It is said that every great story must have an ending. In what was rumoured to be their last UK show ever, German spiritualist death metallers Necros Christos returned to our shores alongside Binah, The One and Funeral Throne to bestow their rites upon us. However, in this day and age it is important to not always believe what you read.
The band’s vocalist and guitarist Mors Dalos Ra invited me backstage to have a chat and lay these rumours to rest once and for all.
Cheers for your time. How are you doing today?
I’m good. We had a smooth flight and smooth travel, so everything’s okay.
You did an interview with Invisible Oranges back in 2012 where you said it would be your last interview ever. Of course, it’s great to talk to you today but what made you change your mind?
To be precise, it was the last written interview for some time because I couldn’t foresee another at that point. I was really fed up of interviews and answering 35 questions so I said okay, we’ll stop interviews now and when the final record comes out I’ll do them again. At that time I had no idea we’d be releasing a new EP very soon so I can’t stop now. Of course, it is my pleasure to give interviews for the new EP.
It is widely rumoured that tonight is your last show in London ever. Is there any truth to these rumours?
No. People always hear what they want to hear. I’m not sure when the rumour grew into this. What I said in an interview was that we will do just one more album, then there will be no more recordings and the band will be done. So from now on, we will release the EP and the preparation for the album will take at least two years. After it we will tour and play live, so it’s definitely not the last UK show.
That’s good to hear! Before this show, there were rumours all over the Internet about it.
I’m not sure where this came from because it’s not from us! I don’t know who got this information first. I can tell you that I’m really not fond of advertising like this, it’s not from us and it’s not our last UK show.
It is clear that Necros Christos is a deeply spiritual, religious and philosophical band. Whilst you have studied these subjects in depth, many of our readers will not be as knowledgeable. Please explain the core beliefs and ideals that go into your music for these readers.
That’s a tricky one as it would demand a long answer, but I will sum it up. I always was really fond of bands doing their music; not just that, but really having something behind it. I have been a spiritual person for as long as I can remember and I always felt a certain presence with me. I was addicted to this religious and spiritual stuff at a really young age, going into occultism and esoteric things. I have my beliefs, I’m not sure if these beliefs are translated well in the music but it’s a complex tangle of swords which I am into. I’m not worshipping any god or going to church; I have a lot of aspects from different religions and philosophies, spiritual aspects which I get myself into. I’m rooted into old Jewish mysticism, that is one main field. I’m also really into old Christian mysticism, not the church but the old texts and scriptures. This all plays an important role in Necros Christos.
Are these ideals something you fully incorporate into your everyday life, or do you just find them to be an interesting study topic?
Yes, they are part of my everyday life.
Are there special measures you take to translate these into a live setting for your shows? If so, what are they?
If the main goal here was to only transport this into our live shows and present it to the audience, it could become really ridiculous really fast. We make sure it is all together, all as one, but we play death metal. We are a death metal band and we play metal music on stage, so we have our special garments and our presence, but we don’t want to convey every aspect of our spirituality in the show. I have seen so many bands who tried to be really evil but they failed completely. We want to play our music and we have our appearance, but that’s it. We prefer playing shows with candles and bones and all that stuff, but it’s not always easy to get. There are shows like tonight, in a good club with a good crowd, where we can just play our music.
Of course, you have musical influences for your creative output as well as spiritual ones. Which bands have influenced you when writing music for Necros Christos?
There is a lot of stuff which influences me. I listen to a lot of records from the late eighties and early nineties. I think the main band I look to in regards to death metal is old Morbid Angel, but the influence for Necros Christos is all totally different. I listen to a lot of heavy metal like Angel Witch, Candlemass, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath… Mercyful Fate is one of my main influences. If you were to ask me what is the best heavy metal record of all time, I wouldn’t even need to think, the answer is Don’t Break the Oath. We take influence from all over the metal scene. I listen to a lot of Persian and Indian stuff, which is a huge influence as well.
