1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Hieros was originally born from my desire to write aggressive, moody and visceral, riff-oriented metal. I have another project called Untamed Land which is much more in the epic/folk/symphonic metal vein. That’s great because I get to be as creative and “over-the-top” with the arrangements as I want, but I wanted to explore music that was a little more stripped down and straightforward. So Hieros is intended to be pretty traditional in a sense, just ass-kicking extreme metal with cool riffs.
2.Recently you have released an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?
The main styles that I was drawing from for this EP are the Hellenic black metal scene and a certain sound being explored by different Eastern European bands. The Greek style of black metal is probably my favorite as far as the different regional variants go. All of those bands just seem to have a great sense of melody and a really unique atmosphere that is much different than the Scandinavian bands. Macabre Omen is one of my favorite acts from this scene, some of the best folk-infused and invigorating black metal riffs ever. For the Eastern European style, Cult of Fire is probably my main reference point, they’re pretty much the epitome of a certain “spiritual” melodic black metal sound that clearly runs throughout this release. Mention should also be made to Polish black metal bands like Mgla, Plaga, and Deus Mortem and American Sludge/Stoner metal bands like High on Fire and Om.
3.Your lyrics cover spirituality, metaphysics and ancient religions, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?
I’ve always been captivated by ancient mythologies ever since I was very young. After a certain period of restlessness and confusion in my late teens, I had a bit of a moment of spiritual insight which led me down a path towards studying these ancient myths from a psychological perspective (basically I was reading as much Jung as I could haha). Eventually my thinking totally shifted towards a more symbolic way of looking at the world, which might be closer to how these ancient peoples conceived of human existence and its place in the cosmos. Since a lot of black or just generally extreme metal has to do with metaphysical ideas, it only seemed natural to incorporate some of this into the lyrics and imagery.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Hieros'?
Hieros is a Greek word meaning “holy, sacred, or sanctified.” I’m pretty sure it’s the root of the word “hierarchy” which is a helpful way to think of how reality is structured (or at least the way we perceive reality). I was actually going to use the name “Bythos” which is a Gnostic concept meaning “depth or profundity” but as I was finishing up the final mixes, I found out some well-known Finnish black metal musicians formed a band under that name late last year. That’s what I get for procrastinating though!
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the ep cover?
The cover art was made by the amazing Mudhut Illustration who I had been a fan of for a few years before commissioning it. The overall design was mostly her idea, but we talked alot about the overall concept of the EP, the symbolic transformation that occurs in three stages, which she reflected in dividing the image into three distinct parts that flow into each other. It turned out awesome and was a great experience working with her!
6.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
I would probably say I enjoy working by myself quite a bit, as I seem to be able to focus more and be as much as a control freak as needed since it’s only myself that I’m irritating. I do also play in a traditional heavy/power metal band called Emerald Rage and we play lots of local bar shows. It’s taken me a while to chill and not be so nit-picky with everything, because in a live show, it’s kinda supposed to be just complete mayhem. I would definitely like to collaborate with more session musicians both for Hieros and Untamed Land though, as having another voice added in the mix can really add a lot of character to a record.
7.The ep was released on 'Mourning Light Productions', how did you get in contact with this label?
They released my first album for Untamed Land. After hearing it on bandcamp a few days after I uploaded it, they decided they liked it enough to release it. I wasn’t sure if they were going to go for this more traditional black metal project, but I figured I would send it in and see what they thought. Turns out they liked it as well!
8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
The EP still hasn’t been fully released to the public on bandcamp, but I’ve been hearing lots of good things from various websites and blogs such as yourself, so that gives me hope!
9.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future/
There’s no concrete plans for a full-length as of yet; might happen though as I have a few ideas that could maybe be fleshed out to fit the LP format. I kind of like how succinct this release is as it seems there’s no wasted moment. Looking to the future in a general sense, I’m about to start work on the second Untamed Land album and have some ideas for a potential new project that I might start developing. Also I’m interested in potentially getting into doing some soundtrack work for games or films in the near future. Now I just need to find the time for all this!
10.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?
Besides the bands I listed above, some other bands that influence the music of Hieros are: Havukruunu, Kawir, Rotting Christ, Varathron, Misþyrming, Blut Aus Nord, The Ruins of Beverast, Dissection, Celtic Frost, Sleep, Electric Wizard and the almighty Bolt Thrower!
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Reading, working out, hiking, and a little bit of drawing when I have time. Not a whole lot to be honest, seems like there’s too much music out there yet to be made.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Not really, thank you for this interview though, it was great to talk with you!