Interview: 359 (Raw Black Metal from Finland)

Raw unholy black metal from southern Finland! An idea that has germinated since 1999, with one demo in 2008. This August, 359 (explained below) unleashed a new EP: The Path of Ayin.

Listen to the official band sample below, although my highlight is the punchy final of the three, Ajna Satan Anahata.

Interview with Sunken, 11 October 2016

On the credits 359 are listed and Sunken separately for lyrics – does 359 include other members?

The band consists of three other members in addition to myself. Due to various problems we decided to combine old projects, which started back in 1999, under the monicker of 359, mainly because of great chemistry within the band…

I’ve read one guess that the name is referring to a historical date. Are you willing to explain the name, 359, and the meaning?

359 derives from the Gematric value of Hebrew word “ShTN” (Opposer, Satan). It also has its connections to Crowleyan tradition, as the values of Set and Horus are also 359.

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On your official page is says the band formed in 1999, is that right? What were some of the earliest activities and ideas?

Well, the band is musically rooted to the year -99, even though back then we didn’t have any clue about the number 359. In 2008 I did a demo called “Denied Virginity of Mary” by myself, because I and the guitarist lived in different cities. After that the project started to take its form and evolved into a band. In 2013 we started to compose songs of the upcoming full length, working remotely. Early 2013 another member joined the ranks. Nowadays we all live in the same area, so the rehearsing is MUCH easier.
The basic ideology behind the band was based on Satanism. Or worshipping Satan – To express my anger against the christian doctrine, or better said, against the Demiurge – Hate against the doctrines, Jesus dying on the cross because of our sins… I don’t want that kind of things in my life. Later on, I’ve left these subjects almost completely, as hate ties you to its object, just as Love of Satan ties you to Satan.

You worked with Zetekh (SATURNIAN MIST) on the mixing of the new albums, did you also record at Blackvox? How was the recording and mixing/mastering cooperation?

The initial tracks were recorded at our rehearsal place, Zetekh recorded his guest vocals at Blackvox. The EP was mixed and mastered there, though. The Process of mixing was really painful experience and I have to say that Mr. Zetekh is really a patient man with nerves of steel! The guitars were originally recorded back in 2004 (which actually tells that the songs on the “Path Of Ayin”-EP are older than the demo 2008), and it was a challenge to make them sound decent, hence we decided to add couple of new guitar tracks to make it sound better.

It has been several years since the last 359 release, but you are not silent with other bands. What activities have you been involved with since 2008?

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I am the one behind the industrial/noise/power electronics band CONTORTUS. With CONTORTUS I’ve released a cassette via Freak Animal Records in 2013 and in 2015 a split cassette with HYGIENIA was released. I am also an visual artist and that’s been keeping me busy too. Besides those, I practice martial arts (Kendo) and take long rides with my bicycle.

Was 359 your first “solo-band”?

Yes.

Why did you decide to move from drums to other instruments, have you always been writing/playing guitar?

When I was younger, I used to play guitar and drums actively. After the demo 2008 I haven’t touched the drums and my guitar playing has become really shabby. I “Compose” more noise songs nowadays and in 359 I sing and do the lyrics.

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Do you consider 359 the most personal band in terms of exploring your own philosophy. Also asking as the lyrics often refer to “me” (His echoing voice, inside my skull)

The lyrics on the “Path Of Ayin” are based on my experiences on the path I’ve chosen, and it was rather easy to write the lyrics based on cognition – about Satanism and “The Conflict”.

Continuing the above, does the title (The Path of Ayin) refer to your own Kabbalistic beliefs? Are you involved in a specific group/sect in Finland or read works by certain groups?

The name is just a detail in the bigger picture, I do of course delve deep into different areas of esoteric subjects, but especially Kabbalistic thoughts are close to my heart. I’d rather not talk about the groups I’m involved with, let’s just say I am connected…

Is the cover photography a reference to the tree of life?

Yes, among other connotations. It is a negative picture of it, the Tree Of Death and the tunnels of Set.

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Any interest or plans to make 359 a live band?

None whatsoever.

Last words are yours!

Thanks for the interview! The CD version of “Path Of Ayin” EP is out now on Schattenkult Produktionen (GER), get it while you still can. Cassette edition of the EP will be out as a Co-release between Atavism Records (FRA) and BloodRock Records (ITA). We’re planning to start recording our first full length in December 2016 and it will be released later on.

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