Back from the dead, Swedish black metal outfit Leviathan return after 18 (!) years of silence with the followup to their 2002 debut “Far Beyond The Light”. The new LP “Förmörkelse” is written by, and all instruments are played by, Roger “Phycon” Markström. He got some help with prominent guest appearances, by members from Dråpsnatt and Vintersorg. We caught up with Roger to get a comment about the new album…
Leviathan about “Förmörkelse”…
Hello Roger, please tell us about the new album, “Förmörkelse”.
The new album has taken quite some time to be completely finalized and that is really kind of bizarre and weird, but also fascinating… I have for a long time had an urge to continue the ‘Leviathan journey’ and from time to time I was contacted by labels giving lousy offers. I have also ‘from natural causes’ learnt that it is important to be able to trust each other, in the relation between the artist and the label. After finally finding a label to work with, I got up to speed with the writing which was performed by me and me only in utter lonelieness, except for my Gibson guitar. I took my ideas and created promos and then the real recording of the album took place in three different studios in Skellefteå, Sweden.
This all may sound like a walk in the park, but behind this is misery – the album is truly about personal experiences, from the last 18 years, in the form of violence, drugs, alcohol, knives, bloodshed, disgusting perversion and perfect purity – these dark and sometimes tragic happenings constitutes the fundament for “Förmörkelse”, and without them the album wouldn’t exist…
Nebular Carcoma press release
“One of the most cult names before the term “cult” began being bandied about with reckless abandon, Leviathan appeared out of nowhere in 2002 with one album, Far Beyond the Light, and then disappeared forever. Granted, the man behind this Leviathan was no newcomer: one Phycon, who concurrently drummed in Armagedda before their demise and the precursor Volkermord. As such, the breadth of ambition across Förmörkelse was startling if not completely unexpected. So pure, so cold, and yet so brimming with lifeless life – an intentional paradox, perhaps – here did Phycon ably bridge the ’90s wave of black metal which so informed his youth with the yet-to-burst wave beginning at the dawn of the new millennium. It was an invigorating experience for all who heard it, and has since become a collector’s item, released as it was by Shining‘s since-closed Selbstmord Services label.
But, just like how Far Beyond the Light appeared literally out of nowhere, so, too, does Leviathan’s comeback with Förmörkelse. Almost picking up right where the debut album left off, after a tense intro does Leviathan-the-man waste no time in establishing a splendorously grim atmosphere, roiling with the rippling physicality which so endeared that debut whilst maintaining a perversely invigorating melancholy. Each of the subsequent nine tracks build both with patience and urgency, each deliriously dark texture taking its time to wrap its black leathery wings around the listener. An ages-old sort of melodicism is intertwined throughout, often draped in haunting / shimmering shades of chorus pedal, which works as ghostly counterpoint to the gnashing pulse so central to the Leviathan aesthetic. And central to that is Phycon’s exquisitely deft and daresay-swinging drum-work, which even shines during the album’s moments of restraint and repose, allowing space and shade to work their magick as Förmörkelse moves on. And, by record’s end, the listener is left with catharsis and climax – so pure, so cold, and yet so vibrant.
Indeed, Leviathan’s brilliance radiates outward through the ages, across decades, and remains just as vital and timeless as when the band began. If it takes nearly another 20 years for the follow-up to Förmörkelse, so be it: we are only richer for experiencing Phycon’s vision when he so chooses to reveal it.”
Taster from the album
Leviathan – “Förmörkelse” track listing
- Avgrundens Återsken
- Verklighetens Väv
- En Tidlös Illvilja
- Melankolins Ävja
- Babylons Sand
- Pestens Sigill