Interview: Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû (2022) | From The Bowels Of Perdition

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Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû

The establishment of a single, comprehensive definition of the word myth has proved impossible to attain, given how difficult is to satisfactorily embrace all the various kinds of stories that can legitimately be classed as myths. That said, what is the significance that word carries to you, your own distinctive interpretation of its meaning, and what particular kind of myths, or stories if you will, the label mythological occult metal refers to?

Proscriptor: The terminology of myth, as well as Western Mystery Tradition, has a fervent embrace that dates back thousands and thousands of years ago. Pragmatically speaking, a myth is an accumulation of spiritual, supernatural, and enchanting traditions which gave, and continues to give, contour to dynasties of both Western and Eastern realms. For me, myths are fables believed by countless cultures and countries, from the deserts of ancient Mesopotamia to the Celtic, trundling mounds of both Scotland and Ireland. Dark Age magicians, soothsayers, and antiquarians have utilized these folklores to create, establish, and enrich their spiritual and paranormal-based lives. These various practices and philosophies, which together make up the myth, have each been developed in specific times and places for specific reasons and sovereignties. As can be expected, many of these paths differ greatly in their structures and otherworldly ambiguities from other traditions that grew up in neighboring regions. More staggering are the numerous similarities that can be found in fables of vastly separated dynasties whereas these similarities are more than apparent. They show, unexpectedly, a continuous stream of tradition. Throughout the numerous differences, variations, and obvious imitation that exists between the vast numbers of tradition, which contributes to the Western Mystery Tradition, there is one thing that exists in all traditions. This omnipresent aspect, which transcends doctrine, technique, and liturgy, is the one thing that binds the entire Western Mystery Tradition together. This key element is mythology. The pattern of the myth can be traced through thousands and thousands of years up to the modern era. This pattern is the mythic history of the Western Mystery Tradition. Above all else, mythology is a creature of story and legend, yet its greatest figures and occurrences are a rich blend of fact and story, occult science and mysticism.

Theoreticians of myth often add the qualification that a myth must be a tale or story from the times long gone, primarily concerned with the gods and their relations with mortals, that it is continually retold due to its lasting value and its secondary, partial references to something of collective importance. Do you feel that this particular requirement applies to the way you deal with mythology in your music?

Proscriptor: For me, it is the close affiliation between myth and ritual. I have studied the relationship between myth and ritual for over three decades now. Furthermore, the main queries have been related to the function of myths and rituals to a possible linkage, and to which has prevalence, myth or ritual. The view that myths had prevalence and rituals re-enacted myths is rooted in the view that man, as an intellectual being, is seeking meanings. However, if man does not primarily search for a meaning, but for survival, then rituals would come first and myths could be their later explanation. The various opinions about myth meanings have resulted in different theories on this issue. The opposite view, which myth originated in ritual, is associated with the reliance of ritual on Magick. The most famous representative of this view is Frazer. Myth is a narrative that explains the ritual after the original meaning could potentially be forgotten. Therefore, I have scrupulously focused on Sumerian myths and rituals related to the seasonal cycle and the young dying deities. The parochial color of the mythological narratives about the disappearing deities, their different names and characteristics may indeed suggest that their mythologies developed from local ritual performances, therefore reveal changes while the rituals remain stable. At times, I strongly believe that ritual was intended to control the forces of nature. However, it does not manipulate nature but the deities, who then manipulate nature. It works according to the law of similarity in Magick, which suggests that man played the role of a deity. I also believe this theory bypasses the need of ritual to depend on a related specific myth because it operates on the most general basis of a theistic world view, that deities control nature. Myth became etiological when the ritual was not effective, so man looked to mythology for a reason to perform it. There are two phases in the development of mythology ˗ an early original belief that was the ritual script and its legitimation and a later mythological narrative. However, an early script and ritual react to an actual phenomenon, which they transform into a mythological reality, and therefore, this script is none other than a prototype of myth ˗ not yet fully developed into a narrative. Perhaps the Mesopotamian/Sumerian observation and offerings to moon phases are the remains of such an early myth that was revived by the Ur III Kings whose patron deity was the moon deity Nana. No related mythological background has survived, at least to date, nor whether or not the ritual was effective. Whether a ritual aims to activate omnipotent powers for whatever purpose or reason, to demarcate an event or phenomenon, or to demonstrate devotion to a deity, even with no expectation of reward, it requires belief in the existence of a recipient that is capable of receiving the act. Since the metaphysical view of the ancient Mesopotamia is theistic, the ritually receptive entity is mythological, whether it is a divinity or a natural phenomenon. Thus, in principle, myth seems to have prevalence. In ritual, I usually anticipate a physical act of sorts, as various rituals in writing are embedded in or implied from an incantation. Those are rituals as well, operating vocally, as performativity utterances. They conjure the aforementioned omnipotent powers, transferring and transforming the actual event into a cosmic reality, therefore they can be considered the ritual’s mythological facet. An existing ritual could induce the creation of a myth if its original objective had been antiquated or forgotten. Supposition ˗ a ritual’s written text may have received a literary form, and consequently, deviated from the enacted version. In addition, it is not certain that the canonical series of incantations and rituals were used as such in practice, and at the same time, no written form has survived of some incantations, which are known by name from information about performance. The relationship between myth and ritual is still relevant, particularly when the link between them is elusive.

