Premiere: Rotten Moon
No Dawn in This World of
Infernal Eclipses

11/26/21 | J. Proust

Rotten Moon promo photo

Next Friday, December 3 will mark the official release of No Dawn in This World of Infernal Eclipses, the debut full-length from tortured Finnish soul, Rotten Moon. Out on Spanish black metal ossuarium, Esfinge de la Calavera, in the form of 50 cassette tapes, Rotten Moon’s eight-track-long tape is a visceral and intense example of the eternal allure as well as the transformative powers of making solitary black metal. But what truly made us curl our smoky and ethereal finger here at The Call of the Night, beckoning one Heinous Soul, the sole actor behind Rotten Moon, to come sit and wax necrotic with regards to their dead-tempo, bewitching sound was, specifically, titles like “I Am The Crow On Your Grave” and No Dawn in This World of Infernal Eclipses, which more than hint at deep waters running beneath the graveyard skull of Heinous Soul. Be those waters Stygian or Cocytian, your humble scribe sought to know this and more.

Bearing a sound like a single pallbearer proudly hoisting a casket all on their own, Rotten Moon’s overall style truly is a testament to the power of inspiration and the dark magic of ‘simply going for it.’ Everything about the final outcome of Rotten Moon’s efforts brims with potency and meaning. Under the spell of unleashing their own long-pent-up creativity, Heinous Soul sought to purge their demons onto tape, cutting them out slowly with blunt-edged riffs, clanging and clamorous drums and synths like a soothing balm poured over gaping wounds. Whether it’s the music, the lyrics, the artwork, Heinous Soul pours every bit of themselves into Rotten Moon and that dedication blares evident from their new full-length. As you’ll read below, tonight’s interview subject is a surprisingly pensive and thoughtful entity, moving through the howling night of the soul with intention. And for their efforts the black metal underground is all the richer, and we here at The Call of the Night are honored to have such a determined new malady in our midst.

What follows is a one-round email interview conducted last week with Rotten Moon’s Heinous Soul.

Please introduce yourself to our readers, as much as you'd care to divulge at least. Who are you? How many of you are there? Where does Rotten Moon come from?

Heinous Soul: I’m an artist and musician from Finland, and Rotten Moon consists of me only. Working solo was a natural choice for me—this band was created in total isolation during COVID times, and I want to keep it this way. The vision of Rotten Moon is so strong and subjective so it would be impossible to share it with anyone, at least now in the beginning. That’s why I’ve been taking care of the lyrics and cover art too. Who I am personally doesn’t matter in this case. As my pseudonym suggests, I’m just a transparent whisper in this cosmos, one tormented moment in this chain of infinities, expressing these feelings inside of me.

<i>No Dawn in This World of Eclipses</i> cover art

First of all, No Dawn… comes less than a year after your demo In the Vale of Astral Graves. Would you say you're on a writing streak right now or is this kind of prolific output typical for you?

HS: I would say that the gates are wide open now. I have been thinking of forming a black metal band for a long time, and now when Rotten Moon has become reality, it’s like the embankments of creativity have been broken and all these feelings and ideas can run free now. The demo was some sort of an experimentation, a feeble step on black ice—as demos usually are—but when I understood that the aura of Rotten Moon is so firm and full of energy and potential as it is, it was natural to go forward right away. Also I learned lots of different things about music, art and myself during the creative process of In the Vale of Astral Graves, so the hunger to create more and develop my expression just grew bigger.

What world does No Dawn in this World of Infernal Eclipses take place in? Is it a real place or a metaphorical place?

HS: It’s a line taken from the opener song “I Am the Crow on Your Grave.” This song deals with demons inside us—how we all have ageless dark shadows walking behind us, lingering in our veins. It can take many forms—be it being possessed, or understanding your own trivial role in this cosmos—and you can also see it as either a destructive or a constructive force. The same duality goes [on] in this album title. Although it can sound quite negative, it can also be a starting point for a new beginning, where all is burned away and maybe—just maybe—a new sun rises. So yes, it’s a metaphorical place. Although there are occult references in my lyrics, my approach is more or less metaphorical and poetic.

When do you write your best material for Rotten Moon?

HS: A tough question. Because I work alone, I usually ponder things long in my mind before starting doing something concrete. I try to empty my head totally—through physical training, or meditation—and start as a tabula rasa, so the ideas and visions would be as pure as possible. For example, those moments when you are drowning into the sea of dreams are very fruitful. When I wake up, I maybe have an idea or a melody in my mind that has come to me almost subconsciously.

Rotten Moon logo

How did you go about recording your album? Did you play all of the instruments yourself?

HS: Yes, it’s all me. As I said before, the visions of the song can be quite abstract in the beginning. I have usually just the frames for the song, and the first basic step is to record the drums. It’s quite natural for me to see the song through its structure and rhythm. I’m not the best drummer in the world, so there are some limitations but on the other hand I want to keep Rotten Moon somehow primitive, monotonous and depressive, and my drumming suits these goals quite well in my opinion. And it’s not unusual that the structure can be changed, broken and reformed in some cases.

What state of mind do you like to be in when you record Rotten Moon?

