How would you describe Arvet to someone unfamiliar with your works?
N > Arvet is an musical-symbolic context which seeks to understand Mystery and Existence together as one. This manifests by diving into unknown nightside of our reality by cultivations of ecstatic methods of music as symbolism of this research. Arvet is Black Metal that aims to transcend and translate the limitations of our personal experience of ego into something that is able to vibrate and communicate with larger, yet still unknown whole. It is a soul-journey of humanity portrayed by means of music and visual language.
Are there some bands you could compare Arvet to, musically or otherwise? Furthermore, what are the bands that have influenced your sound the most in your opinion?
N > There are too many to mention by name. Also on the other hand I find this kind of approach towards manifested inspirations of Arvet unnecessary, because that which has inspired me, in some bands for example, is not the bands by their shape or manifested form. The experience of being inspired rises from shared inner contact with existential questions which outer form of art symbolizes; therefore there is no real difference between inspirer and the inspired – it is sympathetic inspiration they both realize, but in slightly different manner.
Arvet was founded in 2005. What were the events and reasons that eventually led to the birth of Arvet? Are the main reasons for Arvet's activities and releases still the same as they were in '05?
N > It seems that a lot has changed and yet that nothing has changed, on the other hand. Of course forms and ways of manifestation have grown a lot, my inner vision and insight about philosophy and possibilities of magical/musical path has deepened and perhaps matured somehow, but in the end these are only reflections of reason behind Arvet. Reason behind Arvet was, and still is, inner strive for Knowledge. Humane need to progress inwards and understand the foundations of reality it experiences. Arvet was and still is a tool to transcend, overcome and understand those limits by musical allegory.
Is there a specific reason that Arvet plays black metal (when regarded as the musical direction), instead of any other genre?
N > I feel that it is a matter of personal preference; in my past Black Metal was closest idea presented in the world for what I felt to be the most honest way of approach towards mans inner creative energy. Today I feel that term “Black Metal” is mostly just a symbolic name which gives the best description about means of Arvet. But as terms are always only reflections of inner truths, I don’t feel any specific need to stick single-handedly within that term anymore.
Arvet stands for "Scars." How did you choose the name, and what does it symbolize?
N > During that time when I formed Arvet this name felt extremely vibrant and relevant to symbolize my search for inner revolutions within terms of music. When we tear down the barriers of known self, symbolized by skin and form, we have entrances and paths of wounds and blood; as outer monuments of that inner quest we have scars. Therefore Arvet by its name stands as a symbol of riding the burning Serpent and Path within.
Regarding names, you use "Noxifer" as your alias. Is the name Noxifer, "the bearer of darkness," a summary of sorts of your satanic and saturnian ideology and beliefs, or how did you come to choose the title? Come to think of it, I'm rather surprised that I haven't noticed anyone else using Noxifer as their "stage name."
N > You present the idea behind the name very exactly. As our inner principle of ever-shining knowledge and guardian of that light (Lucifer) comes to us bearing the light and knowledge, so do we have to “invert” our known, petty self in order to understand the Whole of our greater inner Self. This happens by making known and unknown one. Noxifer is an agenda and vehicle of that transition in to darkness and by that darkness into greater inner luminosity.
As mentioned, you were a part of Saturnian Mist for a period of time. Did you take part in any recording sessions? How did you come to join the band, and to later leave it?
N > I came to join Saturnian Mist because of strong inner fraternity and very similar goals and beliefs we shared, and still share undeniably. But as things went on, I had to focus more on my personal work and that led to separation. Yet still Saturnian Mist and Arvet are like brothers who grow as branches of a one and same tree. I took part on the SM/Creatura –split and some early sessions regarding Saturnian Mist’s upcoming album.
You released your first demo "Elävän Kuoleman Aamuna" in '07, and it was followed by the EP "Ihmiskärsimys" in the following year. You composed and recorded these two by yourself, and they seem to present a more primitive side to Arvet when compared with your debut; and I don't mean the plain musical side, but the lyrics seem to be simpler, shorter and more straightforward. How do you see these releases today, are you still satisfied with them?