Would it be fair to say that the mythological aspect of Apsû, that one would instinctively associate with the lyrical narratives, could also be found in the sound itself, that there’s a layer of mythology hidden in the immensely suggestive and arcane feel of your music?

Proscriptor: I concur to the fullest degree. In mythological terms, Apsû (Babylonian allusion) is the primeval Sumerian-Akkadian demiurge that personifies the primordial Abyss of mawkish sweet waters underneath the earth and all-begetter of the skies. As the consort of Tiamat, Apsû is the primordial gulf of Chaos and brackish salt waters. When the two collided, Psychosomatic was held captive in underworld-like immobility. In metaphysical terms, Apsû is the psychological association between the phenomenal and the noumenal, the illusory and the real. Magickally considered, Crossing The Abyss is to transcend the world of subject and object ˗ resolving the antinomies of mundane consciousness. Most meaningfully, it is the most critical stage upon the Spiritual Path. If the crossing is not flawlessly achieved, insanity (temporary or permanent) results. This now leads to the designation between Supernals and Infernals in the Qabalistic System of the Tree of Life. These two counterparts are represented by two triangles, which form a unionized composition called the Unicursal Hexagram. One downward triangle (Supernal) and upright triangle (Infernal) symbolically becomes Unicursal meaning there is no separation between the two any longer. To make a perfectly clear analogy, it’s as if there is no separation between mythology and occult sciences within this album ˗ both profoundly fused together. In mythological occult metal terms, the following subject speculations can be found within the lyrical content, which are also represented by theoretical plate illustrations:

Plate I ˗ An Augury Of Sigillic(k) Wisdom

Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû Interview 2022 (An Augury Of Sigillic(k) Wisdom)

Plate II ˗ The Sun Of Tiphareth

Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû Interview 2022 (The Sun Of Tiphareth)

Plate III ˗ Masters Of The Hall

Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû Interview 2022 (Masters Of The Hall)

Plate IV ˗ Lemniscatic Alarm

Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû Interview 2022 (Lemnistactic Alarm)

Plate V ˗ Taphthartharath’s Azoetic Cell

Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû Interview 2022 (Taphthartharah's Azoetic Cell)

Plate VI ˗ S.E.T. (Sapphire Elucidation Trigrammaton)

Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû Interview 2022 (Sapphire Elucidation Trigrammaton)

Plate VII ˗ Truculent Mehû

Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû Interview 2022 (Truculent Mehu)

Plate VIII ˗ Arithmancy Of Consecration

Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû Interview 2022 (Arithmancy Of Consecration)

Nevertheless, Thelemic Magick and Near East Mythology are foundations underlining the aforementioned clairvoyants. I compellingly admit ˗ annexing this amount of research examined the probabilities of both the positive/negative classes along with the early/latter ages of the universe. I have exhibited a large number of experiments in the course of this album, many of which, are founded upon the convinced application of actives to passives. With the entire album written in vers libre (free verse) poetic form, the following features point of view, lyrical tense, character voice, and summary overview composed for each song.

