“… WAR IS THE NATURAL CHURCH of THIS WORLD” – Interview w/ SLUTET (the End Commune)

As a genuine emboidement of tainted emotions and crimson surreality, the music of SLUTET has always been defying a rigid definition of set genres: a sonic ritual of dark magic shrouded with an acid mist, where whispers of an unknown goddess echoing in the air, narrating stories about rusty razors and bloodshed freedom — truly an existential poetry of love and beauty. In celebrating the vinyl release of SLUTET’s well-acclaimed debut full length, we had the honor to have this intensively detailed and personal conversation with the troubled souls behind this project, covering not only SLUTET, but the entire work of the End Commune as a collective, reflecting upon topics like wars, femininity, their obsession for Polish culture, and most imporatntly, free will and resistance.

We would humbly send to the End Commune our sincerest gratitude for offering such an in-depth and fantastic answers.

Interviewed by Aymparch

1. Greetings all and thanks for accepting this interview. How you guys doing lately? Still enjoying the feedback from SLUTET’s latest debut or already start to work on some new materials? Also, how does the pandemic situation over there in Sweden look like these days?

Malkus: I am doing great thank you. I’m currently living in a trailer outside a former cement factory, now a blacksmithing school, outside a small rural town so I barely notice the covid restrictions outside the fact that attending church has become near impossible. I am working on a solo side project. I do long to jam and hang out with my besties though.

Livrädd: Greetings! I’ ve personally been doing great lately. The full-length album was a huge, huge project for us amateurs to take on and it really was a pain in the ass to work with at several points. Finishing it was an emotional release and I am now in the phase of actually enjoying listening to it too, since I just passed through the phase of being tired of it. Creatively too I have experienced a release, after we cleared our part in the making of the album. Not at all channeled through the project Slutet though, but through other, new projects. I know, for me, this was the last thing I did with Slutet for a long time and we as a group have decided to put it on hold for a while. As for the pandemic situation, it doesn’t mind me that much, for the moment. 

Rytterson: 2020 was what it was but things could always be so much worse. The pandemic situation in Sweden is pretty relaxed in terms of public regulations – mostly, we have only “health and safety recommendations” in place. At the same time, elderly corpses are mounting. I don’ t know what is going on anymore. It all bores me to death at this point. I haven’t read a coronavirus news story since last autumn, I guess. I can barely bother anymore… it went from exciting to worrying to tedious and plain annoying pretty damn fast.

With regards to what is happening in our camp, it is still a bit early to say; the situation is unclear even for us, but as Livrädd has stated, Slutet is taking an indefinite break. Over the lapse of the year 2020 we have barely been in our rehearsal bunker. We have recently started to descend there again, but we are not working on anything Slutet – rather, some side-project curiosities and some emerging, potentially new Endcommunean flagships are hammered and worked on down there. In reality, we could pace it up a lot if we wanted it. Apparently, we do not want to, since we do not. I guess 2020 has been a break for us and a moment of introspection with regards to the future of the End Commune, as well as a time for working on – and arranging – the physical releases for which we have patiently waited a long time:Begynnelsen vinyl release and Love & Beauty vinyl release will be, thus far, the crowning achievements of our little congregation, for sure. 

Slutet - Logo

2. According to MA and your official bandcamp page, SLUTET stands for “the end” in Swedish, and it makes me wonder which one came first in terms of the music project SLUTET itself or your collective The End Commune? What’s the artistic or philosophical purpose of creating both entities? Was SLUTET/The End Commune a vessel through which you are able to channel your thoughts and reflection?

Livrädd: Slutet as a band started in the brain of Rytterson and eventually became a real band. So, the band Slutet came first, and afterwards came The End Commune, I think. From my point of view I was, at the time, very eager to play in an emotion-driven band, fueled by drugs and strong friendship. But since we as a band spent a lot of spare time as friends, growing up together, it already from the beginning felt like something more than just a band, so the step to becoming a community felt natural. I also think that we as individuals were quite different in many ways, but still really enjoyed working as one entity, associating ourselves with each other, so forming a community was a good idea. In that way we could capture allour individual differences under one banner in a way that made sense. I also think we all had a strong desire to belong to something bigger – like classical adolescents – since Sweden and Uppsala does not really offer much of interest to be a part of. It all formed in the years after school and we were adolescents with no clue about how to live a proper life. But we aimed at God and had to invent that search for ourselves. Early on I remember picturing The End Commune like a shipway on which we together are building our own ark, ready to ship off as apocalypse approaches. Or as a lunatics monastery where we all were to spiritually grow before launching out to the real world again. It is a homemade initiation-ritual. Or Slutet is the initiation ritual, I would say, since it has an end and a beginning. The Commune is forever going, throwing us new ways to grow, new challenges and new crises. And to answer the last part of your question: no, not as much thoughts and reflections; for me, it was more about emotions and a certain attitude towards the world. But this is mainly because I have had nothing to do with the lyrics in Slutet.


Rytterson: Well, going back all the way to 2010-2011, the first name I had for the music project that would eventually morph into Slutet was Den FanatiskaKyrka av de Sista DagarsHeliga, which is pretentious, obsolete Swedish for “The Fanatical Church of the Holy End of Days”. Eventually this evolved into Slutet – den FanatiskaKyrka av de Sista Dagars Heliga (“Slutet – the Fanatical Church of the Holy End of Days). This concept later kind of split, evolved into two things, as I felt already by 2012 that I wanted to do more things than just having a rock band – various solo-projects coupled with other artistic pursuits (photography, painting, writing, sculpting, et cetera) I envisioned could find its place onto this platform, with the aid and commitment of talented friends around me. So, to answer your question more precisely: they were born at the same time, and have had their respective names since at least 2012, but were envisioned initially as the same thing. So, what is The End Commune today? Nothing more than it ever was: a platform made by a pack of friends wanting to express themselves. It is just a loosely tied art collective type operation; a few individuals writing, painting, making art, thinking about the mysteries of the human and of God and the world, and – of course – creating unhinged and honest music. On a perhaps more personal note, The End Commune is a kind of philosophical and artistic “universe” wherein I can do what seems appropriate in accord with my artistic self-becoming. My ambition with The End Commune is to expand it and make a completely self-reliable record label out of it. Potentially also some kind of book publishing thing. We will see. As for now, all it is, is some weirdoes – great friends and existential allies – doing music. It does not have to be any more pretentious or “sophisticated” than that.

3. The reason why I ask the last question is, in terms of SLUTET’ s music, you certainly process some seriously interesting characteristics: judging from your entire discography, the music styles are “all out of place” or should we put it more appropriately, an honest representation of “free expression” — some top-notched frantic melodies and absolutely badass riffs that one can hardly find in any other bands these days; another remarkable trait is your vocal styles: ranging from some really heart-wrenching deranged howls to pessimistic and often times “cinematic” monologues — probably the greatest feminine vocal styles I’ ve ever heard among black metal acts in terms of emotions and executions. So do you mind sharing some musical influences that really inspire the project SLUTET when it comes to composing styles?

Rytterson: We must bear in mind when addressing these topics that The End Commune was created not by artists but by a couple of kids who seemingly could not imagine life without expressing themselves. I do certainly not see myself as an artist, I am just some guy who needs to artistically express. It was in some sense a desperate attempt at mitigating existential and spiritual anxiety – that is how it felt for me. I needed to bleed blood – but also art. So yes, the term “free expression” sits at the very center of the whole Endcommunean project. When I was younger, I thought of this as cultural terrorism – we were not artists and there was, and is, an almost fanatical insistence on authenticity and “realness” within the Commune. Authenticity has been the keyword since day one. This naturally means we are free to be inspired and influenced by anything and everything we see appropriate for the particular project of the day. Back in the first era, 2010-2013, before we even rehearsed and the band was but a compulsory vision and a vivid day-dream in the back of my mind, the biggest direct musical influences were Master’s Hammer, Burzum, Siouxsie& the Banshees and various krautrock and free-folk projects, old and new, like Ash Ra Tempel, Furekaaben, Pärson Sound/International Harvester and Silvester Anfang/Sylvester Anfang II. Later, these more psychedelic influences fell away but are still quite evident on the demo tapes. And with the advent of the second guitarist in 2015, the music changed toward a more distinctly black metal-like sound, mostly due to the new guitarist’s faster, more melodic style of riffing, and because of the fact that our drummer – I – started learning, more or less, how to play fast drums (something I quite struggle with to this day, I might add, since I am lazy and not of the physical condition I could be). But I think since 2018, we have not been influenced concretely by any single band or bands – on Love & Beauty, European folk music of various kinds and an innate, creatively independent fire I think left far more of an imprint on the music than almost any black metal band ever could have. Black metal was only a kind of framework or context, a vague one at that, and not a source of inspiratory essence.

