I remember the first time I heard Ancient Wisdom with “For Snow Covered the Northland” (1996). Where I found a band with a lot of feelings, melodies and cold things that other bands of their time didn't have it. It was an album that impacted me quite a lot on a general level, coz I started playing guitar songs from that album and the CD played a lot of times on my CD player when I was young. So, after many years and with five studio albums including this "A Celebration in Honor of Death" their music continues to be one of those that gives you many places, sensations and creates alternatives auditory distractions that only the head and heart of Marcus E. Norman can do. And it's incredible to listen Ancient Wisdom after 17 years of absence in full-lenghts and feel the things are still intact in the band since "Cometh Doom, Cometh Death" (2004).

Lea la entrevista en castellano aquí


DARGEDIK: Welcome Marcus to Dargedik webzine pages. It’s a great pleasure to talk with you about Ancient Wisdom. For me, one of most iconic bands in Sweden when we speak about Black Metal at mid-90s. Could you tell us is Black Metal still has the same spirit as the beginning? And do you still feel the same as the first time in the band? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: Thank you, I appreciate your kind words. I’ve always considered Black Metal to be very individual and personal so I have really no interest to comment about what others do, I simply do not care. For me personally nothing has changed, the fire burns as bright as ever and the essence of Ancient Wisdom is dark and sinister just as I want my Black Metal to be. 

DARGEDIK: Ancient Wisdom was never known for being a band that has a lot of albums. Since the band started and until today you have 5 studio albums. But these albums have all dark resources to be jewels into extreme metal. So, how does it feel to have spent 28 years with Ancient Wisdom and to be the compositional engine of this Swedish legend? And did you ever think about going back to having a full line-up and doing an extensive tours? Or do you prefer to the band remain as a cult band? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: Ever since the beginning, Ancient Wisdom has been my own musical universe. A place where I do not have to compromise with others, and where I can let my own visions flow through the music. It’s never been about releasing as many albums as possible. I’ve kept myself more than busy with other projects and bands during all these years but Ancient Wisdom has always been lurking in the background, there has always been ideas and material written even though nothing has been publicly announced. A full line-up would be necessary in case of live shows but I will never bring people into the creative process, this is my world and my world only. 


DARGEDIK: There are a lot of solo projects, which don't make a difference or just make music without much consequence. But with Ancient Wisdom the things are different. After so many years of working alone, haven't you felt the need to have a band with members and lighten up the interpretive work to develop and creative much more aspects? What would have to happen for Ancient Wisdom to give us a live show again? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: From time to time I’ve felt the inspiration to bring Ancient Wisdom to the stage again. If my memory serves me right, the last gig was in 1995 so maybe it is about time? Still, I have no idea when or if this will actually happen but serious discussions have been taking place over the years. 

DARGEDIK: For a person involved like you in the underground movement since always. What has been the most exciting moment that being part of Ancient Wisdom has given you? And you participate in many bands, how do you distribute the ideas for each project such as preventing some from sounding like Ancient Wisdom or vice versa? where does so much inspiration come from? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: As for Ancient Wisdom the most exciting moment must have been receiving the physical copies of "For Snow Covered the Northland" (1996). That was my first album release and it was such a great feeling being able to hold the finished product in my hands. Regarding inspiration, that’s a rather difficult question to answer. I just get ideas and visions that I try to make a reality. Never any problems concerning which band the ideas belong to, that is always crystal clear for me. The musical universes of Ancient Wisdom, Naglfar, Bewitched, Trinitas, and Eudaimony are so different to me so they never really collide. 


DARGEDIK: How was your training as a musician? Did you receive an education in that sense or are you self-taught? Where do you think that taste for going beyond what was established came from? do you have any anecdote about it? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: I grew up with a father who both played the guitar and drums so I’ve been around music my entire life really. I remember being home sick from school and picking up his guitar and a book with chords, that’s where it started. Later on I took some guitar lessons and then studied music at high-school. Growing up all kids are introduced to musical instruments at a young age at school and I guess that is one of the reasons there are such a huge amount of bands coming from Sweden. 

DARGEDIK: When I first hear "For Snow Covered the Northland" (1996). I said this is Black Metal band in every sense, but after so many years and I read a lot of reviews or labels. They said that Ancient Wisdom played atmospheric Black Metal and others put Black Doom Metal on it. What do you think of the labels Ancient Wisdom was given during all time? and Do you think after everything you add to your music it could still be called only Black metal? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: Yes, I definitely think it could be called Black Metal. As long as it’s dark, sinister and touched by the hand of the Devil it qualifies as Black Metal in my world. 