If you were to release instrumental versions of all your albums, would they feel significantly less mythological compared to the regular versions in your opinion?

Proscriptor: Most likely, I am in agreement with you because of the elegiac essence being stripped away ˗ leaving the music in precipitous isolation.

As opposed to the discoveries of science, whose truths continually change, myth, like art, is eternal. Would you subscribe to the notion that myth, in a sense, is the highest reality?

Proscriptor: Well, as far as the highest reality is concerned, civilizations clutched the conviction that deities or omnipotent soothsayers established all spiritual acts. These were archetypes that served mankind as a model for a meaningful existence. The gesture acquires meaning ˗ reality solely to the extent to which it repeats primordial act. Myths describe hierophantasmal decrees of that modeled the world and every ritual has such a deific model. Re-experiencing the mythic past confronts the current crisis and remedies present-day problems. Thus, myth and ritual have a restorative function in civilizations. Final assertion ˗ mythological narratives are deferred formulations of archaic content.

Would it be fair to say that Apsû is a religious, philosophical and ideological statement, all at the same time?

Proscriptor: Concurred to all of the above.

Sigmund Freud’s most influential ideas for the interpretation of myth center on psychosexual development, the theory of the unconscious, the interpretation of dreams, and the Oedipus complex. Gazing deep within, could you decipher if any of those things served as the main driving force in your life, that had the decisive influence on who you have become, both as a person and an artist?

Proscriptor: Referring back to the lexis of ritual, I habitually expect a physical exploit of sorts. Countless rituals that have crossed my threshold, in writing, are embedded in or implied from an incantation. Those are rituals as well, operating vocally, as well as fictive utterances. They conjure deities and omnipotent aptitudes, transferring and transforming an actual event into a cosmic reality. Hence, they can be considered the mythological facet of the ritual. An existing ritual could induce the myth’s creation if its original intention had been antiquated or forgotten.

Jung interpreted myths as the projection of the so-called collective unconscious. When it comes to Apsû, do you see the band as the manifestation of the personal unconscious, that refers solely to your own life and experience, or the collective unconscious, in a sense that your music deals with certain archetypes, expressions of collective dreams, or symbols that human kind as a whole should, or at least could relate to?

Proscriptor: Absu/Apsû’s music is predominantly based upon esoteric and transcendental practice in which the core doctrines and experiences of inner transformation are fully revealed, only to those individuals who are initiated into the mysteries of that tradition. Generally, this occurs as the result of an entrenched, long-term commitment to otherworldly development through the guidance offered by the tradition. Now, the disagreement I have with Jung arises from a clear difference in understanding and interpreting the mystical nature of the alchemical magnum opus. Jung claimed that mysticism derived from the magician’s radiant encounter with the transpersonal elements of the collective unconscious, which they projected onto matter in their search for the secrets hidden therein, which would give them mastery over the forces of nature. In his essay, The Conjunction, Jung states bluntly that The mystical experiences are no different from other effects of the unconscious. This is a bold assertion about the nature of transcendental transformation, one that led him to see alchemy as a primitive, albeit fascinating and totally sincere prefiguration of analytic consciousness.

What would you say is the common ground between Mesopotamian, Sumerian, Assyrian, and Celtic mythologies?

Proscriptor: The only dissimilarity, between the aforesaid mythologies, is Mesopotamian contained a Great Flood while the remaining resemblances, in most cases, highlight Creation: From Chaos Or Nothingness, Sacrifice For Creation, Centre Of The World, and Younger Gods Defeating Older Gods.

