Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult is a German underground Black Metal band from Dormagen, Germany, founded in 1997 by Onielar and Ariovist. Today the band is made up of Onielar (voc, git), Velnias (git), Horrn (drums), and R. K. (bass). They are a bit of a rarity in that they are a Black Metal band fronted by a woman. (Onielar’s real name is Yvonne Wilczynska).
DNS is playing a Raw and Fast version of Old-School Black Metal, combined with Onielar’s witchery voice, making the Sound of DNS idiosyncratic. The lyrics expectorated by Onielar and Velnias are dealing with themes like satanism and nihilism. DNS is in dead earnest with their lyrics and opinions about life and society and is NOT practicing show-satanism or poser-misanthropy.
This leads to the point that many people listening to mainstream (Black) Metal, still strongly linked with the mainstream society, are making fun of DNS.
In a row of this DNS is still an underground band, making True Black Metal, which sounds like Norway’s Black metal in the early 90s – the Second Wave of Black Metal.
DNS is deprecating all influences from other types of Metal, which infiltrated Black Metal in former times.
This Is Black Metal Webzine chatting with Velnias, guitarist and spokesman for the mighty Black Metal machine, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult…..
This Is Black Metal: Hi Velnias, here we are again my friend, I hope time has treated you well since our last encounter… Tell us what you’ve been up to this year so far with DNS… How has the pandemic changed your plans? What have you done to adapt?
Velnias: As we’ve all experienced by now the pandemic pretty much changed everyone’s daily routines. Which by the way I still regard as something very healthy. To be forced to stop what you’re doing and therefore to rethink what you have been doing day in day out can be a valuable thing. In terms for D. N. Slaughtercult it obviously meant no concerts and no rehearsals. Everything was put on ice for a while. Not just because of the lockdowns but also due to some other private reasons (well in the meantime we’ve published Onielars health statement, so you know the reasons). Anyhow, taking a step back and taking time for self-reflection was a good thing for us. We’ve started rehearsing and therefore also working on new material again. So, most likely we’re heading towards a new album next year.
TIBM: Run through your records please man, each and every one of your diabolically delightful discs…. From start to finish…. Which is your favourite album and why?
Velnias: Our discography starts back in 1999 with the debut MCD The Pest Called Humanity. Back then we decided to self-release and self-finance everything and skip the demo tapes. Right away we aimed for the best quaility a newcomer band could get without making any compromises. That debut MCD was and remains limited to 500 copies. Simply for being the very first D. N. Slaughtercult release it remains special until today. The Pest received excellent reactions within the underground, which allowed us to continue self-financed. In 2001 we released our second chapter Follow the Calls for Battle. Follow is our first full-length album. We continued in the fashion of being our own label. With every CD we sold we were able to finance the next release. Our sophomore release was followed up by the infamous Nocturnal March. Infamous because it really stirred up the scene back then.
All of a sudden we experienced a significant increase of attention by minor and major magazines, concert organizers, labels, etc. In terms of “success” or “popularity” Nocturnal March was the most important album. However, this “popularity” also consumed more and more precious spare time. Thus, we agreed to distribution deals for the second, third and next album “Hora Nocturna”. Hora Nocturna set an end to the self-released / self-financed era. Back then we had to make a decision. In order to handle everything on our own one of us basically had a full-time job next to the regular daily job. That was impossible and we felt the need to change something about it. An artist should focus on the art and not the business. With Saldorian Spell our War Anthem Records era started. We had previously cooperated with the label on other terms namely their major festival (Party San Open Air). To us, it was important to know the people who would “work” on our behalf. In addition the label more or less barely started, so a good opportunity for both sides to make this experience. Our cooperation continued with Necrovision plus the still update album Mardom. Every release is a marker in time. It brings back good and bad memories – to us, it is much more than just an album. There is so much attached to it. Which makes it difficult to say which one is the favourite one. Leaving the personal aspects aside, meaning just regarding the music, lyrics and artwork my personal favorite is Mardom.
Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult – The Dead Hate The Living
TIBM: What has been your best and your worst experience as a musician?
Velnias: After so many years there’s not just the worst or the best experience. There’s simply so much we experienced – many good but also many bad things. Let us open pandora’s box first. For example, we agreed to save an organizer some money by sleeping at his house after a show. Well, too bad that person was an alcoholic packrat. Meaning the carpet in every room was made of trash, maggots in the kitchen on the stove and so on. Simply a lovely place to spend the night at. Many years ago we agreed to play consecutive shows for a festival which takes place in three different countries. So every day you’ve to travel hundreds of kilometers and make it in time for the next show. Anyhow, one of these countries uninvited us in advance due to our usage of blood on stage. Ok, no problem – we played the first show without any complications and travelled back to Germany in order to play the second show. Literally, a few minutes before the show the stage manager told us – no blood on my stage. That’s something we agreed to by contract – we were allowed to use blood. But this guy really wanted to be an asshole. So, we said, “fuck you, fuck the payment and fuck your festival we’re going home”. Which was exactly the right decision.
