Words like “mystagogy”, “Esoteric Art”, “subconscious” and “ritual” among others could describe the unique artistic universe of Shibalba, the ritualistic dark ambient project of Acherontas V.Priest, Aldra-Al-Melekh, Karl NE/Nachzehrer & Nekelmu ILU (session live member). Since we don’t want to ruin the unexpected, no more will be mentioned in this foreword. Take a deep breath & read below….
Please share a few words about Shibalba. What made you form this project and keep it alive since 2009?
The vibrations and calling that led to the formation of Shibalba derive from and are deeply connected to our personal practices and views. It came as a natural outcome, and will always be a pure expression of our work with the currents we serve. It is not just a call to create art, but something beyond that, a ceremonial manifestation of our vision into sound forms.
Apart from Shibalba, you are also involved in the black metal act Acherontas. How can you combine these two, diverse in a way, forms of artistic expression?
The diversity that occurs from our involvement in both a black metal act and a ritual ambient project is only phenomenal. We draw our inspiration from certain sources and experiences that surpass musical barriers and find their way to expression through different forms. We have never let ourselves be limited by narrow metal aesthetics in the past, regardless of the trends and periodical motives in black metal. The Shibalba circle formed after a long experience in a musical and spiritual field that is even more boundless and we set our course based only on our personal motives, shaping our musical perspective ceremonially.
Your last album ‘Teachings Of Eastern Traditions’ was released through the legendary label Cold Spring. How did this collaboration come about? Are you satisfied so far?
It is a great honour to be part of Cold Spring, a label deeply connected with the worldwide experimental scene, since they even shaped a particular current into the genre with countless quality releases. Among them, there are many of our favourite releases in the genre from the 80s-90s when this musical movement took shape. It is also a great honour to share this release with PHURPA, a circle that bears a very strong name in the ritual, shamanistic ambient circles.
Which are the main influences for Shibalba music?
As stated above, the motives and influences derived from our personal experiences in the spiritual fields and currents that we serve. It is hard and futile to describe, even catastrophic to be specific regarding the creating forces behind our art, since over-analysis destroys the musical mystery of the listener. We invite the audience to dream and work with our music, to stimulate their inner flame and experience astrally the core of our manifestations.
‘The Mission behind this Esoteric Art is to Guide the Subconscious of the Individual to Dream Beyond the Skin of Matter and to Dream in Ecstasy and Exaltation. The Magical Trip is Boundless..’ Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe these are your words. Could you please be more explanatory regarding this statement?
There is much to be said about this statement, and yet much not to be said. We would rather not limit the extent of the phrases with explanations; otherwise the phrases would lose their meaning.
Which other Greek dark ambient artists would you suggest paying attention to?
I am not able to answer this question as I have not noticed anything. Sorry.
Your live shows are like ceremonies with intense mystagogy. Do you believe that this is the best way to capture the audience’s attention, or is it just an integral part of Shibalba?
The selected ceremonies of Shibalba bear a strong symbolism and are a very important part of our work. We do not regard them as a live or promotional chance, but a very special occurrence which works on many levels. Each manifestation of Shibalba is unique, an outcome of creative improvisation and balance.
What are your views regarding Occultism?
This is a question that is not easy to answer, since we always prefer to keep silent about our spiritual sources and foundation. We work on many levels and combine many traditions within our perspective, each member possessing unique expression and dedication.
You are going to appear in the ETOR Dark Ambient Fest, along with some significant artists, which takes place at Death Disco between 6-8 May. How do you feel about this?
We are proud to be part of it. I hope the Greek audience appreciate this effort and support it.
What are your future plans regarding Shibalba?
Some selective ceremonies have been confirmed worldwide for this year and some recordings also. No more can be revealed for now. Thank you.