|Silent Leges Inter Arma
|Ad Plures Ire
|Black Metal / Death Metal
|14th of January, 2022
|Cover Artwork ©
|Silent Leges Inter Arma, 2022
After a pause of 10 years, German Black Metal duo Silent Leges Inter Arma returned with their current full-length Ad Plures Ire. On this album, this band dived deeper into the Epic of Gilgamesh when showcasing the process of “Ad Plures Ire” – going to the many. In order to find out a little better what this release is about, what the band did during the long pause and what changed apart from that, we had a brief talk about the aforementioned subjects.
Interview with Silent Leges Inter Arma
Greetings, Silent Leges Inter Arma! I hope you are doing alright these days while we still don’t exactly know what the future will bring. The release of your latest full-length “Ad Plures Ire” was three months ago – how was the resonance so far?
Except for two reviews very well. So far we have shipped the album to countries like Israel, USA, Italy etc. Beside that we got emails from several people who wanted to let us know that our music touches and helps them – and for me that is the greatest gift as a musician.
The band formation of Silent Leges Inter Arma was back in 2007, which is quite some time ago. When you thought about forming this band, what were the influences that brought up the idea of starting to play your own music? Were you already involved in other projects before that?
It was 2005 when I heard for the first time “Ceremony of Opposites” from Samael. It completely stuns me and this was the moment when I realized that I want to learn an instrument. Of course, at the beginning I played stuff like Cash or Metallica to learn to play guitar but it was from the beginning clear for me that I wanted to create my own music. My first “band” was more a punk band than anything else – alcohol and “play” guitar. Soon after that I met my first drummer M:G and we founded together with Attentäter as bassguitarist SLIA.
The musical environment especially in the spheres of Black Metal was quite different from now at that time. Do you still remember what your musical influences were back then when you started?
Of course, my all-time favorites: “Withstand the fall of time” from Immortal, “Ceremony of Opposites” from Samael and “under the sign of hell” from Gorgoroth. Other big influences at that time were Dornenreich, Enthroned and Zorn to name only a few.
Within 15 years of playing in the band, there are pretty much always line-up changes. On your current release, Silent Leges Inter Arma functioned as a duo only with M:F and D:B. What were the line-up changes you experienced in the past?
Well, it is very hard to find a bass guitarist who shares your musical visions, can play accordingly and is not an asshole. Therefore I decided after some trials to take over the bass part myself and let SLIA be a two-man band.
After the release of our first full-length album my drummer decided to change his complete life and moved away. Luckily I found D:B who shares my musical vision and is extremely motivated.
On your previous self-titled full-length that came via Eisenwald, you were a trio with an extra bass player yet now the band counts two members. Although you play live with two members as well, do you plan to regain a third band member on the bass or will you continue with the current lineup?
Hell no due to the aforementioned reasons. To be honest it is much easier to play as a combo because it is always possible to improvise on stage. Furthermore, the decision-making paths are pleasantly short (f.e. cover design, writing new music..). And at last I have a very special amplification setup so that there is no need of an extra bass guitarist.
Since the aforementioned self-titled full-length release, it took ten years until the release of your current album “Ad Plures Ire” – during that time you were busy building your own studio. However, you probably also spent a lot of time writing the songs of the album. What timespan embraced the writing process of the album and what musically filled the rest of the time for you?
The last 10 years went by very quickly. It takes two years to build the studio beside our full-time jobs. The writing itself takes round about 5 years. SLIA represents my aggressive inner side and beside that I have another band. In the last years we were writing our first album and we are currently recording the drums. This is a kind of post metal with death metal influences and represents my more relaxed side.
Building a studio is quite a decision that doesn’t come up easily regarding the financial aspects. What were the reasons that drove you to invest in order to construct your personal space for recording?
Every time I´ve been in I studio up to now, I´ve been extremely annoyed that I don´t have time for experiments. In order to change that and be able to record at any time, we calculated and built our studio. It was really a hell of work but I think it was totally worth it.
Apart from recording “Ad Plures Ire” yourself, you also decided to release it yourself as well. Regarding the fact that your previous album was released via Eisenwald, which is quite a remarkable label – how do you feel about the difference between self-releasing and releasing via a label?
That is a really big difference. Of course it is a really cool feeling when you can say that your album is released by a big label and sold all over the world. But in the end you didn´t see anything except of some CD´s that you get as a small band from your label.
It takes an insane amount of work to release and promote an album youself, but it´s definitely worth it. The feeling when the people write to you that your music really thrills them is unspeakable.
It seems to be quite a natural progression from recording an album yourself to self-releasing it afterwards as well thus fully relying on yourself. However, would you be willing to join a label again if the possibility came up or do you intend to continue releasing yourself?
We could have released Ad plures ire via a label but we decided to do it alone to see what we can achieve by our own. We are learning something new every day – especially regarding the promotion. Currently we are preparing playthrough videos of the songs but this will take some time due to our jobs. But if we get an interesting offer from a label we would think about it.
When comparing your previous self-titled release with the current “Ad Plures Ire” it becomes evident that the latter showcases a comparably smoother and broader sound. Although melodic elements were already very present on the self-titled album, “Ad Plures Ire” conveys a more epic ambience. Were there specific inspirations that lead you to this progression?
Time. We are getting older 😀
I see music more as a changing river rather than a rigid construct of chorus, verse etc. Over the years you get a feeling of how the individual parts can fit together. And I have heard a lot of Devin Townsend, he is a musical genius.
The album is set deeply in the epic of Gilgamesh – is it possible to frame the narrative(s) that take place on the album? Is there a specific key event of the epic that is upheld on the entire album?
Yes, the key event is the death of Enkidu and how Gilgamesh handled the situation. During the writing process of the music and lyrics I had to deal with my mother´s cancer disease and that there is no cure for this particular species. This together with Gilgamesh´s handling of that situation inspired me a lot.
Apart from the epic of Gilgamesh, are you interested in the Sumerian Culture in general?
Not only the Sumerian culture. Every lost culture is very interesting due to fact that you only know fragments of them. With another project of mine (a mixture of Heavy/Post/Death Metal) we are actually preparing the release of our album. The lyrics of this album are inspired by old legends and stories about the sun like Ikarus, the majas or the egyptian sun god. This is going to be very interesting and we are printing the complete lyrics.
There are many faces on the cover artwork yet it still is quite difficult to interpret what exactly is happening. Who are the characters that can be seen on the artwork and whose head is the horned character in the middle sticking to while holding back the characters in the back?
This is the moment when Enkidu enters the underworld and all who had already died wanted to see him.
The Latin phrase “Ad Plures Ire” can be translated as “going to the many” and is basically a phrase for the explanation of dying. What exactly is the connection between the epic of Gilgamesh and this phrase?
Ad plures ire not only means dying itself. It means the whole process around it: preparation of the dead, mourning process and so forth. Looking at my mother in particular, it ultimately means that we all have to die. Even the greatest heroes of the past.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions! The last words may belong to you.
Carpe diem and thanks for the nice questions.