Later on, we heard from several other bands that they were treated like shit but no one had the balls to stand up for it. Actually, that is a bad and good experience at the same time. A very bad experience for me and just for me was a festival we played in the US. We travelled lightweight and the organizer agreed to have a spare guitar for us just in case a string pops during the show. During line check there were some minor problems with my guitar but it seemed to work. The organizer was not present and also no spare guitar. Guess what, after one and a half songs my guitar completely malfunctioned. Doesn’t feel good to travel half way around the world just to watch your bandmates play a show. On the other hand, the very first time we came to the US for some shows was one of the best experiences. We felt so much honest appreciation from the people. Those were some remarkable shows.
TIBM: What is the inspiration behind your sound?
Velnias: There’s isn’t really an inspiration soundwise. Each of us has personal favorites of what a new album should sound like, but we’re trusting our long-time producer Armin Rave to make it sound great. Especially with the last albums it has become much easier as we tried a different recording technique. It allows us to completely change the entire guitar sound after recording it. It is important to us that you can distinguish between the instruments and actually hear what is played, but still have a certain dose of rawness and filth.
DARKENED NOCTURN SLAUGHTERCULT(POLAND/GERMANY) / TEMPESTOUS SERMONIZERS OF FORTHCOMING DEATH
TIBM: Who writes the songs in the band? Is it a joint effort? what is your writing process?
Velnias: What it comes down to is of course a joint effort. D. N. Slaughtercult is a guitar-driven band. In the beginning, Onielar and I contributed pretty much each fifty percent of new material. Either by writing a song completely on our own or by complementing each other. Horrn is a brilliant drummer but can also play guitar to some extend. Saldorian Spell for example features some of his riffs. Inspiration can’t be forced, so it is absolutely ok if someone can’t contribute to new material. On the other hand, there is also no limitation to it. Just because you’re the drummer or new to the band doesn’t mean you can’t introduce new ideas.
Fortunately, I’ve never lost my source of inspiration in all these years. In addition, I benefit from modern recordings possibilities. Back in the old days, we worked with a four-track tape recorder. Nowadays there is software to arrange an entire song on even without being able to play drums for example. But even though I have pretty much contributed all the music for the last albums it is far off an one-man show. Every song idea is worked on with the entire band. Horrn has his specific style of drumming, with RK we have an excellent bass player who needs to add his expertise and of course with Onielars vocals there’s another trademark added to it.
TIBM: Which bands do you listen to today? Recommend some new artists for our readers….
Velnias: Well, to be honest, there are not many new artists we listen to. And not even too much Black Metal lately. Speaking for myself the last metal albums I listened to during the last days were Entombed Clandestine, At the Gates Slaughter of the Soul and a best of King Diamond / Mercyful Fate.
DARKENED NOCTURN SLAUGHTERCULT Chronicler of Chaos
TIBM: If you could play with any musician or band, live or dead, who would it be and why?
Velnias: You know, sometimes it is best to not meet your idols. Most often we have exaggerated expectations. It can be disappointing to find out that you had the wrong impression of someone. Musician or not, just in general speaking. With D. N. Slaughtercult we have reached more than we expected. Being part of underground shows as well as major festivals we have obviously met many artists. Some despite their success being still down-to-earth people and others well,… childish rockstar behaviour. Especially certain Norwegian musicians tend to think of themselves as something very, very fucking special.
TIBM: What is your opinion on the evolution of BM over the years? Do you think BM is heading in a positive direction?
Velnias: That’s something we really don’t care about. Stagnation is certainly wrong. Is it ok for bands to go new ways? Yes, of course. Is it ok to emerge from the underground as a Black Metal band? Absolutely. It is all about sincerity. Any artist who is sincere about his or her works deserves success. Whatever you’re doing do it with all your heart and soul. That simply means evolution is inevitable. But it is certainly up to us if we want to move in the same direction or not.
TIBM: What are DNS’s plans for the future? Are you recording at the moment/planning more live shows?
Velnias: The only plan we’re having at the moment is getting back on track. Recording a new album perhaps in 2022. From there we’ll see what to do next.
