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Interview

The House Of Capricorn Discusses The Apocalyptic Devil Rock Of New Album "Morning Star Rise"

Photo of The House Of Capricorn

Band Photo: The House Of Capricorn (?)

On November 9th a new star will blaze into the sky, rising from the depths of New Zealand to light the way of a new era where the morning star alone reigns.

Covered back in 2012 in our look at the underground genre-blending metal scene, The House Of Capricorn's new album "Morning Star Rise" is nearing official release next month through Svart Records (read our review here), and pre-order info can be found at this location.

Vocalist Marko Pavlovic of the Aukland-based group was eager to share his vision of apocalyptic devil rock for the world, and now you seekers of the left hand path can dive into his dark wisdom through our interview below.

xFiruath: What was happening with the band in-between the release of “In The Devil's Days” (reviewed here) and “Morning Star Rise?”

Marko: We, as a band, spent a good portion of the last three years just lurking in the shadows and slowly manifesting the “Morning Star Rise” material, and getting it to a respectable level for capture.

xFiruath: Going back even a bit farther, can you give me a brief history of the band?

Marko: Certainly. I always consider the start of HoC to be in 2001 when I first started writing music for it, but we got together as a proper band in 2005. We all met/knew each other through playing in local extreme metal bands across genres, and/or through mutual friends. VK (Vassafor) helped me put together a demo with Rothwell on drums… Roth was initially just helping out, but soon after joined full time, and the others (Ami and Scott) soon after that. From there, it’s all in the discography!

xFiruath: Tell me about how you connected with Svart Records for the release of this new album.

Marko: I’ve always been a massive Babylon Whores fan. In 2011 I heard Svart were re-releasing their whole catalogue on wax and thought “Wow… this label is putting out Babylon Whores?! Fuck, their release quality is awesome too!” I touched base with them then, simply out of interest for that boxset. It was all whispers on the grapevine at that time though. I maintained contact from then, and when we had something worthwhile I fired them some recordings. I’m personally ecstatic about the deal. If you ask me Svart is one of the best labels around in the realms of curation and output. Not that I need to convince anyone. Their roster and releases have been stellar over the years.

xFiruath: How do you feel the music differs on this release from previous material?

Marko: Thematically, it’s very similar. Sonically though, it would be hard to argue against much more of a Goth element having crept in. Especially in passages like the verses for “The Only Star in the Sky,” where the kick and bass line up like something on “Floodland.” The Babylon Whores influence is more prevalent than ever, too. Shorter more concise songs in punkier formats. Some would say “poppier.” Fair enough. I’m playing bass this time around, so that is different too.

xFiruath: Obviously there's an occult/Satanic theme throughout the record, but what specifically are some of the lyrics dealing with on the album?

Marko: There most definitely is. I’ve always been captivated by the idea of the Devil’s omnipresence; every action, every event, from the smallest to infinitely large. Combine that with an idea of weighted (to the “left”) rebalance or apocalypse (or Revelation, if you want) and you get what seems to be central to everything I write. For The House of Capricorn I try to convey these themes as eloquently as I can, with enough bombast and also enough colloquialism for it to hopefully paint a vivid and relatable picture of the Morning Star in the mind of whoever is listening. With a bit of dry wit too, of course (Ike Vil and Peter Steele are my favourite lyricists of all time, after all). We started calling our output apocalyptic devil rock after “In The Devil’s Days,” as it seemed to be the most applicable tag, and it’s still relevant on “Morning Star Rise.”

xFiruath: Where did you record the album?

Marko: As always we recorded everything with our old friend Jamie (Ulcerate) in a few places around Auckland (drums & bass at The Rock Factory, guitars at Depot Sound, vocals at La Maison de Ray). Jamie is our go to guy for engineering, and I’ve said it before, if I can help it I will always record with him. However, this time we sent it off to Francis Caste in Paris for mixing and mastering. One of my favourite albums of all time is Orthodoxyn by Arkhon Infaustus. It’s also my favourite sounding. Off the back of that I got in touch with Francis, it all worked out viable, and I got to have our album mixed/mastered by my favourite mixing/mastering engineer. I’m extremely happy with how it sounds.

xFiruath: Does The House Of Capricorn perform live often and do you have any upcoming show dates to support the new album?

Marko: No, we don’t really any more. No shows or tours this time around.

xFiruath: What's happening in your local live scene lately as far as metal and rock?

Marko: I don’t know if I’m the man to ask about that any more. I don’t venture out as much as I used to, as a lot of my friends play in bands that do one local show a year max (Ulcerate, Stone Angels, Vassafor, Shallow Grave, Diocletian, Sinistrous Diabolus etc.). I’m sure there is an active local scene, but I’m not really “in the know” about it.

xFiruath: What sort of feedback have you been getting on the new album and have there been any reviews you particularly agreed or disagreed with?

Marko: The feedback has been varied so far… Mostly positive, however there is the occasional person we don’t obviously click with. It’s good to see a few things trickling in where people really “get” the concepts, the music, and message, and are enthusiastic about it... and on the other hand I’ve seen a couple of pieces where people have just flat out said “this sucks.”

xFiruath: Outside of your own music, what's coming out soon you are excited for, and what have you been listening to most often lately?

Marko: I’ve been listening to the new Mortuus album multiple times daily since my vinyl arrived from Ajna a week ago. Mortuus are one of the greatest bands of all time if you ask me, and I was very excited when they announced “Grape of the Vine.” It is pitch black, and as thick as crawling lava. Tehom’s lyrics are spectacular, too. Another guy who really knows how to create atmosphere. I listen to the Sleep of Monsters album (Ike Vil on vocals) a lot… I’m also looking forward to that being released through Svart internationally too. That stuff needs to be heard, because it’s the kind of thing that is so good and so credible - but also so accessible - that it could win over millions. I know they’re writing their next one too, so I’m fiending to hear that.

I’m keen to hear the rest of the album by The Deathtrip. It’s another Svart release, and I believe it’s out a week after ours. I really liked the advance track I heard. Aldrahn from DHG/Thorns is singing on it, and that guy’s vocals are wicked. I’ve also been listening to a lot of a “band” called Neuro-Sentence. My buddy Logan introduced me to them. They’re a “necro-Electro/ Bloodwave” group from Colorado Springs with a great vocalist and equally great thematics and lyrics. I remember reading an interview with one of them, and when asked about the Goth scene in Colorado he answered “Too much neon, not enough necromancy.” I like that attitude a lot. Hahaha. And over here, there’s new stuff in the ritual mixing chambers for Stone Angels, Shallow Grave, and Vassafor, all of which I can’t wait to smash into my ears.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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