the embodiment of freedom. We like it to be dark and we just kind of do whatever the f*ck we want. Blasphemy makes a good point, too. And, lyrically, it can go from having a strong, deep concept or background to just we thought it was kvlt.”
Meretrix: “Pure grim brutality. And having fun with it. That’s all there is to it.”
Maelum: “It’s dark, brutal black metal. And we enjoy the freedom that comes with it.”
Tell me about your 2012 demo Grande Invokation. What can listeners expect to experience? Is it possible for interested parties to get a copy, and if so, where can they get one?
Apophis: “Well, we enjoy it for one (laughs). And, hopefully, [listeners will] feel the power and drive put into it. We had to deal with a lot of drama trying to get this done, and it’s inspired more drive, power, and creativity for our next demo. So, listeners should feel that they can expect more from us in the future. Hell, we’ve already started on new material.”
Meretrix: “It’s unique to this area. Black metal is generally unique, and since there isn’t much of it around here, it stands out and makes a stronger statement. Listeners will experience a new breed of black metal on Grande Invokation and albums to come.”
Maelum: “It’s a change for this area, there’s a lot of country, blues, and some screamo. And we felt that there was a need for change. Listeners can expect to experience black metal in an all new way that still sticks to the roots of black-metal majesty. We haven't gotten any label deals, so distribution is a little problematic. But, if people are interested they’re welcome to message us on Facebook or ReverbNation and we can work something out.”
What was it about black metal that inspired you so much to form your own band? What would you say are some of your most profound influences in the genre?
Apophis: “It has no restrictions; it doesn't fit into a box. I grew up listening to it and, generally, out of anything else I listen to it stood out—messages and music. From the nekro sound of Mayhem and Gorgoroth, the melodic articulation of Emperor and Immortal, and the merciless bombardment of Marduk and Dark Funeral—nothing has made a bigger impact on my writing and playing than black metal. Other than Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Wagner, but even then black metal reigns supreme.”
Meretrix: “I always had stronger death-metal roots when it came to writing and playing. But, I liked the idea of musical freedom, and the spirit of it, corpse paint and all. It all speaks about who and what we truly are. One song can be absolutely serious and deep and the next can say f*ck that; then you have Abbath giving no $h#ts and having fun. Yeah, black metal.”
Maelum: “The unique sound and darkness, as well as musical freedom, are what truly inspired me. Bands like Gorgoroth, Dark Funeral, and Marduk really gave the insight and inspiration for the music.”
Name a band that would surprise the metalheads reading this interview that has inspired your music.
Meretrix: “System of a Down, because they never gave a f#ck. Think about it.”
Apophis: “Mindless Self Indulgence, Throatplunger, and Coal Chamber.”
Maelum: “This is the Apocalypse. They did what they wanted and enjoyed it.”
How has living in New Mexico (Aztec) influenced your musical approach?
Apophis: “Well, there’s ‘church street’ . . . with a bunch of churches on it. That always fed the ‘f*ck Christians and all the self-righteous sheep who flock at these places’ (laughs). It’s a very religious town and some people are very nice and support our music, even though they don’t understand it for sh*t. So, even then it’s kind of hollow.”
“In a way, the geography of the area is quite inspirational. It’s opposite of where conventional black-metal bands come from; the north. So, it holds a whole different source of inspiration here in the desert. It’s desolate, empty, and terrible. I’d rather be stuck in the snow than lost out here.”
Meretrix: “Around here it’s mostly blues and cuntry, neither of which I like. But, the high desert has its advantages. One can easily get brutally inspired to write some gruesomely kvlt material.”
Maelum: “Again, there’s a lot of blues and country around here, and that gave me a drive to give something back that we don’t have a lot of around here.”