TIBM: Tell us about the other band members… What are they doing at the moment? Are they writing/ working/ recording?
Velnias: There’s not much to say about it. We’re all working full-time jobs. What strange and bizzare occurrences they are having in their spare time I don’t even want to know. No, seriously, most of the day is filled with insignificant events such as a daily job. RK is about to record a new album with the German Death Metal band Purgatory. As he’s living at the other end of the country we don’t see each other often nowadays. Onielar, Horrn and I are living close by. As mentioned before we’re back to rehearsing frequently and therefore also working on new material as well as old material which we have somewhat neglected in the past.
Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult – Nocturnal March (Full Album)
TIBM: When did you all start playing? How did you all come together? Tell us the story behind DNS….
Velnias: Onielar and I both started playing guitar more or less in the mid or late-mid nineties. Both of us gained experience with another band prior to reaching out for new members in order to head into a more extreme direction. Back then it was common to place an advertisement at local music/instrument stores. So, that’s what I did. Onielar took note of my recruitment request and got in touch. A personal meeting was set up with her and our first drummer Ariovist. From there it was just a small step to our first rehearsal. As we got closer to recording our debut MCD Ariovist decided to leave the band. Nevertheless, he finished “The Pest Called Humanity” as the last deed. Obviously, that left us with a debut MCD and just vocals plus two guitars. Perfect situation for a newcomer band, right? We figured that this minor setback couldn’t prevent us from working on new material.
Two years later in 2001, we had written a new album without knowing how it would sound with drums and bass. Our long-time friend and producer A. Rave had his own death metal band “Pavor”. So, we figured why not ask their drummer to record the album for us? To be honest, we were a bit afraid of asking because Pavor is a very, very technical band and D. N. Slaughtercult was the opposite. To cut it short, Horrn got paid to record the drums – but seemed to enjoy it so much that he has been part of D. N. Slaughtercult ever since. Our current bass player RK has been active with his band Purgatory even before D. N. Slaughtercult was spawned. He established contact back in 2004 or 2005. Shortly after that both bands were on the same festival billing and had to share a backstage room. That was the beginning of an ongoing friendship. At some point, he offered his support – not because of a specific reason but just in general, whenever we were in need of a guitar or bass player. Guess what, when Adversarius had to resign for private reasons after 8+ years we took RK up for his word.
TIBM: What’s your favourite BM album of all time and why?
Velnias: Ha! That’s an easy one: Kvist – For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike.
Why –just listen to it. It has everything!
TIBM: What is the biggest hurdle you have had to face in your career and with the band so far? And how did you overcome it?
Velnias: Before I mentioned every album being a marker. There is always a time span in between albums. Sometimes it takes two years to record a new album and sometimes six. There have been numerous impediments we had to overcome in between each and every album. Always. There is not a single era for the band when everything just went smooth. Set backs such as band members leaving, flooding of the rehearsal room and health issues just to name a few. How to overcome such hurdles? That’s when sincerity kicks in. Being sincere and absolutely passionate about something will provide all the strength you need to go on. And that’s exactly what life is about. Find something that you’re passionate about and thrive by giving it your whole attention, your heart and soul so to speak.
TIBM: Many up-and-coming musicians and bands look to you guys as an inspiration, and you’ve certainly left your mark on the sound and evolution of the genre over the years….Do you have any advice for bands and musicians out there that are reading this?
Velnias: This question should have been asked many years before. In between us and upcoming musicians are generations. Times have changed. Things simply don’t work in the same fashion as they did ten or twenty years ago. As I said, we used a four-track tape recorder in the rehearsal room. Ask as sixteen-year Black Metal musician about it. I bet that person can’t imagine how it is to just have four tracks and a tape that can only be recorded one-sided for that purpose. Hell, I even recall the time when buying new blank tapes at the local store was difficult because they were replaced by CDs.
Anyhow, it is flattering to hear from people who are referring to D. N. Slaughtercult as their main influence. It is overwhelming to see people having tattoos of the band’s artwork. That’s something we never thought about or imagined as a possibility. This leads me to some universal advice – be yourself. Be authentic. Create the music that you personally like – not because others want to hear it. Most likely that will not pay your bills, but it will make you “rich” in a different way. What is more satisfying – thousands of people purchasing your album and forgetting about it after a listen or two or that one person that can really relate and appreciate your album. That person who goes out to your show and says “you made my day I can happily die now”.
TIBM: Do you have anything you’d like to add for our readers??
Velnias: No. The previous questions and answers wrap it up in an excellent way.
TIBM: Danke schon Velnias, black blood mein bruder !
Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult – Mardom (Full Album)