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Meditative Trance is the most suitable definition for the sound of Shibalba, according to the band. The mighty outfit is about to release a brand new opus titled “Stars All Med-Hum” that promises to be “a deep and dangerous meditation recording, ideal for tantric sexual magick and dream workings”… Metal Imperium couldn’t let the opportunity to talk to these guys pass by, could it?

M.I. - Why have you opted to name the band “Shibalba”, based on the Mayan mythology when the Greek mythology is so great? Did you think it fit the music better?

The name selected to represent the spiritual work of the Lodge of Shibalba has been opted for a multitude of reasons, materializing the vision behind the creation of our Art. Every aspect of the Lodge has a certain meaning and symbolism, as the name has too, stretching beyond the plain symbolism of the Underworld. It is opted to be the envoy of the infinite journey and the eternal return, the rebirth of consciousness within the mysteries of surpassing Death.

M.I. - Why did you feel the need to create Shibalba considering that you were involved in other musical projects? What does Shibalba “offer” you that the other projects didn’t/don’t?

Shibalba, as all of the musical and artistic endeavors we are involved in separate entities, serving different causes. There is no limit to the spiritual and artistic expression when it is honest and pure. Likewise, there is a liberty of expression that the soundscapes of Shibalba offer that cannot be found within any other musical genre, an unlimited form of revelations far beyond the usual and corroded scenes and trends of the modern music industry.

M.I. - Some of your albums have been released by different labels. Why? Are labels afraid to bet in and promote projects that are non-conventional, non-commercial?

It has been our option to select various collaborators to release our work. There has never been any boundary to the art form of Shibalba and the label shouldn’t be one. Being a non-commercial act should normally cause difficulties, but all those years in the life course of the Lodge of Shibalba, we have always been presented with numerous deals, selecting only those that really were representative to the essence of our Art.

M.I. - “Stars All Med-Hum” sounds like the soundtrack to a meditation retreat which includes 5 alignments. What can you tell us about them? What are they inspired in? What does the title mean?

The album dives deep into the unmapped Astral oceans and corridors of Star Al-Med Hum. Orchestrating a journey to the most obscure spheres beyond human perception, the pathways of otherworldly ingression and ecstasy, a newborn entity is brought to the Light. A soundtrack to the sexual Tantric Magick Meditation and a Sinister vocalization of the darkest corners of the psyche, as the Adept ascends to the astral worlds, the ones below and the ones above, within trances of lucid slumber and Inner awakening. Planes of All and Nought, envisioned by impulses and vibrations while the disciples of the sonic architects are dancing to invoke the sabbatical names of unspeakable Goddesses of the Moon. Kundalini and Brahmanic theurgy combined to solar and lunar atoms ascending and entwined around the spinal medulla, projecting the soul by mantras sacred and ancient, to the Astral worlds of Star Al-Med Hum.

M.I. - The titles of your alignments “Fa Ra On”, “TEI Re Re Re”, “Ana Hat”, “La Ra” and “Egi Pto” seem to be split words… what do they mean? What are they based on?

The titles refer to certain magical practices, that are unfit to be fully presented and discussed. As always, it is not our intention to fully undisclose the details of the spiritual background, rather to let the listener dive into the alternate realities of the release and its mindscapes. The journey presented is unmapped and into the unknown, whereas all verbal explanations are futile.

M.I. - The cover done by Nekelmu Ilu and reflects calmness and beauty… is it the message you wanted it to convey? 

It is a solid projection of the album title, while representing the visionary work that has been unfolded. There are multiple messages to be discovered in every corner of the release, including the aforementioned. With every cover, there should be a statement from the artist to the audience, with that being the initial ignition to the mental visualization of the Opus.

M.I. - According to the band, this album “is a deep and dangerous meditation recording, ideal for tantric sexual magick and dream workings”… have you tried this out yourself? 

The practices we are working with and have experimented with are not to be discussed or presented in any form. It is not the main purpose of the release whatsoever, to boast about our practices, but to expand the base of experience that gave form to the album.

M.I. - Do you believe meditation helps one achieve a state of awareness? Do you practice it yourself?

The practice of Meditation is the very base of every spiritual form, having countless forms through the Ages. Therefore, there is not an act of Magic that is not an act of Meditation of any kind.

M.I. - What makes “Stars All Med-Hum” such a special album?

What really makes “Stars Al Med-Hum” a special release is the generating force behind its release, as all of the Shibalba releases. It is an act of channeling the Inner Flame of creation to artistic vibrations far beyond any boundaries and restrictions, a spiritual journey to the undiscovered planes of the mind and soul, where everything Divine is born.

M.I. - The album is due to be released in mid-November. How have the fans and media been reacting to it so far?

The perception and reactions to the release were far more satisfactory and rewarding than any other work we have done so far. We received numerous messages from the listeners that seem to be craving to dive deep within the abyssal totality of the release once it is fully undisclosed.

M.I. - What are the main differences between “Stars All Med-Hum” and your previous work “Psychostasis – Death of Khat”?

There are countless differences and countless similarities, like brethren born from the same womb but being different entities at the same time. There’s a thin line that separates the two releases, the effect of growing experience brought by the passing of time, that grants clearer artistic vision to every new endeavor. Every new release completes the creation that has been built by the life course of the Lodge, while setting the ground for the next to come.

M.I. - Your music is a combination of several genres… but can you describe it using just one or two words?

Meditative Trance.

M.I. - Will Shibalba be touring in order to promote the new album? 

Only several selected ritual performances and shows will be presented, as Shibalba is not built to be a conventional touring act, but a rare experience to live in and sink into.

M.I. - Thanks for your time! Could you please a message to the fans and readers of Metal Imperium.

We proudly present the new release and call upon every hungering soul to experience the netherworlds of Stars Al-Med Hum. Sink your hearts deep into the forthcoming Opus of the Lodge, devour the mesmerizing void.

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Sónia Fonseca