Heaume Mortal’s debut album Solstices is a monolithic slab of blackened doom, one which unveils more and more dark delights as you listen to it. Getting to know this sterling piece of work is a pleasure, and I heartily recommend taking the time to explore it.
The main artist behind this project is Guillaume Morlat, so let’s find out a bit more about what makes him and Heaume Mortal tick…
Introduce us to Heaume Mortal
Heaume Mortal is my personal project. It’s born from the ashes of my previous band called Eibon. The songs have been written between 2011 and 2014 but recorded in May/June 2018. It deals with nature, the past, nostalgia, but also light, life and the future.
What are your influences?
My own background, images that turn around in my head. Everyday thoughts, questions about life, timeless, ageless things.
Name five things you’ve listened to recently that you’d recommend
These days I listen to Seven Pines, Jannerwein, Sol Invictus, Jim Kirkwood, a french harpsichord player called Jean Rondeau.
Tell us about Solstices – what went into the making of this album and what does it mean to you?
For me it means the end of a long awaiting, I had these songs ready for years and I wasn’t really able to finish some other songs until theses were recorded. It was supposed to be a real band in the beginning but my bandmates had other things to do at that moment. So finally it became this kind of one man project. I had to find all the resources in me in order to finish all this, and I think that’s for the best. I feel much more self confident now.
Solstices contains a Burzum cover. What made you decide to include a cover song on your debut album, and why choose this particular track?
I began to work on this cover when I was working with Eibon, right after the album “II”. I can’t remember why, I just felt it had a good potential and liked its catchy mid tempo. I’m especially proud of the way the last riff turned into a more crawling part, just by playing it note by note.
I don’t find any interest in covers that sound exactly like the original, I tried to turn it into something coherent with my own universe. Black Sabbath’s Solitude by Ulver comes to mind.
How would you describe the album to someone who hasn’t yet heard it?
Long tracks, dark atmosphere with a few sunny spells.
How were the songs written?
I concentrated first on the instruments, then the vocals were improvised during the recording. Some viewed their main core appear during one of our many improvisations sessions with Eibon. I like to sing in front of my computer when I’m looking for new parts, especially the drums, which would probably appear ridiculous if someone looked at me when I’m doing this.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
I don’t know, maybe Tongueless or Yesteryears, I like the long and repetitive parts.
What does the future of this project hold?
For now, nothing. I prefer to focus on my work and my family. I already accomplished far more than what I imagined as a teenager, EPs, LPs , tours… I see everything that comes now as a bonus.
How did you choose the cover artwork?
It’s a painting that I like for a long time, I probably kept it in my computer since immemorial times and seems natural to use it as a cover when I had to choose one. The colours and the chasm in the middle perfectly matches the different shades of the songs, with nonetheless a dominating dark feeling. Plus, it was painted by a French painter which is quite valuable.
How important is good album art to you?
It makes you dream and travel before even listening to the music. It’s also timeless. Not stuck in a trend or in a wave.
What are the next steps for Heaume Mortal?
Maybe another release, more on the dungeon synth side, we’ll see…
Any final words?
Make European children.