THE WAY OF PURITY

THE WAY OF PURITY might seem like a joke to some. Read this interview and make up your own mind of they are a joke or not. I know what I think in this matter. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

What is that the anonymity of using mask gives you that you would otherwise not be able to do?
– Well, it’s a good question. The first goal is that people love or hate us…There’s no middle way when it comes to people with no faces, no names etc. Some are really pissed off with this thing and hate us, telling that it’s a marketing thing, we are like Slipknot, we are clowns etc etc… There are many, instead, that think that we are so true that we don’t want to exploit our message for our personal goals in music in the scene and support us or understand our choice. So in a few words it gave us more hype than we expected. On top of that we have to keep our faces hidden cause we are activists and we support the animal liberation front so authorities, police and many other think that we are terrorists. Having the masks allows us to do and say what we think it’s morally right, not what is legally right if you know what I mean.

I have no problem with people fighting for a cause but I think that in a democracy you should stand up and show your true face and not hide behind any sort of cover. How political is The Way of Purity?
-I think that what I am doing with TWOP is way more correct than what I am as a person. I mean with TWOP I have a mission: spread a message through my music, in life I can do actions to help and fight for what I stand for without music. I explain: if I play a concert, or make an interview I can tell hundreds of people about my religion, about nature, animals etc… In my normal life I can just act like a normal activist so I can help animals with donations, rescue, liberation and fight for them. There’s no difference in fact, but that’s for me and its deep into my soul. For the other people, that, would be so different since they could accuse me of using my message and the suffering of animals, for instance, to become famous, show my face on magazines or festivals, gain some money, fuck some girls or whatever….Like 99% of the bands do. So I just keep the 2 things separated. What I do with a mask is known by many but they don’t know me…What I do with my face is only known by few… The few ones that fight with me or the ones I help (animals for instance). About my personality, I am quite sure that many wouldn’t like to know how rude, direct and unmerciful I am… So they better see me as a monster (or clown, as they like) with a mask. But the ones that consider me a clown have to understand that behind the mask there’s a nice guy…in my case the mask is better than the real face, so many that know me wouldn’t agree with the fact that I could be a clown cause unfortunately I am dead serious. My real face is not nice, my name doesn’t sound good and I am not the person that is going to lick not even one ass, so I am way more a monster without a mask. But you see, with a mask I can tell you what I think without sounding like a big head, since I have no reason to make a mask sound like a superman. The Way Of Purity is not involved in any political view or action. We are just the hand of God and we act like that.

How far can you take a political agenda and not lose the music fans? When does politics replace music and you just end up a tired old speech?
-Man, our religion is different. It is right that you are talking about religion like you do with politics, because all religions are like that: a mixture of human fears, money, powers and politics. Our religion is different : it is pure and there’s no tired speech as you can see. It’s all about a message that is being supported or hated by people with different or opposite political point of views so it has nothing to do with what you are talking about.

When do animal rights become more important than human rights? My standpoint is that every kind of animal is necessary for the eco balance but animal rights can never take precedence over human rights.
-In fact you are right, since animal and human rights should be equal. That’s what we stand for. Animals are exploited by humans…for money, meat, product but animals do not exploit humans. Animals never felt like a superior race, humans do. If it was true, ok, I was going to accept this but I am sorry…It is a big lie. How can a race that don’t even know where it is coming from call itself like “intelligent” ? Man, if you don’t know where you are coming from, you don’t even know where you are going. If nature made us forget everything, there is a reason. So what we want is animals and humans to be the same. Humans developed a new form of racism that is called Specicism and you cannot hide or deny it. Then, when it comes to examples I have to say that I will always follow animal’s examples and not the human ones but that another thing…That’s all about being strong or weak and everyone can make its own choice. The more people you love, the weaker you are…The more animals you follow as examples the stronger you become, think of it.

I see that you have no problem using female nudity as a tool. When does that tool become dull and end up working against you instead for you?
-We only used nudity because we need the blood to flow on the naked skin. The nudity we use is always related to blood and pain. The blood represents the pain of the animals and the unfair direction that this world has taken. Nothing more, nothing less. There’s no other reason. You will never see us using nudity (female or male) as a marketing thing, but maybe we get the opposite reaction from people, they hate it…it is ok to see the blood on the slaughter house’s floor but not on a body. That’s pure hypocrisy.

Ok, let’s talk metal. How different is the “Equate” album compared to the first one “Crosscore”
-As I said already the only difference is in the production. With “Crosscore” we wanted to sound cold, inhuman and mechanical. Equate has a completely different approach with analogue and warm sound, dreamy and emotional mood. At this time we wanted to sound more human and make an album that represents the suffering and sadness from the human point of view. There are a lot of humans that suffer for what others are doing and cry or feel desperate because cannot change things because of global interests and profit. That’s what we want to pay tribute to. We paid a tribute to those.

