Interview: Autarkh on the Next Chapter

Autarkh are back with their second album, Emergent, out last November via Season of Mist.  

Michel Nienhuis, founder of Autarkh, joined forces with guitarist/producer David Luiten (Inferum), bassist Desmond Kuijk (Dear Mother), and electronics master Tijnn Verbruggen for this latest release. 

“Most of the songs on (the first) album are songs that were originally written for the third Dodecahedron album,” Nienhuis says of his previous project before Autarch. “When we first started the band, the idea was to try and combine these types of electronic beats with the metal we’ve already been making in the context of Dodecahedron. And while doing that, we ended up coming up with things that we could reinterpret in the context of the new band. So (the first album) was kind of a transition from what was already there to this new context of Autarkh, and after releasing that album, we could see what the next steps were and what worked, what didn’t.”

While this record is similar in sound to the band’s first offering, it is, even by the band’s admission, less dense and more musical. 

“I think we wanted to try and make our second album a bit more transparent, a bit more listenable,” he adds. “It’s still very layered music, but we wanted to make it a bit more transparent than the first one. And of course, we even do different interpretations of our own music with our side project, Autarhk Three, where we do reinterpretations of our own stuff in a different context. So we were searching for a bit more of a transparent sound, a different angle.”

When it comes to the theme of the record, things get esoteric, but they’re still within the cannon through which they have been telling their stories. 

“It’s kind of like a follow up to (first album) Form In Motion, where an entity is struggling with various aspects of the learning process and discovering new states of mind. Emergence is kind of a next step, which you can look at as some sort of meditation process where it starts off almost with a focus, the state of mind you need during meditation, and it’s kind of an inner journey you can take, to visit all the energy centers in the body, where each song kind of represents a certain energy center.”

When it comes to future music, the band are already working on more from Autarkh Three, their alter ego where they will reinterpret existing material in the ambient and drone vein, and they’re also working on more material for Autarkh, so stay tuned. 

Photo courtesy of Season Of Mist 

Follow the band here.

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