Omen, founder of Slithering Black Records speaks about the label’s vision, challenges, criteria for artist selection, new website, Cold Meat Industry, Bandcamp and much more.


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What provoked the idea of establishing Slithering Black Records, and what was the label’s vision at the start?

The genesis of Slithering Black Records stemmed from a simple yet profound idea to create something different yet familiar to the early age of dark ambient music. I envisioned a platform that would serve as both a sanctuary and a beacon for independent dark artists, offering them the visibility and community that might have been otherwise unavailable.

Fortunately, I was blessed with the support of remarkable artists and friends who embraced this vision, transforming it into a musical/soundscape community… A growing Slithering Black Records Family comprising of extraordinary talents, avid listeners and self-admitted aliens, occultists, over-thinkers and downright RPG and horror enthusiasts.

Each day since its inception, I’ve been overwhelmed with gratitude for their invaluable contributions. Their dedication not only propelled the launch of this endeavour but also exceeded my original thoughts about starting a label and propelled it to heights I could only dream of!

How did your personal music upbringing influence Slithering Black Records’ direction?

Three words come to mind Cold Meat Industry… In my teenage years, I was heavily influenced by black metal, industrial and ritual music. In fact, a story comes to mind; a group of friends were gathered while listening to an early recording (on cassette, from a tape trade) of MZ.412 – Burning the Temple of God and one of my friends commented “This is dark but where are all the riffs?”.

I remember thinking that without “the riffs” this music holds the same, if not more, power and mystic energy of the same black metal Satyricon that we have been listening to prior. I was eternally intrigued! From there, I sought anything from Cold Meat Industry; Raison d’être, In Slaughter Natives, Brighter Death Now, etc… Now enter Micheal W Ford’s Valefor – Death Magick… This album fucked me up! I was already a fan of Black Funeral‘s black metal catalogue, however, Death Magick opened up an entirely different realm of darkness for me, I was fascinated yet somewhat terrified by what was interpreted as actual Death Magick

I was in a cold basement where my band used to practice, very late at night with an old girlfriend of mine, we were drinking wine, listening to Valefor and getting rather intimate when all of a sudden she sprang to her feet stared at me with a startled look on her face and screamed “your eyes are glowing” and took off running up the stairs in terror…

I have only heard from her a handful of times after that night and from what I understand (from friends) she said that the music I was listening to was able to possess me and turn me into a sort of demon. I don’t disagree with her… Since then I have looked for anything that could garner the same effect that the early dark ambient had on me.

Although there were a great number of incredible labels releasing very dark music, for some reason, I just craved something different, I envisioned a banner that one could be assured that every release was just as dark as the old days, however, holding on to some of the greater aspects of modern dark ambient.

Trials & Tribulations

As usual, record labels face several challenges at least during the initial phases of launching, how was it for Slithering Black Records when started?

When I initially conceived the idea of launching Slithering Black Records, I held a distinct vision of its setup. Yet, as time progressed, so did the evolution of that vision. Initially, I aimed to provide a platform to showcase my various musical endeavours — Aetherkinesis, All Things Dead, and Omensworn. However, just before our inaugural launch, I reached out to some dear friends, inviting them to contribute their music to Slithering Black Records.

To my delight, Mike Benoit, Insectarium, Handalien, and the esteemed Scott Lawlor all graciously agreed to collaborate, lending their talent to the cause of Slithering Black Records. While daunting at first, given my limited experience with labels and even less so with running one, their support emboldened me to cast aside my apprehensions and dive headlong into transforming Slithering Black Records into a fully-fledged label.

Their willingness to participate and contribute to Slithering Black Records‘ mission was a pivotal moment, infusing the endeavour with a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose. With their invaluable guidance and encouragement, I navigated the complexities of label management, learning and adapting with each step.

As Slithering Black Records began to take shape, it became more than just a platform for my projects; it blossomed into a collaborative hub where diverse voices and visions converged, united by a passion for fucked up music and a commitment to artistic expression. Together, we embarked on a journey to amplify the voices of independent musicians, forging connections and spreading our collective message to audiences far and wide.

With each release, Slithering Black Records emerged as a testament to the power of community and the transformative potential of music. And as we continue to evolve and grow, guided by our shared vision and unwavering dedication, the future of Slithering Black Records‘s black scales shine brighter than ever before.

Looking back; do you think Slithering Black Records would have done certain things differently throughout the label’s journey nevertheless at the beginning?

Looking back on the journey of Slithering Black Records, I can’t help but reflect on certain aspects that, in hindsight, I might have approached differently, especially in those early days. While our vision was rather clear from the outset, there were inevitable challenges and learning curves that we encountered as we ventured into the realm of running a label.

Looking back, I realize that seeking out more mentorship or guidance from those with more experience in the industry could have been beneficial, helping us navigate some of the initial hurdles more smoothly.

Additionally, I have found it rather challenging to find ample time to work on all the growing aspects of running a label, I have 3 daughters who are spaced just enough in age to have me on my toes on a pretty constant basis, and I usually find the time to work on “label duties” after they have gone to bed and unfortunately a lot of the time I am very tired myself.

