Sarke - 06/06/2009

SARKE might sound like a new name, in fact it is, but this grim story has more pages than one might think at first. Formed in 2008 by its namesake Sarke, who has spread his angry art through Khold, Tulus, Old Man's Child and Sensa Anima, SARKE is a mesmerizing journey through dark and soothing sound scapes, inspired by legends like Mayhem, Slayer, Darkthrone, Celtic Frost, Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Death, Motorhead and Kreator.


For this musical quest, Sarke wanted to create music that has inspired him since he got into the extreme metal scene, and thus Nocturno Culto from the mighty Darkthrone was brought on board, making the core of the project complete. All music and lyrics were written by Sarke, but adding Nocturno Culto’s (Darktrone) legendary voice to these songs, has without a doubt added another dimension to the grimness.


SARKE’s debut album ‘Vorunah’ was recorded in November, and even though the album was recorded in old-fashioned 70's style to get the true vibe of the music, the sound is brutal, fresh and up to date.



We had the chance to ask vocalist Nocturno Culto some questions and here you can read what he had to say.


Congratulations on your debut album ‘Vorunah’ which was released recently, of course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it.


Could you start this interview off with a short introduction of Sarke, when and where did this all start and what actually was the main reason to form Sarke?

Nocturno Culto: Well hello there (desperately waving arms). Sarke was initially Thomas’ project. As it has turned out now, we are a full band with 5 members, and it’s a pleasure to be a part of this. Thomas called me over a year ago, and last summer I agreed to do the vocals in the studio only, but I’m truly glad we decided to try out some live shows. I enjoy it very much.


Why have you decided to join Sarke? So far you have remained dedicated to Darkthrone only except for vocals on Vidsyn's demo.

Nocturno Culto: Well, as mentioned above, this has picked up quite a momentum, ball is rolling etc…I decided to do the studio vocals even though I did not know how the record would sound until I actually headed for the studio. Turned out it was my cup of tea. I was always dedicated to Darkthrone.


Sarke wrote all the music and lyrics, did you suggest any changes or none at all?

Nocturno Culto: I only commented on the lyrics. On the new album we can all contribute with riffs, lyrics etc, but Thomas will remain the artistic headmaster, and that’s all good, ‘cause he seems to be very focused on this now.


How did you manage to come to one musical agreement while working on this record?

Nocturno Culto: Again, Thomas decided everything; all I could and wanted to do was to give my comments on things.


What approach did you take to make this album, did you go for a more raw exposition.. or something more reminiscent of your previous other works, or something all together different?

Nocturno Culto: I feel that this album really stands its own ground. You can’t re-invent the wheel, and the same goes for rock/metal. This album is primitive and raw, but yet it manages to be slightly intricate as well. It’s a known fact that making “primitive” songs that are really good is more of a challenge than “hiding” your “metal” in tons of hi-tech riffs and drumming. There is a place for everything.


How much time did you spend in the studio?

Nocturno Culto: Don’t know how much time we spent on this album, but I did the vocals in 5 hours, I just floated into the atmosphere.


Sarke's goal was to write music that sounds like the stuff that got him into metal. Do you think he succeeded in creating that certain sound?

Nocturno Culto: Yeah, I would say so, but I think Thomas himself would have a better answer to that. But as I said, this album has a unique feel to it, and those who catch that will be happy.


On the promo sheet, bands like Mayhem, Candlemass, Death and Black Sabbath are mentioned as inspirations. Listening to the album I would say the biggest influence must have been Celtic Frost and of course a bit of Darkthrone. Can you tell us how all these bands inspired you to create what we now know as Sarke.

Nocturno Culto: Since I did not create Sarke it’s a bit hard to answer. But Black Sabbath was introduced to me as a child and I’ll never forget it. Vinyl’s is the way to go…..


Could you describe the implications of the title ‘Vorunah’, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?

Nocturno Culto: Vorunah is just a name. Does not mean anything. And nothing in the world IS Vorunah. The lyrics of the song might get you closer to the meaning behind it.