Malkus: when I started in Slutet and we started working on what would become Jihad, memories of my mother singing old Swedish folk lullabies resurfaced and the melodies sort of just infiltrated my guitar style unconsciously. I had never played that way before I joined Slutet.

Livrädd: As mentioned, we are all quite different as individuals, and our way to manage that during rehearsals and the creation of music is to just let everyone care for their own part. We almost never govern each other’s creative process. There is a total confidence in that every man and woman will do his or her part, not only fittingly, but in the best and most beautiful way possible. The result of that is a very wide range of musical styles and influences.  The early Slutet had some clear krautrock influences. This was what we as a group used to listen to while hanging out. The Swedish band Pärson sound and Träd, GräsochStenar are some of the names I remember from that time. Before the last two albums (the ones with the new guitarist) I remember we cheering to the band Aryan Art and expressing the will to do something of that sort. You can hear that influence most prominently in “Sperm-Spitting Mouth” and “Indo-European Storm”.  And YES! Dingir’ s vocals are, in my ears, one of the best examples of female vocals in black metal, hard rock, rock, pop, whatever.  Her style of singing has made a great impact on my approach to music. Some of my favorite moments are “this is the birth-site of depravation…” on Raped Beauty Sleep and the ending on We Reap Our Crops. She was fucking great right from the start. This is, by the way, one thing I love with working with The End Commune. Both Rytterson and Dingir where practically new to their instruments when we started, and they had no background in music schools of any sort. As for me, I’ve grown up learning music in schools. The clash between our backgrounds were the absolutely best way to reinvent my creativity and joy for music. That naivety and ignorance to musical theory put emotions and the will to express oneself in the anteroom. That, I believe, is what makes Dingir’s vocals so interesting and dynamic. 

4. Let’s talk about your first S/T compilation. Musically it’s one of the most unique black metal releases in my opinion, giving its weird mashup of a punkish second wave black metal riffing and a psychedelic acid storm of krautrock. It is also quite different from your later materials in terms of musical style and aesthetic —- a release more like being made by some Eastern European Krautrock maniacs on drugs who openly adore street punk. So how did the first three demos come out and why did you choose this particular style? Another thing drew my attention was the album cover —- depicting the Mesopotamian Lion-headed Eagle Anzû holding an AK and a Molotov cocktail in each hand — an aesthetic that will continue to stay prominent in your future releases and other projects. So why did you choose this picture and are there any symbolic meanings behind this image?

Livrädd: This is not my question to answer, but I will say something about it. From the start Black Metal was not in our minds at all. Doomsday Rock is what we called it. I didn’t like black metal at the time and I had a very strong feeling against double bass drumming. 

Rytterson: The first three demo tapes were written in a time when I was a complete amateur about everything. Completely clueless I was with regards to how one normally goes about creating music. My love for music in general helped flavor these crude, early creations, and I had penetrated already quite deep into many different genres of music, but specifically I could mention a few acts…Burzum, Master’s Hammer, Silvester Anfang, Discharge, Anomie, Peste Noire, Katharsis, Siouxsie&theBanshees and Vissovasso (Crakk of Reveal’s early abomination) I remember all had a quite direct influence on the way I wanted my music to sound. The earliest riffs were written on an unplugged, untuned three-stringed bass guitar in my room in Vänge outside Uppsala around 2010, maybe even 2009. Later, in 2012 or so, I started creating the music only using tablature, which maybe could account for part of the peculiar sound on these songs. We started rehearsing it on September 1, 2013, and released then three demo tapes in 2014, all of whom were recorded completely  by ourselves in our rehearsal rooms, mixed and “produced” at home, dubbed onto tape by hand in an old1980’s cassette deck, and also every cassette tape cover of all three demos is hand-drawn or otherwise handmade. As I previously noted, ideas of autonomy and authenticity – my existentialist virtues, really – was of huge importance in the early days. That is the way things still are, even though we now (since 2015) work with (independent) labels when it comes to the promotion, manufacture and distribution of physical releases, so I guess we are not entirely independent in every sense of the word. We are not as die-hard, radical and idealist as we were back in 2014 I guess.

With regards to the he Anzû bird: this lion-bird-human figure is in Sumerian and later Semitic (Akkado-Babylonian and Assyrian) mythology a lesser divinity of the pantheon, and is according to some accounts responsible for stealing the Tablet of Destinies from the Gods. The Tablet of Destinies was the stone-tablet upon which the fate of the world and all its subjects, humans or otherwise, were written down.Whoever owned it, controlled these destinies. The symbolism here is that Anzû is a re-conqueror of autonomy from the Gods, a kind of archetypal, Promethean figure if you will. I chose this mythological creature to symbolize(re-)discovery of self-determination and autonomy as opposed to merely following, like fish in a shoal, the natural or “expected” trajectory of your existence, whatever that may be. The symbolism here is very heavily existentialist. The AK-47 and the Molotov cocktail are added as more or less universally recognizable symbols of armed insurgency, the struggle for independence, revolutionary militias, asymmetrical guerilla warfare and stuff like that. Basically – in one word, symbols of resistance.

5. The label of “experimental music” could be somewhat misleading when it comes to black metal (or any subgenre): for me, there exist two kinds: one who use some easily-detected and deliberated attempts and experiment with all sorts of sounds and devices, the other is essentially some weird representations of something that’s hard to be put into an existing genre label — a music of free expression, and for me, the attitudes and styles in SLUTET and related projects definitely fit into the later. What are your thoughts on this idea of experimental music and when SLUTET was called out using such a label? Your passion for low-fi 80s synth and minimalistic ambience is also prominent in related projects like Lapis Lazuli, Loveboy, and RESILIENCE (and oh boy how great those two RESILIENCE demos sound). Do you mind elaborating upon those side projects and your “experiments” of synth in them? If or how do they relate to SLUTET and The End Commune as a whole?

Livrädd:I don’t recall others labeling Slutet as experimental. I thought that was our own doing, but I might be wrong. I like the idea of free expression in music. I like to be surprised and to hear something I have never heard before and for someone to invoke a new feeling never felt before through music. 

Rytterson: Well, with regards to the label ‘experimental music’ there is not much to say. It is what it is. It is hard to make the case that anything TEC-related is not experimental, so I am fine with the epithet. After all, that is what we do.

With hand on my heart, I must say that Slutet was always meant to reach people. To communicate something. The “underground music for underground people” ethos, which is quite widespread in many circles, never applied to Slutet. I much enjoy when people recognize Slutet, comment on it, share their opinions on the material, etc. It is definitely a divisive project, I think. Either you get it or you don’t. That is my hope at least!

However, for the side projects, this has never been the case. I am very, very humble about them for the very reason that they were never exactly meant to be spread and listened to by other people in the first place. These small side-dishes never had that thing built into their original concepts. Not that I mind any attention I get from it, it is fun and humbling…but I just did never think anyone would quite notice them, given what they are, these side projects. They were always made for my own self-improvement and pleasure, I guess (I am talking about Loveboy, Lapis Lazuli and Resilience here, of which I am wholly responsible). I have no idea how to “properly” make music, I cannot handle a guitar, I am comically and completely clueless about musical theory, my drumming is 100% autodidact, etc… yet I have to make music, so I have to find other pathways and avenues so that I can actualize myself through my creativity. This is how I have felt for the last decade.