However, despite the challenges along the way, each experience has been crucial in shaping the trajectory of Slithering Black Records and contributing to our growth and evolution over time. As we continue forward, I remain committed to learning from the past while embracing the opportunities that lie ahead, guided by our passion for dark music and our dedication to independent artists.

Challenges change with time; how does it look for Slithering Black Records especially when production, shipping and other costs have skyrocketed within the last few years?

The escalating costs of shipping and merch production have become absolutely quite overwhelming. Nonetheless, Bandcamp serves as a fantastic tool in our arsenal, enabling us to maintain affordable prices by leveraging digital sales to support physical releases.

I also have to mention that Bandcamp has also become a very integral part of helping grow our community with the onset of “Listening Parties”, listening parties have been a great place to meet and interact with not only other listeners but with the artists as well. Ever since we started doing the parties, we have had the pleasure of meeting great people from all over the world and we have even found a few artists to include on the label as well. 

One of my earliest goals when starting Slithering Black Records was to make it affordable to our listeners whether it is in digital or physical format, it isn’t as much about the money as it is getting our music in front of people who appreciate it while also fuelling the upcoming releases.

Although Bandcamp has been an incredible platform we are also working on an official website that will offer features that are not available on Bandcamp. I can’t mention too much about it right now (sworn to secrecy) but we are aiming to have an official launch this summer!

Please follow Slithering Black Records on most major social sites for the official announcement.


What criteria does Slithering Black Records use to choose its artists?

Our criteria just depend on the artist and how it fits into the vision of Slithering Black Records. One thing that I promised myself we would never do was to “pigeonhole” ourselves into just one direct style of music. We have been very fortunate by the vast array of talent our artists have offered, although most of our music is based around dark ambient I am definitely not opposed to working with different genres of music just as long as it stays within the overall perspective.

I mean, we have albums based on everything from the occult, isolation and depression, Lovecraftian, mythology, post-apocalyptic and even a few albums based on old tabletop RPGs. So, yeah, if an artist wants to work with us we are pretty open to a spectrum of ideas and themes. 

A few tips for readers that would like to submit a demo… I am a personal fan of older dark ambient, black metal and industrial. Our audience is very responsive to experimental values in music and loves anything out of the normal aspect. I would prefer to release a full-length rather than an EP or single.

I usually take care of the artwork to fit in with our aesthetic, however, if you have certain artwork that you would like to use I am open for discussion. No Politics and lastly… Don’t be a pushy asshole!

How does the process for signing up to Slithering Black Records from both sides, the label and the artist (after criteria have been met both ways) look like?

Funny enough, there is no set routine when it comes to the process of releasing an album on Slithering Black Records. I have always approached it as each artist is unique in their art and their personal preferences, many have a great deal of questions that we often discuss and others just want their album to be heard.

I guess it just really depends on the release. I think having that approach has kept the “cookie cutter” aspect to a minimum and allows us to connect on a personal level to get the release perfectly constructed on both sides.


In your personal opinion, how did the expression of ritualism and occultism change in music in general and among the label’s roster of artists in particular since the birth of Slithering Black Records?

Personally, I feel that ritualism and the occult in music in general have become much more serious, meaningful and esoteric. Years ago it seemed that a great deal of bands/artists were “Satanic” and had to blatantly mention it on every song, lyric, album and interview all the while not grasping the the true nature of it all.

Since then, I believe that they have lost a lot of followers mainly because of the almost cartoonish way that they are portraying themselves and their music. I have found it to be refreshing that the more serious artists involved with the occult tend to stay away from overusing typical imagery and themes.

One thing that drew me into the darker side of music was the mystical values and the overall emotion that led me to dive deeper into learning about the topics that were shrouded and therefore gaining an understanding of where the artist was coming from. I find it to be much more important and powerful when I listen to an album that is not screaming “Satan” a hundred times over.

As far as the Slithering Black Records releases, I feel the same way… I know that a few of our artists practice and it is not my place to explain what their studies are but I honestly appreciate them taking a more obscure method when writing and releasing with us.

What do you think is written in the stars concerning the future of Slithering Black Records?

Exciting developments are underway!

As mentioned earlier, our official website is on track for launch this summer, promising to be a significant asset for the entire dark music community once fully developed. Currently, I’m immersed in a phenomenal collaboration between two of our artists, which promises an exceptional release.

Moreover, we’re gearing up for a groundbreaking collaboration project involving eight of our Slithering Black Records artists, spearheaded by the talented Mike Benoit, offering a fresh take on the traditional collab album.

Additionally, we’re in the initial stages of crafting a new Slithering Black Records compilation set to debut in late summer or early fall. We’re also in the process of bringing forth new CDs, shirts, and art prints, each at varying stages of maturation. Additionally, as time unfolds, we’ll be expanding our repertoire to include other genres into the fold as well (metal/industrial/darkwave/folk… anyone?).

I must confess, that everything regarding the label has far exceeded my initial expectations. I’m constantly astounded by the unwavering support of our listeners and the sheer brilliance of the Slithering Black Records family, not only in creating such dark music but also in transforming a mere idea into something beyond extraordinary.

As I see it, the future holds endless possibilities, perhaps even beyond what the stars can foresee. Nevertheless, I’m incredibly grateful and eagerly anticipate our journey further into the slithering black abyss!