Svartsyn is the creation and deathwork of Ornias, whose roots date back all the way to 1991 as an entity within the Swedish black metal underground. Wrath Upon The Earth is Svartsyn’s latest magnum opus, once again exposing to all the unlight found within a true artist’s soul. We recently corresponded with founding member Ornias to find out more about the mighty Svatysyn and their continuing saga of darkness and intrigue…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Svartsyn and how long the project has been in existence.
This is Ornias from the Swedish black metal band Svartsyn which orignally started out as Chalice in 1991 together with Tormentor on drums and vocals. He left the band which now is the Lifework of mine or should i say Deathwork. Because of his departure from the band, I decided to change the name to Svartsyn in 1993 or 1994 – don’t remember. I have handled pretty much everything in the band before. Drums on the demo for example, bass on the first album, and for the rest guitars and vocals. I now handle guitars and do the vocals. Since I am not a good drummer and Draugen is not in the band anymore, I use studio session nowadays.
Where is the band based out of and are there any local bands or projects you could recommend?
Svartsyn should not be considered as a band. I don’t live in Sweden anymore. Where I now live is not of reader’s concern. I have no idea about bands here. Enthroned is the only band from here that I do know.
Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Wrath Upon The Earth?
The concept of what Svartsyn always written about. We have always called attention upon the destruction of man. And the darkness within. But my own interest in the human sacrifice within the Maya culture and the coming of the end 21st december 2011. I think the sceniario is speaking for itself really. The world is at the edge of it’s own destruction and for the mankind as well.
Where did you get the ideas for some of the lyrics? Please cite two songs from the new album and what inspired you to write the lyrics?
From everything that I read, I draw inspiration from mythology, the Sumerians, death, my own darkness and subconciousness and experience during meditation. I saw once the earth in rage. A Dawn of Triumph is based on that but i was astonished how similar it was to one of the text of Mother Shipton. An entity that I meet is described in the text of My Mountain.
Is Draugen formerly of Dark Funeral still in the band – your Wikipedia entry says he is but other sources on the web says he’s not. If not, do you still keep in touch with him? If so, what do you think has made the cooperation so successful? And what do you think of Dark Funeral?
Draugen is not in the band anymore. We had a talk to see what we were going to do for the new album. The time that was required was not simple there anymore. He decided to step down. Our cooperation was flawless and made of iron. We had the same goal with the music.
Dark Funeral has done some good albums. You know exactly how it’s going to sound on each album. Their sound is the same on every album. I don’t know the guys that well so have really nothing to say about them. Sweden has a handful of really good band and Dark Funeral is one of them in my opinion.
With members coming and going throughout the years, what do you think has kept Svartsyn going after all of this time?
My determination towards the deathwork of mine and I believe in what I do. People come and go in your life whether you have a band or not. Something that is in every man’s life. I dont let simple set backs of members leaving the band bother me. As long it is my artistic voice that is heard. In an artistic manner the work is the reflection or your darkness in your soul. Doesn’t really say anything of the other people in the band or where they stand. You as a music and lyric writer is the only voice.
Do you still keep in touch with any of former Svartsyn members?
I have good contact with Surth and also with Draugen. If you consider talking on the phone once in while a keeping in touch. Tormentor though contacted me while back. I hadn’t spoken with him for over 15 years, but other then that. The others I really don’t have any contact with. When we see each other we speak, but other than that – nothing.
Will Svartsyn be doing any live shows in support of the new album – maybe even here in the States?
There have been some talks about it to do a few selected shows. It is a lot of work since I really hate to rehearse – pretty ironic isn’t it when you are a musician. But since Svartsyn is not a band. Our music represents something formless and eternal and secrete and reek of isolation. Our albums stand as monuments of our existence.
What changes have you see in the world Black metal scene since your start in 1991? Do you still feel the same passion for the art that yoyu did back in the 90’s?
After the murder of Euronymous the black metal truely exploded, it gave birth to bands that made you think “what a hell is this.” It took 2 turns. Bands that followed the path of what black metal was all about and one path of the “mainstream black metal”. Yes I feel the same passion as i did in Chalice as i do now creating music.
The artwork on your album covers is always outstanding! Who did the artwork this time around and how much input did you have on it?
Chadwick St John from Inkshadows does brilliant artwork. He has done some artwork for our previous albums as well. I had made a few sketches from visions that I had. We disscussed and agreed that the Maya priest holding a heart towards a black sun in front of the step pyramid would be the best to illustrate. The end result was as truely enchanting as the vision that I had. The wrath is truely upon us.
How did your tour with Behemoth go and have you been in touch with Nergal since his illness?
The tour with Behemoth went ok. I don’t remember much though it was a long time ago now. But since behemoth is one of the best bands in the world, it feels quite okay to have spent some time with them. When I heard about his illness, I actually wrote him a note but i dont know if he got it or. Heard though he is getting better. That’s great news for the whole black/death metal scene.
Any messages for metal fans here in the Los Angeles area?
Keep your eyes open for the offical Svartsyn homepage that is under construction. It will be announced through our Myspace site.
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
Svartsyn on Myspace