S= Wind, Ravenlord Darkstorm, Darkstorm>>LORD DARKSTORM [JEDRZEJ MALEWSKI]>>Darkstorm
G= Dominus, For Ruin, Bodydrinkers, Demeter>>OLLIE VER [OLIVER O’SHEA]>>For Ruin, Bodydrinkers, Demeter
This blackened band existed between 2003 and 2011 and only output a demo called Molde in 2010. The band had a full line-up at this time. The band returned in 2017 and released a split with Cursed Coven courtesy of The Ritual Productions of The Netherlands. The band was now Ollie Ver and his Polish sidekick Lord Darkstorm on vocals. The Messenger disc was out in 2019.
Molde is the dust to which humans crumble after death.
MOLDE – THE MESSENGER – SATANATH
Ali “The Metallian” intended to have this conversation with the duo behind the Ireland-based band Molde last summer, but circumstances hindered the interview taking place. Nonetheless, this was a delay rather than a cancellation and Ollie Ver (all instruments) and Lord Darkstorm (vocals) were invited and travelled to Metallian Towers for a night of revelry, ceremony and art after which the three adjourned for the interview following the release of the band’s debut full-length album The Messenger. – 08.03.2021
METALLIAN: Congratulations on crafting an impressive album. Let’s talk about the band and your activities. Given that the act is relatively unknown, could you fill our readers in on the band’s history, purpose and current condition. My understanding is that the act went on a hiatus, but is it not more correct that the band is not the same one as before? If so, why keep the monicker?
OLLIE VER: It’s fair to say this is a different line-up of the band, but the intent is the same from the outset: to make good black metal that stems from older influences. So I kept the name.
METALLIAN: Speaking of the monicker what does it mean and why did you pick it? Where did you find this name?
OLLIE VER: [Laughingly] Firstly, it has nothing to do with the Norwegian town. It’s actually a middle-English word and it means ‘the dust to which human flesh returns after death,” which I thought was pretty cool when I saw it.
METALLIAN: Lord Darkstorm, you are on vocals. How did you and Molde find one another? Are you a guest or a permanent member?
LORD DARKSTORM: Hopefully permanent (laughs), we definitely enjoy working together.
OLLIE VER: As he said, a work situation brought us together. Yea he’s permanent (laughs as well).
METALLIAN: To clarify about how you met, does this mean you are co-workers at a day job?
OLLI VER: Yea, we work at the same company. We’re not on the same team but LD and I are in the same building.
METALLIAN: The Messenger is a worthy album and recommended to fans of extreme metal. How would you describe it? Why the title?
LORD DARKSTORM: This is the essence of what the early ‘90s’ black metal sound was like, along with the inspirations from our ancestral past. This is what The Messenger carries.
OLLIE VER: It’s black metal, but riff-driven. I think extreme metal should have great riffs at the heart of things. When writing music I steer away from atmospheric type meandering black metal. But there are progressive elements to the music also.
METALLIAN: In that case, how old are the songs and over which period were they written?
OLLIE VER: The songs have a large age range. Several of them were up to five or six years old and I accumulated them over time and since the previously mentioned hiatus. But obviously some of them were pretty new and were organically written as I arranged the riffs together.
METALLIAN: Changing topics slightly, could you speak to the cover artwork? Who are the two characters depicted? The artwork and the title really fit one another and paint a picture.
LORD DARKSTORM: Peter Hitz did an excellent job reflecting the atmosphere and story of the music.
OLLIE VER: One of the central concepts of Molde is maintaining the old world within the new. The odds are stacked against the old and the journey is a struggle, but the messenger still has his scroll, even when the vultures of technology are circling. I sat down with Peter and we talked through some concepts. He’s a great guy to bounce ideas off.
METALLIAN: Ollie, that is a thought-provoking concept and paints even more of a picture given the cover artwork then. So, in that case, is the album a concept? What do Molde’s lyrical stance look like?
LORD DARKSTORM: The lyrical theme oscillates around solitude, darkness and ancient worship - all traits a messenger would have faced undergoing a long journey. I would like to think it is a continuation of the story of the world shrouded in clouded nocturne we adopted on the split with Cursed Coven from 2017 where the Seer predicts the end of the day in which light will reach the earth no more and just before he is concealed by the darkness. He sends out a messenger for help...
OLLIE VER: I leave the lyrics to Lord Darkstorm, but as I said earlier the concept is also about the old and the new in a struggle.
METALLIAN: I am glad I posed the question because the answer and the story are fascinating. Could you say a few words about the superlative track Into The Winter Moon then?
LODRD ARKSTORM: Definitely my favourite from the album. If you have ever walked alone through a snowy forest by moonlight you will understand where the inspiration comes from. It reflects the solitude and unity with your surroundings, as the moon lights your path through the trees...
OLLIE VER: The opening riff is definitely one of the older ones, I have been holding on to that for years! The open strings create a nice dissonance, which is a style of playing I have been developing for ages. Lord Darkstorm does a great job of evoking a certain atmosphere.
METALLIAN: We spoke about the pros. Let’s deal with the negatives and clichés. I understand a drum machine is employed on the record. Don’t you find that impersonal, soulless and ultimately lazy? If so, why compromise and let yourself and the listener down?
OLLIE VER: Yes it’s true. Good metal drummers are sparse on the ground in Ireland so I decided to plough ahead with the music writing and creation anyway. I wouldn’t say it’s lazy. Sometimes you do what you can in order to get your music out there.
METALLIAN: Here is another cliché: Having a Facebook page. How do you reconcile being an underground band with non-mainstream sensibilities with having a Facebook page, which is as corporate as it gets, looks the same as everybody else’s and comes with all the anti-privacy trappings we are all familiar with?
LORD DARKSTORM: The underground as I recall it in the ‘90s no longer exists in the same scope, doesn't mean that some of those values are to be abolished. We are still a non-profit entity as the scene has moved to a digital era, tape trading is not as common anymore as one would imagine, neither is reading physical ‘zines. While personally I still prefer hard copies of published music and ‘zines, it has become challenging to find publishers and with technology moving away from conventional media storage. It looks like the digital era is what we're looking at! I admit there is some comfort in exchanging music with others via social media or email; doesn't mean I agree with bullshit policies and censorship...
OLLIE VER: I agree with Lord Darkstorm. I was a huge fan of cassettes back in the day. I actually never bought into the whole CD thing. We had the wool pulled over our eyes by the music industry. They were easily scratched, produced soulless sounds and were a nightmare to organise, especially in your car for instance. Facebook is a means to an end. In fact, since the turn of the century the internet has created a creative boom for metal. I’m definitely a pro-privacy person as individuals, people need to know that they are the product not the platform. But for promoting your music, privacy is not what you’re aiming for.
METALLIAN: I appreciate this discussion and your points-of-view. How about having a personalized and dedicated website versus a generic Facebook page? This would marry the power of Internet without having the same look and generic ‘corporate’ feel as everybody else.
OLLIE VER: That’s a fair point. All I need now is the time to upkeep a website! But I got 4 kids too (smiles).
METALLIAN: That is a fair point as well. Let’s change topics again. How did Satanath find you? How many records is your contract for?
LORD DARKSTORM: The release has been a joint venture of The Ritual Productions and the Satanath labels. It was Jasper from The Ritual Productions, whom I have known since the ‘90s, who made this LP Label collaboration possible.
OLLIE VER: …totally down to Lord Darkstorm’s connections!
METALLIAN: And how many records is the contract for i.e. will there be more records on the same labels?
OLLIE VER: It’s for one record at a time. But yes I’m hoping for another one.
METALLIAN: Let’s leave the realm of music for a moment. Abortion was legalized in Ireland in 2019. How do you see this issue?
LODR DARKSTORM: I'll sit this one out...
OLLIE VER: Obviously it’s not easy to not have opinions on a matter like this, but I’ll leave with a ‘no comment’ for now.
METALLIAN: Partly, why I ask is that is it not ironic that this interview is with two non-mainstream individuals in the context of an extreme metal band, but the answers are ‘no comments’?
OLLIE VER: I just found it an odd question, but anyway my views are that the legalisation of abortion was a good thing. Women need to have a choice. I don’t know anyone who thinks abortion in and of itself is a good thing. But it’s a pragmatic, grown-up, option for a difficult, grown-up problem.
METALLIAN: Thanks for the answer, Ollie. What is new or next with Molde? Could you update our readers with any news?
LORD DARKSTORM: Work in progress, at least from a vocal perspective.
OLLIE VER: Yes! I am writing new music and six arrangements are already complete. Personally, I think they are better than the previous recordings, but of course I would say that! Lord Darkstorm is also thinking about his lyrics for these. So, basically, the next album is nearing completion and I think people will be very pleased when they hear it.
METALLIAN: Any titles you could share so far?
OLLIE VER: No titles so far, Lord Darkstorm is still thinking about the overall story.
METALLIAN: As everyone in Ireland and beyond knows, Metallian is the pinnacle of not only heavy metal websites, but of the Internet as a whole. In your own words, why do you think that is?
LORD DARKSTORM: If you follow your passion and dedication, you will achieve a well-established and respected result.
OLLIE VER: Metallian is an example of a website where someone is sticking to their beliefs!
Thanks to the two sojourners for the interview. More information could be had at http://satanath.com/news/item/molde.html or at https://www.facebook.com/MoldeIreland/
If you enjoyed this, read Black Cult