Totengeflüster: Grim Tales from the Dying Soul

totenge1_400xBased out of Germany, the mighty Totengeflüster unleash a devastating brand of Black Metal art that is sure to leave a lingering impression amongst all serious extreme music aficionados.  Relentlessly and desolate in scope, their recent masterwork Vom Seelensterben is sonic madness in its finest hour.  The true sounds of the underground, Vom Seelensterben is a journey through the realms of sanity and beyond – a stunning piece of darkness and intrigue that is wondrous to behold.  Here is a recent interview we conducted with vocalist and lyricist Narbengrund to find out more about Totengeflüster and their grim tales from the dying soul.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Totengeflüster, and how long the band has been together.
Narbengrund: Greetings, I use to call myself Narbengrund and I’m responsible for writing our way of poetry as well as for the performance of it…screams, shrieks, growls, whispers and any other ugly thing my throat is able to create. Totengeflüster itself was found in 2007 by Totleben and my humble self, Narbengrund. Schattendorn joined not till the ending of our first album, namely “Vom Seelensterben”.
Until now we’re more a studio project than a real band, because we didn’t play any shows so far nor we did any rehearsals…

Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Narbengrund: We all live in south west Germany, but since none of us shares the hometown with one another and we actually don’t have a real rehearsal room, I think we don’t have a real “base”, but if we had to name one, I would say it’s Spaichingen, because it’s based in the middle of Totleben and me and our debut was born there…
The local music scene is very strong here. The cities here are not very big so it’s almost a miracle that there are so many metal bands out here. Their styles reach from the typical “trendy” Metalcore (at least if you call this a kind of metal), over Power Metal, up to Thrash, Dark and Death Metal bands, while Thrash Metal bands are in the majority.
We are friendly with Imperium Dekadenz, Unlight, Chaossphere and Zanthropya Ex and I would recommend all of them… Imperium Dekadenz released their new Album “Meadows of Nostalgia” some weeks ago, Unlight is working on new stuff right now. Totleben is already working with both bands for the artwork – Chaossphere recently got a new female singer which closely reminds me of Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy) and will also get the new Artwork from Totleben.

vonsee1_400xIs there any story or concept behind the CD title Vom Seelensterben?
Narbengrund: Yes there is… Vom Seelensterben (one could translate it as “(tales) from the dying soul”) is an album which describes a horror tale. The protagonist mentally total disordered, depressive and desolated, leaves the safety of his home and wanders into a crypt in which his life changes as a ghastly presence enters his soul and he gets possessed…
Well that’s the word which is written down, but you could also read this story as a kind of diary from a mentally ill person, which cannot accept its actual situation but can’t escape either, so his personality has to change. The ghost could also be the oppressed spirit of his true self which rises from its early grave and slays all his weakness.
You can also reference the whole story to the “real life”…
Vom Seelensterben is all about individualism and the ascendency out of a being, which is everything but our true self.

Select any two songs from Vom Seelensterben and what inspired the lyrics.
Narbengrund: It’s hard to select just two of them, since I’m truly proud of all of my beloved children. Maybe “Ein Traumgespinst” and “Blutsegen – die strömende Erkenntnis” would be fine. The first on is about a strange dream, dreamed by the protagonist, which kind forecasts his destiny. He sees himself as a specter, restlessly wandering through the world of the living and the dead and filled with ravenous hatred. The surprising thing about this is, that he truly enjoys this “trip”… but he wakes up and the tristesse of his life embraces him once again…
I chose this one because I love the way it is written. It’s a kind dream inside a dream and neither the reader nor the protagonist knows, when the protagonist is asleep and when he’s awake, because he wakes several times inside this song… Also this song is a wake-up call to all of you out there… reveal you true self and free yourself from the facelessness.
The second track I chose is the one of the final ones. I don’t know for sure if there is something like that outside of Germany, but here we often put a “und die Moral von der Geschichte” (which can be translated as “and the moral of the story”) to the end of a fairytale and Blutsegen is some kind of “moral of a story”. At the end of this song is a kind of conclusion of the whole album, a statement of what I’ve wanted to say to all of the listeners but also to the victims of the protagonist, because it’s imbedded inside of the storyline.
Hmm.. I can’t say what exactly inspired the lyrics, I think they are mainly part of my personal “life-philosophy”, which is a mixture of the good old nihilism and individualism and my personal life experience.

What could one expect from a live Totengeflüster show?
Narbengrund: Well… since we didn’t play any shows that far, it would be kind of dishonest to say anything to this topic, but you can be sure, that it’ll be a great show, because we don’t won’t to do half-baked things…

Any chance of Totengeflüster doing a show or tour here in the States? How you ever played over here before?
Narbengrund: As you can already guess, we did not. We would truly love to play on the other side of the Atlantic, but it would be a very expensive trip and we’re not Rammstein or something…

Are you or other members involved with any other bands or projects outside of Totengeflüster?
Narbengrund: Yes, our Drummer is involved in the band “Ihresgleichen”, which plays a kind of Heavy Metal and I’m also singing in a acoustic project called “Odium In Morte”. “Ihresgleichen” will release a new album in October 2013. Odium isn’t that far yet… Feel free to check those two…

Who did the cover art for Vom Seelensterben and how much input did you have on it?
Narbengrund: Our guitarist Totleben did all the artwork of our album in order to get a perfect fitting and aligned artwork for each of our songs. So one could say we had a huge input on it… Totengeflüster is more than just music, it’s an mosaic of dark arts and only if all parts play together, you’ll behold the final synthesis of art.

If you could open up for any band either current or from the past, who would it be and why?
Narbengrund: That’s pretty hard to say, cause we all have our favorite bands, but I think each one of us would choose another band than the next one. But I think it had to be an extreme Metal act which creates an intense dark and creepy atmosphere, so most likely a Black Metal band.

Germany is famous for their beer!!! What is your favorite beer of choice and why?
Narbengrund: My personal favorites are Köstritzer, a black beer, and Bären Pilsner, but there is a huge amount of other excellent beer sorts! And why?… mhh well I think simply because they taste the best and it might be a bit childish, but I adore the color of a Köstritzer when it’s filled into a glass…

What’s up next for Totengeflüster?
Narbengrund: We are actually writing songs and lyrics for our second album and if Schattendorn’s tour with Ihresgleichen passed, we’ll try to get our line-up complete and start to rehearsal, in hope that we can soon darken the European halls and pubs with our delicious kind of blackness…

Any final words of wisdom?
Narbengrund: Life is meaningless. If you wish to “live” you shall discover your true self and develop into something more than a faceless puppet. Metamorphosis is the key to the only thing that honestly could be called “life”. If you can’t take this step, it’ll be better, if you wouldn’t poison our planet with you presence anymore.

Totengeflüster is:
Totleben – Composition, All Instruments, Artwork
Narbengrund – Vocals & Lyrics, Concept
Schattendorn – Drums

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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