What about the lyrics, of course some of the themes are clear, but can you give us a short explanation of them? 

Nocturno Culto: Thomas has the ability to write lyrics that are serious/atmospheric/black/humorous and easy to get pictures out of at the same time. “Primitive Killing” speaks for it self, “Old” for example is a bit of fun and “the smell of museum” is a very special opening line for a lyric about an old man…OR, it’s about being old, you can actually smell this song.


Is it important to you that people pay attention to the lyrics apart from listening to the music?

Nocturno Culto: Yes, always. The lyrics tell much about a band, and how determined they are.


What can we expect from Sarke in the near future, are there plans for a second album?

Nocturno Culto: Yeah, new songs are being made, new lyrics and so on. And it will be great to record this album as a full band. Hard to say when the recording will take place, but let’s say we are eager to get going. But all this needs to be planned and finished before we really think about that.


Will you contribute something in terms of songwriting/lyrics to a next album or will you remain the vocalist only?

Nocturno Culto: I will contribute with riffs and some lyrics. Thomas and I wrote something together. My part of any makings on the new album will be contributions in the form of stand alone riffs and some lines of lyrics.


What is the utmost important ingredient for a song according to you?

Nocturno Culto: The most important is of course that the riffs are great….but what exactly does this mean? Music is invisible, and therefore subject to interpretation, and as we all know too damn well, people like different music and everybody has their own vibe they’re after.


Sarke is booked to appear at the Wacken and Inferno festivals this summer. Looking forward to it?

Nocturno Culto: Yeah, very much. Wacken has an unrivaled atmosphere here in Europe, so that will be absolutely great. But we’ve played in Oslo and Trondheim so far, and the response has been fantastic, so I look forward to playing wherever and whenever. We’re also playing Hole In The Sky in Bergen, August.


Will you have some new songs ready by then or will you rely on material from 'Vorunah' only?

Nocturno Culto: We’ll play ‘Vorunah’ tracks only, except for a cover song. But as soon as it is possible we’ll infiltrate new songs into the set list of course. New songs ARE under way and we are eager to start rehearsing them.


What can we expect concerning those live performances and are there any tours coming up?

Nocturno Culto: Expect a rock’n’roll concert. We are not posers you see; we perform and have a great time. Touring is not a thing we are considering right now, but you never know. So far we are just considering stand alone gigs and such.


With several albums under your belt, how far has you career surpassed your original dreams and what would you say is the most rewarding part of being in a band? Do you feel you have to prove yourself with each release due to the climate in metal right now?

Nocturno Culto: Our original dream in Darkthrone was to release an album. After Soulside Journey we did not have any ambitions left, we just wanted to make albums WE think are great. We could not see anything coming in our direction in the way of “fame” or “recognition”. Well, we don’t have to prove ourselves, we have always walked our own path, I mean look at the last three albums. Let’s just say that with that kind of metal we ruled out all the emo-fans of 90’s. As Fenriz likes to say: only people with large record collections like us now. But hey, I know even young people like our new shit, so there is hope for the world. I miss the old days when bands pretty much made their own sound. Today, there’s too much soulless shit floating around in the sound department. But this is how music works, it’s invisible, and your music can basically hit ANYONE. You never know.

What is your opinion on the black metal scene these days?

Nocturno Culto: I don’t miss anything REALLY. I listen to my bands and everybody has different record collections. Both my feet are planted deeply into the 70’s and early 80’s, probably not a shock, but people sometimes really think we ARE the 90’s, just because of our early albums. Those where inspired by the 70’s and the 80’s naturally.


How far along are you with finishing the new Darkthrone album?

Nocturno Culto: We have one recording session left that will take place in the autumn. The album title has not been determined yet, but this new album will differ from the last two.


Anything left to say to our readers?

Nocturno Culto: I utterly and totally love you all.


Thanks for your time!

Thomas van Golen / Eugene Straver



Members :

Sarke – Guitar, Bass, Drums

Nocturno Culto – Vocals



(2009) - Vorunah