Hails to DIVINE CODEX! Tell us of your new full length release, The Dark Descent! This is your second full length album, does it have a central theme or sound you wanted to convey?
Atum: The new album “The Dark Descent” represents all the experiences we’ve been through since the debut album “Ante Matter”. All the experiences we had since then helped us growing as composers, something you will feel when listening to the new record. We took our style to the next level, yet following the concept of the first album, adding more haunting melodies, breakdowns, solos and so on, with the support of our brothers Mysteriis, Bernth and Fabio, who really made this album special.
What words would you use to describe your music? Obviously, we are accustomed to words like ‘fast, ambient, grim, brutal, etc.’ describing guitars and drums but lyrically, there seems a prevalent philosophy involved…
Atum: I would never use such words, simply because they wouldn’t describe the feeling you have while listening to our stuff. I’d rather describe that as journey through the depths of the mind, something that everyone would experience in a different way rather than just playing a record with a click you know…that’s the key aspect of good Music.
2010 saw the release of your debut full length, Ante Matter. I noticed a slightly more ‘up-front’ sound with the drums, particularly the kick drums. What is the recording process like for DIVINE CODEX to capture your relentless sound?
Atum: We had no particular plans soundwise, as usual, so I can’t tell you why a certain instrument sounds that way. We simply tried to capture the essence of these songs the best we could, and I’m proud to say we definitely nailed it.
What other differences would you cite to compare and contrast Ante Matter with The Dark Descent? What goals did you have when you began writing this new release, possibly elements you were not able to explore previously?
Atum: Well, “Ante Matter” was pure aggression and insanity put in Music, so to speak. “The Dark Descent” shows our evolution as a band, with more complex soundwriting. As far as exploring is concerned, we are always up for that, and you can really tell by listening to the new record.
The lyric book features the words ‘From the high spheres, to the deepest abyss, a dark descent towards the light of the mind.’ Tell us a little more of this philosophy, and what the meaning of the bands name?
Atum: That’s basically the concept behind the two albums, we began our journey taking the listener through the vastness of the endless stellar void, and now we make him fall into the abyss of the mind in order to further explore this haunting dimension.
I was initially contacted by GUH.LU about the interview, for which I am quite fortunate! Having known of his involvement with Singapore’s IMPIETY, I was excited to hear The Dark Descent! How did you relationship come about?
Atum: We shared the stage in 2008 and kept in contact after that, both of us felt the need to express new ideas somehow, so we got together and formed Divine Codex, that’s it !
How are the songs written? Do you write the songs and them present them to the other musicians or does everyone have their own involvement when writing?
Atum: It usually starts with a guitar riff. After that I write down my parts so we can record a basic song structure demo, everything else is left to improvisation in the studio, that’s how we like to work and it came out pretty good so far.
What influences the music of DIVINE CODEX? Art and music, religion and philosophy, etc.? How do you feel these things manifest in your music?
Atum: Personally I found out that most of my influences come from everyday life rather than books or anything else, music wise, I’d say that bands like Satyricon, Thorns, Emperor and Mayhem played a key role in developing my drumming style, I still listen to their records after all these years, it should mean something you know…
Vocals on The Dark Descent were performed by Mysteriis of SETHERIAL, who was also involved in creating the DIVINE CODEX logo. Have the two of you been working on DIVINE CODEX for some time before it’s inception? What is the band’s history, anyway?!
Atum: As I said before, Divine Codex was created after i shared the stage with guh lu in 2008. Basically we shared the same ideas and needs for a new band, so we jammed in a recording studio and recorded the first album straight away. Nothing was planned before that, so the birth of the band was very quick, once we decided to start the project we met directly in the studio !
A word on the logo: it is very atypical of ‘death metal’ or ‘black metal’ logos…it is legible!!! Judging by the printed, intelligent lyrics, sensible artwork and amazing atmosphere, DIVINE CODEX aspires to be an atypical band. How do you feel you are set apart from the millions of other groups?
Atum: Honestly ? I don’t give a fuck. But now that you say so, I’m just proud of that. That’s the way we are expressing our thoughts, our vision, our musical path, and if it’s original and set apart from millions of copycat bands, that’s even better you know ! We’re just tired of stereotypes and boundaries, that’s like the plague of this genre of Music, I’m happy I finally had the opportunity to develop ideas freely through this project.
I found some videos online of rehearsals, preparing for a festival. What musicians do you recruit for these events? Do you tour regularly or have the means to? With members being involved in other projects (IMPIETY, SETHERIAL), does this make it more difficult to schedule times to write, record, perform, etc.?
Atum: We were lucky to have our brother S.H. helping us both times we hit the road, that’s what I love about the Asian scene you know, everyone is 100% dedicated and willing to truly support, something rare to find here…Well, as you can see we decided to go for a three piece lineup for live gigs, it just makes it easier to rehearse and get ready to go onstage. As far as touring is concerned, we’re setting up the next gigs, we’d like to tour 365 days, but unfortunately this genre is getting worse than fucken pop music, everyone asks for money and support bands are not there because they are worthy anymore, but just because they paid for it. That being said, we’re doing our best to embark on a major tour soon!
What is the current state of DIVINE CODEX? Are you preparing for more festivals or tours, writing and recording…
Atum: We’re currently writing down some stuff for the third album, we’re taking some more time than usual to get the parts done since the third album is always an important step in a band’s career, and we want it to be killer !
The last words are yours, thanks for your time!!!
Atum: Thank you for the interview ! be sure to check us out at www.facebook.com/divinecodexofficial