might sound like a new name, in fact it is, but this grim story has more
pages than one might think at first. Formed in 2008 by its namesake
Sarke, who has spread his angry art through Khold, Tulus, Old Man's
Child and Sensa Anima, SARKE is a mesmerizing journey through dark and
soothing sound scapes, inspired by legends like Mayhem, Slayer,
Darkthrone, Celtic Frost, Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Death, Motorhead
For this musical quest, Sarke wanted to create music that
has inspired him since he got into the extreme metal scene, and thus
Nocturno Culto from the mighty Darkthrone was brought on board, making
the core of the project complete. All music and lyrics were written by
Sarke, but adding Nocturno Culto’s (Darktrone) legendary voice to these
songs, has without a doubt added another dimension to the grimness.
SARKE’s debut album ‘Vorunah’ was recorded in November,
and even though the album was recorded in old-fashioned 70's style to
get the true vibe of the music, the sound is brutal, fresh and up to
We had the chance to ask vocalist Nocturno Culto
some questions and here you can read what he had to say.
Congratulations on your debut album ‘Vorunah’ which was
released recently, of course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions
Could you start this interview off with a short
introduction of Sarke, when and where did this all start and what
actually was the main reason to form Sarke?
Nocturno Culto: Well hello there (desperately waving
arms). Sarke was initially Thomas’ project. As it has turned out now, we
are a full band with 5 members, and it’s a pleasure to be a part of
this. Thomas called me over a year ago, and last summer I agreed to do
the vocals in the studio only, but I’m truly glad we decided to try out
some live shows. I enjoy it very much.
Why have you decided to join Sarke? So far you have
remained dedicated to Darkthrone only except for vocals on Vidsyn's
Nocturno Culto: Well, as mentioned above, this has picked
up quite a momentum, ball is rolling etc…I decided to do the studio
vocals even though I did not know how the record would sound until I
actually headed for the studio. Turned out it was my cup of tea. I was
always dedicated to Darkthrone.
Sarke wrote all the music and lyrics, did you suggest any
changes or none at all?
Nocturno Culto: I only commented on the lyrics. On the
new album we can all contribute with riffs, lyrics etc, but Thomas will
remain the artistic headmaster, and that’s all good, ‘cause he seems to
be very focused on this now.
How did you manage to come to one musical agreement while
working on this record?
Nocturno Culto: Again, Thomas decided everything; all I
could and wanted to do was to give my comments on things.
What approach did you take to make this album, did you go
for a more raw exposition.. or something more reminiscent of your
previous other works, or something all together different?
Nocturno Culto: I feel that this album really stands its
own ground. You can’t re-invent the wheel, and the same goes for
rock/metal. This album is primitive and raw, but yet it manages to be
slightly intricate as well. It’s a known fact that making “primitive”
songs that are really good is more of a challenge than “hiding” your
“metal” in tons of hi-tech riffs and drumming. There is a place for
How much time did you spend in the studio?
Nocturno Culto: Don’t know how much time we spent on this
album, but I did the vocals in 5 hours, I just floated into the
Sarke's goal was to write music that sounds like the
stuff that got him into metal. Do you think he succeeded in creating
that certain sound?
Nocturno Culto: Yeah, I would say so, but I think Thomas
himself would have a better answer to that. But as I said, this album
has a unique feel to it, and those who catch that will be happy.
On the promo sheet, bands like Mayhem, Candlemass, Death
and Black Sabbath are mentioned as inspirations. Listening to the album
I would say the biggest influence must have been Celtic Frost and of
course a bit of Darkthrone. Can you tell us how all these bands inspired
you to create what we now know as Sarke.
Nocturno Culto: Since I did not create Sarke it’s a bit
hard to answer. But Black Sabbath was introduced to me as a child and
I’ll never forget it. Vinyl’s is the way to go…..
Could you describe the implications of the title ‘Vorunah’, what does it
stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?
Nocturno Culto: Vorunah is just a name. Does not mean
anything. And nothing in the world IS Vorunah. The lyrics of the song
might get you closer to the meaning behind it.