HS: They are quite dark meadows where I dwell when I work with Rotten Moon. I won’t try to pretend that darkness is the only state of mind in my life—I am quite positive and forward-thinking person after all—but Rotten Moon is a channel for these negative emotions and thoughts that stay under the surface in my daily life. These personal and human emotions—hate, sorrow, anguish, despair—entangle with my wider thoughts of existence and universe; you could say that Rotten Moon is a bridge between microcosm and macrocosm, between this vast field of everything and my pitiful role in this all.

What's it like recording the vocals for these tracks?

HS: It happened in my rehearsal place, in an old brick building which has an interesting history. I took care of recording too, so I was all alone, and because the vocals is the last thing I record, it’s like the crowning or peak for this creative process. All I want to express culminates in those shrieks and howls, and because I value the lyrics a lot, the vocals aren’t just bursting my lungs out but they inject the true spiritual content into the songs. Of course the music itself is also spiritual, but vocals are something more concrete, it’s my own voice, my own blood. It was quite an exhausting process to record the vocals for this full-length, I must say. In some point you forget the technique and it’s just pure animal expression.


Did you have any help from anyone? In what capacity were you helped?

HS: As I just mentioned, it’s all me. It has been a bit bumpy ride sometimes so helping hands would have been welcome. But as we all know, these pandemic years have been special for all of us, and because Rotten Moon was created in isolation, it was natural to continue this way to the bitter end.

The music of Rotten Moon is slower-paced and seems almost ritualistic in its intention. I'm reminded of Barathrum, early Gehenna, Panzerfaust & Goatlord-era Darkthrone mixed with some of the more evil goings-on of Portuguese bands like Cripta Oculta, Irae, etc. But what made you want to play black metal slowly instead of tremolo picking and blasting predominantly?

HS: Technically speaking it was my lack of skills, but of course there were more important and essential reasons for this choice. I have always worshipped more mid-tempo bands like Forgotten Woods, Burzum, Abyssic Hate and Katatonia, so it was suitable to create something similar. Also many of those bands you mentioned are my favourites too—for example Darkthrone´s “Quintessence” was a great source of inspiration for “Worms in Celestial Bodies,” the long track on the demo. And be it a primitive stomp or a gentle, naturally flowing rhythm, it just appeals to me more than brutal but sometimes quite faceless blastbeat. Despite all this negative charge of my music, there are also shades of dreaminess and hallucination present, so these slower rhythms accompanied by synth leads and interludes express this side perfectly. And the ritualistic side you mentioned is there too. I won’t say that these songs are rituals themselves, but they are more or less musical epitomes of my soulscape, and my pulse is like a mantra that is repeated in these slower paces.

What inspires the lyrics for Rotten Moon? What are some of your favorite lines from the new album? What lines do you think have some real evil power behind them, and why?

HS: I guess I have partly answered to your question earlier, but if I take a closer look at my lyrics, there are some parts I hold closer than others. For example, the song called “Eeriness” is dealing with these contradictive emotions I mentioned earlier: how you can be surrounded by horror and despair at first, but when you bow to these feelings and accept their role in your life, you become stronger and more complete.

This night is not like other nights
This night is a night without end
This night is not like other nights
This night is a night that will not end

Another important one is the closer track “All Our Plagues, which wipes both hopes and gloom, life and death away and sees a total numbness as a way to create something new. And although Rotten Moon isn’t connected to politics or this society in any way, you can transfer this idea to this world around us in some way too…

Another path
Another dead end
Another decision
To ride again

But it´s hard to say if my lyrics possess any “real evil power” in them. Of course it is recommendable that listeners would take a look on my lyrics too, because I think everything in this concept—music, lyrics, art—will serve the same purpose and complete each other, but I can’t - or even want - tell to people how to interpret my lyrics. If they find them evil or empowering or eye-opening, that is very satisfying, but in general ‘evil’ is a so subjective term that I wouldn’t bring it too much to the concept of Rotten Moon. Someone could find some of my music and lyrics ‘evil’, but that is his/her interpretation. Personally my intention is not to make ‘evil’ music.

What made you want to write a haunting track like "I am the Crow on Your Grave?"

HS:I guess I shed some light over the content of this track a bit earlier, but I’d like to reveal that actually the title of this song is almost 25 years old, written when I was a way younger and was thinking more black-and-white about this world. But it’s interesting and somehow satisfying that some of those old thoughts have stayed with me during these years and they are still fresh and alive now.

What can you say about the physical release of No Dawn in this World of Infernal Eclipses?

HS: As you know, the tape release is handled by my loyal supporter Esfinge de la Calavera. They truly understand my art and made good work with In the Vale of Astral Graves demo so it was just natural to continue with them. The LP will be done by His Wounds label, their commitment is very strong and profound so I’m sure this album is in safe hands.

What has Rotten Moon been up to lately? What's next?

HS: As you can guess, the flow is running all the time and I’m already working with the new material. Maybe a MLP or LP, let’s see. The lyrical views are connected more to nature than otherworldly issues this time and this maybe can be heard in music too. But these ideas are just weak mirages in my mind right now, so let’s concentrate on No Dawn in this World of Infernal Eclipses first. I hope the right people find its primal essence.

No Dawn in This World of Infernal Eclipses out Dec. 3rd from Esfinge de la Cavalera.

Esfinge de la Cavalera on Bandcamp.

Esfinge de la Cavalera web store.