Now You Know: Kult of TaurusMonday, 3rd March 2014
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece
Style: Spiritual, Philosophical, Gnostic Black Metal
Personnel: Sarpedon Ipsimus (vocals); Sythanagon (guitar); PlatΩn (bass); Bile: (guitar, cover artist); Hellscum (drums)
Latest Release: Divination Labyrinths (2013; Forever Plagued Records)
Kult of Taurus rooted from two passions: a fusion of music and philosophy. The band was founded in 2007 by the unity of lead vocalist Sarpedon and guitarist Sythanagon. “Some musical tastes were the same blended with similar views on life, spawned the vision of creation within us leading our burning will to light the fuse and so the first songs exploded,” begins Sarpedon. “We wanted something unique but within the terms of the black metal genre.”
One of the unique characteristics that make Kult of Taurus so fascinating is their profound lyrical themes. “Our lyrics dealt with the dark side of the Minoan mythology and aspects of ancient Crete,” he explains. And another intriguing trait is the band’s name itself, which eloquently represents Kult of Taurus. “What one notices by doing a quick research is that ‘Taurus’ was a symbol and an emblem of the time. The admiration for the strength and the beauty of this animal (including its numeral symbolisms) led us to insert it in the name of the band, as we still feel it represents our unstoppable cause and musical diversity,” he emphasizes.
Now we know about the Taurus, what’s the significance in spelling Kult with the K? “Simply because after you notice it you never forget it. We were always more than ordinary,” he says. Indeed, Kult of Taurus are more than ordinary. In some aspects, even beyond extraordinary.
Since forming in 2007, they’ve released two demos and a split. Back in October of 2013, the band issued their first full-length album, Divination Labyrinths. They’ve greatly progressed as a band as well as in their music, but kept some of the same grounding. “Well, Sythanagon’s riffing was always identical at least for me being there since the beginning,” reflects Sarpedon. “We are going to release four tracks of our old demo releases (as a split with another band) re-recorded in order to show that Divination Labyrinths was simply a natural progression for the band.” Kult of Taurus have not only progressed over the last years since the first release, Taurokathapsia: The Demo Sessions, they have also evolved. “We never stopped evolving simply because we never stopped all these years. And I don’t mean only musically but also spiritually. This is more than obvious I think. We choose not to step into calm stagnant waters, we always preferred more chaotic methods as this is our nature and our fiery will to thrive will burn anything standing on our way be it in flesh or divine!”
Divination Labyrinths has indestructible forces that audibly tap into the occult sciences; the entire album is persistently spiritual, indulgently cosmic, and cunningly gnostic. Lyrically, instrumentally, and ever so vibrantly, Kult of Taurus magnify these concepts. “They are embodied in our life and our purpose as a band. We are restless explorers and practitioners, not some degraded human beings lost in their illusions. As Aleister Crowley denotes in Liber AL vel Legis: ‘I am unique & conqueror. I am not of the slaves that perish. Be the damned & dead! Amen,’” says Sarpedon, showing off his interest in philosophical knowledge by quoting Aleister Crowley, a legendary occultist, ceremonial magician, and philosopher.
Unlike those quarreling bands, Sarpedon can proudly say, “We never ‘bitched’ about obstacles as most of our fellow bands do because we always had the strength to overcome! Besides, that’s the point isn’t it? Of course obstacles came our way in the usual forms (economic, members) but we are still here so damn the details.” There you have it, that’s what being in a band is about. Even more important, that’s what making music is about. No bitching, all strength – that is the way of Kult of Taurus. Nor do they make filler-songs or let their essence fade by any means – “We never release songs that do not represent Kult of Taurus, each song is unique and contains all the essence of the band in every possible extent.”
“ΠΤΩΣΗ,” the curious title written in Greek that translates to ‘Fall,’ a small word that largely defines the composition, beginning with an ethereal intro and falling into darkness. “This song is basically our view for the modern world. A world that has failed, a world of blindness, a world of slavery. A world that we turned our backs to ever since our third eye opened, praising only it’s glorious fall. Now we live only the world of ‘within.’ This track signifies exactly our disgust both musically and lyrically.” And why in Greek? “We chose Greek because the word carries the Omega letter,” he adds. “The intro is played by the guitar, but Vicotnik added some of his brilliant creative madness and made it sound like you correctly said ‘ethereal.’ Most of the samples in this album were his idea and creations.”
