1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Tubal-Qayin: We are a black metal band from the North of England. The entity known as Völniir has existed since 2016 and has evolved over the years into the collective as it is today. Our mission is simple: to proclaim the glory of Death, Rebirth and Ascension.
2.Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from your previous ep?
S.V. : Our new album differs quite a bit from the first EP. The first EP is very straight forward, for the main part. It’s quite rhythmic and claustrophobic, and doesn’t stray from that course at all.
There is roughly a three year gap between ‘The Enigma’ and ‘All Hope Abandon’, and over those three years the band has undergone heaps of changes. We have had plenty of time to reflect, rehearse and play live. During this period of time many of our weaknesses were exposed and this helped me see where I wanted to take the music.
Essential changes were made and we came back with a stronger and more suitable line up. With this lineup change, the music became much more of a collaborative effort and that is apparent from the album's sound and feel. Each member focuses on their duty and delivers their performance with a passion that is genuine. Musically we still sit comfortably in the rhythmic, unrelenting and desolate sound but we have taken the execution up several notches with this release, resulting in a much more well rounded and mature sound.
3.A lot of your lyrics cover Occultism, Luciferian and Death Worship themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the dark arts?
Tubal-Qayin: My interests in what you’d call “the dark arts” began when I first discovered metal music, as with most kids of my ilk. The imagery used by bands such as Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Mercyful was naturally engrossing as it was, I suppose, “taboo” or something like that. My interests in Satanism of all branches and particularly Death Worship grew over the years, but I didn’t take a truly serious interest until within the last fourteen years or so when I became aware of such orders as T.O.T.B.L, O.T.O and O.O.A, again, through metal music. I began reading, studying and developing. I am by no means an expert in this field but, for me, that’s the point: to consistently question, to always doubt and to always learn.
4.You also mentioned influences from the writings of Aleister Crowley, Robert Cochrane, Shani Oates and G. McCaughry, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in their works and also are there any other authors and magicians that have an influence on your worldview?
Tubal Qayin: I take inspiration from as many sources as possible be it from films, painters, occultists, philosophers and even psychoanalysts, but my main focus is on Luciferianism and its many teachings. One of the primary sources for me is the book (h)Auroræ by G.McCaughry, which I’d recommend highly to anyone who is interested in or has already started pursuing a Path such as this. Another book and author that has had a profound impact on me is “Prometheus Rising” by Robert Anton Wilson, which I would also recommend. It’s insightful, challenges the reader’s perceptions and is also a surprisingly entertaining read.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Volniir'?
S.V. : The name comes from “Wol” and “Nir” - which when combined mean “To break apart and conquer”. I changed the spelling of the name so that we would not be confused with a character named “Wolnir”.
I first changed the spelling to “Volnir” as when correctly pronounced, “Wolnir” is said as “Vol-near”. I then added a Umlaut to the “o” and put in an extra “i” so that the name would look to be somewhat symmetrical when written down.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
S.V. : The piece is named “The Apparition” and was created by Claudio Moreira, also known as Bharaduur. The artwork was chosen as we felt it resonated with us and it suits the music perfectly. The artwork itself is left open to viewers to interpret it how they see fit.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
S.V. : We have had quite a few great shows over the years, but I would say the one that stands out to me the most was our last before the pandemic. In early 2020 we made our Lancaster debut during a bad storm. The weather conditions affected a lot of the public transport in and out of the city, which had an effect on the turn out but overall added to the atmosphere of the evening. Bad weather conditions have never deterred us. We always give it our all and perform regardless of how many people show up. We performed to a smaller crowd than usual but each person who showed up was very energetic and devoted to the music. We went on and delivered our set with all the vitriol and passion we could muster and we felt that the chemistry/energy between us and the viewers was really great.
8.The new album was released by 'Church Of Eradication', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Tubal-Qayin: CoE is an independent German label based in Berlin that approached us even before the album was completed to help us release it. They got in contact with me towards the end of 2019 and we met in person in early 2020 to discuss things properly and the proverbial ball began rolling until we secured a very good agreement a few months later. They’ve done an amazing job with us, are great people and we couldn’t have asked for a smoother process and our relationship with them is nothing other than extremely positive. They’ve done great work for us and continue to do so.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
Tubal-Qayin: Very good and also pleasantly surprising, considering how young the release is. I’d say the majoriative focus has probably been in the U.K given that we’re from there, but we’ve also been able to spread interest and gain attention in places like Russia, Sweden, Norway and even further across the pond in North and South America, so our quest to conquer has had quite the head start. Those that have been in contact with us regarding their thoughts on the album have had only positive things to say, which is great.
10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
S.V.: I am not involved with any other musical project at the moment, as Volniir is my main focus.
Tubal-Qayin: I play lead guitar in the U.K extreme metal band Vehement and I have been with them since 2009.
Azrael: I play drums with Manchester Party Metal outfit ‘Footprints in the Custard’ as well as a melodic death metal band named ‘Frozen in Shadows’ - As well as a variety of side work and session projects.
Skogen: I play bass in Deus Mori, a war-themed black metal band based in Manchester which I helped to found in 2018. Whilst we are at work on a few ventures I am not able to make public statements about exactly what we are up to, but like with Völniir I wish to see both bands return to the live stage at the next possible opportunity, a fire rages within that I need to let loose!
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
S.V. : I think musically we will keep on the path of aggression and destruction, we very much enjoy performing the style of Black Metal we have slipped into. but with that being said, our influences are many and there is not much in terms of creative restrictions. Ultimately we will continue to create the music that speaks to us.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
S.V. : I have always been drawn to music that is performed with passion rather than precision, so I often find myself being inspired by a lot of 70's rock, Grunge and Black Metal. I feel like they all share a similar sort of ballsy and rebellious feel. Artists on my current rotation would be; The Rolling Stones, Alice in Chains, Pentagram, Skaphe, Mizmor and The Devils Blood.
Tubal-Qayin: I’d say that the bands that I listen to and my influences are related directly, at least in most cases, so I’m always being inspired in some form or another. A few artists that I am always influenced by are Marduk, Akhlys, The Devil’s Blood (R.I.C, S.L!!), Deathspell Omega, Aosoth, Watain, Dissection (R.I.C, J.N!!), Behexen, Mare and Funeral Mist. There are many, many others, but I’ll leave it at that.
Azrael: I would probably say that the largest portion of my drumming influence comes from a progressive background, Neil Peart (Rush), Gavin Harrion (Porcupine Tree, The Pineapple Thief) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) being the main ones; as well as a variety of different drummers from some of the bands I loved growing up, Joey Jordison (Slipknot) was definitely a main influence in my earlier years, then moving up through Matt Cameron (Soundgarden/Pearl Jam/Temple of the Dog) and Sean Kinney (Alice In Chains) for their astounding work within the seattle scene. When it came to starting to play more extreme metal - especially with Völniir, I drew a massive amount of influence from the likes of Inferno (Behemoth) and Martin Axenrot (Opeth)
Skogen: I take influences from a diverse range of artists and it wouldn’t be possible to analyze everything I draw on here, but for my bass work technical death metal has had a profound impact on my playing in recent years, particularly with bands like Crytopsy, Archspire and Beyond Creation as they have some phenomenal bass playing in terms of technicality and creativity. For Völniir more specifically, I was introduced to One Tail One Head through my band mates and I was blown away by Tylden’s bass playing, which now provides a great source of inspiration for me in Völniir.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Tubal-Qayin: Fuck the World.