1. Hello, thanks for taking your time. You released your first demo last October. Are these exciting times for UNHOLY ALTAR? I read you’re already working on a full length album. Is there anything you can already comment on this?
It has been a great experience so far and we have received a lot of attention for being a band who just started a few years ago so yes, it definitely has been an exciting time for us. We have tentative plans to work on a full length album which will focus on a little bit of a different direction but at the moment we are focusing on tours and shows.
2. I read you started out doing covers. Was it at first a project just for fun or why –and how- did it evolve into a real band with own songs?
Initially, when we developed the band we started practicing a few cover songs just to get a feel for how we all played together.
At the time we were all in other bands or starting different musical projects but once we formed Unholy Altar we knew we had something we all really loved working on so we set goals and intentions for the band.
3. There’s a strong influence from Scandinavian ‘90s BM in your music I’d say. And it’s very raw. Á la (early) DARKTHRONE. Did you have a clear picture in mind of how you wanted UNHOLY ALTAR to sound and look like since the beginning?
The intent was always to have black metal music. All of us are into the early Scandinavian BM as well as first wave BM. We all come from primarily playing in raw punk bands, it definitely influenced our sound to create our own style meshing the two.
4. What bands do you draw inspiration from?
We have various musical influences but the most influential would be Darkthrone, Immortal, Mayhem, Venom, Bathory etc.
5. And are there any women artists or women in extreme Metal that influenced you in any way?
Two bands that come to mind would be would be Demonic Christ and Gallhammer
6. In UNHOLY ALTAR you not only keep the classic Black Metal sound, but also the imagery. What did you find in BM that turned into your haven?
All of us have always loved the genre and the general imagery/symbolism that comes with it. We find solace in expressing the darkness that surrounds the world and rather than reject it, embrace it and make it into a creative outlet
7. In what way are your themes, sound and aesthetic connected?
General aesthetic, sound, and themes we draw from earlier black metal live performances and music videos. Ambiance and expression of our lyrics are very important for us.
8. As I mentioned earlier, last October you self released your first demo. It’s available on tape. Are you planning issues in any other formats? Would you rather remain DIY or try finding a label for future releases?
We do plan on releasing vinyl at some point but only once we release the full length. The EP was a beginning point for us and will remain on tape format for the time being. We know that the best way at the moment to get ourselves out there was through DIY but are not opposed to finding a label to release future albums given they share our vision.
9. Your lyrics wouldn’t feel out of place in Death Metal. They’re very rotten. What concepts do you think of when writing them?
Our lyrics are based on reaching a darker realm of thoughts. Some of our lyrics are based on poems and feelings of moroseness existing in a dying world.
10. Anyway they also have this occult hint. For what I’ve seen on social media I can imagine you translate this occult side into your live shows too. Where does this come from? Is it an aesthetic tool that fits Black Metal or personal beliefs and practices?
For our live shows we are usually trying to summon or invoke a feeling in the audience. Hopefully a general feeling of being engulfed with darkness. Darkness is not always a bad thing as it’s a feeling in human nature that needs to be felt at times. We all hold our own spiritual beliefs but at the end of the day the feeling among us is that we all agree on seeing the deeper side of things and embracing it, using it to your advantage.
11. So what does UNHOLY ALTAR represent personally to you? What is it?
Our band represents a lot to us. Primarily, a strong appreciation for the genre that black metal was and has become. Its definitely a huge creative outlet for us. It represents a place for us to express our innermost thoughts and release an energy that is wicked, evil, but also still illuminating light.
12. You’re hailing from Philadelphia. A place with a thriving scene. What’s going on there? Any interesting bands, fanzines…?
Philadelphia definitely has an up and coming metal scene. Everyone in this scene has been super supportive and welcoming to us. There’s a lot of great bands that are going places.
12. That’s all from our side, thanks again. If you’d like to add some final words, feel free to do it.
You can find us at @unholy.altar on instagram and unholyaltar666.bandcamp.com.
We are playing a couple shows including Philly and New Jersey next month as well as doing a mini tour in May.