Tableau Mort is an UK based black metal band which debuted this year with a new album entitled as Veil Of Stigma: Book I-Mark of Delusion. Here you can read an interview I had with TM mastermind, George Topor (guitar), where he talked about the new album concept, its theme and also a “connection“ to Poland’s Batushka.
At first, can you make a small introduction of the band, when did you form?
Tableau Mort was formed in 2017 in London UK by 3 musicians of Romanian origin. Even though Tableau Mort suffered a few line up changes since its formation the 3 core members remained in the band. The current line-up consists of:
James Andrews – vocals
Cristian Giurgiu – guitar
George Topor – guitar / backing vocals/ keys
Marek Basista – bass
George Bratosin – drums / backing vocals
You debuted this year with Veil Of Stigma: Book I-Mark of Delusion. What is the concept behind this album?
As a lot of black metal, the album can at first be read as a head on and outright criticism of religion. This is something that has been done a lot and with Veil of Stigma, we wanted to use our orthodox imagery on a deeper level. The tracks therefore use and explore religious imagery to tackle issues that are more burned into the human condition. The obsession with perfection and knowledge, the wounds that we inflict on ourselves through the dedication to any kind of dogmatic thinking. It is easy to point out religion as being a misleading force to many people in the world, but wherever you find ideas you will find people doing stupid things in their name. Each track on the album more or less uses religious imagery as a metaphor, for example ‘Broken on the Wheel’ references St Catherine’s Martyrdom of being put to death for being a christian. However, this song is, on another level, about our self-punishing adherence to the current economic systems that we find ourselves in. “Mother’s Promise“ is merely about following the almost dogmatic ways of Youtube ‘thought leaders’ and celebrities who would happily exploit lonely young men and turn them into political tools of their own. In a world that is apparently post-religion, in many places, we still find people doing things that hurt themselves and those around them. There is a veil of stigma in all of our lives, we all live our own delusions in what can sometimes be a never ending pursuit of misery. ‘
Why the Romanian orthodoxy?
The orthodox church always fascinated me. The music, the image, the vibe, the incense smell…everything related to orthodoxy is so dark and gloomy and ultimately inspiring .
I can hear other elements in your music like doom/death, somehow it gives little vibes of bands like Agalloch or Summoning even. Do you agree with it?
It’s funny and interesting at the same time how people hear things in our music. It’s true, there are some doom and death elements in our music however I am not familiar with any of these bands’ material.
Is it difficult for you to find the perfect sound and the elements when you are composing the music?
Not at all. Our songwriting process is pretty simple and natural. We start with a guitar riff and everything else gets built around that riff. Soon as we have a full song we start polishing it by adding elements and playing with ideas. As you mentioned , there are all kinds of influences in our music and that’s because we write the way we feel and if a riff we come up with sounds good to us , we use it.
A small “Batushka“ I would connect TM, because of the stage outfits maybe, and then reading an article about you regarding this, then your lyrical theme…
Well, the two Batushka’s share the same kind of image but sound completely different.
There are some thematic similarities but our music doesn’t sound anything like Batushka.
Some reviewers mentioned something about Batushka too!
To be honest this Batushka thing is haunting us but we’re not bothered at all. Personally, I have a lot of respect for Batushka and for what they achieved with their first album. I know we have been compared quite often with Batushka(s) but that’s not necessarily a bad thing considering the fact that there are not too many bands exploring this territory.
You are still new in the scene, so far, how’ve been appreciated by the media and fans?
The feedback was mostly positive from bot media and fans. Considering that Veil of Stigma. Book I: Mark of Delusion is our debut album, the reaction was somehow unexpected.
Based in the UK, what can you tell me about the underground metal scene from there today?
The metal scene in UK is oversaturated. There are so many bands especially in London and the competition is really tough, however we’ve managed to get noticed and that’s really encouraging.
What are the plans regarding shows/touring?
At the moment we’re only do one off shows. We intend to start touring next year, however we need a serious booking agent who understands the complexity of our setup and the logistics to make that possible.
Thank you George for this interview. Cheers!
Thank you too!