Loveboy started in the final weeks of 2016 when I had a terrible fever and tried to “mitigate” it with oxycodone and hashish. As a result, I laid in a couch for days on end, half feeling like shit and half feeling great. After listening to Born to Die by Lana Del Rey for possibly 24 hours straight – one of my favorite LP:s – while nodding, sliding back and forth between reality and fever-dreamlike states, I decided to finally make the effort and change it for something more ambient and atmospheric. I discovered that I could not quite find the perfect music for the occasion – Lustmord, Current93, Biosphere, GnawtheirTongues, Brian Eno, Trepaneringsritualen and RaisonD’Etre were all decent, good or even great – but contextually imperfect. This frustrated me to the very point that I simply decided to create it myself. I wanted to at least have a go at it, and if not for the quality of the musical output itself, then at least for the sake of creative pleasure and drug-fueled stimulation it would bring me. The days before, while in my oxycodone-and-fever-induced semi-coma I had binged 4 or 5 Ingmar Bergman films and was very influenced by them, moved by them; possibly spiritually motivated by them. The two themes merged together, atmospheric music and Ingmar Bergman, and I patched up a sound collage I could listen to while dwelling in the bed or the couch during the remainder of my fever-streak. I found it meaningful, fun and rewarding – so I continued. Making this stuff available publicly has not so much been motivated by exposure; rather, I am motivated to challenge myself and my self-image by putting it out, and being fine with people thinking it is mindless garbage. Sharing these things has more to do with thickening my own skin than it has chasing some kind of recognition or affirmation. And that is going great so far, I’ve learned a lot. So naturally, when the response comes back positive, it is very weird for me. It is great, I totally appreciate it, but it feels surreal. This was meant as my personal moody music and now it has even been released on tape. It is very humbling and nice. I am just trying to create atmospheres for myself, basically. Maybe I manage to be atmospheric to someone else as well? If that is the case – fine, good, jolly, nice.

Lapis Lazuli is a different story altogether, as is Resilience. Lapis Lazuli was born in the spring/summer of 2015 when I shared a house with Dingir and another woman, a stranger. What I had that summer was drugs, an unrelenting interest for the ancient near east (Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Levant/Phoenicia, Elam, Persia, etc.), and an old 1980’s Yamaha synthesizer I had gotten from my grandparents. I also had a lot of time. What I did not have, on the other side, was any kind of talent, skill or education in how to play the thing. I had basically never struck a single piano key before that, so it certainly is what it is. Again, creative desperation had to suffice for skill and musical ability. Back in late 2013 I had a brief and problematic incursion into academia, lasting for about 4 months – I briefly studied Akkadian and the cultures of the ancient near east. I dropped mostly due to social and psychological reasons, and not at all out of disinterest; I was miserable about it, but the passion for the subject itself was never faltering. I still listen to this stuff even though I regularly cringe at how painfully sloppy and amateurish it all is. For some reason, however, it is a great source of personal nostalgia and sometimes I even think it is good music in its own right.

The Resilience project is, once again, more of the same. I have a total lack of any kind of “conventional” musical skill and ability, yet I know I have so many riffs and melodies in me. They have to come out somehow. Therefore, Resilience exists. It is all made in a tiny freeware called Tabit – a super-basic tablature software – and edited in the equally free Audacity. The concept of Resilience is a zealous adulation of the Kurdish resistance struggle against Turkey and – back then – the Islamic State. It is very fun and stimulating for me.

All these side projects, and the other ones of which I am not responsible, such as Albaslï,  make up a great core of what The End Commune really is. A congregation of friends expressing themselves freely. Nothing more, nothing less. And every single release always speaks for itself; there is no central agenda, no ideology or anything like that. Individual projects and releases can always proclaim various loyalties and affiliations, but the End Commune as such will never stand behind any of them. 

6. In 2017 you guys released Jihad, an ep that’s quite different from your previous materials and much more leaning towards some “standard raw black metal”, even though some of the trancy psychedelic elements and weird samples still exist. What was the reason behind this style shift? Was the replacement of previous guitarist a central reason? I also wonder what was that long narrative in the second track (was it in Swedish?) One can also easily notice that a passion for the Near East culture has been another central theme in all of your projects, especially in SLUTET and RESILIENCE. You’ve spoken about this a little about this passion on Lapis Lazuli’s bandcamp page, do you mind elaborate upon this a little more? How important does the Near East mean to The End Commune and why?

Livrädd: Much of the change in style can be attributed to the exchange of guitarist and the creative process which followed along. This new guitarist wrote all the riffs and I guess it leaned towards black metal because he enjoyed it and because our drummer had reached a point in his drumming skills where he could play a lot faster. We also shared the interest in black metal and a lot of late night conversations where characterized by reverence for good black metal and having a good laugh at poor attempts at black metal. The Near-East is interesting because it is such a historical and cultural hot spot for the human race and will so continue to be in the future. Much is circulating here. Everyone wants it in some way or another. It’ s like a sacred battleground. 

Malkus: after some time after I joined, I was granted the honor of writing almost all riffs so yes, I think it was a major influence on the sound changing. But as I saidbefore, my guitar style changed dramatically and mysteriously when I joined Slutet. Iguess also we all wanted to play faster – because we could. I think the east is interestingbecause large parts of it have not been raped by post-enlightenment shit. Living in themodern and spiritually corrupt west I think we turn east to look for somethingauthentic. Personally, I found the eastern Orthodox church thank God. And I have tosay that Slutet played a part in my journey towards God.

Rytterson: You have already yourself answered the question – the change of guitarist I would say, by far, impacted that stylistic change the most. Generally, we diversified the creative process starting from ca 2016-2017 onward to include all band members –in contrast, all three demo tapes had been written and arranged by a single member of the band. Our new guitarist, Malkus9 as he is called, had a more aggressive and fast way of playing the guitar. That affected the whole sound a lot.

That talking in the middle of “Goddess of Paradox” is indeed in the Swedish language but what exactly is being said is a mystery even to me, and arguably, even to our vocalist herself. Frantic, improvised or semi-improvised talking made its way both onto the “O Ziemia!” demo as well as on the “Jihad” EP. So, to answer your question – who knows what is being said there. I, for sure, do not.

The near eastern thematic, its aesthetics and all references to it, are not a complicated matter at all. I am simply very, very interested in it (and to some extent, I cannot fully explain why).First of all, the End Commune is in no way, shape or form dependent on the near eastern theme.It just came to develop that way organically, naturally. I hold the ever-beautiful Inanna as a serious avatar of the Divine; I adore her. She is, and has been, important. I believe she exists, but not in the way you and I exist. She first found me in my late teens – probably through Pazuzu (indeed, how many young boys have not initially cultivated an interest in the Sumerian and Semitic mythologies of Mesopotamia by way of Pazuzu, the coolest demon-figure of them all? It seems almost unavoidable, being a young man, being a fan of death- and black metal and finding one’s way to Pazuzu). I guess that is where the ball started rolling for me as well. And the ball rolled to the degree to which I enrolled for Near Eastern Studies at Uppsala University in the autumn of 2013, as I previously mentioned. I hated academia and I hated the university. I felt seriously uncomfortable there. I had grievous psycho-spiritual problems and I ended up panickingly running from the classroom, never to come back. Don’t get me wrong: I loved what I studied or tried to study. I hated everything else about it. The hallways of academia seem suffocating and oppressive to me.  That was 2013, and my interest in the mytho-religious, linguistic-cultural and geopolitical history of the near east (ancient as well as contemporary) hasn’t faltered since – quite the opposite. There is always something happening there. The cultural spheres of Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia, Near East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa are immensely fascinating to me – meaning, roughly speaking, the Aryan, Caucasian, Turkic and Semitic worlds. Sometimes I think of human civilization as one long, single, deep, profound breath, with the Euphrates and the Tigris as nostrils. From there, civilization is breathed out, and when time comes, into there it shall again be breathed in; ended; collapsed. There is an epicentral quality to that place. But I guess that is no wonder when you have Tiamat herself dwelling on the bottom somewhere down there in the Persian Gulf. Sometimes she shakes and roars in her sleep – can you verily blame her? – so I think a bit of surface irritation, so to speak, is to be expected. How can a whole region of the world be expected to live up to standards of peace, unity, prosperity or tranquility when the very soil of it rests on the back of the scaled Mother herself? There’ s something for you to think about.

7. Before we get into your latest SLUTET debut, I just want to talk a little bit more about another project of your circle — namely Loveboy — a cinematic collage of minimalistic soundscape, or PASSIONOISE in your own words. Most releases of this project were dedicated to WW2 and old Eastern European cinemas, especially about those fought on the Eastern front by Polish troops. You mentioned the Polish film OstatniEtap and how it impacted you with its depiction of those sufferings in Aushwitz. Drawing upon your other two RESILIENCE releases that dedicated to those fought during the ISIS war, what does war mean to you and what message are you trying to convey with those Loveboy and RESILIENCE releases that dedicated to Polish and Kurds accordingly? Also, how important is film to you personally? You mention that one of your life goal is to learn Polish in order to watch Żuławski’s Na SrebrnymGlobie while capturing all of its fantastic details — why Poland tho? Also a bonus question, what are some other films you enjoy watching while on drugs?

