Atrium Noctis: “we do music that is far more than just metal”

You can read this post in: Portuguese (Brazil)

ATRIUM NOCTIS is a band from Cologne, Germany. Initially set up to be part of a musical project for a film, the group became independent and developed an approach to classical music.

Last year they released Aeterni for Sliptrick Records, adding all sorts of techniques and new ideas. For this week, we interviewed Hydra Gorgonia, leader and founder.

GroundCast: Could you tell us a bit of the band’s history?

HYDRA GORGONIA ATRIUM NOCTIS from Cologne, Germany, was formed in 2002 by me. It was originally only planned as a musical project as a work for the „Filmfestspiele Oberhausen “(Film festival Oberhausen). After having finished the songs, a new band was born.

In the autumn of 2003 the band recorded their first album „Blackwards “in Stonehenge Studio, Siegburg. Because of not having a singer, the whole album was recorded by a guest-singer. The musical influences of that album contain symphonic Black Metal of the late 1990ies as well as Pagan, Dark Metal, atmospherically soundtracks and classical music.

When a new singer was found in 2004, ATRIUM NOCTIS showed off their first live-gigs. In November of 2004 the first professional video-shot of the song „Silencio “has been done under the direction of Niklas Hlawatsch and his team.In 2005 the band went again into Stonehenge Studio to record „Eyes Of Medusa “.

After a few gigs together with Aardvarks, Nordafrost, Laid In Ashes, In Blackest Velvet, Insignium and Dark Wire, the work on a new album has begun in 2007, so that it was time in 2009 to enter again the studio. This time „Home “was mastered by Tom Kvalsvoll (Dodheimsgard) from Norway. As a pleasure for the band, the well-known artist Gerald Axelrod gave one of his photographs to be the cover.

The year 2010 was very successful for ATRIUM NOCTIS: The 3rd album „Home“ was released by Naturmacht Productions and the next videoclip „Spuren Eines Wolfes“ has been done. Good reviews were followed by gigs, interviews and of course the presentation of the new masterwork.

In 2011 there was a total line-up change except for Hydra.

Because of the new line-up, the songs have become longer and more complex than before. In the beginning of 2014 we found a new female singer. Now it was time to work with two singers.

In 2017 the recordings have been finished and the album was mastered by Martin Buchwalter (Suidakra, Accuser, Tankard, Destruction). There was also the decision to play with three guitarists live and on the next album to come.

The new line-up showed their skills live Halloween 2016.

GroundCast: What are your influences?

HYDRA GORGONIA At that time our influences were: Dimmu Borgir, Cradle Of Filth, Graveworm, Finntroll, Satyricon, Ad Inferna, Summoning, Moonsorrow and Empyrium. At the same time there were influences like Beethoven, Brahms, Mussorgsky, Tschaikowsky and Dvorak. Developing an own musical style, the influences of the metal bands decreased while the classical ones are still there.

GroundCast: This year you released the album “Aeterni” after seven years (the album Home was from 2010), why did it take so long to release something new?

HYDRA GORGONIA After the whole team except for Hydra has left the band, the quest was to find good musicians that fit into the band musically and personally. That has happened relatively fast. There were experienced musicians enthusiastically joining the band except for a drummer.

It takes time to write songs that are between 8 and 10 minutes and to work the compositional ideas out. After a while the bassist had to be replaced. After having found suitable drummer we could head for the studio to record the instruments on “Aeterni”.

Shortly before the end of the recording we have found a shouter and a female singer. The work on the vocal lines took 11 months. After that the vocals could be recorded at a studio.

After a classically skilled guitarist has recorded the “ADE” parts, the CD could be mixed.

What was missing? A booklet. So, a painter had to draw the pictures of the booklet. Band photos had to be shot. A graphic designer had to put that all together. In the meantime, the album was mastered.

The last point was to find a label to release the CD.

GroundCast: I live in Germany almost 3 years and I know how vivid and alive is the metal scene around here, but I’d like to know the experience the band had in these 15 years of existence, how can you describe the German metal scene you are in?

HYDRA GORGONIA It is not a homogeneous scene as people from outside would think. It is heterogeneous, more or less very diverse. You will find people that go to concerts and listen to all kinds of metal and support you, but on the other hand you will find people that actually do not like you because you are doing the wrong kind of music. We stand in between the lines, because we do music that is far more than just metal, black metal or whatsoever. For example, listeners of traditional Death Metal are kind of not tolerant of other styles. You will also find people that go to Wacken, not knowing anything about metal or the metal scene. They see it just as an event. In our hometown there is no real scene because here people listen to carnevalistic music. If you drive around 80km north to the “Ruhrpott”, you will find metal communities.

GroundCast: How is the composition process of the band?

HYDRA GORGONIA I write the music depending on a theme or a story and show it to the band. We arrange all parts together. After that the singer and me working on the vocal lines. At the end the lyricist writes the lyrics of that story and he makes it suitable to the vocal lines together with the singer. One song takes around 6-12 months, but we are working on more songs at the same time.

GroundCast: How was the acceptance of the new material (fans and media)?

HYDRA GORGONIA The reactions were heterogeneous and different. Mostly the music was well accepted whereas the production, that means the mix, was criticized because of the sound.

GroundCast: Do you know any band from Brazil and have you had some invitation to play there?

HYDRA GORGONIA No, we have not had an invitation to play in Brazil. Maybe in the future. I think it would be interesting. I only know Sepultura which I and Rhadamanthys have seen live, of course. There is also Sarcofago from Brazil which some of the band know.

GroundCast: What the name Atrium Noctis represents to the band and how it reflects the music you create?

HYDRA GORGONIA ATRIUM NOCTIS means atrium or forecourt of the night or arcade/archway through the night. It symbolizes that we do not belong to the blackest of the black metal scene and that we use classical/symphonic music in our songs.

GroundCast: In the last two releases you added songs with lyrics in German (correct me if I am mistaken), how happened this process to add something in your mother language?

HYDRA GORGONIA On “Home” there was only one song in German, `Spuren Eines Wolfes´. Music and the story happen at the same time in the composing process, so that we stress on a suitable lyrical form. For that we introduced a lyricist into the team. For a better understanding in the natural language, we put it in German. They do not sound as good or strong in English.

GroundCast: We are in the internet era where you can find most of the releases online. Even countries like Germany that are strict with this isn’t safe of downloaders. We also have services like Spotify, what is your opinion about it?

HYDRA GORGONIA That is the wheel of time and you cannot change it anymore. I do not like it. For me it is a good combination: CD plus booklet as a real form of art.

GroundCast: What are the plans for 2018?

HYDRA GORGONIA The next time we will shoot a professional video. The songs for the next CD are already finished and the studio time is booked. There will be also a bigger photo-shoot in the beginning of next year.

GroundCast: Now the space is yours to say something to our readers.

HYDRA GORGONIA Thank you. Let yourselves be led by „Aeterni “through a world of stories, myths and legends!

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