Sutekh Hexen first popped up on my radar when going through the lineup for the Stella Natura festival in 2012. They were easily one of my dark horse favorites from the event, and over the years I’ve made sure to keep up with their unearthly brew of black metal, cacophonous noise, and occult ambiance. This past June I was able to catch an intimate performance in Los Angeles as they toured up the US West Coast and bore witness to a moving sonic ritual. Shortly afterwards I had the pleasure to catch up with the band’s mastermind, Kevin Gan Yuen, and talk about the tour, collaborations, the convergence between extreme metal and noise scenes, tapes, ritualistic performances, and upcoming plans.
Heathen Harvest: Since 2011 it seems that your band has done quite a bit of touring, including several festivals. It’s almost as if you were a live band first, with releases in support over the last two years. Not that this is bad thing, in fact I’d say it’s commendable. Your music seems ritualistic with certain elements that could only be perceived in the flesh. Would you say that the live experience is an essential part of Sutekh Hexen?
Kevin Gan Yuen: When this project started, live-performances were not considered at all. Primarily due to the nature and complexity of the material, proving faithful execution of some of those tracks in the live-setting vs coordination to our standards—it would have been impossible. That had prompted us to approach things differently since then.
Now, the live experience has become something quite powerful within the last couple of years through acute observation and realization of potential; although not essential, serves as fundamental praxis in channeling desirable results, most importantly within the participants and environ.