What about the lyrics, of course some of the themes are
clear, but can you give us a short explanation of them?
Nocturno Culto: Thomas has the ability to write lyrics
that are serious/atmospheric/black/humorous and easy to get pictures out
of at the same time. “Primitive Killing” speaks for it self, “Old” for
example is a bit of fun and “the smell of museum” is a very special
opening line for a lyric about an old man…OR, it’s about being old, you
can actually smell this song.
Is it important to you that people pay attention to the
lyrics apart from listening to the music?
Nocturno Culto: Yes, always. The lyrics tell much about a
band, and how determined they are.
What can we expect from Sarke in the near future, are
there plans for a second album?
Nocturno Culto: Yeah, new songs are being made, new
lyrics and so on. And it will be great to record this album as a full
band. Hard to say when the recording will take place, but let’s say we
are eager to get going. But all this needs to be planned and finished
before we really think about that.
Will you contribute something in terms of
songwriting/lyrics to a next album or will you remain the vocalist only?
Nocturno Culto: I will contribute with riffs and some
lyrics. Thomas and I wrote something together. My part of any makings on
the new album will be contributions in the form of stand alone riffs and
some lines of lyrics.
What is the utmost important ingredient for a song
according to you?
Nocturno Culto: The most important is of course that the
riffs are great….but what exactly does this mean? Music is invisible,
and therefore subject to interpretation, and as we all know too damn
well, people like different music and everybody has their own vibe
Sarke is booked to appear at the Wacken and Inferno
festivals this summer. Looking forward to it?
Nocturno Culto: Yeah, very much. Wacken has an unrivaled
atmosphere here in Europe, so that will be absolutely great. But we’ve
played in Oslo and Trondheim so far, and the response has been
fantastic, so I look forward to playing wherever and whenever. We’re
also playing Hole In The Sky in Bergen, August.
Will you have some new songs ready by then or will you
rely on material from 'Vorunah' only?
Nocturno Culto: We’ll play ‘Vorunah’ tracks only, except
for a cover song. But as soon as it is possible we’ll infiltrate new
songs into the set list of course. New songs ARE under way and we are
eager to start rehearsing them.
What can we expect concerning those live performances and
are there any tours coming up?
Nocturno Culto: Expect a rock’n’roll concert. We are not
posers you see; we perform and have a great time. Touring is not a thing
we are considering right now, but you never know. So far we are just
considering stand alone gigs and such.
With several albums under your belt, how far has you
career surpassed your original dreams and what would you say is the most
rewarding part of being in a band? Do you feel you have to prove
yourself with each release due to the climate in metal right now?
Nocturno Culto: Our original dream in Darkthrone was to
release an album. After Soulside Journey we did not have any ambitions
left, we just wanted to make albums WE think are great. We could not see
anything coming in our direction in the way of “fame” or “recognition”.
Well, we don’t have to prove ourselves, we have always walked our own
path, I mean look at the last three albums. Let’s just say that with
that kind of metal we ruled out all the emo-fans of 90’s. As Fenriz
likes to say: only people with large record collections like us now. But
hey, I know even young people like our new shit, so there is hope for
the world. I miss the old days when bands pretty much made their own
sound. Today, there’s too much soulless shit floating around in the
sound department. But this is how music works, it’s invisible, and your
music can basically hit ANYONE. You never know.
What is your opinion on the black metal scene
Nocturno Culto: I don’t miss anything REALLY. I listen to
my bands and everybody has different record collections. Both my feet
are planted deeply into the 70’s and early 80’s, probably not a shock,
but people sometimes really think we ARE the 90’s, just because of our
early albums. Those where inspired by the 70’s and the 80’s naturally.
How far along are you with finishing the new Darkthrone
Nocturno Culto: We have one recording session left that
will take place in the autumn. The album title has not been determined
yet, but this new album will differ from the last two.
Anything left to say to our readers?
I utterly and totally love you all.
Thanks for your time!
Thomas van Golen / Eugene Straver
Sarke – Guitar, Bass, Drums
Nocturno Culto – Vocals