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The German post-black metallers of Anomalie recently released their third album called 'Visions'. An excellent album full of atmosphere, intruiging elements and originality. Of course Lords Of Metal reached out to bandleader Marrok to ask him some questions. The resulting interview follows below.

By: Roel de Haan | Archive under black metal

To start things properly: How are you doing?
Pretty busy, but in a good way! There are just a few days left until the official release of the new record so a lot of work has to be done these days.

Congratulations with your new album ‘Visions’! I thought it was most impressive. How are the general reactions to the album? What are your expectations for the album?
Well it feels a bit like a stereotyped answer to say that the response was really mind-blowing so far, but it is simply true! I don't care that much about reviews and stuff like that but after checking the summaries that I received by my label recently I was pretty surprised about the high amount of top-notch ratings and the media seems to be way more interested in the band nowadays as well, so I can't complain at all!

Compared to your previous works I noticed a definite improvement in terms of maturity and unity of your music. Did you change your approach in song-writing?
No not really... I think that's a very natural progression and a result of a lot of positive changes in my life rather than a different way of writing songs. I'm still quite young so I see a lot of headroom to get even better every day!

I noticed an increased or more pronounced use of acoustic guitars compared to ‘Refugium’ and ‘Between The Light’. It provides beautiful contrasts within the songs. Is this something you would like to expand on future releases?
It is nearly impossible to say that in advance as everything happens very intuitively. There has been a time when I was thinking about doing some kind of acoustic EP sooner or later, but I focus on other things right now, the next release will be quite surprising for a lot of people out there!

The use of almost of pagan sounding percussion and vocals is also something that quite different from your earlier works. The effect is quite interesting and lends the music a certain type of “spirituality”. How would you describe the use of these elements?
My sources of inspiration developed a lot during the last couple of years and I reached a high level of inner balance which allows me to create music more patiently and with more self-confidence compared to the early years of Anomalie. That's very important for doing experimental vocals because you have to leave your comfort-zone to push the boundaries of your body. Every one of us can do a lot of different vocal-techniques but it is on us to explore our own abilities and to work hard on improving them to use this naturally provided gift! I love the impact of my new vocal styles on the atmosphere of “Visions” so I'll try to top that on future releases again! As you mentioned the percussions as well: it's always very interesting to experiment with different percussion elements and I'm not only talking about usually used instruments – everything you can hit with something makes a sound and has the potential to be used as a percussion instrument, so instead of using any samples of free libraries we always try to find the right thing to create the sound that sticks in my head. On “Visions” you can hear the sound of an iron bar-chair or lose shims on a china cymbal to name some examples!

The variation on the album is very great but all seem to convey and sombre or melancholy feeling. I cannot shake the feeling that your music seems to be of a therapeutic nature?
Against the first impression of many people, “Visions” is a rather positive record. It is quite dark sometimes and doesn't deal with flowers and happiness of course but still I see a lot of beauty and hope within this darkness and melancholic melodies. With its repetitive and introverted parts this album allows me to lose myself in other dimensions which is a very meditative journey full of strength and inner piece, but I have realized that my music reflects the inner condition of every single listener quite strong as there is a lot of room for different interpretations so rather depressed people get the impression of listening to a very negative record very easily although it was never my intention.

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The production of the album is excellent! Warm, defined and powerful. Was this the sound you wanted for the album? How was the recording-process?
The recordings and the mixing process went really smooth again. Markus Stock is simply the right guy right now to work with Anomalie. All of us feel very comfortable at his studio and he became a good friend of mine since the recordings of “Refugium” nearly two years ago! After he has heard my pre-production it was pretty clear for both of us that this record needs a different sound than its predecessor, so “Visions” offers a lot more room and sounds a little more rough which fits fantastically!

Anomalie is no longer a solo project but a full-fledged band. How has this affected the way Anomalie functions, both musically as practically?
Well, in detail it is still my solo-project although Tom and Lukas of course have a bit of impact on the last two records by playing the songs with their own feeling and style and I'm very glad that they support me in the studio. When it comes to the song-writing I am still doing everything on my own, the same applies to the lyrics and every other decision that has to be made. I'm not a fan of artistical compromises so there is no room for discussions as I have a very clear vision of Anomalie all the time!

The artwork of the album is just like your music: mysterious and quite dark. Besides that, how is the artwork connected to the album?
I think it is easy to see that the general idea of the cover is some kind of dreamcatcher, which stands for the portal between different layers of reality. The antlers of the deer are building a circle related to the cycles of life and death, the alpha and the omega. Of course it was also not by accident that you have to face a total number of seven visions. The number is a well-known symbol for the unity of the body and the soul, the physical and the metaphysical world, the visible and the unseen! Alex a.k.a. Irrwisch did an outstanding job once again as it was not easy to take care of all the symbolism that represent the content of the record properly.

I wonder what the future has in store for Anomalie? Can we expect to see you play live soon?
Due to my activities as a live member in Harakiri For The Sky and my main-job as a soundguy and tourmanager for other bands we have to stick to the few left timeframes of the year to play some shows with Anomalie, but beside our upcoming show at Ragnarök Festival in Germany we'll definitely announce some more shows in autumn and a tour is currently taking shape scheduled for December 2017!

Thank you very much for your time, I wish you well and as tradition demands it, I hereby offer you the final words to our readers?
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support and the interest in Anomalie, I hope to see you on the road sooner or later!

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