Livrädd: Not my question to answer but Na SrebrnymGlobie is one of the best movies ever made. Gaspar Noe’s movies is fun and terrifying on drugs. And Sergei Parajanov – his movies are perfectly paced for a drug like cannabis and the pictures are like mesmerizing paintings. 

Rytterson: War means a lot to me. But let me point out very clearly… let me be clear and honest: I have never made any kind of military service or training otherwise; I have never held an actual weapon, let alone fired one; I have never been in any real combat, armed or unarmed, and I would never, by the grace of God, lie or try to deceive my fellow man on these grounds for the sake of clout or some otherwise credential. I have immense respect and admiration for those who serve and I – quite self-loathingly – compare myself to these men and women on a daily basis. On negative days, I despise myself for not having done what they have done, and for complaining about problems a soldier would see as luxury. On positive days, however, my heroes and heroines of war instill me with a great inspiration more than some self-belittling shame.

I think war defines the human condition. I do not necessarily mean war only in the practical “real-world” sense of bombs, Kalashnikovs and grenades but also in an allegorical, poetic, spiritual and psychological manner. For many years now, one of my main interests has been to try to penetrate the psychological, philosophical, theological and phenomenological implications of war, genocide and atrocity. And what I have concluded is that there presents itself a phenomenological barrier to suffering here – why I am so interested in it. War.

You have to be there to know what it means. I have read so many words about war, I have thought so many thoughts about it. Yet, in a spiritual and phenomenological, ultimatelyhuman sense, I am farther from it than I have ever been. War is a court of God. War brings out goodness, virtue, malevolence and sin in their very crystalline forms. War brings out the very best and the very worst in people. War extracts essences from humanity – secretions of evil and virtue, of extraordinary excellence and of bottomless selfishness and cowardice. Of good and of bad and everything in between. But no matter how morally obvious the acts of evil become, or how the deeds of heroic men and women are impossible to close one’s eyes to, we must remember that war is also the ultimate arena of ambiguity and moral contradiction, and many acts we think of as evil and repugnantly reprehensible in civil life, might very well be acts of tragedy, survival and desperation in war. This creates a moral landscape upon where, by every second, the whole of the human condition explodes and implodes… which makes it almost indecipherable, literally speaking.

There is a burning spiritual core to every war. Martyrdom, heroism, sacrifice. Malevolence, suffering, cruelty. Sheer, burning, racial hatreds… the will to exterminate the enemy down to his very last daughter. Yes, there is a phenomenological barrier of suffering, desperation and anguish. You have to feel it in order to even vaguely understand what it does to people. Every attempt of understanding becomes theorizing and intellectualizing – not experiencing, living, feeling.

If man’ s emotions, by some metaphysical principle, are to be thought of as sacred in their own right… I mean, intrinsically… then surely war is the natural Church of this world. War is a mirror on which man reflects his and her true capacities. War is a place where God and Devil are both very present. In war, people do things we think of as impossible in civil life. Indeed, on a battlefield, many a modern, young westerner would weep for his or her mother after some 30 seconds or less; me included. We do not know a single thing about it, especially here in Sweden. People perform acts of literally incomprehensible malevolence but at the same time, in the same wars, people perform acts of literally incomprehensible heroism. And I can not get that out of my head.


I am periodically consumed by the study of what I would indeed call the most concentrated, intense, destructive, sadistic, malevolent, brutal and apocalyptic inferno man has ever created for himself, which was the eastern front in World War II. The eastern front was spread out across the north-eastern parts of Europe as constituted by Poland, the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine and the westernmost parts of European Russia. This defined geographical region between 1941 and 1945 is the definition of hell on earth. I struggle to come up with a single example of historical events that could with some justice be spoken about in the same breath as this pivotal event in world history. Only the conquests of the Japanese Empire in the late 1930s and early 1940’s could, with some measure of integrity, be compared to it (I think I do not have to tell someone like you about this) – ironically, these two different hells were contemporaneous in time, but not co-orchestrated – which is quite insane when you think about it. And I can not stop thinking about these matters. I am not saying that the level of savagery and sadism  had never reached such levels before World War II or even since – that would be a very arrogant thing of me to say. Man is a master of cruelty, suffering, agony, humiliation, dehumanization: the Siege of Baghdad of 1258; the Circassian extermination of the 1860’s; the Turkish genocides of the late Ottoman period; the Spanish-Portuguese, and later, English-American pacification of the Americas; the Arab slave trade, late 1970’s Cambodia; Holodomor, Gulag &1920’s-1930’s Soviet Union, the conquests of the Bronze Age Assyrians, European colonialism in places like South Africa, Namibia, and the Congo, the Liberian Civil Wars, etc… the list goes on and on and on… but what I am suggesting is that nowhere in space and time did it come together in such a monumental way as in east Asia and north-eastern Europe during the World War Two time period.

The consistency of it, the death toll of it, the levels of industrialization and sophistication behind it. The systematized campaigns of extermination sustained over such lengthy periods of time and to such intense degrees of zeal and fervent ardor. What a fucking time to be alive, it must have been. I am ranting here, but you asked me to speak about war and I often find it quite hard to limit myself and stop talking about it. Especially the Holocaust and World War II.

“Why Poland tho?”. I am not sure why my passions for this country and its people and language are so deep. It is mysterious, to some degree. But a great contributing factor is the role Poland played in the World War II. Extremely underappreciated for their sacrifice, forgotten and betrayed by their closest allies and locked then behind the Iron Curtain at Stalin’s behest. Let me tell you: between January 1941 and the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, the Polish underground stopped one in eight Wehrmacht transports from reaching the eastern front. In 1944, the Armia Krajowa was estimated to house upwards of 400,000 to 600,000 members, which made it Europe’s foremost underground military resistance organization in terms of numbers. The Armia Krawoja (Home Army),through their government-in-exile-sanctioned Żegota network, saved more Polish Jews from the Holocaust than any other allied organization (the governments of France, Great Britain and the United States included; they did not do shit). Amongst many operations of assassination, sabotage, and outright military engagement with both the SS and German army (prominent examples include the Operacja Główki – assassination raids on SS top officials – and the Akcja Burza and Zamość military uprisings), arguably the most famous of these operations was what came to be the largest event of resistance in all of occupied Europe: on August 1, 1944, at 17:00 hours, the Warsaw Uprising commenced. This fight for integrity and self-determination was fueled by the bitterest fires of anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet resentments, and it was a doomed fight, yet it was fought. 10 men would pay the price of hanging for the ripping down of a Swastika flag in the Polish capital and Varsovians often woke up with fresh corpses hanging from the light-posts along their streets. Children, women, men, elderly folks laid executed in gutters, tremendous atrocities were perpetrated (Wola comes to mind here) –Warsaw was officially out of wooden coffins already after the first months of German occupation. People were burned alive, whipped and beaten to torturous deaths, labored to collapse…. but they continued digging their trenches, building their barricades… especially in the latter days, mass rapes were perpetrated by the penal battalions of the SS; children starved en masse and cannibalism has been spoken about. Matricide, patricide, all human decadence, theft, murder for food – it all became common; children carried hand-guns and were couriers for the Underground – and they were executed on the very same grounds as their parents! No mercy!

For every resistance member indentified, whole families were exterminated. Yet – the underground persisted its courageous and insane fight for survival. What must be remembered is that the Armia Krajowa and its tributary and auxiliary allies were to a large part only anti-Nazi but they were also staunchly anti-Soviet. For this reason, the fight for freedom persisted after the war had ended – by nationalist heroes, their blood and iron shining in the sun of what was true to them!

What happened in Poland (but absolutely not exclusively in Poland) during those cursed years in general – and during those 63 days of rebellion in particular – is literally beyond our comprehension I think. We can not cross the phenomenological barrier of suffering here; suffering like this must be truly felt in order to be truly understood, and I claim no insight in the trepidations, angsts and torments of the combatants and of the civilian victims of this apocalyptic terror – 90% of Warsaw was razed to the ground by the Nazi regime – but I claim empathy with them, I salute the remembrance of them, and I hold them as heroes and martyrs of the Divine Struggle! Therefore, again, I wish not to paint my homagewith a brush of shallow and lazily appropriating glorification of some past event, but I pay my dues to the very human realities of it: I try to establish a connection with the ones who waded through the sewers and lived months and months down there in the excremental sludge of a nation on its knees but still spitting upward… I pay my dues to the girls and boys losing their mothers to traumatic rape and their fathers to the grinding death of the frontlines, but yet persisting in the cultivation of the unbreakable spirit of resilience! Heroic self-defense! and I pay my dues to the young men storming the enemy with not even a rifle in their courageous but trembling hands!

