Nox Aurea: Liberation through a Greater Darkness

Based out of the mighty Gothenburg metal arena, Nox Aurea is doom metal with a powerful, underlying message of finding liberation through one’s own darkness.  Their latest masterwork Ascending In Triumph is a dynamic collection of songs, featuring compelling musicianship and dual male / female vocal interplay that absolutely devastates the senses.  Here is a recent interview we conduced with one of the Nox Aurea members to find out more about the treasured musical tapestries from the collective minds of madness…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Nox Aurea, and how long the band has been together.
I am Grim Vindkall (I changed to that name over ten years ago when I was a teenager, in Swedish Grim means ‘concealed’ and Vindkall means ‘cold as wind’, the name was taken from the Scandinavian mythology). I play guitar, synth and write lyrics in Nox Aurea, a death doom-metal band which was started in 2005 by me and the other guitarist Peter Laustsen. Since 2007 we have been six musicians involved. In 2009 Solitude released our debut album Via Gnosis and soon after we signed to Napalm Records which released our new album Ascending in Triumph in the beginning of July 2010.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
Nox Aurea is based in Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden, and the local music scene here has always been very active and embracing. In the past almost everyone was mainly interested in the typical Swedish Death Metal-style, but nowadays all kinds of metal styles are growing here. There are a lot of concerts and some nice festivals here. Gothenburg is a really culture-city I would say.

Where does the name Nox Aurea mean and what made you decide to use that as your moniker?
It’s Latin. Nox means night and Aurea (from the word aureus) means gold/golden. Thus; golden night, which is a metaphor for a timeless acosmic aeon beyond time and space. It can also be interpreted as ‘nightly gold’ which is a metaphor for Luciferian enlightenment. These metaphors really signifies what Nox Aurea is about.

Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Ascending In Triumph?
Yes absolutely. Ascending in Triumph signifies the success of a hard esoteric work – spiritual enlightenment and liberation. It includes one’s first revolt against the paradigms of today’s society which limits our abstract potentials and it goes further to a deeper inner state where one must overcome the personal obstacles of oneself. To be free on all levels.

Where did you get the ideas for some of the lyrics? Please cite two songs on the CD and what the lyrics are about.
I get the lyrical ideas from inner visions which I have had during all my life and from spiritual impulses which stream through me from beyond, in a void-state of mind. Also, it’s hard to really understand the exactly process of inspiration. It comes from the bottomless dark ocean inside and no one really knows what dwells deep down there in the shadows. But certainly, these ideas comes from the fathomless depths.

Alice Persell has a beautiful voice. What type of vocal training has she had and has she been involved with any other bands or projects outside of Nox Aurea?
As I know she had some special music-courses in school but except of that she has learned by herself. Alice really has a beautiful soul and I guess she was born with the talent; it’s a natural part of here beauty. I think she has had some personal music projects earlier but not on a larger scale and nowadays she totally focuses on Nox Aurea. It’s great to cooperate with her.

What is a live Nox Aurea show like for those of us who have yet to see you play?
I think you have to see for yourself. But well, we perform musical dark art with a lot of occult symbolism and metaphors. The ones who live will see, the other ones will maybe be there too.

Will your debut album Via Gnosis be re-released through Napalm and how does it compare to your latest CD?
I really don’t know about that, but it’s not impossible I guess. I still like Via Gnosis as it’s our debut and it’s our first step into a longer journey. We have earlier work with other kind of metal music (I also play in the black metal-band DOMGÅRD) so this was something different for us, we had to experience and learn each other musically. It was an honest expression but Ascending in Triumph is more solid and we have worked more on the wholeness of the atmosphere. Simply, it’s more professional.

Tell me about the upcoming show you have in Russia. Will this be your first time playing in that country?
Actually I can’t tell you so much about it since there have been lack of information for us about it and it has been the same thing for the other included bands. Right now I don’t now at all if the festival will be arranged or not. It’s boring when arrangers talk the talk when they don’t walk the walk. But we’ll see what will happened there. But it seems there are some other tour plans for us later this year but I can’t give you any information about it right now since it’s still on a discussion level.

Are you or any of the other members of Nox Aurea involved with any other outside bands or projects?
Yes, as told I play in the black metal-band Domgård, together with Nox Aurea’s vocalist Patrick and some more guys, and the Russian label Frostscald Records recently released our first full length album I Nifelhels Skygd, after 13 years of obstacles and madness. The Domgård story is a story of death, fire and madness for real. I’m also involved in a heavy metal/rock-band called Snakeskin Angels and I perform neo-classical music under my name Vindkall. I’m also the second guitarist of the black metal-band Cursed 13 and together with some other members from Nox Aurea we have an old school death metal-project called Urghinnthul, but it’s resting right now. As you see I’m fairly busy with music, hehe. Peter from Nox Aurea is also involved in the black metal-band Rimfrost and the drummer Joakim also play drums in a death-metal band called Death Tyrant with members from Lord Belial. That’s it I think.

If there was any band any currently active or in history that you’d like to open up for, which band would it be and why?
Black Sabbath back in the 70’s or the Swedish Dissection, I guess. Black Sabbath guided me into darker music and really inspired me when I was a little child. Dissection is one of the best and burning metal-band ever, and they consisted of Satanic Brothers to me.

Ultimately what would you like a listener to remember the most after hearing Ascending In Triumph for the first time?
I want them to remember the darkness they found in themselves when they listened to and, hopefully, understood in the reflective atmospheres of Nox Aurea. To really know oneself one must experience the unknown and cold darkness under the surface of one’s ocean – the subconscious levels. The one who stays at the surface in the light of the worldy sun never learns anything.

Any messages for metal fans here in the States?
Know thyself and strive for the greatest liberation you may imagine. Be free in mind!

Interview by Kenneth Morton

Nox Aurea on Myspace

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