The Hellenic Black Metal scene is known to Extreme Metal listeners all over the world. With a distinctive sound, warm and full compared to the coldness of its Scandinavian brothers, many times interspersed with elements of traditional Greek music and filled with anguish and spirituality, the Greek sound adds color and soul to Black Metal through its distinctiveness.
Among the children of this unmistakable scene, a newly-formed band stands out through its innovative sound. Moeror is a Black Metal band from Athens, Greece, consisting of four members: X., as vocalist, Giannis A. and Kostis P. , as guitarists, and Nodas Z., as bassist. The band was formed in 2018 and has released, so far, two studio materials: an EP called ,,Sag”, in 2019, and a full length album called ,,The Ghosts of Amour Propre’’, in 2020.
X. is none other than the vocalist of Human Serpent, and has been involved in other bands such as Necrowhore, Sordid Dogs (as Filthgrinder), and Os Entis, while the other three members of the band, Giannis A., Kostis P. and Nodas Z, are also playing in Greek melodic Doom/Death Metal band Nekkar.
Moeror’s sound is varied and diverse, combining elements of traditional Greek BM, Post-Metal, Second Wave BM and, in small doses, even Doom, making this band stand out as a very original presence in the Hellenic BM scene.
Luckily we’ve had the chance to interview this original and creative band, and we hope their answers will give our readers insight into a very interesting project of the Hellenic BM scene.
First of all, thank you very much for this interview! Moeror was formed in 2018 by already established musicians. What is the story behind the foundation of the band, why was it born and what were the goals that you set for yourselves when you formed it?
Giannis: Thanks for having us! After a long period of music inactivity for me, plus some life related issues, the formation of this band came naturally, as the need to express myself grew stronger. The goal was to create music in our own terms, without any drawbacks concerning black metal clichés and rules. Moeror is a necessity to our everyday lives. A creative outlet if you will, to try and make sense of the disorienting everyday life.
The name of the band is very interesting and original. The word ,,Moeror’’ means ,,grief’’ in Latin. This would be a very inspired name for a BM band, but we’re not sure if this is the meaning behind the name of the band. Please, tell us how and why you chose it.
Giannis: Grief and anxiety definitely describe the suffocating reality of the modern world. This band was born from the core of this charade we call our lives. So, Moeror was a befitting name for us.
Usually, something from the beauty of a poem is lost when it is translated from its native language. Translated from Greek, the band’s lyrics sound extremely expressive, they are true poems, so I can only imagine the impact they have in their native language. X., how do you find inspiration in writing such beautiful lyrics, and why did you choose your native language to express your feelings?
X: I believe that the directness of one’s native language is the absolute way of reaching the pinnacle of expression regarding the dark sides of the soul and the subconscious. Moreover, I like punk music, where the use of one’s native language is more prevalent. Especially crust punk bands, can speak to you directly, whatever their language is. It doesn't matter if you understand them at first, searching to translate the lyrics, leads you into their world, to see things from their perspective.
The two recordings released so far are a musical voyage through the deepest emotions, a melancholic journey into the darkest corners of oneself and of mankind. How does the songwriting process go? How are such beautiful songs born?
Giannis: Thanks for your kind words. Inspiration can come at any time, from things you saw or read, as I believe happens with most musicians. If an idea is interesting to us, we start working on it and try to materialize it into a song.
,,Sag’’ and ,,The Ghosts of Amour Propre’’ are very intriguing names for an album. They are also titles of the tracks that give the name of each album. Why did you choose these names? Can you please talk a bit about the meaning of each of the records?
X:”Sag” is rough and raw inside and out. I don’t think any other word could be more appropriate. It is full of negative emotions that reflect my state of mind at that time.
“The Ghosts of Amour Propre” echoes the abysmal frenziness of human personality. Every song, musically and lyrically, is a part of an unfolding story. If you listen carefully from start to finish you will find many ghosts.
The band’s logo is very interesting and artistic. Who designed it and what does the beautiful drawing represent?
Kostis: The band logo was designed by Christophe Szpajdel who did a great job capturing the feelings we wanted to express. The moth is a symbol of death, but also rebirth and transformation. We wanted something striking and different, but also something that could somehow signify the sound of the band. At least to us.
How about the design and theme behind each album cover? Could you please talk a bit about them?
Kostis: The towering buildings in the cover represent for us the crushing of humanity’s spirit under the weight of their own lives. Every day, for most people, is lived under the shadow of the city. We wanted something that captures this feeling of being trapped under mundanity.
Moeror was formed in 2018. Given the fact that not long after the foundation of the band, the Covid-19 pandemic struck and travel restrictions were imposed, did you have a chance to tour? Do you plan any touring in the future, and if so, where would you like to play?
Kostis: Touring and playing live is not a priority for the time being, so we didn’t have to cancel anything.
What are the bands that have influenced you and that you respect the most? How about some newly formed bands that you appreciate a lot?
Kostis: We really appreciate the current Polish black metal scene, especially bands like Furia and Odraza. Also, the more experimental scene of Norwegian black metal, like Dødheimsgard, Ved Buens Ende and In The Woods… But, inspiration can come from things outside the metal genre, like soundtracks, especially from old horror movies.
Are you considering any collaboration with a band, in the future?
Kostis: Yes, we would really like to share a release with a like-minded band. Or even join forces musically in creating a collaborative piece of work.
Your initial EP was an independent release, while the full length album was released by 2020-founded Greek BM label, Black Theta. How did the recording process go with each release? How were they produced and what is the story behind their creation?
Giannis: We always wanted to be involved in music production, and tried to have as much involvement as we could in our earlier projects. That’s why we decided to release this album by our own Black Theta label, instead of going again for another self-release. The production, from recording to mixing and releasing “The Ghosts of Amour Propre”, was done almost entirely by us. We are pretty satisfied with the result and we will most definitely continue down this path.
What are your plans for the future? Have you already thought about when will your next album be released?
Giannis: We are planning to release some more music in 2021, but not a full length album probably. Anyways, we keep writing stuff and working on new ideas destined for the next full length.
Before we finish this interview, is there any message you would like to transmit your fans?
Kostis: We ‘d like to thank everyone that supported us in our vision. You will be hearing from us soon. Take care!
Interview by Silvia & Bryant Shelby