New Music by Ireland’s Mortichnia Provides Education in Black Metal, Vocabulary

When your promotional blurb suggests sonic connections to heavy hitters like Mgła, Bethlehem, Leviathan, Deathspell Omega and countrymen Altar of Plagues, somebody has probably set the bar inappropriately high.  You either bring the goods with passion and flair or serve up a heaping platter of disappointment.

Luckily for all of us, Dublin-based Mortichnia stabs into the murk with some of the most energized, bleak and ripping blackness we’ve heard in some time.  Their lengthy songs warrant every second they fill, from blasting dissonance to queasy doom to atmospheric chord exploration.  On April 22, the U.K. label Apocalyptic Witchcraft will release Heir to Scoria and Ash, but you can hear a stream of the album right here.  We also caught up with guitarist L.M. for a discussion about how the new album came together.

Your band name [meaning “death march” or “final walk”] is pretty awesome.  At what point in the band forming or song writing or recording process did you decide on it?  In what context did you first find it?

The name was actually one of the last things for us to fall into place, happening very late in the recording process. We wanted something that fit the tone of our current record, but allows for a certain amount of expansion on future releases. We stumbled across the name when we were searching for terminology for a lyric, and after some deliberation decided it was a name that suited what we are trying to accomplish. 

When you started playing as Mortichnia, was this sound already something you were partial to playing, or did you arrive at it a different way?

When writing we never really went into it with any particular source in mind, we just play what comes naturally to us. We arrived at this particular sound after years of tightening up our playing together and bouncing ideas off each other, so really its a culmination of our collective influences and trial and error. 

How did the members meet up and start making music together?  Were you immediately writing for this record, or was the band focused on other things when you started?

We’ve all been playing music together in some way shape or form for years now, be it in previous bands or just for our own personal satisfaction. Our primary goal upon forming Mortichnia was to focus our efforts into a cohesive idea that takes shape over the course of a record, so from day 1 writing material was our priority.

What ideas did you explore with the songs on the new album?  Are they personal, or are there any specific external influences?

The lyrics are reactionary. There are a certain amount of external influences of course, but primarily the content was written to be self-reflective. They draw on various forms of personal exploration, with a focus on the consequence of action.

How intertwined are the lyrics from the musical approach?  At what point in the process did the lyrics get written?

I would say the lyrics and music are highly intertwined. We went into writing the backbone of the record with a particular feeling and tonality in mind, the lyrics then took form around the time of structuring the mass of ideas and material we had accumulated. 

What music are you enjoying most right now?

A mixture of metal, electronic and hip-hop. Everything from the new Chthe’ilist record, to Perturbator, to the newest Vince Staples and Roots Manuva records. 

How often has Mortichnia played live shows?  What plans do you have for playing shows in 2016?  

We are just back from performing our second live show. Our first was opening for Portal (Aus) last summer and our second was performing at The Siege of Limerick festival on Easter weekend. The Siege is held twice annually and boasts some of Ireland’s best bands as well as various international names. Our next performance will be in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare on April 30th alongside headliners From The Bogs Of Augishka and a handful of other ambient and metal artists. It will be a very unique performance, set in one of Ireland’s most scenic settings, The Burren.

Heir to Scoria and Ash can be pre-ordered here through Apocalyptic Witchcraft, and you can find out more about Mortichnia at their Facebook page.