Now that we have reached the bottom of pretty much every possible mythology connotation, would you care to say a few words about the occult angle of your music and what that dimension entails exactly? Does it stand for certain sonic, spiritual, or aesthetic values, or for all of the above?

Proscriptor: To simplify this as much as possible, it all boils down to the euphonic angle of Magic(k). Yes indeed ˗ the science and virtuosity of establishing change to occur in conventionality with will. The letter k is added to distinguish it from stage conjuring, prestidigitation, and legerdemain. Also having six letters identifies it with the macrocosm, as well as the microcosm ˗ the uniting of which is the general scheme of Thelemic Magick. The microcosm is the smaller universe of Man and is denoted by the pentagram having the five Elements of Spirit, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth at its points. The macrocosm, for me personally, is the bigger universe of Thoth and is symbolized by the Unicursal Hexagram having the six planets at its terminations and Sol in the middle. The general number of Magick is therefore eleven ˗ the two main types being glyphed, as five plus six equals eleven (evocation, or calling forth) and six plus five equals eleven (invocation, or calling in). Thelemic Magick is omnipotent in intention and should be accurately pronounced as māj ˗ eck. In other words, this is the principal building block of it all. Most importantly: A∴A∴ < Astrum Argentum > V.V.V.V.V. = Speech In Silence, Silence, and Silence In Speech.

Considering that Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû should be seen as a direct continuation of Absu’s legacy, why it was important for Absu to be dissolved in the first place, after 30 years of existence? Was it due to the artistic, spiritual reasons, or merely the administrative ones, for the lack of a better word?

Proscriptor: To be forthright, this was an emergency situation (enigmatically and ironically) based a long, drawn out decision on my end. On January 27th 2020, I announced to productively spawn the commencement of Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû. Six months later, it was announced that a debut self-titled album would be released with new signatory label, Agonia Records. Since Absu’s last album was to be penned as Apsû, (Babylonian allusion) the decision to fuse the album title, along with the pseudonym, was the aspiration in forming the new group. Furthermore, the time was appropriate to rightfully close the tainted portals of Absu while opening untainted ones for a new beginning ˗ a beginning waving the flag of Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû. Furthermore, there were never any Absu (band moniker) legal right obstacles whatsoever, as I have owned and 100% still own the trademark and branding to the name. I fundamentally felt I had reached a new musical, yet metaphysical level of Magick that made the rebranding development necessary. Even though my pseudonym follows the revised band moniker, we are all 25% elements equaling to 100%. Each member is a parallel, yet corresponding team participant, so no one is ranked high than the other. Lastly and concurred ˗ the overall songwriting credits profoundly include the other members on an equivalent basis. The skeletal framework for a new, impending album is in the very first stage, as I do not want to project another ten-year lull between discographical releases ˗ that was unfortunately beyond my control. Nonetheless, and to vociferously reiterate, I’m still Absu’s Chairman Of The Board, so it’s quite possible for that resurrection in the near future.

Did you have any specific ambition you wanted Absu to live up to and would you say that, now that the band is no more, the mission has been accomplished, that the band has fulfilled its ultimate purpose? In addition, is Apsû now driven by the same ambition, or did this new chapter bring new goals?

Proscriptor: My motto, yet axiom to this particular question is never say never. In other words, I may have placed Absu in dormancy mode, but it does not indicate that the original outfit can be resurrected. Moreover, the mission has been accomplished while objectives have been successfully fulfilled with that band over a tri-decade span. The same, mythological occult metal determination is still the same and only monikers have been altered for assured reasons.

It feels that the music on this album comes from a place of relief rather than from a place of frustration, that it was written with a clean slate in front of you. Is this a fair observation?

Proscriptor: It certainly is, yet I can proclaim that is a safe assumption. For the first time in nearly three decades, I had full and complete arrangement manipulation (not the compositions), production, and co-engineering for this debut album. With Absu, there was always some kind of restraint, from other members, that kept me from delving into soundscape experimentations and freeform musical meanderings. Conversely, this album was like a blank canvas to euphonically paint my psychosis and esoteric encounters.