How hard do you have to work to come up with stuff that works? Is there any sort of criteria that you work after? Does it have to have a certain amount of this or that to be a TWOP song?
-Yes there’s a criteria that we work for and it’s really easy…We try to make our music recognisable. It is called “musical identity” and it’s all given by some things that you have to think about when you write a song. Like using the same sound for all the songs, with some points that are common in all of them, the same kind of arrangements or things that people could easily perceive as your “trademark”. We always try to follow this rule, but I am not saying that we have been able to do it…We tried to give to our songs this “new wave” mood, even when parts are violent or soft. It came out quite epic for that reason. Then you have a collective identity of the songs (album), and you can reach it only thinking about just one thing and not many different pieces. The production helps to melt everything and make it have the technically called “family sound”. We try to make our message fit into the music as well with emotions and “colours”.
In fact we are all more producers than musicians. If we had the same skills we have as producers in musicianship we would be much more known as a band. That’s the “weapon” that many journalists and people used against us…Without the message, masks ecc nobody would care about TWOP. I don’t if this is true…Time will tell, in the meantime the message grows.

When playing live how important does the stage show become? Is it important to provide the audience with more than just five people moving about on stage?
-Yes, when we are on stage, the stage becomes the universe and everything we do is related to show the intensity of our message to the people. We use intros, prayers, spoken parts and the songs to let the crowd feel the intensity of the pain. It is a compact whole thing…there’s no silence, breaks or whatever that could make the people bored. I am not saying that we are able to do it, we just try.

When you tour are you particular specific about who you tour with or is the exposure you can get more important?
-Honestly, in the beginning we thought that we could think of who we were touring with and select the bands but in the end we toured with some bands for the exposure. We are too small as a band to make such “rockstar” bullshit…First it doesn’t belong to our attitude, second if we criticize rock stars or wannabes we have to demonstrate that we are different. Of course this is not the case of Negura Bunget, since we toured with them because we really respect their message and attitude…maybe a little bit different with some other bands we toured with, but whatever if it’s a good tour and we can do what we want, get vegan food and at least see respect from other bands we do it. I don’t want to lie, so that’s how it is.

What goodies does the future hold for TWOP?
-On april the 14th we will release “Equate” in the US, via a charity project created by journalist Ray Holroyd. Then we will release some other news (good and bad) and we’ll continue working for our goals.

ATER ERA ”In Autumn’s Solitary Decline”

ATER ERA
”In Autumn’s Solitary Decline”
(Mater Tenebrarum)
Ok, so I don’t know too much about the Slovenian metal scene, even though I’m slowly getting to know more and more about it. Ater Era is a black metal band of the more basic kind. This is straight for the neck black metal (all vampire references non-intentional) that takes no prisoners. Think early Darkthrone, early Mayhem and maybe a bit of early Immortal and you have a pretty good picture of where you’ll find this band musically. I like this kind of raw, primal black metal. No fancy dressing, just plain and raw black metal. You get pictures of deep forests and dark nights listening to this album. There is a shimmer of mysticism to this album that I like. I get to make up my own images of what I want this black metal to mean to me. Cool enough black metal for me to enjoy it thoroughly. Anders Ekdahl
(http://matertenebrarum.bandcamp.com/album/in-autumns-solitary-decline)

BLOODSOAKED “The Death of Hope”

BLOODSOAKED
“The Death of Hope”
(Comatose Records)
A really good death metal album does something to me that I can’t really explain. There is something to the down tuned guitars that get my guts moving in a most pleasant way. Bloodsoaked might have a couple of albums to their name but I’ve managed to miss them all. Too bad given what I hear on this album. There is a ferocity to it that attracts me. I like it when it feels like there’s no pardon, that you are about to be run over by a stampeding horde of buffalos. You can only sit back and take it with no possibility of defending yourself. I kinda felt like that the first time I heard this album. A good death metal album is like a great catharsis. A real cleansing of the intestinal system. You got rid of all the shit and ends up with just the most essential. I kinda feel like that after a trip with Bloodsoaked. Anders Ekdahl

CYCLOPHONIA “Impact Is Imminent”

CYCLOPHONIA
“Impact Is imminent”
(Battlegod Productions)
No this is not Norwegian Cyclophonia doing Exodus album by the same name. This is nowhere near thrash metal. Instead this is power metal the way it was done in the early 00s. It’s been a long time since I heard a power metal album and even longer since I heard a Norwegian one. With my love for trad metal I will always have a special spot for power metal in my heart. And as such this is not too shabby. Sure, you get all the usual trademarks but what did you expect. What I like about power metal is the combination of power and melodies. You can actually sing along to it if you so like. Great stuff to do the dishes to while you sing the choruses. I can’t think of another Norwegian power metal band apart from ARTCH back in the 80s. That would make Cyclophonia a rare breed and should therefore be treated with respect. Anders Ekdahl