Long live the Peasant Battalion! Love live the Sophie Battalion! And long live Henryk Dobrzański! And Bór-Komorowski! And Anna Smoleńska … I hope you have found peace: the Kotwica is burning in my flesh – it remembers you forever. And this is the reason I dedicate so much of my works to Poland, why I love the Polish spirit so much. I find something in Poland I do not find in Sweden anymore, and it moves me to the point of wanting to make music in honor of it.

And even though World War Two is the mother of all wars, it certainly does not take such a monolith to evoke the human emotions and conditions of what I am talking about: between ca 2013 and 2016 I was very, very into the Syrian Civil War, especially the Islamic State. It exhilarated me so much when they managed to chase out the national army of Iraq from Mosul in the summer of 2014. I have had an interest in terrorism, riots, rebellions, uprisings, violent zeal and militarism in general, and the Islamic State were undeniably masters of it at one point in time. There is a discarded Loveboy creation from, I think, early 2017 which is rather glorifying of the Islamic State. I have since deleted it. As much as I was a fucked up young man at that time, my heart has always been for good rather than for evil, so I decided I wanted to make something celebrating their mortal enemies instead. I totally support PKK, YPG/J and the rest of it. But do not make some mistake or take something for granted – ideologically, I do not support them. I dislike all ideologies and want nothing to do with them, except for studying them historically – perhaps. I strongly dislike all kinds of active political engagement. ALL politics. Take it away from me; do not bother me with it. Politics and ideology have a rancid, foul smell I want none of. It can very well poison both my flesh and my mind, if it gets too close  to my being. I support the PKK not because I like their democratic pseudo-Marxist federalism or condone that political system, because I do not; I do not know enough about it and I honestly do not care about it. What I do, however, care a lot about is the strong hearts of men and women fighting for what they believe in: their blood, their soil, their God…

Most people just want to live, that is true – I would count myself amongst them. But in retrospect, who do we honor? The one saying“let’s hide and be quiet; I do not want to die” or the ones saying“this is my land and I will not go without a fight” ? We all have pity for the former, but we do not really feel pity for the latter. It is not pity we feel over the latter – it is reverence. And in that very reverence, a world of art opens itself to me.

8. So finally we are here, Love & Beauty, your first and latest full length, and holy shit what a groundbreaking release it is: not only the best and most mature release among your entire discography but probably one of the most innovative and emotionally intricate releases in black metal history. I’m still haunted till this day by the main riffs of Sperm-Spitting Mouth and Indo-European Storm, especially when those melodies of triumph and melancholie surge right after those nostalgic samples in the third track. Also your trademarked style of a post-punk/psychedelic blending of black metal is also prominent in this album’s title track, let alone the always brilliantly-executioner vocals. I also can’t help but notice a distinct sense of fury in this release, giving how “in-your-face” the overall writing styles look. Do you mind sharing some back stories of this release, how was it written and recorded, which came first in terms of lyrics/themes and music, and how important it stands in the life of SLUTET? Also I’m particularly curious about those samples you use in this one: I think in the beginning of the 1st and 3rd track there’re some monologues in Swedish, a Polish folk song at the end of the 1st track, and another English monologue in the mid of the 3rd track. Where did you get those samples? Are they from some old films? Why did you choose to incorporate them into this album?  

Malkus: I only wrote the riffs in our rehearsing space. I am unable to write Slutet riffs without my comrades. From my point of view the making of the album was plain hard work combined with a regrettable consumption of drugs and alcohol. The process was for the most part me coming up with riffs and the other guys saying yay or nay – then we mixed and matched the riffs to make songs, added the vocals and rehearsed for hours and hours. Then discussing (me bitching and whining), arguing and adjusting until it sounded good. This whole cacophony was recorded during a cocaine fueled weekend. We shot the cover for the album, and the band pictures, that same weekend.

Livrädd: First of all, thank you for that review! This album is the pinnacle in the life of Slutet. It is what we aimed for from the start. The process of making the album was three years long and it was, as mentioned, very painful and burdensome at times. Basically, the writing process was our guitarist presenting a new riff. Then we played it and came up with some ideas together on how it may develop and such. Then we pressured our guitarist until he came up with a new riff on spot. We played it, came up with new conceptual ideas on development, structure and such, and then repeat. I know this process have been especially painful for our guitarist and vocalist. The vocalist apparently had nothing to do for the wholesome of the rehearsals than to just stand-by and wait for a new riff to emerge, and the guitarist obviously had a lot of pressure. But it was a way that worked evidently. The pressure on the guitarist was good in the end because he has the nerves and psyche to really perform under those circumstances. Mediocrity was not an option so he had to push himself to his limits. Meanwhile, Dingir wrote the lyrics which was basically a poetic short-story and which was later cut up and adapted to the music. The themes were developing along the way. “Hurricane Ingrid” and “Indo-European Storm” are concepts mainly derived from the sound of the music – how it sounded to us. “Uppsala” was a concept we thought about a long time and was the result of us wanting to do a kind of homage to the city and our time in it, while at the same time mocking it. “Love and Beauty” was also an early theme which felt natural from the start. It’s an honest declaration of what we strive for in life. And though we also thrive on hate and ugliness, the choice on focusing on love and beauty is to go against the expected black metal output.

Rytterson: The riff always comes first. We started rehearsing directly after we had recorded Jihad – around New Year’s Eve of 2016/17 – and concluded the creative process of it by the summer of 2019. With the official vinyl edition releasing more or less at the same time as this interview – February 2021 – it is safe to say it took a while to get the album out. As per usual, we had no idea what it would become once we started working on it. Lyrics emerge and develop gradually and, to a large degree, organically within and without the rehearsal. The songs only had working titles for the longest time (“Sperm-Spitting Mouth” was called “Kött” – which means “flesh” or “meat” – until at least early 2019); the title track was called “Ninkilim” for quite a while, etc. Basically, we focused 100% on the music and the lyrics until 2019, when talks of cover imagery, aesthetics, song titles, release forms, etc., were initially spoken of. And I can tell you where the samples come from: the outro on “Sperm-Spitting Mouth” comes from a traditional Siberian-Russian folk tune, “Age-Old Pines Above the Shusha”, from an album of such music arranged and directed by Vladimir Chirkov and released in the Soviet Union back in 1969. Outstanding music; simply amazing. The English sample in the middle of Indo-European Storm comes from a Syrian terrorist or freedom-fighter, hero or murderer – whatever you prefer.  The ending of the title track is a manipulated sample of some Russian Orthodox praying and “The Gloomy Ride…” contains some excerpts from a Kazakh film. “Indo-European Storm” consists of “agricultural noise”, traditional Swedish cattle-calls and that kind of stuff.

9. It seems that you’ve been constantly exploring the topic of feminine power in the context of Near East mythology/history. The album cover of Jihad (whom does it depict? Since it also showed up in the background of your official blog) and its second track that dedicated to Inanna/Tiamat, the fifth track of Love & Beauty is also an otherworldly piano ambience dedicated to Tahmirih/Tomyris, all of these keep me wondering the role of those female deities/heroines in your music and what are you trying to evoke through their image and stories? Does it have certain symbolic undertones associated with, let’s say, will and freedom?

Rytterson: Yes, you are quite right in your observation – however, I can not fully explain why. I have always found tremendous inspiration and power in the most ideal, potent and healthy forms of both gender’s roles. As much as I am a fan of positive masculinity – in fact, I almost worship it (with emphasis on almost) – I am equally an admirer of its respective femininity. I do not know why exactly but I continuously seek out female characters in history. I try to find them: sometimes they are very obvious and widely recognized, and sometimes they are ignored or overlooked; sometimes they are purposely smeared, belittled and ridiculed by the fellow man, and sometimes they are glorified, acknowledged and celebrated. For the most part, their historical reputation notwithstanding, they are very interesting.