N > I feel that they are very important pieces of Path taken and are part of progression which led here and yet passes ever further. Many aspects of Arvet where during that time only being roughly prepared and that led to more rough-edged shapes at the time. But now looking back, I see that those steps where very important and honest ones at that crucial time and therefore serve their role as a start for something ever deepening, coiling research. And they actually still stand as such; as living portraits of the first clumsy steps into inner darkness taken alone by inner, sincere burning hunger.
Both the above mentioned releases are sold out. Do you have any plans on re-releasing them?
N > There has been some discussions about such plans, but we hopefully can see in near future if those plans are to manifest, as I personally feel that there still exists a need for those pieces.
In '08 Arvet took part on the "Suomesta Saatanalle"-compilation LP, along with the similarly unknown groups Valonsurma, Keres, Cosmic Church, Vritra, Famulus Ab Satanas, Hammer, and Blood Red Fog. How did you come to take part on the compilation? The compilation came in a rather small pressing so I haven't come to find it yet. So, would you like to tell us something about your track on the record?
N > At the time Shatraug, on behalf of releasing label, was seeking new, potential Finnish bands to take part on the compilations that was meant to introduce new Finnish bands with exclusive tracks. I grabbed the offering and recorded a song “Sisimmän kuoleman kasvoista” which somehow seeks to reflect the whole essence of Arvet. It is a song about slow, painful process of mortification in which liminal temple of personal self in turned into ashes in order to find a permanent abode from that which is beyond the transitional dance of death symbolizing this world and ourselves. That song pretty much sums up the whole period and work of Arvet before “Aijna”.
Three years after "Ihmiskärsimys" you released the debut album "Aijna," which was recorded with three session members. How did you come to ask for additional musicians to contribute on the album? I'd guess that finding those people wasn't hard, since you had already played with them back when you were a part of Saturnian Mist.
N > Other members who took part in the recording and creation process of “Aijna” as band members where already very closely related to album when I started to assemble it. And I felt very strongly that each of those individuals where someone’s who could very beneficial aid the process of album, expanding its spectrum of manifestation much further than I alone could.
When the compositional and lyrical process was ready for the album, I felt that energies contained in those structures could be manifested in a lot more harmonious manner by using talents and dynamics of those right individuals within the album. And that also served the whole Idea of Aijna-ritual, which was undertaken to understand the Self of Everything; the so called fallen guardians of nightside beneath each and every feeling, thought and manifested fragment of “I”. In this cultivation of, should I say, “universal Lucifer-ecstasy” it was more than naturally relevant to form a communion of strong, energetic brothers who all work together as one, under the only “one inner star in sight”.
You sang two of the eight songs yourself, and the rest were howled by Zetekh of Saturnian Mist. Was it difficult for you to let him deliver the lyrics that you had carved, and are you overall satisfied with how he handled the vocals? Was there a specific reason for you to sing the two tracks, namely "Hirtetyn Mestarin Temppeli" and "Ainias"?
N > To my eyes, Zetekh has a specific gift of uttering and deeply understanding the power beneath words. I wished him to magnetize the album by this gift, and he did. I set him no boundaries, just told him to surrender to the flow of album and I think that everything came to be just as was meant to.
The reason for me singing those to songs was pretty much intuitive choice guided by the feeling that structure and ideals behind those songs where something I needed to utter in level of words. Practically whole recording and creation of “Aijna” was this kind of intuitive madness in which surrendering to the presence of introvert unknown Otherness was cultivated in many ways, rather than making any decisions by objective rational sense.
Arvet can be seen as a spiritual and religious black metal band. As your lyrics are very deep and spiritual, were you aiming for a trance-inducing and mesmerizing musical side, or what was the reaction and mental state you aimed to portray and cause upon the album's listener? At least I picked strong (albeit possibly not the most traditional) ritualistic elements from the compositions, as well as from the vocal delivery echoing in the distance.
N > The whole surface of album, the album itself in forms is like a diary of a certain period, certain inner transition and an attempt to step further by seeking the contact with so called “inner Guardian Angel” – Azazel. The step itself was taken somewhere on a much deeper inner level, but the creation of album served as a mirror-object, as a grounding totem for that transition; the ritual itself is to be experienced and undergone between listener and album, just as I experienced it in creation process. And for that sake I feel the creation of album necessary; to give world, everyone and myself a symbol and experience, which hopefully will help and inspire seekers on their path. Album itself is my personal vision and experience, but has the same energy within, that can be found many ways and felt by many, and musical and lyrical interpretation of those mysteries and energies is an attempt to inspire this flame of inner revolution to grow stronger. We can inspire ourselves only by our inner Self, but for others we need actions and symbolism.