The press release for this album says that your objective was to append the signature sound of mythological occult metal by convoluting it with bouts of psychedelia, fusion, and vintage electronics. Could you say something more about where those particular influences came from?

Proscriptor: I feel the ratio, between music influences and my impenetrable lifestyle, is counter-balanced at 35% music versus 65% arcane insight. First of all, the abovementioned bouts of psychedelia, fusion, and vintage electronics are inspired by some of the following examples: 707, 801, Aardvark, Amon Düül II, Angel, Aphrodite’s Child, Ash Ra Tempel, Atomic Rooter, Axis, Bang, Blitz, Boomerang, Cactus, Can, Captain Beefheart, Captain Beyond, Caravan, Brainticket, Centipede, Chrisma, Miles Davis, Devo, Dull Knife, Dün, Egg, Elephant’s Memory, Eloy, Brian Eno, Faust, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Gravy Train, Group 1850, Gun, Guru Guru, Happy The Man, Hatfield And The North, Herbie Hancock, (Headhunters Inclusive) Hawkwind, Henry Cow, Holy Toy, Jacula, Jade Warrior, Jumbo, King Crimson, Kollektiv, Le Orme, Legend, Magma, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Mellow Candle, Moving Gelatin Plates, National Health, Nektar, Night Sun, Nucleus, Omega, Pavlov’s Dog, Popol Vuh, Pulsar, The Red Krayola, Return To Forever, Roxy Music, Saga, Robert Schroder, Soft Machine, Split Enz, Steely Dan, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Supersister, Supertramp, Tako, Tangerine Dream, Toad, Toe Fat, Tomorrow’s Gift, Traffic, The Tubes, Tubeway Army, Tuxedomoon, Ultimate Spinach, Utopia, Igor Wakhevitch,Wavemaker, Xing Sa, Zanov, and Zon, just to name a few. Secondly, Vorksaath’s keyboard and synthesizer implementations, along with mine, fashioned these sundry bouts as well. His alliance with Absu has been sanctified for three decades now and the idea of fusing musical identities was finally clinched for the new album. He has fulfilled voids where applicable, from frenetic to oscillate, while bringing his craft to this redesigned order of Sumerian lore and metaphysical Arcana. Nonetheless, Vorskaath is an extraordinaire and exceptional multi-instrumentalist, so that is the chief reason why I selected his role as co-keyboardist for this new album. While we are still on the Vorskaath topic, I want to specifically mention the vintage gear we utilized for the progressive sections on the new album: Kawai K5000, Memotron, Mellotron M400, ARP Pro-Soloist, Roland SH 2000, Moog Model D, Roland Juno 106, Korg Polysix, and WEM Copicat Tape Delay. I, myself, used a Maestro Echoplex EP-3 Tape Delay for the vocals, Steinway & Sons Baby Grand Piano, and various virtual synths throughout.

Now that the band name was honoured with the English, Mesopotamian, and Sumerian spelling in form of album titles Absu, Abzu, and Apsû, does that end the trilogy? Do you already have an idea where you’ll be heading next in that regard?

Proscriptor: After studying the aforementioned, ancient languages for thirty-four years now, I am still discovering the linguistic intricacies behind it. My fascination with both vernaculars started after my taste of Latin in both high school and college, which led to the same album titles, but with diverged spellings. The habitual trilogy terminology should be shirked, as the new album is a beginning of what is to come. As Apsû was initially assigned to be the last interval of three-album series, Abzu is now the sequel of the self-titled Absu opus. The triflex of album titles, not trilogy, was somewhat enthused by Peter Gabriel’s first three solo albums, which were all self-titled as Peter Gabriel, obviously depicting different cover illustrations. Therefore, I instantly adapted the idea by utilizing Absu’s self-titled album to proceed having two alternate spellings afterwards ˗ Abzu and Apsû. Lastly, I already have numerous formulated for the next two albums.

