Ever since Black Sabbath created the Doom template in 1970 the genre has gradually developed into what is now a worldwide phenomenon. Subsequent Doom artists like Pentagram, St Vitus, Cathedral and Electric Wizard proved themselves to be great innovators and took riff worship and the art of creating dark, ominous atmospheres to new heights with music that continuously evolved and pushed boundaries.
Now, Doom is a significant force in the world of metal, and a new crop of bands such as 1782, Acid Mammoth, Black Tomb and a host of others are spreading their dark message with increasingly impressive releases.
Enter Lord Mortvm, a musician who marries the bleak Satanic vibe of his native Norwegian Black Metal cohorts like Mayhem and Darkthrone with the textures of modern Doom. His debut release, Diabolical Omen of Hell, sees him very much wearing his heart on his sleeve, laying bare the rich musical influences that have helped shape his work, and delivering a true homage to Satan. His timing is impeccable, as the modern world falls increasingly into chaos and decay and religious lunacy runs rampant in every society across the world.
I caught up with Mortvm as he celebrates the album’s growing success and asked him what has shaped his world view and the bleak, sinister music he, singlehandedly, has created.
Lord Mortvm, thanks very much for agreeing to do this interview for Seelenfeuer.
Hi, thanks for the invite, the album process was pretty quick, I think it all took 3 months.
I noticed that you cite a range of musical influences ranging from Sabbath to Mayhem and Electric Wizard. Why are these artists so important to you personally, and what other artists influenced your ideas? And what about non-musical influences, could you tell us a little about those?
Those artists have a very similar message between them that I identify with. The other non-musical influences are movies like Nosferatu, Devil’s Blood, and of course The Satanic Bible (Anton LaVey).
In terms of lyricists who has particularly inspired you and why?
LaVey, paganism, black mass … Satanism is something that I have been practicing for some years.
As a Norwegian what is your view of your country’s Black Metal legacy? Which specific artists from Mayhem, Darkthrone etc. onwards do you relate to the most?
Here in Norway the legacy is enormous, there are those who don’t want to accept it, but it was a big part of our culture. The first two bands I started listening to when I first met Black Metal were Darkthrone and Mayhem, those two are my favourites to this day.
What message are you conveying on Diabolical Omen of Hell? Do you follow a specific spiritual path that shapes your lyrical and musical ideas?
Yes, totally, all the songs on the album (except Devil Doll) are the same, there is a general message.
I was very interested in the voice samples you used on the album, could you tell us a little about those and why you chose them?
I used excerpts from Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Mass, found an internet interview with an Iranian lady talking about Satanic Masses and used it. I also used excerpts from various movies that I can’t remember now, but they are all from horror B movies from the 70s.
Yes, I certainly noticed the Satanic path very clearly in the album and the images you use. Do you feel that it is important to you personally to convey a clear Satanic message through your music? If you don’t mind my asking, why is this important to you?
The message is part of who I am, I think it’s natural that my lyrics reflect that.
Do you plan to create more music that carries this message in the future, and will it build on what you have successfully accomplished in Diabolical Omen of Hell?
I don’t really know, when I write songs, I don’t think about what I’m going to say beforehand, it’s something that happens in the spur of the moment.
Going back to the album, how do you feel that it fits into the broader Doom framework, which is now enormous? Do you feel any affinity with other bands like 1782, Acid Mammoth, Black Tomb, Nortt etc.?
I think it’s a great time for Doom music, there are a lot of good bands.
The ones you name are very good, maybe my music is a bit darker and has another message, but there is a connection between the sound and the cult of the riff.
Clearly you are an accomplished musician, how long have you been playing? And what recording challenges did you face as a one-man band?
I have played music since I was 5 years old, when I was still a child I started with the guitar.
Recording everything on my own was not as bad as I thought, I worked in my own time, and by playing the songs so many times that things occurred to me in that moment which greatly benefited the album.
The album seems to look at organized Christianity as a sort of cult of lunacy, and the samples really bring that across. Is that one of the messages that you aimed to convey? What is your view of Right-Hand Path beliefs?
Mmm not really, it’s a good question, I have my beliefs but that doesn’t mean I’m right. I only give my version, my vision and my life experience.
Can you tell me about the artwork, which I thought was excellent and fitted the album perfectly? Did you design the cover? What was the thinking behind it?
The album artwork was created with Josephine Glass. She did the drawings, and I did the design. I really like the artwork; she is a great artist and she did a killer job.
It’s hard to pick out a favourite track on this album, but I would go for Children of Haze. Who are the Children of Haze?
The Children of Haze are those who don‚t want to hear the Lord‚s message.
Once the current pandemic is more under control do you plan to play live? If you do, will it be three-piece band, or could you add other players?
If it‚s possible to play live, I may take care of the vocals and I will call in three other musicians (drums, guitar, bass).
Since its beginnings in Aston, Birmingham in the early 1970s Doom has reflected a human world that is brutal, unforgiving and ultimately pointless. This is reality, and the best Doom has always presented it with astute honesty and unrelenting scorn. Lord Mortvm has very capably carried the torch of Doom and indeed Black Metal into a modern society that is on the brink. Whether one accepts that Satanism offers a deeply challenging yet effective alternative vision or not, his debut album hits the spot on many levels. It’s a great achievement, and we look forward to more …
Diabolical Omen of Hell is available in all formats at: