Skotos Aenaon – 2000 – Black Lotus
River At Dash Scalding – 2003 – Black Lotus
Discipline Manifesto – 2005 – Black Lotus
Praetorians – 2008 – Underground Activists/Season Of Mist
Ζήτω Ο Θάνατοσ – 2012 – Witching Hour
Και Ο Λόγοσ Σάρξ Εγένετο – 2013 – Black Seed
S= Invocation, Ichor, Kaiadas>>Aithir Psychoslaughter [Nikos Tsovilis]>>Kaiadas, Darkthule, The Shadow Order, Gauntlet's Sword - Den Saakaldte, Disharmony, Aptorian Demon>>Morpheas [Michael Siouzios]>> Aptorian Demon, Paradigma, Nuctemeron, Den Saakaldte, Disharmony - Aphrodisiac, Manes, Dødheimsgard, Strid, Ved Buens Ende>> Vicotnik [Yusaf Parvez]>>Dødheimsgard, Strid, Ved Buens Ende - Nekysia>>KAIADAS [GEORGIOS GERMENIS]>>Nekysia
G= Den Saakaldte, Disharmony>>Morpheas [Michael Siouzios]>>Paradigma, Nuctemeron, Den Saakaldte, Disharmony - Vorphalack, Wampyrinacht, Goathrone, Tatir, Crucifiction, Goatvomit>>INDRA [SOTIRIS S.]>>Crucifiction, Goatvomit
B= Kaiadas, Crucifiction>>KAIADAS [GEORGIOS GERMENIS]>>Crucifiction
D= Invocation, Ichor, Kaiadas>>Aithir Psychoslaughter [Nikos Tsovilis]>>Kaiadas, Darkthule, The Shadow Order, Gauntlet's Sword – Crucifiction, Wargrinder, Angelcorpse, Stellar Darkness, Human Decay, Sun Of Nothing>>Warhead [Terry Eleftheriou]>>Crucifiction, Apocalypse Command, Wargrinder, Perdition Temple, Hate Manifesto, Angelcorpse - Mestlet, Torke, Absentia Lunae, Entreat., Azrath-11, Infernal Angels, Lost Soul>>ASMODEUS DRACO DUX [JONATHAN GAROFOLI]>>Azrath-11, Lost Soul, Infernal Angels, Entreat. K= Order Of The Ebon Hand, Mournblade, Chaostar, Depression, Septicflesh>>Lethe[Akis Kapranos]>>Order Of The Ebon Hand, Mournblade, Chaostar, Depression, Horrified, Septicflesh - Thee Maldoror Kollective, Marvargr, Folkstorm, Goatvargr, Toroidh, MZ.412>>Nordvargr [Henrik Björkk]>> Marvargr, Folkstorm, Goatvargr, Toroidh, Thee Maldoror Kollective, MZ.412
Back in 1994 and following the release of two demos, Tales Of The Twelve Gods and The Awakening Of Ancient Greece, the members of Nar Mataron split into two. The vocalist, Lord Alatoth, held on to the monicker, while guitarist Morfeas/Morpheas and Kaiadas formed Naer Mataron. Nar Mataron issued several demos and split up five years later. Lord Alatoth had earlier claimed the ‘Naer’ band had stolen the monicker idea and music from him.
Naer Mataron released a 1996 song called The Great God Pan. The group participated in a Bathory cover’s CD with the song Equimanthorn, which was issued through Metal Invader magazine. Greek label Black Lotus picked up the act and issued four records with the group. The band had actually re-signed with the label after the first three. Aithir was the singer on the first two of these before Morpheas took over. The act added a keyboardist, namely Nordvargr, for Discipline Manifesto. Nordvargrhad had written for the band on River At Dash Scalding. Half of Discipline Manifesto, which was an anti-Christian manifesto, was recorded in Norway. Vicotnik and Carl-Michael from Aura Noir also sang on this record. Warhead joined Angelcorpse in early 2009. To coincide with jingoism rearing its head in Greece and within the band the act shifted its titles to Greek. The 2012 album translates to Long Live Death. It was recorded at Hertz Studio. The 2013 album, And The Word Became Flesh, was a collection of folk tracks.
Giorgos Germenis was elected to the country's parliament in mid-2012. Germenis (a.k.a Kaiadas) was a member of the fascist Golden Dawn party. Giorgos Germenis was later jailed for involvement in paramilitary activity, criminal actions and recruitment as his party was dubbed Neo-Nazi and banned.
Naer Mataron is the Sumerian name for the palace of the dead and is sometimes taken to be Hades.
NAER MATARON - SKOTOS AENAON - BLACK LOTUS
NAER MATARON - RIVER AT DASH SCALDING - BLACK LOTUS
NAER MATARON - DISCIPLINE MANIFESTO - BLACK LOTUS
Morpheas of Naer Mataron is the kind of interview partner of which writers dream. He answers the questions posed without political considerations or diplomatic evasion, has the requisite articulation and just happens to garner enough sedition within to make the chat stimulating and fascinating. It does help that the album at hand, Discipline Manifesto, also happens to be a hell of a blasphemy with musical prowess to match. Time for Ali "The Metallian" to take a call from the singer and guitarist who completes the Greek act alongside bassist Kaiadas, drummer Warhead and Satanic noise monger Nordvargr. - 31.12.2005
METALLIAN: Morpheas, listening to songs like Blessing Of Sin or Last Man Against Time it soon becomes clear that despite your origin Naer Mataron is a breed apart. Do you intentionally work on being different?
