1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the musical project since the recording of the new album?
As far as the situation for Ljuska goes, there are plans to slowly start manifesting and equipping Ljuska to appear at possible live shows in the future. Also, the concept for new musical material entered into the inspiration sphere, but it is too early to give any specific details about it.
2.You have a new album coming out towards the end of April, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
The aim was to create more complex musical/lyrical structures i.e. to deepen the atmosphere in which the portals are to be nourished and opened even wider. When it comes to the artistic expression of all sonic vessels that we work with, one of the key postulate of Vox Umbra can be understood as an imperative that deems the need for strategic implementation of ever more purer elements into music in order to achieve specific goals. The lyrical aspect of the new album also follow this idea.
3.This is also your first release since 2018, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
The mentioned time frame was used to create a necessary inspirational vacuum that was then filled with energies in order to manifest that what you can hear on “Thanatanamnesis”. Ljuska was focused on finding and using more sophisticated approach while creating this release. One of the examples is that the recording, especially of the vocals, took place during winter in the cabin in the woods. There, the atmosphere of total darkness and harsh coldness added the element that otherwise would be hardly present in a more controlled environment.
4.A lot of your lyrics cover esoteric lore and rituals, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in occultism and the dark arts?
Lyrics of Ljuska are dealing, above all else, with the alchemical processes of transmutation and transfiguration that are the result of the experience on an individual level. These processes demand a great deal of devotion, time and effort. Their real effect on a psychosomatic system can be glimpsed within the musical/lyrical atmosphere created by Ljuska and other sonic vessels/musical projects that are in use. When one Sun sets, another arises, and when the circle breaks, another starts. The burning desire of the Spirit to see and reach Beyond the wall of Today evaporates the ill-conceived meaning embedded within the All. The grand illusion is set ablaze, we collect the ashes. I do believe these few words may answer your question.
5.What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?
The themes that are following the main current of Ljuska’s lyrical expression are dealing mostly with Death. Seen through the spiritual prism, Death in its many assets represents the gate, the point of intersection. This topic is of a great interest when it comes to the spiritual praxis that is one of the foundations fueling the sonic vessels manifested within the shrine of The Temple of The Flame and led under the banner of Vox Umbra. Other themes that can be read about in past releases are asceticism, nihilism and inner destruction-transformation. There themes reflect the results of treading through the Night of the Soul in which the glorified Sun of the Night reveal the path towards the revelation of the Star above the stars.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The artwork is created by Katabasis Design, an artist from Serbia. It is oil on canvas painting. To understand the artwork, one needs to find the meaning behind the album’s title. “Thanatanamnesis” is formed from two Greek words: “Thanatos” and “Anamnesis”. The first one means “Death” (God of Death in Greek mythology, Death drive in psychology etc.) and the other one means “Remembrance” or “Recollection”. Together, they form the artistic expression based upon the spiritual concept and practice of the Remembrance of Death found in a number religions and spiritual paths. To remember death is to understand and use its inevitableness, to breathe and live it, and to carve its wisdom deep within the heart. The album is a result of the implementation of this concept.
With this in mind, you will be able to sense the meaning behind the artwork. The hand, the broken frame, the shell-like person, the shadow figure behind… if you think you understood it, stare at it again.
7.With this project you record everything by yourself but have experience working with full line ups in other bands, which one do you prefer?
I would say it’s a different experience working on a solo project and playing in a band. Through my music carrier, I had a chance to be in both positions. If the right kind of people meet and are able to pour their energies into the music, that can become a very fertile ground for a band to grow. On the other hand, a solo project, driven by the inspiration of a single artist, can express what a band usually can’t. Which way is better depends on the musical goals.
8.You are also a part of 'Utvar' another solo project, how does the music of 'Ljuska' differ from the stuff you release under that name?
Utvar is a project that is currently in the state of hibernation. The old vessel has served its purpose and the new one is being crafted. In the future, it will manifest the new sonic body, form and name.
Regarding the musical difference you’ve asked about, it is important to say that the projects of Vox Umbra are all of the same Essence. They are the products of a specific energy current, expressing its flow in different ways. Each sonic vessel is structured in accordance with its assigned purpose that is to be achieved during its artistic lifespan. Thus far, the visual or musical difference between them are of a secondary nature.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of black metal?
It’s going pretty well I would say. There is a large number of new people asking about the record. It is satisfying, I do hope it will continue in that direction.
10.What is going on with your other bands or musical projects these days?
Plamen Večnosti (The Flame of Eternity) dark ritual ambient project, will be releasing its fourth full-length album this year on CDs. A label will be kept as a secret for now. After that, we are playing live at Mount of Artan in July, a festival of alternative music held under the holy mountain Rtanj in Serbia. It is worth to mention that Plamen Večnosti is one of Vox Umbra projects/bands that channels the Current in its purest form.
Order of the Black Skull – OTBS, raw black metal band is finishing its first full-length album. We are planning to reveal it soon. With OTBS we aim at transcending the barriers of recording music, as an example the last release was recorded in a rather unusual way and place.
Darminosia Dispera, death drone/ritual black noise project is also preparing new material.
Fresh project h000pe, experimental death noise, has released its first EP entitled „DemonStration“ via Splitting Sounds Records.
11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during that future?
Towards the widening of the portals and transfiguration, enlargement and acumination of the sonic vessel born within the shrine of The Temple of The Flame and led under the banner of Vox Umbra.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that you are currently listening to nowadays?
I do prefer the music that is able to put you in a state where you can really sense, feel and even experience the devouring of its atmosphere and emotion. The genre styles are not playing an important role when it comes to good music if you ask me. It can be everything from classical music to harsh noise, metal, ambient, rock’n’roll etc. As long as the artist stays true to its inspiration and the music to its purpose, I find it pretty enjoyable.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I would like to thank you for this interview and to express the hope that people interested in what we do may find the answers that will feed their inner fire, enabling them to dive deeper and go further. Let us feast upon the remains of the world scorched by the Fire of the Otherness, let us heed the Word of Silence spoken under the Other Sun that ever shines through the Temple of The Flame.