DARGEDIK: Regarding the communication you maintain with your followers. What are you think of social media? are they an important way for you? Or are you still using the old communication methods? What do you think of the digitization of music and its sale on different platforms? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: Never been a fan of the social media part, but of course I understand the importance of it. Times change and less people want physical albums these days so I’m not surprised that companies like Spotify thrive at the moment. Still a lot of people involved in the metal scene are collectors so fortunately there will always be a market for especially vinyl albums. 

DARGEDIK: Other detail is about the listening methods of the fans, coz this new generation prefers to hear one or two songs into the digital platforms. What are you think about the albums doesn’t have the same impact in compare of the 80s or 90s? And what does bands need to do for improve the listening of all songs in albums? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: I honestly believe that people that are into this kind of music are still listening to full albums and not just single tracks. But of course the albums have to contain quality material the whole way through! 

DARGEDIK: "A Celebration in Honor of Death" is an album that came after 17 years of "Cometh Doom, Cometh Death" (2004). What were the reasons for this delay? And did the pandemic influence to the composition process? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: I honestly can’t believe it’s been this long since the last album. Been busy with other projects during these years and never felt I had the chance to really focus 100% on Ancient Wisdom. But it’s not like I sat down and finally wrote this album, I’ve been writing bits and pieces over the years. With the pandemic I got some time off work as well which of course was a big help in order to finish everything. 

DARGEIDK: Into the descriptions that exist in Encyclopaedia Metallum. The person who uploaded the information says that the lyrics of the band are related to the satanic subject. But I think it's a point that people associate Black Metal with Satanism. For me the lyrics of the band are focused on dark things in the world, evil in many ways, etc. Why do you think people associate Black Metal with Satanism continually? And is it necessary to talk about Satan and his demons to be a Black Metal band? Coz it's a cliche these days. 

ANCIENT WISDOM: As I stated earlier, I think that Black Metal is indeed a very individual genre, but in order to be Black Metal it has to be filled with sinister and wicked energies. All these energies can be traced back to Satan in one way or another so without Satan there cannot be Black Metal. Simple as that. 

DARGEDIK: In this type of matter, many people think that Black Metal is related to the underground scene with satanic symbols and especially in South America; and when a band like new bands does more progressive and technical things, the fans react very badly with these kinds of changes, because they seem offended that they are not listening to a Mayhem from 1994, Naglfar from 1995 or many more for that times. What do you think about when fans are too closed with their thoughts and tastes, especially on Black Metal? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: People are indeed skeptical of change, and especially within the Black Metal scene there are quite the conservative views regarding how things should be. Rather ironic since the same people who claim to be such unique individuals, yet they are more like sheep who are afraid of leaving their precious flock to discover something new. 

DARGEDIK: If we talk about others subject in your lyrics, we see the concept of destruction and during these times of pandemic in whole world due to the Coronavirus. The concept applies perfectly with this situation and Ancient Wisdom's lyrics blend perfectly with this new lifestyle after the pandemic ends in the next few months or next year. What do you think about this topic that is so closely related to the current pandemic around the world? Do you agree with human distancing? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: I’ve always tried to avoid humans as much as possible so these restrictions are welcomed indeed. All lyrics deal with the glory of death in one way or another, and I agree that they seem more relevant than ever. Many people live in denial, refusing the fact that the cold hand of death will always touch you in the end, but with the pandemic I believe that the concept of death has become more of a reality to quite a lot of people. 

DARGEDIK: Into the matter of how an underground band and a conventional band was should be considered, there are patterns that more vinyl or cassette productions stick to the underground concept, and the CD only expanded the collections of the fans. What do you think are the factors for fans to stick to this underground metal concept? And where is located the digital platforms? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: Physical releases will always be part of the metal scene, people want to receive the whole package with lyrics, artwork and photos. This is more than just music, and I see the digital platforms as a mere expansion, a way to bring your music with you. Just as I did with myI Walkman and tapes back in the days, only way more simple now. Spotify, Bandcamp, Youtube etc are all great ways to discover new music as well so I’m more than positive regarding these services. 

DARGEDIK: Well, Marcus the sad time arrived at this interview, I hope you enjoy this one as I did and thank you very much for your time. Congratulations for this new album and take care during this pandemic situation and our best wishes from this part of the world. Any last words for your fans in Latin America and Dargedik readers? 

ANCIENT WISDOM: Thank you, I appreciate the support and the interest in my creations. To all of those out there who’ve supported me in the past, present and in the future , I hail you all.

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