Friday 7 August 2015

Underground Uncovered #4 - Eigenlicht

After a bit of break, I'm back with another instalment of Underground Uncovered. In this series of ongoing features, I take a look at and share new or unheard bands. For me heavy metal and punk is all about discovery and if you're prepared to do some digging about, you'll be rewarded with some great finds. Feature number 4 brings me to the ever expanding and enthralling USBM scene and the Olympia (Washington) quartet Eigenlicht. I've been lucky enough to speak to the band about their beginnings, their 2015 debut release and experiences as a band. I'll also be reviewing their EP "Sacral Regicide" later in the piece.

TNIO: Can you provide an introduction into Eigenlicht and who the band members are? 

Eigenlicht was formed in 2013 in the late Autumn in Olympia, WA. Past and current projects of members include Vradiazei, Fauna, Skagos and Ekstasis. Our music wrestles with the cyclical psyche, amplifying the tension between its subsequent annihilation and the attainment of inner mastery. We make these kinds of transformative revelations present in our music by exposing new twists in the labyrinth we walk together.

TNIO: You recently released “Sacral Regicide” on tape. How important was it for Eigenlicht to have a physical release available for fans? 

While we sacrificed a certain amount of sonic clarity in releasing a cassette tape, the tape more effectively encourages the listener to live with the recording in its entirety.

TNIO: What are some the themes present in your music? Nowadays, it seems as though black metal takes its imagery and narrative from many different places, is that the case with your music? 

The focus of Eigenlicht lies within the realms of ancient mythology. We are interested in what truths may be told by stories that have managed to survive over thousands of years. In Sacral Regicide we focused on the centuries-old practice of ritual regicide, wherein a King and his entire court were sacrificed to the heavens upon the end of his Eon as accorded by the stars. This practice can be traced to several different archaic high civilizations. To Eigenlicht, this concept is the ideal representation of spiritual death in return for new growth. Perhaps a little predictably, setting these themes to Black Metal carried the spirit of the journey best. We want the listener to use our music as a chariot by which to bravely hasten the ascendance of the heart. 

TNIO: Eigenlicht maintains a low-key presence in terms of Social Media and live shows? Is that something that you have purposefully aimed for? Are you planning to perform live in the future? 

Our live performances are the most important element of our identity as a band. We work toward an atmosphere that invalidates reality, while offering an inescapably dreamlike context where nothing is impossible. The Internet will never be able to convey this kind of immersive experience. 

TNIO: How has the collective experience of the members helped Eigenlicht as a band? 

Our individually unique backgrounds as musicians cultivates our sound. Collectively we share strong interests in traditional folk music from many different cultures, archaic languages, and early western classical music. 

TNIO: Olympia, Washington is home to some of metal’s most influential bands including Earth and Wolves In The Throne Room. What is it about Olympia that keeps producing such bands and what is it like to be part of the city’s heavy music scene? 

The energy in Olympia is one that affects all who live here. We have a long and dark winter, and fuelled by the lack of light and close tides many people are inspired to plough through arduous artistic processes. There is also a high availability of space in which to air one’s own experiments. The close proximity of wild spaces and abundant natural beauty is prima materia for these kinds of introspective and Æsthetic endeavors.

TNIO: Following on from that previous question, are there any other bands in Olympia that you specifically like that people should listen to? 

Spectral Hatchery, Ēōs.

TNIO Finally, what are the future plans for Eigenlicht (that you can talk about)?

The continued path toward personal and collective transformation/annihilation.


1. Province Of Immolated Kings
2. Autor Ego Audendi

Eigenlicht draw inspiration from the nature around them, from the mysterious and even the mystical. Their collective love for folk-music allows them to detach themselves from the extremities of their chosen musical path and in doing so, has helped them to craft Sacral Regicide. While many others have formed bands that appeal to today’s shortening attention span, Eigenlicht presents a more measured approach. On Province Of Immolated Kings, their black metal is peppered with melodic keys, razor-sharp guitar and tortured screams. The addition of analog drums provides them with a colder backdrop as well, while the organ is hauntingly real. After the pacier assault of opener Province…, the initial bars of Autor Ego Audendi are strangely relaxing. Of course in true black metal style, that feeling doesn’t last very long as not even a minute has gone by when they hit full throttle again. It’s hard not to get swept away by the music on Sacral Regicide. With so many bands vying for attention in the murky depths of USBM, very few get the attention they actually deserve. Listening to this EP should change all of that for Eigenlicht. Hopefully, there’ll be plenty more to come from this mysterious four-piece in the future. 

There's no social media presence for you to get hung up on, but you can stream Sacral Regicide here via Eigenlicht's bandcamp page:-

As tape copies have now sold out, it's available as a name-your-price-download.

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