Culture Asylum Magasine
Black unadulterated metal is how I would describe the front man Shadow and his project Black Altar. He hails from Poland and dishes out the most intense, extreme Black Metal to date with having only two releases under his ammo belt. Death Fanaticism is his latest offering and it is blistering with hatred and pure brutality. The label Odium Rex puts out this offering and what an offering it is to behold. Shadow does it all he is the master mind behind this amazing project. We were intrigued by him and his new release is on heavy rotation. We are here to give you one of the darkest interviews to date, ladies and gentlemen I give you Black Altar.
1. CAM: Hello Shadow it is an honor to be talking with you. How did Black Altar come into existence?
Hail! It's my pleasure. Black Altar was formed in 1996 as a one man band during a ritual on Walpurgi's Night. The first recorded material was "Na Uroczysku" demo from 1997, done with a session line-up. Then, in 2000 I recorded split with Vesania (Behemoth, ex Vader, Dimmu Borgir musicians) and with a stable line-up. In 2004 a debut album of Black Altar came to live. It was a breakthrough. In 2008, "Death Fanaticism", the second album saw the light of the day. "Death Fanaticism" is better, improved debut album.
2. CAM: Who came up with the art work for Death Fanaticism?
The whole concept was my idea, yet it was put into one piece by a graphic designer who has been working on it for 8 months. Ultimately I had to say goodbye to him, in a very unpleasant manner and finish the work myself.
3. CAM: Who engineered the CD and where was it recorded at?
Szymon Czech was my sound engineer. He's responsible for many prominent metal releases in Poland. He also lives in the same city as I do and we have been working together for a long time. The album was recorded in Studio X, which is also in my city. It all made it very convenient. This particular studio is one of the best equipped ones in Poland and it specializes in metal music.
4. CAM: Is Death Fanaticism a conceptual CD or individual ideas?
"Death Fanaticism" is a concept album. What binds the recording together is subject of Death. Apart from myself, there were different people involved in writing lyrics. These lyrics are like an individual's point of view on Death and its mystery.
5. CAM: What does your stage show consist of?
As Black Altar is a one-man project, I do not play concerts. I could arrange a session line-up, yet I did not want to. I do not have much time and I am trying to be professional in whatever I do. Preparing for gigs, regular rehearsals etc. would consume much time, which I simply do not have. I have had many interesting offers, also from quite famous band, but unfortunately I had to reject them. But if there was Black Altars concert to happen, it would be a mad Mystery filled with blood and fire.
6. CAM: Are there any philosophies or beliefs that come through in your music?
Black Altar is ideological band so it definitely has its message. It is a message of the cult of Darkness, Hate and Death. Black Altar is as black, pestilential cloud which destroys everything on its way. Everything that's weak and imperfect.
7. CAM: Is there a new release in the works?
Yes. I am working on 7 tracks for splits with Shining and Varathron/Thornspawn. The next recording is going to be a mini-album, lyrically it's to be a continuation of „Death Fanaticism”. This mini-album will be devoted to death subject and all lyrics will be in Polish only.
8. CAM: What direction do you see the metal scene headed in?
Metal scene is so diverse and it consists of so many sub-genres that it develops in many various directions at the same time. I can only tell, from my own observations, that there is a certain trend which constantly repeats. First, we could see death metal boom. When this genre was explored to maximum, black metal entered the stage. This genre was followed by thousands of imitators. Then, we had again revival of death metal. In the meantime, retro thrash resurrected etc. History repeats itself.
9. CAM: Are there any other projects apart from Black Altar or is that your main focus?
I have also my solo project, Kriegsgott. It is raw, simple Black Metal. When it comes to ideology, while Black Altar focuses on occultism, Kriegsgott is putting the main emphasis on war, terror and German or Scandinavian myths. Still, Black Altar is my priority.
10. CAM: How would our readers be able to learn more about you and purchase your material?
Everyone who would like to know something more about me or Black Altar is welcomed to visit www.black-altar-horde.com or www.myspace.com/blackaltarhorde. To get in touch with me or to order records, just drop me a line to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
11. CAM: What influences the signature sound of Black Altar?
I am still inspired by the second wave of Scandinavian Black Metal. It is my main source of inspiration. I am constantly impressed by bands like Mayhem, Burzum, Immortal, Marduk or DarkThrone.
12. CAM: What are your thoughts on politics and music do they go hand and hand?
To be honest, my political views are quite clear and I would say I am rightist. I am not sure if politics should be connected with metal music. There is of course NS Black Metal, where National Socialism's ideas are incorporated with Black Metal. But I think that Black Metal is Black Metal and it should deal with, let's say, occultism. The other genre should be called NS Metal. Anyhow, music is a very effective carrier of any content and can be used to your own purposes.
13. CAM: Will you ever tour the States?
I would like to , but as I mentioned – as Black Altar does not play any concerts, I am afraid it will never happen.
14. CAM: How would you personally describe the music of Black Altar?
Black Altar plays extreme Black Metal, it is loyal to the roots of this genre. It is however quite technically advanced and presents many new ideas.
15.CAM: Any Final words you'd like to impart on us?
Thanks for the opportunity of presenting the band in your magazine. You are more than welcomed to familiarize yourself with my music. Let's sacrifice the hearts of our enemies upon the Black Altar. Hail!
Thank you Shadow for bring to light about Black Altar and the latest release. This release put out by Odium Rex is simply incredible and blistering black metal with extremities unlike any other. Black Altar will shake the very foundation of your perception of what Black Metal is. Unlike other bands he takes a different approach still keeping it pure and raw. The vocals are venomous at times as well as violent in nature but if you wanted a tame release listen to Oasis and don't bother us. Listening to Black Altar makes you visualize walking through a field of razorblades while trying to catch your last gasp for air. Pick it up today and be prepared for the future of all things black.