MORPHEAS: We have been a band for more than a decade, actually twelve years, and we have always been heavy, but the new album separates us even more from the Greek scene. We did half the recordings in Norway, which helped us sound even more like the Norwegian bands. I think it is actually normal to have this sound during the current era. We always wanted to be separated from the Greek scene. We are Greeks, but we don't appreciate the Greek sound. That is my point-of-view and I don't know if the other members agree. I am more into the harsh style of black metal; not the melodic sounds. We have very limited friends in the Greek scene and with don't hang out with the Greek bands. We keep ourselves outside the Greek scene party. We never liked the attitude, I sound very mean when I say this but it is true, and the way the scene here worked. We were into the Scandinavian way of playing.
METALLIAN: Are you also in other bands and, if so, in which style does that band play?
MORPHEAS: I am a bassist in a Norwegian band called Aptorian Demon, which is a new act. The style of the band is sick black metal. When I joined the band I was amazed because I couldn't find a comparison to them. What they do is totally new. The riffs are amazing. They offer something new and different. The rest of the band, the founding members, are all formerly of Keep Of Kalessin. We just released a 7" EP on Aftermath Music called Angst, Jammer Og Fortvilelse. Two more EPs will be released in the new year in order to complete a trilogy. In about a year from now we will release a first full-length album.
In the last three years I lived in Norway for a while. I am also going there soon. Naer Mataron is my only other band and my first one too.
You are probably referring to the Greek bands like Thou Art Lord, Necromantia, Horrified and Varathron which have members of other groups. The members of those bands have been close friends for a long time. They start projects. The Greek black metal scene was small with only 100 individuals and they were all close. They even had to bring some members from other countries.
METALLIAN: One of the prime rules of heavy metal is that most bands deteriorate with time. You are one of the few that is going against the grain.
MORPHEAS: It is normal for us to become better and tighter. With each album we concentrate even more on what we want to sound like. This is how we really feel about black metal. We have been doing this for twelve years and we have never received any money for what we are doing with Naer Mataron. We all have regular jobs. We are into this because we love black metal and feel like playing it. Our love and passion for black metal makes us concentrate on how we want to sound. We are old-fashioned. I think with every new album we sound more like an old band. Our music is not 2005!
METALLIAN: You re-signed to Black Lotus prior to the current album. Does that imply a basic satisfaction with the label?
MORPHEAS: Black Lotus made us a new offer that was very good. I believe after so many years of working with them there is a strong friendship between the band and the label. The members of Naer Mataron didn't want to stress or worry about other labels. We are signed to a label that is five kilometres away from our homes. It makes us feel more secure. If I signed with a label that is from the United States, for example, I would not be able to see what they are doing exactly and how they are promoting the band.
At least, we are the only extreme black metal band on the label. If I compare Naer Mataron with the others on Black Lotus I am very satisfied with the way the label looks after the band.
METALLIAN: You touched upon the members of the band. It seems to me that the members' count in Naer Mataron has been steadily increasing with each album.
MORPHEAS: The founding members of the band are Kaiadas and I. Warhead joined us on drums beginning from the River At Dash Scalding album. We now have a Swedish member, Nordvargr. He is creating the noise parts. From this album and on Naer Mataron is a four-piece band. There is a strong sense of individuality, but as the years go on we become more like family. We are very good friends and we work the same way.
Nordvargr has his own band too. It is an industrial black metal band. He is also in MZ.412 and several other projects. We communicate all the time. When I need parts from him I tell him what I want, the concept and he creates the parts which could be described as the soundtracks for that concept.
METALLIAN: Often when a band has a member dedicated to creating 'effects' that group's music is useless and silly. Yours seem to work differently.
MORPHEAS: All the parts he creates are just preludes for the following songs. They prepare you for what will follow. They are not about keyboards solo, they are noisy parts and manipulated to sound weird and extreme. They fit the rest of the material. It is like the essence of Naer Mataron without notes.
METALLIAN: Looking at the current release, what does the title refer to?
MORPHEAS: It is really simple actually, The title explains to you that you have to do certain things to try to reach perfection. If you follow the rules you will be able to do it and accomplish those things that you imagined. If you don't follow all the rules then you will simply fail and possibly die and rot. That is the manifesto.
The album is a concept in a way. The whole thing has to do with Christianity amongst humans. The album explains that Christianity has directed mankind into rottenness. In order to prevent this you have to follow some rules. If you don't obey the rules of the game you will be lead to ignorance and you will act and be a sheep. For example, when you do nothing regarding your ambitions and you don't do anything for your own personal satisfaction or pleasures in society you become a part of what a Christianized society wants you to be. If you don't do anything about it then you are following their rules and the rest of the members of the society will not listen to any other point-of-view either then this is a society of sheep that is without good judgment and lacks a good opposition. That is what Naer Mataron wants to prevent.
