Dear friends, the latest full-length "Trpte" by the Czech black metal triumvirate NĀV was unleashed last week, which brings us to the latest installment of our "talks" series, which is all about this album and its authors. Enjoy!

NĀV: The new Trpte album is darker, yet more hit-like

The uncompromising Czech black metal outfit NĀV unleashed upon the world, through MetalGate Records, a new raging beast that was given the name Trpte. The new full-length, released in all formats, builds on its predecessors that brought the band a solid acclaim not only on the local scene. We talked things with Ivan, the guitarist and vocalist of NĀV.

Trpte is out, so I have to ask how you feel…

Joyous, slightly nervous and relieved. We had the master ready since January, but we wanted to release all formats at the same time, so the wait was endless. On the other hand, the wait for the vinyl was ultimately not as long, as we were initially warned.

Your first two albums both received excellent feedback from fans and critics alike, which begs the question if you felt any pressure when recording the new one. After all, there were certain expectations to be had.

Not really. Already when doing Arcizlo, we had several demos of the new material, and we thought that it is at the very least as strong. So, the recording was fine. 

What would you say is the biggest progress compared to the previous album?

Definitely sound, where there is always progress to be made. Herm got himself a new drumkit and the difference is incredible. In fact, you can generally feel the progress when it comes to the backline used. As far as the tracks go, it may sound like a cliché, because everyone always says it, but they are more hit-like. At the same time, I find the album darker. Still, it naturally follows in the vein of its predecessor Arcizlo, so there are no major divergencies style-wise. That said, this time, we have more guests on the album. In Vukojebina, which was made into a music video, we have Veronika Zemanová from Kalle and Nod Nod. When I wrote the song, I knew it must have female vocals and after a thorough consideration, Veronika was a choice more than logical. Another guest appearance is in the epic last song Vesmir and it is by Vašek Slavík from Five Seconds to Leave and Nod Nod. When I was drunk once, I asked him if he would sing anything in a black metal song, and Vesmir is where it fits perfectly. Our good old friends from the rehearsal room helped us again with choirs, though in slightly different line-up of Deadwith (Noise Cowboys), Ren (Bad Earth), Hans (Serious Music, KillChip and others), Jéža and Vašek as well. Our drummer Herm also did a vocal part in Promaja, and he was joined by his two kids.  

Music-wise, NĀV are a very intense band, yet you also build a lot of atmosphere. How important is it for you in black metal?

Atmosphere is one of the most important aspects. I always want it to give me goosebumps, whether I am listening to some other band, or mine.

What do you like the most from black metal? And what shaped you?

At the moment, I have Misthyrming and Wiegedood at the top. I saw both bands this year on Brutal Assault and it was a blast. Both are not your traditional black metal, which I like a lot. What shaped me? Shall I list it from my youth, starting from from Eric Clapton, ZZ Top and Black Sabbath, over Nirvana, to Sepultura and Soulfly? Or only as far as black metal is concerned, where the path was from Dimmu Borgir, over Deafhaven, Master’s Hammer, all the way to Mayhem, Satyricon and Rotting Christ?

We mentioned that the new album is out also on vinyl. How do you feel having one with your very own music?

It’s great. Given how much it costs to make one, it used to be an unreachable goal for me. So, having on vinyl already a second album, on which I participated, is a dream come true. I am happy as a kid in a candy store!

I would also like to touch briefly on the interesting album art. Is the visual side of albums important for you?

Absolutely. I like art and nice things. The album art helps with setting the atmosphere and the mood of the recording, so the two have to work together well.

Last year you released a split, which contains a cover of The Plastic People Of The Universe. What made you pick the age old blackness of the song Co znamená vésti koně?

I remember that many years ago, I saw on TV a concert of PPU with the philharmonic orchestra of Brno, and I was spellbound. I thought that it is in fact an underground black metal. The composition, the lyrics about hanging saints (there is actually a song Hang the Saints on our Arcizlo album because of it), I simply knew that one day I must make a black metal cover. And when Łūt approached us with an idea for a split, I did not hesitate to include a PPU cover. 

Do you have any feedback about it from the Czech underground?

This year I had the chance to speak with Vladimír Lábus Drápal about it in Skalákův mlýn, where I have been going to hang out on and off for some thirteen years now. He was very enthusiastic about it and told me how great it is and that he likes it very much. He even shared to the page of his Guerilla Records label, and the feedback there praised it as well, which makes me happy as well.

What next? What other milestones are in front of you?

There are milestones… and quite a lot. Of the long-term ones, another album of course. I have about 80% of lyrics done, while me and Hrom have some five demos ready. And more will come. In either case, our top priority now is to rehearse the current new album as much as possible, so that we can play it live as soon as possible.

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