Should the fact that this new band was named Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû, with your pseudonym being a substantial part of that moniker, suggest that you see it more as a solo project than a regular band?

Proscriptor: Even though my pseudonym follows the revised band moniker, we are all 25% elements equaling to 100%. Each member is a parallel, yet corresponding team participant, so no one is ranked high than the other. Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû is a regular band and not a solo project whatsoever ˗ I already retain a solo discography under the lone moniker Proscriptor. With that being declared, the overall songwriting credits profoundly include the other members on an equivalent basis.

Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû Interview 2022 (Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû)

Are Ross Friedman, Rune Eriksen, Alex Colin-Tocquaine, and The Dark from Agatus invited to elevate this album’s pedigree or did you simply want to honour your personal friendship by asking them to contribute to it?

Proscriptor: The multitude of guest participants was the liquefying Mercury of the album’s final touch! For starters, Mr. Eriksen contributed guitar solos for the previous two Absu albums, so his inclusive continuation was obvious. In addition to his axe-slinging slayings, having the guitarist from both Mayhem and Aura FUCKING Noir was a real luxury! Being a rabid devotee of France’s Agressor since 1991, Sir Colin-Tocquaine also contributed an excellent solo for the album’s opening cut. The Dark, emerging from the mighty Agatus, is not only a tri-decade colleague, but also the brother and band mate of Vorskaath. And, after all these years, the euphonious collaboration was long, long overdue. Lastly, the landing of Ross The Boss’ solos was a paramount moment, as he flawlessly interjected his death tones for the song Mirroracles. With reliable networking and precise timing, I simply applied and he simply delivered with vigor and strength. Furthermore, I never interacted nor knew him from the past, as it was an effortless task to hunt him down. It was a rewarding experience to say the least.

Considering that you clearly detest banality and are fond of complex, eloquent semantic constructions, would it be too pretentious to deem your lyrics a form of poetry that actually doesn’t need music and carry enough meaning and value on its own?

Proscriptor: Affirmative. Complex, literary devices play a major role within the song titles and lyrical structures. Minimalism does not translate well into the scope of Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû and it only makes sense to match non-platitude expressions versus the music. The lyrical content features a wide array of literary techniques such as consonance, assonance, paradox, parallelism, alliteration, homophone, persona, and prose, to name a few. Utilizing such techniques rely on several different aspects of rhetoric like spelling, phonetics, and semantics.

With regard to the previous question, would you care to explain the song title Every Watchtower Within Is The Axis Of A Watchtower Without Including Totemic Thresholds? Or to shed some light as to why Azathoth wasn’t listening?

Proscriptor: Here we go!

Every Watchtower Within Is The Axis Of A Watchtower Without including Totemic Thresholds
Point Of View: 3rd Person / Tense: Present
Voice: Omniscient/Interior Monologue
This song symbolizes a Fourth-Dimensional Universe in two dimensions as a square surrounded by 30 concentric circles, the 30 Æthyrs or Aires. The Watchtower Ritual (Liber Chanokh) consists of two Adeptus Minor parts, which features an opening within and a closing without. The opening begins with three sacramental sections:
A) Invoking The Watchtowers (four quadrangle vibrations)
B) Rending The Veils (centralized self-placement of the multiverse)
C) Forming The Vortex (Crossing The Abyss)
Rending the veils places the ceremonialist to a South altar, which becomes the traversing process. Therefore, an anti-clockwise widdershin dissipates the vortex and the ritual’s temple is finally closed ˗ classified as a totemic threshold.

