Welcome to Necromance Magazine and thanks for your time with this interview. How is the band managing with the current pandemic, and how has it impacted where you plans for Black Altar?
Hello. Privately, we are doing well, it is a much quieter time during which we will are able to catch up. The only difference is that the rehearsal rooms are closed and we have to practice at home.
Black Altar is now a one man project; however, are there any plans to add a new members to the band?
For about 3 years Black Altar has been a complete band. At first I was approached by musicians from Swedish Ondskapt, but we don't play together anymore. I have a new full lineup with Mauser, ex Vader member, and I hope it will stay like that.
What are some of the bands and artists that inspire Black Altar?
Too many names to mention, but it's generally Scandinavian black metal. Once mainly Norwegian, now more Swedish. I don't know if these bands have any direct influence on the work of Black Altar, because I try to avoid imitating and I hope that we have our own recognizable style, but they are the bands I like to listen to the most.
“Desus Inversus” (Split with Kirkebrann) comes out on June 30th through Odium Records; how is Black Altar feeling aboutthat and generally?
It is now a few days after the split premiere and I must say that the response exceeded my expectations. Very good reviews oscillating around 8.5-9 out of 10 and a lot of media interest. I can see that we have also acquired many new fans. Before the release of the album, the premiere of the music video took place, which prepared the ground for the split release and did a very good promotional job.
Could you please describe the creation of your part of the Split from its embryonic stages up to the final product? In what ways was recording "Deus Inversus" different compared to past efforts?
First, a few years ago I wrote the "Deus Inversus" lyrics, then together with the guitarist we worked on the music for this piece. Then I composed the second song "Ancient Warlust". There are 2 tracks + outro on the split from Black Altar side. Regarding the recording process, first Lars Broddesson (ex Marduk) recorded his parts in Sweden, then we recorded guitars in London with Masuer. Then the post-production process took place.
What were the main challenges recording the EP?
It was this post-production process that was extremely painful this time. First, Mauser did the mixing and mastering, and then our current drummer took over. He made maybe 100 versions, both Black Altar and Kirkebrann parts, and each had some nuances to improve, so we were all exhausted by this situation and the release date was catching up to us. However, I am satisfied with the final effect and it was worth fighting with it.
Who created the cover art for the split?
The cover was made by the well known artist Nestor Avalos. Known for collaborating with, for example, Dark Funeral.
What would you say stands out the most about Deus Inversus in comparison to your other material?
I think these songs are the most hit-like among all Black Altar discography. Also the lyrics for "Deus Inversus" are the most occultist I have ever written.
Is the Split merely a warm-up for a full length and when can we expect to see a new one from Black Altar?
Partly yes, but we have another Split with Norwegian Vulture Lord next year. The last album was released 12 years ago and I think it's high time to start a new one. For now, we have almost 4 songs, so I think it could be released in about 2 years.
What are some of your likes and dislikes about the current underground scene?
Honestly, I try not to look at others, but to do my own thing. It is known that the scene is completely different now than it was 20 years ago. Like everyone who started their activity in those times, I remember this period with great sentiment. Dozens of long letters were written and I eagerly awaited an answer, sent flyers, cassettes, etc. It was a time when black metal was something very extreme, dangerous and undesirable for commercialism. Most bands played very original music, everyone had their own style, there was no internet and everything was surrounded by an aura of mystery and elitism. Today we know how it looks like. All information on whether music is available at one. However, I do not intend to despair and live only with sentiments. Times have changed and whoever does not adapt to the new reality will not survive.
What does black metal mean to you?
Extensive question. In short, it is a lifestyle. The black metal flame has been burning in me for a quarter of a century and is as strong as it used to be. Either you love it or not. For some musicians it is just image, fun, they leave the stage, remove their makeup and become completely different people. Looking at me, no one would say that I am a metal fan, but in my heart I live my old ideals all the time. Without an ideology, black metal is just an ordinary sub-genre of metal.
You also run Odium records. Tell us please the plans you have right now and how this Label was formed.
I have been running Odium Records since 1997. Generally, I focus on quality in my activity and over the last years I have published records of such bands as Varathron, Thornspawn, Beastcraft, Graveland, Mephorash. This year Black Altar's split with Norwegian Kirkebrann and the album of Greek Enshadowed were released in June. Then in October there are two returns after many years of absence. The first is the Polish band Hell-Born, with former Behemoth members, including the co-founder of the band. They will also reissue their entire discography. The album will be released along with the Norwegian Vulture Lord, who returns after a 17-year break with the album composed by Nefas. The new line-up includes musicians from Urgehal, Carpathian Forest, Beastcraft, Endezzma and Thornspawn and I am very proud that this album will be released by Odium Records. As I mentioned before, I will then issue another split of Vulture Lord and Black Altar. Generally, after these publishing plans I intend to limit the label's activity very much next year and focus more on Black Altar, concerts etc.
Thanks for doing this interview with Necromance. Any words for our readers?
Thank you for your interest in the band. I invite you to familiarize yourself with the work of Black Altar. Hail!