You named the album after a Hindu chakra that serves as the seer of spiritual and inner worlds. While I understand the name due to the album being focused on these realms, I haven't been able to fully fathom its connection with the cover image. Would you like to explain the cover artwork in this context?
N > There are two Eyes, other in upward-triangle and other in female body; those eyes symbolising polarization of energy, yet being only one consciousness, but seemingly apart in sense of mundane experience. Consciousness needs this polarization in order to realize itself as One, and to understand this it has to part and shatter itself by creation. The female-shakti symbolism is part of this; female being a circle of manifestation and realization, and actualization of energy and archetypal principles. By female God creates and by female we understand God and harness the unknown potency, that is hidden in nightside of our psyche. As name “Aijna” stands for eternal realization of One in All; the female, mirroring eyes of consciousness, triangles and praying hands are symbolic ways to depict the relations between all these and the Path that is inbetween them. Without His Shakti, Shiva is powerless.
The aforementioned lyrics combine traditional satanic, gnostic and cosmic themes and imagery together with alchemic and Hindu beliefs. The lyrics combine elements from both the physical and spiritual world, and broadly explore re-birth, spiritual awakening and death. As I am not capable of thoroughly unveiling this whole, I'd like you to tell us what the album really is about. Is it meant for you, personally, or is it a teaching tool as well to let your listeners get a glimpse of what lies beyond the shut third eye? At least I willingly begun to study the different phrases and terms that your lyrics use to further understand your writings, and for what I learned, I'm thankful to you. Furthermore, is Arvet a band with a message, or "just" a subjective portrayal of your views and image of the world and existence?
N > Firstly, I glad to hear that album has been inspiring experience for you! To the question; I think that Arvet is pretty much all that you say - those both polarities as one.
I wish to quote in a memoir I wrote concerning the album for the question in matter:
“As we see: manifestation of world at each and every moment is entirely subjective experience of consciousness, but presented in “inverted” manner as consciousness in its pure form is formless and indeed every and all things. That said because of the fact that everything experienced is consciousness experiencing consciousness. Therefore all experiences are consciousness and consciousness builds world the way it is.
In this process we cannot set apart seemingly different aspects of reality, such as “record” and “listener” or “artist” and “creation” as they all form their direct experience of each other at the moment of their union in experience of consciousness.
This said because somehow seeking of direct, instant and spontanious realization of this dissolutive, dharana and dhyana uniting idea-vehicle underlined whole process of creation of “Aijna”. Perhaps it could be even said that process of that realization was some kind of milestone of this temple and magic performed by it.
Soon after “Aijna-Working” started in late 2009, it became clear that theme of this working was to contact the fallen Watchers and Guardian Angels residing in so called Anahata - the mystical heart center - of every living being. And by this to study and understand Those who give our Yoga of existence it’s flaming spark known as “selfhood”; those, who reside within us as Ruach, the Holy Spirit and breath of Divine, but also as Legion and qliphothic shadows of Purgatorio in which Kundalini is set free to elevate by the process of mortificatio.”
Each of the song titles are accompanied by a respective symbol, for example a pentagram, hexagram, an eye, a downwards pointing triangle, and so forth. What is the function and meaning of these symbols?
N > They intuitively seek to present a more coherent map of album’s ideas and yet offer listener more possibilities for their own interpretations and ideas to rise up. There is no right answer for this questions; I just unfold certain energy-patterns by drawing symbols and let watcher unfold energy-patterns in their consciousness while watching and meditating the symbols in their minds. That is their function, just as that is the function of whole album, but about their direct meaning I can say nothing, as that can mean anything to anyone and that is not mine to decide which is justified. In the end symbols are just symbols and their power is in their ability to symbolize; but the symbolized hidden core unveiling in symbols is indeed secret and experience of it may and will change endlessly.