Back to your new album, have you started writing it yet? Has anything about the writing or general creative process changed since this will be your final one?
Tough question. I have a lot of material for the album but it changes all the time. It will take such a long time to prepare this record because it will be massive! I can’t say from this point of view if there will be any changes or not. I think it’s always about going for the best material you can write and that’s it. It’s too early to speak about it but the EP which will be out soon has some new tunes which we haven’t played so far. We will do a new song tonight and I hope you will recognise some. There’s a lot going on in comparison to the old stuff.
Speaking of records, do you collect a lot of vinyl?
Yes! I collect cassettes as well, although I’ve stopped doing that recently. I have a lot of demo tapes and stuff, but vinyl for me is the best.
You have mentioned about your EP a few times, which I read about on one of your Facebook posts. This stated that it will be entitled Nine Graves and was due for release in early May. I’ve heard the teaser and it sounds great! But as you will know, there’s no sign of it yet so what happened there?
We had some delays. * laughs * But it’s at the pressing plant right now! The CD version will come out at the end of July and the LP version will take one of two months longer. Everything is done though, including the layout and production, so we are just talking about some weeks from now.
Do you think the fans can expect anything different from the EP?
Not different as in oooh, what are they doing now? * laughs * There are some new elements. The riffing became much more obscure and the songs are pretty weird. We had two old songs re-recorded with new arrangements. The production is great in my opinion, it’s different from all the death metal bands nowadays. I hope people will like it because in the end, our fans have to decide. I’m absolutely satisfied though.
And do you have anything to say to the people who say you’re going to split up soon?
We are not breaking up. We are going to release the EP this summer, release a new album and tour. We want to visit countries we’ve never visited before like Australia. We also want to do an American tour and to come back to England of course! It’s not an advertising trick from us, we don’t need that kind of stuff. It was actually my drummer who asked me if I’ve seen all of the strange news on the Internet. I am not using the Internet that often so I said no. He showed it to me and I was like what the fuck? I hope you can put this to rest. I also hope that Nine Graves will show everyone that we’re more alive than ever, especially with our new line up. We have a new drummer and a new bassist. I was never so satisfied with the line up than I am now, we go on stage and just crush.
The last full-length you released was Doom of the Occult back in 2011. Please explain the concept behind this and what it means to you.
Okay, so you know what the album looks like on the back? With the nine branch candelabra. The concept was that for every flame of the nine branch candelabra you have one song. In between you have the temples. Two pairs of flames always belong together lyrically, so we have two and a gate, two and a gate. We have the middle flame which was the trilogy of the Indian stuff like the “Doom of Kali Ma”, and then we have two and two again with the middle flame shining for it’s own glory. That was the concept, there was no idea to have lyrical connections between everything. There are songs about old Egyptian stuff, Indian philosophy and stuff from old Palestine like “Baal of Ekron”. My advice would be accept this; this the order of the album so people should read the lyrics. In the old days, Necros had really blasphemous lyrics but nowadays there’s a lot of hidden statements. The new ones I did for Nine Graves are the best I’ve ever written. I feel like I can show the lyrics to people now, whereas in the old days it was a little too blasphemous. They are telling stories but in a really cool way.
How about your album artwork? Obviously that is important as it is visual. Do you have a specific process of choosing an artist or do you just pick something you like?
Doom of the Occult had a John Martin cover. He was an English painter who I really admire. It just fitted with the concept of the downfall of mankind. Nine Graves has really amazing artwork done by Timo Ketola and Manuel Tinnemans. I’m really looking forward to it coming out.
And finally, is there a message you would like to give to the readers before you go?
WE WON’T SPLIT UP! * laughs * We are absolutely amazed that so many people would like to come and see us. It’s so important to us so it’s no ordinary job, we appreciate all of this and I really appreciate having an interview right now. You know, we live our dream and we live for the band. Thank you.