Ctulu are re-releasing their 2011 album Sarkomand, and what an album it is. Arne Uekert and Mathias Junge answered some questions and filled in the blanks…
For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!
Arne: I am Arne Uekert, guitarist and vocalist in Ctulu.
Give us a bit of history to Ctulu
Arne: Ctulu was founded in 2004 in Northern Germany with the aim to create fast and dark, yet melodic extreme metal.
What are your influences?
Arne: I’d let the listener decide on this point.
Mathias: Most people would say, it’s black/death metal in old Swedish style of the 90s like Dissection or Naglfar, but during the time of making music we created our own style called ”Seastorming Extreme Metal”.
What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?
Arne: I am listening a lot to Totenmond – Tonbergurtod at the moment. You may miss the point of the lyrics when you’re not speaking German, but the music is one of the heaviest and most evil I’ve ever heard.
Mathias: At the moment, there’s is nothing I would like to recommend.
Sarkomand is a few years old now but is being reissued for your 10 year anniversary – tell us about this.
Arne: The CD version is practically sold out and we always wanted to go vinyl. It was just a logical consequence.
Mathias: ”Sarkomand” is predestinated for this cause. A 45 minute manifest of pure violence and horror in the vein of H.P. Lovecraft! Who knows his stories will like this release. The album was loved by the fans right after release and is sold out for a while! Now it’s back on 12” vinyl and a must have for every Extreme Metal lover.
Since the album was originally released, how do you feel about it now – is there anything you would change or do differently?
Arne: Most unexpectedly I’d say that I wouldn’t. Actually this desire is normal, but I think this album works perfectly this way. The length is good, there are no fillers and I think each track stands out on its own. For me, this is still our best album.
Mathias: No, there is nothing I would change, for me it has everything what a good Extreme Metal album needs.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
Arne: Mondsucht, definitely. I think it’s a good track to end an album with and I like the atmosphere it creates a lot.
Mathias: Good question…it’s hard to say…if I have to choose I would say Blindes Chaos, because in this song all the components of Ctulu‘s Extreme Metal are combined.
How do you feel you fit into the wider Black Metal scene, and do you feel differently about this now than when Sarkomand originally came out?
Arne: For us, Sarkomand was the ultimate evidence that we’re actually NO black metal outfit. Some reviews even counted this album as death metal. Freie Geister (our début album) earned a lot of harsh criticism because it is so very “unblack”. We wanted to make a statement with Sarkomand. This is extreme metal, this goes beyond death/black/dark metal or whatever.
Mathias: Well, we actually never associated ourselves with the Black Metal scene, because from the beginning till now, we never got religious (Satanic) influences in our lyrics or use any symbols of that on stage or in our artworks. We got nothing to do with any religions, that‘s why we call our music ”Extreme Metal” and when Sarkomand came out in 2011, it wasn’t different.
What can you tell us about the lyrics? Would you change them now?
Arne: Sarkomand is kind of a concept album about the Dreamland cycle by H.P. Lovecraft. Reading the “Dreamquest of unknown Kadath” will help you a lot diving deeper beyond the surface of the lyrics on this album.
Mathias: The lyrics are about nightmares and other Lovecratian themes. If we would change something, we wouldn’t be Ctulu anymore.
Give us a bit of information on the songwriting process.
Arne: The songwriting was done by our lead guitarist Mathias Junge and our former drummer Jan Westermann (now active in the Greek outfits Released Anger and Diablery). I just added some second guitar tracks here and there. The lyrics were written by Mathias and me. About the songwriting itself, there’s actually nothing all too special to say. The tracks evolved very naturally and were finished very fast.
Mathias: The songwriting process is split between Arne and me. If we have new material, we work it out together with both guitars and then all the other instruments will follow.
How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?
Arne: We’ve started to work with tracks written by both Mathias and myself now. We work longer on the single tracks now and we’ve found a better way to record demos, so the songwriting has changed a lot since Sarkomand. I think this will help the music get to the point faster now than it did three years ago.
Mathias: I don’t want to make any predictions, we will see what happen in future!
What’s next for Ctulu?
Arne: We’re working intensely on our forthcoming album that we hope to record at the end of this year.
Mathias: We working on a new album and the first live shows for 2015 are confirmed!
Thanks for your time! (From both)