Aum: Not French For “Punishing Enlightenment” But Maybe It Should Be

French soul-threateners Aum will release their highly destructive (and equally esoteric) force, debut record Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum, this Friday on Iron Bonehead.  If Iron Bonehead were anything but ramrod consistent, we might not have heard this unnerving slab of yearning-to-be-black death metal.  The music digs toward the most horrific shadows within you, then tries to make them darker and more mysterious.

We asked the band some questions, and we got some enthusiastic and thoughtful responses.  Read up on Aum’s focus and vision.

Death metal or Eastern spirituality: Which did you find first?

Death Metal! If I discovered Eastern spirituality first, I think I would never listen to Death Metal.

How big of a role do spiritual/metaphysical ideas play in your musical creation?

To be honest, I don’t know. I compose the music instinctively, sometimes I have tunes in my head, so I take my guitar and I play them automatically. The music I compose is part of me, I don’t want to play this kind of metal, by the way I listen mostly to Black Metal but I play Death Metal. So as the spiritual/ metaphysical ideas are also part of me, we can say that they influence my music, but I’m not aware about that.  Eastern spirituality, especially meditation, relates to extreme metal because meditation is about life and death. When you meditate, not only you develop an art of living, but also an art of dying.  Meditation is really a tool which can modify all our way of thinking, feeling and perceiving everything. It opens a new world, new possibilities, new ways of life, and can bring some answers to real questions, can modify our idea of death.  My lyrics are really serious, that’s not like many satanic bands which don’t believe in most of their lyrics. Aum is a serious project with serious lyrics about life and death. For me, it fits perfectly for Death Metal.

What bands or other interests got you excited about playing this style of metal?

I like when the music is serious and not funny. I need to feel some vibrations when I listen to a band. The bands which get me excited about playing Death Metal? I’d say Incantation, Dead Congregation, Cruciamentum, Drowned, Corpsessed, Gorephilia, early-Necros Christos, Goat Molestor / Grave Miasma, Corpse Molestation, Lvcyfire, the first Impetuous Ritual, early-Rippikoulu, Vasaeleth, early-Witchrit… All these Death Metal bands which don’t forget to be in the same time brutal and agressive, but also occult and dark.

How long did you work on writing this album? Do your songs come from stitching together various ideas, or just jamming on something until you are satisfied with the whole song?

I have been working on this album for five years. I didn’t expect anything at the beginning, so I took my time.  Sometimes, as I told you in the first question, I have tunes in my head, so I take my guitar and I play them. I can stitch together various ideas. But other times I can jam on some riffs during several days until the track sounds good. I even worked again on a track three years after I finished it.  I think that time is precious in composition, because when you listen to a track one year later, you can hear what can be done in a better way, like adding a second guitar, delete a riff, add a break… I don’t hesitate to throw out a riff when I’m not satisfied with it.

What was the recording process like?

The recording process was quite smooth.  It just took two days for guitars and vocals to be recorded. Drums and bass had been recorded by FOG (ex-Nécropole, ex-Angmar), who owns the Caveau Studio. Then he mixed and mastered in maybe one month. I think we were quite efficient.

Have you been performing this music in a live setting, or do you plan to in the near future?

Because of the lack of a strong line up, I never played live with Aum. Maybe later if everything goes in the right way…

Your logo and album art are pretty striking, especially in connection with this style of music. Where did these come from?

The drawing has been done by a friend, it is inspired by a drawing of John Martin. The rest of the layout and the logo have been done by Misanthropic Art.

Is there anything about Aum or your new album that you would specifically like your audience to know about or connect with?

I just hope that metalheads who will listen to this album will feel the vibration of true Death Metal.

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