Dedicated To Thoth, But Azathoth Wasn’t Listening (A Necroloquy)
Point Of View: 3rd Person / Tense: Past & Present
Voice: Omniscient/Interior Monologue
Thoth, (Daäth/alchemical Mercury) the messenger deity of invention and time, is in many ways a complete persona of self-creation while at times coexisting as non-monotheistic. In Thelemic Magick terms, his ontological symbolism of self-creation governed any and all perceptions of psycho-cosmic belief. This belief then embodies the Ibis Of The Abyss, the consecrated bird worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, and its transcendental symbolism is dedication toward his aptitude. Azathoth, also a form of Aza: the foul mater of all demons, the entity of great prominence in the Necronomicon Mythos, typifies of supreme reflex of Thoth’s aptitude and benefits transplatonic energies of the Ubbo Sathia, central glyph of the Abyss or 13 globes beneath, in an attempt to overthrow Thoth’s influence. You know, this could have been dedicated to Azathoth, but he was not listening.

The lyrical machines, of the aforementioned topics, are so subtle that the most highly sensitized mind antennae cannot pick up its grossest vibrations. The spirit of Magick remains inviolate, but the act of separating the self from any past shadow, and of fusing its essence with future semblance, is the act requiring noble skill ˗ for it must be willfully achieved.

According to one of your previous interviews, your understanding of occult science and magic became deeper and more substantial once you started delving into hallucinogenic substances. Do you still use those substances regularly and are the mind penetration and expansion they provide a mandatory ingredient to every Apsû song?

Proscriptor: With this answer, I am choosing Larks’ Tongues In Aspic by King Crimson, which I discovered at the age of 14. Earlier in my youth, I was partially familiar with King Crimson’s discography, however, it was spotty and not all that sequential. I had just completed reading both The Book Of Thoth and The Book Of Lies by Aleister Crowley, so my sheer out-of-the-body enthrallment with Thelema and Goetia was rapidly intensifying. I am telling you ˗ the first time my ears sunk into Larks’ Tongues In Aspic was my introduction to the hallucinogen of lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD. Even though I previously experimented with peyote and alkaloid mescaline psychedelics, this album, along with the simultaneous revelation of physiological spite, traversed my mind’s eye to Cross The Abyss. What I am saying is both the album and psychoactive voyage mentally carved a new pathway for my vision, how to meditate and how ritual can benefit everyday life ˗ to develop myself as a tangible magician. Crossing The Abyss, at that particular time, was an unpolluted journey towards a new kind of meaning. There was a spark, a flicker of light I had never encountered before ˗ a spark that Crossed The Abyss, which recalibrated my mind’s boundaries. It was pure Magick and never before had King Crimson sounded so daring, focused, and groundbreaking. Anyhow, I am not as much of an indulger as I use to be ˗ the portal to my mind’s eye have been opened for decades now, so thaumaturgical intentions have ben successfully achieved.

Did you recognize the power of psychedelics, by mentally and physically preparing for such journeys, or did you use them as a recreational activity? Also, have you ever written a piece of music that was later used on any of your albums whilst under chemical intoxication, or in the immediate aftermath?

Proscriptor: My psychedelic experiences have indeed dealt with the fractious material that those experiences have exposed. Ensured by optimistic set and settings, I believe I have created environments where I have not been stuck in the downward spiral of mental loops, but have had elements around me that have twisted my perspective. I was already involved in Magick and occult sciences before I tried psychedelics, but after the initial test drive, I comprehended that these substances were the most authoritative allies for altering awareness. It was some years before I began combining Thelemic and Goetic ritual and other practices with psychedelics and found that this combination worked for me. Much of the practice I do ˗ exercise, yoga, meditation, breath-work, etc. ˗ doesn’t necessarily include psychedelic drugs any longer, but through personal experiment and working with ancient lineages in psychedelic use, I have learned about the ways for holding and separating spaces.

On the one hand, not including Vaggreaz and Vorskaath in the writing process for the future Apsû releases would be a waste, to say the least, considering that they are already proven, immensely creative musicians in their own right. On the other, it’s your signature writing style that gives the band its distinctiveness and identity. Do you think it’s possible to make a compromise between the two, without making considerable sacrifices on the other end?