It's clear that you're not a newcomer to the themes you and beliefs you speak about in the lyrics. What served as your initiation to explore these beliefs and theories, and what are the things that today make you dig deeper into their (and your) realms? How would you describe your spiritual and/or religious views, and do you practice any rituals? At least the name "Scars" and the meditating figure on the album's cover (among other things) would suggest so.
N > I feel that I am here only solve the troubling step between Above and Below; the step known as humanity. This weird and highly ethical riddle which has its energy and root taken from God and Absolute, but has it’s feeling of ”itself” somewhere seemingly very far from that. I could say in short terms that at the moment my Path is humanity and my Master is the One who arranges as into this school of rebirth and limitation as a guardian of thresholds to higher realizations; He who we know by name Satan in His many aspects.
Today I have full heartedly came to realize that by helping myself in this school of life I am most able to help and change the world around me. And helping world is best help for myself in this spiritual trial of worldly fire; and by that dharma I seek to give the highest possible sacrificial offering to benefit All and Every; myself. How this happens in the world of material manifestations at each and every moment varies, but in all of them I seek to fulfill above mentioned dharma as well as I can. That is my initiation and I honestly think is the best possible initiation for every single living being; listen to your own silently and secretly burning heart and surrender to it.
Along with the music and the lyrics, the album holds four of your paintings - my favourite one being "Assumption of Dharmabody." Have you published your visual creations anywhere else than on your releases?
N > I work as a visual artist too at the moment and further revelations of my work on that scale can be found through Saturnian Productions in near future.
Overall, how has the album been received this far? Have you noticed if people have really given attention to your concept, or has it been regarded as "just another" black metal album?
N > I guess that some have noticed the inner value of explored themes somehow through album, but of course such influence always manifests as visible thing only after longer period of time and nothing big can be said about that, at least yet. And I feel that it is not my thing to judge or think too much about that. I just concentrate on doing my job as well and as honestly as I can, and that will attract and inspire the right people way or another. There will always be those who realize something and those who realize something in different manner; I can only inspire some in-between those.
People outside Finland might have quite a hard time deciphering your lyrics, since they're all in Finnish, as they were on your previous releases. Is there any specific reasons on why you use the Finnish language, other than it naturally being the one language you're most familiar with?
N > As a familiar and very versatile language I have always felt that it gives me enough tools to try to decipher the poetic mysteries into poetic text.
Will you be recording with session musicians in the future as well? At least you've done a couple of gigs with a full line-up, so some co-operation seems to exist.
N > Yes, we have a very tight co-operation with those few local bands on many levels and I guess that studio-members will be part of Arvet in future too, although it is a complete mystery what comes next. At least with “Aijna” the dynamism of all the people communicating together with the purpose of album, gave me great hopes for these kinds of working methods.
Regarding these gigs, did you aim to deliver the same atmospheres as you did with the album, or were they to present a different aspect of Arvet - or did they have a whole other purpose? How were the gigs received, and do you plan on doing more gigs in the future?
N > Playing live serves the purpose of creating intense experience, that can instantly touch each and every participant with very honest and deep meditational inspiration by energies and faith, which are shared and motivated by music during performance. Live ceremonies to us are exactly that; ceremonies in which Mysteries are celebrated together as one.
Regarding the above, what are your plans for Arvet's future? Do you already have future recordings planned, or some themes in your mind which you'd like to explore and create musical manifestations of?
N > At the moment, about 6 months after releasing the album I have only been recovering from the process and at the moment future concerning musical activities is yet to unveil. But when star comes to shine again and time comes to travel further and deeper, we undeniably will.
Do you have any other musical or otherwise related activities or projects operating parallel to Arvet? If yes, would you like to tell us something about them?
N > Whole life is but a one raja-yogic experience and all things always will unveil when time is right and stars are aligned. At the moment I dare not to unveil anything else in this context.
I believe you have some knowledge of the Finnish black metal scene, as well as the international scene. Are there some bands or labels you'd like to mention as worth noting and supporting, be it either for a fan of Arvet or for dedicated black metal individuals overall? On the other side, are there some bands/labels that you regard as worth opposing?
N > I feel need to give credit for all seriously working bands, individuals, artists, madmen and abominations who follow their burning hearts in their attempts to help and transcend this world.
Thank you for your time.
N > Thank you a lot for your interest!
GATE GATE PARAGATE
PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA!