Zazen Sounds

In the darkest abyss of chaos where time and space are impenetrable, Black Altar came into existence. It took its earthly shape during the blasphemous Sabbath in the Night of Walpurgia Anno Bastardi 1996, when it was summoned by the voice of Shadow. He, as the first guardian of Black Altar, has started an unholy crusade, thus awakening fear and pain among the hypocritical and hideous christian lambs.

Hello My Old friend. Two decades have passed since we were in touch through letters. What do you remember from those old days?

Hello Brother! Yes, it's been over 20 years since we began to correspond with each other and I'm very happy that we are continuing this. 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. Murders and setting fire to churches were common. 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.

 

Please share with our readers how both in ideological and musical terms have your aims shaped the direction of Black Altar?

 

From the moment I became a teenager I began to be attracted to various extreme things and began to get deeper and deeper into them. Whether it's horror, occultism or music. I went through a natural evolution from heavy metal, through thrash, death, and black metal, because I thought that this is the form that fascinates me the most. It was 92/93 and then the black metal boom exploded, which absorbed me completely. On the canvas of all this, carried by young enthusiasm, I wanted to start my own band and smartly having no idea where to start. I remember this period of incredible passion and some naivety with a lot of sentiment. Most importantly, this fire still burns in my heart after more than 25 years.

 

Two full lengths in 20 years. Your followers need a new full length album I think. When can we expect a new offering and why do you keep silence with regards to full album releases in the passing of time?

It's true that Black Altar can not boast with rich discography. 2 full albums, 2 ep's and a few splits. The last album was released 12 years ago and I think it's time for a new one. The reasons why I recorded only 2 records are few. First of all, I have somehow coded that the 3rd album should be a peculiar opus of the band's magnum and I have always subconsciously pushed the recording from myself, maybe fearing that the songs are not good enough for a full album. In addition, I have never had enough songs, in the meantime there were very interesting split proposals, whether from Varathron, Thornspawn, Beastcraft or Kirkebrann. Personally, for various reasons, I am a big fan of splits, in addition, thanks to this my discography is a little bigger. In fact, songs from the mini album "Suicidal Salvation" and the split with Varathron / Thornspawn were recorded during the same session and could be the 3rd album. I even released them recently on one album, but originally "Suicidal Salvation" was supposed to appear as a split with Shining, but legal problems stood in the way because they were in the process of changing labels, so Darker Than Black released it as an independent mini album, and the rest of the songs hit the aforementioned split with Varathron and Thornspawn.

 

I would like you to share with us the concept behind your two full length releases.

The debut album "Black Altar" has no common concept except that its subject matter concerns satanism, dark rituals, terror etc. However, the second album "Death Fanaticism", as the title indicates, is devoted to the theme of Death. The phenomenon of death has fascinated me for a long time and I talk about it from various perspectives. It has felt her breath on my back for the last few years, because at first I was misdiagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS / Lou Gehrig’s disease) and I was aware that I would die in 3 years in a form of  vegetable, and as it turned out fortunately, it wasn't what doctors thought it will be. Now my fiancée is fighting with an extremely rare brain tumour.

 

Thank you for the invitation to be part of your last split release. It was a strong result. How did this split ep come into form and which other Individuals took part in the final result? A video was also released to promote this work.

Thank you, it was a great honor for me. At the beginning I had to put there two songs, and the song "Tophet" was prepared for some larger release. However, when I found out about my "illness" and that I am about to die, I decided to add it to the split and invite a few people for it who I respect and have known for a long time to make it a unique, farewell song. In addition, Acerbus from Ondskapt, Sorath Northgrove from Beastcraft, James from Vader and Nihil from Furia appeared in this song, who produced everything and made keyboards, samples. I remember that the day before recording the vocals, I got the results of tests that practically confirmed my illness, I knew it was my last song in my life, so you can imagine that my voice is soaked with exceptional emotions. The song was made a music video shot in 5 countries due to invited guests and it is very popular, because in total on several profiles has about 300 000 views.

 

What are your opinions about the Polish scene? Past and present.

Poland has a very strong metal scene, ranging from a multitude of underground bands to the well-known ones like Behemoth, Vader, Mgla, Hate, Decapitated, Bathuska. One cannot forget about old bands gathered around the infamous Temple of The Fullmoon like Graveland, Infernum, Veles, Mysteries etc. While once in Poland it was only extreme metal out there, a few years ago, unfortunately, a new trend and fashion for post black metal, poetic lyrics and coming up with ever stupid Polish names and titles appeared. Personally, I hate this trend. In addition, there have always been conflicts, gossip, etc. on the Polish scene, such is Polish nature. I am also glad that I moved to London and I don't participate in it all anymore, just watching from a distance.

 

Black Altar were never part of tours or shows. Why this decision? As i know this changed right now..Correct?