5 STAR GRAVE “Drug Store Hell”

5 STAR GRAVE
“Drug Store Hell”
(Massacre)
With a name like 5 Star Grave this could be anything. I actually don’t know what to make of this album. Do they want to be the next Sonic Syndicate or are they aiming at some sort of thrash’n’roll. All I can think of is that the Misfits have gone crazy on thrash and glam. Not the stuff I usually get going on but I gotta admit that there is something to the crazy, sped up version of what White Zombie used to do that appeals to me. It feels like this stuff is all over the place, sometime like a rockabilly act tripping on the worst kind of drugs. I gotta say that I enjoyed this more than I actually thought I’d do. It is filled with short sharp shocks of songs that makes you want to dance like crazy, even if you don’t usually dance. Still can’t shake the feeling of this being a strange hybrid of Swedish melodeath overdosing on rocka/psychobilly. Anders Ekdahl

LLVME “Yia De Neseu”

LLVME
“Yia De Neseu”
(My Kingdom)
At first I thought the band name was some roman numerical code but it is actually the Leones word for fire. This Spanish band mixes all kinds of metal genres in an effort to make it all their own. I gotta admit that at first it all sounded like the emperor’s new clothes; all show and no substance but the more I indulged the more I realised that there is something to this. It is not just for show. So what do you get when you mix black, folk, doom and any other sub-genre you can think of? Well, you get LLVME to start with. And let me tell you, that isn’t too bad. This album in all its eclecticism is proof that if you have a strong conviction everything is possible. Anders Ekdahl

L’ALBA DI MORRIGAN “The Essence Remains”

L’ALBA DI MORRIGAN
“The Essence Remains”
(My Kingdom)
I can understand why Katatonia has started a trend amongst metal bands. There is no escaping the melancholy of our northern brethrens. But is there the same kind of melancholy in Italy. L’Alba Morrigan at least try to roam in the same quarters as Katatonia. And they succeed pretty well with it. There is a sadness and melancholy to this that make you want to turn off the lights and put on headphones and just indulge in the music. This is not party music in any way. This is not even music you enjoy in the company of others. This is music for those lonely moments when you don’t want to socialize with anybody. This is alone-time music. This is music for those of us who think that Novembers Doom, Katatonia and not so many more are the greatest things to come since the wheel was invented. This is shoegazing metal in all its glory. Anders Ekdahl

MOONLOOP “Deeply From The Earth”

MOONLOOP
“Deeply From The Earth”
(Listenable)
I sometime create an image of what I think a band will sound like just from seeing the band name. With a name like Moonloop I kind a expected something psychedelic but instead I got a death metal band that made me think of a cross between Morgoth and Six Feet Under. There is a groove to this that hooks me in and don’t let go until I’ve totally surrendered. There is something to this that is so infectious that you can’t defend yourself against it. It’s not the most original and it is not the most adventurous but still you can’t stop listening to it. This proved to be the album I didn’t know I missed. Kinda cool how some albums just creep up on you and grab you by the neck. Anders Ekdahl

NACHTVORST “Silence”

NACHTVORST
“Silence”
(Code666)
Whenever I see the word experimental mentioned along with any sort of metal I get vibes of something totally off the wall noise creations. Nachtvorst “Silence” might be labelled experimental but it wasn’t as weird or as hard to get as I thought. There are elements of funeral doom, regular doom as well as black metal as well as some sort of weird cabaret sounds. There is an element of sadness/despair to this that I like. A longing for something better. This is the kind of music that I can listen to anytime of the day and feel better for having done so. I like the combination of the more sombre sounds with the aggressive black metal attacks. It gives the album an aura of despair and frustration. My kind of music. Anders Ekdahl

RISE OF MALICE “S/T”

RISE OF MALICE
“S/T”
(War Prod.)
Rise Of Malice is a Greek black metal band in the old school. This is raw and basic the way it was in Norway back in the 90s. Think Darkthrone after they left their death metal to the wayward and went totally necro. There is a charm to this kind of black metal, a basic need that needs being served. I like the fact that it is only guitar, bass and drums and a voice from hell. The simplicity of it all is part of the charm with this kind of metal. It’s like the punk version of black metal. No fussing about, just to the point music. It can’t get any simpler than that. Rise Of Malice might still be in their demo stage (this is their second demo) but that doesn’t matter too much. That this is released on tape also adds to the charm of it all. Anders Ekdahl