Interview with UK’s extreme metal act, Tableau Mort, members George Topor (guitar) and James Andrews (vocal) talked about the latest album Visio In Somniis: the sound, the concept, featured guests, the band’s performance, upcoming shows, and more.
Hi and nice having you again in Antichrist’s zine. A second album was released, Visio In Somniis, and I’d begin with while getting through the album I could notice a different sound than the debut: a bit melodic, here and there blackened death influences. Can you agree with this?
J: Hi Carla, thanks for having us. Yes, we certainly feel that Visio In Somniis pushes some boundaries for us all. I don’t think we’d ever want to make the same album every time so we’re pretty pleased with how the new record turned out. We all listened to lots of varying genres outside of Black Metal and I think each brings that into our songwriting.
G: I wouldn’t say Visio is more melodic but it’s definitely more complex and mature compared to our previous releases. We started working on it just before the pandemic and I reckon that the lack of shows during the lockdowns helped a bit as we had plenty of time to sit on it more than we would in normal circumstances.
Is Visio In Somniis a concept album? What’s the story behind it?
J: Whilst there are some concepts that flow throughout the album, it doesn’t necessarily have any particular story to it. For me, the lyrics deal with a variety of themes. In some other interviews, I’ve talked about how the album is perhaps a bit more optimistic than my lyrics on our debut album. Visio In Somniis is based on a nightmare I had, where I found my own body in a coffin in this strangled wasteland after searching for it with my father. A lot of the tracks are fairly open-ended lyrics wise but when I wrote this album I was going through Therapy and some of the lyrics could certainly be seen as being inspired by my own exploration of my psyche and so on.
You James rejoined the band after Stefano Bassi left the band. What was your contribution to the new album?
J: At the end of 2019 I found myself in a pretty bad place. I found living in London pretty damn difficult and was struggling with my mental health so I returned to Jersey (in the Channel Islands). I think Covid has quite a bit to do with it, to be honest, it kind of gave me the kick up the arse I needed to get my act together. I got into therapy and I started taking my fitness seriously. By the time George asked me to rejoin last autumn, I was ready to get back out into the world after being limited to what I could do for the last few years. I can imagine it was frustrating for everyone after Stefano joined to suddenly lose all the moment they had gained. Had Covid not happened, perhaps the guys would have spent more time together, played more shows, and moved well on. It is a damn shame as the three singles the band released after I left were awesome. From what I gather, the writing process for the new album brought about some creative differences and I picked up where Stefano left off. With the new record, I got to work on the demos straight away. I wrote my lyrics and vocal parts, demoed these with the band, and quite quickly provided the final tracks not long after this. It all came back surprisingly naturally.
Before Visio, you’ve released a few singles (in 2020 with the previous vocalist), that are not included on the new album. Why is that?
J: Funnily enough, these were singles that I had written with the band before I left, not long after the release of our first album. There were a few minor changes, and Stefano did a wicked job with them. There was quite some time between when these were written and when Visio was written.
G: The singles were actually written before we released the first album, I remember we played them live at the Veil Of Stigma launch show in London.
Visio features some guests on tracks # 2, 3, 6, and 8. Who are these guests and what are their contributions to the album?
G: Initially we were talking about adding some female vocals on the title track and we had someone in mind. She recorded the parts but we were not satisfied with the results. So I started to do some research and found Janina who ended up recording the lines and she’s done a great job. The female vocals on ‘’Candle In The Darkness’’ are sung by Italian opera singer Laura Delogu who understood straight away what we wanted and nailed from the first take. The violin parts on ‘’Idolatry’’ and ‘’Their Throats Are Open Graves’’ are played by Moroccan multi-instrumentalist Berrada Med Akram.
So far, what was the new album’s response from the media, and the fans?
J: We’ve had some really generous comments from both media and fans, I couldn’t be happier with the reception we’ve had on this record.
I would say since you released your first album, and now the second one, you were quite active live on stage, in England most, not in the pandemic though, as you got as many other bands, the shows canceled. What’s the public response to your performances?
J: From what I understand, 2022 has been our busiest year yet. It has been incredible, we’ve played some great shows this year. We kicked things off in February with Hammerfest in Birmingham and plenty of shows in between including our album release at The Boston Music Rooms in London. This month, however, has taken my breath away. We played in Manchester at the sold-out Reaper Festival, a great show at the Fenton in Leeds, and finally, our appearance at Cosmic Void in London. My heart is full from the response we’ve had to these shows. We can’t wait to get on the road in the future.
I remember in the first interview we had a few years ago, we talked a little about your stage outfit, back then being in a way characterized as Poland’s Batushka. I suppose now, that is no longer available, and here I’m more referring to your music direction that, as I mentioned earlier, your sound has changed.
J: I’d like to think our sound has always been pretty distinct from Batushka, there’s less of the Orthodox chanting on the new record too and yes, it is quite a different sound to our first album. There are certain things that it is difficult to get away with in comparison to Black Metal, such as Corpse Paint or on-stage props. But we do what we do, and we’re pretty happy with it.
Soon you will be performing in Romania. Some of you are Romanians, so I guess will be a pleasure to perform in Romania for the first time.
J: I cannot wait to visit, let alone perform in Romania. It is a beautiful country, full of folklore and mystery. I’m looking forward to the local food and drinks!
G: Yeah, three of us are Romanian, and even though we live in the UK, for us Romania is still “at home”, so we really look forward to playing these two shows.
Are you planning a tour in Europe soon? Who would you like to tour with?
J: We’ve had some discussions about this, it is a big undertaking, especially post-Brexit. I’m not a picky man really. We’ve played with some great acts recently, and I’d be honored to share a tour with any of them.
I’m looking forward to your show in Bucharest, see you soon. Thanks again for the interview. It was my pleasure, as usual! Hails!
J: Thanks so much for getting in touch. I can’t wait for Bucharest either!
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