The woman on the cover of “Jihad” – a bit counter-intuitively – has nothing to do with Islam. She is Queen Lakhsmibai, the Rani of Jhansi, a region in northern India. She played a pivotal role in the Hindu rebellion of 1857 against the British Raj, and subsequently became a powerful symbol of Indian nationalism and anti-imperialist resistance. Women waging war – hell, even leading whole armies – in places and times where such conduct were more or less unheard of (as it obviously is, even to this modern day) or even blatantly unacceptable, ridiculous to the social order – always fascinated me. They still do. From Veleda of the Bucteri to Dihya of the Berbers, to Ching Shih of the oriental oceans and semi-mythical figures like Arawelo of the Somali lands. Semiramis, Æthelflæd and – of course – Tomyris. I am extremely fascinated with the large chunks of women serving in various resistance movements of the World War II as well as in various anti-colonial wars of independence ever since.

I am not sure any of this rambling has answered your question, but I think my obsessive passions for armed resistance, uprisings and the ever-so-human strife for national, personal, religious and ethnic dignity has a lot to do with it. The love of freedom, the sacrifice and martyrdom, the strife and war and discipline; courage, bravery, zeal in battle… that is where I put the essential core of human excellence. And when there is that gender dynamic thrown into the mix, things become very interesting very fast.

I believe bad men dislikes and wants to make life difficult for women. I think evil men wants to destroy women. I think resentful, pathetic men wants to see women fail and hurt, and I think bad women wants the same for men: I think evil, hurt, unhappy or otherwise unhealthy women wants to hurt men – and vice versa. I think resentful, pathetic women wants to destroy and shame men. Bad women and bad men war each-other. I think men and women with spiteful characters strive to divide the genders, sow discord between them. However, I think good women and good men – healthy, God-fearing people – have always loved each other, conspired with each-other, survived with each-other, needed each-other…I think man and woman wants to become strong together in the face of darkness, trial and challenge. I think extreme situations can absolutely corrupt and make vicious the relationship between man and woman – or pressure it into a great, enduring diamond. And none of these realities become ever clearer than they do become in war. It may well bring tears to my eyes, the idea of man and woman, back-to-back, fighting an invading army. In that, there is such profound beauty, and on so many different levels.


For many of them, I feel a kind of love through time and space, and that is not only toward the soldiers and the military commanders. A woman does not have to kill or command others do so, in order for her to win my allegorical heart. Women like Hildegard of Bingen, Christine de Pizan, En’heduanna, Edith Södergran, Anna Świrszczyńska, Edith Stein, ZiviaLubetkin, Mirabai, Lal Ded, Lepa Radic, Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, Irena Sendler, Rabia of Basra, Elisabeth Hesselblad, Catherine the Great – I can continue all day long. Some are fierce warriors, some others, poets, nurses, mothers, artists. Even contemporary she-wolves like Valentina Shevchenko and Malala Yousafzai impact my soul to a significant degree.  If they can do what they do, what does that tell me of my own capabilities and expectations on myself? If I can harness but a tenth of the courage and integrity of someone like Yousafzai then I am on a good path in life. However, this is not to say that great women in any way are more important than great men – I can, with ease, do a similar list of personal heroes amongst men – but since your question revolved around femininity and women, I want to focus on that.

So, yes. The answer to your question is yes, it has a lot to do with notions of will and freedom.

10. Judging from some of your other releases and your regular posts on the End Commune blog, it occurs to me that existentialism is another topic you love to contemplate upon. How important is this topic mean to you personally and artistically? Why bother writing down all those personal reflections (some of them are serious and others read like random thoughts) on your blog, what’s the purpose behind this? Also to you guys personally, what is the meaning and passion of your life? Is it music? Poetry? Readings? Or films maybe? What do you think of the idea of indulgence and its relationship with the Human nature, especially giving the context of the current global pandemic?

Malkus: Indulgence is gay and bad for human nature. Asceticism is the way to go. My purpose now is to grow in Christ and lift heavier and bigger things until I canphysically wrestle the Nephilim.

Rytterson: Existentialism (in its religious incarnations – fuck the French), to me, is the undeniable metaphysical substrate on which the whole of the human condition rests and from which it sucks its essential nutrience.

With regards to the blogpost entries – I cannot stop writing them down, to tell you the truth. I write and write and hopefully at the end they come about as some sort of coherent literary work. The blog is a diary more than anything else. I don’t really think twice or even care about the idea that anyone is reading it. It would be very humbling if people did, but that just a space I use; a digital note-book. All the various texts found there are interwoven into larger pieces of work. However, 2020 has been a very dry year for me in terms of writing, but it is still an inseparable part of who I am. I have to write, I have done it more or less seriously since at least 2012 – I think I would go insane otherwise, in some way or another. I remember writing death and black metal lyrics many years before I even had the merest thought of being in a band. I remember clearly one of the first I wrote, it was called “Eaters of the Dead” and I was 12 years old, back in 2004.

The purpose behind it is, I guess, to try to make sense of things, to carve myself a path through existence, to catalogue and organize my philosophies, values, ideas and reflections. It is a matter of personal artistic, poetic and spiritual development, and it can be a source of great recreation for me. And to me personally, the question “what is the meaning of life?” is philosophically, intellectually invalid – I am glad you preface it by asking what it is to us personally, instead of inquiring about some intrinsical, fundamental, objective meaning. I think it is a great arrogance of man to extoll that there is in fact something as objective, intrinsic meaning. Meaning-in-itself. I believe in universal human meanings, but no intrinsic Meaning. That is not to say that I deny it or even argue against it – it does not mean that at all. This does not necessarily equal value nihilism in my view, and it does certainly not oppose the concepts and realities of religions and God and all of its mysteries and transcendencies.  All I am saying is that only God knows of such things and we should keep our tongues in check – and think twice about it – when going about extolling such grandiose proclamations of ultimate truth. Let us remember that we are human and, as such, painfully limited in our perceptions of the otherworld(s). That being said, I am a fervent believer in Truth. Do not mistake for a second that this is some post-modern Frenchie relativism – it is not. I believe wholeheartedly in Truth and Reality. These things, the way I see them, are not relative. On earth, in the material realm, there is a lot of unshakeable truths governing all of its realities. All I am saying is that no man or woman – no human being – is in any place to propagate moral and metaphysical commandments with a bravado of certainty (yet I hear it all the time). I totally respect believing there is an intrinsic truth beyond the material one, but I need humility when it comes down to knowing about it. Only divine revelation may grant any human being such insight. And I personally think there is a Truth, but we can merely approximate it to the very best of our human cognitive, intellectual and spiritual faculties. In fact, accepting God as reality, to me, is accepting the fact of these limitations. I immediately become suspicious when hearing people talk with such clarity and confidence about what God truly is and what the fundamental meaning of existence truly is. The meaning of my life is to become as powerful, competent and spiritually and physically healthy as is possible – with God, virtue and discipline as stars of guidance in the sky.  Music, poetry, knowledge, beauty, exercise, prayer, friendship, love, hard work, discipline… all of these things are but tools in the toolbox, and they are sacred as such – but they are not intrinsical meanings in their own rights. That is my sense of it, at least. Humility afore the Great Mystery and the voluntary exploration and adoration of it – that is the central virtue of mankind, and I guess, as such, it is the closest we can come to the deduction of any kind of fundamental meaning in existence.


11. Alright, have you guys already started working on some future materials? What can we expect from SLUTET and the End Commune in 2021? Also I notice on your bandcamp page there’s one Southern Spruce single scheduled to be released and it seems like a new project, am I correct? Mind sharing some hints about this single as well?

Livrädd: You can expect nothing from Slutet except from the upcoming vinyl releases. There will be a lot of other projects though. I feel the need to compensate for the extremely slow and winding creative process natural for Slutet by just releasing whatever comes to mind, with less pretensions and after-thought than earlier. Southern Spruce is one side-project (not necessarily complying to aforementioned creative process) of them and by the time this is published I suspect that the first single is already released. S. S. is a very personal project based on past escapades. For me, it’s a therapeutic attempt to reconcile with all the fucked up things I and we’ve done in the past. To really suck it in and learn every lesson it has to offer. But also, just for remembrance and reverence of the past.   

Rytterson: By the time this interview will be made public, Southern Spruce  are in the midst of releasing its debut piece of music – a7” single called “Make Persia Great Again”. This is a quite old project – Southern Spruce splintered off of Slutet in 2015.It is the punkier, more to-the-point material originally written for Slutet but deemed not entirely appropriate to be recorded and released under the original moniker. We briefly started rehearsing this back in 2015 as well, but the rehearsing and writing of “Jihad” put it on ice, and we only revived the project in October 2020. After the debut 7”, a 12” full length LP will follow in the second half of the year. It will be called “Weird Moons Over Uppsala” and it is a testament and homage to our youth, drawing from experiences, life stories and memories from between 2010 and 2016. It is a way for us to say goodbye to our youth and adolescence – hello adulthood. But more on that later.