Throughout Divination Labyrinths, there are provocatively creepy atmospheres projecting cryptic images through sound. “Besides music and the song structure, those were created by us. Vicotnik does make his presence throughout the album by adding samples and this atmosphere that you speak of. We agreed that we should let him ‘interfere’ in our songs based on his feelings upon listening and I think it worked without being excessive or tiring or in any case plastic and lifeless for the sake of commercial excitement.”
“Where No Moon Rises” is incredibly dark and foreboding, really the kind of song that might send someone into paranoia out alone on a moonless night, and all the more mysterious than it appears. Sarpedon can only say that “this is a very personal track for us so I am going to avoid getting into details. It is basically an experience I had as an outcome of several workings from specific books. I am glad you felt the vibes in the musical parts judging from your description above. I think it was executed perfectly, along with Vicotnik’s additions.”
Both parts I and II of “Tree of Gifts” are quite alluring, inquisitive just by being in two parts, and musically charismatic. Part I, epic, heavy, and dark; Part II, eerie and bleak through its divine instrumentals and soulful chants. “It [the ‘Tree of Gifts’] is wordplay between the Qabalistic Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. The first part with the subtitle ‘VOID’ is basically a personal interpretation of how the tree can correspond with one’s personal liberation, since we are dwellers of the void and thus it begins with ‘The seed was planted in ruins.’ Man’s greatest fear is death, but in a way death is the motive from which the search begins. ‘You stand on skulls, you lust for life but this tree offers not!’ The second part ‘Death’ is an instrumental trip that signifies the end and eventually rebirth, after you have attained the answers. This was perfectly manifested in visual form on the front cover of Divination Labyrinths, created by our second guitarist Bile. Crows are there to enforce the feeling that death has come.”
Just to clear a common confusion in the line-up, he clarifies that “Bile did not contribute musically in this album except for the front cover which is created by him. He was not in the band the period we had written and produced Divination Labyrinths, but you shall feel his full contribution in our next chapter.”
Kult of Taurus pursued and matched their envisioning of Divination Labyrinths. They set more than goals, they lay a path of success through the ways of pure self-expression. “The only success for us is that we released an album the way we envisioned it. From the cover, imagery, symbolisms, lyrics, and finally the production. Nothing has been left to chance. This is success. Recognition is not of our concern, simply because we will still continue to express our inner selves as long as we feel to, no matter if we are recognized by any masses, scenes or any of that bullshit.”
Though Kult of Taurus are generally regarded as black metal, they have their own outlook on the genre. “I think we are proud to be part of this great genre (NOT scene) because unlike most of its bands we have been well versed inside its philosophy and we have outmost respect for it. The main point though is to unleash our own essence as Kult of Taurus, without anything limiting us and our music. We take our cause very seriously.” Some musicians find their inspiration or foundations from particular attributes of making music, but as for Kult of Taurus – “All of them are of extreme importance to us. We offer 100% of ourselves in all parts and leave nothing to chance. We always try to exceed in every possible extend and avoid stagnation. This will be more understood in our next album.”
Meanwhile, the band and all their fans are anticipating the upcoming release, Born of Fire, Forged by Death, a split with Erevos Aenaon – “an old band that started in 2001, in the same town as we did. They did release some material back then hand in hand, and we have been familiar with their sound and philosophy and have shared quite an amount of experiences. So it is of great pride, that we announce this split assault which will include some of our older material re-recorded and their first official release as well. It will be released by Forever Plagued Records early summer.”
This is the freshest foreseeable plan for the Kult, as it has already been established. They are crafters, not planners. “We don’t make plans for the future but constantly create in the present under our vision. Right now we are focused on recording our next album. Time will eventually bring the news,” notes Sarpedon, adding a most magnificent last remark, “Hail Luciferian essence! Untamed we shall continue, until we return to where we have emerged from – In triumph!”