ENTHRONED – A brotherhood
- by Peter Loftus
- Posted on 21-03-2012
To celebrate the release of the latest Enthroned LP ‘Obsidium’ we sent Peter Loftus on a trip to Hellgium and back. Here’s what he discovered when he spoke to frontman Nornagest…
What news from the Enthroned camp?
Greetings! We’re actually setting things up for the upcoming release party of "Obsidium", our new album, which will happen in Brussels on the 23rd March.
I read your tendonitis meant you were taking a back seat as a guitarist. Is this in the studio as well as live? How serious is the condition?
Well, it is quite serious as I cannot play extended live shows or tours anymore. I can still compose and record album in the studio, no worries about that, but I had to choose between common sense and my ego; meaning leaving my place to someone else live or fucking up half of the show, so… the decision was hard but for the best, even if I miss playing guitar on stage.
Tell us about the new LP "Obsidium". You must be really pleased with the way it turned out!
Indeed, this album has been done in a very spontaneous way, the whole writing process and recording were done in six months, we wanted to puke it all out instead of working on details etc…
pretty much the opposite direction that we used with "Pentagrammaton" which was composed in more or less three years. This is also due to the concept, we did not want to think things over and over again as it had to be spontaneous.
Did you enter the studio with a specific lyrical concept in mind?
Yes, the concept was already in our minds since 1997 actually, the three last albums are like three different volumes following the same concept and ideals. "Tetra Karcist" deals with the reality of occultism – how it is, without any gimmick or supposition, how things are within the occult. "Pentagrammaton" retraces experiences, real lived experiences through those doctrines and practices we talked about on "Tetra Karcist", and now with "Obsidium" the concept deals with what we learnt, the achievement we reached in one form or another through those experiences, all written in a way that only people who are actually within the occult circle can understand fully. Some of the Lyrics were also written by Frater Kerval, high priest of a certain Order (by respect of his own will, I will keep it confidential) who gave his external vision of our evolution and achievement through some experiences he is aware of.
How important is the philosophy behind the lyrics to you as a band and as individuals?
Regarding the fact that I am practicing my belief, it is important to me and also to the other members of Enthroned, but we are not some kind of inquisitors who wants everyone to share our belief etc… This is what we are and we do not want people to "desecrate" these philosophies by just agreeing with them through fan based mind thinking. This is something utterly personal; this is why the whole sense of the concept is "coded". Everyone can make his own opinion about it, have his own vision, but the ground and core of it remains what it is; our experiences.
In terms of song-writing, do you enter the studio with everything planned out or do you allow for things to happen organically?
Most of the album is of course worked out before the recording but we allow ourselves some changes here and there, for the good sake of the album, which is in my eyes, logical.
For examples all leads were composed on the moment, all my leads are actually pure jam and I wrote them down afterwards so Noens (our session live axe man) or Neraath can reproduce them live.
There are so many options open to a band entering the studio these days. How do you decide on a sound?
We have our own professional recording studio, so this makes things easier. We have our sound and depending this or that album we adjust ourselves this or that feature within our final sound. Working at home helps a lot, if we want to record something in the middle of the night, there is absolutely no problems which can have a serious influence upon the sound; choosing the best moment when you have that specific kick and just jumping on to record vocals, guitars or drums is just fantastic and very helpful.
The Enthroned sound is a mixture of harsh brutality cut through with melodic and atmospheric passages. Is this a conscious direction for the band?
I’ll make it simple: it is just what we are. We are very close as individuals, a brotherhood and very alike minded, the whole style is just a reflection of our characters as persons, this is just what’s happening within our heads.
Please tell us about 3 major influences on Enthroned and explain why they are important to the band (the answer could be other bands, ideologies, literature – whatever you like).
First would be our ideology; this is why this band was created in the first place almost 20 years ago. You cannot just simply run away from it and it is absolutely not our will, second would be our life experiences; (one might find this boring to read but well, do you want the truth or something to please this or that reader?) one specific event in someone’s life has more influence on a real musician than this or that band and finally we have, each one of us, our main influences may it be philosophical or musical depending what this very influence creates with ourselves – for some it is the writings of Blavatsky, Kenneth Grant, Robert Kalgary or Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers.
What are you listening to these days?
We are very eclectic persons when it comes to music, so do not expect to read only about metal bands. At the moment, I’m listening a lot the new Asphyx album "Deathhammer", Grinderman "2" (Nick Cave’s side project), Hathor Ensemble "Music of the Age of the Pyramids", Kerasphorus "Cloven Hoofs at the Holocaust Dawn" and the ‘best of’ album of The Pogues.
Playing live – do you prefer festivals or club gigs? What was your favourite gig of the last year (as artist or punter)?
Club gigs definitely, I always thought BM was not a music to be played to these wide open air festivals, except to a few exceptions of course. My favourite gig of last year as punter was Inquisition, Corpus Christii and Revenge. A very intense evening in every way! As a performer, the show we did in Athens, Greece. We performed with only one guitar but the intensity was there, I enjoyed every single seconds of it.
What next for Enthroned?
As I said, the release party we are organising this 23rd March in Brussels (not the club in Dublin of course), it will be a special show, the new album will be available there on LP, CD etc… and we hope to see you all there!