12. Thanks again for accepting this interview. We really appreciate your time here. Lets end this one with one of our records’ tradition – What are your favorite booze that you might want to recommend to our readers in China? Anyway, our best wishes to your life and looking forward to more materials from the End Commune! Stay safe and take care out there. Cheers!

Malkus: No thank you sir! Makers mark is my favorite Bourbon otherwise 3,5 beers

are great and mandatory Swedish tradition. God bless.

Livrädd: Swedish Vodka “Renat” or “Explorer”, served ice cold.

Rytterson: I do not generally recommend booze but if you have to drink alcohol, then Swedish, Finnish, Polish or Russian vodka is the only worthwhile option. Everything else is FALSE.

On a more serious note, thank you for your interest. Every single new Chinese person exposed to The End Commune is a huge victory in and of itself. China needs The End Commune.

With humility and respect – thank you. God bless.


As ferocious surges of sound bursting from the heart of the ancient rainforest, this Brazilian one-man project named Kaatayra has been impressing the underground with his innovative writing styles that transcend genre boundaries. Conceptually focusing on an inward exploration of the primal heartbeats and their conflicts with the modern world, while magically blending the traditional folk elements and electronic music with atmospheric black metal, Kaatayra has proved itself as one of the most unique bands out there that you just have to give it a listen. We had the pleasure to converse with Caio Lemos, the man behind this project, over the band’s discorgraphy and influences, as well as his personal philosophical view regarding nature, traditions, and the pandemic’s impact on them both.

Interviewed by Aymparch

Thanks again for accepting this interview Caio Lemos. How you doing these days and how does the current pandemic situation in Brazil look like? What kind of impact does it create upon your personal life and music?

Caio Lemos: Thanks for the invitation! Well, the situation in Brazil is definitely not good. The first thing that comes to my mind is thoughts ofdisapproval and dissatisfaction with the way Bolsonaro has handled and continues to deal with Pandemic. In my view his actions as the president made situation worse for Brazil. This situation, as in many other countries, is very serious, not only does he disregard his public speeches, but also the federal government did not take effective measures to reduce the impacts. And nowadays he neither encourages vaccination nor talks about its importance, stating things like “Vaccine anyone you want” instead of understanding that this is a matter of public health and responsibility for the lives of others. But I think Bolsonaro is not the only problem that has to be fought. It is as if the pandemic situation benefits who has already power, the system and it courses, the interest of the rich. The problematization of the poor is welcomed by the maintenance of the capitalist logic. Bolsonaro endorses it.

This whole situation and following the political situation in Brazil can drives one crazy. It affects my sanity. A little while ago, I stayed away from news and I haven’t been following closely to be able to rest a little from this melancholy that springs up. I don’t think it’s the ideal attitude, but that’s what I need to do now as personal life is already too much to deal with.

About making music, I would say that everything I feel and think at the moment affects the way I compose and what I write in the lyrics. So, indirectly, this situation affected the composition of the last album, I felt not only the will, but the need to use music to help my spirit feel better.

As an unforeseen tide of cleansing bursting from the mystic sea of trees from Brazilian rainforest, Kaatayra’s first two exceptional full lengths are arguably one of the most exciting discoveries in terms of extreme metal that year. So could you share with us the initial reason you create Kaatayra and the reason of keeping it as an one-man project? What’s the meaning behind the band name “Kaatayra”?

Caio Lemos: I was in a period of life that I was trying to improve my mental and physical health after a difficult period. I sought this by connecting with nature, whatever that means. But, to be more specific: taking walks in the woods, trails to waterfalls, eating better and spending more time next to the green.Today I see that it was a search to find some spiritual meaning in anything that exists. My disbelief, lack of faith and skepticism had already hurt me a lot. But, for a long time I was like this and to be honest still am. But the journey of search was a good thing to do. This movement of meeting with nature, being close to it, is the thing that most makes me feel good in that “spiritual” sense.

Kaatayra - Logo

Human-animal is a very crazy thing to be, to witness. Sometimes I feel that every day I have small existential crises of not having overcome just the fact of existing, of the universe existing. It is beautiful at times and terrifying at other times. But, it is not frightening when I am alone in the woods, in silence. No music or books, just breathing and thinking what has to be thought. Kaatayra, for the most part, is about these things, so I think it was a way to celebrate nature as I was every connected with it. But, nowadays, I don’t feel the need to always be talking about the natural. I will always let it be spontaneous, that’s why I believe it will always be a project isolated from other people. I want to let it be an honest project coming from my body and mind naturally, without different interferences.

Kaatayra is kind of a made-up word that means “Son / Daughter of The Woods.”

It’s always impressive to see how far certain truly innovative one-man black metal projects can push the existing genre boundaries, and I have to say the first time I finished listening to your debut No Ruidar da Mata que Mirra I was completely amazed by how tight and fresh the riffs and productions sound: 6 tracks capturing the essence of folkish and atmospheric black metal, with fair amount of other elements like progressive rock and techno. It is also the only album that have a rather shorter song length and less consistency in between tracks: at least from my perspective, on your debut, each track seems to represent an angle that’s independent from the others but all of which are dedicated to a central theme——Nature’s roar of anguish and a disdain towards urban life. So how did the writing process of this album look like and was it different from your other releases?

Caio Lemos: I confess that I could not say in detail how was the process of making the first album because it was without expectations or rationalization, so I don’t remember very well. Everything came naturally. I improvised the riffs and recorded only once. I didn’t think much about compositions, structures or any other aspect like that. All other albums also had that attitude. But, I believe that in the first it was even more like this. I didn’t pay attention to the production or capitation of the instruments. I just went with the first way that came up. On the last album I tried my best to mix and master better, I didn’t get exactly what I imagined, but I was satisfied with the result. So that was it, I sat in the chair, in front of the computer and played several riffs. The lyrics were the first thing to be done and the main thing for me at the time. Then I sounded them out in black metal form. The lyrical content is extremely important to me. And until now, all the lyrics were done before the sounds-composition.

One can easily feel the abundant mixture of emotions in No Ruidar… through soul-crushing melodies and small interludes of folk ambience of trance, almost like a dirge written by forests themselves over their longings towards a forgotten past. Why did you choose this theme particularly — a theme that will continue to be your central focus throughout your whole discography? I’m also curious about what kind of bands musicians who influence you and your quite surprising take of techno in the closing track: why use such a “modern” type of soundscape in depicting a song “against urban delusion”?

Caio Lemos: I can’t say any direct influences that I had for this album. I think that everything I heard over time and I liked it stayed with me, in my memories hidden in the unconscious. In the memory. So everything I’ve heard through all my life, inside or outside of metal, has influenced me in some way. But I would shoot that naturally I mimic some Skagos, Alda and Wolves in the Throne Room riffs in this album.

I don’t feel I “choose” a theme and this is a very mysterious thing to me. It couldn’t be different you know? It is what was and is inside me. I couldn’t do any Kaatayra music about anything that is not important to me. It is always about the things that flourishes in my mind and I don’t feel I have control of it.

So if one day I started to wonder a lot about the cosmic existence of Saturn for example, perhaps Kaatayra could be, for a moment, about it. I can’t see that happening but I wouldn’t know for sure.

About the last track to be techno / trance:

I already had a phase of just listening to techno. I have been craved for wanting to study and produce. I read about and watch documentaries. Regarding trance, it was with this style that I had one of the most incredible experiences inside a party that was playing it. I will never forget how it open my minded about music and about how all sounds and noise can in a way or another make music and be part of it

Conceptually I wanted the techno / trance part to represent the urban world. That is why it is so contrasting with what comes before. The acoustic parts and melodic black metal as its main focus. The idea that an electronic part came out of nowhere amused me a lot and it realized my idea.

Let’s talk about your second full length Nascido Sob o Signo Incivilizatório, a release that musically and thematically closer to your latest output Toda História pela Frente: both are one step further from what you’ve achieved from your debut, the track length got even longer while the writing styles got more dense and complicated from time to time. The most noticeable characteristic, in my opinion, is how in these two albums all the tracks connect to each other and respond to your lyrics. Especially in the second track where the music sort of cooling down and flowing towards a repetitive trance of folk tunes, when you singing about how the cleansing fire destroy the modern and upon the ashes of urban civilization the new (or old I should say?) life reborn. So I’m wondering if you finish the lyrics and set the theme for this album first then build musical blocks accordingly and if this is the reason you extend the track length. How does it feel like composing lengthy epic like these? What kind of difference in terms of writing process and emotions between Nascido… and Toda História…and the other two?