Proscriptor: Having the opportunity to assemble these band members, in the development of this album, was a remarkable honour and I strongly feel this album captures the band’s true, yet frenzied potential. I specifically appointed these three to augment and heighten the overall sound portrait of these recordings, hoping that our emphasis on mythological occult metal, coupled with progressive and psychedelic elements, clutches the listener’s momentum.

Do you believe that, over time, the eminence of your illustrious pseudonym has overgrown the eminence of bands in which you left a part of yourself as a musician and an artist?

Proscriptor: No.

At 48 years of age, your drumming shows no signs of stagnation, let alone decline. Is that permanent growth a consequence of your strict, regimented practicing routine, or do you feel that contemplating about music may sometimes be more beneficial than rehearsing, playing, or performing, that you have eventually become a better musician due to some realizations or insights about music?

Proscriptor: I am going to everlastingly continue in the same pathway I have carved more than three decades ago, so nothing will change as far as future plans and musical fashion. You also have to keep in mind that I am a simultaneous drummer and singer, so the diligence is double the amount in strength and stalwartness. Anyway, Thelemic Magick and an excessive amount of running/jogging keep my mind and soul vigorous with immortal flicker. As the notorious aphorism goes, practice makes perfect and I fervently believe in this statement.

Do you take pride in the fact that the band as a whole is still on the upward spiral as well, thirty years deep into your career, and that you are yet to reach your creative climax? Would you deem that a matter of effort, or were you simply lucky?

Proscriptor: Luck is the flip of a coin and a turn of a card, as I take vast pride in the dynamic effort surged into both bands.

When you look back at your entire body of work, and at every one of your releases individually, do you feel that each of them represent only a fragment of who you were at the time of their release, or do you feel that your entire being was consumed by each of them? Did you ever leave anything back?

Proscriptor: I am extremely proud of every release I have ever been associated with and feel rather accomplished after all these years. Occasionally, I will revert back to the previous catalog to scrutinize the evolution of my playing, lyrical conceptions, and general songwriting. Now being linked with the magnificent Agonia Records, there will be a thriving future of new music to surface.

What about the sensibility of Zbigniew Bielak’s paintings corresponds so well with the sensibility of Apsû’s music in your opinion, and what is the meaning and significance behind the one he did for this album?

Proscriptor: Mister Bielak was not only responsible for the cover illustration, the front piece, but the eight separate plate illustrations he axiomatically associated for the LP and CD booklets. Some are already aware that his chief profession is being a premium architect, so our parapsychological telepathy immediately clicked when it came to his illustrative pandemonium. The cover is titled Prolegomenon Of Inanna = The Great Above Versus Epilegomenon Of Apsû = The Profound Below, which depicts the Eightfold Quaternity of Inanna’s forlorn denotation. Sharing clairvoyant ideologies, he was able to resuscitate the artistic pulse after presenting the album’s general speculation. Some of the booklet’s plate illustrations are affiliated with multiple songs, others integrated to only one song, yet Zbigniew perfectly surmounted each piece reflecting the in-betweeness motifs. In hindsight, the entire team’s eccentric alchemy was nothing more than perfection and prosperity.

How much the philosophy behind the band and the music in general translates to your everyday life, do you ever stop being Proscriptor McGovern? Is there anything more or equally important going on in your life, that you owe at least the same part of yourself that you owe to music, or is your whole being committed, devoted, and invested into the idea of Apsû?

Proscriptor: I Am The Nexus Of Chaos = I Am Incessantly Proscriptor.

In the contemporary underground metal, oversaturated with bands that merely follow in the footsteps of their influences, it’s indicative that hardly anyone dares to replicate your idiosyncratic sound, despite the band’s unquestionable importance and the enormous shadow it casts over all those up-and-comers. Why do you think is so difficult to capture the essence of your music and to have it properly reproduced by anyone but you?

Proscriptor: To each their own, in other words. Remember ˗ the voice of the Silent One is also the Voice of both Absu and Apsû who menaces the Primum Mobile, rides on the zephyr, cleaves the Deep and roars in the fire!


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