Mizmor // In Conversation

Faith is an intensely personal matter, yet for some, that faith is tested and broken and the subsequent fallout discussed and laid bare for all to see. Portland’s Mizmor is one such instance of faith being a central pillar of a person’s existence before life created ways in which to test and create cracks within that belief. This year’s full-length, Cairn (which was written about here), is the result of many years of searching, thinking and creating from it’s sole recording member, A.L.N., and here we talk about the moments that led up to his belief in God diverging from that of family and friends and the ultimate separation that needed to occur.

I would like to thank A.L.N. for his openness and honesty in discussing difficult subjects and for creating such challenging music that brings about much introspection and catharsis.

Faith is a central theme in your music and the path you took to this point is one that is coloured with many intensely personal moments – can you please explain a little about how Mizmor came to be, your reasons for rejecting this idea of a God and your reasons for choosing the name?

I was raised in a Christian family whose practice of Evangelical Christianity (Christian Missionary Alliance denomination, to be precise) was central to our lives and relationships. I was “dedicated” as a baby in the church, went to Sunday school as a kid, and to youth groups as an adolescent. In my early teens I began to reject the faith, seeing it as something my parents subscribed to that I didn’t necessarily believe in. I was interested in exploring other religions, philosophies, and worldviews and also wanted to experiment with “worldly” things forbidden by the church. I pulled away on the inside but was forced to attend church every Sunday until I turned 18. I (obviously) stopped going once I reached that age. However when I was 19 or 20 I had a conversion experience that led me to see Christianity with new eyes and take it on as an adult, for myself, in all seriousness. This was very different than my force-fed experience of Christianity as a younger person. It resulted in an immersion in the scriptures, hours of daily devotional prayer and worship, the compulsion for outreach, and an overall transformation of many of my personal qualities which defined my identity (for good or bad).

Mizmor – Cairn (painted by Mariusz Lewandowski)

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Gilead Media Takeover With Fell Voices And Lychgate

Gilead Media has long been a favourite label of mine (and not just because of that Dark Tower reference) as the one-man operation has always been at the forefront of the darker music scene and it’s clear that Adam gives a shit about everything that he does. The two latest releases from Gilead are as interesting as they are exciting, albeit for different reasons.

Firstly we have the third full length LP from the cult of Fell Voices who, along with Ash Borer, have created a scene unto themselves with hard to find splits and tour only CDr releases and a wonderfully raw approach to recording. Secondly we have Lychgate who are extremely enticing if only for who is involved in this project. Greg Chandler (Esoteric), Aran (ex-Lunar Aurora, ex-Trist), Vortigern (The One, ex-Orpheus, ex-Archaicus, ex-Spearhead) and T.J.F. Vallely (Omega Centauri, Sanctus Nex, ex-Orpheus) make up this new entity and it’s insane how incredible these musicians are and to hear them working together is – if you’ll forgive the hyperbole – mindblowing.

But enough rambling eh? Let’s get down to business.

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