Interview with AOC

Every once in a great while, an artist emerges from obscurity to deliver
music that is truly original and entrancing. AOC is one of these artists.
Playing his unique style of Archaic Metal (a rich combination of progressive
post-black metal, neoclassical, ambient, and folk, among many other
elements), AOC represents a rising force not merely in metal, but in music
as a whole. Cid, the sole member of AOC, was kind enough to take time
out of his schedule to answer some questions about the band and its latest
EP, ‘…Onwards The Path To Antagony’:

Hails, Cid! How go things in life and with AOC?

Just great

Give us some background regarding AOC and its precursor, Burial Horg.

Burial Horg was formed by Emiahj (bass) and I back in 2000. From then on we
had a few lineup additions and changes. Then around 2002, he decided not to
take part in the band due to lack of time and motivation. By 2005 I decided
to change the band’s name and start recording again.

Okay, so let’s talk about your latest EP, ‘…Onwards The Path To
Antagony’. What were your goals with this release?

Mostly, to express myself and also to finally record material from the
Burial Horg years which was never put down due to lack of time and
dedication. “…Onwards the Path to Antagony” is a conceptual album which
marks the beginning of a new form of expression for me. Even though the
songs were all arranged back between 2001 and 2002, the meaning still stands
strong. It goes from being introduced into an entity and then realizing its
beauty, shapes, forms and depths (Genesis and Endymion). Then it comes a
stage of growth, wondering, discomfort and dislike (Mightiest Under the
Moon). And at last (Alarum Within), complete confidence and hate mix
together to insult some people and announce new grounds. The very last song
(Stella Viae) which translates to Stellar Voyage, is a departure from it
all, or as I should say, a journey for a new beginning. It is a journey to
Messier 33.

What about the upcoming ‘Cattleya’ single?

Cattleya talks about a period in my life which will never be forgotten and I
am sharing it. I think its also the most meaningful conceptual work I’ve
worked on so far. The music was written back in 2001 with many strong
emotions put into it. The intro (The Moon) was the very first stage of the
song “Full Moon Ashes”. It’s more like an acoustic version with some
variations. “The Orchid” was one of those key songs which marked a new sound
for me. Thanks to this song I’ve developed more of a unique musical style.

What made you decide to form Burial Horg/AOC in the beginning? More
specifically, what made you decide to express yourself through such an
extreme form of music?

Back then we experienced some sort of connection since we had similar
musical taste. Extreme music in general really got to us and we felt we had
to be a part of it even though we mostly listened to other non extreme

What musical form do you feel the most kinship towards?

I would have to say progressive music in general, and I am being very broad.
I mostly listen to music from late 60s to early 80s. Simplistic music is not
a problem but only selected bands.

It seems there’s a rather unwelcome trend in today’s metal scene towards
bands who are sounding slicker and more professional but are lacking in
viscerality and songwriting ability. What do you think of this phenomena?

I think this is sad for them but at least they look happy while doing it so
why even bother. I prefer to turn my back to such acts.

How important are aesthetics such as production or visualizations in
music to you?

I think music itself should deliver all type of aesthetic. We listen to
music because we seek aesthetics. We seek this feeling, this state of mind.
Production is an important stage of the communication process since it is
how you want your music to be heard, how you want that feeling to be caught.
The music is music regardless of the job you do as far as producing it but
in my opinion it has to be all polished into how you want your language to
be heard. As far as album covers and other promoting details like a simple
picture or the website, I try not to mix image with my music. I express
visuals into other artistic manifestations which have nothing to do with the

Is AOC an ideological band, or purely an artistic one?

Definitely both. I usually like to maintain most ideologies to myself but in
some songs I express strongly my feelings about an issue. I also like to
narrate something personal or controversial into epic metaphors. Some other
songs stay as instrumental and should not have any stronger meaning rather
than its title and what it means to you.

Do you feel that greater variation in today’s metal scene is creating a
rich environment for creativity or simple further subdividing an already
fractured musical form?

I think change is always good in music but sadly like you said before,
there’s an unwelcome trend which has done plenty of harm to extreme music.
This cannot be stopped nor fixed. All that can be done is as creators, do
our best.

Do you think that a desire for mass commercial success can be
reconciled with artistic independence, or is art immediately sacrificed upon
entering the mass market?

I started off with no desire to be heard or known; nowadays I feel my music
needs to be heard. Maybe I am wrong but it’s just the way I feel right now.
We’ve all seen other bands go to SHIT once they enter the mass market, it is
a fact. Others don’t, it really depends on the band members. As far as me,
my music will never mold into what the mass wants.

What is the future of AOC?

I have no clue what the future holds but I can tell you that this is just
the beginning. There is the Catlleya single planned for Januray 2007. After
that I need to work on other songs which might make it into a full length,
not sure for now but 2007 will be a good year for the band.

Tell us about the purpose and goals of Emong Productions.

Emong was created to keep things tied under one name. So far there aren’t
any goals. It is all very personal. Not professional or too commercial. I do
charge for the CDs but I mostly send material out to labels and
distributors. Nothing too big for now.

Recommend some little-known artists that are worthy of greater

Lebbeus Woods, Douglas Pearce, David Lynch and bands like Tangerine Dream,
Popul Vuh and Campo Di Marte.

Thank you very much for your time, Cid. Is there anything you’d
like to say before we depart?

I encourage everyone to always dare to talk back and end rumors.
Thanks for all the support and for doing this interview.

I’d like to thank Cid for taking the time out of his busy schedule to
answer our questions. Be sure to check out AOC and other Emong Productions
artists at Thanks for reading;
we’ll see you in hell.



~ by noktorn on November 29, 2006.

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