If any general demographic has the right, not to mention the motivation to spew misanthropic black metal poison in this day and age, it’s women. And what an abundance of blasting hostility and blood-raging riffs there is on this week’s featured demo, Ancient Womb of Mercury, from Uppsala, Sweden-based black metal duo Fayenne.
In our ongoing effort to bring our readers the best stuff the underground has to offer, we caught up with the two Swedish black pyromancers behind Fayenne to better understand how their incredible demo came to be.
“We met through mutual friends and loosely talked about forming a band,” remembers Andréa, guitarist and vocalist of Fayenne, speaking of herself and Agnes, Fayenne’s bassist. “Neither of us really took it seriously until we met on the bus years later. I invited Agnes to a rehearsal and sent over some tracks from my solo project. She showed up and we’ve been ongoing ever since.”
Their band name, says Andréa, comes from the female version of “Fayenivol . . . an ancient word for an ancient form of the devil.” Says Andréa: “We wanted to break with what is common knowledge of today, timewarp past the Christian era and let the meaning of an old mention find its new subject in a female form.”
According to Andréa, Fayenne play black metal because it’s the best “art” for “creating alternative realities in people’s minds.” She continues: “The potential of black metal is further than the genre expresses today, both artistic, technical and ideological. We wanted to deliver something further from the state of today.”
Technically, Ancient Womb of Mercury is not Fayenne’s true demo. Last year they released a two track self-titled demo tape. Luckily the songs are available on YouTube, because as Andréa explains: “The first demo was an exclusive preview of our announcement sold to selected few women. We have no vision of becoming rockstars or that people shall enjoy our music so I have no interest to increase the numbers of listeners that way. It’s all about organizing a resistance in the imagination of our target group.”
Ancient Womb of Mercury
As for how Ancient Womb of Mercury came together, Andréa relates that everything was “written quite a long time ago under ritual forms.” Most of the music, she says, was written before she started the band with Agnes. “I usually let the music take form in my imagination due to an ideological statement before I record everything in my home-studio,” says Andréa. “Ancient Womb of Mercury contains material chosen to represent the power of female coded alchemy and elements.”
She goes on to explain the demo’s title. “Ancient Womb of Mercury symbolizes the ancient fury and power of female rage,” she says. “Mercury is a cool, cold element that often is equated to water which also is a female coded element. As well as Tiamat and Leviathan.
“We recorded, mixed and mastered in Omni studio outside of Hallstahammar, Sweden. The owners are friends to us and the whole process was a pleasure. You learn and develop your musicianship in brand new ways.”
Andréa was kind enough to provide brief explanations of the meanings behind the tracks the comprise Ancient Womb of Mercury. Of the first track, she says: “A mannaeta is in old Christian beliefs a woman who rides on the back of a man to the witches sabbath. The song is a tribute to all ancient, forgotten, underestimated and burned female opposers.”
According to her, the song “Warmonger” is “about raising a battle against our oppressors. I had been consuming a lot of thrash metal, which is an incredible inspiration for violent acts, when I wrote the song. ‘Warmonger’ is actually a thrash metal version of ‘Mannaeta’ from the beginning.”
The demo closer, “Infernal Goddess,” Andréa says ,“is a tribute to Leviathan [the mythological monster] who, in a lot of religious writings, including in ancient Babylon ones and in The Old Testament, is mentioned as a female coded god. In this song, and most others, we want to remind listeners that the world is, and always has been, female in ways that’s beyond patriarchal and capitalist bullshit.”
The vision for Fayenne, according to Andréa, began as and remains a way “to create and organize new ways to form black metal, both artistic and social. Also to raise a rage and create a new identity among females involved in the scene. We are still working on forms to achieve these goals by being credible musicians and avoiding falling into in the entertainment-pit. Maybe it’s more of a process than a final goal.”
Moving forward, Andréa says Fayenne plan “to write more songs for the upcoming album.” She says: “It’s an organic process so I haven’t given any promises or raised any expectations for the release date.”
Whether physical or immaterial, get yourself a copy of Ancient Womb of Mercury, this three song testament to the power of earnest black metal rage and righteously burning fury. A grim reminder that there are forces out there that you may not be aware of; numbers lurking in the deep underground, gathering strength, waiting for their hour . . .
Remember you heard Fayenne hear first on Demo:listen.