nobody movie_Ars Moriendi’s storied black metal embraces the obscure

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Metal artists routinely rely on history in the service of spectacle. Most metalheads are nerds something, and her love for her muses, historical or otherwise, is contagious. For example, no one would sing about the charge of the Light Brigade if they weren’t completely fascinated by it. Her adoration triggers an emotional transference of falling in love with Cthulhu, shall we say, if only because her favorite band makes Cthulhu cool.

Taking into account that The Art of Dying‘s third album He is buried Hallelujah becomes obscure history fashion. It tells the story of the bloodthirsty French pirate François l’Olonnais and his eventual sinking at the clutches of a cannibal tribe. It’s dramatic as hell, an attribute Ars Moriendi further embellished on their 2021 album The unreasonable silence of heaven. The Arsonist is the sole member of the French group and kindly spoke to us about how his love of obscure French history, family musical lineage and taste in cinema feed into his craft.

The Arsonist formed Ars Moriendi in the early 2000s as an instrumental dungeon synthesizer side project for his then-current band Solipsis. After that group disbanded, he focused on Ars Moriendi, first evolving by adding elements like vocals, horns and a heavier black metal emphasis, then refining his songwriting process. He says: “I spend a lot more time on my compositions now than when I was doing demos (2001-2007) when I was recording a lot. I pay a lot more attention to the details now, the sequences, the overall structure, the arrangements… It seems like a logical progression for a musician to me, we’re becoming more and more demanding and the listeners are becoming more and more demanding.”

His latest album The unreasonable silence of heaven is a sublime drama combining black metal, ambient, spoken word, electronic, jazz and trip-hop. Given Ars Moriendi’s historical basis, its tonal palette can seem confusing. The arsonist even questions how his musical and historical interests interact. “I often ask myself… Does it make sense to listen to this song about the life of monks in a monastery in the 15th century? century to add an electronic effect? The answer is just a matter of feeling. do i like it effect of the historical atmosphere that I want harm? If my own answer is no, then I can use it.”

These stylish attributes match the bombastic nature of his motifs. In addition to pirates and cannibals, Ars Moriendi also writes about the dark history of choirboys in northern France in the 16th century (The Arsonist dedicated his university thesis to the subject), Charles Baudelaire’s modernist drinking recommendation “Enivrez-vous” and the life of the 15th-century monk Girolamo Savonarola . He combs through the deep cuts of history. Debauchery and religiosity go hand in hand, galloping through pastures less about rigid form and more about narrative.

Perhaps the most revealing insight into Ars Moriendi’s craft is his fascination with Mamoru Oshii. The Japanese director excels at challenging conventional storytelling practices. His approach can be summed up in the mantra of his style is the substance that prefers world-building and thematic resonance to action. Oshii plays it fast and loose with his source material. He turns characters into metaphors, turning them into sentient questions at odds with his assembled worlds. Observe the philosophical ghost in the shell (which you should have by now) or the unpredictable Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer (which is way better than Inception) for reference.

Oshii’s influence flows into the music of Ars Moriendi. The arsonist admits to taking off directly from Oshii. “I remember using samples taken from avalon on one of Ars Moriendi’s first demos and repeatedly raised philosophical questions (for example on the album From the depths of a being and the track “Ghost”).” He then adds, “I was very impressed with the film avalonfrom the two ghost in the shell Movies and his way of filming, through his long sequences, bringing us back into the feelings of his characters – their loneliness, their nostalgia, their metaphysical questions.

The director’s touch pervades the band’s pace. Ars Moriendi takes a similar approach to Oshii, in which characters and moods are instruments in dynamic sagas, propelling them through multiple phases, traversing different genres and bouncing between points like a lucid dreamer.

The Arsonist’s earlier comments about audience demand raise a question; When people demand more from the music, who exactly demands raspy black metal with regal flourishes that would make the Knights of the Round Table blush? It’s a niche market and Ars Moriendi doesn’t capitulate to a wider audience. The arsonist prefers epics like “Un néant à l’égard de l’infini” or He is buried Hallelujah“Ecce homo”. Each has an idiosyncratic aspect, like the former’s trip-hop segues or the latter’s brass interlude, drawing from The Arsonist’s upbringing and academic interests. He talks about the interface between jazz and his family. “As for the jazz influence: It’s a bit different, it’s more of a family origin, since my father is a trumpeter and is passionate about jazz and jazz-rock. He has also participated in several recordings on the albums with his saxophonist brother He is buried Hallelujah and further The loneliness of the pious villain.”

The idiosyncrasy of Ars Moriendi, however, compels an audience. It may seem like you would need a bachelor’s degree in French history to fully grasp the relevance of, say, The Sabat Mater by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. It could be a potential barrier to entry for some regarding Ars Moriendi. It’s less of a deal-breaker and more of a call to action. The arsonist’s opulent music calls for investigation. It encourages curiosity about obscure subjects in a way that no one can imagine but, in hindsight, strikes an obvious chord. The arsonist’s curiosity ties the pieces together. As he puts it, “I would be tempted to answer that the theme that ties it all together is me; my questioning of life, people and everything that surrounds us, and which I address directly or through characters with tragic fates closer.”

The unreasonable silence of heaven published on September 24, 2021 via Archaic sound.

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