That's right, neither Black Altar nor I have ever played any concert. There were several reasons. At first, the musicians of  Black Altar's first line-up didn't want to hear about playing concerts, later when I removed them from the band, I stayed alone for a dozen years or so, started a family, children were born and I didn't have time for anything. I am also picky in choosing the band members and somehow nobody met my criteria. During this time I was getting various, very interesting offers and I had to say no. The situation has changed recently, since I live in London I have found that I have perfect conditions here to play and that either now or never. On the spot, I could not really find musicians who suit me, so Ondskapt members came to me and I brought a very good guitarist from Poland. However, this cooperation has not stood the test of time and they are no longer in the band. I have a new, full line-up, I was joined by Mauser (ex Vader) among others. Finally, I agreed to the first suggestions, and so we will play the first concert at Samhain festival in London, as a headliner with Akhlys. And later in November at Darkness Guides Us Fest in Glasgow, where the squad is unearthly. I hope everything goes according to plan and neither the corona virus pandemic nor the antifa will prevent this.

 

Satanism, Nihilism and Death are the main influences behind your lyrics. How do you define Satanism in your life and how do you experience the mystery of death in your path?

That's right, these are the main subjects of my lyrics. The new album is about Necromancy. Satanism does not necessarily define worship of the devil, but more as freedom and rebellion against organized dogmatic religions. Also as the dark side of the human psyche, which does not mean that I do not believe in real demonic entities. For some time I have been deeply exploring the draconian path of the Night Tree and traverse the labyrinths of Sitra Achra. Death is the gate to the astral plane, where we are not limited by physical limits. When we throw off this earthly uniform which is our body, new possibilities will open for us. How exactly it is there, nobody knows it, but certainly everyone will find out. It is difficult to accept the departure of loved ones, but unfortunately this is the way of things. All the time I remember the motto that I saw at one of the cemeteries "Who you are now, we used to be."

 

The Occult always was a hype for humanity. For few it is a thirst to experience the hidden aspects of life..For others a way to escape from the mundane life and worst for many out there to escape from their live`s miseries. What does spirituality means for you and how do you think it can affect the life of an Individual for such decision to cross the forbidden path?

A man practicing occultism is sensitive to certain signs and tips appearing in his life. Spirituality means  spiritual development to me, getting to know my own psyche, work at the energy level and contact with beings from the astral world. Identifying with deities to see the world from their perspective. It also means opening forbidden doors and crossing barriers that a mere mortal would not dare., To maximize my individuality, freedom and personal power in this lifetime, to become a living God.

Society offers many mind-chains and physical or chemical drugs..How do you understand the free will and freedom in Life.

I can briefly quote the classic "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law". Finding my path and following it according to my own will. Doing my will within a generally established legal and social order. Although I admit that sometimes it happens to me to go beyond this order.

Last year a compilation took place. Tell us more about this offering please.

Last year I released on CD, vinyl and in a limited wooden box the aforementioned the mini album "Suicidal Salvation" with songs taken from the split from Varathron / Thornspawn. It might as well be 3 Black Altar CDs. I also released re-editions of the debut album with new mastering and graphic design.

 

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 will be released around 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. 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.

 

Which bands influenced Black Altar at their very first steps?

Apart from Necromantia, they were definitely Norwegian bands like Mayhem, Burzum, Emperor, Immortal, Darkthrone etc. Fortunately, I managed not to copy them, but I hope to create a fairly recognizable style for Black Altar.

 

Are you supporting physical releases or Digital ones? How do you see the Net promotion and digital promotion over the past years?

I strongly support the sale of physical format. I am a vinyl collector and a physical copy will always remain a physical copy, not a zero one set on the hard disk. Of course, selling mp3 on bandcamp can be very useful for labels or bands, because the client downloads stuff in the first place, and the label does not have to send him a CD. However, I am a definite enemy of all spotify streaming, where you can pay a few euros per month for a subscription and listen to everything at will. Bands from this type of platform or from youtube get virtually no money. I read the calculations that you need to have about a million streams or clip views to get about $ 150, it's a joke. Through such activities, sales of physical media fell drastically. It's not that bad in metal, because many fans prefer vinyls or various collector's releases, but in pop music, for example, the situation is dramatic compared to what was once, but that's not my problem.

On the other hand, online promotion is very useful and cheap. For example, on Facebook, you can quite effectively promote your stuff for free, instead of paying a lot of money for advertising in magazines, which are less and less popular. However, I am in favour of both forms of promotion.

 

I want you to close the interview with your favourite lyrics you wrote till now as greetings to your followers over the years!

 

Thank you for very interesting interview. I chose the lyrics from the up coming split with Kirkebrann:

 

DEUS INVERSUS

 

Leviathan, Dweller of the Abyss

Thou Serpent of endless hunger

No longer Bound, thy chains have been broken

Arise and hear my voice

           

Daemon est deus inversus

Non Sine Numine

Daemon est deus inversus

Magnus Immundus Eternus

 

I’m before the mouth of the Abyss

endless chalice of blood

 

I seek the bringer of Fire and Light

Tiamat, let your blood run in my veins

Kingu, let your fiery hunger for life be mine

So it shall be!

So it is done!    

 

Daemon est deus inversus

Non Sine Numine

Daemon est deus inversus

Magnus Immundus Eternus

 

 

Here is the Blood, elixir of Life

The blackened One who feeds on the hearts of souls

Devourer of Souls, Eater of Shadows

Cloth me in the Spirit of Fire

 

 

Energy of the Dead Illuminated to Life

Enter the Temple of Flesh

Oh Algol, piled up corpses

Black Flame of Iblis