I have a feeling that if someone had the patience to go through all of the various streams and reviews that I’ve written over the past couple of years here at the Vault to determined which descriptors I’ve used the most often, my guess would be that ‘unexpected’ and ‘challenging’ would easily be somewhere in the top five. What can I say? I like bands that aren’t afraid to take risks – who release albums where they’ve clearly let their creative impulses lead them far from the beaten path.
What I appreciate even more, though, are those off-the-beaten-path albums that also come from seemingly nowhere. I mean, Imperial Triumphant’s Vile Luxury is an astonishingly daring album, but anyone who follows that band knows to expect that kind of music from them. Chilean multi-instrumentalist Melek R. N. and his one-man project Pyreficativm, however, didn’t have those sorts of lofty expectations to live up to with his long-gestating debut full-length संसार का पथ. His previous two demos under the Pyreficativm moniker–2014’s Promo MMXIV and 2015’s Phosphorvs – Demo MMXV–both featured a very solid raw black metal sound, and probably deserved a bit more attention than they got at the time of their release.
With संसार का पथ, though, Melek R. N. has almost abandoned raw black metal entirely in favor of something much more esoteric, and ultimately more challenging. Over the course of संसार का पथ‘s 75-minute run time, there are far more extended dark ambient passages than there are blast beats. You’re also more likely to hear handmade instruments containing human remains than tremolo picking. संसार का पथ is more of a ritualistic, shamanistic sort of black metal album that really needs to be heard at least several times in order to even begin trying to piece together, much less understand.
Which is why we’re thrilled to be streaming संसार का पथ in its entirety today ahead of its August 11 release on Living Temple Records (preorder here). Set aside a bit of time to spend with it, and maybe the mysteries woven into its musical fabric will draw you in the same way they drew me. Also, check out my interview with Melek R. N., the architect of Pyreficativm’s sound.
Indy Metal Vault: Hey, so first off – thanks for the interview. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with संसार का पथ in preparation to write these questions, and I’ve come to a pair of conclusions about the album: (a) I’m pretty sure that I haven’t heard anything quite like it before, and (b) I have no clue where to begin trying to talk about it. So why not begin at the beginning? I haven’t been able to find much of anything on Pyreficativm online: a sparse Facebook page, a SoundCloud page, and an entry on Metal Archives. Assuming MA is correct, Pyreficativm has been around for close to a decade – first as Flammis Maledictis, and then under your current name since 2012. However, संसार का पथ will be your first full-length, and you’ve only released a 3-song promo and one demo prior to this. I’m a bit curious as to why you let the project gestate for so long before releasing an album. Did it take you a while to arrive at the sound you wanted for Pyreficativm? Are you a slower, more deliberate sort of songwriter? Or were you prioritizing other projects, like Abhorior?
Melek R. N.: I appreciate the brief space in this interview. Pyreficativm took its form at the beginning of 2008 A.e, under the name of Flammis Maledictis as a project and a solid identity for that stage of creation. The first record was recorded in those years of Flammis Maledictis, but that later died, thus being reborn as what Pyreficativm is today. Although the musical chronology that Pyreficativm has is brief, it has taken me a certain time to be able to execute the characteristic and decisive sound as “Society.”
On the other hand, I also work in other bands such as Abhorior, 13th Temple and Eavral. Each and every one of them is part of my sacred nucleus and my secret society. While I was recording an album for one of my bands, the other ended…an exhaustive and complex process, and also one of the most outstanding reasons why when संसार का पथ was first recorded in 2015, it was an album which I did not want to spread much. I prefer to maintain that close link between musical clandestinity and the sinister arts…and also the resumption of my esoteric study for a certain time was key to the emergence of new energies and compositions. Just this year संसार का पथ saw the light under my stamp “Mahamvantara Arts” in a strict limited edition, and now by Living Temple Records.
