Standing out from the majority of the occult metal pack by, y’know, actually being really serious about the occult, but also by carving out their own epic and spiritually charged sound, Switzerland’s Schammasch released one of the most immersive and massive albums this year with their Prosthetic Records-released double album, Contradiction.
Having already offered a glimpse into their fiery cauldron with the track Split My Tongue, we’re whipping ourselves into a frenzy over our exclusive reveal of the mesmerising new video for the track Golden Light. Turns out it’s an appropriate reaction, because its seven-and-a-half minutes of cinematic splendour involves just that: a rite of penance set out amongst the French Pyrénées during the summer solstice of 2013. Directed by French artist Valnoir, whose work with the likes of Watain, Paradise Lost and Alcest all testify to a vision as blazing at the Swiss four-piece themselves, Golden Light is both a sonic and visual act of deliverance. So take the appropriate position, press play, take heed to see them when they play the Underworld in Camden on October 20 alongside Dark Fortress and Secrets Of The Moon, and then get further guidance and insight below as Valnoir and band frontman C.S.R. reveal all about the making of the video!
VALNOIR AND C.S.R. ON THE MAKING OF GOLDEN LIGHT
Valnoir (director): “This video has been shot during three days, Summer Solstice 2014, in the French Pyrénées , 20 km up north from the Spanish border. I have centuries-old roots in the ground of this arid, almost desert land. When Schammasch came to me to ask me to direct a video for them, considering the sun being the center point of the band’s universe, I immediately thought that this solar, sterile country would be the most substantial solution. Not being a movie director myself, so to speak, I looked around me for the most talented image maker I could think of, and William Lacalmontie and I teamed up.
“French Cataluña is probably the last and only location in France where the Spanish ritual of the holy week can be found. This inspired us when we have been to found an aesthetic and conceptual starting point of the story. It’s important, when it’s possible, to have the core of a piece bound to the spatial context where it happens. This basically counts the life of a hermit living far away from light until one day, where, for some reason, he decides that he got further enough in his life to reach this actual light, incarnated in a divinity. This film depicts his journey.”/o:p
C.S.R. (Schammasch): “Golden Light is, unlike any song on Contradiction, pretty much straight to the point. It has some kind of monolithic severity, which was very important to be delivered also in the film. We first planned to shoot it at an old cathedral in our hometown, for which we even got permission due to some carefully crafted persuading. But Valnoir convinced us to leave this scenario, for it bore too many restrictions and not enough scenic possibilities. So we followed the concept he and William had worked out instead, which turned out to be very adequate. The desolate mountains of southern France gave a well-fitting scenery for this journey, the atmosphere there is unique in many ways, ominous, raw and pure. So was the actual atmosphere during the shoot, torturous in some ways (besides the vespertine red wine sessions), and even the weather played against us, like many other unforeseeable things. Furthermore we only got three days to shoot the whole film, which is quite a short time, so there was pressure which culminated in maximum focus though. The concept was simple. The song basically describes the moment before reaching a higher state of being, before receiving the light of progression. The film tells the story onto this point, and gives it a personality, a face. The face of the hermit.”
Kneel before Schammasch’s Facebook page here!
And give alms by ordering Contradiction here!
Schammasch play the Underworld, London alongside Dark Fortress and Secrets Of The Moon on October 20.