Caio Lemos: All lyrics, from all albums, were made before the sounds. I guess in “Fogo! Na Babilônia” and other tracks I was lucky enough to make in a way that the lyrics combine and make feels as a whole. I don’t always make a riff thinking about the connection to that part of the lyric that will be sung. But in several moments, I think this happened by luck.

For example, in the third track of the third album there is a part of the lyrics that there is a call of a “Rejoice!” so is a positive part. And the music goes in a more happy tune. It was a good coincidence, not on purpose, because all the riffs comes in a improvisation way as many of the vocals.

I don’t really think : “I need to make lengthy songs.” I never can say for sure about the process of composing because first, I don’t remember very well about the time that was happening, because is like I’m not really present at the moment of making riffs. I zone out and things flow naturally. It just happens the way it is.

I know that at the moment of making the first and the third album I was in a way better mood than when making the second and fourth. This definitely translate on the music and lyrics. I can say that the writing process have been the same for all albums with different personal life moments and feelings.

6. You did a cover song Preciso me Encontraras a tribute to Candeia and you seem to have a deep passion about Brazilian folk music. How important do those childhood legends mean to you and Kaatayra as a project and how do they connect to the lyrical theme you pursue through your music?

Caio Lemos: I guess to the lyrical theme it doesn’t connect so much and I don’t have a precise reference of any sort.

It is natural that Brazilian folk music permeates my life as it is practically in all surroundings. In the family and friends memories. In celebrations and gathering moments. It is within me, I wanting or not. I have a big respect for Brazilian folk music. It is very rich and with a lot of variations that is connected with the history and culture of Brazil. Each region has it owns manifestations so it is very important to me. To mix with black metal is a magical thing, I can fill two sides of making music that is important to me.

7. Finally we can talk about your third full length and oh boy just how awesome it is: an album made out of pure acoustic folk tracks that sound no less intense and cathartic than your previous materials. Just how did you come up with this idea of recording this album in such a manner? Also for the theme of this album. If the google translation doesn’t botch this time while judging from the album cover, Só Quem Viu o Relâmpago à Sua Direita Sabe   seems to narrate a story of enlightenment (the lightening) and a sort of philosophical atavism (abandoning human body/self and returning in the form of eggs). Was my perception correct? Do you mind elaborate a bit more on the theme of this album?

Caio Lemos: Your perception was very cool and creative! Thank your for that. I did not combine the image with the theme of the album in that way you suggested now. But, you are right about the topic.It narrates a story of enlightenment, accepting of death and estrangement about being human. I don’t really know about atavism as I never studied very much about it.

This album was deeply influenced by what I felt, heard and saw in Ayahuasca experiences. So it has this mystical air for me. The lyric of the third track “Só quem viu…” is the most important to me and it kinds of resumes all the feeling of the album.

It almost describes one of my experience with Ayahuasca.

“Who listened the thunder and drank the poison” it is about drinking the tea.

The thunder it was because the music that was playing began with lightnings and it was what kick me in the force of the tea. The enlightenment that this experience made me have is of the Doubt. The realization of having no certain about any spiritual or religious belief. Like god as an Enigma. God has many faces and it depends on the delirium of each individual. My delirium is of a big question mark. And I found it to be beautiful. And I embraced this until this day.

A lot of riffs I make in an acoustic guitar, even for all other albums, because in the acoustic guitar I can hear better all the notes played in a chord for example, compare to playing in a wall of distortion. After so much playing black metal in an acoustic guitar, I started to see the pattern of the blast beat within the sound of tremolo picking in the acoustic strings. I thought that would be great to make the blast beat in a drum along with the sound of the up and down picking.

Acoustic guitars have lovely sounds and when you add reverb you can almost have this synths sounds. It is very pleasant to me. Also, the album couldn’t be with distortion because I was in the awe of the natural word, about the sun, the woods and water in general. I couldn’t translate my feelings using distortion. It had to be on acoustic instruments.

8. To be honest, I always love to associate your music with those writers of Latin American Boom who define and popularize the concept of magical realism: giving the mythical and primevallandscape you manage to evoke through your music and cover arts. So I’m wondering if literature plays a central role in your creation of Kaatayra? If it does, what are some literary inspirations that influence your writings and concept?

Caio Lemos: Only one writer comes to my mind: Manoel de Barros. I love how he makes poetry about poetry and about writing poetry. He seems to see nature with a child eye, in a magical way and write about it. He also plays with the words and deconstruct its meaning and build other-ones as if he brings the aware of the illusion of the words. The emptiness, and the ability that the words have to create phantasms. His writing makes me think what is the real importance of some words and its conception in an essential way? It is funny how sometimes seems like and illusion as the words don’t really grasp reality in its pure form. Besides him I would say there is no literature influence.

9. I read another interview you did with Machine Music in which you include a brief list of local bands (from grindcore to electronic music). So giving your passion about folk and electronic, what kind of Brazilian acts that you think are worth checking out and maybe got overlooked by our foreigners? What are some of those albums you personally enjoy that came out in 2020? Also I always keep wondering if you are behind or in some way relate to the project called Bríi, giving the stunning similarity in aesthetic and writing styles between it and Kaatayra.

Caio Lemos: Probably my favorite Brazilian act is Deaf Kids. But I think they are quite known outside Brazil already. Rakta is also a very good band that is affiliate with Deaf Kids.

About 2020 releases I liked a lot of “Bom Mesmo é Estar Debaixo d´Água” of Luedji Luna. It is so well played and crafted with a lot of memorable vocal melodies (editor’s note: this album is freaking amazing, go watch it in full from start to finish, you won’t regret it). It was probably the album I listened the most along with “Histórias da Minha Área” by the rapper Djonga.

Yes, Bríi is another project of mine which I felt the necessity to work other kind of words and feelings. For me it is very different from Kaatayra, almost as I have to reach another mind of personality. I was very much into Terror/Horror movies by the time of making the Bríi album.

10. Alright, what lies in the future for Kaatayra in 2021? Will we witness another two full lengths like you did in previous years? Also giving the current global pandemic, how do you perceive it from the perspective of Kaatayra? Does it represent some sort of punishment, a “Babylonian Fire”, that the nature unleashed unto modern human society? How does the pandemic impact the rainforests and those aboriginal groups who reside in them? Will Kaatayra explore this theme in future?

Caio Lemos: I don’t know what will happen about Kaatayra in 2021. I know now that I’m working on a new album and it has been a very different process of making these new songs. I guess it is more experimental and I have been influenced by minimalistic Music of Steve Reich, Arvo part, Philip Glass and others. It is the first album that I’m trying to “construct” the songs. Very different of the improvisational aspect of the others album.

I can’t see the pandemic situation as a punishment and not a “Babylonian Fire”. I write about the fall of humanity and civilization but in my heart I want the best of it. I want a better world and the joy and peaceful of everyone, but here I am talking in dreamy way, because in a real sense I am very pessimistic. We all know that the world doesn’t work like this and if I would guess it never will.Sometimes I try to have hope, what could we do if not having hope of a better future?

I don’t really know about epidemiology but it was a consequence of human actions as almost everything of this kind I Guess? Don’t know if it could be prevented.  There is not a real notion of how CoronaVirus is affecting Aboriginal groups, the extension of it. But it is affecting. I guess there is distant tribes that we can’t really know if are being affected or if it has a problematic situation what makes difficult for these places have the support it needs. Once again, the Brazilian State had contributed to the spread of this virus and it was mislead actions of land grabbers that wants indigenous land that probably influenced and spreading virus, a long with the contact of city people in these tribes. With pandemic or don’t, in my view there is a systematic genocide of indigenous people which exists about hundreds of years, now wouldn’t be different.

11. Thanks again for accepting this interview. Lets end this one with one of our records’ tradition – What are your favorite booze that you might want to recommend to our readers in China? Anyways, our best wishes to your life and looking forward to more materials from Kaatayra! Stay safe and take care out there. Cheers!

Caio Lemos: Thank you very much for the invitation! I’m not the biggest drink connoisseur but I would recommend beer, wine and lots of water!Best wishes to you all, all the readers and all the loved ones. Stay safe!