IMV: Speaking of your previous recordings, I revisited Phosphorvs – Demo MMXV while prepping for this interview. It’s some outstanding raw black metal, and while there are still elements of that sound on the new album—most notably on “Ancient Sands (The Foundation in Tiphareth)” and “Emanations From the Drakonian Vessel”—I don’t think anyone who heard that demo could have possibly anticipated where you’d go with संसार का पथ. Your last demo came out in 2015 – were you already conceptualizing संसार का पथ at that point, or did the new album not start taking shape until after that came out?
MRN: That’s a very good point to which you arrive. To your surprise and a few others,संसार का पथ was taking shape with ritual and shamanic elements since 2012, at which time began the new facet of Pyreficativm. I did a musical studio as far as this album was concerned. I dedicated some years to compose this piece called संसार का पथ.
IMV: I know the whole regional/national scene thing is overrated, but since South America in general and Chile in particular are so closely related to one particular style of primitive, proto-black metal that it’s difficult not to evaluate all black metal coming out of Chile through that particular lens, and Pyreficativm does not even remotely sound like a Chilean band. I rarely ask the usual influences question, but I’ll do so here since I haven’t seen any other interviews with you online. What’s your history with black metal? Who would you say had the biggest influence on your approach to the genre?
MRN: Regarding the “Scene,” I am not very aware and it is not something that motivates or interests me. If I can say, most of what metal music comes from here is difficult to evaluate since it does not have an organic source. On the other hand, there are very few bands that are doing real and natural work within the sinister arts, and very few bands manage to captivate me today…instead we play the ping-pong luck of “Quality vs. Quantity.” Usually I do not usually give interviews online, and that’s why it is very difficult for you to find something out there. In the past I answered some, maybe less than a handful. Who knows? About my influences, mainly since I was young I have liked the pioneering hordes of Black Metal, later I was complementing that with different genres: classical music, orchestra, ritual, martial and others. Most are not black metal now.
IMV: From a musical perspective, there are a couple of things about the new album that really stand out for me. The first is how many different stylistic threads you pull together over the course of the album’s 76-minute run time. The second is how well the album coheres given all those threads. संसार का पथ works really well as a single, continuous piece of music that doesn’t feel anywhere close to its length. When you were composing the album, did you conceptualize it as a series of movements in a larger piece? Or was that just a natural byproduct of the care you seem to take in your songwriting? With its mix of black metal and ritual ambient, plus the almost chanted nature of some of the vocals, it almost seems like one long ritual.
MRN: The album as you say, commits a thing called “suggestive music.” Mainly I use this term to define some of my long compositions as they are in Pyreficativm and Eavral. When I worked on this album, I just let the energy that I attracted flow in that moment. Different states of consciousness helped with the creation process and allowed me the noble manifestation of a single piece divided into sections and holograms. The voices played an important role, too. It took me about a year to learn the ceremonial methodology of the “Kargyraa” [ed. note: Tuvan throat singing] to be able to implement it correctly on this album.
IMV: I know that Pyreficativm is a solo project, but considering the complexity of the music on the new album, I do wonder how many guest musicians you had play on it. Who did the spoken female vocals? Was she the only other musician you brought in on the album?
MRN: Yes, Pyreficativm is and will always be a solitary band and entity. संसार का पथ was created by me only in that year. My brother Edgar Kerval from Emme Ya was also a guest on ritual instruments for the intermezzos on this album. The mysterious woman behind these recitations was only a guest also, Nathasha Weiss, who contacted me when I was studying at the Consevatorio de Musica that year. We recorded the voices and then everyone continued on their way.
IMV: I’ve not seen any production or mixing credits for the album. Did you record संसार का पथ yourself, or did you work with an outside producer? What did your recording setup look like, both in terms of your instruments and the studio?
MRN: Today the credits will be visible to the public. Apart from my label, I also have a “Ritual Chamber” to work with my musical entities called “Temple ov Rudrah Studios.” I’m in charge of the mixes, mastering and production, and the art also goes through my hand. In short, I do all the work for myself as a general producer.