METALLIAN: How effectual are endeavours such as yours? The United States, for instance, is fast going the other direction becoming The Christian Republic Of America.
MORPHEAS: The Greek society has always been into the Greek Orthodox miserable way of life. I believe that if you come to Greece after a month or two you will find yourself very surprised at the church's influence on the television, magazines, newspapers and so on. They can even destroy the government. They are very powerful. It is very miserable to see how old people start saying prayers when something bad happens. The new generation is more liberated, but people who are older are very religious. I believe that the Greek church has much that is rotten inside.
METALLIAN: We now know that your album is a concept. Is the cover artwork related to it. Why is there a cross depicted...
MORPHEAS: No, no, no there is no cross. Actually, there is a blacksmith and his horse on the cover. The horse is carrying swords and behind them is someone who was tortured and was hung because he wasn't following the rules of war. He was tortured and left to rot in the middle of nowhere. There are no crosses on the cover.
METALLIAN: Why the songs with above average lengths? A couple of songs approach the ten-minute mark.
MORPHEAS: I believe that radio stations hate us (laughingly). We like to compose music the way we feel like it. If we don't feel that is a song is complete after five or six minutes then we won't stop and keep going. We need to get the complete feeling that we want. This might mean that a song is eight or nine minutes. We don't care. I think that fans that buy albums and pay 15 or more dollars want to listen to music without restrictions. That is what we are doing. We are musicians who respect themselves and, after that, respect the fans. We will never release an album with 25 or 30 minutes of music because the radio stations want it like that or whatever. We have ideas that need to get out. That is why the songs are longer. We have to develop our ideas and make the songs complete in our eyes first.
METALLIAN: My favourite song, and therefore the best song on the album, is Last Man Against Time. My least favourite, and therefore the album's inferior cut, is Land Of Dreams.
MORPHEAS: Land Of Dreams is the song that Carl-Michael from Aura Noir sings. Last Man Against Time is our most complicated song. It has a variety of sounds, melodies and tempos. It is a song that is very representative of what Naer Mataron is. It has all the elements that were in all our previous albums. It represents the history of our band.
Land Of Dreams was especially composed for Carl-Michael. You could say that it is influences by Ved Buens Ende and Ulver, where Carl- Michael played, and arranged it for him. There is also another song on the album where I don't do the vocals. Vicotnik of Ved Buens Ends sings on Blessing Of Sin. That song is a very intense one.
METALLIAN: There are reports that you also issue live recordings or independent releases by yourself in-between official full-lengths.
MORPHEAS: No, the demos were from the mid-'90s. We are always trying to release our music on vinyl. We like vinyl. We are vinyl worshippers. After talking with Black lotus I get the permission to take our albums somewhere and have it released on vinyl. I now have all the Naer Mataron albums on vinyl. There was no live album. We never release a live album. We did release a compilation with some unreleased stuff with some live music and video at the end.
METALLIAN: You seem to have definite ideas about the scene and the sub-genre of black metal. In your opinion, what is the essence of black metal and which song best typifies Naer Mataron?
MORPHEAS: The essence of black metal in my eyes is a revolt against the modern society and its ways. It is a state of opposition to the church, the politically correct and normal points-of-view. Black metal is an expression of... it is words of darkness that produce light inside a rotten society.
The quintessential song of ours is Iketis from the Skotos Aenaon album (featuring the line, "black holes guide me to the Olympian Fathers").
METALLIAN: If you could predict the future what will black metal sound like in five years? Let this be a time capsule.
MORPHEAS: I believe that nothing will change. More bands may be...I mean we have seen Satyricon changing in the last five years, we have seen Ulver creating weird things that are not in touch with the metal genre and I really don't know. I think there will be bands, which will produce music the way black metal should sound like; there will be bands doing weird stuff like Ulver and Mysticum. I don't think that black metal will change that much. The main concept of the scene will be the same. Black metal doesn't have the opportunity to change that much. This is good for me. It will prevent the creation of future crappy bands. Maybe the labels will be fed up with black metal and will stop the commercialization of the music. Maybe the wanna-be fans of black metal will not be into black metal.
METALLIAN: What is new and upcoming with Naer Mataron then?
MORPHEAS: We are writing new music for Naer Mataron right now, although nothing is finished yet. The new one should be out a year from now. Selbstmord Services will release discipline Manifesto as double-vinyl. There are plans for concerts with Norway's Kampfar in Belgium and more shows in the spring in The Netherlands with Zemial. We are also releasing a split-EP with a death metal band from Spain called Voice Of Hate. We are doing this for the cult feeling. They are an ancient band.
METALLIAN: Morpheas, thank you for your time and the explanations.
MORPHEAS: You are welcome. I am glad that you like this album. I have read your previous reviews of our albums and you finally like us!
It is not my pick to like or not like an album; rather it is the band's work and it is aspirations to excellence that justifies an opinion. Discipline Manifesto is as sure a bet as a Greek archbishop's love for cash and gold and is available though Black Lotus. More information on the band is to be had at www.naermataron.com.
If you enjoyed this, read Impiety