Now the interesting thing about having recorded संसार का पथ was the instrumentation for the musical ligature: instruments brought from the Hindia like the Vajra / Dorge, Tibetan tingshas and different crotalos, ceremonial bowls of the Hindia, instruments created by me as well as rattles of seeds, human and animal bones for trumpets and jingle bells, leather and skin bongos, rattles with some human remains, etc. The general recording of संसार का पथ was not very polished. Instead, I wanted an old-fashioned and not as bright sound, with a low setting and without so much gain in the guitars. I use a good chain of effects with acidic tints and more rooted in Psychedelic Rock, mainly I’ve used the same configuration for recording for four years, along with something to play with ambient sounds: a good head, a 5051 EVH, two environment microphones, a condenser and a Michael Kelly LP Red Wine Patriot EMG. What is done in the console is a secret!
IMV: The thing that I’m most curious about in terms of संसार का पथ, though, is the ideology behind it. According to Google at least, the title translates from the Hindi to ‘The Path of the World.’ The promo materials contain a statement from you that mentions human consciousness, sacred cosmology, alchemy, Eastern esotericism, Gnosticism, and the concept of Amrita that appears in Hindu, Sikh, and some Buddhist traditions. Instead of asking you to unpack all of that—though you’re more than welcome to do so, should you feel so inclined—I’m wondering what kind of reading list you’d put together for someone interested in learning more about the concepts that influenced the album?
MRN: संसार का पथ is translated as “The Path of Samsara” originally. More than a simple concept, it is a praxis, a communion with the Oriental arts, a wisdom and a divine silence. For me personally, it is a study that I have been doing for years and that I have managed to cultivate together with my current esoteric and magical philosophy. To get into the sands of this Drakonida and esoterica stream, I could cite some writers that I recommend with great encouragement: Ione Szalay, Yogi Ramacharaka, Annie Besant, Jack Finegan, Michael Kelly, Edgar Kerval, Craig Williams.
IMV: The cover art for संसार का पथ appears to be rich with symbolism as well. Who was the artist, and how closely did you work with him or her on the concept? Are you willing to explain any of the symbols in the art? I’m especially curious about the significance of the number 181. It’s a centered number, but I’m not sure how that ties in with the themes of the album.
MRN: As I mentioned before, all the art goes through my hand – sigils, covers, layouts, etc. The true form of the number 181 is directly related to what Pyreficativm represents in its totality. By defragmenting this number we obtain three main states of consciousness to work musically, or see as a divine power of infernal trinity as “Aza, Samael, Lilitu.” Each one represents their matter, and each one has an alchemical focus to work in complement from the inside out. The unit that in this case would be the Being, the own and active conscience of man. The number eight represents that wisdom scattered in the sacred notes of the universe’s “spherical melody,” which we can express with the attribute of infinite silence represented in the eight. Then we return to unity with the one, but at the level of consecration and communion with Lucifer. All this expressed symbolism has its course and closure in a chain from the conscious unit, passing through the infinite void, until arriving at the consecration of itself as a unity between the Being and the divine. By adding that you get the number of the current 181.
IMV: What’s next for you after संसार का पथ is released? Are there any plans to put together a lineup to play shows, or is Pyreficativm strictly a studio project?
MRN: There is talk of a live date for Chile, but nothing more than the speculation of a few, nothing serious for now. After संसारकापथthere is another album called Mahamvantara-The Crescent Pylons ov Ast Zho El.It is a full length exclusively of “Drakonian Ritual Ambient” music that I recorded in the year 2016, following संसारकापथ. In 2017, I kept studying new material to be able to record another album. In 2018, there are very strong works: an EP called SHIN-the serpent tongues, a split pending with a sister band called Nefast, and another work in parallel with my other ritual band Eavral. In August I enter again to study for the next full length of this year called Erotognosticism and a surprise that I will not reveal. The best is yet to come!
IMV: Thanks again for taking the time to answer a few questions. I like to leave the final word to the artists – anything else you’d like to add?
MRN: I appreciate the space and support for Pyreficativm. The only thing I can say is that you are attentive to new work under the sinister flame of Mahamvantara Arts!